A Message From Our Headteacher

At the end of term, there’s an opportunity for us to look back and reflect on what we have learned over the past 14 weeks. We can then use this learning to help us look ahead to the next term and prepare for the rest of the year and any challenges we may face. In school, we reflect on feedback we get from each other, whether in lessons or in conversations, at least on a daily basis, if not multiple times a day. In lessons this feedback can often be received in the form of ‘What Went Wells’ (WWWs) – the things that were successful and really good – and the ‘Even Better Ifs’ (EBIs) – how we can improve upon the good things we have done. You could say we are all experts at doing this, but sometimes it doesn’t cover other things we need to reflect upon to help us confidently meet the unforeseen challenges ahead of us – more on this in a bit.

When I look back over the term and think of how the House Teams literally pulled together in our first House Competition of the year, the Tug of War, I look at all the camaraderie and support shown for each other – it showed our school community at its best, in good-spirited competition. I also look back to some of our other sporting triumphs in the girl’s football festival in October, recent fixtures in the National Cup (against Wayne Rooney’s old school) and the local fixture against the Y11 Belvidere team (a match we didn’t think we’d win) – all our students played with confidence and as a team. In academic competition, we saw one of our Teams in the Shrewsbury 6th Form Challenge achieve a place in the national finals, which will take place early in January in London or Huddersfield. And on the evening of Thursday 15th December, we saw our students lead and perform in our music and drama Winter Showcase, shining a spotlight on some of the talent in our school community. For those of you yet to attend one of these showcases, I urge you to come along to support and bear witness to the performances of our talented youngsters.

All these successes and achievements have come about through a combination of personal endeavour and resilience, combined with the support for each other which comes through teamwork. This teamwork relies on the kindness and compassion everyone in our school community shows to one another on a daily basis, in conjunction with the honesty and respect needed when supporting each other to make the improvements and developments we all need to grow as independent and resilient individuals. Another factor which has contributed to these is not that we have always been successful, but how we have learned from the difficult moments along the way. This means we don’t forget the difficult moments, but instead we learn from them and keep them as significant moments in our past, as opposed to focusing on them in the present and our futures.

This term has been a challenge for us as a school community. Some of us have lost loved ones this term and our school lost James. This has been hard for us to come to terms with, but it is also something we can learn from. Family and friendships surround us – we are good at supporting each other, I see it every day, but we sometimes are not always good at turning to people when we need their support. Maybe we think we won’t get the help we need, maybe we think we don’t deserve help or see asking for help as a weakness. My experience in our school is that nothing could be further from the truth. So, during this Christmas holiday, which will no doubt be filled with festive fun, we should remember that when we face that odd challenging moment, we can look to our family and friends for help and hope, safe in the knowledge they will help us and that we, in turn will help them. It’s what we do – working together to ensure successful for all.

Thank you for taking the time to read the introduction to this edition of the Webberzine – I hope you will read on to find out more about what’s been happening in the school this term.

James Thomas - A Tribute

As a tribute to James, I am sharing the words I said at his funeral, on behalf of our school community.

At our Awards Evening this year, we will be presenting a new music award, sponsored by James’s family. This will be an annual award – more details to follow in the Summer Webberzine.

The students and staff of Mary Webb School and Science College are going to miss James no longer being with us, in person. Our school was a place where James belonged – he knew he was part of our school community and he embraced this. But that is not to say James followed every school rule, always arrived on time and always worked hard in lessons, instead it was because he changed us as much as we helped him to thrive.

When James first arrived with us, he did not feel comfortable in the uniform he wore. He did not exude confidence on that first day or during that first week – he was wary of us, but as we got to know James, this changed, or rather he changed how he would become part of our school. James loved his music, he loved playing his guitar, he was a musician. And with the exception of ACDC, James knew guitar playing musicians did not wear school uniforms. This prompted the first change James made to our school – the introduction of a school hoodie, with the school logo, became an accepted part of school uniform. Or rather, it became James’s school uniform. He also started wearing his beanie. If there was an item of clothing that we would all remember James by, it would be his beanie. Even on the hottest days of the year, James would wear his beanie – he was incredibly disciplined with himself about this item of clothing. So, as James’s confidence in his relationship with us grew, so did his confidence in himself. He started to make friends, good friends, friends who are here with us today, to celebrate and remember his life and their friendship with him.

