Headteacher’s end of academic year summary

Shipston High School has had another active year, with students and staff involved in a varied range of activities. As the school community enjoys the summer break, it is an ideal opportunity to reflect on the year.
In August 2018 the school celebrated a really successful set of GCSE results for our Year 11 students. Individual grades were really pleasing, allowing many students to fulfil their ambitions for the next stage of their education. Results day was especially hot, as was the whole of last summer, and the school enjoyed favourable local press coverage as we celebrated in the sunshine. We are already looking forward to this years’ results being announced.
In November the whole school joined with the British Legion to commemorate Remembrance Day in the school and the community. This year students wrote personal messages on our own wall of poppies; a very moving installation. Remembrance was also a focus for Year 9 students on our history department’s trip to the battlefields of World War I, where students laid a wreath at the Menin Gate and researched local and family connections.
Student participation in the extracurricular opportunities at the school is always impressive. Students show real enjoyment of these activities, and attend regularly. Even when winter weather may deter some, Shipston students are still to be found on the playing fields after school. There are many activities to list across a range of disciplines but students should be proud of their participation. Public speaking continues to be a strength of the school, with impressive involvement and extremely high standards. Thank you to everyone who makes these activities so successful.
Creative arts thrive in the school, and The Shipston Proms concert at the school was, as always, well attended. It was our pleasure to welcome visitors from the Prom committee and wider community. Students of all ages played a rich variety of music in what was a hugely entertaining evening. The musicians also perform in local venues across the Proms season, and I am sure many people across the community share our pride in these young talents. I am grateful to our music team for the work they do with the students and community performances throughout the year.
Students enjoyed working with a range of visitors this years, including authors, artists, and Olympic athletes. Students also engaged with numerous charity events, raising money for good causes including Macmillan Cancer Support and Warwickshire Air Ambulance.
The final day of the school year was an opportunity to celebrate success, including presenting our Shipston/Pixl Edge award. This national programme enables students to demonstrate their independence, maturity and resilience across a range of criteria. I am grateful for the continued support of the Rotary Club for our awards programme.
All of us should be very proud of the work of the whole school community this year, and of the continued achievement of our young people; well done to everyone involved. Shipston High School’s reputation is strong, and is built on the achievements of the young people who make the school such a positive place to be. I wish everyone a relaxing and refreshing summer.

400 Merits!

Many congratulations to Madison Davies in 7CL who has obtained the highest number of merit awards this year!  Madison was presented with her certificate and trophy in the end of term celebration assembly on Friday 19th July.  Well done Madison!

Staff retirement

A special meeting at breaktime enabled staff to say a fond farewell to Judith Jackson who retired from her post of Teaching Assistant after 33 years service to the school. She was presented with gifts, cards and a memory book from staff and students all wanting to wish her well. After an address from Mr Saunders, staff heard from Mr White just how much Judith has done not only for Shipston High School but also for the wider community of Shipston on Stour since starting work here in 1986.

We will very much miss seeing Judith in school and would all like to wish her a long and happy retirement.

End of season Rounders tournament

On Thursday 18th July after school over 40 girls took to the field to take part in the end of season Rounders tournament.

There was some very competitive play, showing how enthusiastically the girls take advantage of the many sporting opportunities available to them.
Thanks to Miss Rhodes for organising the event.

Pixl Edge Awards

Students in years 7, 8 and 9 are encouraged to take involve themselves in the Pixl programme. Pixl is a series of awards at three levels which are designed to empower students with the attitudes and attributes essential for employability and life. During the course of the academic year, students follow an online platform through a series of accredited tasks and activities (including target-setting and self-reflection) enabling them to gradually enhance their skills and abilities and we have been amazed and impressed by the huge range of activities our students undertake alongside their academic curriculum.

Apprentice, Pioneer and Graduate level awards were presented to 169 students who completed one – and sometimes two – of the levels during the 2018-2019 academic year during the end of term celebration assemblies on Friday 19th July. We were very fortunate to welcome into school Mrs Fay Ivens representing the Shipston on Stour Rotary Club who very kindly sponsor the award in school to present the certificates and badges to the students. Once again the school would like to express its thanks and gratitude to the members of the Shipston on Stour Rotary Club for their very generous sponsorship of this annual event.

Netball News

A very busy and successful netball year was brought to a close for this academic year with a trip to the Netball World Cup in Liverpool on Wednesday 17th July. A 6.00 a.m. start from school and a 6.00 p.m arrival home meant a long and tiring day for 20 key stage 3 girls and 2 members of staff, but students had the opportunity to watch some top class netball including Singapore v Samoa (49-63). Thanks to Mr Lockwood for organising the trip.

Woman in Black

45 Year 9 and 10 students attended the matinee of The Woman in Black at The Fortune Theatre in London on 18th July. The Womain in Black has been running for 32 years in the West End, it is a perfect example of theatre using only three actors and a few lighting/sound effects to maximize the terror. It also uses the Brechtian technique of breaking the fourth wall when the ghost comes through the audience …..

The record number of scared students will now be tasked with writing up the play as part of their final GCSE Drama examination!

Butterfly Trail

During the early part of the summer we were contacted by Richard Gray of the Stour Valley Wildlife Action Group who told us about a Butterfly Walk and nature trail taking place during the four Saturdays in July at a farm between Honington and Halford. Proceeds from the Walk were to be donated to local charity Shipston Home Nursing. The school was asked if the Art department would be willing to produce some butterfly artwork for a display to showcase some of the species of butterfly that can be seen on the walk and Ms Costello and her art students were delighted to take up the challenge. Some amazing pieces of artwork were produced which are now proudly displayed for all to see.

Senior Prefects for new academic year

The “Dragons Den” has nothing on the Shipston High School senior prefect interview process. Students had to submit a letter of application, pass through a shortlisting process and then undergo a tough interview with Mr Harris, Ms. Westbrook and Governor Mr Punt. The quality of the applications was very high. After long debate and discussion it was decided that, due to the growing school and the genuine variety of skills and ideas discussed in interview, the senior prefect team would be expanded to five for the next school year. Minnie Thomas and Ashish Shylesh were appointed Head Prefects with Matthew Barrett, Amy West and James Barrett being appointed Deputy Head Prefects.

It is hoped that some of the unsuccessful candidates will take on House roles at the start of next term and congratulations are due to all the interview candidates for some very impressive performances.

Hawaiian Hockey Tournament

After school on Tuesday 16th July saw a brilliant evening of hockey at the annual Hawaiian hockey tournament. Hockey is increasing in popularity across the school with in excess of 40 boys and girls turning up regularly for after school practice and fixtures. An exceptionally successful hockey tour to the Netherlands earlier this year helped to raise its profile even more. The Hawaiian tournament was the culmination of a very successful hockey year and congratulations go to winning team “Panamas”. This season’s hockey awards were: Player of the season – Year 7 – Tom Pinnock; Year 8 – Ellie-May Watkins; Year 9 – Izzy Allford, Morgan Cooke, Emily Savidge; Year 10 – Josh Goodman, Louise Plank; Year 11 – Alex Bradley, Sammy King, Max Morris. Congratulations to all.