Welcome to the latest eNewsletter
An Introduction from Headmaster, Leo Winkley
The first seven and a bit weeks of this term have been conducted in remote mode, with a Virtual Shrewsbury Education beaming into households across the country and around the globe. The pupils and staff have invested great energy and positivity into all their activities: great academic progress has been made; house life has fostered belonging, community and fun; the co-curriculum has offered challenge and opportunities to be active and use off-screen time to good purpose. We have shared music; academic enrichment events aplenty; trans-global debates and MUN conferences; vibrant Futures and HE provision; sport; the Arts; community engagement and much more. As a whole school community we have embraced the virtual adventure of getting around the world in 40 days; we did this so quickly we had time to come back again; and to extend the challenge further, as we covered remarkable distances and houses raised impressive amounts for their chosen charities. The Salopian spirit has been undaunted: we have been a community Together Apart. And now, after a long run in remote, we are on the welcome cusp of returning to life on site.
Clearly, the past few weeks have been intensively focused on planning for testing and getting pupils and staff safely and confidently back into daily life here. This has been a time-consuming process and we are glad to have plans in place. This time of year is also more normally characterised by longer-range planning and staff recruitment for the next academic year. We have already made some very exciting appointments to the academic staff for September. Additionally, we have created the new role of Head of Adventure, to lead outdoor learning; and the post of Head of Dance, as we widen our provision for pupils further. As we lift our eyes to the further horizons of the coming years, we do so with great confidence and a sense of adventure. More immediately, though, it is a matter of getting back into communal and COVID-safe routines for all of us; and for those pupils in exam years, supporting them to show their academic personal bests over the weeks ahead. As the American writer Wilfred Peterson commented: “A man [or indeed woman] practises the art of adventure when [s]he heroically faces up to life. When [s]he has the daring to open doors to new experiences.” Well, that’s a pretty good mantra for education.
It goes without saying (almost) that we are very much looking forward to having pupils back with us to start in-person learning again from Monday 8th March. Whilst we have had around 20 pupils with us since January, and a core team of staff on site, it has been very quiet at The Schools these past two months. Soon, the place will be buzzing with life and energy again. Equally, we are conscious that a number of our internationally-based Salopians will continue to access Online Supported Learning for the remainder of the term. We will be keeping in close touch with them, and to look forward to seeing them all in person for the start of the Summer Term. Each individual, each household, has had a particular set of experiences over the past two months. As we prepare to resume life on site, we want to remain acutely aware of the individual needs and circumstances of each child, each family, and each colleague.
I hope this latest edition of the newsletter gives a flavour of the dynamism and adventure of Shrewsbury in remote mode. Next week we will be delighted to report on events and activities here on site… Meanwhile, I leave you with a second message from Wilfred Peterson, who is best known for his much-recited wedding poem, The Art of Marriage. He urges: “Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.” In these days of cautious and detailed planning, it is important not to lose sight of the bigger purposes of what we do; our hopes; and our vision for better days for all.
Celebrating the effort, endeavour and enterprise of Salopians - Please follow this link for details of this week's Floreat. Below is an image from this week's Floreat.
Salop’s Got Musical Talent 4
SGMT4 is here now for your enjoyment, featuring this week music on the lighter side (think Radio 2..) plus two great Classical piano performances. Sit back and enjoy performances from pianists Tom and Cecilia, Sophie (accompanied by her Mum Sarah) – trombone, singers – Billy and Limonée and also featuring Bubbles on Viola and Jensen on Double Bass.
If you have an inkling that you would like to take part, the act of sharing your endeavours may inspire others to feel better and to have a go themselves. Perhaps you are the family Von Non-Trapp, a lapsed trombonist, a budding songwriter or a rusty flautist; if so, do get in touch with Stephen Williams at email@example.com
Tune in and sit back!
Stephen Williams, Director of Music
Global Schools' Running Race
The Global Schools’ Race has now seen 17 countries from Canada to Australia sign up! With just over two weeks to go we’d love to see as many as possible from the whole Shrewsbury community run their 5k or 2k and test themselves against… the world!