Alderbrook has welcomed over 250 year 5 and year 6 students to masterclasses across the school. From making pots in Art, to making Pizzas in Food Technology or even learning about the Gladiators in History. All of the pupils have welcomed the opportunity to make new friends at secondary school and get to know some of our members of staff.
The students had nothing but positive words to say about Alderbrook and how much they enjoyed the sessions. Likewise the parents have enjoyed the chance to chat to members of ABK staff to clear up any questions they may have regarding their sons and daughters that will be starting at Alderbrook in September.
This would not have been possible without the 30 members of staff who have helped out along with the 10 volunteers across Year 9 and 10. Thank you to everyone involved for a fantastic couple of weeks.
Congratulations to the 28 students in year 9 for successfully completing the bronze award. All students have battled the hot weather and completed two grueling expeditions including, walking a minimum of 20km on each expedition over two days, preparing their own meals using trangias and navigating their way through unfamiliar territory. All students worked tirelessly to push each of their team members to complete the challenges that they faced along the way.
Aside from the expedition section of the course students have been completing volunteering placements, a physical activity and the development of skills for at least 1 hour a week for each of these requirements. Examples of some of these include coaching or leading, supporting with animal care, working in charity shops and youth clubs, and litter picking. Two students have been going above and beyond supporting a charity to rehome the homeless in Birmingham. All of the elements of the course have demonstrated the diversity within the Alderbrook community and the kindness to give up their own time to support others.
Well done class of 2023!
Gold Duke of Edinburgh has been a huge success this year with 14 students completing a training weekend in the Long Mynd in February. The cold weather during the training weekend was good preparation for their practice expedition in Central Brecon Beacon mountains. Although the students had to be evacuated off the side of Pen-Y-Fan due to extreme weather, they showed excellent resilience, bravery and kindness to make their way down from the mountain, get under the emergency shelter and boil water to create a hot water bottle to keep each other warm.
The gruelling practice expedition set the students up to excel in their qualifying expedition in the Black Mountains. The students were blessed with four glorious days of sunshine.
Year 12 Social Sciences students enjoyed playing detective for the day when they had to solve a murder! The day started with a frantic 999 call, students were then led to a crime scene where they had to collect evidence including footprints, fingerprints and blood. Students used their criminological knowledge to consider the relevance of different pieces of evidence, leading to an arrest of a suspect – apparently Muhammad was the first person to ever volunteer to be arrested!
The day culminated in a mock crown court trial with students playing the roles of suspect, eye-witnesses, expert witnesses, barristers, jury members or judges. The day was based on a real-life murder that the guest speaker had worked on during his time as a police officer. The day was full of twists and turns which ended up in one group finding the suspect guilty and the other group finding him not guilty!
On Thursday 29th June the English and MFL departments invited Romalyn Ante, to visit our school. Romalyn grew up in the Philippines and migrated to her second home, Wolverhampton, at sixteen. She is the co-founding editor of Harana poetry, a magazine for poets who write in English as a second or parallel language. She firstly introduced herself to our Year 7 cohort during an assembly in which she discussed the question: How does identity link to the texts we read and write? A small handful of Year 7 & 8 students were then selected to take part in an identity poetry workshop with Romalyn. They explored how different identities can have an effect on our writing. They were gripped for the whole hour, and some beautiful poetry was created. We hope that Romalyn will visit us again as she had such a positive impact.
We took 50 students and 6 staff to Folgarida in Italy in the February half term. The weather was beautiful with blue skies, sun and the pistes luckily had enough quality snow. We were consistently complimented on the superb behaviour of the students – on the plane, in the hotel, in the lessons, out and about. It was an absolute pleasure to take these students to challenge themselves in learning a new skill, or pushing themselves to develop their skiing prowess further; and they had lots of fun in doing so!
On the 31st March, 47 GCSE Geography students and 5 members of staff jetted off to Iceland. Following several years where this trip could not go ahead, both students and staff were very excited to finally be returning. We spent 5 days in the Land of Fire and Ice with a jam-packed itinerary including visiting spectacular waterfalls, world famous geysers, glacier walking and a trip to the infamous Blue Lagoon. There were many highlights of the trip one of them being the Icelandic Eurovision dance off that students had on the penultimate night- a memory which will stay with us for a long time, who knew Geographers were such good dancers! Unfortunately, despite us staying up most of the last night, seeing the northern lights was not meant to be this time – however we did have an unexpected meet and greet with the President of Iceland himself! I guess you can’t have everything!
Roll on Iceland 2025!
At the Borough Athletics Championship, Alderbrook took a strong team to Tudor Grange track to compete against 17 other schools in Solihull in multiple athletics events. We took a very strong team of 47 students and did not disappoint!
