A Message From Our Headteacher
This Spring Term edition of the Webberzine really feels like a reflection of the season, as our school community is really feeling like there is a return to the ‘normal’ way of working. That is not to say students, parents and staff have not felt the impact of the need to self-isolate at various points since January – students and staff attendance has suffered more than it has over the past 2 years. However, our school community’s response, one of resilience and optimism in the face of challenges, has been inspirational – we have not let the challenges we have faced deter us from making the most of our time together.
Within this edition of the Webberzine, you will read about all the opportunities we have embraced as a school community over the past couple of months. All of these came about through diligent and careful planning in the months which preceded them. You will read about the progress of our plans to become Shropshire’s first ‘School of Sanctuary’, which is particularly pertinent with the current crisis in Ukraine. Planning for the school community to achieve this status started way back in the autumn term, so for us it was not a response to the humanitarian crisis, but rather a reflection of the principles we stand for.
Our Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) curriculum enhancement opportunities have gathered pace over the past few months, with our first ‘in person’/’live’ STEAM Day in two years being delivered in the middle of March. Our Year 9s were able to show their problem-solving and enquiry skills as they presented the results of the CREST projects to parents and a panel of judges, building on the successes of former students from over two years ago.
Our school community showcased its creativity and imagination as many students and staff celebrated World Book Day by dressing up as characters from their favourite books. With so many fantastic and carefully considered costumes on display, our judging panel had to increase the number of awards available in recognition of the effort and attention to detail on show.
Our clubs and activities have increased in popularity and range, meaning there is more on offer and more uptake from our students. We have also seen more visits from specialist sports coaches in areas like football and cricket – I am sure it is no coincidence we have also seen an increase in our sporting successes as our school teams take part in more fixtures with other schools.
The trustees, governors and I planned to recruit a Deputy Headteacher this term, an essential role which needed to be filled, following the retirement of Mr Davies at the end of last academic year. Our Multi Academy Trust’s Executive Principal, Mr Johnstone, joined me and a panel of governors in creating a rigorous interview process to identify the right person to fill this crucial school role. I am delighted to announce Miss Weston’s appointment to the role, effective after Easter. All potential candidates were very credible, giving the appointment panel a lot to think about. However, the decision to appoint Miss Weston was unanimous and she will enjoy the full support of our very capable Senior Leadership Team.
Since we became an academy in January 2019, we have been part of the Central Shropshire Academy Trust (CSAT). We have developed our links with the other schools in our Trust, Belvidere and Meole Brace, and as part of these links we currently host a small group of Belvidere students for their GCSE in music. You may remember I sent you a letter from our Executive Principal, Pete Johnstone, about a merger with the TrustEd Schools Partnership, based in the south of Shropshire. The date for the merger is confirmed as Sunday 1st May 2022, when we will form a new Multi Academy Trust, named TrustEd CSAT Alliance. Our school community is looking forward to embracing the new opportunities this will bring to the students and staff in all our schools.
There is so much to look forward to next term and it is set to be extremely busy, so I sincerely hope all those in our school community enjoy a restful and relaxing break with family and friends. It is an opportunity for us all to unwind, make the most of the fresh air and catch-up on reading for pleasure. I look forward to welcoming all our students and staff back to school, after a safe and enjoyable Easter, refreshed and ready for the summer term.
Mr P J Lowe-Werrell
STEAM Curriculum Day
On the steam curriculum day, we made rocket cars. It was so much fun decorating and inventing our own rocket cars by hand. There were so many different designs, it was fantastic! Everyone enjoyed watching the quick cars race!
The cars were made out of polystyrene blocks that were easy to cut through so that you can shape it to whatever you want. The wheels were made out of plastic and there were so many colours to choose from! The decorations were optional but the more colour the better.
The rocket that made the cars move was placed in the back of the car by an adult so that injuries were restricted. We really enjoyed doing the curriculum day, it was lots of fun!
Freya and Imogen.
Think Tank Trip
Think Tank, Birmingham was really interesting and educational and I would highly recommend it!
I thought the trip was educational, I learnt a lot of fun facts about science!
Year 9 Science Crest fair
All year 9 students have spent 4 weeks working hard to earn their bronze Crest award, the award recognises creativity shown in a science or engineering based project. There has been a definite buzz of excitement in lessons as students have worked on projects such as: Which is the stickiest tape?, Can you make electricity from waste food?, Which fake tan lasts the longest?
STEM ambassador judges and ex-students were invited to attend the after-school science fair where students talked through their projects with the hope of being selected to win the prize of a trip to the Big Bang fair in June. The judges all said how impressed they were with the students and their work. The top 3 projects were:
Making a paper substitute from plant fibres – Rohan France, Alex Matthews, and Hugo Rauch
Making a plastic alternative – Carys Whitley, Pippa Evans, and Freya Thompson
Which is the best hand sanitiser? – Millie Nelson, Emily Culbert, Hannah Morgan.
