Alderbrook School
Blossomfield Road
West Midlands
B91 1SN
Tel: (+44) 121 704 2146

Issue 094
W/C Monday 26th November 2018

Alderbrook School Crest

Heads Up

Dear Parent/Carers

A few short weeks into our new half term and we have had some lovely and inspiring events taking place in school. Our first Friday back on the 9th of November saw the official opening of our Alder ARC by the Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Flo Nash. Students, their parents/carers and staff at the ARC welcomed the Mayor and her consort who spent some considerable time talking to the students and touring the ARC to see their classrooms and their work. We are very proud at Alderbrook of our wonderful new building and the students who have their lessons there are already very settled and working well.

Last week we held our second Life Ready Day of the academic year where we were joined by a whole variety of external visitors, teaching our students across the year groups about a whole range of very important subjects, both practical and social. There is a more detailed write up later in this newsletter.

Mocks for our year 11s are starting this week for a fortnight – these are an excellent opportunity for our students to understand the rigours of sitting a series of exams, in exam conditions. These are to support and encourage our students to identify and focus on areas of their studies where extra work and effort may be needed before the official exams take place in the Summer term. Thank you to our parents and carers for encouraging your child to revise and can we stress the importance of plenty of sleep and not burning the candle at both ends!!

A Heads Up that we have our annual Christmas production on the 12th-14th December. This year our very talented troupe of dancers, musicians and actors will be staging Beauty & The Beast. Productions will be held in Malley Hall at 7.30 pm each night. Full information including a link is below and we hope that as many parents/carers, family members and friends as possible can join us to have a wonderful evening of entertainment and support our students and staff who are working very hard to give you a night to remember!

Curriculum News

Art Department

Year 7, Year12 and Year 13 art students, along with Photography students have been busy creating work to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War. A collaboration of photography, print, painting and felt have been used by our talented students to create a stunning remembrance display.

Dickens Heath Memorial

Very well done to Ryan Carter, who whilst in year 7 wrote some very poignant words about Remembrance which are now immortalised in a memorial which was recently dedicated in Dickens Heath. Please see photos below of this very special event.

Marjorie Willis Grant

The Art department would like to say a huge thank you to the Marjorie Willis Education Foundation for a grant which has enabled a brand new collection of animal skulls and skeletons. The collection is a fantastic resource and we are sure it will inspire countless artworks from our Art and Photography students.

Life Ready - 21st November 2018:

Our second Life Ready Day of the year provided our students with a range of experiences to support their Personal and Social Education.

A very big thank you to our visitors and external providers who supported us, ensuring our students had a useful and life relevant day.

This year this included the Police, Urban Heard and Loudmouth Theatre Company working with the Year 11s and 10s on important aspects of their Sex and Relationships Education Programme. Volunteers from Nat West Bank’s education programme: ‘Money Sense’ supported the Year 9s in their day focusing on financial wellbeing. The Medical Mavericks provided an exciting and insightful day for our Year 12s.

Year 9s and 13s also benefited from the inspirational and motivational talks by Sander de Groot of Made Training, whose sessions continue to be a huge success with the students with whom he works.

For our students, being able to adjust to a new timetable, different groups and visitors, is an important part of their development. For most of our students, they value communication with external experts, and appreciate the opportunity for this. We realise for a few students, changing classes for a day, or being spoken to by an unfamiliar face, can be quite challenging for them. Well done to those who show particular resilience in their learning on these occasions. As students move into Key Stage 4 it is important that they learn to manage these learning experiences with increasing confidence, as they provide a good practice for changes all students will experience post 16.

Attendance on these days is crucial for a student’s education. The world young people are growing up in is changing at a rate that is unprecedented – and topics such as personal safety, both in real life and the virtual world, mental well-being, motivational and career workshops and ‘sex and healthy relationships’ education are identified for very important reasons, often changing year to year. As a school, we try to cover these topics carefully and thoroughly. Students with poor attendance on these days are at a worrying disadvantage to their peers and will have missed content that matters and may impact on their futures. We appreciate support from our parents and carers in the success of all initiatives such as these. Where we do have concerns, we will contact parents/carers directly. Our next Life Ready Day is 30th April 2019.

Comments from some of our visitors:

‘Great students – would be happy to deliver seminars here again’ – Jordan Allison, Outreach Officer,

University of Gloucestershire

‘Really well organised. Thank you’. Jodie Smith, Project Manager, Urban Heard.

