Welcome to the latest eNewsletter
An Introduction from Headmaster, Leo Winkley
As week one of the Summer Term remote learning programme draws to a close, we have certainly been impressed with the very high levels of engagement for pupils across all years. There seems to have been a collective sense of excitement at being back in touch, albeit through digital means.
As you’ll have seen from my bike ride around the site on Tuesday evening, the site is very quiet. It’s strange not to have the place buzzing with energy, but it’s all here waiting, for when we are able to return. In the meantime, the three strands of a Virtual Shrewsbury Education form the lines of continuity to keep your children motivated, learning and in contact with one another and the staff here. We will keep evolving the programme and improving it as we go, and feedback is welcome.
With the co-curriculum options brochure launched on Wednesday, we’re expecting a high take-up across the very many activities available. These are grouped into one of the four quarters of our Salopian whole person education: intellective, active, creative and reflective. There’s plenty of choice from the familiar to the novel. As well as giving wider scope for development, these options help to give balance and texture to the week with opportunity for serious engagement and community.
You will be aware that each week we celebrate Salopians who have done something a little bit different. Staff nominate pupils whose effort, endeavour and enterprise have caught their attention. This leads to a wonderfully diverse gathering in the Pentagon on a Friday afternoon for Floreat. Undaunted by the current circumstances, the nominations have kept flowing in and I was delighted to host a Virtual Floreat with 6 Salopians today – listed here. Usually there are brownies to accompany the chat, but it is an uplifting gathering, nonetheless.
We often say that the Salopian community reaches across the globe and through the years. Yesterday, we heard the very sad news of the death of one of my predecessors as Headmaster of Shrewsbury: Sir Eric Anderson (1975-1980) who went on to be Headmaster of Eton College for 14 years. He was still very much in touch with the school and was generous and wise in his support for the school. He was one of the great and most brilliant lights of the educational firmament and is as much missed as he was admired. Sir Eric was someone whose mind was always open to new ideas in education. The current times are requiring the sort of fresh thinking for which he was renowned.
I hope that this newsletter finds each Salopian household in good spirits and staying well.
An update from Maurice Walters, Deputy Head Academic
This week saw the launch of the second phase of our Remote Learning strategy, including for the first time, a significant degree of live video content for all pupils across the school. Pupil engagement has been outstanding but not surprising for anyone who knows the Salopian determination to rise to challenge in adversity. From the Upper Sixth who have attacked their culminating sessions with verve and determination right down to the Third Form, who are achieving commendations in astonishing numbers for their vivacious and meaty contributions – the sense of togetherness in this powerful academic community has been tangible. For teachers who chose to work at Shrewsbury school for the value it places on the professional relationships we form with the pupils in our charge, the ability to ‘see’ our classes, even remotely, has fuelled even further our driving determination to ensure that a real and inspirational education continues for every single one of them.
The weeks ahead hold further exciting developments as we continue to explore ways and means of creating inspirational content to support our Summer Term academic programme. The Shrewsbury U and ILM initiatives are gathering pace and pupils will hear more about this in the weeks ahead. The Theme Week for Third Form is in the offing and we will shortly be confirming A Level Options for the Fifth Form as we look to establish that Sixth Form Experience.
In short, pupils should feel exceptionally proud of the way they have engaged with their lessons this week; putting genuine intellectual curiosity and motivation very much to the fore.
An update from Peter Middleton, Deputy Head Co-Curricular
This week we were excited to launch our virtual co-curriculum with the Options Brochure sent out for pupils to sign up to a wide range of over 60 activities across the four strands of Intellective, Active, Expressive and Reflective. The Shrewsbury School staff have done an outstanding job bringing creativity, invention, and innovation to delivering this programme. There's a diverse range of activities for pupils, and we are strongly encouraging pupils to select at least two activities per week (of which one should ideally be active), though of course, they may choose more if they wish.
Pupil Options Brochure - Please follow this link for The Virtual Co-Curriculum Pupil Options Brochure - Summer Term 2020
Pupils have until 10pm on Friday 24th April to sign up, following which activities will commence from the start of next week. We look forward to showcasing much of what takes place in the virtual co-curriculum through the e-newsletter and other outlets in the coming weeks.
