BACK TO SCHOOL: Hive students take part in trainee teachers conference

Words by Zain Khan, pics supplied by the Hive College

We were asked to take part in a conference for trainee teachers at Wolves Uni on Friday 3 May.

We sent five students to help with the refreshments for the delegates and then five students (including two alumni) were the keynote speakers for the event; sharing their educational journeys and the career aspirations followed by some tips for teachers with students with special educational needs.

The students chose to walk on to stage to ‘When the Going Gets Tough’! They all did fantastically well and were incredibly inspiring to us all. I was so proud to hear back how much they have achieved against so much adversity.

The organiser of the conference commented: “The aim of yesterday was to put good expert staff and talented pupils central to the focus and I really hope that came across.

“As a team, it’s the ethos that we are reinforcing all the time with our trainees and just look to work with people who have the same shared values.

“Good people, doing great work, for pupils who deserve every opportunity in life.”

They added: “EIAT as a trust is an absolute joy to work with. We see a lot of schools and trusts on a yearly basis and we can say, genuinely, that there is a clear connection and shared ethos in the staff we come across within Wilson Stuart, Mayfield, Queensbury, and the Hive.”

For more on The Hive College visit: www.hivecollege.org.uk

The Hive College is part of the Erdington Local BACK TO SCHOOL programme, working together to celebrate school life from staffroom to classroom.

To find out more about going BACK TO SCHOOL please email: [email protected]

BACK TO SCHOOL: Beautiful butterflies released by EYFS pupils at Marsh Hill Primary

Words and pics supplied by Marsh Hill Primary School

This term at Marsh Hill primary school, our EYFS pupils have been learning all about life cycles and nature.

The children have been caring for caterpillars in the classroom, nurturing them and keeping them safe, and have been excited to look after the insects.

The life cycle of the caterpillar will move from the larva stage, growing to be a caterpillar, through to it forming a chrysalis, and then transforming into a beautiful butterfly.

For the past few weeks, the children have been observing the caterpillars and have talked to their friends and staff about how they have changed, especially on how much bigger they got!

Then last week, there was huge excitement when the EYFS pupils spotted the chrysalis shaking – and finally the children were very lucky to see a couple of the butterflies emerge from their chrysalis!

This week the children released the butterflies into the wild. They have had so much fun and look forward to learning more about the wonders of nature.

For more on Marsh Hill Primary School visit www.marshill.bham.sch.uk

Marsh Hill Primary School is part of the Erdington Local BACK TO SCHOOL programme, working together to celebrate school life from staffroom to classroom.

To find out more about going BACK TO SCHOOL with Erdington Local please email: [email protected]

BACK TO SCHOOL: Caligo – a short story by Daniel Selwood

Daniel Selwood is a student at The Hive College who has been involved in our LOCAL AMBASSADORS programme, as well as contributing to our BACK TO SCHOOL pages for his college.

A gifted prose writer and a veracious reader, Erdington Local is proud to help support and develop Daniel’s writing.

She was beautiful. She had long dark hair, a dress of midnight blue, and high heels that added inches onto her already formidable height.

Domnic Darkly felt underdressed, even in his best shirt. He hadn’t combed his hair in weeks and as a result it looked like something left in a spin dryer too long. His glasses were round, and he was becoming more and more aware of how dirty they were.

“Domnic?” she asked. Her accent was unplaceable, like every voice in the world stewed up and served.

“Yes,” said Domnic, in his West Country drawl, marred and bitten at for living in Birmingham for so long.

She stepped back. Domnic stepped in. The hall smelt familiar – like childhoods and happiness. As Domnic admired the collection of leather-bound books, her soft but strong hands grabbed his cheekbones with their death-pale fingers.

“You look just like your photos, darling, like a tough ‘n’ teak mountain man…” she whispered, and ran her tongue like a red slug over her purple lips.

“You didn’t send any pictures,” said Domnic, nervous then calm. “And I don’t know why – because you’re…” his eyes lingered on her chest, “you’re beautiful…”

“Thank you, my liebchen,” she said, and walked like a film star into her cavernous kitchen. “Would you like water, or wine?” she asked.

“Erm, water,” said Domnic. Stone statues of unrecognised Greek gods were visible through the kitchen window – dressed in real cowls. He thought he recognised some of them from a news report, something to do with back packers who were acting stupid and vanished.

