The value of space

When our children are born, we never let them out of our sight. The connection is so strong and so intensely-felt that we can’t imagine being parted from them for any significant length of time.

Fast forward 18 years and your baby is off to university or backpacking around Asia. Then they will be starting a career and possibly a family of their own. Somehow, they have morphed from a defenceless tot into a young adult, ready to take on the world and make their mark. At least that is what parents should hope will happen because the alternative is that they are living in your spare room in their late 20s, hoovering up the contents of your fridge.

Happy young adults are independent ones and, as parents, one of our more important jobs is to ensure that our young people can fly the nest and become useful members of society. However, there is a problem caused by the conflicting needs of parents and children at different stages of the journey. Those early years of complete dependence are magical, but they are soon attending a nursery or school and start to have a life away from our influence. They need this to take risks, learn from mistakes and learn about themselves as a separate entity.

Choice of school is an important decision for parents and part of this is placing their child in the care of adults they trust and to be surrounded by other children who seem to exemplify the same values as their own whilst being more independent from their parents.

Parents also encourage independence by starting to organise play dates and sleepovers and feel comfortable in doing so. Such experiences build independence in children, enable other influences and give much needed space for families. Having experiences in life that are yours and not shared with parents is part of the thrill of growing up and we probably all remember some of these ourselves.

“However, how different is a night or two of boarding to a sleepover?” asks Charlie Minogue, Head of Moor Park School, Ludlow. “It is a more valuable and arguably safer experience for young people than a play date.

“At Moor Park, our boarders have the run of 85 acres of country estate in rural Shropshire, cared for by trained professionals. They wake in the morning to watch deer drift across the playing fields. They play games in woods, streams and, yes, mud. They use the swimming pool, tennis courts, cricket nets and Astroturf. The food is exceptional.


Choice of school is an important decision for parents and part of this is placing their child in the care of adults they trust


“Parents are sometimes cross their child doesn’t phone home but of course being busy, happy, and independent is precisely what we all want for our children.”

Different children are ready for more independence at varying times in their development, but they all need it at some point, Mr Minogue says.

“Boarding, perhaps particularly with a flexible approach when children are young, fulfils this need in a safe and fun environment and is about as far as it is possible to get from the images that we all have from the last century of cold showers and colder welcomes.

“Boarding at Moor Park allows for the kind of freedoms we would all envisage as being part of an idealistic childhood but with the safety net that all parents would want. I urge everyone to keep an open mind when it comes to their children and boarding: parents with young children are understandably unsure, but it is amazing just how often those same children are badgering their parents years later to let them stay over.”

 


Achieving excellence together

Wolverhampton Girls’ High School is looking forward to completion of a new building project of four new state of the art science laboratories and a new multi‑use activity studio.

This investment is from the Department for Education’s Selective School Expansion Fund and the awarding of a £3.5 million grant to the school. Work is set to be completed this Spring.

The school offers a broad and rich curriculum with over 20 subjects available for study at Wolverhampton Girls’ High School providing an educational pathway that is tailored to the individual student’s needs.

The extensive programme of extracurricular activities is an integral part of this. A wide range of options is available including sport, music, debating and drama. There is also a thriving house system. Care, support and guidance are key elements at Wolverhampton Girls’ High School. Whilst academic achievements are exceptional this is not a solely academic school. High quality pastoral care and support are a key part of school life. Students join

the school knowing that they can fulfil their academic potential as well as developing the key skills essential for success both in and beyond school.

The school is highly skilled at ensuring students are able to secure places at outstanding institutions as well identifying and supporting applications for other opportunities when the time comes.

Further details about the application process are available at www.wghs.org.uk or
email admissions@wghs.org.uk

 


 

Award winning education is closer than you think

The extraordinary Wolverhampton Grammar School is one of the oldest schools in the country, having been founded in 1512.

It is also within easy access of the wider West Midlands, Staffordshire and Shropshire thanks to flexible school bus links.

The independent day school has expanded its provision to incorporate Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. It is a fully all-through school, providing the opportunity for children from ages 4 to 18 to join a unique community and experience an award-winning approach to education. Means-tested bursaries and scholarships are available for exceptional and deserving applicants to the Senior and Sixth Form.

