Charles Darwin was an Old Salopian and his alma mater has been undergoing an evolution of its own. Shrewsbury will be fully co-ed from September 2014 – girls are eagerly signing up at all age groups and, lucky things, have the plushest of new boarding houses too.
Head Mark Turner says his pupils leave with ‘a strong belief that life is what you make of it’. And last year’s list of achievements makes good reading. GCSE results broke records, with 73 per cent A* - A and the country’s highest mark in Pre-U French (a mix of A Levels and Pre-U is on offer here).
There was a haul of gold medals in the Physics and Biology Olympiads and three students won Best Delegate awards at the Model United Nations. The music school here is the tops – the Beethoven Trio was selected for the Pro Corda chamber competition. But we sense it’s the sport that really gets pupils’ hearts racing. The first XI cricket team has lost only six matches since 2011 and the Royal Shrewsbury Hunt (one of the oldest national cross-country clubs) had a stormer this year, as did the fives team – the first schoolboys to become under-21 national champions. The formidable rowing squad is enjoying its new state-of-the-art Yale boathouse too.
Mark Turner is a former winner of our Best Head of a Public School Award; under his leadership, Shrewsbury is back on song.