At Hodge Hill College our enrichment and extra-curricular provision provides our pupils with a breadth and balance of activities designed to broaden their horizons, allowing them to develop their own interests and talents. The programme is an extension of the school’s curriculum and builds on our CARE brand whilst instilling British Values. We offer quality provision which provides our pupils with a number of opportunities to develop their resilience, character and performance. Our sports provision has continued to improve to develop pupils physically and mentally.
Workshop with Sculptor Tom Hare
This year we have had Artist Tom Hare visiting the school to conduct a series of art workshops with the students. Tom Hare is a well-known three dimensional sculptor who primarily uses willow as his material and with this creates elaborate designs and woven structures. He is well known for using Natural Forms amongst other things as his source of inspiration and these are produced in a variety of large sizes.
“ Part of my process is to find small details in nature, like seeds and pods and then scale them to human size or even bigger, giving a sense of awe and wonder”
We are very fortunate at Hodge hill College to have such an esteemed artist to work with are students. The workshops consist of a variety of pupils, years 7, 8 and 9, over a number of days. Each year group of students working together with the artist are charged with creating a full-size woven sculpture based upon a famous character from English Literature. These characters include Sherlock Holmes and William Shakespeare and will be displayed in areas around the school building.
“The whole process of producing willow sculpture is very grounding. The connection with nature, through coppicing and transferring observations into design, can be a humbling experience and a physical one too.”
The Students have the opportunity to question Tom about his inspirations, experience and processes and above all they get to experience and develop artistic techniques creating with different materials.
Workshop with Caroline Jariwala
Artist Caroline Jariwala has been to the school several times and has been commissioned to create large mosaic pieces which are on display on the exterior walls of the school.
She is due to come in to create ideas with a group of students, after which she will realise in mosaic.
The students will be led in a creative planning session and also have the opportunity visit the artist’s workshop to see their design come to life
The CEIAG programme is designed with the core aims of developing HHC students through employability education, allowing the pupils to learn about the world of work and preparing the students so that they make the right choice for them with their next step in education and have the skills and attitude to be successful in this.
These aims are achieved through a number of different initiatives which are tailored to what is most appropriate at the pupil’s stage of education. The vast majority of these events utilise external professionals from the world of work as we believe that they have the most relevant experience and skills to pass onto our pupils. Over the last few years Hodge Hill College has developed a number of professional working relationships with companies such as Lloyds Banking Group, Deloitte, Capgemini and Balfour Beatty Vinci amongst others. There are also excellent rapports with local Further Education institutes where many of our pupils apply to and continue their education. These links can be witnessed in the consistent support these companies and institutes have offered us with our CEIAG initiatives.
Hodge Hill College participates in the annual Birmingham Professional Services Week which includes trips to employers in the professional, financial and business sectors and also initiative inside school. The Dragons Den event saw employees including lawyers, accountants, digital marketers and architects set several small groups of our pupils a challenge by providing them with a product and the students then had to decide how to evolve this and sell it to the judges. The teams had to decide on roles for each person such as marketing and product directors and were then grilled after their presentation in front of the judges.
BT Work Skills Bootcamp
The BT Work Skill Bootcamp is an annual trip which allows 40 selected Year 10 students to visit the BT offices within central Birmingham and test their employment readiness. It is hosted by current employees of BT and they set the pupils a number of tasks throughout the day in order to develop and improve their work skills. These include a C.V. workshop, job description breakdown and how to remain professional upon social media citing examples of people losing jobs because their superiors have seen something inappropriate upon social networks done many years ago. The last task is an Apprentice style event where the pupils are put into small groups, provided with an everyday item such as a jacket or wardrobe and tasked with improving it and presenting it to the BT employees.
The Envision Community Apprentice Programme was a long term structured programme which saw 13 HHC students choose a charity and over three months build a programme of fundraising which saw them learn and develop various skills such as financial planning, marketing and teamwork. The programme included three separate visits to the Lloyds Banking Group offices in Brindley Place where the pupils talked their fundraising ideas through with a group of business mentors from Lloyds. The team who named themselves ‘Team Rising Hearts’ hosted a number of events including a samosa sale and football tournament within school as well as a bake and merchandise sale at Lloyds. This programme was a regional competition against several other schools in the West Midlands and Team Rising Hearts came an agonising second with the guest panel commenting on how close the decision between first and second place was.
