December is upon us and the Christmas trees are in situ across both sites bringing that familiar warm fuzzy feeling of anticipation knowing that Christmas is approaching. In Monday’s whole school assembly I spoke to pupils from Reception to Year 13 about the cultural phenomenon that has become the annual Christmas advert season. And with the adverts firmly cluttering up our screens, the official chequered flag of the festive season has been waved.
A contrast to normal adverts, where we are being encouraged to buy things or invest in services left, right and centre, Christmas adverts tend to be underpinned with a moral and heart-warming message that give us Christmassy goosebumps and even generate the odd happy tear – rather than wishing we had more money to spend on the latest gadgets, clothing and toys!
And as such, the real focus of the assembly was a nod to the message that ‘less’ often has greater meaning than ‘more’; less stuff, more meaning.
I referred to John Lewis and Partners’ 2018 advert of the boy and the piano which ended with the tagline, ‘Some gifts are more than just a gift’, and I invited our pupils to look at the things in our lives that are really important, the things that really matter. The importance of making memories and bringing joy to others because after all, it is much more difficult to grow-out of a memory than it is to out-grow a Christmas jumper.
So with that in mind, as we head into the last week of what has been another busy term, there is real excitement for the prospect of time with family and friends, as far as COVID restrictions allow. And with a trimmed down Christmas this year, we are presented with a real opportunity to focus on appreciating what really matters. Ultimately, the concept of ‘less is more’ is based on the value of simplicity and that by having less, we can actually create a life of more.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend sprinkled with a little early Christmas joy.
Mrs Kate Millichamp
Head of Prep
Tales from Town Walls
Education in the modern world is fast! Much like day-to-day life in 2020, things change so quickly and what was once ‘cutting edge’, can very quickly become archaic. To give an example, when our current year 13s started reception in 2007, the Blackberry Curve was still hanging on to the crown as the most popular mobile phone, streaming services had begun to make their way to our PCs and the original iPad was still three years away from release. The modern world moves quickly, and we must keep pace!
As a school, we find ourselves faced with a unique opportunity as we design our new junior school, with choices to make that will shape the future of learning at SHS for years to come. An opportunity, that schools and digital leaders throughout the world of education yearn for on a daily basis. We have a blank canvas; the opportunity to redesign our classrooms and our Junior School to match the innovative and fast-moving world of technology that our pupils will grow up in. To create an environment that prepares pupils for the ever-changing workplace that we hope they will thrive in. The possibilities are endless: a device per pupil that allows them to dictate their own learning and collaborate like never before; teachers that have interactivity in the palm of their hand rather than on a board at the front of the classroom; children who have meaningful control over their own learning and an innovative curriculum that embraces advances in technology and uses them to enhance the educational journey that a Shrewsbury High School pupil will undertake.
Our aim is that the decisions we make now with regards to technology on Town Walls will result in pupils who are motivated by change, enthused by challenge and are able to learn new skills just as quickly as they are able to unlearn them and move on. Just imagine the technology our current Reception pupils will have access to when they leave compulsory education in 2034! Who can predict the advances that the next 14 years will bring. Actually, who cares? They will be ready for it!
At Seniors, we are preparing to launch our Bring Your Own Device policy and Head of Computer Science Mr Petford provides important induction dates and information further down in the newsletter.
Head of Key Stage 2 & Digital Leader
Shrewsbury High Prep
Last Day of Term arrangements
A reminder that Prep School will finish at 12pm on Friday 11th December and the buses will leave Prep at 12.20pm. Senior School will finish at 12.25pm and the buses will leave St Chad’s at 12.35pm. There is no after school care.
Whole School Christmas Carol Concert
Our Whole School Christmas Carol Concert will take place on Tuesday 8th December at 7pm and a link to join will be sent to all parents on the night. Musicians from across the Prep and Senior School have been rehearsing together for this year’s virtual Carol Concert. The rehearsals sounded beautiful, we can’t wait to see the whole concert next week! We hope you will enjoy this start to the Christmas festivities.
Full details about the concert can be found on the poster here.
The first of the GDST talks was held last week, introduced by SHS Headteacher Jo Sharrock. The talk was delivered by a Consultant Psychologist Dr Deborah Woodman of Evelina Children’s Hospital, on helping your child through Covid. As promised, you can find a recording of the talk here. This will be available until 4th January 2021. Please also find attached some useful information and links which Dr Woodman shared during the talk, and for future “GDST Talks” events please see the link here.