James was a loyal friend. He was naturally kind to other children in our school, particularly the students who spent some of their time in our Personalised Learning Centre, our PLC. James was like a big brother to the younger students and they enjoyed being around him and speaking to him. Or, as James put it, in the personal statement he wrote for his CV on 21st September:

“I am a good team worker and dedicated”.

If he or his friends ever got into a bit of trouble, he would try to take responsibility for it all, even if it wasn’t all down to him – that’s the type of person he was, he would rather be in trouble himself for something he hadn’t done than have his friends get into trouble. The thing is, he didn’t have much of a ‘poker face’, so even though he may have wanted to take the blame for something he hadn’t done, we knew! James also inspired a generation into ‘doing laps’ of the school before a lesson. And whilst those that know our school will know what this means (and how infuriating it is for our staff), for James it was actually an important coping mechanism, which would either help him enter his next lesson, or help him make the decision to work in PLC.

Our staff will remember James for far more than just being the trailblazer who brought ‘doing laps’ to our school. For those staff who knew him well, he leaves them with memories of a lad who had a good sense of humour, a lad who appreciated the firm but fair application of rules, but above all a lad that treated his peers well – he never belittled anyone or took away their self-worth. Unfortunately, there is not enough time for me to share all the kind words staff sent to me about their memories of James, but they have heavily influenced what I have said. James once told a member of staff that he had stayed longer in our school than anywhere else. When she asked him why this was, he replied with a smile and a laugh:

Nowhere else wanted me.

A response which encapsulated his sense of humour and belonging in our school. This same member of staff reflected on what a genuinely nice guy he was, he was very modest, never showing off about how talented he was on the guitar. And it is with this reflection on his relationship with music that I would like to share what I will remember most.

In his personal statement, James wrote:

I am a guitarist and drummer and I have been playing guitar since I was 12 years old and the drums since I was 14 years old. I am self-taught in both instruments and enjoy taking part in bands and musical groups.  In the future I hope to be in a band and do live performances and gigs and release/stream music for the public to listen to. I would also like to be a part of the Shrewsbury College’s music course to help me follow a music career.”

As well as playing and listening to music, James loved watching movies. When I chatted with him about what he’d been watching, he listed a couple of Stephen King horror movies, which I hadn’t seen, nor would ever want to watch. I told him as much and said I preferred other Stephen King movies, Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, his face lit up. He told me he loved The Green Mile, and when I admitted the end of this film brought a tear or two to my eyes, he said it made him cry too. When we talked about music, he talked about nu-metal and industrial metal bands I have no interest in, but when I told him I liked Red Hot Chilli Peppers, he told me which songs of theirs he liked. On another occasion when we were talking about music, Nine Inch Nails came up in conversation. I said only knew one of their songs, Hurt, but I preferred the Johnny Cash version, which he agreed was good. A few days later I walked past PLC to hear him playing the Johnny Cash version of Hurt on an acoustic guitar. James didn’t just love a particular style of music, he just loved good music.

On the last Friday I saw James, he was going to the music rooms with a friend to play some music. I went with them and as they were getting set up, I asked James if he could play Thunderstruck by ACDC. He said he knew it, but hadn’t played it before. He then smiled, picked up the guitar and began to play it. But whilst it is the music most will remember James by, I think what I will remember most is how he could combine sincerity with a sense of humour. The last sentence in his personal statement read,

I will not say whether I am trust worthy polite because that is not for me to decide it is for others to say whether I am any of those things.

It’s things like that I will remember, that and his smile.

