King Edward VI High School for Girls is a beautiful school for pupils aged 11 to 18 with the capacity to transform the lives of the bright, multi-talented girls who come here from an extraordinary range of backgrounds.
Our girls achieve outstanding results but we are about much more than just stellar grades and Oxbridge places. We provide a richly varied and exciting education in a friendly, nurturing environment.
Aspiring medic Jaya Patel has stepped up and shouldered great responsibility on the NHS front line in Coventry. Her work recruiting medical professionals from around the world has helped in the fight against
5th June 2020 —
Jaya Patel, 18, an Upper Sixth former at King Edward VI High School for Girls and aspiring medic has made the most of lockdown, volunteering for the NHS at University Hospital, Coventry and Warwickshire (UCHW) as an administrator at the heart of a hugely complex operation. Her high-pressure job in the Recruitment Office involves hospital trusts across the West Midlands and she and her team have been working long hours, helping to process 300 medical students, graduates, plus doctors and nurses and many other staff brought in during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One major challenge has been recruiting the workforce for the Birmingham Nightingale Field Hospital and COVID testing sites to get these staffed and functional. After starting out on basic duties like filng, Jaya was rapidly given far more responsibility. With so many key NHS workers from overseas, an important part of her work is applying to the Home Office for visa extensions enabling them to continue to work here legally. One central aspect has been ensuring that NHS workers’ identification: passports, visa stamps and biometric cards comply with immigration legislation, a complicated process demanding great focus and accuracy. She has also been speaking by telephone and email to COVID response workers to create complex spreadsheets outlining when and where they are allocated to work.
“I’ve been surprised at the calm atmosphere in and around the hospital,” she admitted. “The sheer quantity of people who’ve been brought in made me think the Recruitment Department would be overwhelmed, but everyone has gone above and beyond their usual roles to get everything done. There’s great teamwork and organisation and everyone here is helping each other get through what is, and will be, a tough time.”
“We’re hugely proud of Jaya’s work for the NHS,” added KEHS Principal Ann Clark. “She’s one of a number of our girls who’ve taken on very worthwhile and responsible roles during the current crisis and I know that this experience will be very useful when she begins her medical career.”
Jaya, like the rest of her contemporaries is naturally disappointed that so many of the usual school leavers’ celebrations, proms and farewell gatherings have been unavoidably cancelled. A gifted sportswoman, she is also an England junior rounders international and plays and coaches netball to a high level, all activities which are currently put on hold. However she is convinced that her hospital work will stand her in good stead in her chosen career. Her father is a consultant cardiologist and Chief Medical Officer of UCHW, so she is already familiar with the demands of the profession and has an offer to read Medicine at Nottingham University from September. KEHS is renowned for producing numerous medics and scientists and Jaya believes having the chance to explore areas beyond the basic syllabus has helped set her future course.
“I’ve really enjoyed studying Epidemiology in Geography, particularly pandemics (prior to COVID-19),” she explained. “so this has given me an academic foundation of knowledge about the current outbreak, which I’ve followed closely since it first started in Wuhan. Studying Biology has also helped me understand it from a biological perspective and get a more rounded view of the current crisis.
I don’t yet know which area I want to specialise in but I co-ran the school MedSoc and loved sharing my experiences with younger aspiring doctors. I also presented a Seminar on the medical research project I was involved in – I’d love to do more of this.
Being on the Corporate side of the NHS has given me a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the hospital. I now really appreciate the huge dedication and hard work, not just of the doctors and nurses, but of all NHS staff and key workers who enable us to stay safe and live our lives, albeit slightly differently than usual!
I feel really proud and privileged to be a part of what is a truly remarkable hospital.”
Two pupils win Royal Geographical Society 2019 Excellence Awards for outstanding results in the latest International GCSE Geography exams.
2nd March 2020 — King Edward VI High School for Girls, Edgbaston is celebrating a prestigious accolade for two of its star pupils. This week the Royal Geographical Society named Alice Green, 16, from Selly Park and Noemi Jester, 17, from Moseley as winners of their 2019 Excellence Awards for outstanding results in the latest International GCSE Geography exams. The pair were among a tiny group of top-scoring candidates who achieved virtually full marks – an astounding 170 points - in their papers.
