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.
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.
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.
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.