School news – May & June 2016

careers fair

Careers fair a success

A careers fair held at Bridgnorth Endowed School in March attracted a wide range of employers, from national organisations such as the NHS and Lloyds Bank to leading local firms architects Johnson Design Partnership and Classic Motor Cars. Small businesses such as My Little Wedding Shop and Blooms of Bridgnorth were also represented, and there was a lively and positive atmosphere throughout the day as pupils from all year groups came along to ask questions to guide them in their future career and education choices.

Our WW! stall had plenty of youngsters asking about careers in journalism, photography and sales, and we set a competition to win the chance to write a story for a future issue of the magazine, which was won by sixth form student Paige Graham – watch this space to see Paige’s article in a forthcoming issue!

Girl power at Endowed

Inspired by Sport England’s national campaign, Bridgnorth Endowed sports and games coordinator Lyndsey Dillon organised a This Girl Can event in March with the support of the East Shropshire School Sports partnership, Joe Lockley from Energize and Natalie Hollins from Oldbury Wells School. The aim was to encourage girls to join a local sports club, and the event saw a brilliant response from local clubs and schools, with over 330 girls engrossed in sport for over four hours.

As Lyndsey explains, “Lots of the girls said how much they enjoyed trying sports that were a little different… and not having boys there helped! The coaches were great and we were lucky enough to have cricketer Evelyn Jones with us, too. A big thank you to the clubs – Bridgnorth Rugby, Bridgnorth Boxing, Northgate and Wrekin Triathlon, Shropshire Cricket, Bridgnorth Hockey Club, Shropshire FA, Telford Archers, Bridgnorth Tennis, Hula Nation, Cheerforce 10, Bridgnorth Canoe and Kayak Club, Bridgnorth Netball and Bridgnorth Athletics.”

Winter winners

The East Shropshire Sports Partnership (ESSP) offers pupils of 28 local schools the chance to compete in sports including cross-country, netball, tag rugby, tennis, archery, athletics, rounders and swimming and much more. The best performers may then be put forward for the Summer or Winter Games; this year’s Winter Games featuring teams from all over the county took place at Shrewsbury Sports Village on Tuesday 1 March. East Shropshire representatives included Shifnal and Worfield for gymnastics, St Leonards for netball, Claverley for basketball and Brown Clee for hockey, and East Shropshire snatched the overall title with a win by just three points.

Young writers at Oldbury Wells

In February, Oldbury Wells School invited Y7 and 8 students to celebrate Literacy Fortnight by entering a competition with the chance for four main winners to pick up Kindle readers. The school believes literacy underpins progress in all subject areas, and this principle has developed into an annual competition. Pupils were set two challenges; one to write a 500-word story, and the other to undertake a research challenge.

The students submitted some fantastic work and judges had their hands full to narrow down the field; in the end, the judges selected winners from 21 shortlisted entries, who were announced at a special assembly on Friday 4 March. Sponsor Darran Hill of Hills Coaches presented prizes to the winners Joel Burgess, Rosie Banks, Maham Tareen and Tom Doggett.

Boarding house to open

Work has commenced on a dedicated sixth form boarding house at Old Swinford Hospital School in Stourbridge. The facility, due to open in September 2016, will include a large communal area downstairs will allow students to have their own space rather than sharing with younger pupils, and an internal courtyard covered with a lightweight glass structure to create a central common room, with routes to link through the building and connections to a new study area, library and kitchen. The project is part of the school’s continuing drive to empower pupils in preparation for their shift into higher education or employment. Visit oshsch.com for find out more.

Thought for the day

In February, Thinking Day and Founders Day were celebrated by the members of St John’s School and Akela Alice Pritchard of 8th Bridgnorth Scout Group. Rainbows, Brownies, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts wore their uniform to school to remember the birthday of both Robert Baden-Powell and his wife Olave, the joint founders of the Scouting and Girl Guide movements, and to think of others in countries around the world.

Play cycle continues

A talented cast of 26 Moffats children recently presented this year’s play, ‘AD1802 (The Smugglers)’, to appreciative audiences. The play was written by Natalie Joan Engleheart, the school’s founder, in 1943.

“An enormous amount of work went into ensuring the play lived up to the high standards our audience – and children – expect,” said head Robin McCarthy, the granddaughter of Natalie.

“The cycle of five plays written by my grandmother solely for Moffats pupils have an enduring, timeless quality and are as popular now as they were when they were first performed. Each year they serve as a fitting finale to our spring term.”
The school’s next open morning takes place on Monday 2 May – email office@moffats.co.uk for details.

Table tennis talent

Fourteen year old Heathfield School student Charlotte Bardsley is one of England’s brightest young table tennis talents. Charlotte has been practising hard as she prepares for two major national events. Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton plays host to the country’s biggest table tennis event, the National Schools Finals – at last year’s finals, Charlotte finished second in the U13 age group. Next, Charlotte competes at Huddersfield University for the England Nationals U15 and U18 titles. Charlotte, who first picked up her love of table tennis at an after-school club at the Wolverley school, is also part of the England Youth Performance Squad preparing for the European Championships in July.