“I was very shocked, and just so happy, when I heard about this amazing award, as I thought the exam had gone terribly,” said Alice, who, like Noemi, achieved a full house of top grades at GCSE, “I love Geography, particularly as it’s so relevant to society nowadays and I specially enjoyed the topic of Coasts, finding out how the cliffs, estuaries and coastal landscapes had been formed.”
“I am really interested in how Geography affects health outcomes throughout the world,” said Noemi. “My parents are both doctors, as are Alice’s and I’m from three generations of medics. I hope to study Medicine at Oxford and long-term I’d like to do Paediatric Surgery. I was pleased with my GCSE grades – but the Excellence Award was the icing on the cake.” “Both girls are excellent geographers, very talented, hard-working and always challenging and asking questions,” said KEHS’s Acting Head of Geography Mrs Kate Cowan. “The IGCSEs have a really rigorous specification and great depth of material to study, involving detailed evaluation and interpreting resources. Last year 72 girls, almost the whole year-group, took IGCSE Geography and 86% of them achieved a Grade 9 – the equivalent of a super A*, so we’re really delighted with everyone’s hard work and dedication. Alice and Noemi’s awards are particularly exciting as it’s the first time anyone from KEHS has received one – and having two pupils from one school achieving something as prestigious as this is very special.”
These are just the latest in a string of recent successes for KEHS which the Daily Telegraph recently named as one of the Top 10 Best Value for Money schools in Britain. School Sports Magazine has also just placed it among the top 12 schools in the country for Sport, for the first time.
Accolades for versatile KEHS singer-songwriter and fashion designer Eva Neville
Versatile-songwriter/ fashion designer Eva Neville is celebrating her latest accolade as a singer from a prestigious BBC Radio programme, showcasing top musical talent from across the Midlands
15th February 2020 — Award-winning Old Edwardian singer-songwriter and fashion designer Eva Neville, 20 from Sutton Coldfield is celebrating after her latest track “Topaz” was featured in the prestigious BBC WM “Introducing” programme, showcasing the best unsigned musical talent from across the Midlands. The young musician who uses the stage name Eva Osiris only released her first song “Wrong Places” 6 months ago, garnering rave reviews after adding it to music streaming platforms including Soundcloud and Spotify. She was delighted when “Topaz” too received ecstatic reactions from the Radio WM DJs who described it as “a gem” and “having a 100% play ratio".
Eva, who left KEHS only 18 months ago after winning numerous accolades for her work as a singer, artist and designer, is already building a cult following with her soulful vocals, She began performing solo at school. after successfully auditioning as a vocalist with the joint KEHS/ KES (Boys) Swing Band, singing at school jazz evenings.
“I was delighted and shocked when I heard my track had been picked for Radio WM’s “Introducing” show”, she said. “It was incredibly exciting and gave me a lot of confidence that the DJs said such positive things about it. I got a taste for performing at school, in choirs and musicals but particularly with the swing band. I loved the emotional, sultry style of the music and sang renditions of 'Fever' by Peggy Lee and 'My Funny Valentine' by Chet Baker.”
As well as aiming for a career in music, Eva, a talented artist, is currently in her second year of a degree in Fashion Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, after being honoured with the College Distinguished Scholar Award on entry.
“I was really lucky with the Art and Design teaching I had at KEHS,” she explained. “We were really encouraged to follow our passions and expand our imaginations. For my freshman year, I started off on the Savannah campus “then for my second year I moved to Atlanta to experience a more urban lifestyle and throw myself into the music industry. It’s been great experience, soaking up all the different musical influences I’ve encountered in Atlanta which is well known as the home of RnB and hiphop.
I’ve always been enjoyed developing my creative and artistic sides and with my equal love for music and fashion design I couldn't be happier, learning these different disciplines and making music and my own garments in my free time. Recently, I've been networking and talking to other artists – those with deep experience of the industry and those just starting out. I long to make my career from my twin passions of music and fashion, so this has been a great start.”
King Edward VI High School for Girls tops the West Midlands Parent Power table
King Edward VI High School for Girls is West Midlands Independent School of the Year in the Sunday Times Parent Power Schools Guide, for the second time in three years. It also rose from 26th place nationally in 2018 to 10th overall.
