School news – November & December 2015

Great start for agricultural college

The new academic year got off to a flying start at the Oswestry Campus of North Shropshire College (NSC) as a variety of organisations attended the Freshers’ Fair to help welcome new students to the College. Over 20 organisations were represented, including NHS Blood and Transplant, RAF and Army Recruitment Teams (pictured), the Rural, Business and Cyber Crime Unit of West Mercia Police, Shropshire Council, Maplin Electronics, St. John’s Ambulance.

Walford 1,2,3 Caption for 3: Left to right: The organiser of the fair, Louise Gregory with Zoe Wanklin of England Netball and College Sports Maker, Benji Evans

Science heroes event inspires kids

Hundreds of schoolchildren from around the region for heading to Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Thursday 5 November to take part in a Big Bang event entitled Heroes in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The event aims to educate young people about opportunities relating to careers in STEM, and is the UK’s largest science and engineering event for young people aged seven to 19. There will be plenty of hands-on learning featuring fun, interactive activities, and STEM companies will be on hand to answer students’ questions and guide them through the shows. Organiser James Silcox said, “Heroes in STEM showcases the variety and diversity in STEM careers and celebrate the heroes that provide the crucial services in keeping our country safe, healthy and functional.” To find out more, call 01827 316297.

Prestfelde Colts triumph

The young footballers at Shrewsbury’s Prestfelde School have got off to a flying start in the new season.The prep school’s Colts took the top spot in their first tournament of the term, the Shrewsbury Sixes, in which teams from Shropshire and neighbouring counties compete. “We are very pleased to have started the season so successfully – the boys played some wonderful flowing football,” said Dave Harvey, Prestfelde’s head of activities. “Well done to all the boys who took part and to the massed band of supporting parents.”

The pupil and the pop star

For his A Level graphic design show, 17-year-old Levi Peirson from Oswestry created a canvas of Ellie Goulding (pictured), which was displayed at the front of the North Shropshire College exhibition. Levi took to Twitter to share his artwork with the singer herself, asking ‘What do you think of the canvas I designed?’ Then, when Ellie later put a call out for a fan to join her in London to listen to her brand new album, Levi’s pleading Tweet hit home and he was invited to meet her. So on September 17, Levi and his dad took the train to the capital to meet his idol – and Ellie even signed the print of Levi’s artwork that he had brought with him. Levi said, “It was an amazing day and an opportunity I didn’t think possible. She was really lovely and down to earth.”

A pupil’s-eye view

Imogen Edwards, deputy head girl of Bridgnorth Endowed, has written the following report for What’s What!:
‘On Friday 26 September, schools and workplaces across the nation clubbed together and organised coffee mornings to raise money for the well-known charity, Macmillan. Bridgnorth Endowed was among the many schools to get involved with the fundraising and as a result lots of pride and enjoyment was shared by pupils and staff.

A fantastic range of cakes and biscuits were baked by all years, which were then sold by sixth form students throughout the day in the school library. As well as delicious treats, the school’s social enterprise Taste of Tanzania sold coffee and other hot drinks which helped to contribute to the grand total – an impressive £212 was raised; it has therefore been the most successful bake sale Bridgnorth Endowed has ever had!’

Mrs Thrower meets junior growers

Shrewsbury High Prep School was delighted to welcome special guest Margaret Thrower, Percy Thrower’s daughter (pictured, with pupils), to officially open the school’s new garden. The whole school watched as Mrs Thrower cut the ribbon on what has been a labour of love for staff, children and parents over the last year. The school worked in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society and the initiative inspired them to create a gardening committee including teachers, parents and community members, with caretaker Mike Dulson and the gardening club’s Nicchi Cannon, putting in hours of hard work. An unused, unloved area is now a beautiful resource for the pupils to enjoy and learn from, with a heritage orchard, a sensory garden, a wildlife habitat, an extended veggie patch, and a wildflower meadow.

The High School’s Sixth Form Information Evening takes place on 9 November – call 01743 494038 or visit shrewsburyhigh.gdst.net for details.