Overall, as a school we finished in 3rd position with some excellent individual successes including Harvey and Nathan, our school’s English Schools representatives, dominating in their events. Harvey proved to be the fastest individual at the track on the day, with no-one getting close to him demonstrating sheer dominance in the 100m and 200m across the Borough reflecting his dedication to the training that he endures at his athletics club.
We had 14 categories where our competitors finished in the top 3 of the borough.
It was a fabulous day enjoyed by all and an excellent representation of Alderbrook’s sporting talents on a borough stage, showing that we are right up there with the best!
Nathan also performed at English Schools’ Athletics Championships. Despite not placing in the top 3 in his race, he received praise as he dealt with one of the other athletes falling into his lane and instantly ran to see if he was ok, which was recognised by the commentator who called him the epitome of sportsmanship!
Through Nathan reaching this level of competition, his ranking for the 300m has improved significantly, going from 598th last year to 8th in England last month – his hard work and dedication all year have paid off enabling him to be selected to represent West Midlands and his school with the best in the country.
Well done, Nathan (number 83), you have done yourself and the school proud!
On Wednesday 28th June, Alderbrook School prom took place at Hogarths, Solihull. The evening was a huge success – it was fantastic to see over 190 students and 50 staff coming together to celebrate the past 5 years. Congratulations to Mille (prom queen) and Jason (prom king). We hope everyone had a fantastic night and made even more memories of their time here with us.
We wish you all the best for results day!
On Thursday 13th July we held our Sixth Form Summer Ball at Hogarths. Thankfully the weather was excellent, and our students enjoyed a lovely evening that included food, laughs and plenty of dancing. Staff went home as many of our year 13s headed off to various locations to continue their celebrations. We very much look forward to seeing them on results day in August.
Just days before the Sixth Form Summer Ball, we learned of the sudden death of one of our year 13 students. Amidst the shock and sadness, students and staff were able to write messages and to share memories as a tribute to a life ended tragically too soon.
Josh Weston RIP.
During the summer term, year 7 students embarked on our annual trip to the Black Country Living Museum. This was an enriching opportunity for our students who had been learning about the Industrial Revolution in their history lessons. Students were lucky enough to explore an underground mine, something that sadly we were not able to do last year, as well as touring the canals, trap shops and chemists all maintained from the 19th century. Of course, year 7s will say that the best part of the day was the fish and chip shop but the feedback was overwhelmingly positive throughout with students engaging in the area and asking thought-provoking questions.
Multiple members of the public commented on how well-behaved and well-presented our students were – a credit to the Alderbrook community.
We auditioned Oz in January, when over a hundred students pitched for the main roles. Since then we have been working solidly every Wednesday and Thursday to bring the show to stage. We had fewer options for main roles because many older students in year 11-13 chose not to audition. This meant asking younger students to step up to the plate. Casting Beth in year 7 as Glinda, and Rosie as Dorothy was perhaps a risk, but we had to have faith and make sure that these younger performers were given the positive affirmation and vocal training that they needed to succeed. Casting younger students in main roles is also an investment in future work, nurturing the talent that will come to fruition as they mature.
We have been blessed with an astonishingly talented and disciplined cast, band and crew. On days when we have been exhausted at 3pm, these lovely young people have somehow managed to fill our lungs and give us the energy we needed to carry on! I can’t honestly think of a moment when any of them stepped out of line.
There are a number of ‘firsts’ that we have incorporated into our work which we are proud of; for the first time in a Alderbrook show, we managed to merge pre-recorded video projection with live action to create the effect of the wizard, we incorporated smoke blasters and a wider range of LED lighting effects to create bolder colour washes for the magic of Oz and we also delegated the responsibility of the programme design and layout to a student for the first time. Aoibha in year 10 is a wizard in more ways than one!
We chose the RSC version of Oz from several on offer, because it’s the one that most closely matches the original film; but we soon decided not to slavishly copy the visual storytelling of the movie. We are delighted to have had the Art Department working closely with us. It’s been great to see a team of artists working alongside our actors, creating our own unique set and costumes.
I’m sure you will appreciate the extraordinary effort taken to make this vision come alive. Testament to the dedication and team work of Alderbrook staff and students working in unison.
Our National Theatre Connections group performed ‘Strangers Like Me’ by Ed Harris in school and at Royal and Derngate Theare in Northampton.
The actors worked so hard attending multiple rehearsals each week, creating puppets and props and producing a high-quality performance.
Zach did the lighting for the show and impressed the theatre so much, they asked him to come back and operate the lighting for other performances that week!
Our cast included: Grace, Izzy, Jessica, Aoibhe, Holly, Jasmine, Jazmine, Shirin, Grace & Maisey
Then we have our wonderful cast of ‘The Wizard of Oz!’
