The Art of the Possible
The pandemic has presented us with many challenges, it has also given us some remarkable moments that will live long in the memory. Our Autumn concert was one such moment.
Although we would love to have been together at the Abbey there was something rather magical and heart-warming about the thought of us all – pupils, staff, parents, family and friends – in our homes across and beyond the county settling down to enjoy a wonderful evening of music. Even virtually we can feel the strong bonds of our community.
There have been so many reasons not to do things, to postpone and to cancel but these reasons are all trumped by the absolute imperative to believe in the art of the possible for our young people. Mr Deakin, Mr Neville, Mr Bunn, Mrs Styles all believe in the art of the possible. Filmed over several weeks with stringent social distancing, organised around bubbles and with a great deal of time spent putting the film together, they found a way to bring much needed beautiful music into our school and our homes. They gave our young musicians an outlet at a time when they truly needed it and over the past few weeks of restricted rehearsals their musical performances and practices have lifted the whole school by the joyous and beautiful music emanating from the Old Hall and Kennedy Hall.
So huge thanks to our musicians across the school for believing in the art of the possible and giving us such beautiful music and well done on a wonderful performance. Rehearsals are already underway for our Christmas concert on Tuesday 8th December which we hope you will join us for. For those who may have missed last night’s concert, or would simply like to enjoy it all over again, you can do so on our YouTube channel (see below).
In the meantime I wish all our families an enjoyable long weekend.
Ms Jo Sharrock Mrs Kate Millichamp
Headteacher Head of Prep
Tales from our Town Walls development
Before any actual digging begins, we have been enjoying digging into our archive to find out more about the history of our Town Walls school site. So as we submitted our application for building consent it felt serendipitous when Mrs Hale, our School Librarian and Archivist, discovered that No 28 Town Walls (which will become part of the junior school) was once home to a very important and inspirational resident. Thomas Porter Blunt was a successful chemist who, along with a fellow Shrewsbury scientist, has recently been credited with the discovery of free radicals.
Now for all you chemists out there you will of course appreciate the scale of this discovery and the importance of free radicals. For all us non chemists I asked Fiona O’Sullivan, a Year 13 who plans to pursue the subject at University to explain to a layman the significant of Blunt’s discovery. She said this – ‘basically free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons which makes them incredibly reactive – they have the power to deplete the ozone layer so the discovery of free radicals has been vital to our attempts to slow global warming. Free radicals can also have a detrimental effect on our health and the importance of free radical chemistry is key to our ability to combat certain diseases and health conditions.’
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given his residence, Mr Thomas Blunt sent all his children to the High School. Mildred started on May 5th 1885 aged 15 so she was in our very first intake of thirty-one senior students. Her younger sister started a week later with the opening of our junior school and her younger brother started in 1886 in reception. Blunt also judged the High School’s annual flower show, gave talks at the school on botany and seems to have been a popular neighbour. The school log book commented on his death in 1929 that ‘he will be much missed as his kind and courteous personality made him many friends on the staff and elsewhere.’
So the Blunts were every inch the High School family. It feels so fitting that the residence that housed this incredible chemist and his lovely family will now house our junior girls and boys for many of their lessons where their curiosity will be fired and their learning inspired. Who knows what discoveries our pupils may go on to make in the very same surroundings of No 28 Town Walls.
To keep our families up to date on our school development plans this will be the first of a weekly update in our newsletter – Tales from our Town Walls development.
In the new year we will host some further information evenings for parents and hope to restart our tours of the site so that we may share our plans with our pupils and parents in person.
Year 10 Outdoors Activity Day
On Tuesday 17th of November, Gateway Outdoors came into school to run a one-day outdoor activities experience for the Year 10 students. All the year participated in the day’s set of activities, including map reading, general first aid, food nutrition and a session on how to pack a rucksack correctly; making sure you have the correct weight distribution. We all found that these were great life skills to know, especially for those taking part of the Duke of Edinburgh Expedition next year. Instead of having our lunch made for us, we all learnt how to use a Trangia and cooked a great meal for ourselves and others. There was a range of dishes made on the Trangia on the school field, including pesto/chicken pasta, noodles, cous cous, smores and even hot chocolate to wash our lunch down. We finished the day with a tent relay race where we had to put up a tent correctly, and then dismantle it and pack it back up into its bag. The friendly competition was great, and there were smiles all round! We can safely say that everyone enjoyed themselves and took away so many new skills!
Thank you, Gateway Outdoors.
– Abi-Lou Foster & Flossie Parker-White 10Q
Pre-Prep Nativity “It’s a Miracle!”
The Pre-Prep team are really looking forward to this year’s nativity performance, “It’s a Miracle”. Due to the current COVID restrictions, we are delighted to be able to put together the performance, working in class bubbles and with all precautionary measures in place.
Each child has an important part to play in retelling this traditional story with a twist and may need your help to learn their lines. A costume list was sent home recently, please could you bring all the costumes into school in a named carrier bag by Monday 23rd November
Due to current restrictions, we will not be able to invite parents and families into school for a performance. However, “It’s a Miracle!” will be expertly compiled as a video by Mr King and filming will take place in the week beginning Monday 30th November, you will receive a link to the video in due course. We are really looking forward to entertaining you and your families.
Pastoral Update – Anti-Bullying week 2020
As we mentioned in last week’s newsletter, we have been discussing Anti-Bullying week as part of our Climb Pastoral Programme.