University of Birmingham Visit
A group of pupils visited the University of Birmingham for a taster day which allowed the pupils to learn about the various aspects of university life. Our students learnt about the importance of GCSE subjects as due to the sheer competition for higher education places, admissions are now looking into GCSE results as well as A-Level grades. Our pupils also had a tour of the huge campus led by student ambassadors.
Your Green Future
This is an annual interactive event which Hodge Hill participates in. It engages students with the role of sustainability in the economy and what this could mean for their future careers. It does this through a series of creative workshops which sees students work with a number of employees ranging from H&M to IKEA to Rolls Royce to investigate industry challenges and the role of STEM and sustainability in innovation, business, waste, energy and urban design.
BBC 1XTRA Inspire Tour
BBC Radio returned to Hodge Hill College this year with 1Xtra as part of their tour to inspire Year 10 with a panel-based around the question of ‘What would I tell my 15-year-old self’?
Amongst the panel this year was Renee from BBC Operations, C4 a nationally renowned rapper from Aston and Sam Rasmin who writes for Creative Gen UK. The host of the panel was once again Hodge Hill College alumnus Sideman Allday who brought his unique flavour of street language and wise words to the event.
The panelists spoke about numerous things such as their GCSE choices and the roles these subjects play in their current projects, for example, both C4 and Sam Rasmin talked about how their English education helps them in their respective writing ventures. Renee spoke about her experiences in a very high pressure but often male-dominated industry and how she was metaphorically breaking down doors to make it easier for female students to enter this sector.
Thank you to all of the panelists involved and we hope the advice was useful for our Year 10s.
FE & Apprenticeships Careers Fair
Year 11 pupils took part in the annual FE & Apprenticeship Careers Fair which allowed them to talk to 11 institutes offering various avenues to continue their compulsory education until the age of 18.
The pupils were informed beforehand about which organisations would be in attendance, therefore, they had to prepare relevant questions in advance as they only had one hour to speak to all 11 institutes in a university-style career fair.
Our pupils gained lots of very useful information and were fully engaged throughout. The visitors were very complimentary about our pupils, commenting on their enthusiasm and probing questions.
A very big thank you to all of the visitors who took the time out of their busy schedules to make such a positive impact upon our students.
Pupils Experience Higher Education
A group of KS3 pupils had the chance to visit the University of Birmingham in a bid to broaden horizons about higher education and raise aspirations.
The day started with a quiz about the university including the degrees that various celebrities did such as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson with his General Studies degree or Gerard Butler with his degree in Law. Our host made it clear that many employers often value the transferable skills which students gain through their time at university such as presenting and researching rather than the actual degree itself.
Our pupils then had a tour around the huge campus which will certainly make them think differently when they complain about going from Maths to Computer Science at Hodge Hill College! They witnessed the many different teaching areas such as lecture halls where up to 300 students can be listening to one lecturer. The day ended with a university-style seminar on mental health.
Hodge Hill College Welcomes Alumnus Guest Speaker - Mr Tahir Mahmood
Hodge Hill College welcomed Mr Tahir Mahmood who was here to speak to selected Year 9 and Year 10 students about his journey from leaving Hodge Hill in the 1980s to now working as a Senior Electronic Engineer for Nissan in their Technical Centre based in Milton Keynes. Mr Mahmood spoke about the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) and how it is used daily within his role and therefore, students who are thinking about studying these subjects in later education can make better-informed decisions about them.
Mr Mahmood also told the students about the fantastic opportunities within apprenticeships available, especially within the engineering sector where the students work for a few days within the workplace but also go to college. This means the student gains qualifications as well as that all valuable workplace experience and an apprenticeship means the students also get paid as a working employee.
A big thank you to Mr Mahmood for giving up his valuable time to come and speak to some of our students at Hodge Hill College and we look forward to welcoming him back alongside other success stories from the school.
Prince's Trust Enterprise Challenge
35 Year 9 students participated in the first stage of the Prince Trust Enterprise Challenge. The students were divided into seven teams and worked with their mentors to play a business simulation game based on the concept of a pop-up shop. Pupils had the opportunity to use this concept to run a brand new micro-business. In this activity, the students got to choose their merchandise, they had to decide on the selling prices, the best location to set up their pop-up shop and decide on ways of attracting customers through building hype.