We would like to highlight this talk in particular linked to our Undivided focus in school:
Our third event on Thursday, 10th December is with Destine Lord, an anti-racism consultant who will be presenting on How To Speak to Your Child about Racism. Destine is currently working with GDST teachers and students and her talk ties in with GDST Undivided, our commitment to diversity, inclusion and real change. Based in Canada, Destine has worked for the last 10 years in both the private and public sectors, running workshops and training sessions to encourage innovative approaches to racial inclusion. As a Black Canadian woman, Destine can draw on her own experiences as a teaching tool for connecting with young women.
GDST Talks with Destine Lord: How to speak to your child about racism takes place on Thursday 10th December at 6pm via Zoom.
This event is suitable for parents with children in Year 7 to Year 13. If you would like to attend, please click here to book your tickets.
Mrs Owen Davies
Senior Christmas Card competition
We have had a record number of Christmas Card entries this year and have been delighted to see the creativity and imagination shown by our students. It has been very difficult to judge because of the range and quality of designs, so we have joint overall winners and a list of highly commended entries. All students who entered will receive a house point. Congratulations to our winners, Elizabeth Mellor in Year 10 and Poppy Besterman in Year 8.
Zeitgeist Christmas Quiz!
This Wednesday lunchtime members of Zeitgeist took part in the first part of their Christmas quiz! We were joined by Mr Allan and Mrs Birt on Team Reindeer and Mr Aldridge and Mrs Pardoe on Team Elf; the competition was certainly fierce… The quiz involved a selection of rounds including re-naming famous paintings, debating fun topics such as ‘pun or bun’, and a fun game of family fortunes which saw contestants guessing Ms Sharrock’s answers to a variety of questions. We particularly enjoyed the art round, in which we had to create a piece of abstract art to represent what 2020 meant for us. Another highlight was Mrs Birt expertly demonstrating her rapping skills, and coming up with christmas related names for famous books and films including ‘Not So Little Women (thanks to Christmas dinner)’ and ‘Great Expectations For my Presents This Year’. The next part of the quiz will take place next Wednesday, and with Team Elf only 2 points ahead of Team Reindeer, it’s anybody’s game to win…
Year 4 Get in the Christmas Mood
As Christmas gets closer, pupils across Prep and Seniors have been getting in the Christmas mood. Whether that be participating in Christmas quizzes, singing carols or decorating their classrooms, we certainly have been feeling the Christmas Spirit around school over the last week. 4Q had fun decorating their class Christmas tree and making Christmas cards for friends and family!
4P Christmas Activities
Please could Secret Santa gifts be brought to Mrs Pearce as soon as possible, wrapped and labelled with the name of the child who the gift is for, no later than 7th December.
Pre-Prep Class Bubble Parties
On Thursday 10th December, we will be hosting an afternoon Christmas party in our class bubbles. The children are welcome to bring party clothes and festive accessories to change into on this day. They can also bring their own individual party snack box, as we will not be sharing food this year. There will be Christmas music, games and lots of fun!
We are looking forward to sharing with you our Nativity performance, ‘It’s a Miracle!’ The children and staff have worked so hard to make this happen and we hope you will enjoy watching! The link will be shared individually to parents and class teachers on Thursday 10th December via our video hosting platform, ‘Planet eStream’.
Please may I remind all staff and parents that the link must not to be shared on any social media platforms as some parents may not have consented to this.
Prep School Christmas Lunch
We are looking forward to our Christmas Lunch which will be held on Thursday 10th December. On the last day of term staff and children will be wearing Christmas Jumpers for charity, donations of £1 would be greatly received.
Year 12 Dress code
We met with all our Year 12s about Sixth Form Dress code and the code will be sent out to students directly via email. We have agreed this from January 2021. If you have any concerns, please do contact the appropriate form tutor directly.
SHR Digital: Getting Ready for BYOD inductions at Senior School
As we approach the launch of our Bring Your Own Device policy we have some important induction dates to share.
On these dates below, and not before, our students will be able to bring in their devices for a BYOD induction. Once the induction has been completed students will be able to bring their devices to school! Years 7, 8, and 9 will be inducted during their Computer Science lessons and Years 10 and 11 will be by form group. Years 12 and 13 will need to arrange inductions individually as the majority of students have already had a device induction earlier in the year.
Students in Years 7, 8, and 9 who will not be bringing a device will still take part in the induction using our bookable pool of laptops that will simulate the induction process to ensure that they do not miss out and understand all school device expectations (we will also be recapping the mobile phone policy!).
