A warm welcome to the autumn term at Shrewsbury High School and to our first newsletter of the academic year. I hope that you and your families had a lovely summer and are well rested.
I love the start of a new school year and the promise that it holds. Those first few moments on Wednesday morning when the school bursts into life as your daughters stream through the door, fizzing with chatter and energy, is one of the best moments of the year. Whilst the early start is a shock for some, myself included, and for many there are first day nerves to overcome there is nonetheless a buzz of promise and possibility as term gets underway.
A large part of this buzz is the arrival of new characters, both new pupils and new staff who will enrich our community with their individual talents and personalities. Alongside welcoming our lovely new Year 7s we welcomed girls into Years 8, 9, 10 and 12 from 27 different schools. Starting a new school is exciting and nerve wracking for both pupils and parents. I hope the warm welcome and the careful induction programmes that we have in place will ensure those nerves do not last for long. If you are a new parent and have any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your child’s tutor.
The school site is looking wonderful and I must thank our Estates team who have been busy over the summer creating bright new teaching and social spaces for the girls to enjoy and to further support them to achieve their full potential.
We also welcome existing staff to new roles this year, details of which can be found below. Most notably Mrs Owen Davies becomes our Deputy Head Pastoral and will be a key figure for both pupils and parents. Mrs OD explained her role to the girls as being a bit like being ‘your Coach, your cheerleader, your club manager and you referee all in one.’ She is responsible for the pastoral leadership of the school and will put the pupils at the centre of everything we do, promoting their wellbeing above all else.
We start this new term on a particularly high note following superb exam results at both A Level and GCSE this summer. We were thrilled for the girls and enormously proud of all that they achieved. Our A Level results were outstanding with 75% of all grades A*-B and it was no surprise that with such stellar results they are off to a really exciting array of courses and destinations at prestigious institutions. For more information on our exam results please visit Exam Results
Mr Payne, our Deputy Head Academic shared these results with our girls in assembly on Monday and asked them to consider the secrets of such success. Whilst it is no surprise that hard work is a key factor he also pointed out that our most successful students involve themselves in sport, music, drama, art and such like. They lead active and busy lives to achieve a balanced approach and make sure they get plenty of sleep. They listen to the advice that our excellent teachers provide and then act on it and they practise, just like our top musicians and sportswomen. Above all else they realise an essential truth. Seek help when needed and be supportive of each other. As Mr Payne told the school, ‘We will all work hard together, whether you are in Year 7 or Year 13. We will support each other, help each other when it all gets a bit much and we will celebrate the successes along the way.’
In order to allow us to best support your daughter to success can I make one plea? We publish our term dates well in advance, so please limit, as far as possible, any requests for early departure or absence from school. We fully understand that special family events and individual opportunities may arise in term-time and, of course, we will do our best to accommodate these. If you would like to make a request for such an absence during term-time, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And so we are underway again. The girls are smart and I hope, proud of their uniform and the school it represents, they are purposeful and as always they are brilliant company. Thank you for entrusting them to our care.
Best wishes for the months ahead
Ms J Sharrock
New Roles for existing staff
Mrs Emma Owen Davies – Deputy Head, Pastoral
Mrs Rachel Sadd – Deputy Director of Sixth Form, Pastoral Lead
Dr Bethan Stallwood – Oxbridge Coordinator
Mr Robin Aldridge – More Able and Talented Coordinator
Mrs Maria Harding – Head of Science
Mrs Kimberley Anderson – Acting Head of Geography
Mrs Charlotte Adams – Subject Coordinator Religion, Philosophy and Ethics KS3/KS4
Mrs Carla Tonks – Subject Coordinator Religion, Philosophy and Ethics KS5
Miss Sarah Jones – Biology teacher
Speech Day 2019 – Friday 13th September 2pm St Chad’s
We are looking forward to welcoming all parents and friends of the school to join our Senior pupils in recognising the achievements of our pupils over the last academic year. We are looking forward to welcoming our recent Year 13 leavers back to celebrate their extraordinary success in their recent A-level exams. We are also thrilled that our guest speaker will be Amy Williams, a former High School pupil. Amy founded www.good-loop.com, an ethical advertising company and has been recognised by Forbes, WACL and the UN for her work in making the internet a more positive place through ethical advertising.
We very much hope you are able to join us at this special occasion and look forward to welcoming you to St Chad’s at 2pm.
Shrewsbury High School Music Scholars – St Chad’s Music-in-the-Round Concert Series
Friday 13th September 12.40 – 1.20 pm
On Friday lunchtime, just before Speech Day, there is a great opportunity to hear some of our wonderful senior music scholars playing and singing in St Chad’s. Lily Atkin, Fiona O’Sullivan, Rosie Sherpa, Olivia Bennett, and Kitty Littlar will be accompanied by Susie Allan in a free concert, after which a light lunch is served in the Parish Rooms. Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy this musical treat at the start of the new year!
Jon Deakin – Director of Music
Senior School Open Morning – Saturday 5th October 9.30am – 12.30pm
We would like all girls to attend school on our Senior Open Morning, either to act as guides or to take part in department activities. The school is the girls and it is impossible to have a meaningful Open Day without them. They are exceptional ambassadors for the school and always rather enjoy showing off their school and their considerable talents.