Over 100 awards were presented for the highest achieving students and those who had made the most progress over the year in the STEAM subjects (Science, computer science, design technology, food technology, construction, art and mathematics.) Certificates and, in the case of some students, plaques and medals were also presented to students who had represented the school in various competitions and challenges.

The evening also saw some brave students taking to the stage to talk about the events they had been involved with. Rohan France, Alex Matthews, Owen Wilcox and Hugo Rauch presented their bronze crest award project; aiming to make a paper substitute from waste materials such as banana skins and dead leaves. Their project won them a place at the Big Bang National Science and Engineering competition finals.

Alex Leoci, George Eden and Guy Campbell Curtis talked about their success at the Shrewsbury sixth form STEAM challenge, where they had to design an e-fit picture of a person they had only seen briefly, programme a robot to navigate a maze and design a fast car using a simple motor. They successfully beat students from the year above and other local schools to win a place at finals completion, which will be taking place on the 6th January. We wish them luck!

Noah Byrne and Brandon Maddox spoke about their experience with the UKMT (United Kingdom Mathematics Trust) and were joined on stage by the other winners of either bronze or silver award certificates.

Rohan, Owen and Hugo returned to the stage, joined by Matthew Beecroft and Max Partridge who presented photos of their experience as winners of the STAAR (Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency) beating students from over 100 schools to secure a week long residential experience at RAF Cosford.

We were delighted to welcome back ex-student Lonnie MacDonald to help present students with their awards. He also updated us on his journey since leaving the school in 2016 and how his love of biology has led him to his current role, working for the University of Liverpool and Astrazeneca, researching why medicinal drugs can have different effects on different people.

The final award of the night was the shield for the STEAM student of the year. Congratulations go to Isobel Cross who thoroughly deserved the award after working to consistently high standards across all 3 sciences and mathematics.

Mrs C Jones

RAF Cosford Glider Competition Winners

We attended after school glider club to prepare for a competition taking place at RAF Cosford. We were tasked with researching air craft design and experimenting with models that had different wing designs before venturing to RAF Cosford the live competition.

On the 10th of November we set off for RAF Cosford and after a brief introductory talk we had to put our research into action and make a model plane. We had to make sure the plane was balanced so it would fly straight. We had some trial flights and found we needed more weight on the front.

We also had to give a quick presentation on our research. We came second out of 16 teams in the distance with 12 m, but we won the prize for the most innovative design.

The best part was testing the different wing designs and winning a trophy. We would like to thank Mr Carthy for helping us with the wing designs and taking us to the competition.

Ffion Wilkinson, Ollie Platt, Mylie Boyd and Amy Jarrett, Year 8

50 Books to Read Before You Leave School

You have probably seen these lists before, almost a bucket list for books! Well Mary Webb School have decided to go a step further and create their very own list of books to read before students leave school, selected by all of our staff.

The all important list

  1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  2. When the Sky Falls
  3. The Diary of Anne Frank
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  6. Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging
  7. Wonder
  8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  9. Holes
  10. The Fellowship of the Ring
  11. Northern Lights
  12. Animal Farm
  13. Alice in Wonderland
  14. Danny The Champion of the World
  15. The Girls I’ve Been
  16. The Hobbit
  17. The Last Firefox
  18. The Railway Children
  19. The Borrowers
  20. The Wind in the Willows
  21. The Hunger Games
  22. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
  23. Noughts and Crosses
  24. The Gilded Ones
  25. Lord of the Flies
  26. Treasure Island
  27. Sherlock Holmes
  28. The Great Gatsby
  29. Name of the Wind
  30. Chocky John Wyndham
  31. The Art of Creative Thinking
  32. Pawn of the Prophecy
  33. Around the World in 80 days
  34. Sharpe’s Tiger
  35. The Last Grain Race
  36. Shadow
  37. The Diamond Brothers
  38. Girl on the Train
  39. Z For Zachariah
  40. Tom’s Midnight Garden
  41. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole
  42. The Wee Free Men
  43. The Shining
  44. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  45. A Child’s Christmas in Wales
  46. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls
  47. The Earth is Singing
  48. The Dead Father’s Club
  49. A Midsummer Nights Dream Graphic Novel
  50. Haynes Car Manual


We have decided to link ‘50 Books to Read Before You Leave School’ to a rewards scheme. As you know reading is a key priority here at Mary Webb and we want to encourage as many students and staff to take part as possible, and if reading wasn’t fun enough we want to make it even more fun! All students and staff will be given a rewards card which they will have stamped each time they read one of the books on the list. There are ten stamps on each card, and there will be a reward for each card completed.