We have been busy in rehearsals getting the show ready for the first week of July!
The Performing Arts department have been so impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the cast this year.
We have also teamed up with the Art Department this year to create costumes and set. It has been a joy to collaborate with the Art team and involve more students in the process.
Other highlights this year include our KS3 performance of ‘The Dragon’ by Evgeny Shvarts in December involving 40 students and our trips to see …
Thank you to all those involved on the stage and behind the scenes.
It has been a ‘full on’ year in the Art department. GCSE Art and GCSE Photography and A level Art had the return of the art exam and students hopefully enjoyed the experience of a theme change provided by the exam paper in January. ‘Isolation’ was a popular theme choice. Some of the work achieved was truly wonderful to the point the work of our top student at A level was selected by the moderator for the exam board. I know the trip we did to London fuelled ideas and it was nice to return to normal times again with inspiration from the works of art housed in London Galleries. I am sad that I can’t share any visual achievements from our talented students as we are bound by JCQ requirements not to display students’ work until results are issued. Well done though to the students for coping this past few years on their courses that were interrupted by COVID.
ABK’s Wizard of Oz production has had the full support of the department. Ms Saimbi has worked extremely hard in coordinating the costumes, set design and props, supporting Performing Arts. She ran an after-school club for the term with a mix of students inputting from all years. Thank you and I hope you enjoyed the experience and the performance and seeing your handy work of course!
Enrichment creativity – Our sixth formers opt into extension studies and Mrs Myatt has once again run her clay workshop and it was greatly received. The outcomes from the students this year were intricate and varied. We are proud as a department to still be running creative craft-based opportunities to students and this is across all Key Stages. Some of this wouldn’t be possible if parents’ generosity and support wasn’t forthcoming. We appreciate the donations made at the start of every school year. I know Mr Farmer and Ms Saimbi are surrounded by bugs and beetles and fish created by year 7 students as part of their clay experience and there are plenty of KS4 fantastic beasts under construction too. The department had its two 25 year old kilns replaced and what a super colour they are! We look forward to replenishing our glazes for our ceramic work with older students.
Photography Competition Winners; We were delighted to again have success at all levels in the Touchwood and Rotary Photography competition. This is a competition that we have entered now consecutively for 7 years and enjoy our students’ success and the community links forged with Rotary and Touchwood. I encourage our students to again, enthusiastically contribute their efforts as and when the theme for 2024 is released.
Well done to all who entered and especially to, Jack, Thomas, Oli & Isobel and Harry – the overall winner.
Their photos are now displayed in Touchwood Shopping Centre for the year.
Photography has been a success at GCSE, now in its 11th year and we are now pleased to be running A level in addition to GCSE. With this expansion we have secured funding from the Marjory Willis Fund. We have a sublimation printer and some other specialist equipment as well as planned refurbishment of a room that we can call home. Sixth former Photography students enjoyed a trip to S.E. Davis in Astwood Bank to photograph old machines as part of a Decay theme. Part of their project development and Photoshop edits were focused on pattern generation and they successfully enjoyed using the new sublimation printer with their designs. They all had wallpaper patterns and fabrics printed too. All valuable realistic processes for design and the real world.
The Art department just before the end of term would have looked a very different sight, walls stripped of beautiful, creative and colourful achievements and examples from students leaving rough staple marked bare walls. The department will be transformed over the Summer as it is being decorated. The fresh displays will once again adorn the walls and especially if Mrs Foden has something to do with it!
Part of our Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education programme includes LIFE READY DAYs, assemblies, fortnightly lessons and work experience opportunities.
Our most recent LIFE READY DAY included opportunities for year 7 and 8 students to look back on their experiences of this school year and to set themselves targets in each of their subjects for next year. It was also a chance to spend an extended period of time with their form tutor.
Our year 9 students spent the day with the science department exploring the facts and dangers surrounding substance abuse. There was also a session on body image that proved to be thought-provoking for both students and their teachers.
Year 10 had the opportunity to learn from 50+ different employers who spent the day with us leading workshops, answering questions and most memorably interviewing every year 10 student as if they had applied for a job with them – an invaluable experience.
At the same time our year 12 students had a hugely successful work experience week, learning skills and developing networking opportunities across a range of industries, enterprises, and key public sector service providers.
From investment banking to the provision of palliative care, our students have shown the ambition, bravery, and kindness that ensures our community with continue to thrive.
Placements with Solihull Moors and Rolls Royce tie us to our heritage, whilst online courses out of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory secure our successful future.
Malley Hall – 8.30am to 11.30am
GCE – Thursday 17th August
GCSE – Thursday 24th August
Students will also receive a basic result
slip through their school email at
School begins again for each year group as follows :
Until then, we wish you all a restful and happy summer break.
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