Thursday 17th March, we had a curriculum day, we participated in many fun and educational activities such as: who can make the best paper plane, who had the quickest reaction time and ping pong from the Maths department, this helped our learning with measurements and statistics. From the Science department we had to find a way to make electricity from zinc, copper and an orange we also did a quiz to see what type of engineer we are.
We started off talking about the business and what they do, after that we talked about the different types of insulation.
After the introduction, we were put in teams to build a wall. There were four different walls, we then discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using the different types of insulation.
We also had a go at building a cavity wall, and making a window frame. My favourite part was making the window frame as I enjoyed the wood work.
Luke Jones 10B
Inspirational speeches, and DNA necklaces
For the first part of our curriculum day we listened to inspirational speeches from two ex-students. The first woman was an engineer and the second a nurse. They were both excellent speakers and had gone on to achieve many things.
The year 10s were then split into groups and made their way around the different activities throughout the rest of the day. One of the activities involved making our own personal DNA necklace. Mrs Lee supported us and I was very excited for this GCSE practical.
All in all, I found this curriculum day enjoyable and interesting.
Olivia Jones 10B
Virtual Reality Headsets
On the curriculum day we made virtual reality headsets out of cardboard, lenses and a hot glue gun, they worked well for most of the students making them.
At the end of the day an engineer came in to talk to us about potential jobs in the future. She then set us a task, in groups we had to build or come up with a potential flood defence, which we made out of a range of materials including cardboard and lego.
Duke of Edinburgh Silver Training Day
Early in the morning (by most of our standards) on Sunday 27th March, a group of Y10s and a few Y11s met up at the Admiral Rodney pub, ready and raring to officially commence our Expedition Section for our Silver DofE Awards.
Each of us had been instructed to bring and, subsequently, carry our own rucksacks, which were all full of kit, but, having been sorted into two groups that we will remain in until the end of our Silver DofE experience, we discovered that we were required to take an additional bag per group as well; these bags each contained a tent, amongst other items, that we would be taught how to put up later in the day. Thus, one member of each group was allotted the task of lugging these especially heavy rucksacks up the hill. Following these initial preparations that included being introduced to the DofE leaders, we were provided with maps and Greg, who was the leader of my group, marked a point on each of our maps where we proceeded to navigate our way too, walking along the road with our weighted-down rucksacks whilst he and Mr Seager drove to meet us at the first checkpoint… we weren’t at all bitter about that, of course!
On our way, we separated from the other group, whose route took them an alternative way up the hill, and succeeded in proving that we could indeed find our way to this initial checkpoint, my group, as well as Greg and Mr Seager, headed up the hill along a winding path through the woodland at the start of the incline. We had been reminded of how to use our maps just before we set off for the second time and instructed to calculate the potential duration of the next stage of our journey (the advantage of this being that, if we went too far, we would recognise that fact due to timing being different to that of our estimation), as well as to observe and match any landmarks along the way to the landmarks on our map. This was ultimately how we travelled up the hill – we stopped and started at various checkpoints that Greg marked on the map, planned our route and then proceeded to follow it whilst noting down and checking various details that we saw or passed along the way. Admittedly, at points, we were a tad uncertain of which way to turn but Greg and Mr Seager allowed us to converse amongst ourselves and encouraged us to recognise and, if we could, to right the problem ourselves too, although they were obviously always there to assist us so that nothing went catastrophically wrong.
At the base of the last real incline and having already glimpsed Rodney’s Pillar, we ate lunch and discussed with Greg what to do in various emergency situations before setting up our tent. Teamwork and communication, as well as eating as much chocolate as was physically possible with the excuse for this being that we needed to restore the sugar we had lost in climbing the hill so that we could function at the best of our abilities, was crucial here to ensure that we put the tent up as efficiently as possible. Hilariously, however, due to friction with the canvas of the tent, most people who ventured inside our creation returned looking as though they had suffered a severe electric shock!
Following this, we navigated to the very peak of the hill and set about taking photos of our surroundings and ourselves, as well as snacking on any remaining confectionary, before venturing down the hill, navigating somewhat hurriedly but smiling, chatting and laughing as we did so, so that we were back at the Admiral Rodney in time to be collected by our parents.
Hattie Steele Year 10
Schools of Sanctuary
Over the past few months, a handful of Year 10s, myself included, have been working (primarily alongside Miss Pugh and one of the school governors, Robert Douglas, although a few other members of staff have also supported us behind the scenes) to get Mary Webb School and Science College into a position in which it can officially be classed as one of the many Schools of Sanctuary, which are located up and down the country, yet none currently reside within Shropshire’s borders… we are planning to change that!
