School news – March & April 2016

Biomedical Conference 2016

Future doctors welcome

Shrewsbury High School’s Biomedical Conference is on Saturday March 5 and is open to pupils in Y10 and above who are interested in a medical career. Last year’s conference proved extremely popular, with speeches and workshops by medical experts, from a highly experienced obstetrics professor to first-year students and trainee doctors. The daunting process of applying to study medicine and other health-related courses will be explained, with advice on how to prepare the best personal statement, get ready for interview, and choose the right medical school. Visit shrewsburyhigh.gdst.net for details.

Oldbury Wells students pay respects

Oldbury Wells students took part in twin WWI memorial services at St Nicholas Church in Oldbury in January – the event was split into two so the compact village church could accommodate the 163 Y8 pupils currently the school. Pupils have been finding out about local people who lived in Oldbury Village during the war, as well as what happened to some of the soldiers. Local historians Graham Jones and Ann Walter helpfully provided documents and cuttings from archives to make the project a very special one.

Students prepared artwork before the events which was proudly displayed in the church, and students gave readings and performed drama pieces. Music teacher Miss Dangerfield explains, “We wanted to mark the centenary of the War and especially remember the local men who gave their lives. We also wanted to remember the countless soldiers from all sides who died in the conflict.”

Birchfield challenge for youngsters

The formal opening by LEGO Education managing director Dr René Lydkinsen of the Lego Innovation Centre at Albrighton’s Birchfield School took place in January. Over 40 people took the chance to see the Centre in action and to explore other areas of the school. Five local schools, St John’s CE, Perton Sandown, Birches, and St Paul’s First Schools as well as St Mary’s CE Primary, took part in the first ever Birchfield Innovation Challenge. Guests from Müller, Wolverhampton University, Manby Bowdler and KGJ Insurance, along with school governors, watched participants attempting a hands-on task with LEGO; other challenges covered music, sport and foot technology.

Birchfield is now inviting parents to come and explore the school for themselves – call 01902 372534 to arrange a visit.

Pupils are loud and clear

Pupils from Tettenhall College Preparatory School have once again achieved outstanding results in their English Speaking Board (ESB) exams. Between them 13 pupils from Y5 and 6 achieved five distinctions and one merit-plus at grade 3, and no less than six distinctions and one merit-plus in the junior medallion – the highest grade in the junior syllabus. The ESB examinations are notoriously rigorous, with pupils having to prepare a poem or monologue and a piece of prose to perform as well as delivering a four-minute presentation on a topic of their choice – this year including the wizarding world of Harry Potter and the Annie UK Tour.

Head of Prep School Mr Wrafter says, “I’m extremely proud of Mrs Woodman’s work with this talented group of young pupils. They’ve had great fun and grown in confidence whilst learning invaluable skills for future life.”

Production underway

Pupils at a school near Bridgnorth are busy rehearsing for their annual production, performing one of the five unique plays written by the school’s founder in 1943. Children at Moffats School in Kinlet will be performing ‘AD 1802 (The Smugglers)’ written by Natalie Joan Engleheart, a children’s author who founded the school around 80 years ago; her five plays form a cycle with one performed at Moffats every year. ‘AD 1802’, a rousing tale of Cornish smugglers and wreckers, will be performed for pupils, parents and friends of the school on March 21 and March 22.

Prestfelde pride

Shrewsbury preparatory school Prestfelde is celebrating the success of its pupils in gaining county scholarships. The accolades were presented from leading independent secondary schools Shrewsbury School and Wrekin College.

Prestfelde head Fiona Orchard says, “We’re delighted with the commitment these pupils have shown in gaining these prestigious awards. They’ve all worked extremely hard in their particular field and listened well to the advice and guidance given to them by their teachers.”

Pupils Ted Davis, George Harpin, Finn Samson and Imogen Jones all received scholarships from Shrewsbury School. Wrekin College presented Max Baker, Giles Burgess, Maisy Nicholas, Patrick Ward-Clayton, Oliver Shipston, Joshua Bush and William Prince with scholarships.

St Leonard’s rainforest experience

KS2 children from St Leonard’s CE Primary in Bridgnorth enjoyed a visit from Rainforest Roadshow’s Dave Shaw in January. Dave showed the children insects and animals he has brought back to England, and told them about his experiences of visiting rainforests around the world.

“Children learned how people and animals live in the rainforest today,” explains Hazel Coleman of St Leonard’s. “They found out about some of the problems that are threatening this way of life.”

