Shrewsbury School

eNewsletter: Friday 5th June 2020

Welcome to the latest eNewsletter

An Introduction from Headmaster, Leo Winkley

There’s a rather lovely old proverb that counsels: ‘The person who says that it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it’.  I rather like the simplicity of this observation; like many simple things, it has the ring of truth.  It speaks of the potency of determined effort allied to a can-do attitude, it warns us away from the spectator sport of armchair criticism and nay-saying. 

I’m a relentless optimist.  Whilst it would be a lie to say that there aren’t moments when the half-empty version of life’s glass presents itself, I continue to see an abundance of reasons to be cheerful as we come towards the end of week 6 of this summer term in remote.  Two year groups have been doing assessments this week (the Fourth and Lower Sixth Forms) and will be glad to enter the final phase of their learning in the remaining three weeks of term.  The Fifth Form are sinking their teeth into their pre-A Level courses and EPQ work; the Upper Sixth continue to show very high levels of engagement with their Shrewsbury U and Institute of Leadership and Management courses.  The Third Form have morphed into their new GCSE groupings and can embrace the additional challenge of a new course, the Higher Project Qualification, over the coming three weeks. 

It has also been a week of gongs and awards.  We heard the great news that our friends and partners at Shrewsbury Foodbank Plus received the Queen’s Award for Volunteering.  Their work is of great significance locally and we are pleased to be working ever more closely with them as part of our burgeoning programme of partnership and community engagement.  Meanwhile, there were School and Sporting Firsts across the gamut of school life, recognising Upper Sixth pupils in particular. Please follow this link for further details on School and Sporting Firsts. Floreat this week celebrated academic enterprise; effort in French; leading Open Mic in remote; local volunteering for the elderly; charity fundraising endeavours; Computer Programming and exceptional baking in the Great Shrewsbury Bake-Off.  Another snapshot of the rich ecology of Salopia. Please follow this link for further details on this week's Floreat.

Speaking of ecology, today (5th June) is World Environment Day.  One of the well-documented upsides of lockdown is the wave of recovery sweeping across the natural world.  In times of fragmentation and isolation, with serious social issues to contend with in the US and across the world, it is heartening to note this evidence of healing in the environment.  A small step of progress admittedly but grounds for a brighter outlook.  In this vein, the pupil-led Eco Committee (a group of ‘can-do’ people who shouldn’t be interrupted) have produced an exciting draft of plans to maintain the momentum on re-wilding some of the school site, building on the success of the Biology Garden.


Meanwhile, we continue to follow developments nationally, and guidance from the DfE, the Boarding Schools Association and a range of other associations, as we plan ahead to life at School in September.  There are plenty of questions to answer but we keep working our way through them confidently and patiently.  More immediately, we are putting together a virtual Speech Day to be held on Saturday 27th June – a mixture of live and recorded elements which will help us all to end the year together apart, seeing out our leaving pupils and staff with a programme we hope they will find fitting and poignant.   

Next week, we will be issuing our newly updated statement of Ethos and Educational Philosophy.  This has been more than a year in the making and is the fruit of much input from members of the Salopian ecosystem, present and past.  It will be followed in due course by the full 2030 strategic plan – a document that sets out our vision for the next decade.

As ever, we hope this newsletter conveys a sense of the vibrancy and resilience (see Mr Middleton’s Co-curricular blog) of Shrewsbury’s pupils and staff.   I hope this provides a welcome interruption to what you were doing…

With best wishes from SY3 to you all. 

Leo Winkley

An update from Peter Middleton, Deputy Head Co-Curricular

Salopian Inspiration: Resilience

The Discomfort Zone

“We want your children to fail.”  So began a talk to parents back in October 2017 at the start of Shrewsbury’s whole-school Failure Week.  It was a deliberately provocative statement, but one designed to stress the importance of failure as a key learning experience.  As CS Lewis put it, failures become the “fingerposts on the road to achievement”.  Stepping out of your comfort zone, embracing challenge and trying new things were central to the experiences we sought to deliver during the course of that week, and staff and pupils alike were firmly forced into what we termed their ‘discomfort zones’. 

Please follow this link to read the full update from Peter Middleton

Notices to Parents and Guardians

Stay Active Shrewsbury - Sports Roundup

Our Weekly Sports Roundup can be view here:

Salopian Kindness and Fundraising Excellence

Well done to Harry W (Rt, UVI) and Archie W, who have raised a magnificent £1321, for NHS CHARITIES and LEUKAEMIA UK, by playing table tennis for 12 hours straight.

Good luck to Mrs Liz Baly (School Secretary) who will be cycling the equivalent of Land's End to John O'Groats - 874 miles - by pedalling 29.1 miles a day in June. In aid of THE SAMARITANS' 24/7 listening service, open to all.

Buster, George, Alice and Ruby (as highlighted in a previous Newsletter this term) have delivered another batch of letters written by 4th form pupils to six local care homes. They clocked up 20 miles delivering during the half term sunshine. 

Stretton Hall Care Home was sent some letters in the post and we have just received the following from one of the Morris Care employees:

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your lovely letters and I hope you are keeping well.

Just a note to say we haven’t forgotten about you, those residents who are able at this present time to respond will do so as soon as possible and we will be forwarding the responses to their “pen pals” in the coming week.

All the best, E

A Compelling Article by Old Salopian James Lambie

Please follow this link to read a recent article written by James Lambie (I, ‘06-‘11’) effectively charting his life to date while he lives with Cystic Fibrosis, including moving to New Zealand aged 18. The last few years have been particularly challenging for James, but he has asked that this be shared with our Salopian community.  

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