If you’ve never visited the stunning 25-acre campus, you can register at any time for an open event or personal tour. Visit www.wgs.org.uk/openday for more information.

First priority is the happiness of your child

Wolverhampton Grammar School is justly proud of its pastoral care, believing that happy children do well, thrive, and leave school with excellent exam results and the confidence to embrace whatever opportunities come their way in their young adult lives.

Your child will never feel alone at Wolverhampton Grammar School, says Assistant Head in charge of Pastoral Care, Claudine Jones, who leads a team of staff to support and work with families. Support includes a dedicated, expert pastoral team, school counsellor and annual adolescent mental health tracking using the latest digital tools.

Academic excellence

The staff are totally committed to providing the best teaching and learning experience for your child – something that continued in lockdown, thanks to high expertise in online delivery.

Wolverhampton Grammar School offers a very wide range of subjects, from sciences to humanities, creative arts to languages. The timetable is built around

the academic choices that the students make. They grow up to be confident, curious and independent-minded, and their academic achievements speak for themselves. Despite the pressures of the pandemic, students were awarded stellar results at GCSE and A Level. Sixth Form students are also able to study towards Cambridge Technical and BTEC awards in a range of subjects. Sixth Form students achieved the highest number of A* – A grades for over 10 years, with 66% of entries receiving nothing but the top two grades. This is alongside 165 A* – B grades awarded (85% of all students). At GCSE, 641 Grade 9, 8 or 7 awards (equivalent to A* and A) were awarded – 79% of all grades. Students in Years 11 and 13 enjoyed another exceptional year with 100% pass rate.

The school offers a tailored and individual approach to UCAS and Careers support and students can expect the very best preparation possible when it comes to life after school.

Interested to learn more?

Visit www.wgs.org.uk/openday to register for an open event or to book an individual school tour. Alternatively contact the admissions team at Wolverhampton Grammar School on 01902 422939, email admissions@wgs-sch.net.

 


 

Opportunities for all

Oldbury Wells School in Bridgnorth, is proud to share the successes of its students and staff, celebrating the collective commitment shown in all they do.

The school is also the home of Bridgnorth Sixth Form, meaning students aged 11 to 18 make outstanding progress, both academically and within their personal development and wellbeing, enabling future goals and aspirations to be fulfilled.

Headteacher Lee Tristham says that, alongside the school’s highly effective, well-planned curriculum, the heart of its success is students’ enjoyment of their many experiences within lessons and throughout their co-curricular programme.

Mr Tristham adds, “Our students are incredibly supportive of each other, whether collaborating in charity or inter-house events through our highly effective house system, sixth formers mentoring younger year groups and supporting guided reading, or within the many clubs and activities across school.

“Our student’s working collaboration is empowering for all to see. Our school council ensures that all students have a voice and work closely with key staff to further shape opportunities across school.”

Excellent partnerships

The school also has excellent working relationships with primary partner schools, where many students join from. As part of the TrustEd Schools Partnership, students and staff can work collaboratively across primary, secondary and sixth form phases. This encourages students of all ages to be involved with leadership and teamwork opportunities, developing key skills to support their future ambitions.

Oldbury Wells students positively inspire those around them to try new activities. The sixth form Business class annually co-ordinate a Year 7 disco, Year 9 sports leaders recently hosted primary sports workshops, and new

initiatives supporting the local food bank are examples of students across all year groups working together to make positive impacts on one another and the local community.

Outside learning

The school recognises the importance of bringing learning alive outside the classroom. Set in its picturesque locality, Oldbury Wells benefits from fantastic historical resources on its doorstep, enabling students to develop a deeper understanding of local history through visits to Bridgnorth Castle or to the Severn Valley Railway. From year 9 onwards, students can complete their Duke of Edinburgh Award at various levels; another great example of the many opportunities on offer.

Oldbury Wells recognises the importance of young people’s personal development, nurturing their knowledge and skillset, and preparing them for their post-18 destinations and life beyond. The curriculum develops key attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, teamwork, critical thinking and risk management, which all promote good health and wellbeing, positive relationships and an understanding of what is important to be successful in the wider world.

The school’s ethos of high aspirations, enjoyment and achievement ensures that Oldbury Wells is a great place to be and a great place to learn.

Families are invited to visit the school to find out more.

