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Headteacher's Blog

Here is a round up of our blog posts, keeping you informed about the life and times of Pinner High School.

 

Page 1

  • Second Trailblazed!

    Published 13/05/22, by Chris Woolf

    Our Year 11 GCSE exams begin on Monday, and we had a lovely assembly for them all today to recognise all they have achieved at Pinner High School. There were awards, presentations, performances and plenty of tears as they looked back over all their successes. Year 7 students lined the drive to cheer them on their way.

    Great success for our Key Stage 4 Girls Football team, who were crowned borough champions yesterday. They played a brilliant game in a very tense final and thoroughly deserved their victory. Inexplicably, there was no trophy for them to lift, so I was pleased to introduce the team in the Leavers assembly to award them a trophy to recognise that they won this inaugural borough competition.

    Our younger students had a positive experience during 'Bikeability' workshops this week, improving their bike skills and safety management experience. Our new bike storage area is currently being completed, funded with our Climate Kick Start Prize, so it is great to see such positive steps in this area. 

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  • Gold and Bronze

    Published 06/05/22, by Chris Woolf

    62 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh participants from Year 9 alongside 10 colleagues hiked over 12 km from Ruislip Lido to Rickmansworth Aquadrome in record time last weekend. All students demonstrated their teamwork and navigation skills, and a few Pinner Values along the way. We had great weather and a great start to the DofE season! Our inaugural Gold expedition set off today. We wish them well on this most demanding part of a very prestigious award.

    Last night was a wonderful evening of music at our first concert of the year. Soloists and groups, Year 7 and Sixth Formers all came together during a lovely event. 'We don't talk about Bruno' was a fabulous finale! We look forward to Pinnfest on 7th July- a date for your diaries- the first time we have been able to hold this in person in several years.

    This time of year is always focused on exams, and our Year 11 students are rapidly reaching them. Orals in Mandarin and Spanish have already begun. We wish all our students every possible success with this. I was delighted to talk to Year 11 parents on a Zoom call this week to make sure they are as well equipped as possible to support their children at home too. 

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  • Triple Finalists

    Published 29/04/22, by Chris Woolf

    Triple finals week at Pinner HIgh School, with the Year 8, 9 and 11 boys football teams all making the finals of the borough tournaments. Many many congratulations to all involved, and thanks to all the students who came up to the football ground after school to cheer the teams on. We move swiftly into the athletics season, and an amazing 80 students attended trials this week for our first fixture next week.

    The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is a highly prestigious one that has been operating for over 50 years: DofE - The Duke of Edinburgh's Award This weekend sees training for our Bronze Award students, with the Gold expedition the week after. We have over 100 students registered with the Award, which is an extraordinary number. It is lovely to see so many young people engaged in stretching themselves and contributing to our community. They bring the Pinner High School Values to life in so many brilliant ways. 

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  • First Head Students

    Published 22/04/22, by Chris Woolf

    Another milestone to celebrate with our first Head Students! They were elected to their positions just before the holidays. It was a very competitive process, involving an application, an interview with me, one of our Governors, and our Head of Sixth Form, and a short film to share with the school community to help everyone hear more about each candidate's ideas. Each selection panel was clear that we had an exceptionally high quality field, but three students stood out, so Najah, Alex and Nathan are our first Head Students. Congratulations! They each wanted to introduce themselves in their own words.

    Nathan says: "As one of the Trailblazers at Pinner High, I can't believe how far we've come from our first ever assembly in Year 7. I remember sitting in the Pinnacle, nervous, as I didn't know how secondary school life would turn out in this new school. However, when I look back now I don't know what I was worried about. I've loved it. I always enjoyed participating in school life; the school production- Bugsy Malone in Year 7 was a highlight- rugby team, football team and lots of other activities. I am committed to using my position to help other students blaze their trail so that everyone can have a journey like mine."

