School news – July & August 2016

St Leonards 1

School smashes target

St Leonard’s CE Primary School took part in the Race for Life in April 2016, raising an impressive £2,645 in funds for a nationwide cancer charity and smashing the £1,000 target they’d set themselves. Around 300 children and 40 staff took part in the event, with all participants completing the same distance – one lap of the KS2 grounds. The school created a Just Giving online page as well as sending home sponsor forms, and children made speech bubbles to explain why they were taking part.
“We decide to organise the event as one of our Y2 children has received treatment for cancer and is thankfully now on the mend,” explains Jayne Davis of St Leonard’s. “Special thanks go to Tesco in Low Town, who donated a bottle of water for every child.”

Funding success

The Royal School Wolverhampton is excited to announce that the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, Lord Nash, has agreed to enter into a funding agreement with the school. Lord Nash writes, ‘I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the great commitment and energy which you and your colleagues have shown in reaching this point.

Free schools form an integral part of the government’s education policy to improve choice and drive up standards in schools. I am therefore delighted that the Royal School Wolverhampton will bring new opportunities for children in Wolverhampton. I wish you all the best with the school’s opening in September 2016 and in the future.’
In due course, the school will receive full details of the funding agreement and will then be able to confirm the conditional offers of places for September 2016.

Wenlock kids cook up a storm

Much Wenlock Primary School’s children are preparing for a brand-new baking contest which will be judged at the school’s summer fair on Saturday July 2. The first ever Much Wenlock Cake Off will see junior and adult bakers compete in two categories to see whose sweet treats are the best. All cakes will then be sold off on a special stall – Erin and Jake Holford are pictured preparing for the contest.

The fair, set to be held in Much Wenlock Primary’s grounds between noon and 3pm, also features plant and clothes stalls, a bouncy castle, a barbecue, traditional maypole dancing, a performance by the school choir, and an area where guests can enjoy their own picnic.

Historical victory

Heathfield School’s Agincourt Society won the Historical Association’s inaugural Exhibiting History competition. Saffron Smith, Amelia Cove, Elisabeth Hird, Edwin Obazee, Reuben Smith and Jack Wharton were commended by the panel of judges, who commented that “the multisensory activities and children’s competition were highly innovative”. The display housed at Hartlebury Castle was in commemoration of the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. Heathfield School has received a cheque for £200 from the Historical Association.

Moffats welcomes Puck and co

Hermia, Helena, Lysander and Demetrius visit Moffats School in Kinlet this July as Rain or Shine follow them into the intoxicating dream world of fairy queen and king Titania and Oberon. With well-loved characters Bottom and Puck in tow, the show takes the audience on a rip-roaring, fast-paced jaunt through Shakespeare’s best-loved comedy.
The show starts at 7.30pm on Saturday 2 July, with the grounds open from 6pm for picnics; bring your own seating for the show. To enquire about tickets (priced from £6 to £13), call 01299 841230.

Moffats will be offering a number of scholarships for children aged between seven and nine, for entry in September 2016. If you would like to find out more, contact the school on 01299 841230 or email

New head girl announced

Year 12 pupils at Shrewsbury High School are celebrating their new school leadership roles. Alexa Newman has been elected head girl and will be supported by deputies Becky Nagle and Sarah Callear.

Alexa studies maths, history, Spanish, and English literature and is excited about the year ahead, saying, “I see this as the best opportunity to finally give something back to the school which had given so much to me; I want to be graduate knowing that as a team we have strengthened the community across both houses and years and left a legacy of unity which will stay as a core value of SHS for years to come.”

Young poets please

Brockton CE Primary School was one of the local schools invited to take part in the Wenlock Poetry Festival in May. As part of the Young Poets sessions held over the course of the weekend in the Children’s Marquee, local children were asked to perform poems of their choice in front of a supportive audience of family and friends, as well as locals and visitors to the festival.

Brockton’s Class 3, renamed the Raving Rappers for the day, performed ‘Gran, Can You Rap?’ by Jack Ousbey, while three of the children, the Shakespeare Sonneteers, performed Sonnet 18 ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

Loan for learners

Over 19s may be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help with paying fees for Access to HE Diploma, other Diplomas and Certificates, Advanced or Higher Apprenticeships. North Shropshire College (NSC) provides a range of eligible Level 3 courses and apprenticeships, and prospective students can apply for courses starting between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017.

NSC director of student services Lucy Beaumont explains, “Advanced Learner Loans are a win-win. A Level 3 qualification gives you much greater earning potential or opportunity to go to university and you don’t have to start repaying until you’re in employment earning more than £21,000.” For more information, call 01691 688029 or email

Raising money for Matthew

Last summer, Wrockwardine Wood Junior School Y6 pupil Matthew Cooper was diagnosed with brain and spinal tumours. He has been in Birmingham Children’s Hospital ever since, undergoing a range of treatments including chemo- and radiotherapy as well as an operation to remove a brain tumour. Matthew has become paralysed and is unable to come home until the family home has been adapted for his needs.