Golden Ticket

We have also hidden a golden ticket and a few silver for each year group amongst the cards, and if selected this will earn the lucky winner another prize!

The rewards cards and the displays around the school have been centred around the theme of travel. How else can you can you jump in your wardrobe for a trip to Narnia, catch the Hogwarts Express for a quick potions class and a butter beer, and then travel round the world in 80 days but through books?

Alternative Reads

As we have lots of keen readers amongst us, we have also created a list of alternative books in case you have already read some of the books on the list, or feel that some of the books would not be suitable for you (The Shining by Stephen King is a definite pass for me).

Get Involved

We really hope to get as many students and staff involved as possible. Staff were given a head start and invited to take one of the books over the summer, so feel free to ask them for recommendations, and also don’t let them get too far ahead! Visit your school library to find out more.

Don’t forget another way to earn house points is to complete an Accelerated Reader quiz after finishing a book. 70-90% earns 1 house point, 100% earns 2 house points.

Well done to Beatrix Towers and Matthew Morris who have both read 4 books from the list already, earning themselves a £5 Amazon voucher as a one-off reward in light of the impressive start they have made, and just in time for Christmas!

Hannah Lynn Author Visit

We were very fortunate to have a visit from award winning author Hannah Lynn this term.

Hannah grew up in the Cotswolds and after graduating from university, she spent 15 years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then Thailand, Malaysia, Austria and Jordan. It was during this time, inspired by the imaginations of the young people she taught, she began writing short stories for children, and later adult fiction.

​Hannah now spends her days writing romantic comedies and historical fiction. Her first historical fiction novel, Athena’s Child, was also a 2020 Gold Medalist at the Independent Publishers Awards.

Students enjoyed Hannah’s writing workshop which gave them an insight into what it takes to become a published author, hints and tips for those who want to take a similar career path, and why reading for pleasure is so important.

She finished off the workshop with a creative writing competition open to our students. Below are the winning entries, congratulations to those students who will all receive an Amazon gift card.

Samuel Jebb 7C: The Revival of the Resistance

I woke up dazzled by the glimmer of glaring light. A thick layer of pigmented dust smothered my face. My eyes stung, arms sore and numb. Meaty linen ropes dug into my flesh, leaving trails of black and blue, while the air buzzed like an orchestra of bees at the height of the performance. An eagle floated with the hot, humid breeze; carrying it up far into the sky, above the clouds and out of view. Strident sounds echoed like the pounding of a heartbeat. The noise filtered through my ears and I could hear again.

Hannah Lynn’s comment:

Samuel. Such a captivating hook. As a reader I have so many questions: where is here? Who has tied him up? Why has he been tied up? Questions make a reader want to keep reading, so well done. Fantastic!

Charlie Lewis 8L: Orcus and Tellus

The sky was red and the air was filled with smog; smog thick enough to suffocate any mortal. The land was deserted and destroyed. Everything was over. Everything other than the war that was. The war of the world happened thousands of years ago in 348AD. Orcus and Tellus Mater were arguing over who should rule the humans. Orcus (Roman deity of the Underworld) and Tellus Mater (Roman deity of the Overworld) were very different at heart: Orcus was obsessed with war and death whereas Tellus loved peace and harmony. Whilst Tellus would rule better, Orcus had an army and would rage war if he said no…but even still, Tellus said no. He was adamant that as long as the war happened in the immortal realm, he could stop Orcus and his army and create tranquillity throughout the worlds.