    Alex tells us: "I’m extremely excited to be elected as one of the very first Head Students for Pinner High School, and I feel very thankful to all the students, teachers and support staff who have trusted me enough to make this happen. I will work the utmost with my peers to create an even more enjoyable school environment! The whole process to becoming one of the first Head Students was extremely enjoyable, with it really putting me through a range of experiences including a formal interview. It was a truly unique experience which I’ll bring with me in my future and am really proud to have been a part of."

    Najah says: "I am honoured to be one of Pinner High School’s very first Head students. I believe that everyone who has become a part of the student leadership team is dedicated to their cause and it will be a pleasure working alongside them. I have already begun working on a fundraiser with my Diversity and Inclusion teammates, so please do look out for ways to get involved in our projects. I’d like to thank everyone who has cheered me on in this endeavour, and those who came to me in the school to tell me they liked my Head Student video, or to congratulate me after the vote. Those wonderful words mean a lot to me and I can’t wait to make meaningful changes at our school." 

    Pinner High School is lucky to have such outstanding young people in our community, and it is a pleasure working with them.

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  • Chair of Governors guest entry

    Published 01/04/22, by Chris Woolf

    A guest blog this week from our Chair of Governors, so news from our Trailblazing Head students, comic relief fundraising efforts and impressive sports results will have to wait!

    Dr. Ahmed writes: "I would like to start with an assurance to the entire school community. I know you will be aware of the changing leadership of the school, and I want to reassure you that we have a very stable and experienced leadership team of Trustees, Governors and Senior staff. We are all absolutely committed to building further on the excellent foundations of our school. 

    I wanted to share a couple of extracts from a recent inspection report about Pinner High School. When we were a new school we had a Department for Education School improvement partner to help establish the school. Although this support has now ended as the school has been so successful, the school leadership team invited him back to spend the day at school a few weeks ago to help us set some continuing areas to develop. 

    His report says: "Staff like the Pinner values and the general ethos of the school. They described the school as: vibrant; inclusive; happy; outstanding in all aspects; engaging; supportive; inspiring." The report refers to student views as well: "Three groups of pupils were interviewed and all three groups felt they were attending a great school. They like a lot: the interactive lessons; the inclusive nature of the school; the support and follow-up of staff; the enrichment provision; the regular competitions, such as in maths and physics; the welcome to Year 7 pupils by older peers; a safe place. They described the school as: engaging; dynamic; diverse; inclusive; encouraging; happy; innovative; supportive; inspiring. The pupils felt that the school wants them to become the best people they can be; to be empowered; to never give up; be well informed."

    There is no complacency here and there will not be in the future! The inspection report above is very reassuring for Governors as we provide strategic oversight of the school and we continue to provide rigorous support and challenge as we have always done."

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  • Trips

    Published 25/03/22, by Chris Woolf

    School trips are making a welcome return to school life, after last week's successful trip to the V&A museum, and a Mary Poppins workshop in the west end the week before, this week Year 10 students attended the Globe theatre for a performance of 'Macbeth'. They will be studying this next term, and seeing the performance is a brilliant way of bringing to life our motto of 'Inspiring Learning'. My thanks to everyone involved in making all these events happen. 

    The Economics department have brought 'Global Money Week' to Pinner High School over the last few days. This is a global campaign to raise awareness of the importance of ensuring young people are more financially aware. This has involved form group activities, a quiz, and other real life situations to help students prepare for their financial future.  Further information about the campaign can be found here: Home (globalmoneyweek.org)

    Other activities focused on the future include our sixth form work experience. During the week beginning 11th July 2022, Year 12 students will be undertaking a week of work experience.  If any parents in our community are able to provide opportunities for students, please do get in touch with our careers coordinator through the school email info@pinnerhighschool.org  The school has partnered with Changing Education who will coordinate all essential health and safety checks.

    For many of our GCSE students, the practical element of their assessments has begun. The picture above is of the Master Chef Food Technology assessment in full swing!