Points were awarded for getting sales and making the most profit. The students had to ensure that in their decision making, their business was sustainable, uphold ethical values and theircustomers’ needs were given special consideration and could be used to build the most hype.
The pupils’ feedback about the event was very positive. They were very engaged and thoroughly enjoyed the activities provided throughout the five one-hour sessions. The pupils work with their teams and mentors to confidently develop and pitch their business idea and used all the ideas gained from the online business simulation game and all they learnt about starting an enterprise.
They teams with the highest game scores are now eagerly waiting to hear if they have made it through to stage two where they will compete in the regional and national finals.
Motivational Speaker Cameron Parker Visits Hodge Hill College
Year 11 were lucky enough to be visited by renowned motivational speaker; Cameron Parker.
Mr Parker spoke about several things during his hour long talk including the difficulties he faced during his early years, such as, his parents getting divorced and the detrimental impact this had upon his studies and subsequently his GCSE grades as well as his plans for post-16 study.
Due to the similar age this occurred to him and our own age, this had a heavy impact upon us but more motivating and uplifting was his story of hard work and resilience to positively turn his life around. He is now at the stage in life where he owns two successful businesses and shown to us the benefits of a never give up attitude. When I spoke to Mr Parker, he was full of praise for us students calling us the ‘best he had ever worked with’ in the four years that he had been coming to Hodge Hill.
Skills Show for Year 11s
Selected group of Year 11 students had the amazing opportunity to visit the World Skills Show taking place at the NEC. This gave them the chance to experience the UK’s largest skills, apprenticeship and careers event.
The show allows the pupils to explore different sectors and expand their knowledge about careers they may not have previously considered. It also encouraged them to have a go at some of the skills on offer. During this event the NEC is extremely busy and our pupils ensured that they experienced the numerous avenues available to them.
We hope that the day played a fundamental part in helping the pupils become more confident about the choices they will make for life after Hodge Hill. All of the pupils came out of the event positively buzzing about the amount of information and the advice on offer with one saying he was going to take his family on the upcoming weekend.
Hodge Hill College Welcomes Back Mr Chris Bartlett
Hodge Hill College welcomed back Chris Bartlett as a guest speaker to speak to our whole Year 8 cohort. Mr Bartlett is now a Senior Director for the huge global technology firm Adobe (think Photoshop, Acrobat) looking after business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Chris spoke about his route from Hodge Hill College, talking about his love of playing the trombone, running for the Birchfield Harriers, music and Aston Villa FC whilst getting ‘decent’ GCSE grades but not excelling and openly admitting not working as hard as he could have.
Nevertheless, he progressed through further education and went to the University of Kent where he graduated and began working for the Financial Times before moving direction to Microsoft for a number of years and eventually finding himself at Adobe where he has worked himself up to the very senior position he now finds himself in.
Mr Bartlett spoke about the key role that his time at Hodge Hill College played in his fantastic career journey including his inspirational teachers as well as providing some fantastic prizes during his quizzes. He also imparted his survival guide for success in the professional world in six steps;
1) Think about soft skills
2) Find your passion
3) No career is a straight line
4) If you can…travel
5) Build your brand
6) Know where you have strengths
These are all lessons that we can learn a lot from and we thank Chris for giving up time from his hectic schedule to come and inspire our current students and look forward to working with him again in the near future.
Drama is a life skill: the ability to confidently present yourself to an audience at a job interview or whilst delivering a professional presentation. It shows future employers that candidates have valuable skills such as confidence, creativity, communication, teamwork, empathy and understanding.
As a Drama department we feel that alongside our curriculum, our extra-curricular offer should support this. Therefore, we purposely choose plays and productions that have interesting central themes that students are going to want to explore. In all productions, students take the lead as actors and as a production team over-seeing elements such as lighting & sound, costume and marketing.
‘FACE’ by Benjamin Zephaniah
A play which explores disability, difference and acceptance in society: Everything is going Martin's way, but when his world is turned upside down by a crash in a stolen car, he has to come to terms with more than his facial injuries.
‘Noughts and Crosses’ by Malorie Blackman
The love story of Sephy and Callum, two young people kept apart by bigotry, terrorism and injustice. Sephy is a Prime Minister's daughter from the powerful Crosses who falls for rebel Callum, son of a dangerous Nought agitator. Their desire to together threaten family loyalties and sparks a growing political crisis.
