Footballers help reading
Becoming a professional footballer is often the dream job listed by many primary-aged children and at Christ Church CE Primary School in Cressage staff are harnessing that enthusiasm both to improve general fitness alongside boosting reading and writing skills. Shrewsbury Town Football Club have an inspirational programme called ‘Reading the Game’. It’s led by Neil Homer who is a qualified primary school teacher and football coach and aims to capture the motivational power of football to improve literacy standards.
It is the second year running that Shrewsbury Town have led these sessions at Christ Church Primary as the school has seen good results from the programme. Teacher Mrs Douch said, “Using football related reading material alongside practical PE sessions gets the children excited and interested. Of course having Lenny, the Town mascot come along to ‘high five’ the most improved readers and writers helps too!”
Oldbury students celebrate
Oldbury Wells School held its annual awards ceremony to recognise and celebrate the outstanding success, dedication and hard work of its students. Prizes were awarded in all subject areas for both achievement and progress in Year 11 and Year 13 and the following students were recognised for their achievements: At GCSE level Jack French, Emily King and Rachael Seymour, Joel Bridgwater, Alisha Osler, Ellie Sankey and Jack Hainsworth. At A level Cameron Macleod, Olivia Owen Isabel Simpson, Samuel Webberley, Zoe Williamson and Faye Davies took the honours. The Aidan Brookes prize for Science was awarded to Ethan Hooper, the Headteacher’s prize to Olivia Owen and the Governors’ prize to Chloe Eyke.
The school had a special guest speaker for the evening. Paralympic archer and double gold medallist Danielle Brown MBE took the audience on a journey describing her own successes, goals, ambitions, personal setbacks and ultimate achievements.
Endowed supports food bank
Bridgnorth Endowed School held an ‘own clothes day’ in aid of the Bridgnorth Food Bank which raised nearly £600. Every year the Endowed School sixth form charity committee decides on one local, one national and one international charity to support and this year’s local charity is the Food Bank. In addition to the money raised, every tutor group made up a food parcel so that they could provide not just funds, but edible resources that the bank could distribute. Mrs Whitmore, director of sixth form, said, “What an amazing result. We are very proud of our students because they have really taken this charity to heart and have provided over £1000 in money and resources to such a worthwhile cause”.
The food bank serves Bridgnorth and the surrounding area extending to a 15-20 mile radius; as well as donating food it also provides advice to clients who need extra help and during term time a support worker is on hand to offer advice on housing and benefits.
Sixth form Biology students from Bridgnorth Endowed School recently took part in the British Biology Olympiad exam. This very challenging but prestigious exam saw 7500 students taking part nationally and Illia Litvinyuk was awarded a Highly Commended whilst Laura Guest, who scored 59/89, a silver medal. Both will receive a certificate and Laura will be invited to the awards ceremony in London in July to receive her award.
Multi sports for Easter
The East Shropshire schools sports partnership is organising a host of exciting events and activities during the Easter holidays with the multi sport club. From Monday 10 April to Thursday 13 April they will be at Much Wenlock Primary School and Shifnal School and from Tuesday 18 April to Friday 21 April they will be at Albrighton Primary School, Barrow Free School and Saint Mary’s Blue Coat in Bridgnorth. The day runs from 8.30am-3.30pm and costs £15. Sports will include indoor and outdoor games as well as adventure and promise to be a fun packed. They will be run by highly experienced PE staff and places are limited, to get more information or to book contact Lyndseydillonpt@gmail.com or call 07538 352352.
Holocaust visit for sixth formers
Two sixth formers from Shrewsbury High School have been selected to visit the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s ground breaking ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ project. Only two pupils from selected schools are chosen to take part in the programme and pupils Olivia Bettison and Beth Capaldi had to write persuasive arguments as to why they thought they should be chosen for the experience.
To prepare for their visit the girls will learn about pre-war Jewish life, hear first-hand testimony from a Holocaust survivor and meet their group. Once in Poland they will visit a site of pre-war Jewish life in Oświęcim, before touring Auschwitz and Birkenau and attending a Memorial service at the ruins of Crematoria II, Birkenau.
Since 1999 over 30,000 students and teachers have taken part in the project which is based on the premise that ‘hearing is not like seeing’ and explores the universal lessons of the Holocaust. By increasing knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust for young people highlights what can happen if prejudice and racism become acceptable.
GB Pentathlon at Tettenhall
Fencing as a sport is getting stronger at Tettenhall College and based on this success, GB Pentathlon will be using Tettenhall College as a centre of excellence for the increasingly popular sport. The first Midlands Pentathlon competition, which encompasses the disciplines of fencing, running, swimming, shooting and horse riding, will be hosted at the school in March. Tettenhall pupils have also been making their mark in the world of fencing; Karac Oldman was placed third in U12s for the West Midlands at a recent competition. His success will take him to the British Youth Championships which will be held in Sheffield in May.
Hagrid’s double wows children
Children from Moffats School in Kinlet enjoyed a creative day at Moreton Hall School’s art day, inspired by the theatrical clothing worn by Martin Wood, Town Crier of Shrewsbury. “The children were completely absorbed in the day’s activities and were all fascinated to meet the 7ft 2” gentleman, and were very excited to learn that he was one of Hagrid’s body doubles in the Harry Potter movies!” explained Carly Randall of Moffats.