Hannah Lynn’s comment:

Charlie, I love this. Immediately I want to know who the narrator is and what their role in the story is. Obviously, I am passionate about Mythology and can’t wait to read more of this.

George Rowe 9L

The humanity of it all. I mean, I always felt like the government was corrupt because nowhere can be perfect, right? For every rainbow, there are two more falsely accused; in a crowd of smiles, there is a tear. As I write this on a piece of paper that has been tinged yellow with age and a pen that is nearing the end of its life, I cannot help but think of my late father who gave me the mission that he started. The pain I feel now matches the one I felt when he died or when he found out the man I had called my friend was a spy trying to put me in prison. This is my last remark in hope someone will find it and solve my puzzle, as I cannot because I am about to die.

Hannah Lynn’s comment:

George, what a fantastic opening as it leaves so much space for what is going to happen. Is he going to be saved? Why did his best friend betray him? What has the government done that is so corrupt? Well done – keep writing!

Army Cadets Cyprus | October 2022 By Connor Daniels


SAS! Special Adventures and Sports

I’m Connor Daniels and I am a One Star Testing Army Cadet. I am writing this report as I do believe that more people should join cadets. I have been in the squadron for over a year now and am one of the longer standing senior members of our detachment in Pontesbury. Cadets has given me so many opportunities and I am on my way to becoming a Lance Corporal.

Being a part of a squadron has taught me a great deal. From first aid to field craft, Drill to History of the military. It has given me the opportunity to make new friends forge new relationships and helped me grow as a person in both confidence and skills.

You can gain so much from being a cadet and also create great memories.


During our trip to Cyprus we conquered the vast landscapes of the Troodos Mountains. Mountain biking through intense downhill trails and up through some high gradient waterfalls and steep mountain edges. This took bravery, skills and a lot of trying not to fall off! It pushed my abilities to the limit and gave me a large amount of self worth and confidence. It was all about getting through the day but making sure we protected and looked out for everyone on the team through the adventurous terrain.

Water Sports

After travelling through the mountains we headed to the hidden beach and were given amazing opportunities in both Sea and Land. Scuba diving, speed boats and paddle boards were among the few activities on offer. On land we worked as a team in a very competitive game of beach volley ball. The sun set as we ate by the sea with a wonderful BBQ of cypriot delights!

“The cadets is so much fun!”

“And its not just Cyrpus we do, there is an annual summer camp, Christmas Camp, Skills weekends, trips to museums, parades, Sports events and the DofE!

Throughout the trip to Cyprus the opportunities were endless, we also did go karting, mini golf, nights at the pool bar and I really have been given independence, and trust to be responsible.

Cultural Visits

Our trip was educational and adventurous, we walked in the foot steps of history through incredible ruins and walked across old city walls looking into the first ever Roman Docks. The History was outstanding, and the company was just as great.

Along side our historical walk we ate just like the Cypriot people, engaging in a traditional meal of meze and dancing. Amazed by the abilities of the dancers carrying glasses on there heads and spinning round with trays with no fear or hesitation, and not one broke! ( were they glued we will never know!)


1. Every Wednesday 7pm to 9.30pm Pontesbury Cadet Unit

2. Snacks drinks and a place to hang out! As well as learning new skills each wee.

3. Learning discipline and respect for the officers and NCOS

4. Learning Experiences to join the Army in the Future, it has so many careers opportunities to offer.


Thanks for reading, maybe you could be a cadet too.

A Jingle Bells Parody by Charlie Robinson, Jack Morris and Roman Voronehenko

Ploughing through the mud
in a t 7210
O’er the fields we go,
flat out all the way
furrows on a plough ,
turning fields round
What fun it is to drive a tractor,
on this snowy night

Oh, drive it here, drive it there,
Flat out all the way,
What fun it is to drive a tractor,
On the motorway (brrrwwwwww)
Oh, drive it here, drive it there,
Flat out all the way,
What fun it is to drive a tractor,
On the motorway (brrrwwwwww)

A day or two ago,
I thought I’d take a ride,
And soon there was a lunch box
seated by my side;
The tractor nice and shiny
Misfortune seemed his lot
We got into a muddy spot
And then we got upset .