‘Ceasefire Babies’ – by Fiona Doyle (National Theatre Connections)
A group of young people growing up under the shadow of past conflict. The play explores the intergenerational transmission of trauma and how the problems faced by a war-torn country can still lurk beneath the surface, long after the arrival of peace.
Cinderella and Rockerfella
Cinderella and Rockerfella came to Hodge Hill College and ROCKED the house! It was a fantastic show with last-minute appearances by pupils and cameos by staff. Pupils assisted with the lights, props and costumes and they did a splendid job. Well done to everyone involved!
However, the Panto pleasures didn’t end there! As a reward for the hard work, dedication, and commitment, the members of the Cinderella and Rockerfella cast along with pupils from Year 7 & 8 went to see the Snow White & Seven Dwarfs at the Birmingham Hippodrome.
It was a phenomenal show to experience. Thank you to the staff who joined us on the day!
Pupils get the opportunity to show off their creative talents whether it’s singing, comedy or rapping!
The purpose of Enrichment within the English and Drama is twofold; on the one hand we try and encourage all pupils to take an active interest in their English/Drama learning outside the classroom, whilst also developing skills that will help them improve their grades. Fundamentally we want children to have an enjoyable time within the department and progress their English/Drama understanding.
Key Stage 3
We have a number of authors visit the school from various disciplines, who both deliver a talk to the whole year group and also run workshops on their interests. Local Theatre Group also came in to show Year 8 Macbeth (and another group will be showing Macbeth to them again this year also).
- Adisa - Performance Poet
- Stephen Kelman
- Bali Rai
Key Stage 4
Various theatre groups work come in to perform the set texts that Y10/11 are expected to study, and for 4 years in a row the author of Pigeon English (GCSE Lit set text) has come to speak to the children about the book.
- Macbeth Performance
- Romeo & Juliet Performance
Every year the English Department also run a ‘Debate Mate’ club, which is jointly provided by an outside partner. Debate Mate is a national debating competition leading to both regional and national competitions -last year one of our groups was the runner up for the entire Midlands region.
GCSE English in Action
A group of Year 10 students attended a trip to the University of Warwick to attend ‘GCSE English in Action’ – a series of talks and workshops held by writers and subject specialists who provided their insight into aspects of the GCSE curriculum. The author Neil Bowen led two engaging talks about ‘Tackling Unseen Poetry’ and ‘How to Make Your Creative Writing ‘Zip’. Pupils also gained tips and tricks for aspects of the English Language exam from Becky Wood’s engaging ‘Exploring Non-fiction Texts’ lecture.
We were treated to a poetry reading from renowned Welsh poet Owen Sheers. Sheers is well known to the students, as his poem ‘Winter Swans’ is featured in the AQA Poetry Anthology they study at GCSE. After the poetry reading, Sheers led a Q&A session – a fantastic opportunity for students to ask questions to gain his personal insight into the context of his poetry which will be a real advantage in their upcoming exams.
Literacy Through Art
Every enrichment activity that is provided to students via the inclusion faculty is targeted towards SEND or lower ability students and students that qualify for Pupil Premium funding. Over the past 2 years the school has promoted a ‘Literacy through Art’ approach which has seen several prominent sculpture artists, textile specialists and highly regarded professionals within the Art world work with groups of our students on long term Art Projects. Within these sessions, students learn the value of teamwork and collaborative approaches alongside self-esteem, building motivation and encouragement and most importantly a ‘hands on’ approach to following detailed and complex instructions which is a vital skill that is key to unlocking student potential within all subjects.
Arts & Crafts Club
During break times students have regularly been provided with an opportunity to take part in collaborative Art themed activities whilst building friendships with fellow students. Staffed by the Inclusion team, the club has provided students with a warm and welcoming setting to spend their break time whilst honing their artistic skills under the guidance of Mrs Gibson who has led several projects for students including book folding, Origami and the creation of seasonal decorations which have been used across the school.
Provision of extra-curricular activities through Visual Impairment and Hearing Impairment support teams:
Due to our close links with the sensory support teams, students with a visual impairment or hearing impairment are regularly provided with opportunities to take part in enrichment activities outside of school including regular Theatre Visits, trips to the Cinema and activities that promote building links and lasting friendships between students with Visual and Hearing Impairments in the Birmingham area.
