Shrewsbury School

eNewsletter: Friday 12th June 2020

Welcome to the latest eNewsletter

An Introduction from Headmaster, Leo Winkley

At the start of this seventh week of the Summer Term, we launched the updated statement of the aims, ethos and educational philosophy with a document called ‘Shrewsbury: For Life’. Please follow this link to read Shrewsbury: For Life. An odd time to share an ethos statement?  Truth be told, we were due to publish in March but, for reasons that will be obvious, we decided to wait a little longer.  With over 200 new entrants due to start their Salopian journeys in September, this week has involved lots of house-based interaction to help new pupils and their families prepare for the step into a new school in what are uncertain times.  Part of that communication included sharing the ethos and educational philosophy document, which seeks to capture the distinctive nature of the Salopian spirit and the key elements of whole person education at Shrewsbury.  It is the result of a year-long consultation and opinion-gathering process that involved pupils, parents, staff, governors, Old Salopians and many others associated with Shrewsbury.  I do hope that it chimes strongly with all those who hold Shrewsbury dear. 

The phrase ‘For Life’ has an intentional double-meaning.  Firstly, it signals the broadest purpose of a school - we aim to prepare pupils to flourish in life.  Secondly, we believe that our pupils’ relationship with Shrewsbury is for life.  As we come towards the final fortnight of this extraordinary term, I hope that the words of this document encapsulate and affirm the Salopian spirit.  It is unashamedly aspirational – setting us all some noble goals and virtues to pursue.  We want our pupils to have the depth of character to embrace a world that presents big challenges.  Just one current example is the deep sense of outrage and unrest at the mistreatment of ethnic minorities.  The virtues and aptitudes that we want our pupils to develop are many; amongst them is the ability to show pursue lives of courage and integrity.  This week’s blog, written by Ms Peak, Deputy Head Pastoral, explores some of the Salopian virtues to which we aspire. Please follow this link to read the Pastoral update.

Meanwhile, the remote learning programme has continued to deliver across all five year groups, with Fourth Form and Lower Sixth emerging from their week of assessments to tackle a theme week and UCAS preparation respectively. Our Futures Faculty has been in overdrive, laying on opportunity after opportunity for pupils to connect and interact with a range of experts. Please follow these links to read about careers insight talks or a pupil perspective on Shrewsbury U and leadership. The houses have continued to buzz with contact and virtual energy.  The co-curricular spotlight falls in cricket which, alongside the host of 60 other activities, has displayed the inventiveness and commitment characteristic of our culture here. Please follow this link to read about our unique cricket programme.

Floreat this week celebrated rowing; cycling; running; singing; excellence in learning Spanish; researching Darwin; brilliance in Business; and genealogy.  The virtual gathering brought together Salopians from the UK, Switzerland and Japan. Please follow this link for further details on this week's Floreat.

Looking ahead to the culmination of this term in remote, we are well advanced with planning for a virtual speech day, to take place on Saturday 27th June.   We are not able to hold an event on site, but we hope to be able to provide a suitably uplifting event to mark the end of the year and, indeed, mark the moment of leaving for our U6th.  This event will be broadcast live with some pre-recorded segments.  We very much hope that the Salopian community will be able to sit down and watch the live broadcast wherever they are in the world.  There will be a Leavers' Service, Prize-Giving, music and drama segments, and final Callover.  Further details to follow. 

This newsletter is going out on 12th June which I remember for being the birthday of Anne Frank.  One of the enduring beacons of the hopefulness of youth in a complex and at times cruel world, Anne Frank’s legacy is a diary that conveys her irreducible belief in the goodness of human beings.  Her words are laced with a poignant combination of innocence and wisdom that sears to the core of things.  I leave you this week with one of her very many beautiful and uplifting sentences: “I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” 

As ever, I offer my warmest wishes to all Salopian households in the UK and across the world.

Leo Winkley

An update from Anna Peak, Deputy Head Pastoral

Over the past 4 weeks I have been teaching the Leadership Module as part of the Upper Sixth ILM course. Elements of leadership can be taught, but so much of the style an individual will bring to the role comes from their character, their personality. During a debate last week in a zoom breakout room a group of Upper Sixth started questioning whether you can teach ‘personality’. The pupils were very clear. You can teach it, and that this is what Shrewsbury does. I don’t know if it is the current pandemic situation shifting perspectives, or the fact that they are so near the end of their time at school and fast appreciating what they have been a part of, but the quality of the debate in that virtual room, the way the pupils articulated themselves and described how personalities are forged here was really something very special.

Please follow this link to read the full update from Anna Peak

Notices to Parents and Guardians

Drama Showcase

Despite the challenges of performing in remote, drama students of all ages have been producing great work this term. The following Drama Showcase celebrates their creativity and resilience, as well as reminding us of some of the brilliant performances from the past few years. We are very much looking forward to welcoming the Shrewsbury community back into the brand new Barnes Theatre when we can next be together.

University Week 15th - 19th June

Please follow this link for more details on University Week 

Love Books? Salopian top reads this term...

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

A recent survey by The Reading Agency reveals that many of us are reading more since the lockdown than ever before. This is clearly true of the Shrewsbury School community. Here Salopians share their love of books across the genres, from stunning graphic novels and hard-hitting YA fiction to powerful classics and thought-provoking non-fiction. It has been my pleasure to collate these recommendations. Though we are not together in person, it is a joy to belong to this community of readers.

Please follow this link to discover the top Salopian books during lockdown 

Salopian Kindness and Fundraising Excellence

Mrs Liz Baly (School Secretary)  is 11 days in to her 30 day challenge. She's aiming to raise £2 a mile for all 874 miles. All for THE SAMARITANS, who offer free life-changing listening and counselling to all ages, 24/7.

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