Our big event took place on Thursday 19th July and was a fantastic success. The PE department organised a programme of events that surpassed all previous years and was hugely supported by parents and carers. With superb weather, strawberries and cream and coffee/hot chocolate supplied by Starbucks in Walsall and finally a free ice cream for everyone courtesy of Bugsy’s Super Whippy, who could ask for more. Pupils were presented with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place medals on our new podium with the house cup being won by team Murray; congratulations to all members on this achievement.
On Wednesday 27th June Elmwood School organised an event based on food from around the World which included the preparation and cooking of USA chocolate brownies, British Eton mess, Italian brushetta, Polish canapes, Indian samosas, Thai chicken skewers plus many more Asian foods.
It gave our Year 10 BTEC pupils the opportunity to prepare and cook onion bhajis with a local restaurant owner and his chefs Jay Shireen and Labz from Royal Shireens in Aldridge. The BTEC students also mentored some of our younger Year 7 pupils passing on valuable skills on how to cook and stay safe.
Special guests were the Mayor and Mayoress of Walsall, the taxi drivers and escorts who bring our pupils into school safely every day and many training providers that have links with our school including our Careers Adviser and recently Co-opted Governor, Rita Martin.
Feedback from guests include comments of “It was amazing”, “Brilliant especially Tyrone and Callum who were very polite”, “It was perfect”, Really good atmosphere, pupils are a credit to the school” and “Amazing set up couldn’t have ask for more”.
A big thank you to Ms Shaw, Food Technology Teacher and everyone else who made the event such a fantastic success.
Staff wellbeing has always been a significant component to our School’s ethos and we have always invested in staff development as the staff are our greatest asset. This year staff wellbeing has been a whole school priority and this year’s staff training has contributed towards the work around the Wellbeing Award for Schools – promoting wellbeing and mental health and acknowledgement within our re-accreditation of Gold status for Investors In People. We also welcomed Tracy Brandwood, new Chair of Governors, to join in the fun and who was able to witness for herself how important staff wellbeing is taken into consideration at Elmwood.
In addition to this we wanted to celebrate the work of some inspirational women and organisations as part of recognition of International Women’s Month (March 2018). So we welcomed Sara Morris (Barlaston Women’s Institute, http://barlastonheronswi.webs.com/ ) and Margaret Thompson (Birmingham Back to Backs, National Trust, https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/birmingham-back-to-backs ) ably assisted by her colleague to deliver some age old techniques and applications using a variety of natural materials to produce some fantastic pieces of work that staff will feel able to support our own pupils during out and about lessons in the coming years (and keep for themselves as mementoes of the fantastic day).
Sara’s enthusiasm and creative flair enabled staff to experience different colours and textures in their very own A4 masterpiece of wet felting (which will be carefully created into wall banners to enhance the School’s environment; so keep your eyes open you never know when or where they will appear!) and Margaret took us through the history and application of rag rugging by making Christmas tree decorations – which will further enhance fund raising at our school fetes.This was delivered authentically both from the materials used and her dress code, staff felt they were in the terraced houses in the heart of Birmingham. Some staff even dressed especially for the occasion.
Our very own Mr Whittaker (SLE for Outdoor Learning) treated us to some nail art, using different coloured threads to create some truly spectacular pieces of work that will create “awe” for the pupils when they see them. The awe and fear for staff was generated by Mr Holmes when he demonstrated and enabled staff to safely and effectively participate in axe throwing, using angel stars and single blade tomahawks – some even progressed to the double bladed axe!
This was all delivered at Blymhill and Weston Village hall https://www.blymhill-westonvillagehall.co.uk/ with a picturesque landscape of local farms and village tranquillity, which really enabled staff to focus on the learning at hand and do so in a truly mindful and “Elmwood way”. The facilities enabled all facilitators to deliver outstanding sessions and the kitchen was well equipped to enable Mr Cross and special invited quest to cook up a storm of pulled pork and slow cooked beef baps with accompaniments and a special salmon, okra and rice dish for Leon and a nice vegan burger for Jenna.
I am sure you can see from the gallery that a lot of fun was had by all and initial feedback is very positive about the experience and all are looking forward to supporting the pupils next year.
Staff and pupils, which included Year 5 and 6 pupils from Phoenix Academy, were treated to a fantastic rendition of this West End show which the cast and crew have worked tirelessly on for many months. Very well done to the pupils involved who were Connor, Krystian, Thomas, Oliver, Rhys L, Adam, Tyrone, Jamie A, Kacey, Callum W, Mikyle and Courtney—their performances were outstanding and testament to the work put in by the drama team who are Mr Webb, Mr Damms, Jenna Wilkins and Kerry Bowen. From the creative programme designed by Dion Griffin in Year 10 to the wonderful outfits and props made by staff and pupils, all helped to make an unmissable show. Parents, Governors and staff have the opportunity to see the second performance on Thursday 24th May with refreshments at 3 pm and curtains up at 3.30 pm— we hope you enjoy the show!