The next Open Morning at Moffats School will be held on Friday 17 March, from 9.30am-12.30pm. All are welcome, with tours being conducted by the senior children. Nursery funding is available for children aged 3 and 4 attending the Kindergarten.
New business school opens
Wrekin College in Telford recently opened a £1m business school with the aim to prepare pupils for life outside of the academic arena. The facility was opened by retail tycoon Nick Wheeler and is the biggest single investment in a new project by the school. Mr Wheeler, who founded upmarket shirt maker Charles Tyrwhitt, was born in Ludlow and is married to Chrissie Rucker MBE, founder of the White Company. He praised Wrekin College for its innovative approach to educating the ‘whole child’.
The business school was designed to resemble the corporate world rather than a classroom, and houses a lecture theatre, boardroom, offices for hot-desking and break-out spaces for meetings and brain-storming. Headmaster Tim Firth said the project underlined his vision for the school which was to ensure that each pupil was fully prepared for the outside world and that it would also provide a venue for helping other groups in the community to improve their career prospects and to bring together business leaders. Schools from across Shropshire are to be invited to take part in the Wrekin College Business Challenge later this year and there is a busy diary of guest speakers.
Author’s visit to Highley
A popular children’s author paid a two-day visit to Highley Primary School – where she is the ‘Patron of Reading’. Nicola Davies, who used to present The Really Wild Show on TV, said it was important that children could meet authors and see that they are just normal people. “I want to help to make writing more accessible to the children, let them find their own voice as writers and develop confidence in their ability to use words.”
This was Nicola’s third visit to the school as part of the national Patron of Reading scheme and was set-up by teacher Vicki Kelly, “We wanted an author who would appeal to the whole school, I thought Nicola was ideal. We are keen to promote reading in school, especially reading for pleasure and having Nicola visit us really creates a buzz in the school amongst the pupils. Last year Nicola had Year 5 and 6 pupils to write poems about refugees; the children instantly engaged with that idea and it triggered some fantastic writing.”
Being part of the action
Class One at Brockton C of E Primary recently had a visit from Richard Smith of Amazing ICT to help bring their topic work to life. As part of their buildings and architecture topic, the children have been drawing pictures and making models to retell the story of the three little pigs, and Richard used green screen technology to allow the children to immerse themselves into a world that they created and be part of the story. Seeing themselves as part of the story was engaging and memorable and the school are pleased to report that no-one was eaten by the big bad wolf! One pupil said, “We were shrunk into the man’s computer and went on the board in the classroom!” The session provided the class teacher the opportunity to learn more about the technology involved and will now be able to use the green screen in future class projects.
All change at St Leonard’s
St Leonard’s Primary School Nursery in Bridgnorth is changing its provision to be more flexible for working parents. The nursery currently offers 15 hours of funded provision, over 5 mornings or 5 afternoons. From Easter parents whose children are eligible for a place will be able to block their 15 hours of funded provision over 2 and a half days. There will also be the possibility of paying for extra sessions beyond this, and anyone interested should contact the school.
William Brookes sponsor first responders
The students at William Brookes School have announced exciting plans to sponsor the Much Wenlock Community First Responders’ response car for the next three years. Pupils are organising their first events – a non-uniform day – to raise money and they will be visited by volunteer Robin Bennett, and the ambulance car, to explain the role of a first responder and to discuss what to do in a medical emergency. Spokesperson Paul Bertrand said, “This voluntary service means a lot to us and we value it greatly. This is an opportunity to highlight the fantastic contribution these volunteers make to our community and we would appreciate help from parents and the wider community in our support for their efforts. William Brookes School is the biggest employer in Much Wenlock having over 1100 people on site every school day means we can really make a difference to this resource.”
Huge recycling project with royal theme
The Ironworks in North Shropshire have launched and schools appeal to collect thousands of unwanted tins and raise awareness of recycling at the same time. The project intends to highlight the opportunities of doing something useful and beautiful from general household waste, and also has a useful educational focus on the environment. The plan is use the tens of thousands of cans collected from schools to create a giant bust of her Majesty the Queen. Every school who gets involved will be invited to a day of fun and creativity at the Ironworks. Please contact Anna or Clive on 01691 610952 for leaflets and flyers, recycling fact sheets, Her Majesty the Queen Project leaflet and collection bins if your school would like to take part.
OSH focuses on mental health
Staff at Old Swinford Hospital school in Stourbridge have been undergoing specialist training about how to build emotional reliance in young people. The training follows Department of Education guidance on mental health and behaviour in schools to help schools promote positive attitudes to mental health. It is estimated that around 70% of UK children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age, and this goes on to have huge negative impact on the national and global economy more than any other health issues. Guest speakers included Clinical Psychologist Dr Rebecca Johnson, Mindfulness coach Vari McLuskie and award-winning mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin, who was recognised in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List with an MBE for his services on mental health campaigning. His story was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary The Stranger on the Bridge broadcast in 2015.
Bird flu blogger
North Shropshire College lecturer, Andy Cawthray has been blogging recently for the NFU, advising their members on what the implications of bird flu are to the over half a million backyard poultry keepers. Andy is well known within the UK poultry community due to his knowledge of small scale chicken keeping, although he is actually a lecturer in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). “The rural community will become increasingly reliant upon technology and connectivity for its growth in the business world and ICT, and blogging about birds, combines my two areas of interest.” You find out more about Andy’s blog countrysideonline.co.uk