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  • Life on Mars

    Published 18/03/22, by Chris Woolf

    Science week has been particularly active at Pinner High School this year. The official theme of the week this year is growth.  Our Year 7 students have therefore been busy growing bacteria which they have been regularly analysing.  Our Year 12s were involved with a workshop run by the University of Oxford all about the biological molecules and their applications.  This included finding out more about the chemistry of COVID-19.  This encompassed Biology, Chemistry and Medicine, stretching many of our most able students. Years 8 and 10 continued with the theme of growth, this time looking at growing cities and Engineering – they joined our Sixth Form Engineering group in building spaghetti bridges. During the week we launched the whole school element hunt; students have been finding elements around school and finding out facts about them. Our future medics spent a day taking part in a conference run by Oxford High School hearing talks given by a huge range of different healthcare professionals.  There was a keynote talk given by Professor Andrew Carr, the Nuffield Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Oxford.

    And still there is more! Year 8 and 9 students took part in talks given by science writer and journalist, Colin Stuart.  Colin has written 19 books all about space, selling close to 500,000 copies.  He is most famous for the books that he has written alongside Astronaut Tim Peake.  He spoke about what the first human missions to Mars will be like.  Students were of course fascinated by everything but in particular the challenges of going to the toilet in space! You may have seen our daily Science week tweets about amazing scientific facts.

    Elsewhere in school, Food Technology students were delighted that Bridget Earley from 'Meat Like It Used To Be' came to visit to demonstrate professional poultry jointing. This was a huge success, and we are very grateful for her support.

    Year 9 Design students are at the V&A museum today and will return with renewed inspired for their GCSE projects.

    And we have our first tadpoles in the school pond!

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  • Books, Banks and being Bilingual

    Published 11/03/22, by Chris Woolf
    A particularly active week across the school community!
     
    Year 12 Economics and Business students had the fantastic opportunity this week to speak with and engage in a Q&A with the Director of Bank Policy at the Bank of England, Mr Phil Evans, who since September 2016 has been in charge of coordinating the Bank's policy on the UK's withdrawal from the EU.  The talk, which was themed 'The Bank of England, Brexit, and the post-Brexit economy' covered a range of topics from bank stress tests to the impact of new regulations at the UK/EU border, which was extremely insightful for the students.  They raised questions on topics from the models used to predict inflation to post-Brexit environmental investment strategy, which was a great extension of topics studied on their courses!
     
    Year 10 tutor groups were set the challenge of preparing and delivering an assembly to the rest of the year group. This week was the first assembly, and 10BU spoke about plastic pollution across the globe, and the importance of protecting animal habitats. They discussed different charities who support animal conservation, and things that we can all do to reduce our plastic usage. 
     
    Students in Years 7, 8, and 9 of the Mandarin Excellence Programme, as well as students studying Mandarin at KS4 and KS5 attended a Mandarin guest lecture this week. Our speaker, JoJo Ramsden, has 30 years of experience working as a translator and interpreter in Shanghai, Taipei, and Hong Kong. She has used Mandarin Chinese as a working language to manage joint business ventures for organisations including the British Trade and Cultural Office, Department of International Trade, China Britain Business Council, Chambers of Commerce, INTO University Partnerships, and the University of Exeter. She talked to the students about the impact learning Mandarin has had on her life.
     
    We wrapped up our extended World Book Week with a talk from an award-winning author at John Lyon School. Students from Years 8 and 9 attended the talk by Manjeet Mann - author of 'Run, Rebel' and 'The Crossing' - where they had the opportunity to ask for tips on how to develop their own writing skills, as well as questions around the author's inspirations.  We hosted a successful Poetry Slam with some excellent talent and sophistication from some of our young poets. Students from Years 7-11 shared their writing with us, including the winner of the Remembrance Day poetry competition last year, and we had the privilege of hearing powerful and emotive poems about mental health, identity and the effects of war. We are very proud of all contributors and their fantastic work.
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  • World book Week!

    Published 04/03/22, by Chris Woolf

    World Book Day has been extended to World Book Week at Pinner High School, with a range of activities to celebrate the joy and importance of reading. Amongst others, book quotation bingo, emoji book titles and a virtual visit from author Savita Kalhan (author of 'That Asian kid' and 'The girl in the broken mirror') have led to a very enjoyable week. Thanks to the English department for leading this, and to students for taking part with such enthusiasm. Mr. Spellman from our Reprographics department had a particularly appropriate T-shirt for the day!

