Shrewsbury School

Thursday Activities & BASE Programme

Co-curricular activities take place every Thursday afternoon and all pupils take part.  Involvement is not mandatory for the Upper Sixth, but we encourage participation for the first two terms. Options for the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Form are either year-long (Young Enterprise or mountain biking, for example), or modular, taking place in blocks. These modular courses allow pupils to build up their own varied programme of activities.

Many of the Thursday activities take advantage of Shrewsbury's ideal geographical location, on the banks of the Severn, within sight of the South Shropshire hills, and an easy drive from Snowdonia.

BASE (Boldness, Adventure, Skills and Experience) is a new Thursday afternoon co-curricular programme aimed at providing a foundation for our Third Form (Year 9) pupils.

The objectives are to focus on skills that are not necessarily obtained in the classroom and to develop competencies that will benefit Salopians in work, play and social relationships. The year-long programme is designed to be fun, testing and by design will push pupils to work together and make friends outside their usual groups.

BASE uses both sport and activities to achieve these common goals and is a truly co-curricular programme. Through a rotation of sport, outdoor activities, community work and expedition practice, we hope that pupils will gain a willingness to try new things, to embrace challenge and develop skills of resilience, positivity, leadership, self-awareness of themselves and others – and have some fun along the way.

The sporting element to the programme gives our Third Formers the chance to be coached by some of our top coaches in a range of disciplines: rowing, fives, cross-country, cricket, hockey, football and netball. In all of this there is a holistic approach to personal development, and we believe the benefits of the programme will be most apparent as pupils move upwards through the School and develop further these key skills.

The range of co-curricular activities on offer at Shrewsbury is enormous:

    Concert Party

    This is a chance for keen musicians to use their skills in a performance environment at Care Homes, Hospitals, Hospices and other schools and community settings, as well as in school.  You would need to have a sound level of musicianship and be willing to use this for the benefit of others. 

    Combined Cadet Force (CCF)

    Shrewsbury has a renowned CCF and opportunities exist in our Royal Navy, Royal Marine, Army and Royal Air Force sections. The CCF exists to “develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perserverance and a sense of service to the community”. Through military and adventure training, cadets develop these and other important life skills, with a particular focus on leadership with hopefully some fun thrown in. The CCF runs good value expeditions and camps during school holidays and a wealth of options (expeditions and courses in particular) are available via MOD sources. Lower Sixth entrants welcome.

    Creative Arts & Media

    The Art Faculty offers a rich and varied programme of creative choices for experienced artists and newcomers alike. Rotate around the various options, or focus on one area of interest. The programme offers options in: Life Drawing, Textiles, Film Making, Print Making, Photography, Cultural Tours, Art in Hospitals (community project), Ceramics,  Animation, or just focus on drawing and painting.

    Creative Writing

    This group meets to explore the art of writing in a variety of genres. Plans for 2020/21 include compiling and editing, collaboratively, a fresh anthology of Salopian writing, 'Fire Engine' – as well as inspirational trips, talks and workshops, all to further the craft of writing for pleasure. 


    This course aims to offer an introduction to the essentials of life after Shrewsbury.  ‘Budget’ or ‘Gastronomy’ levels are available – either focus on basic skills such as student cooking, pizzas, cakes, and how to develop hearty but budget-friendly meals, or take the posh option with a dinner party focus.


    Shrewsbury is known for its musical productions and for developing talented singers, actors and dancers. This activity focuses on dance and whether you are experienced or not these sessions should be a great way to enjoy contemporary music based dance. Open to boys and girls of course.

    ETSOS: Experimental Techniques in Science for Overseas Pupils 
    (Highly recommended for overseas Sixth Form entrants doing A level Chemistry)

    This activity starts by introducing basic laboratory apparatus and skills before proceeding to familiar GCSE chemical reactions and finally introducing the skills required to complete the A-level practical endorsement in chemistry. Pupils will have the opportunity to learn how to read and process instructions meticulously and perform experiments individually.

    Film and Video 

    This course explores the exciting world of video and film production, with an introduction to both the technical and theoretical concepts behind film-making. Gain skills in setting up the perfect shot, editing your own material and producing great videos. We will also look at some of the filming techniques employed by drama and documentary makers, in order to help in creating a style of filming via an appreciation of cinematography.

    Global Social Leaders (GSL)

    The intention of the Global Social Leaders programme is to enable young people to make a real difference in their community by developing and putting into action various projects of their choosing.  Participants will develop various ‘soft’ skills, such as leadership, working with different outside organisations and each other.  It is completely student-led and -driven, and the projects are decided upon by those who do GSL. This year, they have chosen to work with local refugees, started a ‘projects team’ to organise and run events in school, and a podcast/radio team who have interviewed employees of the school to encourage an understanding of employment.

