We pride ourselves on getting involved in our local community in many different ways.
We work hard to support good causes, both local and national.
At Christmas we collect donated goods for the ‘First Night Appeal’ to help families feeling domestic violence have at least the basics, such as toys and toiletries, when they reach a safe refuge. We also fill shoeboxes with gifts and wrap them to donate presents to children who would otherwise not receive a Christmas gift. In addition to this we collect food for Northfield Community Partnership who work with Trussell Trust B30 Foodbank to distribute food parcels to the most vulnerable members of the community. They also provide food and toiletries for the Birmingham Christmas shelter, which provides food and shelter for the homeless over the Christmas period. We don’t forget our animals at Christmas either, putting together a hamper for Wythall Animal Sanctuary last Christmas.
The Poppy Appeal is strongly supported in our school, with far more being collected in donations than much bigger schools.
Children in Need and Comic Relief are also very well supported. Our student Cooperative Council organises Cake Sales, Fashion Shows and Talent Shows in order to raise money and awareness for these and other issues.
Pupils and staff take part in the Race for Life every year. For our Year 7 and 8 pupils, Mrs Vizor organises a race for life event in school for them to take part in where they complete the 5km distance around the school grounds. Our older pupils and staff then take part in the Race for Life Pretty Muddy at Cofton Park. It is a fantastic event where thousands of girls and women complete a 5km course which also involves getting over many muddy and wet obstacles! Staff and pupils really enjoy getting their pink shirts on and completing the course in aid of such a good cause- this year we raised over £2000 for the charity.
Local causes and charities are also often taken up by our girls. For example a number of fundraising events for ‘Team Jay’ have been held in recent years, and our pupils were very supportive of the campaign for West Heath Library. Our pupils have also campaigned locally around safer streets, including presenting their ideas to council officials and councillors.
As a school we take pride in the fact that if our pupils feel strongly about a particular cause or issue, they are empowered to develop their own ideas and fundraising.
Our pupils volunteer to take on a range of valuable roles within school.
PALS – These year 11 volunteers are attached to year 7 form groups and provide hands-on help, advice and support to our youngest pupils (pictured below).
Peer Buddies – These year 9 pupils help look after the many year 5 and 6 pupils who come into our school, as well as being attached to year 7 forms to help younger pupils with day to day issues such as equipment and homework.
ARnties – These volunteers work with younger pupils on the Accelerated Reader Programme, helping these year 7s make rapid progress in their reading age.
Primary Reading Mentors – these year 9 pupils work with younger children at Cofton Primary School as paired readers.
Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl – these year 11 pupils are elected by staff each year for their outstanding contribution to school life. They play a wide ranging leadership role in the school such as speaking at public engagements.
Links with other educational establishments
Here at Northfield School for Girls we have links with a wide range of other educational establishments from all over South Birmingham and beyond. We welcomed over 20 feeder Primary schools here in the Summer term to take part in a range of activities such as: Cooking, art, science, ICT, medieval studies and rainforest animals. Our Primary taster mornings give Year 5 pupils the chance to experience life at TGGS and increase their confidence in moving on to Secondary school. We also go into a wide range of local primary schools to give talks about starting secondary school and offering taster workshops in dance, science, art and ICT. Our English dept also visited some Year 6 pupils at local feeder primary schools to work on a piece of writing that would help them with the transition from primary to secondary school. Further to this, we also invite primary schools to take part in our annual Dance Production and go out to schools to deliver workshops to enable them to do this.
Pictured: Miss Adey, Clarrie Williams and Neve Winders from Northfield School for Girls working with a group of pupils from Fairway Primary School
Some of our musicians performed at Turves Green Primary school in 2017. The students took along their instruments: Ukelele and electric guitars and also used the primary school’s piano. This mini concert took place in the main hall during assembly time and students across the year groups attended and enjoyed seeing the work that is done in music at Northfield School for Girls. We work closely with Turves Green Boys School for example we run a joint careers fair, which also involves all local Further Education establishments.
Many of our staff work closely with staff from other schools to share good practice and ideas as well as with professionals from their field of expertise. For example Mrs Tucker has worked with a graphic designer to help plan the GCSE Graphics course as well as with Heads of department from other schools. We are also very proud of our Family Learning courses, we used Bournville college to receive free funding for a tutor to deliver Functional skills maths level 1; 4 parents passed their level 1 and will be taking their level 2 this year. For more information about Family learning, please contact Mr Humphreys.
Community Links in the Curriculum
We have many partners in the local community who come into school to support the learning of our pupils. For example West Midlands Fire Service come into school to talk to pupils about fire and road safety. We also work closely with Transformation trust who support our KS4 careers work and also provide volunteers from Barclays Bank to come and help the girls with their CV’s, applications and interview technique. Loudmouth regularly visit our school to perform plays and deliver workshops to support our SRE programmes in PSE. Also in 2017, We were visited by writer Harriet Goodwin.
Our year 7 pupils also took part in the Birmingam Civic Society’s ‘Next Generation Awards’ in 2017, creating and performing presentations to a judging panel about an issue they care about. A group of 6 of our Year 7 pupils known as the ‘Healthy Hunters’ impressed the judges with their presentation about Healthy Eating and made it through to the final at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Brindley Place. They are pictured below:
Arts in the Community
Northfield School for Girls also plays an important role within the community by participating in and leading on local public arts projects.
In 2014, year 7 and 8 pupils took part in the Longbridge Light Festival. Year 7s worked with artist Ruth Claxton to design and construct ‘wearable lantern’ sculptures, and participated in the performance piece ‘Lantern Parade’. Year 8s worked together to design and make an entry for the window display competition, and contributed work to one of the artist installations, ‘The Quartic Rides Again!’
In 2015/16, students across key stage 3 will have the opportunity to work with local artists again; we are leading the a project with Longbridge Public Arts Project and Cathy Wade to create an interactive public art piece on the long concrete wall next to Longbridge Train Station. Keep an eye on the latest news blog for further information.
In 2017 the Northfield School for Girls Public Art Project arrives.