Pets as Therapy
Poppy, our resident Pets as Therapy dog, has been working hard on Fridays with 6 of our KS3 students. After enjoying her morning in an office being spoilt by staff who come for some comfort too, she goes to the library where she makes herself at home on the cushions and listens to the students who come and read to her. She always has a great time and it seems that her happiness is shared.
To become a Pets as Therapy dog, 10-year-old Poppy had an assessment to check her suitability to work with vulnerable adults and children especially. Her temperament and behaviour were scrutinised and her ability to remain calm in difficult situations was assessed. She passed with flying colours 3 years ago and has been visiting young patients at the Birmingham Children Hospital on a weekly basis. She enjoys her work very much and always gets a treat and a cuddle for being such a good girl.
Key Stage 3
Learning about how animals are adapted to the rainforests, links to GCSE Geography.
Aspire for Equality
A small group of Year 9 girls (Save Our City) went to speak at the Aspire for Equality Leadership conference in London. The girls took part in the Solutions for the Planet Big Ideas Competition last year, and although they didn’t make it to the national finals, their passion, and enthusiasm for protecting the world around them caught the attention of the Solutions for the Planet CEO, Jen Baughan. Jen suggested that the girls apply to speak at the conference and from over 700 applications, Save our City was shortlisted.
On the day of the conference, the girls addressed a room of over 200 leaders from business, politics and the charity sector. Their presentation focused on the power of young people in the fight against climate change and urged those listening to find ways to support and empower the young people in their own lives to work for change. Unsurprisingly, they received a roaring applause and standing ovation, and many of the audience came to congratulate them personally on a fantastic speech.
The girls spoke with such confidence, passion, and maturity – we are so proud of all that they have achieved – and they continue to practice what they preach through their work with the Eco-Committee and by mentoring the current Year 8s who are taking part in Solutions for the Planet this year.
Well done Save Our City!
It’s been a busy couple of months for the Eco-Committee as we’ve been focusing on improving our three priority areas of biodiversity, energy and global citizenship around the school.
Our Year 7 pupils have been researching the best tree species to plant in urban areas. This is in preparation for the tree planting later this term whilst the whole Eco-Committee has been discussing plans for our first fundraising event.
Currently, we are working towards our Silver EcoSchools award which requires us to audit our school curriculum to assess which subjects teach or engage with environmental issues as well as improving how we communicate our ideas and updates with the rest of the school.
Solutions for the Planet
Solutions for the Planet is a social enterprise that brings together schools, businesses and communitiesto develop sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. Hodge Hill has taken part in their ‘Big Ideas’ competition for a number of years; it is a national competition in which pupils work in teams to develop a big idea which could help solve a sustainability problem that exists in the world today. There are a number of competition rounds, with regional finals held at local universities like Aston University and the national final held at the Houses of Parliament in London.
The project helps pupils to develop their STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), oracy and presentation skills, teamwork and problem-solving abilities along with a deeper understanding of some of the world’s biggest problems.
Key Stage 4
Trip to the Dorset Coast
24 Year 10 Geography students and 8 members of staff spent the weekend in Swanage on the Dorset coast.
Saturday was spent visiting Durdle Door, where some pupils were brave enough to paddle in the sea before walking along the coastal path to Lulworth Cove. After exploring the rock pools and eating a lot of ice cream, we had dinner in Swanage before returning to our accommodation. The trip was rounded off on Sunday with a visit to the Old Harry Rocks, where we also saw a number of different coastal management strategies in action.
It was wonderful to see the pupils developing new friendships and having fun – they were a real credit to the school throughout the whole trip!
Part of the GCSE course. Last year we went to the River Cole and Birmingham City Centre.
Within every scheme of work, we incorporate mini field trips around the school site, to prepare for GCSE.
Key Stage 3 & 4
Ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day which takes place annually on the 27th January, a select group of Year 9 Hodge Hill students took part in listening and becoming a witness to one of a few final survivors of the Holocaust. The webcast was streamed live to hundreds of schools, organisations and individuals across the world to mark the remembrance of six million Jewish Europeans murdered, as well as four million murdered individuals during the years 1933 to 1945.
Susan Pollock was taken to Auschwitz in 1944 after Hungary was taken over, she lost 50 members of her family during the holocaust before the camp was liberated in 1945. She went on to marry another survivor of the Holocaust, and her brother also managed to survive the camp.
