Shrewsbury School

Summer Term Co-Curriculum Update - 1 May 2020

Friday 1 May 2020

An update from Peter Middleton, Deputy Head Co-Curriculum.

Salopian Inspiration: Creativity

Who or what inspires you?      
A couple of months ago I was asked who or what inspires me.  The answer I alighted on for that particular presentation was to talk about Ethiopian running coach Sentayehu Eshetu.   What makes him such an inspirational figure is perhaps for another time and another article, but I have been reminded of him in recent weeks and have seen so much of what I admire about his approach being replicated right here at Shrewsbury, whether it’s the positivity and boundless enthusiasm of our staff or, indeed, in the resourcefulness they’ve shown in developing the programme for the summer term.   

Creativity and Resourcefulness           
The staff at Shrewsbury have needed to be creative in completely redesigning the co-curriculum.  Creative in adapting, evolving and reforming the wide range of activities that our pupils know and love.  Creative in crafting and developing new offerings.  Creative in finding new ways to inspire and enthuse our pupils. This week saw the virtual co-curriculum commence where, amongst a vast array of over 60 activities, many new activities were launched.  The ‘Dragon’s Den’ activity sees budding entrepreneurs develop ideas and learn how to pitch and persuade, whilst the newly-formed Peel Society pays homage to OS John Peel, the Radio 1 DJ whose late night slot was dedicated to broadcasting new and underground music. The first week’s Spotify playlist for discussion is an eclectic mix including goth group ‘Fields of Nephilim’, Canadian doom metal band ‘Woods of Ypres’ and the 1970s British rock band ‘Siouxsie and the Banshees’.  Our pupils are in for a treat; Peel, I’m sure, would have approved.       

Creative Expression

Music making will continue in remote with some exciting work having already commenced with the chapel choir working on Tallis’s anthem ‘If Ye Love Me’, rehearsals continuing for our home-grown school musical Gatsby, and the newly-formed ‘Salopian Sounds’ group seeing pupil singer-songwriters and composers forming to create and collaborate through the term.  We’ll be showcasing the work of our musicians and performing artists at various points in the term starting with this week’s lunchtime concert.  Keep an eye out on Twitter, too, for the work being produced in the Expressive strand with Creative Arts, Drama, Creative Writing and many other areas set to showcase Salopian creativity at its best.           

It’s sport, Jim, but not as we know it

Perhaps the area where creativity has been needed most is in the realm of sport with clear challenges in delivering a sporting programme in remote mode.  Yet what has been put together for our pupils to keep them active and engaged is imaginative, varied and hugely impressive.  Our cricketers, aside from a wealth of resources put together for them, were this week treated to a live Q&A session with Worcestershire C.C.C captain and OS Joe Leach.  Our rowers likewise have a dedicated team supporting them through their training at home with messages of encouragement and inspiration from an impressive lineup of GB rowers and a bespoke daily programme of training.  Similar resources have been put together across a wide range of sports alongside active options in mountain biking (hopefully not down-hilling on home staircases!) and dance. We’ll be showcasing some highlights with a weekly Sports Roundup which promises to impress and entertain in equal measure!           

Salopian Inspiration    
Over the coming weeks there will be the opportunity to explore and showcase much of what is taking place during this period of remote learning. No doubt we’ll see Salopians inspire as they adapt and engage and we’ll see some plenty of creative pupil achievements, much of which we’ll be able to celebrate through our weekly Floreat virtual gatherings and much of which we’ll aim to celebrate here.  

So who or what inspires you?  Salopian creativity- from our staff and our pupils- is about as inspiring as it gets!  

Peter Middleton
Deputy Head Co-Curricular

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