During the Easter vacation Mr Lee Cross, (Deputy Headteacher), decided to surprise Mrs Whittlestone (Science Lead Teacher) by taking the long drive from Shropshire to a farm in Coventry to re-home some ex battery hens to enhance the school environment and meet the requests by school council to reinstate more animals within the school. Mr Cross had some support from his youngest son, Beau, aged 5, to pick the four lucky hens to be a part of the Elmwood School community. All the hens had their own personality that represented the staff and pupils extremely well, but were all looking extremely tired and unkept. This is the start of their journey to becoming healthy, happy hens who will receive lots of room to roam, cuddles from staff and pupils and friendship from Chubs (Elmwood School Rabbit). Mr Cross is looking to bring the hens to school after the May half term providing plenty of time for the staff and pupils to repair and secure the chicken house. Photographs of our new arrivals are available on the photo gallery page of the website. Watch out for additional photos tracking their journey. For more information about re-homing ex battery hens please visit http://www.bhwt.org.uk/.
At Elmwood we feel that we have a big responsibility to safeguard our pupils and this was recognised by the Local Authority’s Child Safeguarding Co-ordinator when she asked that we consult our pupils on their perceptions around anti-social behaviour, gangs and carrying offensive weapons. The response was extremely positive with 92% of the school population deciding they would like to support this wider piece of work. The outcomes were particularly interesting as our school community comes from across the borough (and beyond) so was a good litmus test to share with fellow professionals across the borough.
The results were presented by Mr L Cross (Deputy Headteacher) at the key partner information sharing event on 19th April 2018. The extract from the “Evaluation and Further Planning Report” highlighted the following:
“The evaluations and verbal feedback also emphasised the valuable insight that Lee Cross from Elmwood School gave in listening to young people, and for the opportunity to understand what pupils in his school saw as the issues faced by the young people of Walsall, and the supporting reports/ data that were produced.”
This has started a catalyst for the 14 Secondary Schools and 4 Alternative Providers to complete a similar scoping activity which will inform and shape future policy and practice around our wider responsibilities of safeguarding our pupils across the borough and ways in which we can share this information with key professionals as a means of intelligence.
The countdown is on to Elmwood School’s production of the Lion King which is taking place on Friday 18th May (for pupils and staff) and Thursday 24th May (for parents/carers). Our drama students have been working hard with Mr Webb, Mr Damms, Ms Bowen and Ms Wilkins to produce our first ever musical production and judging by the rehearsals is a show not to be missed. Everyone involved has worked hard, including the making of props by pupils, which look excellent. Following a letter sent to the Lyceum Theatre in London where this West End show is running, we were thrilled to receive asigned framed poster from the cast as well as a good luck letter. A big thank you to Nancy Shakerley, Education and Outreach Manager at the Theatre for organising this fantastic response. It is also hoped that pupils will be able to go to London in September to see the live show for themselves, which will be a memorable day for all.
Action Counters Terrorism: Report suspicious activity and behaviour to tackle terrorism
Elmwood School urges the public to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting suspicious behaviour and activity. Communities defeat terrorism. With the enduring terrorist threat, it is now more important than ever that everyone plays their part in tackling terrorism. Your actions could save lives. Don’t worry about wasting police time. No call or click will be ignored. What you tell the police is treated in the strictest confidence and is thoroughly researched by experienced officers before, and if, any police action is taken. Any piece of information could be important, it is better to be safe and report. Remember, trust your instincts and ACT. Further information is available on the dedicated sub page of our safeguarding page on the website.
On Friday 23rd March pupils and staff will be able to support this year’s Sports Relief Charity fundraiser by wearing non uniform and donating a £1. Pupils will be taking part in a number of events organised by Mr Hawkes, PE Teacher, as part of the above as well as staff taking part in a fundraising sweepstake.
What a special visit five of our young people experienced on Friday 9th March when they accompained staff to the Mayor’s parlour in Walsall and met with Mayor Marco Longhi. The event was organised as a result of a litter picking exercise they had undertaken with our Community Liaison Officer, Mark Hickman. Pupils were treated to a guided tour of the Town Hall and were also shown the ceremonial chain and gown worn by the Mayor and the chain of office worn by the Lady Mayoress. Following a chat with the Mayor Marco, when students were able to ask questions, a drink and biscuit was enjoyed and pupils were given a copy of a guide to the history of the Hall as well as a gift of a plush pencil case and stationery set from the Mayor. A big thank you to all concerned for such a memorable day.