25th November 2019 — King Edward VI High School for Girls has been named the West Midlands Independent School of the Year in the Sunday Times’ prestigious Parent Power Schools Guide, for the second time in three years. It also rose from 26th place nationally in 2018 to 10th overall this year, the only school north of Oxford in Britain’s top 10. Alastair McCall, the Guide’s editor, paid tribute to its outstanding examination results in the summer:
“They were good enough to put the school back at the top of the regional academic rankings,” he said, “but more importantly, they represent a personal triumph for the girls concerned, who have now progressed on to the next stage of life with the wind in their sails thanks to the fantastic education they received”.
"While the school is academically rigorous, success in all areas of life is celebrated and the opportunities afforded to the girls are extensive. Children excel regionally and nationally in everything from poetry to debating, astrophysics to badminton, archery to philanthropy. The end products are well-rounded girls, equipped to make an impact on the world once they leave school, confident in themselves and the possibilities that life will present."
“We’re absolutely delighted that this award recognises not just our School’s superb exam results but its holistic, liberal approach to education,” said KEHS Principal, Ann Clark. “We encourage girls to pursue their interests and develop their talents, both academically and in drama, music, sport and community service. This is a small, close-knit school with a strong emphasis on physical and mental wellbeing, and our charmingly natural, bright, curious girls from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures enjoy inspirational teaching and brilliant extra-curricular activities. There really is something for everyone: from chess to Ultimate Frisbee, from Astronomy to Debating, the girls can learn new skills, make new friends and have a lot of fun at the same time.”
KEHS, which is regularly highlighted as one of the best value-for-money schools in the country, is committed to widening access so that able girls can come to the School regardless of their parents’ financial circumstances. 20% of its students currently receive some form of means-tested assistance and the “Delyvere” campaign is raising money from alumnae to provide five full fee places a year.
“The fact that many Old Edwardians show such loyalty and generosity to the school, often decades after they left, is a great tribute to the life-changing education KEHS offers,” added Ann Clark, “and so too is the national recognition we receive through awards like this one. I’m hugely proud of our students and staff and would like to congratulate them for making KEHS an outstandingly successful school and a very special place.
Many girls go on to study at top Russell Group universities including Oxford and Cambridge, but more importantly, the great variety of courses they pursue reflects the intellectual confidence they develop through being encouraged to pursue their individual passions.”
KEHS celebrated record A level results this year with 75% A* or A and 35% A*. 13 girls won places at Oxford or Cambridge, one was named Birmingham Young Poet Laureate, another became the BBC Young Musician of the Year and several were selected for national Olympiad teams in Maths, Physics and Astronomy. The Sports Department celebrated individual and team success at county, regional and national level in hockey, netball, squash, fencing, athletics, rounders and badminton, while the tennis team won the coveted Fry Cup despite stiff competition from the other King Edward Schools.
Record A Level results for KEHS with a remarkable 35% grades at A*, the highest percentage since the grade was introduced - and stand-out performances from star astronomers, award-winning dancers, sportswomen, musicians and charity campaigners
15th August 2019 — King Edward VI High School for Girls is celebrating a record set of A Level results with a remarkable 35% grades at A*, the highest percentage since the A* grade was introduced, 75% at A*/A and 96% grades at A*/B.
32% girls achieved 2 A* or more and 88% achieved all A*-B.
Bucking the widely-reported national trend of fewer girls studying STEM subjects, 74% of KEHS’s students took at least one STEM subject (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths); 39.5% of students studied Mathematics, with 93% of these grades at A*/A. Similarly, 24% of students studied at least one Modern Foreign Language (French, Spanish or Russian) and 91% of the grades were at A*/A.
13 students have achieved the grades required to take up their places at Oxford or Cambridge, to study a range of subjects from Philosophy, Spanish and Portuguese to Engineering and Natural Sciences, although one has decided to pursue a different course and has opted to read English at St Andrew’s instead.
Principal Ann Clark said, “ I am delighted with these exceptional results which are a testament to the determination, hard work and commitment of our students, together with the professionalism and dedication of the staff at KEHS. I am extremely proud of our students who excel not only academically, but also in myriad ways: in debating, in Music and Drama, and on the Sports Field, and also involve themselves in Community Service, raising money for a range of different charities and volunteer with the elderly and with local primary school pupils”.
