William Brookes School is a caring, successful and improving school. We want everyone associated with us to be welcomed, included, and to benefit from that association. The school is a family with 950 students and over 120 staff. We all try to live by the motto of “Be the best you can be through Courtesy, Enterprise and Endeavour”.
Our school is here to serve students with high quality learning and give the best possible life chances. We believe learning is best when teachers, leaders and students work together to achieve challenging, stimulating and creative lessons, in a safe and happy environment. As parents we value your support in attaining the best academic and social standards, which demonstrate pride in our school.
Each month Mr Renwick publishes an article about William Brookes School in the community. Here is the latest version to appear in the Wenlock Herald.
One important role that school plays in the lives of young people is to widen their outlook and horizons. The World is a much smaller place now and students will encounter a much wider range of cultures and experiences throughout their careers than ever before. We try to provide opportunities to see life outside our local area, whilst remembering expense must be a consideration. Learning is best when students are actively engaged and most learn best by doing.
Through various subjects there are opportunities to visit many local places of interest, like the school’s catchment area or a Science project on Wenlock Edge; the Mosques in Telford for RE; the Shrewsbury flood defences for Geography and Theatre Severn for Drama students. Jackfield is another excellent venue to see tiles being made at Craven Dunhill. There’s the Worcester Commandary for History; The Hive in Shrewsbury with Performing Arts and ICT, Ricoh for the Engineering Education Scheme and Cap Gemini for careers talks on apprenticeships. All of these locations offer our students a rich experience and are pretty much ‘on the doorstep’.
We try to visit sporting events offered to schools at preferential rates, experiencing special occasions that may spark further interest in activities. These have included trips to St. Georges Park in Staffordshire to see the brand new training facilities for elite sports people; Edgbaston Cricket Ground to watch the Champions Trophy match between Australia and New Zealand and a trip to Bath Rugby, where we provided the guard of honour onto the pitch for a Premiership game with Leicester. Students also watched two Champions League games at Old Trafford before Sir Alex was allowed to retire!
To really develop cultural experiences, we sometimes visit foreign lands: our French Exchange with Cysoing and Vouvray, which has been taking place for 25 years now, is just one example. We had our Olympic experiences last summer and a Business Studies visit to New York. Winning a place at the Bar Mock Law Competition Finals took us to Belfast and we also went on a Sports Tour to Barcelona. Back over to France, but a little further south, our Year 10-13s enjoyed a great skiing trip. Expeditions a little closer to home have included Arthog and Llangollen for Duke of Edinburgh assessments, whilst some intrepid students preferred to raise a lot of money to fund their African adventure to Morocco. This successful trip came about via extensive support from parents and sponsorship from the local business community.
Sometimes it makes more sense to bring experiences into the school rather than us go to them. We have hosted visits from a number of specialists over the years and have benefitted from experienced law guidance via Clive Beer and poetry workshops with Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion. From the world of athletics, we have had motivational speeches from Alison Williamson and sports workshops with Daniel Caines. Youthful Landscapes staff have been ‘Bringing Shropshire to Life’, and an Artist in Residence session brought us Meadow Art’s Anne de Charmant. Whilst Anne teased out some enchanting vistas, Ready, Steady, Cook and pizza-making experiences provided us with some delightful aromas!
We are now trying to develop a programme of events that gets added value to the community as well as the school: Cafe Sci invites thought provoking talks by specialists which are open to students and the public alike. The Edge Arts Centre continues to provide us with lots of big acts and we are working together to host interesting and entertaining productions for the local community and the school. Look out for an Evening with John Hartson. The inspirational footballer will be with us on Friday, July 19.
There is a lot of ‘educational mileage’ to be had from our varied and rich menu of trips and visits. Some of the many experiences on offer could change and enhance someone’s life – “Going that extra mile to get those extra miles“.
Geoff Renwick, Head