 


 

Success is brewing at Wrekin

A group of Shropshire sixth form students are steaming ahead with a brew for success as they launch their own school coffee shop – in a renovated horsebox!

The Wrekin Entrepreneurs’ Club at Wrekin College recently launched the venture which will see them sell hot drinks and, over time, other refreshments.

Called Express-o, the new business will be a legacy project at the school which will give pupils a chance to run a real business.

Current pupils have been appointed to key management positions to help steer the coffee shop to success.

There are also a group of younger students who will support the running of the operation once it is open. When the incumbent managers leave, the younger pupils will step in to take on the reins of running it with the school’s support.

Jonathan Longfellow, teacher of economics and business at Wrekin College, said he was really impressed by how well the pupils had approached the project so far and the commitment and enthusiasm they had shown to get it to this stage.

“The team had to pitch their idea to a Dragon’s Den style panel at the school and were then awarded funding to help launch the scheme,” he added.

“They have carried out extensive research to see what might work well and be in demand here at school events and also provide other opportunities to make it a success. Then they have put in the extra hours and the sometimes physically challenging work of getting it ready to open.”

Mr Longfellow said they meet regularly working on not only renovating the horsebox but creating menus with ‘must-have’ appeal, social media platforms for the coffee shop, and developing other marketing campaigns, staff rotas, and stock and supply chains.

He said there were also plans in the pipeline to look at how they can extend their offering including theming menus according to events.

“They are all really excited about getting out there and running the coffee shop now and getting feedback on ways in which they can improve it still further and continue to grow the business. My hope is that each year a new cohort of student business leaders take the operation to a new level.”

“The team had to pitch their idea to a Dragon’s Den style panel at the school and were then awarded funding to help launch the scheme”

Wrekin College launched its new Business School in 2017 in a bid to encourage more employability and real-life skills to be taught at school.

The centre, which boasts a board room and lecture theatre, has hosted a number of prestigious business events and regularly welcomes in leading speakers from various industries and sectors to talk to pupils.

 

“This is a business I think this age group understands well which is evidenced by their high levels of enthusiasm for the project. I am really looking forward to seeing it regularly in action.”

To find out more about Wrekin please contact the admissions department on admissions@wrekincollege.com or call 01952 265603. Wrekin’s next Open Day is on Saturday 26th March; anyone interested can book a place at www.wrekincollege.com.

 


 

An enriching student experience

Bridgnorth Endowed believes there’s more to school than what goes on in the classroom and has recently launched an exciting, new extra-curricular timetable designed to help pupils bounce back after Covid.

With a packed programme of more than 100 enrichment opportunities that take place throughout the week, pupils are encouraged to get involved and explore as many areas of interest as possible.

On top of the usual sports teams and creative arts clubs, a range of new-age activities are also on offer. From computer-aided design and mindfulness, to eco projects and political debate – there really is something for everyone’s tastes.

Central to this is the desire to develop well-rounded young people who are able to discover their special talents and nurture strong relationships with their peers in an environment where they can thrive.

Founded in 1503, this unique school, previously the town’s grammar, has a rich and very long history in educating people from across the region.

Today, it is a vibrant co-educational secondary school that provides 600 pupils aged between 11 and 16 with high-quality teaching in modern, inspiring learning spaces.

The school benefits from 30 acres of beautiful grounds with sports pitches and a historic Old Hall, its own on-site leisure centre, and the convenience of a town centre location in the heart of Bridgnorth.

Smaller than the average sized secondary school, Bridgnorth Endowed fosters a real sense of community that enables students, parents and staff to really get to know one another.

Parents can be assured of a safe campus that’s a healthy place for any young person to learn. It provides a calm and caring setting in which everyone works together in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

Bridgnorth Endowed is a truly extraordinary school that combines its solid 500-year history with a progressive approach to education.

The teaching focuses on creating an educational experience that fires up the students’ love of learning and boosts participation in the fantastic choice of extra-curricular activities available.

Committed to the success of each of its students, the school teaches them to cultivate not only academic skills, but also the character traits they will need in adult life – in particular, independence, ambition and confidence.

Headteacher, Barry Worth, says: “We are dedicated to providing an outstanding education that inspires all of our young people to excel in the classroom and beyond.

“Most importantly, we aim to encourage students to be successful and happy in a competitive world, and to build a bright future for themselves.”