Among the stand-out performances from this multi-talented year-group were:
Jessica Tedd from Stourbridge, who has won a place at Brasenose College, Oxford to read Physics thanks to 4 straight A*s at A level in Physics, Maths, Further Maths and Biology. She was also selected for the UK Astronomy Olympiad team. In her GCSEs in 2017, Jess scored an impressive 12 A*s including Astronomy and is among the top scientists the school has produced. Her father Dr Bernie Tedd is Head of Physics at KEHS and founded the school’s Astronomy Club which has gained a cult following with many girls opting to take Astronomy GCSE. Jessica is also a talented violinist and dancer, playing in the CBSO and Dudley Youth Orchestras, being co-leader of the school’s Symphony Orchestra and excelling in Acrobatics, tap and ballet which she teaches in her spare ttime. She has been awarded KEHS’s prestigious Creak Memorial Prize for service to the School.
“I felt huge relief when I saw my grades,” she said. “I’m so looking forward to going to Oxford and I’ve loved my time at this school as you get so many opportunities here, I think it’s important to pack in as much as you can.”
Aishani Ghosh, an outstanding young dancer from Moseley in Birmingham, who excels in South Asian and Modern Dance and reached the final of the recent BBC Young Dancer Championship has received an unconditional offer to read Politics and Economics at Nottingham University. However she has opted to follow her passion for dance and take up a coveted place at the London School of Contemporary Dance. Aged 11 Aishani was the youngest person to be given a coveted place on the Advanced Dancers Training programme at the Birmingham Hippodrome and the only one ever selected for both South Asian and Modern Dance.
Talented actress Clara Harrison, 18, from Shenstone near Lichfield, achieved the grades she needed to fulfil her offer to read Education and Drama at Cambridge University, after getting 10 A*s at GCSE. However she has chosen to accept a place at St Andrew’s instead because of the strength of its English course. In 2017 Clara’s elder sister Emily achieved top-grade A levels and is currently reading Geography at Keble College, Oxford.
There was belated joy for Kirsten Rachman, 18, from Birmingham, who achieved an A* and 2 As in French, Russian and Maths, but at first feared that she might have lost out by a few marks on a place at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge to read Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. However after some frantic phone calls to the college and the submission of her detailed A level scores, she was delighted to hear that she was indeed being offered the coveted place.
There were no such worries for Saffron Pougher, 18, from Rubery whose 4 straight A*s in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Religious Studies guaranteed her a place to read Maths at Keble College, Oxford.
“I feel really lucky to have been at KEHS,” she said. “The teaching here is outstanding and the Maths staff always kept us interested with lots of extra activities and problem-solving above and beyond the A level syllabus. I specially enjoyed Mr Kavanagh’s Maths Club because it extends your knowledge and prepares you for the challenging areas you need to tackle when you do Maths at university. I’ve also really loved the music here – I played the flute in the school Symphony Orchestra and sang in the Chamber Choir, which was a real joy.”
Aaliyah Wallace, 18, a West Midlands hockey star from King’s Norton has won a place at Merton College, Oxford to study Spanish and Portugese after adding 3 A* A levels in French, Spanish and Economics to the full house of 11 A*s which she scored at GCSE. She hopes to follow her elder sister Chanelle into investment banking. Aaliyah who also excels at Netball and Drama, is a gifted pianist and a top ballroom dancer with a particular talent for Latin and jive, competing in national level contests.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw my grades,” she said. “School has been amazing in helping me fit in all my sport and dance commitments alongside the academic work. The teachers were always there to talk to me and whenever I needed an extension – say during big dance championships – they always helped me and allowed me extra time to get my work in. The hockey teaching here is amazing and I specially loved going on the KEHS hockey tour to Sri Lanka. I’m just so happy.”
Sinali Gunarathne, 17, from Sutton Coldfield achieved 2 A*s in Biology and Psychology and 2 As in Chemistry and Maths but managed to combine her studies with an ambitious project to raise funds and collect thousands of books for poor communities in Sri Lanka where she was born. The daughter of two medics – her mother is a GP, her father a cardiologist – she was thrilled with her grades and as she is a year younger than the rest of her cohort, she intends to take a year off and then study Medicine at Oxford University. Long-term she hopes to become a psychiatrist because of her deep interest in mental health.