Chilly highs for Gabriel

Shrewsbury High Prep School pupil Gabriel Adams has been confirmed as the only snowboarder to qualify for the World Rookie Finals in Ischgl in April. A mix of first-timers from more than 20 countries will run out on the Ischgl slope-style course in Austria. The Y8 pupil has spent the spring term with the British Snowboard Cross Team at their training camp before taking part in the finals, where he will be competing against boys around two years older than him from all around the world.
Shrewsbury High Prep School’s open morning takes place on Wednesday 4th May. For more information call 01743 494038.

A sporting school

William Brookes in Much Wenlock recently won recognition for its level of pupil inclusion in sport. The school boasts over 50% of students participating in nearly 20 different extra-curricular activities, 100% of students participating in intra-school competition and over 20% of students involved in leadership, and as a result, it has for the third year running achieved the Gold award for Sainsbury’s School Games Mark. The school met a challenging list of criteria to gain the one of the prestigious awards, which are is now in their fifth year and reward schools for their development of competition, school sport and physical education.

No cause for alarm!

On the night of Thursday 17 March, students at Bedstone College were surprised to see Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service vehicles heading up the drive with lights flashing – despite the fact there had been no fire alarm. Fortunately there was no need for panic; the independent day and boarding school near Bucknell had agreed to allow the fire service to conduct a training exercise on the premises, which entailed four crews working together to deal with a fictional emergency in the college cellars.

Head David Gajadharsingh had to report the ‘incident’ to the first crews on scene: “There’s a fire in the boiler house and there’s heavy smoke in the basement cellars. This is a social area used by the students. We have conducted a roll call and there are four students missing!”

The exercise lasted for an hour and a half and afterwards the crews were treated to tea, coffee and cakes in the conservatory.

The school is holding an open morning on Saturday 14 May – call 01547 530961 or email admissions@bedstone.org for details.

Pupil hits high note

A talented Tettenhall College pupil hit all the right notes when she sailed through a prestigious national music qualification. Chloë Fisher from Codsall has her sights set on a career in the performing arts. Her dream is now one step closer after she passed her diploma qualification from the London College of Music with 90%, exceeding the pass mark of 75%.

Head David Williams says, “For a pupil to gain qualification of this standard with such a high mark is a remarkable achievement. We’re very proud of Chloë and she has a bright future ahead of her in music and drama.”

Chloë, who is head girl at Tettenhall, discovered her love of music and the theatre at a very young age; she has several taken lead roles in the musical productions for which the College is renowned.

County children learn folk arts

Pupils at two Shropshire schools are set to take part in a project to learn traditional folk arts with a twist, thanks to Shrewsbury Folk Festival. Children from Trinity Primary School in Ford and Worthen Primary School will take part in a two week-long summer programme to learn new skills that will be performed at this year’s festival. Artists from the award-winning Demon Barbers and Breaking Tradition Dance Company will introduce their unique take on folk dance, to the children, bringing a fusion of traditional folk dance such as clog, morris and sword dancing with hip hop and break dancing. The project is part of the festival’s All Together Now project, which aims to introduce a new audience to folk and world music. Project manager Joy Lamont says, “We’re very excited about this opportunity for Shropshire schoolchildren to learn more about traditional folk music and dance with such a progressive set of artists.”

To find out more about the Shrewsbury Folk Festival, visit shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk.

Lambing day thrills

North Shropshire College’s Walford Campus held its annual Spring Lambing Day on March 20; it was a jam-packed day with displays from external exhibitors as well as NSC staff and students. The college had over 3,500 visitors, many coming to meet the new lambs but also to see the Dog Agility Display from Whitchurch Dog Display Team, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Baschurch Fire Engine, milking displays with the Walford cows, RDA Vaulting and Mounted Games at the Equine Arena and the College’s 99 animal species at the Harris Centre.

Principal Jackie Doodson says, “Lambing Day is a great opportunity to engage with our community. The staff and students worked hard to ensure everyone had a great time and they did the College proud.”

Guiding principals

It was tea party time recently at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College at the marking of the college’s 35th birthday. Held in Priory Hall at the Welsh Bridge Campus, the guests of honour were previous principals Martin Thorpe and Bill Dowell, who joined current principal Martin Ward.

Classics teacher Martin Thorpe helped set up the sixth form college in 1981, while Bill Dowell oversaw the subsequent growth of the institution from 600 students to over 1,100; Martin Ward has has seen the college estate grow to two campuses, centrally situated at both English Bridge and Welsh Bridge. Alumni of the college who’d like to join in marking its 35th anniversary can visit ssfc.ac.uk to share their memories.

Fashion show for refugee school

On Friday May 13, Friends of Conakry Refugee School (FCRS) are putting on a fashion show with Broseley CE Primary School, which has recently renewed links with the charity following an assembly with Jackie Watkins and Kathy Watson of FCRS, which was followed by workshops in African dancing and singing. The show, organised in conjunction with Love Labels, will feature children from the school as well as their parents modelling a range of discount high-street clothing, and FCRS will be selling beautiful Tuareg African jewellery at affordable prices; there will also be a raffle. To buy tickets phone 01694 771686 or email info@fcrs.org.uk.

Short courses inspire

University Centre Telford is offering a range of short courses, some for professionals and those returning to education, and others that are open to everyone. The Southwater-based faculty, which is part of the University of Wolverhampton, is holding a reading and discussion club that asks how we re-present the past in the digital age on May 10, and a workshop entitled English: Speculative Fiction – the final frontier on May 17. To find out more about the short courses available, visit uctelford.co.uk.

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