Essentially, Schools of Sanctuary is a national organisation that originated in Sheffield and was initially introduced in 2005. Ultimately, Schools of Sanctuary strives to improve conditions and to cater for students from different backgrounds, especially refugees, but we also think that this would be a good opportunity to further develop the school’s work in encouraging racial and gender equality, as well as endorsing LGBTQ+ rights. This association promotes various values, such as inclusiveness, for example, that immediately resonated with us as we, the group of students working towards making the idea of Mary Webb becoming a School of Sanctuary a reality, began to expand and develop our understanding of what the society is and what it aims to achieve because of its close resemblance to one of our school mottos – “Working together to ensure success for all.”
As well as this similarity, there are numerous ways in which we are already working together to advocate the values that we, as a school community, have chosen to share and prioritise; for example, every student in the school is educated about the Holocaust/Shoah in History and every pupil also learns a language in MFL. Consequently, as we stated when delivering a PowerPoint presentation on 4th April to the teaching staff working at Mary Webb School, it is mostly just a mere matter of getting recognised for the work we are already doing.
However, we also made it clear during our presentation that there is always room for improvement. These various additions may come in the form of more varied Curriculum Days so that students can gain a better understanding of the world around them as well as studying STEAM subjects, having a form of topic in which individual form groups can study a specific country and then present their research to their class at the end of term or, perhaps, more diverse assemblies that focus upon more aspects of different cultures, besides our own. Although none of these ideas have been finalised yet and there are many more suggestions that may be used instead, we believe that the school would certainly benefit from learning about the main principles advocated by Schools of Sanctuary in more ways than we are currently doing.
It is our hope that the work that we put in over the coming months will mean that Mary Webb School and Science College will become a member of the Schools of Sanctuary organisation and, ideally, we will also be the first school in Shropshire to do so! We believe that both the students and staff will gain so much from the school becoming a member: for example, everyone will be able to have a newfound respect for each other and a better understanding of other people’s lives and cultures.
Here’s an example of how one school became a member of Schools of Sanctuary:
1st – Logan Darbyshire
2nd – Paige Ainsworth
3rd – Harry Worley
1st – George Rowe
2nd – Sam Sullivan
3rd – Guy Campbell-Curtis and Aerlie Hawcroft (joint)
1st – Cassie Bartlett
2nd – Kathryn Harris
3rd – Layla Edwards and Noah Payne (joint)
1st – Rosa Wood and Rosie Whicker (joint)
2nd – Macy Cowper
3rd – Eve-Lynn Sullivan
1st – Sophie Edwards
2nd – Anja Rawlings
3rd – James Edwards and Wyatt Savekar (joint)
This year World Book Day celebrated a special milestone – 25 years since it first began. We wanted to mark this special milestone by doing things a bit differently this year. On top of our usual fancy dress competition for both staff and students, we also had mini competitions involving arts and crafts and lego building. There were also lots more prizes on offer this year!
As always staff and students fully immersed themselves in the frivolity and spirit of the day! Students came in dressed as a variety of different book characters from classics like Alice in Wonderland to more modern reads like Skulduggery Pleasant, with a healthy dose of Marvel, DC and Manga characters adding to the mix, showing just how diverse children’s literature has become.
World Book Day is always a special, fun day at Mary Webb, and everyone always puts in 100% effort no matter how silly! I mean what other day of the year can you experience Maths taught by Little Miss Sunshine, Drama by Phantom of the Opera, French by Gangsta Granny and Humanities by Cruella De Vil?!
There were prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each year group for best fancy dress. Thank you to all the students who embraced the spirit of World Book Day and participated in the fancy dress, special congratulations to the following students who placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in their year group.
The mini competitions were also well received by students, and included fancy dress, re-designing a book cover, and replicating a scene out of lego or other materials. Well done to everyone who entered and received a house point, special congratulations to the winners:
Jess Ellson Year 7
Re-design a book cover
Maddie Bennett Year 7
Replicate a scene out of lego
Isabelle Clark Year 8
We are very proud of our strong reading culture here at Mary Webb School, we also value the importance of sharing our love of books together in celebrating World Book Day every year and supporting such a great cause. We look forward to an even bigger and better World Book Day event next year!
Comic Relief 2022
On Friday 18th March 2022 students came into school in non-school uniform, including one red item of clothing in aid of Comic Relief. We raised a fantastic £593.59! Thank you to everyone who donated, and to the Charity Committee members for organising.
Inspirational Sparks at Mary Webb School
Name: Emma Weston
Role in school: Deputy Headteacher
What was your moment of inspiration to do better in life / want to succeed?
I consider myself very lucky. I have parents who have supported me through every stage of my education. Learning was always important at home, as were books and reading.
My dad is passionate about history and through him I also became very interested in the past. As a family we went to museums and on visits to places to learn about this, this only sparked my thirst for knowledge.