Before hearing Susan’s story the pupils were given the chance to discuss what they thought a survivor would be like and what questions they would have for her. All students were fantastic listening to Susan’s story and engaging in their reflections as becoming witnesses. The group were incredibly respectful and engaged, a real credit to their year group.
Maths in Action
Year 10 pupils attended 'Maths in Action', a seminar at the University of Warwick. 600 pupils were in attendance from other schools in the West Midlands.
Luckily, we arrived early and took the first row and were able to see the action from the best possible view. All the speakers were passionate about Maths and shared their own stories of Maths in various and interesting ways.
The first speaker spoke about binary numbers and how Maths can be used to send messages. The second speaker spoke about the National Lottery and the probability of winning.
After a short break, we heard about the dark-net which is part of the internet designed to let users hide their identity. We learned how probability can be used to identify the IP address of the dark-net users.
At the end of the session, some of the speakers promoted their books at the stalls which were available to purchase. This also gave our students a good opportunity for Q&A with the speakers.
Intermediate UK Maths Challenge
60 of our Year 9 students took part in the Intermediate UK Maths Challenge (UKMT). Being the first UKMT challenge at Hodge Hill College for some time, most pupils had never heard of this prestigious event or what it entailed.
As such, extra booster sessions were required before the competition to give pupils an idea of the different formats of the exam as well as some guidance on how to approach questions. The attendance for these sessions was excellent and pupils took on board what was explained to them. The challenge focuses primarily on logical reasoning and problem-solving and so naturally, the questions are of a different style and layout to what is typically taught in a classroom.
Overall, the UKMT challenge went very smoothly and pupils enjoyed the experience, with some students keen to see if they made it to the next round!
What is the UK Maths Challenge?
The UK Mathematics Trust was founded in 1996 and their charitable aim is to advance the education of young people in mathematics. They do this by working with hundreds of volunteers across the UK to organise competitions promoting problem-solving and teamwork and other mathematical enrichment activities.
Their biggest competitions are the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Mathematical challenges, which have over 700,000 entries each year, and are the UK’s most popular school competitions. They also invite the highest scoring students to take part in the follow-on rounds such as Junior, Grey, Pink and Senior Kangaroos and the Junior, Cayley, Hamilton and Maclaurin Olympiads.
Lessons are available in Flute, Saxophone, Violin, Cello, Guitar, Piano, Dhol, Singing and Brass instruments. Twenty minute lessons are delivered on a timetable which rotates to minimise disruption to other lessons. Where appropriate students are allocated an instrument on which to practice. It is important that students practice between these lessons in order to make good progress and space is available in the department at break times and after school for students who cannot do this at home.
When students are ready, Hodge Hill College will pay for students to take graded examinations on their instrument and many students have already achieved great success in these exams.
Year 7 students learning orchestral instruments attend a concert by the CBSO at Symphony Hall designed to help them better understand their instrument and the role it plays in the orchestra.
The choir rehearse on a Thursday during break 1 in E261. Last year they were involved in a number of exciting projects including rehearsing with Black Voices for Black History Month and visiting a professional recording studio to record their songs. They have performed at numerous events in school and at Heartlands Hospital.Welcome to the Music department. Music lessons at Hodge Hill College provide opportunities for students to perform, compose and appraise music in line with the National Curriculum, providing support in refining communication and cretive expression. Students are encouraged to develop practical skills and all pieces studied are contextualised to help students develop analytical skills with deference to social context.The department is located on the first floor in East Building, in a series of suited rooms. There are two music classrooms adjacent to each other, as well as a practice room, technology studio, stock rooms and an instrument store. There are two full-time music staff but these are supported by a total of 6 peripatetic staff who attend for a total of 18 hours per week. All students are welcome to apply for instrumental study; lessons are completely free to students and instruments can be provided on loan for a small refundable deposit.
As part of the GCSE Photography Course, Key Stage 4 pupils are required to attend study visits in order to enrich their coursework folders and allow them to access the higher grades. Visits include Elvaston Castle in Derbyshire, Charelcote Park in Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham City Centre. Photography study visits are a powerful teaching tool that helps to enhance the experience of all learners who are studying GCSE photography. Extra stimulation in new environments can be particularly beneficial to pupils and can help teach life skills, build on social skills and improve independence and self-confidence. Learning outside the classroom adds value to each individual’s academic and personal development and is now embedded within the Creative Design curriculum.