Students have been discussing the pledge “United Against Bullying”, including the start of the 2020 Big assembly for Years 7-9 (please click here if you would like to see this) and every year at seniors reflected on the message from the Anti-Bullying Alliance (video clip here).
If there are any students who are concerned about bullying or unkindness, we encourage them to speak to a teacher.
We understand this can be difficult, and so we also encourage parents to share concerns with us and contact our Pastoral team so that we can investigate, support and take swift action. We absolutely do not tolerate unkindness or bullying. If you have any worries, please do contact your child’s class teacher or form tutor, or Head of Key Stage or Head of Year. For more serious concerns please Mrs Owen Davies or Mrs Thomson directly.
For parents and students, if you would like further information, please also see the Young Minds resources here- https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/feelings-and-symptoms/bullying/
Year 7 & 8 Boys Autumn Term Exams
Year 7 & 8 Boys Autumn term exams will take place next week; timetables have been sent out to parents this week.
SHR: BYOD Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for the questions regarding our BYOD and digital vision! Please continue to send any questions through to firstname.lastname@example.org and Mr Petford will respond as soon as possible.
For our Frequently Asked Questions please click here.
SLT Breakfast – Thursday 26th November 2020
Our next SLT Parent Breakfast takes place next Thursday from 9.15am – 10.30am and included in the agenda will be the Climb Pastoral programme as well as Diversity and Inclusion. Deputy Heads Mrs Owen Davies and Mr Payne will host the morning. If you would like to sign up to join us, please complete the attached google form and a meeting invitation will be sent to you next week.
Chocolate Food Bank Donations
Thank you to all our students and parents for donating chocolate advent calendars, selection boxes and chocolate goodies for us to donate to Shrewsbury Food Bank – your generosity as ever makes us extremely proud of you all, the stage in the Old Hall is bursting with boxes for Mrs Parish to take to the Food Bank.
Here is a picture of Year 8 student Holly whose family held a works raffle to raise money for donations for Christmas chocolate for the food bank collection. Holly has been bringing the boxes in bit by bit over the week to add to the school collection. Great work Holly!
This term the Year 11 and 12 pupils have been partaking in the self-defence lessons after school. The lessons have been taught by Jamie Daniels, an instructor who has over 25 years of experience in teaching self-defence, as well as extensive experience of working in the secondary school sector. The self-defence method is a series of techniques which come from Krav Maga, a system recognised world-wide for its effectiveness and efficiency. The classes involve an element of physical activity, using strike pads and verbal communication. They also involve team activities as well as partnered work.
The aim of the course is for students to have a much better idea of what a dangerous situation looks like, how to avoid it, or as a last resort how to escape it. Please see the website for more information.
For the Spring Term ( January – March- 11 weeks) Year 7 and 9 will be invited to attend the lessons on a Wednesday after school, due to the expertise of the lessons there will be a fee per term, which is dependent on the number on pupils in the classes. The maximum price per pupil per lesson would be £7.50 for 10 pupils attending, and the minimum would be £3.50 for 20 pupils attending (plus parent pay fees).
If you are interested in your daughters joining in the lessons, please can Year 7 and 9 please email email@example.com to register their interest.
Reviews from the Year 11 self-defence students:
“The self-defence club is really beneficial to us as we can learn techniques to defend ourselves which I never knew about previously. In particular, it makes us more aware of behaviour that could potentially turn aggressive or dangerous.”
-Kiera Jinman, 11
“I am extremely thankful I signed up to self-defence, as it has taught me so many new skills I may need in the future, as well as life changing skills. As a girl, I think it’s so important to be able to know how to defend yourself properly and this club will do just that. Not only the physicality of self-defence but also mentally preparing yourself if you do come across danger, whilst improving your spacial awareness. I would recommend this club as it could save your life in dangerous situations which occur every day.”
-Grace Downing, 11R
Prep School Christmas Card Competition 2020
Just a reminder that this year GDST will be running their Christmas Card Competition again and would like pupils to digitally submit an A4 piece of artwork based around the theme, Festive Animals. This could be interpreted traditionally with reindeer, polar bears, robins and turkeys etc or could be an adorable illustration of a pet by the Christmas tree!
Children can submit the same design into our Prep School Christmas Card Competition but only festive animal designs will be considered for GDST. Please give entries to your class teacher or Prepoffice@shr.gdst.net by Wednesday November 25th.
Senior Sports Information
- Year 9 & 10 hockey training at school; start at 4.10pm and finish at 5.30pm (Staff: CAJ & SR)
- Year 11 and Senior Netball training (school); start at 4.15pm and finish at 5.30pm (Staff: SLF)
- Year 9 & 10 Netball Training (school); start at 4.15pm and finish at 5.30pm (Staff: RAS & MIR)
- Years 7 & 8 Hockey training at school; leave at 4.10pm and finish at 5.30pm (Staff: CAJ & IS)
- Year 7 Interform Benchball @ school; start at 4.15pm and finish at 5.15pm (Staff: SLF and RAS)
- Senior dance (school); start at 4.10pm and finish at 5.30pm (Staff: MIR)
Important notice: Sports Clubs next week
- After school Hockey club on Mondays and Tuesdays will be at school until the beginning of December, due to the closure of Roman Road Leisure Centre
- There will be no tennis on Friday’s 4 – 6pm due to the closure of Shrewsbury Lawn Tennis Club
Year 9 Dodgeball – Winners 9P