South Warwickshire Athletics Championships

The annual South Warwickshire Athletics Championships took place on 21st June and Shipston fielded an impressive squad, achieving outstanding success.

Overall, using a combination of results from Years 7, 8 and 9, Shipston High School finished in third place out of ten schools competing within the South Warwickshire district. Last year we finished fifth in this competition, our best ever placing, so to finish third overall this year is a superb achievement and one of which we are extremely proud.

In every year group competition, Shipston finished as best small school teams compared to other similar sized schools (Small School Champions). The Year 8 team in particular performed very strongly, finishing third in both the girls’ and boys’ competitions.

Special congratulations to Leah Bowen in Year 7 who smashed the South Warwickshire district record for the 1500m, beating the previous record by 4 seconds! She ran it in 5 min 23 sec. An outstanding time and achievement.

All our athletes performed brilliantly and did the school proud. Thanks go to Mr Lockwood and the P.E. department for training the team and supporting them at this event.

Mayo House Fundraising

Head of Mayo House, Mrs Yvonne Caswell, recently took part in – and completed – the Heineken Race to the Tower along the Cotswold way (53 miles), in aid of Mayo’s Charity MIND and achieved her target in 14 hrs, 11 mins 59 secs.

Last week Tegen Hammick and Emma Musgrove from 7JW organised and held a bake sale to add to the money raised for MIND and managed to raise a whopping £66.40!

They said:
“We were inspired by Mrs Caswell’s 53 mile run for MIND so we wanted to do something too to support. MIND is an amazing charity and supports so many people. We feel very proud that the money we have raised will be going to a good cause”.

The Long Road to Ghana

One Week, 4,000 Miles, Two Great Causes

When we were invited to help raise money for Brain Tumour Research UK and Willing & Abel we were keen to find out what we could do to help. The aim of the “Long Road to Ghana” was to help the local community to travel 4,000 miles from Shipston-on-Stour to a young man called Ethan’s Home in Akatsi, Ghana. Ethan Suglo first came to the UK for surgery a couple of years ago to treat a medical illness that is treated at birth in all Western Countries. His first surgery was very successful, but to give him the chance of a normal life he needed more. It was for this surgery that we wanted to help raise money. The fundraising challenge across the community was to travel – by whatever means – the equivalent of 4,000 miles in 7 days.

On Monday 4th June staff and students gave up their lunchtime and took to the school field, along with Dr. Williams from the local Medical Centre, to clock up some miles towards the 4,000 mile total. With the help of the school Jazz Band to spur them on, we estimate our walkers covered around 375 miles, raising over £400 for the charity. We would like to thank all our parents who gave so generously towards this event and understand that the Ethan has now had his surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Shipston High School at the Shipston Proms

The school is pleased to be supporting the Shipston Proms in a number of events this year. If you would like to see the level at which some of our musicians are performing, the following events are well worth attending:

Sunday 17th June – Townsend Hall, The Fame Contest 2.00 p.m.
Some of our students have entered the Fame Contest competition which this year is on a Sunday afternoon rather than a Saturday night.

Thursday 21st June The Summer Showcase School Concert 7.00 p.m. School Hall
The ‘main event’ for the school in regard to the Proms fortnight, this is a nice event to attend if you can. Featuring only our students the audience sit round tables and refreshments are available throughout to make a nice relaxed atmosphere.

Wednesday 27th June Young Musicians Concert Barcheston Church 7.30 p.m.
Some of our students will be performing at this concert which is always of a very high standard.

Friday 29th June Songs from the Shows Townsend Hall 7.30 p.m.
Some of our current and ex students will be performing.

Saturday 30th June The Last Night (and Day) of the Proms. 2.00 p.m. to 11.45 p.m. Shipston Town Centre
The School Jazz Band are performing from 3.50 p.m. for about 30 minutes and potentially one of the Fame Contest entrants!

Year 9 Visit to World War I Battlefields

As part of our new GCSE course we will be studying Surgery and Medical developments on the Western Front during World War One. Over the weekend of 18th May the school took 36 year 9 students to Ypres in Belgium in preparation for the course.  They visited a variety of places including the largest British Military cemetery, Tyne Cott, and Langemarck which is a Germany cemetery.  Many students were able to visit relatives’ graves during the visit.   They were able to visit J.E Phipps grave which was significant for four of our students who came to us from Brailes Primary School. This was the grandfather of their former teacher’s husband who have never been able to travel to the Somme. The students placed crosses on behalf of the family at his graveside. On the third day the group travelled to France and visited the Somme. The first stop here was the Lochnagar Crater which is one of the largest man made holes on earth caused by a mine. They were able to see the Thiephval memorial, the largest British memorial in the world. On this day they also followed the route that casualties would have taken either on stretcher or on foot. This allowed students to understand the movement of casualties during the war. The final day was spent in the Arras area investigating the underground tunnel system used to move troops closer to the front line.  As part of the tour two students were selected to lay a wreath on behalf of the school, this was part of the Menin Gate ceremony that takes place every evening.

Thanks to Miss McElroy for organising such a valuable and moving experience for the students.  Congratulations also to the group of students who took part in the visit for their exemplary behaviour and attitude in dealing with some very emotional events.


Coventry Refugee Centre

Throughout May, Year 8 ran a collection for the Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre. Matthew Martin, Katie Haycock and Beth Brookes were all involved in delivering assemblies to each House to help raise awareness of the terrible situations some people are currently having to deal with and to ask for the school’s help in supporting the donation drive.

On the Wednesday before half term Miss Whitworth and Mr Howells travelled to Coventry to deliver the donations from the Shipston High Students; to say the team were grateful is an understatement! Jackie and the team were overwhelmed by the support and the donations that Shipston had offered and were very keen to want to pass on their thanks to all the students at Shipston who had donated.