Any students who are bringing devices will need to ensure the devices are fully charged before school and that they bring their chargers too!
Year 7: – Computer Science Groups
- 7T – 15th January Period 1
- 7W – 14th January Period 2
Year 8: – Computer Science Groups
- 8T – 7th January Period 1
- 8W – 8th January Period 1
Year 9: – Computer Science Groups
- 9T – 7th January Period 4
- 9W – 8th January Period 4
Year 10: By Registration Group
- 10P – 14th January P1
- 10Q – 14th January P3
- 10R – 14th January P5
Year 11: By Registration Group
- 11P – 22nd January P1
- 11Q – 22nd January P3
- 11R – 22nd January P5
SHR Digital: Setting up Windows 10 Laptops
Please see the attached firefly section for useful documents to help you set up Windows 10, Office 365, and the Microsoft Family controls: https://shrewsburyhigh.fireflycloud.net/whole-school-policies/bring-your-own-device/setting-up-your-device
SHR Digital: Frequently Asked Questions
The FAQs from parents and students have been updated and can be found on: https://shrewsburyhigh.fireflycloud.net/whole-school-policies/bring-your-own-device/byod-faq-for-parents
Stars of November! Pastoral Positives from Seniors
This month, we are celebrating the following students who have shown character, endeavour and achievement throughout November – Well Done!
Year 7 – Millie Pigg, Nell Kent, Juliet Gibbon
Year 8 – Elsie Anton-Stephens, Lola Read, Georgina Clarke
Year 9 – Esme Kay, Poppy Mayne, Alice Pearson
Year 10 – Bella Matthews, Rumaysa Peerbhai, Harriet Underhill
Year 11 – Rosie Brick, Phoebe Pryce-Boutwood, Luxi Wu
Sixth Form – Lily Atkin, Kitty Littlar, Terrianne Stout, Aimee Willerton, Eleanor Pryce-Boutwood, Hattie Gough
Pastoral Spotlight –
Reminder on Traffic on Town Walls and Safety
The traffic diversion is once again in place from Wyle Cop onto Town Walls, and we are therefore reminding students of road safety and traffic awareness as they leave the school at the end of the day. As we mentioned in a previous newsletter, Government statistics (2015) show that 58% of children involved in traffic incidents occur between 3 and 7pm, which of course is a concern for all schools as students leave at the end of the day on various methods of transport.
The resources below will help remind children, especially teenagers, about road safety and safe cycling, and we would recommend sharing them with students at home. We will also be raising this with children across the school, particularly around looking at phones while walking and crossing the road
- Teaching Road Safety: A Guide for Parents https://www.rospa.com/media/documents/road-safety/teaching-road-safety-a-guide-for-parents.pdf
- Safety First – Cycling at Night https://www.cycletraining.co.uk/cycle-training-and-cycle-safety/safety-first-cycling-at-night/
- Be Bright, Be Seen Poster – Link here
What to do over the holidays
Educating Kids Outdoors (EKO) is a registered charity running outdoor learning sessions in schools all over the West Midlands. They are running a Holiday Club at Weston Park from Monday 14th – Wednesday 16th December 2020.
If you are interested and need more information or to book please visit their website at www.ministryofkids.org./book-online and if you have any questions please contact email@example.com or on 07876 658467.
Cuan Widlife Rescue Donations
Please can we ask senior pupils to bring in their donations for Cuan Wildlife Rescue before next Tuesday (8th December). The donation boxes are placed on the stage in the Old Hall, and are currently empty so we would me more than grateful for any donations!
The rescue cares and rehabilitates sick, injures and orphaned wild animals and birds. They are the only wildlife rescue centre in Shropshire to offer an around-the-clock service. Each year, they admit around 4800 wildlife casualties. To help the wildlife we love, they must raise around £260,000 a year. They don’t recieve any government funding so they rely on their generous supporters, sponsors and the general public to keep them going. Without us, they wouldn’t be able to maintain the high standard of care they offer to their animal patients. They urgently need our support to care for injured wildlife and carry on their work in the future.
On their urgently needed wish list is:
- Dog/puppy meat
- Sunflower hearts
- Kitten/puppy biscuits
- Non-fishy cat/kitten meat
The rest of their wish list can be found here.
Senior Sports Information
· Year 11 and Senior Netball training (school); start at 4.15pm and finish at 5.30pm (Staff: SLF)
Tuesday 8th – Friday 11th
· NO CLUBS