“Erm, Caligo?” he asked – her name, an unusual name, one that sounded like a wine. “Where did you say you were from, again, sorry?”

She winced, then slid back into herself. “All o’fer, really mois fleur,” she said. “I, er, ‘ow-dja-say, treaded the boards…”

“You were an actress?” asked Domnic.

Water thundered into a glass. Caligo looked at him, “Pardon? Oh yes – actress, yes…” She put the glass of water into Domnic’s hand, and whilst he wasn’t looking mixed a fine line of powder into his drink.

“You look good for fifty,” said Domnic, feeling more assured. He was forty-five and obvious with it; a mix of alcohol in the ‘80s, ciggies and drugs in the ‘90s, and an attempt to settle down in the ‘00s. Caligo was charismatic. Caligo was cool. All he had was the look of a humanised gorilla, a twenty something daughter who ran off to Malaga with her girlfriend, and a wife who set fire to his clothes before chucking him out. The words, “you can stay with Calligraphy or whatever her name is…” echoed round his memories, that, and the smell of charred cotton.

“I have the kiss of life,” she laughed. “Now drink up my love… and we’ll see my garden.” She smiled without out showing teeth.

It was the last thing he remembered.

Domnic woke up outside. Cold. Naked. He couldn’t place where he was or when he’d arrived… just a jump, like a dream. But he’d seen those statues before – the one with chiselled cheekbones, the thin seedy one, the round one, too.

“Nice, isn’t it?” she asked. It was. Wherever it was. He couldn’t remember his name.

“I love this place,” she drooled. “I bought it in 1920…”

“19… but it’s 2024!” cried Domnic.

“Oh, mon chéri. I have long life. I am – er, ‘ow you say it? Vampire,” cackled Caligo, as Domnic placed his hand over his neck.

Caligo looked at him and laughed so hard a dog barked a few streets away, then went quiet. “I don’t suck blood, I kiss… and drain the life from my darling, wunderbar boyfriends.”

She leaned in and placed her lips firmly on his. It felt dangerous, yet pleasant. He didn’t fight. Her breath tasted sweet, and rich, like the zest of orange on a dense, dark cake.

Domnic turned to stone. His face was wonderfully wistful. Caligo lifted Domnic and placed him in line. She draped him in a toga before going inside – the sun was rising…

For more on The Hive College visit: www.hivecollege.org.uk

The Hive College is part of the Erdington Local BACK TO SCHOOL programme, working together to celebrate school life from staffroom to classroom.

To find out more about going BACK TO SCHOOL WITH Erdington Local please email: [email protected]

BACK TO SCHOOL: Getting excited by STEM at Queensbury School during British Science Week

Words and pics by supplied by Queensbury School

As part of British Science Week, Queensbury and New Horizons had a STEM day. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and these are all areas where there are skill shortages in the UK. These events encourage students to think about jobs and careers linked to STEM.

At Queensbury, Keyode Lewis came in to do some (very) low temperature demonstrations. Using liquid Nitrogen, Keyode did experiments using flowers, meringues, fruit, and other objects.

The finale was an experiment to see what happened if you mixed a very hot liquid with a very, very cold liquid – with some explosive results. The students were intrigued and fascinated by the demonstration and hopefully one or two will be inspired to follow a science pathway.

Another highlight was when students created self-powered cars using recycled materials. They worked together to design and build cars from items like cardboard and plastic bottles, learning about engineering and sustainability along the way.

Both these experiences sparked their curiosity and passion for science – they learned about engineering principles while building their cars and discovered the transformative power of extreme cold during the liquid nitrogen experiments.

Overall, British Science Week at Queensbury School provided students with an opportunity to explore and learn in a fun and engaging way.

The combination of building self-powered cars and conducting experiments with liquid nitrogen showcased the diverse and exciting aspects of STEM education.

For more Queensbury School visit www.queensburysch.com

Queensbury School is part of the Erdington Local BACK TO SCHOOL programme, working together to celebrate school life from staffroom to classroom.

To find out more about going BACK TO SCHOOL with Erdington Local please email: [email protected]

BACK TO SCHOOL: Exciting new experiences as Marsh Hill children visit Sandwell Valley Riding Centre

Words and pics supplied by Marsh Hill Primary School

At Marsh Hill Primary School, we are passionate about providing as many rich experiences to our pupils as possible.

