Teach Meet

When looking at the school Hall after school on Tuesday 4th December you may have thought that Miss Whitworth and Miss McElroy were preparing for a Christmas party, with the beautifully decorated tables, decorations and lovely food.

It was, however, a staff training event “Teach Meet” which saw teachers and teaching assistants gathering from near and far to hear trainer, keynote speaker and author Gary Toward’s wise words.

Gary’s focus was on teachers being the ‘decisive element’ in their classrooms, encouraging staff to be reflective on their classroom practices and the way they form relationships with their students.

Gary’s book ‘The Decisive Element’ really is a great read.

Alongside Gary, there were a number of great presenters from Studley High School and Alcester Academy who shared their ideas as well as Shipston staff Ms. Lawrence, Mr Denham, Mrs Hunt and Miss McElroy looking at a variety of topics such as whole class feedback and careers in the classroom.

Attendees left the session with a lot of new ideas to think about.  Thanks go to Miss Whitworth and Miss McElroy for all their hard work in arranging the event.


Calais Youth Refugee Centre

Head of Religion, Ethics and Philosophy Ms Jordan Whitworth recently visited a Youth Refugee Centre in Calais and gives her account of her experience:

Over the weekend of 17th November a friend and I headed down to Calais to work with the Refugee Youth Centre.  We delivered a truckload (literally!) of donations to the Help Refugees Warehouse and helped out there for the day, helping them prepare the 2000+ meals they deliver every day before then helping sort the donations in the warehouse.  I took with me the post cards that Shipston High School students had written to let the children there know that people were thinking of them, another show of how caring and wonderful the students at Shipston High are. On the Sunday we delivered some youth work in Calais.  I worked with a number of unaccompanied young people, teaching them English at the side of a car park. The people I met there were truly incredible and had a resilience I didn’t think was even possible. The volunteers too were incredible people who will be giving up their Christmas to be with the unaccompanied children who are still having to live on the street. We will be sending hampers to the volunteers as a thank you for all that they do, so if you have anything you would like to donate e.g hot chocolate sachets, nice toiletries etc. please get in contact with Ms Whitworth: jordanwhitworth@shipstonhigh.co.uk 

Opening of New Reception and Teaching Block

On Friday 16th November we were delighted to welcome into school a group of invited guests for the official opening of our new Reception and Teaching block. The block hosts a new Reception and Visitor area, together with nine fully equipped teaching classrooms for the delivery of English, Modern Foreign Languages and Religion, Ethics and Philosophy.

Guests included representatives from Warwickshire County Council, Glancy Nicholls Architects, Ridge & Partners Property Consultants, Shipston Town Council and School Governors, with the Guest of Honour being Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary under Secretary of State for the Department of Education who described us as an “outstanding school with a passionate team of teachers and exceptional students”.

It was a great pleasure to be able to share our pride in our new facilities and to show our local community that Shipston High School is well placed to serve the town and its surrounding community.

Youth Ambassador

We are very pleased to congratulate our Year 11 student Abigail Slatter on being elected the Youth Ambassador for Shipston Town Council. Abi was sworn into the Council at the Town Council meeting on Monday 12th November and will be instrumental in bringing the opinions of the youth of the Town to the Council. Abi is currently Head Girl in our school and we are sure that she will contribute a lot to the workings of the Council.

Remembrance assembly

Our annual remembrance assembly took place on Friday 9th November when the whole school fell silent to remember those who lost their lives in the service of our country.

Students’ interest and awareness of the commemoration of 100 years since the end of the First World War had been heightened during the history lessons of Years 7, 8 and 9 where Miss McElroy had been studying with her students the story of some of the Shipston fallen. With reference to the book “Shipston Remembers” each student in the group had prepared their own individual poppy with a personal message to a named soldier – or an unknown soldier – and these poppies were used to decorate the whole of the back wall of the assembly hall, along with the Royal British Legion “Tommy” figure. The effect of the red poppies on the white wall was amazing and provided a very suitable backdrop to the assembly. It was very interesting to learn that one of the soldiers remembered was, in fact, the great, great, great Grandfather of our student Connor Begley, who is the current Standard Bearer for the British Legion.

We are grateful to the members of the Shipston branch of the Royal British Legion for taking time out during their busy Poppy Appeal fortnight to join us, especially Legion Chairman Richard Adams for leading the assembly.

Art Department

Careers and skills for life have recently been promoted through some exciting activities in the Art department. Our Head of Art, Ms Costello, is collaborating with artists at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park to inspire students and raise the profile of Art in education. The creative industries are the fastest growing economic sector in the UK, responsible for 5.6% of jobs and worth £76.9bn to the UK economy. Arts based careers are thriving in the UK and the skills assessed in the subject reward students in the development of ideas, exploration and experimentation, analysis of art forms and skills and responding to experiences and observations.
The link for students with Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park enables our students to develop these skills through working with artists and creating a live installation, “The March of the Imagination”. The artists known as “Musson + Retallik” have worked with the students to create the installation at Compton Verney. The installation will allow the public to become part of the art, shining a torch onto 4000 reflective shapes that lead visitors through the park. Our students have relished the opportunity to explore different ways of expressing themselves through this project.
We will also be working with Bex Art who will be visiting the school to work with our Year 11 students. Bex focusses on high contrast charcoal animal portraiture, a skill our students will certainly enjoy developing, along with understanding how a young artist can build a viable career.