“When I went back to Sri Lanka and visited my parents’ old school, it hit me how privileged I am and how much that whole area needs. The school is short of books, equipment and money, so I began my ‘Books for Sri Lanka’ campaign via my Instagram page, raising hundreds of pounds and collecting thousands of books which are being sent out to the area. It’s great to see so many books being donated and thinking of the good they will do. I’ve really loved my time at KEHS – it’s a very academic school of course but the people here are what really make it special. They are such great characters – very kind, caring and funny.”
By contrast, Indu Appanna, 18, from Moseley in Birmngham is the only one of her extended family NOT to become a doctor. Her grades of A*s in Chemistry and French plus an A in Maths have secured her place at New College, Oxford to read French and Italian. 8 of her family members are all medics, among them her mother, a consultant endocrinologist, her father, a GP and her brother Nathan, 20, who went to King Edward's, the brother school of KEHS and is just entering his final year at Hertford College, Oxford, reading Medicine. Indu, a sporting and musical all-rounder was vice-captain of the KEHS 1st hockey XI, a talented swimmer as well as a gifted pianist, viola player and a keen member of the school Symphony Orchestra. Long-term, she is considering studying Law and going into business.
"The best part of my school was the environment and the people in it," she smiled. "It's a unique place, a small school that feels like family with a great sense of community and close links between the different years. I couldn't have had a better time."
Shivanii wins National Debating Contest drawing on Black Country Roots
15-year-old Shivanii scoops prestigious national History Debating Competition after researching the Industrial Revolution's continuing impact on the mental and physical health of Birmingham and Black Country people
4th April 2019 — A 15-year-old pupil from King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham, has won a prestigious national history debating competition by drawing on her interest in the Black Country where she spent part of her childhood.
Shivanii Arun reached the final of the Historical Association Great Debate contest in the spectacular setting of the Vicars’ Hall in St George’s House at Windsor Castle after winning the Birmingham regional heat, despite being one of the youngest contestants. The 22 finalists, mainly Sixth-formers and drawn from all over the UK and Ireland, had to devise a 5-minute speech answering the question “What was the greatest failure of the Age of Revolutions.”
While most of her rivals chose either the French or the Haitian Revolutions as their example, Shivanii opted to focus on the Industrial Revolution in Britain and its continuing effects on the population of the West Midlands.
“I was born at Oldbury in the Black Country,” she explained. “Both my parents are doctors and that helped me to find the angle for my speech. I argued that the Industrial Revolution was a great failure because of the dreadful impact it had on the mental and physical health of the people involved. Living conditions were very bad for the factory workers. Many trades like weaving were deskilled by the invention of machinery such as water-frames which made many of the old skilled jobs redundant. Lots of people in the Black Country suffered from mental illness due to the deskilling of their trade. I found out that this psychological legacy still lives on today, as life satisfaction is on average 29% lower in intensive industrial areas like Birmingham and the Black Country'?
The Industrial Revolution had a big impact on climate change and pollution levels too. During that time the proportion of carbon dioxide in the air went up from 0.03% to 0.04% which doesn’t sound much but it was actually very serious and the increased pollution and cramped conditions meant that many people suffered respiratory infections and diseases.”
The judges praised Shivanii for choosing and thoroughly resarching a local subject which meant so much to her and they highlighted her self-confidence in choosing not to stand at the podium but to deliver her speech without notes. Her composure while answering questions on her speech from the distinguished judging panel helped her scoop the title plus an engraved shield and winner’s cheque for £175.
“It was surreal; I just couldn’t believe I’d won,” she said. “I think speaking from memory helped me stand out. Mrs Hargraves who runs our debating club organised a panel of History teachers beforehand to ask me different questions for practice and it was really useful. We do lots of presentations in all our lessons and I’ve learned a lot at debating club which builds your confidence.
From when Shivanii first applied for the competition, I saw her transform her speech through her own hard work,” explained Gemma Hargraves. “ She’s always been very articulate and was in the KEHS side which reached the finals of the English-Speaking Union public speaking contest. She became our Poet Laureate last year, too and it’s all boosted her confidence and self-belief. Lots of our girls enter debating competitions and learning to produce logical arguments and clear explanations helps with their academic work.”
“I hope to study Law at Oxford and maybe become a barrister,” added Shivanii, “so debating is a valuable skill for me. The prize-money? I’ll donate some to my school, some to charity – and then spend a bit on myself.”