Shrewsbury School

Field Day Feburary 2013: An overview of some of the many activities that took place

Sunday 3 March 2013

On Thursday Afternoons pupils take part in a huge variety of activities - which are neither entirely sporting, nor academic. The emphasis for the Fourth Form is on physical skills such as CCF, Outward Bound or Leadership Skills; in the upper years, there is a wide range of choice from Mountain Biking and Gliding to cookery, Community Service or bird watching. Field Day offers pupils and staff an opportunity to spend an entire day on this activity, which in most cases means going off site, and we were lucky that last Thursday, this term's Field Day, turned out to be mild and quite sunny. 

Basic Year - Martin Hansen and Mark Twells (MHH & MT)

The Fourth Form's leadership skills course involved a Mortimer's Forest, in gentle sunshine, testing mapreading skills.

George Classick receives encouragement on the obstacle courseCCF - Nick David (NPD)

All 100 Salopian cadets in the CCF battled it out to win the coveted 'Kemp Trophy' - a fine piece of historic silverware (accompanied by a large tin of Quality Streets) that is awarded to the highest performing section. For the past 4 years the trophy has been won by the Royal Marines, and this year it was won by RM 'Taunton' Section.

The competition was held at Swynnerton Camp - in fact a disused wartime ammunition dump - and all sections faced a variety of challenges: first aid, orienteering, shooting, leadership and so on. A sunny day helped, but a busy day out of the classroom doing something quite different was the real success of the day.

Climbing - Richard Hudson (RTH)

A glorious spring day for the climbers at Trevor Rocks high above Llangollen. We set off shortly after nine with our select group of two Lower Sixth and two Fifth form boys, and during the course of the next few hours climbed a total of four routes of varying difficulty up this impressive near-vertical 120 foot cliff whose most dramatic feature is the horizontal overhanging gash which bisects it and provides the biggest challenge for climbers.

This was a committed and good-humoured group, and although not all succeeded in getting past the 'gash' on each of the four routes, everyone tried their hardest and there was some impressive climbing. Mr Hudson had the advantage of prior knowledge of all the sneaky moves and hidden holds which make these climbs a little easier than they might seem at first sight! On the other hand, he was climbing in trainers, having forgotten his rock-climbing boots ...

Community Service - Kristina Leslie (KL)

The Lower Sixth students doing Community Service spent the whole day at their placements. 

When I went to visit them it was really encouraging to see them getting stuck in to a variety of tasks - ranging from sorting clothes, cleaning and helping with routine tasks, to chatting and entertaining the residents of care homes and joining them for activities such as Tai Chi!  Nearly all the placement staff were very keen to praise our students for their good manners, reliability and willingness to take on any tasks, however menial, with a positive attitude and a smile.

Cookery - Head chef Mark Johnson, and Carrie Zeiler

The group of Fifth Form boys spent the morning in the KH kitchens cooking, and then serving, lunch.  Those who returned from their Field Day activiites in time (or were on site anyway) were treated to a choice of steak with various sauces, chicken kiev or ratatouille, followed by chocolate bread and butter pudding.

DofE Bronze Training - Major Jo Billington

The Third Form Field Day was a huge success with the first phase of DofE Bronze Training. The students were based on site for the day and worked with an instructor who took them through the basics in preparation for a training day in the hills.  The boys undertook lessons in campcraft and campsite management, kit packing, tent pitching, nutrition, cooking, team work, and expedition planning.  It was a fantastic day enjoyed by all...the sunshine helped!

The 16 DofE teams are now ready for the next phase of instruction: a day hike on the Shropshire Long Mynd learning to navigate, followed by a practice weekend involving a night's camping.

Gardening Club - Lionel Barré (LB)

After a quick trip into town to buy seeds and soil, the newly-formed Gardening Club spent the afternoon back on site doing groundwork in the sunshine or in the DT department building cloches.