Religious Education enrichment consists of visitors coming into school to broaden students' understanding of what it means to be a believer across KS3 & KS4.
Visitors to school have included:
- Birmingham City Mission
- The GSUS live Bus
- A representative from the Jewish Faith
- A representative from Islamic Relief
Jesus Christ Superstar
Staff from Birmingham City Mission came in to deliver all Year 7 RE lessons as part of a scheme of work called Jesus Christ Superstar. They taught students about Christian beliefs about the death and resurrection of Jesus using videos and texts from the Bible. Students said it was really interesting to learn about how these events affect the lives of Christians and that the information will be really useful to them for their final assessment in the Jesus Christ Superstar topic.
Medical Mavericks and The Explorer Dome are booked annually for two sessions each. Pupils in Year 8 and Year 9 will work with these groups. Alongside that, we have had additional workshops and trips that have been booked to complement these.
Year 10 Science groups were involved in the Medical Mavericks workshop show. The sessions were very hands-on and the students were given real medical kits to do a variety of activities such as taking blood from a fake arm, performing keyhole surgery, viewing inside their body with an ultrasound machine, taking a picture of the inside of their eye and much more. Each student received a medical observation worksheet each, which they filled in during the workshop.
The pupils were very enthused about trying all the equipment available and were able to reflect on their own lifestyle choices. Their feedback about the event was very positive and they thoroughly enjoyed the activities provided and gained a deeper understanding of how what they learn in their Science lessons is linked to careers in Medicine.
Students were delighted to welcome the Explorer Dome to Hodge Hill College, to deliver sessions on ‘Light’. Students were enthusiastic about learning in a different setting, especially as they had to make a rather unusual entrance into the dome. A variety of questions were posed, ranging from ‘black holes to light years’.
Sent into Space
Hodge Hill College went truly out of this world! As part of our STEM programme, we teamed up with ‘Sent into Space’ and carried out a space launch and live stream event.
Pupils had the opportunity to ask questions in a live Q&A session whilst our school logo was launched high above the atmosphere.
Over one hundred Year 7 and Year 8 pupils were involved, and 76 questions were asked within 15 minutes!
The launch event took over 6 months to plan with logistics and weather conditions taken into account. All the staff and pupils involved loved being part of this historic event.
Girls in STEM
A group of KS3 girls were selected to visit the University of Birmingham as part of their ‘Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Day’.
The idea behind the event was to allow the girls to take part in several STEM-related activities and link them to potential careers they could carry out in the future. An example of the activities included diagnostic testing which involved completing labstix, starch and anion tests on fake urine, although the students didn’t know it was fake until after they had bravely carried out the testing.
Other workshops included DNA extraction from fruit and charpy testing of chocolate bars which examines how brittle or tough items are.
Overall, the girls had a great day in all the workshops and learned about several careers within the STEM sector they may not have previously thought about as well as experienced a campus atmosphere at the University of Birmingham.
Four Year 8 Tutor groups were involved in a very engaging virtual reality workshop based on Climate change. Each tutor group participated in a one-hour session which covered the causes and effect of global warming and how this leads to climate change. The pupils also got the opportunity to discuss how humans and the environment and being affected and how they can contribute to solve this problem.
The pupils’ feedback and excitement during the sessions showed that they thoroughly enjoyed the VR experience and it has definitely added value to their learning here at Hodge Hill College.
All year groups watch a drama performance
- All students have seen the ‘Natural High’ presentation
- Yearly student elections
- Precious Lives presentation
- SRE workshops
- Guest speakers delivering sessions on important issues
Working for Marcus
Loudmouth Theatre Company came to Hodge Hill College and Year 11 watched them perform ‘Working for Marcus’. This is a powerful theatre in an education programme on child exploitation. This programme teaches about a wide range of child exploitation issues including child sexual exploitation, exploitation into crime, for example, county lines and knife crime. Loudmouth's production complements the SMSC and RSE provision at Hodge Hill College.
