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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

  • Pinnfest 2022

    Published 08/07/22, by Chris Woolf

    Pinnfest this week was a real highlight of the term, and so brilliant to have it back in person for the first time since 2019. Students did a great job with performances of music and drama, and it was fabulous to have so many visitors. Many thanks indeed to all colleagues involved in planning and running the event.

    It was lovely to welcome our new Year 7 students to school this week. It is also the first time we have been able to run this event since 2019, and we know everyone benefits from this a great deal. Students spent the day in their form groups in a range of taster lessons, which I know colleagues really enjoyed delivering. Our new Year 7s also have the benefit of a four day summer school running at the end of August, when they will have the whole school to themselves. Over 140 students have signed up for this, and I am very grateful to Governors for approving this programme. Our new Headteacher from September, Mr. Patel, was able to attend both events. He has been coming to school every week since his appointment to ensure a smooth handover and I know everyone is enjoying working with him on planning our continued improvement.

    As well as these events, it has also been busy in other parts of the school, with Year 12 Geography students on their A Level field trip in Devon, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions over the last couple of weekends and final arrangements for Sports day taking place too. 

    In case you missed issue 8 of our school magazine 'Inspiring Learning' here it is: https://www.pinnerhighschool.org/_site/data/publications/Issue-8-Summer-2022/index.html It gives you a flavour of the year at Pinner High School.

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  • Visits

    Published 23/06/22, by Chris Woolf
    The A Level Philosophy, Religion and Ethics class very much enjoyed their visit to the University of Cambridge. They attended a range of lectures from Cambridge professors, including a fascinating session on demons in antiquity.  Students took part in workshops with other PRE students as part of the day and heard from current Theology and Philosophy undergraduate students on what the course involves.
     
    Local MP Gareth Thomas is visiting school today.  Sixteen students from across the school will be asking him a number of questions about current issues and his role as an MP.
     
    Last week's virtual meeting with the National Teen Book Club was very successful.  Students discussed the novel 'The Hate U Give' and had a Q&A session with award winning author Abiola Bello.  Student engagement was excellent and they represented the school well with their thoughtful contributions and questions.  We have 3 more sessions, including a Q&A with Angie Thomas, the author of 'The Hate U Give.'
     
    This week we received our newest Eco Schools Award. We have a continuing commitment to this important area of school development, and are pleased to see this recognised with a new award. The image this week recognises the social impact of the students completing the Duke of Edinburgh's Award- congratulations to everyone involved.
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  • Gold!

    Published 10/06/22, by Chris Woolf
    It is lovely to have everyone back in school after the half-term break. We are very much in the thick of GCSE examinations at the moment, with most students completing 4 or 5 papers this week. We had an ice-cream 'wellbeing session' after the exam yesterday afternoon, and I enjoyed catching up with them. Students seem to be managing really well. Our invigilators are full of praise for their positive approach, and we wish every individual continuing success.
    More success to report, as over 41,000 students from 550 schools worldwide took part in this year's Biology Challenge, hosted by the Royal Society of Biology.  Of the 126 Year 10 scientists that completed the challenge, 64 students were awarded certificates this week, ranging from commended, highly commended, to bronze, silver and gold. This is an amazing achievement. Particular congratulations to the students for winning a gold certificate, putting them in the top 5% of students to complete the challenge globally. This week our A-level scientists are taking on the Royal Society's Intermediate Olympiad - we hope they are just as successful!
     
    Year 12 students were out on another visit this week, this time focused on UCAS preparations, which are about to begin in earnest. Year 10 students are on their Duke of Edinburgh expedition this weekend. Hopefully they will enjoy some sunshine.
    Parents will have had emails this week about forthcoming events including our Sports Day and Activities week. We are looking forward to all these events very much and are pleased to provide these opportunities for our students.
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  • Rainbow

    Published 27/05/22, by Chris Woolf

    I am delighted that our 'Rainbow arch' art installation was completed this week. It was originally conceived during the pandemic, and is designed as an area of reflection and commemoration of the challenges of the last two years. It also allows a space to reflect on the amazing resilience and strength of the community during that time. My immense thanks to all those involved in this project. The arch is 2 metres wide, and has rosemary planted at each end, to further add to the symbolism of remembrance.  

    After the half term break, more details of the success of our athletics team, continuing GCSE examinations, and a look ahead to PinnFest, Sports day and some end of year activities for all year groups. Exciting times! 

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  • Amazing success at PHS!

    Published 20/05/22, by Chris Woolf

    Some impressive news for our Mathematicians and sports stars this week, with sixth formers exploring the world of medicine and physics.

    116 students took part in the Junior Maths Challenge; an astonishing 96 students received either a bronze silver or gold award. Maths has always been a strength of the school, but this is an impressive number even by our own high standards. 6 of them also qualified for the next stage of the competition as well- congratulations to all!

    More success to report for sport beyond our school, with 2 students being selected for the Harrow youth netball team, and 7 students qualifying for the Harrow athletics county championships. Amazing!

    Our aspiring medics are at Birmingham City University today. They are taking part in the Operating Department Practitioner Experience day. Their skills with laparoscopic equipment were put to use building sugar cube towers to explore their dexterity and communication skills- to good effect! Physics students are at the National Physical Laboratory, enriching their skills and experience in this area. Year 10 GCSE Geography students completed their field trip this week, as you can see from the image above!

    My thanks to such dedicated colleagues facilitating all these wonderful opportunities.

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  • 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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