New School website
We now have an information page on our new website for current parents with links to Firefly, Parent Pay, full information on the new SIMS Parent app, school calendars and parent handbooks amongst other things. You can find all this information in our section for Current Parents.
SIMS Parent app
All parents will have received an invitation to sign up to the new SIMS Parent app with full information about how to sign up and use the app. You can also find the information documents here: SIMS Parent app The SIMS Parent app will run alongside Firefly but we hope it will offer a much easier way of accessing pupil information. Please note you do not have to complete the attached appendix booklet – this is purely for information on what you are consenting to.
We will be holding two open door sessions next week for anyone who would like help getting started with the app or for those experiencing any problems.
Monday 9th September – 8.45-10am – Old Library, Senior School
Tuesday 10th September – 8.45-10am – Kennedy Hall, Prep School
You can contact us at 01743 494 000 or email: email@example.com with any queries relating to the app.
Serena’s new penpal!
When Year 7 pupil Serena was at the Prep school last year, she and her classmates wrote letters to their favourite authors. To Serena’s delight and great surprise she received a reply from her favourite author David Walliams!
High Drama Productions 2019 – 2020
This year, the drama department is planning two High Drama productions, one for KS3 (Missa Pro Terra*) in December 2019 and for KS4/5 (Lippy Kids) in March 2020. However, as some of you may know, Mrs Jones suffered an accident over the summer, breaking her elbow while mountain biking. Given that Mrs Jones is the Stage Director of Missa Pro Terra, it has been decided to switch the production to March 2020. This has been done to allow Mrs Jones time to recover and give the younger students, particularly in Year 7, more time to prepare. Therefore, Lippy Kids will take place at the end of this term with auditions held next week and rehearsals starting week beginning 15th September. In addition, rehearsals for Missa Pro Terra will start this term as soon as Year 7 pupils have had a chance to audition and after a full cast is announced. However, these rehearsals will be less intense and frequent allowing Mrs Jones’ injury a chance to mend.
I do hope this change of plan won’t cause a complication for girls currently in Years 8 and 9 who have successfully auditioned for Missa Pro Terra. If the move of the performance dates to 24th/25th/26th March 2020 is a concern, please contact me at school so that we can discuss the issue. Rest assured, the decision to switch the productions around was made in the best interests and wellbeing of the girls and the member of staff involved.
Head of Drama
The Classics Department is delighted to announce that Natalie Haynes, author, broadcaster, former stand up comedian and general all-round advocate for Classics, will be giving a lecture at Shrewsbury High on Thursday 24th October 2019 at 2.15pm. Her most recent book, “A Thousand Ships” is a retelling of the fall of Troy from the perspective of the women, and is a tour de force. Natalie is a frequent panellist on quiz shows and arts programmes and has the ability to connect with young minds through her encyclopaedic knowledge of the film industry and her absolute enthusiasm for all things Classical. No one who has heard her speak would ever describe Classical literature or history as dusty or irrelevant! All welcome! Please email Mrs Lashly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to come along.
Message from the Nurse
Please can I remind all parents that we aim to be a nut free environment at Shrewsbury High School to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis for those children with nut allergies. Please could you bear this in mind if you are sending your child into school with any snacks.
Please can I ask parents to encourage their child/children to wash their hands regularly, to reduce the risk of cross infection.
Also as a precautionary measure, could we remind parents to help their girls to check for head lice on a regular basis. Below is the NHS guidance for treatment if parents need advice.
Susan Livesey, School Nurse
- Year 7, 8 & 9 Hockey Training (Meole Brace), leave at 4pm and finish at 5.30pm (Staff: CAJ, SR)
- Year 9 & 10 Netball Training (School); 4pm – 5.30pm (Staff: SLF, RSA)
- Advanced Dance (invite only) (New Hall); 4pm – 5pm (Staff: MIR)
- Year 10 & Senior Hockey Training (Meole Brace); 4pm – 5.30pm (Staff: CAJ, IS)
- Northern Trust Rally @ Birkenhead; leave St Chads at 7am (pick up at Mile End Services 7.30am), return to St Chads at 6pm approx. (Mile End 5.30pm) (Staff: SLF, CAJ, MIR, RAS, KPG)
- Team Tennis (SLTC); 5pm – 6pm; (Staff: MB)
- Year 11 & Senior Netball (School); 4pm – 5.30pm; (Staff: SLF & KPG)
- Dance Production (New Hall); 4pm – 6pm (Staff: JH)
Forthcoming Saturday Fixtures
- Saturday 28th September – U13, U15 & Senior Netball Tournament @ Oswestry
- Saturday 19th October – Year 7 & 8 Hockey & Year 9 & 10 netball @ Oswestry
- Saturday 9th November – Years 7 – 10 Netball @ Wolverhampton Grammar
- Saturday 16th November – Years 9 & 11 vs Powys Netball @ School
- Saturday 30th November – GDST Indoor Rowing Competition @ Oxford