Schools combine in art project

Bridgnorth Endowed School students from Y10 and 11 worked alongside Y5 and 6 pupils from St Mary’s Bluecoat School on an exciting art project linking scenes from the bible with famous artists and art styles during the summer term, culminating in an exhibition in September. Pupils developed their knowledge through practical activities involving drawing, painting and collage, resulting in a piece of art work which will be displayed in the hall at St Mary’s School, as well as a series of other artworks. The project was the brainchild of St Mary’s head Claire Gaskin and Bridgnorth Endowed’s creative arts subject leader Lisa Tristham, with pupils working together to take ownership of the project.

Puddleducks’ autumn fun

Children at Puddleducks’ Toddler Group in Broseley have been busy making pictures with autumn leaves. The group meets every Tuesday morning, including during school holidays, and offers a different craft activity each week, plus a wide range of toys for all ages, healthy snacks for the children and tea and coffee for the adults. For more information, call 01952 884420.

Matrons scale peaks

Two matrons from a school near Bridgnorth raised nearly £1,500 after successfully completing their Welsh Hike Challenge, walking almost 20 miles and ascending more than 8,000 feet in just two days. Katy Link and Sam Whyte, who both work at Moffats School in Kinlet, took on the challenge to climb the three Welsh peaks, Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen y Fan. So far, the two matrons (pictured) have raised £1,450, and people can support them by visiting mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/moffatsmatronschallenges.

SHS pupil wins national award

Shrewsbury High School Y10 pupil Gaia-Rose Harper has been named as one of only 15 winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Awards. This year the judges received 12,288 poems from 5,846 poets from 69 countries so it is a huge coup for 14-year-old Gaia. The awards ceremony took place at London’s Royal Festival Hall and poems were judged by esteemed poets Liz Berry and Michael Symmons Roberts.

Robin Aldridge, head of English, said, “With over 12,000 poems entered in this incredibly popular competition, it is a huge achievement for Gaia and we are all incredibly proud of her.” Gaia’s poem, Columbia Calling, can be seen at www.poetrysociety.org.uk/poems/columbia-calling/

Primary hosts green event

Much Wenlock Primary School stayed true to its eco-conscious ethics when it hosted the town’sfirst Wenlock Green Edge event on October 17, in partnership with Sustainable Wenlock. During the event, there were talks on hedgehogs, composting and permaculture, and children took part in a leaf hunt to identify a variety of trees in the school grounds. A person-powered apple press condensed fruit into tasty juice, and a clothing ‘swish’ allowed people to exchange old clothes for unwanted items donated by others. One of the most popular features was a tree map, which took a route around the school to see trees planted by former pupils around 20 years ago. “It was amazing to see how much all the trees had grown,” said head Carl Litchfield.

A miniature garden competition yielded some beautiful and very creative entries – including a compost garden with a skeleton buried in the ground, created by Y2 pupil John Heatley (pictured). The contest was won by Izzy Davies in Key Stage 1 and Jasmine Southan in Key Stage 2, with Diana Trickey claiming the adults’ prize.

Racing for Childhood Cancer

As September was Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Castlefields Primary decided to launch a Race For Life day on Friday 2 October. Early Years and Key Stage 1 children raced in the hall and around the playground in the morning, while Key Stage 2 joined in running, skipping and dancing around Oldbury Wells field in the afternoon. Overall the school raised over £270, which has particular meaning for the school as one of Castlefields’ pupils is currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

Local business to inspire pupils

A local firm is showcasing its commitment to Bridgnorth by partnering with a charity that helps it share business knowledge and skills with one of the town’s secondary schools. Bridgnorth Aluminium has become a partner of Business in the Community, and it set to team up with Bridgnorth Endowed School to provide advice and guidance about business to students, as well as sharing its business management systems with the school’s management staff. Simon MacVicker of Bridgnorth Aluminium explained, “This move will see us actively involved in sharing information with students about the link between academic studies and work.”

Head Phil Loveday added, “To work with such an important local company is great for students and staff, and this new scheme will support our drive to help develop the engineers of tomorrow.”

St Leonard’s in action

St Leonard’s Primary was proud to be included in the judging for the gold medal won by Bridgnorth in 2015’s Britain in Bloom contest. The courtyard garden is cultivated by children, staff, governors and parents, and pupils spoke at length to judges about their activities as part of the gardening and eco clubs. And St Leonard’s Y6 children became illustrators in a workshop with visiting author and illustrator Simon Murray when he visited for two days to work with all the children in September.

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