Swimming gala success!!

Congratulations to Holly Larkin, Leah Bowen, Ava Callan-Foster and Keana Pearce who took part in the Midlands Schools Championships in Worcester last Friday, 24th January 2020.

They reached the final for both events (4 x 50m medley and 4 x 50m freestyle) and finished 4th overall for the medley and 2nd for the freestyle.

4th and 2nd in the Midlands out of 30 schools is a superb achievement…they only missed out on 1st place by 0.3 of a second!

Working for Marcus

On the afternoon of 27th January we were delighted to welcome into school Loudmouth Theatre in Education company.

Loudmouth delivered a PSHE session “Working for Marcus” to our Year 11 students which focused on Child Exploitation, Sexual Exploitation, County Lines, Grooming and Knife crime. The aim of “Working for Marcus” is to make young people aware of the signs of grooming, develop empathy for its victims and be aware of the impact of child exploitation. Students learned how perpetrators can be any gender, ethnicity or age and set out to target a person’s vulnerability and they also gained some knowledge of the laws surrounding coercive and controlling behaviour.

The session comprised a piece of theatre followed by a very lively question and answer session, picking up points raised in the play.

Feedback from the students after the event indicated that the session had been extremely well received and had given the students much food for thought arising from the issues addressed.

We are very grateful to the office of the Police Crime Commissioner for funding this very worthwhile event and also to the Stratford District Council for facilitating it. Our thanks also go to the Youth Justice Service for making one of their representatives available to join us.

Modern students are often vilified in the media for lacking motivation, appearing to be rather lackadaisical in their outlook and are even labelled by some as work shy. Nothing could be further from the truth with five supremely driven students at Shipston High School.
James and Matthew Barrett, Laurence Barnes, Jedrzej Jakielska, and Jasmina Lichem demonstrated drive and discipline way in advance of what you would normally expect of students who are all sixteen or under in such a high tech competition and world. The five entrepreneurial youths engaged the tight corners and hair-pin bends that was the gruelling F1 Schools Regional Finals held in Birmingham on 15th January, 2020. Within a time period of four weeks they needed to: design a model race car, make it, test it up to race standards, gain sponsorship from businesses, as well as documenting all of the evidence in two portfolios. Not exactly a Sunday afternoon drive for students who already have huge commitments towards their school studies (James, Matthew and Laurence are Year 11 students preparing themselves for their GCSEs in the next few months).
Enterprising and Collaborative
On top of everything else these dedicated petrol-heads needed to take responsibility for individual aspects of the project as well as working collaboratively to ensure the whole process was completed to incredibly high exacting standards, and most importantly they were ready to race!
On your marks. Get set. Go!
On the day, all of the students admitted to being nervous regarding the performance of the car and the other tests they would need to negotiate, but their endeavours were fruitful and they were rewarded with an exhilarating experience and some fine performances. Their super compressed-air powered car was third fastest overall, covering 20m in an amazing 1.56s! They also won the overall verbal presentation award, demonstrating their confidence and eloquence in a five minute oral presentation to a range of industry expert judges. Overall, these students performed way beyond their years in maturity, application and yes, drive, in their pursuit of their future dreams.
World of Work
How often do we hear about Britain’s youth not being ‘work ready’? Well, that certainly couldn’t be levelled at this team! All of them showed the desire and skills to become successful young adults in our ever-changing world, as well as the resilience to make it in the tough post-Brexit economy they will inherit. All of them realised the enormous benefit to themselves that the experience presented and how it has reinforced the views that they all want careers in engineering, F1, technology and commercial enterprise, but the best bit was the atmosphere on the day, seeing the car run and winning their first ever race! Now if that doesn’t motivate you….
Blistering, Graining and Marbles
The world is full of jargon, some quite technical and some just plain obvious if you are in the know. The marbles here do not refer to little glass orbs for playing a game with, nor is it part of a euphemism for someone not in complete control of their faculties. Here it refers to a rather complicated scientific process which occurs to F1 tyres depending on the differential in temperature within the actual tyre…, but you knew that of course? I bet our super team did!
by A. G. Warren
Literacy Co-ordinator

In the last week of the Autumn term, the Year 11 GCSE Art students took part in some pottery lessons.

Local Potter Andy Gill came in and talked about his craft. Andy is a master potter, being traditionally trained at Whichford pottery, where he worked for over 30 years. Now concentrating on his own distinctive range of hand thrown terracotta flowerpots, Andy showed the students how to work with clay and helped them all created their own distinctive pieces. The students (and Mrs. Costello) also tried making a pot on a traditional pottery wheel which was great fun. The pieces the students made will be fired by Andy in his kiln when they are dry.

The students really enjoyed using a different medium in Art and learning about another facet of Art as a career option. We are extremely grateful to Mr Gill for giving up his valuable time to provide such a great experience for our students.

As part of their GCSE course, the Science department took the Year 11 students on a voyage back through time, where they learnt about the history of earth.  In the morning they were given an insightful talk about the museum, Darwin, Wallace and how their ideas have shaped our understanding of evolution and natural selection.  In the afternoon they completed an evolutionary trail, where they immersed themselves in the complete history of earth, discovering how the horse evolved from a small dog like creature to what we see today; they looked at why some animals have similar characteristics when they have oceans between them and why birds developed feathers and flight.  This was followed by a workshop looking at how humans have evolved, where the students used hands-on techniques to measure the skulls of our evolutionary ancestors to work out how the skull has changed and what this means for the brain.  It was a wonderful opportunity for Shipston High School students to be immersed in the academic atmosphere of Oxford University.