This term, we are giving every pupil the opportunity to visit Sandwell Valley Riding Centre to experience riding and grooming a pony.

Apart from being a great source of physical activity, pony riding offers a host of psychological benefits. It can boost confidence, improve concentration, and teach responsibility and empathy. It also encourages a connection with nature, helping children appreciate the outdoors.

Our pupils that have visited the centre so far and have had a fantastic time.

They have thoroughly enjoyed the visit and have been extremely excited to share what they have done at the centre with the staff and other pupils in school.

We are very proud of the confidence they have shown with this new experience.

For more on Marsh Hill Primary School visit www.marshill.bham.sch.uk

Marsh Hill Primary School is part of the Erdington Local BACK TO SCHOOL programme, working together to celebrate school life from staffroom to classroom.

To find out more about going BACK TO SCHOOL with Erdington Local please email: [email protected]

BACK TO SCHOOL: ‘The Book Project’ sparks joy of reading at Wilson Stuart EYFS Pathway

Words and pics supplied by Wilson Stuart School

Wilson Stuart EYFS Pathway recently celebrated a literary extravaganza in collaboration with the charitable organisation, ‘The Book Project.’

In a remarkable gesture of generosity, ‘The Book Project’ donated over 500 books to the school, ensuring that each student could select and take home two books, nurturing their reading journeys and fostering a deep-seated love for reading.

The event, held at the EYFS department, was nothing short of magical. Students eagerly perused the diverse selection of books, each one a gateway to new adventures and endless imagination.

Adding to the excitement, students had the opportunity to purchase books using ‘Wilson Stuart cash,’ a unique initiative that empowers students to take ownership of their reading materials.

But the highlight of the event? Meeting the beloved character, the Gruffalo, who stepped out of the pages and into the hearts of the students, bringing their favourite stories to life.

Charlotte Davis, (EYFS Lead), and Kristal Bonner, (Literacy Lead), expressed their gratitude, stating: “Wilson Stuart extends a huge thank you to ‘The Book Project’ for their generous donation. We eagerly anticipate future collaborations to continue nurturing the love of reading among our students.”

This heartwarming partnership exemplifies the power of community and underscores Wilson Stuart’s unwavering commitment to providing enriching educational experiences for all its students.

For more on Wilson Stuart School visit www.wilsonstuart.co.uk 

Wilson Stuart School is part of the Erdington Local BACK TO SCHOOL programme, working together to celebrate school life from staffroom to classroom.

To find out more about going BACK TO SCHOOL with Erdington Local please email: [email protected]

BACK TO SCHOOL: Hello summer term at Kings Rise Academy!

Words and pics supplied by KRA Editorial Team

Here at Kings Rise Academy, we can’t believe the summer term is finally here and we are two thirds of the way through the school year. Before we tell you about the exciting things we have to come, let’s look back on the final week of our spring term.

KRA finished the term with our famous Easter Bonnet parade! We all made our own hats and paraded them through the playground.

We asked competition winner Shay what he thought. “My hat was so tall that I nearly fell over! I even won an Easter egg for my design,” – Shay is 10 years old. The week was filled with egg hunts, card making, and learning all about Easter.

We even had five new additions to our KRA family: five very noisy ducks we hatched from eggs and now roam around our Kraken gardens.

Coming up this term, we are looking forward to the Year 6 SATS. These tests are the culmination of all the hard work pupils have done in Year 6, not to mention the rest of their time in primary school.

As well as tests, here are some of the exciting events and trips happening this term: Evacuees Day, Sports Day, local walks & fruit tasting, New Outside library, The Black Country Museum trip, Cadbury World tour, and finally, a trip to Tudor World.

For more on Kings Rise Academy visit www.kingsrise.org

Kings Rise Editorial Team: Sienna Mills (Y5), Zaneta Onojah (Y5), Liyana Walters (Y5), Riley Mortiboys (Y5), Hiba Ahmed (Y4), Ehichoya Jason Obor (Y5).

Kings Rise Academy is part of the Erdington Local BACK TO SCHOOL programme, working together to celebrate school life from staffroom to classroom.