Golf - Mark Schofield, with Tim Foulger and David Joyce (MS, TRF, DMJ )

Fourteen Sixth Formers, together with Mr Schofield, Mr Joyce, Dr Foulger and parent Mr Major, headed to the exclusive Astbury Hall, near Bridgnorth, for a day of golf in the spring sunshine, followed by prize-giving and supper. 

Please see the full report by MS, in which he particularly thanks the support and sponsorship of the Old Salopian Golf Club (OSGC), through the secretary Tim Lewis, for making this day possible.

Mountain Biking - Paul Kaye (PAK)

The day was spent at Antur Stiniog bike park, high above Blaenau Ffestiniog, amidst the slate quarries [and dragons!?] of darkest North Wales. An uplift service delivered us to the trailhead where a choice of Blue, Red and Black runs awaited. It was fast and rocky, the weather was kind and the injuries to bikes and riders thankfully minimal.

There followed a hearty meal at the Berwyn Arms on the way home.

A great day out.

Ornithologists - David Law (DAL)

The Ornithologists did a six mile walk through the Golden Valley and Long Mynd, during which they spotted the following: nuthatch, fieldfares and redwings, red kite, buzzard, treecreeper.

The day finished with a round of cokes in the Horseshoe Inn  at Bridges.

Outdoor Week preparation - Vicky Kirk (VLK)

The 10 boys in the Third Form who are not doing the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award will be doing a separate programe during Outdoor Week at Tally next term, so they spent the Field Day getting to know each other and working as a team.

They learned how to do archery and took part in a competition won by Bertie Calvert.  The Jacob's Ladder task was rather scarey for those without a head for heights and the teams of three had to work together to get to the very top. Angus Drummond, George Holder and Ivan Shiskarev were the only three to get to the top. 

Great teamwork shown - in particular Tom Scott Bell and Henry Lai!

Please click on this photo of the Jacob's Ladder, to open a slideshow in Flickr of 25 selected photos that were taken by the group during the day.

Shrewsbury Prison, by Charlie BeckettPhotography - Christine Jacks (CJ)

A successful field day trip saw the photographers heading into Shrewsbury town on a mission to capture certain elements that are normally overlooked by passing visitors. The groups were split up, all armed with notes of what they were to achieve during the visit.

Pictures, coffee and cake were all achieved and we returned to school in the afternoon with plenty of images which were then edited.

Charlie Beckett (I V) has also written a full account of his day with the photography group. Please click on his photo of Shrewsbury prison, to open a slideshow in Flickr of 25 selected photos that were taken by the group during the day.

Physicists - Martin Kirk (MAK)

A group of 19 Upper VI Physicists  were taken to the Medical Physics Department at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, as part of their A2 studies. They were given a guided tour of Nuclear Medicine, Radiotherapy and Diagnostic Radiology - an excellent informative visit!

Public Nose - Laura Whittle (LJW)

The Public Nose team worked all morning and early afternoon on a number of articles for the School newspaper, with subjects ranging from the Emma Darwin House Play and Soirée to the Half Term rugby tour. Other topics included the School's recent Oxbridge success, the Ancient Library and the upcoming Charities Day.

After a lot of writing they were rewarded with a late pizza lunch!

Salopian Ventures - Colm Kealy (CWK)

The Salopian Ventures team visited Logo Work and Leisurewear in Telford in order to try and understand the process behind the design and development of the ever popular Shrewsbury School hooded sweatshirt. 

The rest of the day was spent developing plans for Shrewsbury School 'Monopoly' and the forthcoming Charities Day, where Salopian Ventures will be selling Krispy Kremes, yum!

Skills Year - Steve Clancy (SMC)

Field Day saw 38 of the Fourth Form take part in a paralympic themed day, in order to raise awareness of disability sport. Activities involved in the day included Boccia, an Oscar Pistorius debate, but without doubt the highlight of the day was wheelchair basketball. We were extremely fortunate to be able to invite into school an ex-GB basketball player who ran a wheelchair workshop for us. All pupils involved were able to attempt playing wheelchair basketball and fun was had by all. An invaluable experience for all involved, with many pupils wishing they could have extra time to play.

Well done to all those involved in this fanstatic day.

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