Shrewsbury School

eNewsletter: Friday 22nd May 2020

Welcome to the latest eNewsletter

An Introduction from Headmaster, Leo Winkley

There’s an old saying: ”You never forget a great teacher”.  When I was at my state primary school, my favourite teacher was Mrs H.  She was great because she told endless stories and had a drawer full of sherbet lemons.  Mrs H also kept her pet Schnauzer, Jessie, in her classroom.  This was probably against the rules, but Mrs H was so well-loved; and she had been on the staff for so long that nobody challenged the presence of her canine teaching assistant.  Later, in boarding school, there were more great teachers; they were great in different ways.  True, there were a few stinkers, but most were at least very good and some were truly great.  Eccentrics; experts; performers; inspirers; disrupters, even. The thing that linked their greatness was a radiating passion for learning that brought life into their lessons, no matter what topic or time of day.  The great teachers managed to make the subject hold sway over the adolescent mind, dislodging all the other distractions that might be competing for the mental attentions of a teenage boy. 

On Wednesday of this week, we marked Thank a Teacher Day.  This annual day of appreciation came at a time when teachers have met a historic challenge in how they design and deliver learning.  Over the past five weeks, I have seen countless examples of the inventiveness, commitment and craft of our teaching staff.  This has been matched brilliantly by the enthusiasm and application of the pupils.  It has not been perfect; there have been gaps and glitches; there has been learning by doing.  The unifying theme has been a can-do spirit.  Which brings to mind another old saying: one that is far less affirmative of the teaching profession.  “Those that can, do; those that can’t, teach”.  I heard someone opposite me on a train say this once; I had to hold myself back!  The media has carried some stories this week that have not presented the teaching profession in the best light.  Without getting into a political skirmish with myself, I’ll simply observe that the professionalism and dedication of teachers has never been more under scrutiny.  The teaching staff of Shrewsbury School - and indeed those teachers with whom we work in partnership in over 30 state schools – have been doing remarkable things. As we gradually come out of these times in remote, I believe that there will be numerous gains and step changes that we will be able to apply to  further improving how we teach and learn.  In the meantime, the world’s teachers deserve a pat on the back.  

As the first half of the Summer Term comes to a close, we can reflect on an extraordinary five weeks of shared endeavour in remote.  We always knew this would be a very demanding run for all the pupils and staff.  In designing and adapting the academic programme we have tried to blend routine and rhythm with moments of positive disruption and novelty.  The pupils have been astonishingly resilient and adaptable; goodwill and industry; independence and self-motivation; responsiveness and creativity; community spirit and kindness – these have been some of the hallmarks of the first half of term. This week, I was delighted to host a Virtual Floreat with Salopians celebrating their recent achievements in the areas of rowing; chemistry; music composition; Shrewsbury U; chemistry; Global Social Leaders, and for demonstrating 'the Salopian spirit' through fantastic endeavour and enterprise.  Please follow this link for further details on this week's Floreat.

After a normal run of term, I would be saying that the pupils have earned a breather from the huge range of activity they have been engaged in; I would be saying that they are tired and need some lie-ins.  This Exeat feels different – of course it does.  We are all pining for the normality of on-site learning; and we know we have to wait some more for this to be possible.  This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week.  These remote times are bringing new and different challenges to our wellbeing.  The Exeat break is a time to detach from the screens; to put away the tech, the ear-phones, the laptops – at least for a bit.  It is a time to rest and find peace in what simple pleasures we can access, wherever we are. 

We have a rigorous, diverting and challenging four weeks after the break.  It’s remote learning again, but we will be mixing things up to keep the pupils motivated across the year groups.  Term will then reach its end with a virtual Speech Day.  We aim to make this a memorable and uplifting experience for all, particularly our leavers.

As ever, Jules joins me in sending our very best wishes from here at the Schools to all Salopian households in the UK and across the world.        

Leo Winkley


An update from Maurice Walters, Deputy Head Academic

This week the Academic Update from Maurice Walters, focuses on the excellence achieved this term by pupils, particularly those in U6 and fifth form, reflects on the intentions made by many as we moved into lockdown, and how there is a need for ‘disruption’ to motivate and inspire our minds.

Please follow this link to read the full update from Maurice Walters


Notices to Parents and Guardians

Stay Active Shrewsbury - Sports Roundup

Our Weekly Sports Roundup can be view here:

In case you may have missed The Cricketer Magazine interviewing Mr Barnard discussing current Salopians and Old Salopians, such as James Taylor. Please follow this link to read the article.


Salopian Kindness and Fundraising Excellence

Issy H-E (G LVI) with her father Mr Edwards has been helping to kit visors / protective face shields for healthcare workers and has contributed to the efforts of Collins Aerospace in these endeavours which has seen over 9,000 visor kits sent to healthcare settings all over the West Midlands, including Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

A fantastic £1,990 raised by Tom J (R UVI) and his 24 hour broadcasting team for CARDIAC RISK IN THE YOUNG and CALM which supports young men's mental well being.  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/24hrlive  Well done! 

Tom was due to attend the Scottish Islands Peaks Race as part of a school team this year, which would have been held last weekend when he undertook his fundraising challenge. Last year, the team of pupils from the RSSH won the competition. Here are articles highlighting last year's race and the winning Shrewsbury School team featured in Fell Runner and Yachting Monthly by Mr Griffiths

Theo W (PH, III) has raised a whopping £2,600 already on Day 21 of his 32 Day Challenge. He's running 5 km every day supporting BLOOD CANCER UK, in memory of his brother Aaron, who would have been 32 this year. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theo-wylie

Lewis E (PH UVI) has cycled 676 miles in 26 days raising a tremendous £1,920 so far for SHROPSHIRE MIND. Please follow this link to read an article by Mr Cooley on this amazing achievement. 


Salopian Music Moments

Highlights from our concert earlier this year at the Elgar Concert Hall on 8th March can be viewed here:

Please follow this link to discover about our Concert Party programme for local care homes.

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