To find out more about going BACK TO SCHOOL with Erdington Local please email: [email protected]

BACK TO SCHOOL: Getting ready for the summer at Kingsthorne Primary School

Words and pics supplied by Kingsthorne Primary School

It is hard to believe that we are already at the start of the summer term. The weather certainly hasn’t been what we would hope for! 

Since coming back the children have been very busy. Over the holiday, Y1 were asked to make bug hotels to encourage wildlife to come into the school grounds.

This is linked to their writing topic, ‘Our Woodland Visit’, where the children are learning to compose and recount text.

As part of their immersive experience they took part in a colour hunt, a minibeast hunt, and a scavenger hunt. Back in class the intrepid explorers drew pictures of what they had found and relaxed with hot chocolate and marsh mallows.

Learning beyond the classroom is very important at Kingsthorne and in the coming weeks Y6 are off for a week at the Outward Bound Centre in Aberdovey, and Y4 have two nights in the Peak District at the Ravenstore Youth Hostel.

We will, of course, report back about everything they have been up to!  

For more on Kingsthorne Primary School visit www.kingsthorneprimary.co.uk

Kingsthorne Primary School is part of the Erdington Local BACK TO SCHOOL programme, working together to celebrate school life from staffroom to classroom.

To find out more about going BACK TO SCHOOL with Erdington Local please email: [email protected]

BACK TO SCHOOL: Greenwood Academy Live celebrates over 100 inspiring performances

Words and pics supplied by Greenwood Academy

For just over a year, students at Greenwood Academy (GWA) have been showcasing their talents in a special regular event called GWA Live.

Through GWA Live, young people at the Castle Vale secondary school have been developing their performance skills on stage and building confidence, whether they are just starting out or are more seasoned performers.

Students are involved off stage too, getting to work on operating lighting, sound, and visual equipment for the productions.

The monthly events are championed by Assistant Head Teacher Trevor Evans, who has led the school’s performing arts programme for many years – helping to produce some spectacular school productions and talent showcase events.

Mr Evans hopes the GWA Live events will encourage more self-belief and cohesion in and out of the classroom.

“GWA Live also embodies ‘The Greenwood Way’,” told Mr Evans, “an approach that we are rolling out encompassing all areas of school, instilling a sense of belonging for all pupils and making school a great place to be not only between 9am and 3pm but beyond.

“It’s about supporting, encouraging, and building our school community.”

From April, the GWA Live events will be expanding to include a headline act each month and to offer further support from the school’s Community Team – helping budding artists to develop their performance skills and live presentation.

For more on Greenwood Academy visit www.greenwoodacademy.org

Greenwood Academy is part of the Erdington Local BACK TO SCHOOL programme, working together to celebrate school life from staffroom to classroom.

To find out more about going BACK TO SCHOOL with Erdington Local please email: [email protected]

BACK TO SCHOOL: Students from The Hive College invited for special dinner at Chung Ying Cantonese Restaurant

Words & pics by The Hive College

Last week Live 2 students from The Hive College were invited to a special dinner at Chung Ying Cantonese Restaurant in Birmingham.

It was a great experience for the students, some of whom have never been to a restaurant before! It also provided them with the opportunity to practise the skills they focus on in college, and to help them prepare for adulthood.

Speaking about their experience, the students gave a message of thanks for the kind hearted staff at Chung Ying. They told: “Thank you for having us at the restaurant and thank you to all the staff. Thank you for the free food and drink it was fun trying to use the chop sticks. Thank you for letting us take some back for one of our friends.

“The food was amazing; thank you for that and thank you for refilling our drinks. it was nice meeting you, we hope we see you again. From Live 2.”

Recently graded as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, The Hive College uses field trips and experiences outside the classroom to help prepare their students for adulthood.

The visit to Chung Ying allowed them to all choose what they wanted from the menu and place an order with the waiter. And of course, it was a chance to socialise and have fun with their friends.

A spokesperson from The Hive College added: “We are extremely grateful to Will and his team at Chung Ying for their generosity and making us all feel really welcome.”

For more on The Hive College visit: www.hivecollege.org.uk

For more on Chung Ying Cantonese Restaurant visit: www.chungying.co.uk

The Hive College is part of the Erdington Local BACK TO SCHOOL programme, working together to celebrate school life from staffroom to classroom.

To find out more about going BACK TO SCHOOL with Erdington Local please email: [email protected]