Headteacher’s End of Year message

Shipston High School has had a wonderful year, with students and staff involved in a range of activities. As the school pauses for the summer break, it is worth reviewing the year.

In September 2016 we celebrated our best ever examination results, with 82 % of pupils achieving at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C. A fantastic result by any standards, and in excess of the national average. This success was confirmed with our impressive ‘Progress 8’ score of +0.46, one of the highest in Warwickshire.

In November, we celebrated these impressive results at our annual awards ceremony. The young people looked justifiably proud as they received their awards, and guests enjoyed an address by Olympic gold medallist Matt Gottrel.

November is also a time of reflection, and the whole school joined with the British Legion to commemorate Remembrance Day in the school and the community. 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. Again, we thank the local British Legion for their involvement in these events.

We recently confirmed the start of building work on our next phase of development. Work will progress across the summer and the next few months. This will provide space for us to offer more school places and further improve our environment.

Students continue in their incredible commitment to the extracurricular opportunities in the school. We enjoyed a production of The Jungle Book, featuring a huge cast of actors, singers and dancers. The year also concluded with creative arts, taking part in the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company ‘playmaking’ festival in July.

The Shipston Proms concert at the school was massively well attended. It was lovely to welcome visitors from across the community. Pupils of all ages played a variety of music in what was a thoroughly entertaining evening. So impressive were the performances it was often easy to forget the young age of the performers.

The year in sport has been equally active, with pupils participating in an impressive range of teams and activities. Pupils have had real success in national and regional competitions. For a school with under five hundred pupils, everyone involved should be proud of what they achieve in cricket, netball, rugby, football, hockey and so much more.

The school also excelled in the Rotary Youth Speaks public speaking contest, with strong performances from all involved. We were especially proud of our three national finalists; an outstanding achievement.

We closed the year with our Shipston Award ceremony in July. This programme enables pupils to demonstrate their independence, maturity and resilience across a range of criteria. I am delighted with the work of the whole school community this year, and am proud of what the school is achieving. I wish everyone a relaxing and refreshing summer.

Senior Prefects

We are pleased to announce that our new Head and Deputy Senior prefects have been appointed for the next academic year.

Head and Deputy posts are appointed following applications from current school prefects. Students have to apply with a formal letter of application, with the selected applicants undergoing an interview by a panel comprising the Deputy Headteacher, a Governor, a member of staff and an ex-Senior prefect. Not for the faint-hearted.

Congratulations go to Luke Parker and Milly Bryan (Head Boy and Head Girl) and Oliver Simpkins and Georgia Cook (Deputy Head Boy and Head Girl).

Visit to Prodrive factory

As part of our STEM work, the Technology department held a competition for students to design a new memory stick, with the 10 winners being given the opportunity to take part in a visit to the Prodrive Factory near Banbury to see for themselves the advances being made in motorsport design and technology.

Our students had an amazing morning at the factory, visiting the exhibition area and specialist workshops used for saloon construction and racing. At the end of the visit they were presented with a piece of the carbon fibre front wing of the Aston Martin Vantage GTE which won the 2017 Le Mons Championship and which now takes pride of place in the school reception area.

Thanks go to Prodrive for a fantastic visit, much talked about by staff and students on their return to school.

Shipston Award

The afternoon of 7th July saw the culmination of a year’s hard work for Years 8 and 9 when the Shipston Award badges and certificates were presented. The awards were presented to almost 200 successful students by Mr David Dawkins on behalf of the Rotary Club of Shipston on Stour, who kindly sponsor this activity in front of an audience of invited parents.

The Shipston Award is unique to our school and encourages students to develop responsibility for their learning, self confidence and personal skills. It also helps them to develop a sense of citizenship and service to others which we hope will help them to succeed when leaving school. Completion of the bronze, silver and gold awards in years 7,8 and 9 provides a perfect platform for those wishing to going on to take the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme in Years 10 and 11.

The afternoon was also a great opportunity to present a number of students with Special Achievement awards given for excellent attitude to study and progress during the academic year.

We would like to record our grateful thanks to the Rotary Club of Shipston on Stour for its continued involvement in the Shipston Award.

Year 10 Work Experience

An important part of giving our students an insight into the world of work is our Work Experience week for all Year 10 students which this year took place from 3rd – 7th July.

Each student is encouraged to arrange their own placement, with advice and support from Louise Moorman our Careers and Work Related Learning co-ordinator and it never ceases to amaze us the arrangements some of the students manage to make. Once again this year the students have attended a variety of placements ranging from schools, nurseries, retail, administration and architects through to local radio, the RSC, Formula 1 and even a placement in China! As always, we are extremely grateful to a large number of local businesses who will readily take our students and give them a fantastic opportunity to get involved in so many different activities.

Next year’s Year 10 are already busy planning and seeking their own work experience and we await with interest to see where their interests take them!

Open Morning

It seems hard to believe that with our Year 7 intake for this September not having started yet, we are already looking to September 2018.

On 5th July we held an Open Morning for current Year 5 students and their parents to hear a short talk from Mr Saunders and two of our current Year 7s and have a Year 8 led guided tour around the school. We were delighted to welcome over 70 families, including many ex-students now parents themselves, who are already looking at us as a potential school for their children in 2018 – indeed a significant number of them have already applied! We believe the morning proved to be a very positive step forward for most parents as they prepare to make the important decision of their child’s next school destination, with many being surprised and delighted at the amount and range of facilities on offer at Shipston High School.

We hope to see these parents, and many more, at our Open Evening which takes place on Thursday 28th September from 6.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m. Any queries regarding Admissions may be directed to the Headteacher’s Secretary in school (apunt@shipstonhigh.co.uk) or the admissions department of the Warwickshire Local Authority (www.warwickshire.gov.uk/admissions).

Royal Shakespeare Company Playmaking Festival

Shipston High School Drama Department was delighted to celebrate its interpretation of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ by performing at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Playmaking Festival held at ‘The Other Place’ in Stratford upon Avon on 6th July 2017. Actors from Years 8 and 9 at the school re-imagined the play for the festival with a contemporary interpretation that explored the politics and rhetoric of the play – posing the question as to who is most fit to rule the island after Prospero’s departure – Caliban, Miranda or Ariel.

With each of the ‘candidates’ having the chance to deliver their manifesto pledges and exploring each character’s back story, the audience had the opportunity to vote (live) and the cast responded to the vote accordingly – meaning that the cast had to rehearse three possible endings!

Playing to a full house, the cast explored through text, rap, chant and song, the text of the play against the current political landscape.

We are very grateful to the Royal Shakespeare Company for extending us an invitation to perform at this prestigious event and for giving our students this amazing opportunity.

Shipston Proms

Once again, we were delighted to take part in the annual Shipston Proms fortnight. The school’s Summer Showcase Concert, as part of the Proms, is one of the big events in our musical calendar and brings together the many and varied talents we have in the Music department. Once again Mr Hunt, Head of Music, put together a fantastic show encompassing the instrumental and vocal talents we have in the school across a whole age range of students and it was lovely to see the school hall packed with an enthusiastic audience .

As in previous years, individual students also took part in the Fame Concert which took part during the first week of the Proms. Our congratulations go to Year 9 student Molly Hurwood who was chosen to sing as part of the “Songs from the Shows” event and on stage as part of the “Last Night” of the Proms.