For more information, please visit www.bridgnorthendowed.co.uk or call 01746 762103

 


 

Ready, Steady, Girl!

Girls get off to a flying start in life at Shrewsbury High School (SHS). And with the school’s new Ready, Steady, Girl programme, girls aged 3-4 who are preparing to start school have the opportunity to spend time in the innovative Early Years environment once a month.

From this spring, early learners are invited to discover a range of exciting activities, giving them the opportunity to explore new ideas and skills. Themes such as coding, construction, engineering, art, storytelling, drama and maths provide the stimuli for hands-on exploration, collaboration and fun.

At the first event, Curious Coders, in February, girls spent the morning coding robots and exploring algorithms.

Last autumn, Shrewsbury High Junior pupils moved into their new bespoke junior school on Town Walls in the heart of the town, alongside senior girls, making the school the only all-through school for girls in Shropshire from Reception to Sixth Form.

Head of Juniors Kate Millichamp says the launch of Ready Steady Girl will set girls up as inquisitive and inspired young learners.

“In our school, girls learn without limits. We understand how girls learn and have adapted our environment so that it is designed specifically with them in mind. Our whole school, all-girl, all-through culture is conducive to providing the very best learning experience.

“At SHS, the journey begins with our Ready Steady Girl programme for 3-4- year-olds who are preparing to start school. The full initiative will launch in September 2022 when each year, Shrewsbury High Junior girls will continue to work through the Ready Steady Girl programme. They will develop the dispositions needed to become successful learners as we lay the foundations for them becoming ‘real world’ ready. Our girls will possess a strong spirit of enquiry, see themselves as empowered, strong and capable and they will be proactive participants in their own destiny.

“Learning is an exciting adventure and one which sparks creativity, curiosity and courage. And our commitment to excellence in that adventure starts long before our girls join us in Reception. We focus on helping our girls to develop the skills and character to prepare them for the future. They learn to be confident, positive and fearless. We give our girls confidence beyond the curriculum and focus not only on what is learned, but how it is learned.”

To book a tour or a place on the Ready Steady Girl programme for your daughter, visit www.shrewsburyhigh.gdst.net or email admissions@shr.gdst.net

 


 

Terrific Tettenhall

Tettenhall College is a day and boarding school that successfully combines academic achievement and personal growth. This includes the very best delivery of pastoral care and an emphasis on kindness, gratitude and good manners.

This is what the very best schools do. They allow children to be happy, confident and engaged individuals who are nurtured to love learning, challenge and success.

Firm foundations for success are laid with the Preparatory Pathways Programme, which is tailor-made to ensure children from the age of 2 upwards progress through a structured and comprehensive learning journey. This continues through the Senior School and into Sixth Form, where their own Pathways Programme delivers outstanding levels of success. A 100% A Level pass rate, 85% A* to B grades and 100% of students securing their first choice of university are all markers of this.

This educational philosophy underpins the approach to scholarship at Tettenhall College. To be a Scholar is a privilege, a reward and a responsibility. Pupils who enter the College at either Year 7, Year 9 or Year 12 are given the opportunity to be assessed for scholarship, and those demonstrating the highest levels of attainment and potential are made awards. All scholars are required to complete Scholars’ Tasks each term, to ensure their commitment to onward learning and personal growth. However, the fundamental difference at Tettenhall College is that every pupil in the Senior School and Sixth  Form has a Scholars’ Handbook. Every pupil is welcome and encouraged to aspire to scholarship.

Headmaster Christopher McAllister adds, “The aim of our school, at every stage of a student’s life, is to develop their gifts and talents within the classroom and beyond.

“Nurturing confident learners who are ambitious for themselves while being attentive to the needs of others is a cornerstone of my philosophy. I believe the best education is a personalised one. One that gives every child the opportunity to explore their creativity, participate in their community, build their characters and achieve their true potential.

“We are ambitious, not only for our students to achieve the highest academic standards, but to be the best versions of themselves possible. At Tettenhall College, fostering the skills of leadership and teamwork in all our young learners is the key to realising their potential and aspirations.

“I passionately believe in encouraging a progressive, global outlook in all our students. The values and traditions of Tettenhall College serve our mission to produce young men and women who are ready for the challenges of the 21st century.”

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