An update from Anna Peak, Deputy Head Pastoral
I am extremely grateful to the Shrewsbury staff for their pastoral work this week. There has been a flurry of activity and connectivity which has given the start of term a real buzz. Hopefully this has been felt in households across the world as our community radiates out of a screen near you!
Wednesday saw a hive of activity as pupils throughout the 3rd, 4th and 5th form zoomed into their tutor and pastoral year group meetings. There were some extremely creative virtual backgrounds in these meetings and plenty of pets making appearances. Thank goodness the skies of the UK have been so blue this week and UK Salopian’s have been able to compete sunshine wise with their fellow Shrewsbury housemates isolating in more exotic locations. Sixth Formers have also been connecting with tutors and Housemasters and Mistresses. There was been much reported back from these conversations including high levels of engagement in study. Salopian’s are resilient and are weathering the current situation well.
Yesterday evening the Housemasters and Housemistresses met virtually to discuss house competitions and challenges. I can report competitiveness and creativity was rife! Highlight of the of the week has to go to Mr Hughes who recorded a birthday message to one of his Ridgemount boys whilst riding a homemade slip ‘n slide he built in the back garden. However, it’s not just the staff creating content worthy moments. We are all looking forward to the School House responses to draw and submit a caricature of Mr Bird – deadline Sunday, more ball bouncing escapades in Severn Hill after a bar raising video sent in by 3rd former Spencer, (see twitter) and Alfie’s 2.6. challenge which culminates on Sunday and has Porthill rallying to its cry.
It has been a wonderful first week back. However, the real highlight has been the safe arrival of Mabel Reynolds and Elias Duncan to Emma Darwin and Severn Hill communities. A wonderful reminder in this unusual time that life goes on.
Notices to Parents and Guardians
Biology Photo Competition 2020
The Biology Photo Competition for 2020 is still open for entries!
Every pupil in the school community is eligible.
The deadline is Friday 1st May. We are now into our fourth year of this competition and the standard gets better with each year, so the judges are looking forward to another excellent competition.
Supporting the NHS and Local Community
We continue to provide as much support to the NHS, Medical Practices, Care Homes/Companies, food bank, and our local community as we can. You may have seen some of our activities over the Easter period appearing on Twitter. It is great to see how Salopians are supporting the national effort.
This week we received a thank you letter from Cedars Medical Centre to Mr Lloyd. A copy of the letter can be seen here.
Pupil Writes Article for Autism Awareness Week
Charlie H (UVI, M) has been as busy as ever despite the lockdown! Charlie has written for Autism Awareness Day earlier this month; 5 Things Autistic People Want You to Know.
A Note from Charlie:
April marks Autism Awareness Week, with Autism Awareness Day on the 2nd. As an autistic person, this period of time can be stressful due to misconceptions and harmful myths about my condition being spread across social and news media. Since I have a platform, I recognise I have a personal responsibility to use my voice to shine light upon this oft-misunderstood condition. My writing about autism has previously been published in The Guardian. This year, I felt compelled to write and publish this short article debunking some of the myths surrounding autism that I and the autistic people with whom I have connected want neurotypical (that is, non-autistic) people to understand. It is only through building this understanding that autistic people can be accepted and supported for who and how we are.
Eton Fives Association Awards
This year the awards are going ahead with voting as usual, although we don’t have the results of the Schools’ or other National competitions yet. The EFA awards are usually presented at the annual dinner but this has been cancelled.
Our own U6th former and Captain of girls’ fives Issy Wong is nominated on the strength of a season in which she won the U21 Nationals before the Schools’ Championship was cancelled. The Old Salopians are nominated, as well, in the team of the year category and two OS have also been nominated for their coaching.
Anyone who is an EFA member or is a member of the Eton Fives Association Facebook group can vote on their choice in the four categories: Young Player, Coach, Team and Player of the Year.
Voting opens today!