Benchball success

Eight pupils from Y4 represented Castlefields Primary School at a Benchball Festival at Oldbury Wells School on 28 January, finishing in top place. Benchball helps children to develop their ball passing skills and encourages them to think about strategy.

Endowed reveals ‘Horrors’

Bridgnorth Endowed School’s pupils are busy rehearsing for their latest production, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, which will be performed from Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 March. The action centres on florist’s assistant Seymour, who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with an increasingly macabre craving. Creative arts leader Lisa Tristham says, “As always, the pupils have been working incredibly hard for this year’s performance, and we’re really hoping to reward them with packed audiences for the shows.”

Ticket prices are £8 or £4 for concessions, and the show starts at 7pm in the evenings and 2pm for the Saturday matinee. Tickets are available from school reception and Bridgnorth Leisure Centre.

Dance festival in Wenlock

Hundreds of school children gathered at William Brookes School to perform over two sell-out evenings in January. Pupils aged from 5 to 18 danced their way through fun and thought-provoking routines in front of a very appreciative audience. All eight partner primary schools made a really special effort to make this 10th anniversary event a memorable occasion, with William Brookes teachers and students working with primary teachers to coordinate the performance.

Rural colleges explore opportunities

North Shropshire College and Reaseheath College are exploring the potential benefits of a closer collaboration. Both colleges are specialist land-based institutions enjoying a strong phase of growth, and a thorough review has revealed the potential benefits of a more focused working relationship. The structure of a collaboration would be agreed by the governing bodies of both colleges following further research.

Careers fair to welcome employers

Thursday 10 March sees the second Careers fair at Bridgnorth Endowed School, with a wide range of local and national employers on hand to talk to students about future career paths and give practical tips on how to get ahead. As well as providing information for pupils, the event is also open to the public from 1.30-2.30pm in the Endowed Leisure Centre Sports Hall, offering guidance for anyone reassessing their current career path. Employers come from a wide range of vocational backgrounds including restaurants, the NHS, garden centres, engineering, banking and accounting and animal care. Call 01746 762103 or email jmitchell@bridgnorthendowed.co.uk for details.

Buildwas joins forces with Priorslee

Priorslee Primary Academy launched a Multi Academy Trust in February, with Buildwas Primary the first school to join with Priorslee, which acquired academy status five years ago. Buildwas, which had been threatened with closure during 2015, stands to benefit from the guidance of Thomas Plim, who takes on the school’s headship with the aiming of achieving a ‘good’ Ofsted rating. Mr Plim is encouraging parents to come and see him to talk about any issues and offer suggestions as part of an ‘open door’ policy at Buildwas.
The launch saw balloons being launched with each pupil’s name attached, as well as a tree-planting ceremony and the cutting of a specially made cake. Key community figures came along, including Mrs Kathleen Poole, the youngest pupil of Buildwas School in 1933, who met Isla Tindall, the school’s present youngest pupil.

School earns top results

Shrewsbury High School is celebrating after topping the recently published national league tables for GCSE results. The tables placed the school first in Shropshire with almost 90% of all GCSE entrants achieving A* to B grades, and 96% between A* and C. Head Michael Getty was delighted with the results, saying, “We’re absolutely thrilled to have topped these important tables once again. It’s an honour to be leading in Shropshire and it’s a wonderful testament to the work ethic of our girls and to the talents of our dedicated staff.”
Shrewsbury High School will be holding its Prep Open Morning on Wednesday 9 March from 10am – noon. For more information, call 01743 494038.

League tables continue trend for success

Heathfield School is celebrating after league tables revealed the school’s continued high-flying status as a place where pupils achieve top grades. Last year 93% of the Wolverley independent school’s pupils achieved at least five A* to C grades, putting Heathfield at the top of the league tables for Wyre Forest and second in the whole of Worcestershire.

Head Lawrence Collins says, “We’re delighted with Heathfield’s 2015 GCSE results. We’re a non-selective school and we keep our class sizes small so that we can meet the needs of every individual.”

Packwood pupil’s England call-up

A young fencer from Packwood Haugh School in Ruyton XI Towns has been selected for the England U13 team for a trip to Poland. Head of Fencing Nick Weston, says, “Oliver Holcroft’s consistent performances throughout the year – including winning the national Under 13 Team title with his teammates last March and scooping a bronze medal at the GB individual championships in Sheffield in May – have earned him a national call-up.”

Packwood’s open day is on March 5 this year – visit packwood-haugh.co.uk for details.

 

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