This increased when I started secondary school. My history teacher Mr Williams was incredibly interesting and full of energy. He made history come alive with his stories. I consider myself lucky that I went to a school where I was surrounded by excellent teachers who wanted the best for their students. This inspired me to try and give students the brilliant experiences and love of learning that I still maintain to this day.
How I got here:
After my GCSEs I went to Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and studied A-Levels, I then went to The University of Liverpool where I studied Modern History and Politics. From there I completed my PGCE at Keele University. I then came to Mary Webb School as a newly qualified teacher- the rest, as they say, is history!
What inspires you now?
Mary Webb students and staff. This school is a very special place. Magic happens here! This school is filled with so many skilled, intelligent, interesting people who contribute to a fantastic learning community. I feel very privileged to have a job where I support young people to achieve their best and hopefully have a love of learning that follows them throughout their lifetime.
I want all the people in my life, professionally and personally to be proud of me and I strive to achieve this. I have a daughter and I want her to be as happy in school as I am (I have never really left!)
It is always a pleasure seeing former students either in school or out and about. I enjoy hearing about their adventures and their next steps- I encourage you all to do this when you leave. I am always interested in how you have opened your minds and broadened your horizons.
Mary Webb Basketball team has gone from strength to strength. Since it was setup in October, the afterschool club has continued to be successful with the number of participants increasing each week. The support from local Basketball team, Shrewsbury Storm has been the reason for this success. Each week sessions have been delivered by Coach Dave and this link helps students to move into the club with ease.
The squad has played a number of fixtures against other schools with further fixtures still being organised.
The intention is also to raise a girls’ team. A few girls already attend the after school session so we hope to encourage more players to raise enough for a female only team as well.
Basketball club will be going on into the Summer Term, so come and join us (years 7,8 & 9) on a Monday afterschool in the sports hall.
Congratulations to Fin Bellamore in Year 11, who has been awarded U16’s Player of the Month for Shrewsbury Town in the Community.
Here is Fin receiving his certificate at Shrewsbury Town’s FC game against Rotherham on Tuesday night at Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Year 7 Boys Football
Congratulations to the Year 7 boys football team who will take part in the County Schools Presidents Trophy Final.
Mary Webb have played in this Cup competition since November taking on schools such as Meole Brace, Charlton, Ercall Wood (in the Quarter Finals) and then headed into the Semi Finals where they convincingly beat Priory school 3-0 to book their place in the County Presidents Trophy Final.
Mary Webb dominated the game from start to finish and never stopped working hard as a team to totally nullify any potential threat from Priory.
Reece Morgan scored the first goal putting MW 1-0 up at half time. In the second half MW continued to create numerous chances and were eventually rewarded with two goals from Evan Wareing.
The dates of the finals are yet to be confirmed but Mary Webb wish all the players and staff the best of luck in the Final.
#LetGirlsPlay – Girls Football Day at Mary Webb
On Wednesday 9th March, Mary Webb School joined in supporting the FA’s National Campaign #LetGirlsPlay. The Campaign was aimed to get as many girls as possible playing football in schools across England on the same day. Here at Mary Webb we decided that we wanted every girl to take part in a girls only football session during their PE Lesson. Local football club, Worthen Juniors FC attended the day, providing their FA qualified football coaches to deliver these sessions. This successful event has raised awareness of opportunities and created better links with local club Worthen Juniors FC. Worthen are now helping to deliver the after schools’ girls football sessions which runs on Thursdays and they are also inviting girls to join their club.
Any girls, regardless of ability who are interested in coming along to the after-school sessions at Mary Webb are welcome to come along. For further information contact Miss Bailey on email@example.com
The dates of the finals are yet to be confirmed but Mary Webb wish all the players and staff the best of luck in the Final.
Congratulations to year 7 & 8 Mary Webb girls who play football for their local Girls Football Club, Worthen Juniors U13’s. They played in the Semi Final of the Shropshire Girls & Women’s League Charity Cup against a strong Shrewsbury Up and Comers team. The game was extremely close. In the end, it was Worthen, that came from behind, to take the lead in the final stages of this exciting game. The referee blew the final whistle which mean that Worthen Girls will be playing in the Final of the Charity Cup.
We wish them and the girls from Mary Webb the very best of luck for the final which is TBC.
Picture below of Mary Webb Girls
Tennis @ Mary Webb
Mary Webb School have been running Tennis coaching sessions after school on Thursdays since the Autumn term. This was introduced and ran as a first come first serve basis with limited numbers available. The LTA Tennis coach, Sam Leigh delivers these sessions each week and has noticed improvement among the students attending.
Lola in Year 7 who takes part in these sessions commented;
I have come to tennis every week since it began and it is amazing, I love how we learn new skills through playing a variety of games and how everyone gets along incredibly well