On behalf of the Coventry Refugee Centre, Miss Whitworth and everyone at Shipston High School thank you to all parents for their generous donations. Toni the Centre Director at the Coventry Refugee Centre has written to the school ‘we were overwhelmed by the generosity of all the pupils at Shipston High. Our destitute clients will be very grateful for the food and it helps enormously to know that there are many people in the UK who really care about their plight’.

As always, our students have done us very proud!

Pi Poetry Competition

The Pi Poetry challenge is an annual event at Shipston High where we throw down the literary gauntlet to our students to use their super linguistic and poetic skills to write a Pi Poem. The challenge is to write a poem using the first forty digits of Pi with each word of the poem having the equivalent number of letters as the digit. Quite a challenge but to the great credit of the students they were, as usual, up to the task and took on the Challenge.
This year’s theme was a secret …. well, not really but it was all about ‘hidden identity’. We received a wide range of wonderful writing penned by our very creative Year 7 students. Topics as diverse as animals, film stars and sporting celebrities arrived in the entrance box. Finally, after thoughtful deliberation the judges awarded 1st prize to Layla McCarthy for her fantastic poem which, in keeping with our theme even had a hidden title!

P.E. Department Ski Trip to the U.S.A.

On Thursday 29th March the Shipston High School annual ski trip set out to conquer more slopes of the world. This year’s destination: New Hampshire, USA.

Fuelled with energy the group set off at 6:30 a.m. and landed at their first stop, Boston, around midday USA time. What followed was an informative tour of America’s most historic city. A quick stop at McDonalds, to satisfy many a student’s desire for a supersized burger was next on the agenda before a long coach drive to our hotel for the main part of our trip.
Our first mountain to conquer was Cannon Resort: 265 acres of skiing. Despite the mountain being hidden in a dense fog, the students started to traverse the slopes showing amazing confidence no matter the group. The following day the clouds finally broke and with awe and wonder students were finally able to see and experience what it was like to ski down a mountain.
Thirsty for more mountain slopes, the group travelled to Loon Resort on the 3rd and 4th day. Two days of absolute blissful sunshine. Nearly all students managed to get to the top of the mountain due to Loon’s ability to cater for all abilities. From the top the students were able to see the famous Washington Mountain far off in the distance – wondrous panoramic views for all to soak up.
On the students 5th day we travelled back to Cannon and tackled it with assured confidence. The mountains had treated us well (well most of us) and the students thanked all who had helped them develop their skills.

But the trip was not over, we had New York City to conquer. Despite a downpour of rain the Yankee game went ahead and the group experienced some humongous humans slug a ball around the field. An assured Yankee victory ensured all went home happy! A quick walk around New York City and Times Square in the evening allowed students to soak in the city that never sleeps.
The next morning we went to Freedom Tower for spectacular views of the city before a spot of shopping. On the evening, the students and staff witnessed the amazing Broadway show “The Lion King”.
Another hop on-off tour on the final morning followed by a trip up Rockefeller centre ensured that the students experienced NYC at its best. Exhausted and ready for home comforts we finally made our way back to Shipston on 7th April.
An amazing trip, thoroughly well organised and planned by Mr Yuill.

Year 9 Geography Trip to Iceland

On Monday 12th March 28 students and 3 staff travelled to Reykjavik in Iceland for the school’s first trip to this area. The focus of the trip was tectonic hazards and to appreciate the spectacular scenery of this fascinating country.

Each day focused on a different area within the country. The South Shore trip looked at the formation of waterfalls, in particular Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. The Reykjanes Peninsula trip spent more time looking at volcanic features. One of the highlight days was the Golden Circle trip which included a visit to a geothermal hot spring, the Secret Lagoon, a geothermal power station, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Gullfoss waterfall and Great Geysir. The day was made even more memorable when we were fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights, an experience never to be forgotten.

The trip reinforced many of the topics previously studied in Geography and will certainly aid any student planning to follow Geography at GCSE level. The students were a pleasure to take and a real credit to the school, we received many compliments throughout the trip, which was testament to their behaviour.

It is certainly a trip that we are sure the students will treasure, Iceland is a beautiful country. Our thanks go to Miss Davies for all her work in organising such an amazing trip.

OFSTED Inspection

Following their inspection visit on Tuesday 20th March this year, Ofsted have now published their report on Shipston High School. The full report is available on the Ofsted website and can also be downloaded from the “School Performance” area of this website.
We are delighted to inform you that the school is judged to be good.

This is a strong result for the school, with the report recognising the excellent results achieved at Shipston High due to the commitment of staff, pupils, governors and families.

Congratulations to our pupils on the positive impression they gave of themselves during the visit. The inspectors were impressed by our young people throughout: ‘Pupils are a credit to you. They speak positively about how much they enjoy school, make friends and feel safe’.

The report recognises our focus on safety and well-being, stating ‘Safeguarding is effective’. This is reflected in the feedback provided to Ofsted by families: ‘Parents think very highly of the school…Parents feel that pupils are safe, happy, taught well and make good progress’.

The report recognises the focus the school places on high quality teaching and learning, stating ‘Inspectors’ evidence supports the success of your focus upon classroom-based school improvement in terms of the quality of teaching and outcomes’. This will always be our school priority as the core business of the school is developing all of our pupils’ skills and talents.

We would encourage everyone to take a few minutes to read the report. The inspection was thorough and appropriately rigorous, giving the inspectors a clear understanding of the school. Their judgements are fair, and reflect the view of the school community on what we do well and areas for us to develop.

The success of this report is due to the contribution of everyone involved in our school community, and thanks are due to everyone for their continued support. We are all very proud of the school, and this report identifies and celebrates many of the school’s strengths, not least ‘the positive attitudes of pupils.’