‘Thank you for a lovely day with Year 10. Respectful and mature students!’ Loudmouth Theatre Company.

A reminder about mock exams

Year 11 mock exams will run from Monday 26th November until 7th December 2018. Mrs Tombs, Examinations Officer


Alderbrook is very proud of the students that engage in photography; winning many awards over the years. So.... calling all budding Photographers. Can you take three A4 images that represent this year’s theme?

'Beauty of Nature'

The deadline is February 12th 2019 for your three A4 prints and entry forms, which can be obtained from Mrs Roundell in A05. Prize of £100 per age group for 1st place and there are runner up prizes too! We have a good track record, please see past winners work on walls in Touchwood near Zara. The task is to produce a portfolio of three photographs based upon the theme, ‘Beauty of Nature’ in colour or black and white on photographic paper. Prints to be submitted separately. Each print, including any mount should be no larger than A4 size. Mobile Phones may be used. Each photograph must be identified on the back with the name, age category and school of the entrant and an entry form completed.

Intermediate 11 to 13 years old

Senior 14 to 17 years old

Good luck!

Mrs S Roundell, Curriculum Leader for visual arts


Our wonderful staff! Who recently took part in our annual inter departmental school quiz. Tough questions, pizza and lots of fun raised a magnificent £1036, shared between three charities, namely Marie Curie, Shirley Sea Scouts and MIND. Staff put in enormous amounts of effort, time and contributions to make this event bigger and better every year, so well done!

And another superb fundraising efforts from our Sixth Formers who hosted a Halloween bake sale in the week before Half term and raised....

Brilliant work! (And lots of orange and green cakes!!!)

Useful information from school

Important reminder – a GDPR media consent form was sent to you this term – if you have not yet done so, please complete and send back with your child asap – this will help the school to promote and celebrate your child’s curriculum activities and achievements in school in line with your wishes as their parent/carer.

Unwelcome visitors.....

We have recently been informed of a case of head lice affecting one of our students. A reminder please for parents and carers to be vigilant checking your child’s hair regularly and treating if necessary. If regular checks are made we can ensure this remains an isolated incident. Thank you.

Calendar Dates

Recorded Music Circle – Solihull Society of Arts

Solihull Society of Arts Recorded Music Circle meets in the Sixth Form Room (M06) on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month from September to June. Meetings begin promptly at 7.30pm and we listen to a programme of music presented by one of our members. The music is generally under the heading of 'Classical' and is either chosen by the presenter or selected from requests by members of the Circle. Programmes are always varied with a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar works. Membership costs £20 for the year and we pay 20 pence per meeting for interval refreshments. Visitors are very welcome and there is no charge if you wish to attend.

Knowle & Dorridge Lions Festive Walk

– Thursday 27th December at Baddesley Clinton National Trust House.

Early closure – last day of term

A reminder to our parents and carers that there will be an early finish on Friday 21st December, the last day of term before the Christmas break with lunch at 12.15 and Period 5 ending at 2.05.

Those students that normally catch the 6E or 49E will still be able to catch a bus home off site (Blossomfield Road). For students who get the Grosvenor Buses (822, 894) and the National Express/West Midlands Travel Bus (894A) please note these buses will all arrive at the earlier finish time to allow your child their usual mode of transport home.

Non uniform

There will also be a Non Uniform day on Friday 21st December. Donations of a minimum of £1 will be collected at Form Time and the theme is Christmas Jumpers or non uniform in support of Acorns Hospice and our community Wednesday Club.

  • Monday 26th November - Year 11 Mocks

  • Tuesday 4th December - Year 7 Parents Consultation

  • Sunday 9th December - Table Top Sales

  • Wednesday 12th December - Christmas Production - Beauty & the Beast

  • Thursday 13th December - Christmas Production - Beauty & the Beast

  • Friday 14th December - Christmas Production - Beauty & the Beast

  • Wednesday 19th December - Christmas Concert

  • Friday 21st December - End of Term - Early Finish 2pm/non uniform day

  • Monday 24th December 2018 - Friday 4th January 2019 - Christmas Break

  • Monday 7th January 2019 - Spring Term starts - students return to school

Best wishes

Dr J Smith

Alderbrook's 'The Edge' Production Tickets

If you would like a ticket for any upcoming events here at Alderbrook's

'The Edge' then please follow this link

Alternatively you can ring the box office on 0121 705 8488

Alderbrook School Crest