    Individual Projects

    If you have a project or pastime of your own and would like to propose it as a Thursday Activity, we will consider this – as long as you are able to prove you have the motivation and commitment to see it through. Start a band, create public art, build stage sets – or anything you are passionate about. Once your idea is accepted (you will need to write a short proposal) it will be up to you to ensure it happens.


    柔道 jūdō?, meaning 'gentle or yielding way' is a modern martial art and Olympic sport.  Judo develops self-discipline and respect for oneself and others. It provides the means for learning self-confidence, concentration, and leadership skills, as well as physical coordination, power, and flexibility. It develops complete body control, fine balance, and fast reflexive action. Judo is a fun sport, an art, a discipline, a recreational activity, a fitness programme, a means of self-defence or combat, and a way of life.The course is taught by Mike Pearce (2nd Dan) and supported by our own Mr Kealy (1st Dan).

    Mountain Biking

    Shropshire and North Wales are blessed with some of the best mountain biking terrain in the UK. Each week, in all weathers, we ride these (downhill) trails. The riding is technical, challenging and great fun! This activity is aimed at the keen and committed mountain biker who already owns their own bike and equipment, although we do take some less experienced riders. 

    Music Technology 

    This course will help you gain an understanding of how the development of musical instruments and media influenced popular culture and the creation of new music styles. If you have ever wondered how popular recorded masterpieces have been composed and recorded, then this maybe the course for you. This course leads to a qualification at AS level and is assessed by the production of three pieces of music, two prescribed by the exam board and one free choice of your own.  In previous years pupils have chosen to record tracks by David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Jamie Cullum and John Mayer amongst others. 

    Natural History

    Although this activity is suitable for Pre-U Biologists, it is open to anyone interested in exploring the natural world.  It involves practical investigations, often using equipment students don't normally have access to in the classroom. The group works both indoors and outdoors depending on the time of year and their individual interests.  Activities include identification, microscopy, botany, biotechnology and behavioural studies, including use of the moth trap, bat detector and camera trap.


    The revived Shrewsbury Polo Club, coached by Kiwi 4-goaler, Glynn Henderson, has enjoyed its third season, successful playing other schools at individual matches and in larger national tournaments.


    This activity is aimed at beginner and novice riders, with some scope to accommodate intermediates dependent upon group sizes. Pupils will visit a local riding centre for tuition from a BHS (British Horse Society) qualified instructor in riding, both in a sand school and out hacking (riding beyond the sand school on bridle paths and byways). In addition to riding tuition, pupils will also have sessions on horse care and stable management.


    The Rovers is the school adventure club which runs on a Thursday but also offers expeditions in the UK and overseas. This activity is about the ‘Great Outdoors’ and developing the skills to allow you to have memorable experiences both at school and beyond.  We can take novice or experienced hillwalkers, paddlers, climbers, scramblers and bikers with the focus on developing the necessary skills to improve and enjoy the hills, mountains and lakes of Britain. You will need to be interested in the physical nature of outward bound activity and being part of a team of enthusiasts seeking adventure. Whole-year or termly modules are available.

    Scuba Diving

    The course is aimed at novices or those with junior qualifications and leads to adult BSAC or PADI scuba diving qualifications. There is no charge for the qualification training.


    Work on self-defence techniques using Krav Maga self-defence: a tried and tested system used world-wide. This includes methods to de-escalate potentially troublesome situations.


    Our extensive volunteering programme offers a huge range of opportunities for pupils to help others in the community.  Depending on their future aspirations, volunteers can choose one of two categories within the volunteering programme: 

    • Medical Volunteering

      Designed specifically for anyone considering a profession in medicine, this whole year programme gives pupils the opportunity to gain relevant experience, including working with vulnerable people.  We have excellent, long-standing relationships with a number of local care homes, the local homeless shelter and primary schools.  Through their medical volunteering placements, pupils build relationships whilst developing key skills in communication, care and development of a bedside manner. In recent years a small number of pupils have also successfully joined the volunteer programme at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. 

      Pupils who choose to do medical volunteering can generally expect to do one of the following:

      -  Visiting the elderly in care homes
      -  Assisting at the Ark homeless shelter and its associated charity shop
      -  Volunteering in local primary schools, working with young children
      -  Royal Shrewsbury Hospital volunteering programme

    • Non-medical Volunteering

      For any pupils who would like to do voluntary work (this includes those doing Duke of Edinburgh), the non-medical programme offers an extensive range of options.  This can be half year or whole year and here is just a flavour of what has been offered in the past:

      -  Working with young children in primary schools
      -  Assisting in charity shops
      -  Acting as a guide at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery
      -  Helping in animal shelters
      -  Assisting with outdoor community projects such as Shropshire Wildlife Trust
      -  Gardening at the Severn Hospice
      -  Assisting with horses at RDA


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