Wrockwardine Wood head Julie Henry explains, “The children each wrote a letter to DIY SOS but were not successful in their plea… so our school decided to put together our own appeal! Within days we had an army of people offering services for free, including an architect, builders, decorators, gardeners, tea-makers and many more. A Go Fund Me appeal was also started, and there have been donations big and small, while the children held their own fundraising week.”

Matthew needs a wet room, a hoist and a downstairs bedroom to help his family cope with his complex new needs. The family garden is also to be made wheelchair accessible to allow Matthew to enjoy the outside space. Wrockwardine Wood School has put on a range of fundraising events and activities, and Telford and Wrekin Council has also promised £30,000 to the appeal.

Puddleducks outstanding

The committee and staff at Puddleducks Pre-School, Broseley are celebrating the news that their recent Ofsted inspection resulted in an ‘outstanding’ judgement in all areas – for the second time running. The inspector arrived in April and was impressed by the relationship between the staff and children. The inspector noted that ‘children make excellent progress and are prepared for school extremely well due to the outstanding teaching.’ Manager Lisa McGowan says, “A huge thank you goes to all staff and committee for their hard work and dedication!”

Shrewsbury College successes

Shrewsbury College has once again triumphed in the regional heats of the annual CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) Skill Build competition. In this year’s heats, the College had an impressive seven students gain first, second or third place awards. Level 2 Site Carpenter Andy Balmer, aged 23, came first in the senior carpentry category, while Haydn Linsey (18) came second in the senior joinery category. By the end of June, the national finalists will be announced who will go on to the National Final held at the Skills Show at the NEC in November.

“This is the country’s largest multi-trade competition covering craft occupations,” explains curriculum leader Stuart Raine. “It’s a very prestigious competition in which the College regularly has students qualify for the national finals.”

Shrewsbury College is holding a drop-in advice event on Monday 4 July between 5 and 7pm –visit or call 01743 342333 for details.

Reading is hot!

Schoolchildren throughout the county can take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, with a range of events taking place at local libraries, and many schools getting involved, too. The theme for this year is The Big Friendly Read, and illustrations are provided by much-loved Quentin Blake, renowned for his work with Road Dahl. Children can write their own review of books they’ve finished on their online profile and there are games and activities to join in with. Readers can collect cards and get their own activity pack – visit your local library or go online to to find out more.

Free GSCEs for adults

From September, adults across Shropshire will have the opportunity to complete a GCSE in English or maths fully funded with County Training. The training provider will be offering courses to over-19s for the second year running, as a response to the Government strategy to improve post-16 numeracy and literacy. Research has found 40% of pupils do not get GCSE grade C or above in English and maths by age 16 and 90% of those don’t achieve it by age 19.

All participants have an allocated course tutor to help them understand the content of exams and prepare for assessments. Last year, 61% of County Training learners achieved grade C or above. County Training’s Craig Birch explains, “Achieving a GCSE in English or maths will not only increase your confidence in work but will also demonstrate to employers that you have the numeracy and literacy skills they’re looking for. It can also increase your job prospects and opportunities for promotion, as well as enhancing your CV.” To find out more, call 0345 6789023 or email

Shropshire Young Musician crowned

Shrewsbury High School pupil Lily Atkin is celebrating being named Shropshire Young Musician of the Year. Fourteen competitors from Thomas Adams, Wem, Shrewsbury School, Shrewsbury Sith Form college, Thomas Telford and Shrewsbury High School competed for the title, hosted by the Shropshire Music Service. Year 8 student Lily was one of the youngest competitors and played the soprano saxophone for her performace.
Head of music Maureen Powell Davies says, “Lily’s playing of Nigel Wood’s ‘Cries of the Stentor’ was phenomenal; just beautiful liquid sound with exquisite phrasing and an entrancing effect on the audience. Susie Allan accompanied her beautifully. All our girls played better than I’ve ever heard them and really acquitted themselves well.”
Shropshire Music Services provides classes in a range of instruments for all age groups – visit for more details.

Shear brilliance

North Shropshire College’s agriculture students have been busy shearing the ewes on the Walford Farm, which will come as a welcome relief to the herd in hot temperatures. Students have been taking it in turns to learn the skill from the agriculture staff and specialists brought into shear the flock.

Agriculture lecturer Andy Clough says, “Shearing is a great experience for the students; it gives them hands-on experience with the sheep and greater knowledge of how to handle them. Being able to shear a sheep correctly is a fantastic skill to have and we’ve had students go further afield for work placements in places such as New Zealand.”

Shearing Caption Beth Rogers and Jamie Coles hard at work shearing sheep



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