Oh, drive it here, drive it there,
Flat out all the way,
What fun it is to drive a tractor,
On the motorway (brrrwwwwww)
Oh, drive it here, drive it there,
Flat out all the way,
What fun it is to drive a tractor,
On the motorway (brrrwwwwww)

Now the ground is brown
Go at it while you can
Take the massey tonight
And sing this ploughing song
Just get a warm coffee
25 km as his speed
Hitch him to an red plough
And bang! Its broken

Oh, drive it here, drive it there,
Flat out all the way,
What fun it is to drive a tractor,
On the motorway (brrrwwwwww)
Oh, drive it here, drive it there,
Flat out all the way,
What fun it is to drive a tractor,
On the motorway (brrrwwwwww)

100% Attendance Autumn Term

Year 7

 Max Bright 7C
 Eleanor Burns 7L
 Max Byrne 7T
 Ava Cherrington 7P
 Ben Cluderay 7C
 Emma Davies 7P
 Rhys Davies 7P
 Samuel Downward 7W
 Adrians Draugjalis 7T
 Tomos Evans 7W
 Monty Hodgkiss 7W
 Emilia Humphreys 7T
 Samuel Jebb 7C
 Robert Johns 7T
 David Jones 7C
 Iris Jones 7W
 Mia Lawley 7T
 Eva Lindsay 7C
 David Minh 7W
 Ola Miroszka 7T
 Tillena Morris 7T
 Mia-Rose Newland 7T
 Lily-Beth Owen 7C
 Jack Parry 7C
 Sophie Plimmer 7P
 Ben Robinson 7P
 Tristan Sharp 7C
 Nathaniel Towers 7L

Year 8

 Harry Barnes 8P
 Michael Chapman 8L
 Darcey Davies 8L
 Alice Feltham 8W
 Jacob Goncerzewicz 8W
 Lola Griffiths 8C
 Amy Jarrett 8P
 Gethin Jones 8L
 Matthew Morris 8C
 Jakob Robinson 8L
 Francesca Walters 8C
 Evan Wareing 8W
 Maisie Wheat 8L
 Sophia Zaza 8C

Year 9

 Noah Bissell 9C
 Guy Campbell-Curtis 9L
 Isabelle Clark 9L
 Oliver Edwards 9L
 Bethan Evans 9W
 Meadow Harris 9T
 Jessica Lawrence 9T
 Catherine May 9L
 Sam McFall 9W
 Henry O’Dair 9W
 Abbie O’Shea 9T
 Eloise Pritchard 9T
 Samuel Sullivan 9T

Year 10

 Matthew Beecroft 10T
 Ana Blanaru 10P
 Ruby Corfield 10P
 Emily Culbert 10T
 Luke France 10W
 Nia Jebb 10T
 Frank Marston 10P
 Hannah Morgan 10C
 Noah Payne 10C
 Trenton Wood 10P

Year 11

 Jack Davies 11T
 Jac Dormer 11L
 Tom Edwards 11T
 Hugo Elves 11P
 Jude Etherington 11L
 Grace Feltham 11T
 Charlotte Fenn 11P
 Kyle Heath 11W
 Olivia Jones 11C
 Hannah Ricks 11T
 Jamie Speake 11T
 Elly Straub 11L
 Kayleigh Wellings 11W
 Noah Williams 11T

Thank you for taking the time to read our December edition of the Webberzine. I hope you all safely enjoy this break which we all deserve, making the most of the time with your family and friends. When we all come back together again as a school community on Wednesday 4th January 2023, ready for a new school year, we can all look forward to the successes we will achieve by working together.

Best wishes

Mr P J Lowe-Werrell

From everyone at Mary Webb School & Science College