Year 9 Visit to the National Arboretum

As we approach a significant remembrance Sunday, the school is involved in a number of activities to commemorate this important event. Miss McElroy has written a summary of a recent trip to the National Memorial Arboretum, which follows here:
On Thursday 4th October we were able to take Year 9 on a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum. This trip was designed to help the students reflect on how and why we remember the fallen by looking at a small section of the 300 war memorials.
During our visit we took part in a poppies workshop, this enabled us to learn about the creation of the poppies and about some of the poetry inspired by them. Students were asked to take apart their poppy and then put it back together with restrictions such as using one arm or closing their eyes. This helped to demonstrate how difficult it is for veterans returning from war to adapt to their surroundings; a real insight into the impact of conflict.
We were then able to freely walk the grounds of the arboretum. We focused on two memorials: the armed forces memorial which commemorates soldiers killed in conflict since the end of World War Two and the Shot at Dawn memorial which commemorates those soldiers who faced the firing squad for perceived offences. These were both powerful memorials that provoked a deep level of discussion from the students.
As a close to our day we took part in the act of remembrance where students read poetry and laid a wreath on behalf of the school. The students’ response to the trip was profound with many reflecting on why we are free today and what it actually means to be free. The scale of the memorial at the Arboretum also provoked some awe from the students, leaving them with a deep level of respect.

At a more local level, we are very proud of Year 11 student Connor Begley who has recently completed his training as Standard Bearer for the Shipston branch of the Royal British Legion. Connor performed his first duty on Sunday 21st November when he took part in the remembrance Service at the Memorial Garden in Shipston to commemorate the end of the First World War.

Open Evening

Open Evening for Year 6 pupils and their parents took place on Thursday 27th September. We were thrilled to welcome so many visitors to school so that they could experience for themselves the special “Shipston Spirit” that runs through all our departments. Visitors spoke very highly of the range of activities on offer, the departmental displays, the politeness and maturity of their student guides and the school facilities, including the recently opened new teaching and reception block. Many parents were interviewed by the English department’s roving reporters who collected enough information during the evening to produce their very own Newspaper! A highlight of the evening took place in the Library where Dave Matthews from “The Magic Alley” in Stratford-upon-Avon hosted a storytelling session.

Parents should note that the closing date for on-time applications for entry to Shipston High School in September 2019 is 31st October 2018. We have 120 places available. Our admissions process is managed by the Warwickshire Local Authority Admissions department, but you are welcome to address any general queries to the Headteacher’s Secretary at the school.

Open Evening

With our new intake of Year 7 students settling well into life at Shipston High School, our attention turns to preparing for the September 2019 intake.

Our annual Open Evening for year 6 pupils and their parents takes place on Thursday 27th September from 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. The Headteacher, Mr Gavin Saunders, will address parents at 6.00 p.m. in the main school Hall and again at 7.30 p.m. Open Evening is a great opportunity to come and see what Shipston High School has to offer. There will be displays, demonstrations and interactive activities in all departments throughout the school, with plenty of opportunity to speak with members of staff and students about life at Shipston High School. It is also a chance to have a look at our newly opened classroom and reception block completed in June of this year.

Open Evening is our last major event for parents to look around the school before the Warwickshire closing date for in-time applications of 31st October. Parents may be surprised to learn that it has been possible to apply for a place for Year 7 in September 2019 since the beginning of July this year and there has already been a substantial number of applications received.

We think we have something unique and special here and we would very much like to share it with you.

GCSE Success at Shipston High School

Shipston High School students have achieved some fantastic GCSE results this year. Students in year 11 worked extremely hard studying for their exams, and work has been rewarded with strong individual performances and impressive results across the school. They should all be very proud.

These results show the excellent progress students make at the school and I am delighted that they can now go on to fulfil their ambitions in education, training and employment.

2018 is the first year of a new grading system for many subjects, and Shipston students have excelled with these new and challenging exams. Shipston continues its record of strong results in core subjects. In Maths for example, 31% of the year group achieved a grade 7, 8 or 9 – equivalent to A & A* – a fantastic result. Overall in Maths, 81% of students secured grades between 4 and 9.

In English, approximately 80% of students gained a grade 4 to 9 in English Language, significantly ahead of the national average, with nearly a quarter of the year group achieving a grade 7, 8 or 9.

Shipston’s results include students achieving notable success in subjects with completely new exams this year. Drama secured 94% grades 9 to 4, with Biology and Chemistry both at 96%. Physics students achieved 100% grades 9 to 4.

Top grades have been secured across all subjects, including students with every grade at 7, 8 and 9. Progress has been excellent, with students often exceeding their expected outcomes.

The school has a strong and consistent record of achievement. This year’s results will enable students to succeed with further study, training and employment. 2018 results further evidence the strong academic focus of Shipston High School. All students should be congratulated. Families and teaching staff actively support our young people, and we all celebrate their success today. Well done to everyone.

Shipston High School’s work is centred on our students, and we are delighted to see so many strong results; they are a testimony to the ethos of the school and the dedication of our young people. Congratulations.