Welcome to the latest eNewsletter
An Introduction from Headmaster, Leo Winkley
The Philosopher Immanuel Kant was such a stickler for routine that he became known as ‘the Königsberg clock’. He lived his entire life in the small German city and followed a daily timetable that involved plenty of time at his writing desk and a gentle daily constitutional walk. He was so predictable in his diurnal rhythms that, we are told, his fellow citizens used to set their watches by him. He never left the city in his 80-year life: a kind of self-imposed lockdown.
Routine is important: most of us need a framework. The first week of the Lent Term 2021 has seen us resume as a remote learning community, as schools have been obliged to remain closed for all but the children of critical workers and vulnerable pupils. A Virtual Shrewsbury Education is designed to provide structure and challenge to keep pupils learning, with live teaching content in every timetabled period. We have been careful to build in time for staying active and provide breaks from screens for pupils and staff. We are staying connected through vibrant house life and the pastoral contact with housemistress and housemasters and the tutors.
Equally, we need to be adaptive. Not many of us would choose to live the life of unerring predictability that Kant did. Routine can be deadening. As well as adding points of positive disruption to keep things fresh over the five weeks to half term, as we deliver our remote programme, we will be seeking parental and pupil feedback to help us to shape the experience for the pupils. A questionnaire will be circulated next week to capture early observations.
Disruption and change have been recurring features of the past twelve months. The more that we can provide reassuring certainty and reliable rhythm, the better. We are acutely aware of the ongoing impact on the wellbeing of children – and adults – of these times. We are keen to offer individual pastoral support to Salopians and their families. The latest addition of the Teen Tips programme is part of this important effort.
Scanning further ahead, pupils in Fifth Form and Upper Sixth, and their parents, will be craving clarity on how their qualifications will be awarded this summer. We are contributing to the national consultation process and will share information when it becomes firm, rather than engaging in speculation. My advice to parents is not to spend too much time reading media reports. Recent times have taught us that we can lose a lot of energy in imagining what may come. The important details will become clearer in the coming weeks. As ever, the children and their teachers need to focus on the love of learning and the process of subject mastery.
Finally, it remains clear that strong organisations continue to look outwards and engage with others, even (and particularly) when times are tough. A key thread in the 40-in-40 challenge is to raise funds for our chosen house charities. As well as helping us to stay active and promote off-screen breaks, this exciting community initiative will help others. We hope that lots of parents, Old Salopians and other friends of the School will join our effort to get around the world in 40 days. A prospect that would have sent the home-loving Immanuel Kant scuttling back to the comforting familiarity of his digs, no doubt – but one that the Salopian spirt will surely embrace.
Celebrating the effort, endeavour and enterprise of Salopians - Please follow this link for details of this week's Floreat
Around the World in 40 Days
This week Shrewsbury School launched its Lent Term Challenge: 40in40. Our aim is to collectively cover the distance around the world- 40,000km- in just 40 days whilst simultaneously raising valuable funds for charity. The project launched on Wednesday 13 January with the School already on its journey Around the World.
Pupils have been set the challenge of completing 50km of activity (or more) over the coming five and a half weeks; if every pupil in the school achieves this target then as a school we will reach the goal and get Around the World in 40 Days!
We are keen to involve the wider School community with the 40in40 Challenge, and very much hope that a good number of parents, former pupils and friends of Shrewsbury School will likewise join in. A club has been set up on Strava (search for 'Shrewsbury School Community' in the club section) which, just two days after launch, has already grown to over 60 members with participants clocking KMs from a wide variety of geographical locations from Zimbabwe to Hong Kong, America to Dubai and many more in the UK. Whether you run, cycle, row, or walk- it will all count! Instructions on how to sign up can be found here.
Alongside this activity challenge- aimed at encouraging pupils to stay active and look after themselves- we have likewise challenged the pupils to raise £50 (or more) for their respective House Charities. In doing so, we aim to match our distance target and collectively raise £40,000. The charities selected by our pupils represent a wide range of worthy causes, some close to home in Shrewsbury, some with national reach, and others doing their work overseas. Many of these charities are finding that their services are in greater demand than ever during the pandemic- our contributions will be greatly welcomed and will help make a real difference . Please follow this link for more information.
Do help us to promote the initiative through social media by posting photos and videos of your activities wherever you are around the world. Please tag in @ShrewsSchool and use any of the following hashtags: #Shrews40in40 #Shrews40Challenge #SalopiansAroundTheWorld
Peter Middleton, Deputy Head Co-Curricular
Share the Spirit of Your Music; Salop’s Got Musical Talent
Music has a unique capability to bring people together. My warm invitation, and challenge, to all members of the Salopian community is to rustle up a musical performance – however modest – and to share that with our friendly worldwide community via our Salop’s Got Musical Talent concerts. I’d love to hear from those of you who every so often look longingly at your violin, flute or trombone knowing how good it felt when you used to play regularly.
During these trying times could you take the opportunity to connect with, and support, your fellow Salopians through your singing and playing? The act of sharing your endeavours may inspire others to feel better and to have a go themselves. If you are the family Von,Non-Trapp, a lapsed trombonist, a budding songwriter or a rusty flautist do get in touch with Stephen Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our launch concert on Weds January 20 at 19:30, at www.shrewsbury.org.uk/sgmt, will feature singer Dan Norman (OS), Al Doyle (Physics technician), Ivo Winkley’s new song, Arthur Hope Barton – piano, Amos Cheung – Cello and Luke Williams – piano.
Stephen Williams, Director of Music
Chapel Podcast for Sunday 17th January
Stephen Williams, Director of Music
Congratulations to Issy Wong (G 2015-2020) for being selected to tour alongside the England Women’s Cricket Team in New Zealand. We are sure it will be an invaluable experience for her.
Gwenan Davies, Head of Girls’ Cricket
Notices to Parents
Coach Weekend – Change of Timings
Please note that because of the current circumstances, we are changing the Coach Weekend arrangements as follows:
The ‘virtual’ Coach Weekend will begin after Period 7 on Friday 29th January. There will be no work set for pupils on Saturday 30th January. This will allow 48 hours of rest and time away from screens for pupils and staff. We will then resume on Monday 1st February with house callovers at 8.40am and Period 1.
A reminder that there is a virtual parents’ consultation meeting for Fifth Form Parents on Friday 29th January between 4.00pm and 7.00 pm.