"‘Trust Me’ taught me a lot about the future problems that could happen without us knowing. It was really engaging and interactive. I hope they visit again." - MB
"We had a really great performance group with lots of knowledge come in and perform the drama ‘Trust Me’. It was very informative and taught us a lot." - MS
"I really enjoyed the Natural High assembly as it gave us a clear understanding and showed us the importance of why we should never use drugs, but in a fun way – a song that is bound to get young peoples attention. After the assembly I and lots of other people learnt things we didn’t know before and I found that very interesting." - NL
"I learnt the impact of drugs and its negative effects on the people around you. It is better to get happy naturally by doing something you love and having fun instead of putting an illusion in your head." - EH
We offer a variety of Sports Enrichment clubs on a weekly timetable including lunchtime and after school to give pupils the opportunity to stay active and take part in new activities or continue to participate in those activities that they enjoy doing. By taking part in sport in school pupils are able to communicate and build friendship groups across different years, learn how to work as a team, be a positive leader and work well in a competitive environment playing against other schools.
Alongside sports clubs Team PE run a variety of events in and out of the school day, we have taken pupils to watch professional sports performances including Manchester United matches, Aston Villa matches, Wasps Rugby matches, British Basketball League finals and watching cricket at Edgbaston.
- Rugby Trip - Wasps vs Gloucester
- Football Tournaments
- Table Tennis Tournaments
- Old Trafford Football Stadium Trip
- Wembley Trip
- Premier League Game
- Basketball League Finals
- Aston Villa Visit
- Edgbaston Cricket Stadium
Duke of Edinburgh
Hodge Hill College is a fully licenced centre for the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The Duke of Edinburgh Award consists of 4 sections – Physical, Volunteering, Skill and Expedition. The expedition section is set up and run by the school and we have been to a variety of areas such as Long Mynd, Peak District, Brown Clee and Wyre Forest. We currently offer pupils the opportunity to take part in the Bronze Award in years 9 and 10.
- Volunteering section: 3 months
- Physical section: 3 months
- Skills section: 3 months
- Expedition section: 2 days/1 night
Pupils also have to complete 3 more months in one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a nationally recognised award and helps our pupils stand out from the crowd at college, university and job interviews along with giving the pupils pathways into helping within their local community and encouraging and rewarding pupils for learning new skills and staying physically active. If you would like to found out more about the D of E please contact Miss Palfrey in PE.
We run a residential trip every year and have found the France trip where the pupils are based at an outdoor activity centre completing a variety of activities such as high ropes, kayaking, archery, rock climbing to name just a few has proven to be very popular. There is also the added bonus of having a day at Disneyland Paris, which is really magical and the pupils thoroughly enjoy. This trip allows pupils to experience not only the French culture but also learn some key independent skills as for many this is the first time they have been away from home.
A number of pupils within year 7 will be selected to take part in the Long Mynd walk – where pupils walk up and over the Long Mynd in Shropshire. This 10-mile walk allows pupils to accomplish a real challenge and develop a true spirit of adventure. This is a great way for pupils to get to know people outside of their friendship groups and develop resilience and teamwork skills. This trip allows pupils to see and experience the true beauty of the countryside and pupils feel a real sense of accomplishment and achievement on completion of the walk.
We have also run a residential trip to Snowdonia in Wales, where the pupils took part in a Bear Grylls adventure week. Pupils were rock climbing up real rock faces, conquering mountains some of which had snow covered peaks, pot holing/mining in some of the most amazing caves and mines to name just a few. This trip is not for the faint-hearted and builds self-confidence, resilience and team work skills more than any other trip we offer.
Pupils also get the opportunity to participate in sports leadership courses which leads on to running events with the local sports partnership at primary school events such as indoor athletics. This gives pupils a fantastic opportunity to develop confidence, communication and working as part of a team.
Sports Leaders Attend Step into Sport
12 of the Year 9 Sports Leaders attended the Step Into Sport 2020 day hosted at Nechell’s Leisure Centre. The aim of the day was for students to develop their leadership skills, to design games and activities that can be used in school. There was also a particular focus on making sure that all activities were inclusive for those who have disabilities.
All the students applied themselves well and were keen to engage in all activities. It was particularly pleasing to see students showing characteristics from Hodge Hill’s CARE brand by motivating others to achieve, respecting students from other schools, especially those with a disability and working together as a team.
The students also had the opportunity to meet Alistair Patrick-Heselton, a silver medallist paralympic athlete. Alistair shared his story about how he went from being a professional footballer to a Paralympian after a major car accident. Students also met Neve Allen. Neve was born with one leg shorter than the other but this has not stopped her participating in wheelchair racing. In 2019, she won the London mini-marathon.
Getting to meet these people who have faced adversity, but have still excelled was a great example of resilience that our pupils can follow.