Shrewsbury High School in Shropshire is celebrating after being named a winner at this year’s Independent School Awards. No other school in the county has been honoured in this way.
The awards ceremony, which took place in Nottingham, recognises excellence and at Shrewsbury High School it was the quality of sport which drew particular praise. For the last six months the sporting work across the school has been scrutinised by the judging panel. It was the level of collaboration that the school undertakes with local maintained sector schools which proved to be an important factor in the school receiving the accolade, with the judges commenting that it was “good to see sport given such a place in the school’s life”.
In 2006, the school recognised that it could offer a contribution to sport at primary school level. After a cross-country event in which nine primary schools and 86 runners took part, year-on-year growth led to a formal partnership being formed. Shrewsbury High School now provides ongoing year-round provision of its facilities to accommodate a constantly growing programme, in which over 600 pupils and 15 schools took part in 2013-14. As well as cross-country events, the school also hosts football and netball tournaments. The judges praised these initiatives as “longstanding and sustainable”.
The DfE has also recognised the school’s collaborations with maintained schools and funded a project which sees local schools participating in a Lego robotics outreach programme.
Headmaster Michael Getty, who collected the award on behalf of the school, in front of 300 guests, says: “We are especially proud of sport and to have this recognised in this way is an amazing achievement. A huge amount of credit goes to our staff at prep and senior school. We were the first school in the region to be shortlisted in the awards last year and now we are honoured to be the first to actually win an Independent School Award.”
Meanwhile, the school has also announced that it will be increasing its Year 4 provision from two to three classes as of January 2015 owing to an increasing number of enquiries from parents. “We have a thriving prep school which is wonderful and we are also fully aware that one of the best things about the school is its small class sizes, enabling all children to reach their full potential and shine within the group,” says Michael Getty. “We have new pupils joining us this term specifically for this reason. By adding a third class to year 4 we will continue to guarantee these smaller class sizes that our parents expect and our pupils deserve.”