    Our Table tennis team won the boys U16 Harrow tournament this week, with close fought victories over John Lyon and Avanti House in the semi finals and finals. Many congratulations to all involved in this impressive result. 

    March 1st was National Offer Day, when year 6 students found out their secondary school for September. We found out that we are the most oversubscribed school in Harrow for the third year in a row with 1196 applications for 180 places. The last distance offered is now 0.55 of a mile. We are welcoming our new students for a quick visit on Monday and Tuesday next week to share our excitement that they will be joining the Pinner High School family. 

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  • Physics Gold winners!

    Published 24/02/22, by Chris Woolf

    Just before the half term break, our year 12 physics students took part in the British Physics Olympiad Online Competition, run by the University of Oxford.  I am delighted to say that they did incredibly well! 50% of the students were awarded gold certificates, compared to 18% nationally. All of our Year 12 physicists achieved either gold, silver or bronze awards which is a fantastic achievement. The gold award winners are featured in the photo this week.

    This half term started with a Deep Learning Day, enabling Years 7-11 to engage with important age appropriate topics from the Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education curriculum.It was great to have guest speakers back in school, and we welcomed visitors from 'Stand Up to Discrimination', Brook, and motivational speaker Mr. Beezy. My thanks to everyone involved in the day.

    Year 12 students had a positive trip to the University of Oxford today, and I had a very enjoyable day on Wednesday interviewing candidates to be our very first Head Student. Mr. Flitcroft, one of our community governors, joined Mr. Stump and me for the interviews, and we were all so impressed at the eloquence of the applicants. The next step in the process is for the candidates to share a video with the school community, enabing all students to hear directly from their potential leaders, before a school wide vote. Exciting times!

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  • @pinnerstagram

    Published 11/02/22, by Chris Woolf

    Our CCF students spent last weekend at John Lyon School completing aspects of their Army qualifications under close supervision. All of them passed their assessments, which is really very impressive indeed. CCF is going from strength to strength and I am very grateful to my colleagues for giving up their weekend to lead this event.

    The image this week is of our A Level lino tech art work in a new display in one of the art studios. There is more art to see on our art and design Instagram page @pinnerstagram

    The Key Stage 3 Science Club was a great success this half term at Pinner High School. The club is run by the Head of Science, Mr.Clarke. The students witnessed demonstrations of methane bubbles, blue bottle magic, crushing cans, fitting an egg into a flask, writing with invisible ink and turning water into wine. The students conducted practicals based on their personal interests in science. The practicals they participated in were making a hologram projector for their mobile phone, making lip balm, making a bath bomb and the GCSE chemistry flame test practical.

    Year 9 mid term exams come to a conclusion today. The students have been absolutely brilliant in their first formal set of examinations. The assessments help them to see how they are progressing in their GCSE subjects with plenty of time to build further on the strong foundations they have created.

    There are a few posts available around the school at the moment, as we are looking for a Geography teacher, a PRE teacher and an Economics or Business teacher for September. We are also looking for more members of our site team, to help us with weekend and out of hours lettings now that we have the full building available to us. This is a link for details of the advertisements. If you know anyone who might make our first class team even stronger, please do ask them to apply. We are Investors in People Gold award holders for Health and Wellbeing and would love to hear from you.

    Today is the last day of the half term. I hope you have a restful week.

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  • Planting

    Published 04/02/22, by Chris Woolf

    Our Geography A level students have been busy this week planting fruit trees. The 'Orchard for Schools' programme has entrusted the school with growing five different fruit trees. Mr Smith , Head of Geography commented that "I think it is important in urban areas that we try to be as environmentally friendly as possible, the trees help reduce the schools carbon footprint and make it more sustainable." You will know that the school were Climate Kick-start prize winners from the Mayor of London in November. These plans are developing well and I look forward to showing you photos of our progress soon.

    More sporting success this week, with our Year 7 boys and girls winning the local indoor athletics competition and progressing to represent the whole of Harrow. Many congratulations to all involved.

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