Summer 1 Newsletter 2024

Table of Contents

Introduction From the CEO: David O’Toole

School Improvement: Claire Jones Deputy CEO

Our Teaching and Learning consultants have been to all schools this term to see how Teaching and Learning is going and to give tailored support through working together. They are busy developing a trust CPD package that all our schools can start using from September onwards. The main theme will be Adaptive Teaching, and tailoring our lessons to the needs of all children so that everyone can reach their potential.

Moreover, our wider group of trust consultants are developing various CPD packages that our schools can implement next year, addressing topics such as: SEND, Staff Wellbeing, Behaviour management, Arbor, supporting disadvantaged pupils, Careers, Phonics, Curriculum.  Visit The 3-18 Education Trust website to learn more about our careers, staff benefits, and career progression.

Another project we are working on is the preparation of our 2024 conference, where all trust staff will have the chance to access some high-quality training. Based on your suggestions from the previous event, this time we are including more opportunities for staff to interact with their peers from different schools.  The event will take place on November 4th 2024 and will be held at the Telford International Centre.  More details to follow very soon.

People: Laura Taylor –Director of HR

Aspire Leadership Programme

Get ready for an exciting opportunity!

The Trust is launching its second Aspire Leadership Programme for all aspiring leaders. This high-level programme is designed for both support staff and teaching staff who want to develop their leadership skills. With action learning, cross-school collaboration, and facilitation by specialists in leadership, this dynamic programme is not to be missed!

Details have been shared through your Headteachers and expressions of interest are being accepted up until 4.00pm, Monday 3rd June 2024. Don’t miss this chance to grow together with the Trust!

Staff Benefits

We’re delighted to announce the upcoming launch of two fantastic employee benefits for the Autumn Term; Let’s Connect and Tusker’s Car Scheme. Both are part of our salary sacrifice schemes, designed to bring more value to your life, with the convenience of spreading the cost over a period of time.

Let’s Connect offers you the latest in tech and home items at exceptional prices, while Tusker provides a way to drive a new car with tax savings. Look out for more information coming your way in Summer 2, with full details on how to take advantage of these amazing opportunities.

Systems and Communication – Tim Goodman, IT Director

We are happy to include Hodnet Primary School into our IT system. All staff are now able to access shared files and communicate with all other schools in the Trust easily. Once the exam period is over, Bridgnorth Endowed School will be finally joining us digitally! 

We are very happy with the complete IT infrastructure upgrade at St Martins school, made possible by some great planning from the leaders there, working with a full Skunkworks-IT team in the Easter holidays. This gives them a network fit for years into the future and gave us a great opportunity to reconfigure and tidy all cabinets as we went around! 

Our new and improved filtering and monitoring solution is working well, and safeguarding leads in the schools have more control over their own insights and filtering. 

AI has come thundering into our consciousness.

And finally, an important note on security and your accounts. All staff, governors and trustees Microsoft 365 accounts are now secured with 2-factor authentication, meaning that cracked or stolen passwords will no longer work around the globe! Also, with the direct phishing methods of scam work emails trying to continue to harvest your details, we have now made it even easier to spot fake Microsoft login sites. If you do not see our logo on your desktop and mobile device on the password screen, it is a FAKE link! 

Finance, Estates & Sustainable Growth: CFO, Duncan Wright

Each year the Trust is allocated a significant amount of money from the Department for Education (DfE) to invest in capital projects across the Trust. All schools submit their proposals for capital investment and the Trust review each of these projects in detail and score them based on H&S / Safeguarding need, Curriculum need and value for money. All schools will receive some of this fund to improve their estate. Some of the most notable projects are as follows:

Thomas Adams School – A 3 classroom block to be constructed at the Lowe Hill site to support the school’s educational provision. Work will start here shortly and be ready for the new academic year.

Solar Panels Project – New solar panels will be installed at St Martins 3-16 School, The Priory School and Much Wenlock Primary School over the summer months. With wholesale electricity prices still high this will save our schools around £35k per annum meaning money can be utilised elsewhere within the school.

Bridgnorth Endowed School – Relocation of school reception to the front of the school to improve safeguarding. We will also be refurbishing the old PE student changing rooms to a more contemporary and fresh environment.

Work on some of these projects has already started so if you see some areas of your school under construction please adhere to any safety notices, particularly during school holiday time. The school capital development plan is a live document so if there is a capital project you feel would significantly benefit your school then please liaise with your Headteacher/Business Manager so they can look to add it to the capital plan.

Governance News

On Saturday 20 April, Trustees and Local Governors met for the second Governance Conference at the Albright Hussey Hotel. There were updates on the Governance Support Team, the Trust’s Central Team and Consultants and a brief overview of the new DfE’s Academy Trust Governance Guidance. The main topics covered the Use of AI in Education, the Governance Role in Environmental Sustainability and the Trust’s Approach to Pupil Behaviour and Interventions.  My thanks to all who attended and those who spoke, especially Tim Goodman, Paul Astles, John Ward and David O’Toole. The morning was also an ideal time to share experiences of recent Ofsted inspections.  We will be planning another conference so a request to Trustees and Local Governors – don’t forget to fill in the feedback questionnaire!

The number of those who are involved in governance in the Trust is now well over 100, 108 Local Governor positions, 9 Trustees (growing to 11 soon) and 5 Members.  This means each term there are several Local Governors reaching the end of their term.  On behalf of all at the Trust, I thank all those who are able to serve more then one 3 year term but, as in all organisations, there is some natural turnover.  We have recently welcomed 5 new Local Governors who are now working through their induction with the help of the Governance Support Team.  Training is crucial to fulfilling the governance roles and this term will see all Trustees and Local Governance complete knowledge and skills audit to help inform training sessions for September onwards.

Gary Turner

Chair, Board of Trustees

Updates from our Schools


Bowbrook Primary School

Sing-a-Longs, Neighbours and Care Homes

Summer term is busy than ever and we have many events planned that will bring our community together. We are passionate about being the heart of our community and have had some brilliant events already.

We hosted a Frozen Sing a Long event where all parents and children came together to sing some songs, watch a film and socialize together over pizza and drinks. These events are always well attended and lots of fun.

As well as hosting events in school, we have also be out and about in our surrounding area. Recently we visited Keystone Academy, which is right next door. We loved mixing with the older children, looking at some of their resources and making new friends.

We have also been to the local care home and enjoyed chatting to the residents. We all enjoyed this and one lady who never comes out of her room decided she wanted to come to the communal area and mix with the children.

Sam Aiston
Head Teacher, Sam Aiston

Bridgnorth Endowed

Bridgnorth Endowed Logo
BES Submits Twin Town Arts Festival Banner

A group of Bridgnorth Endowed art students, who worked on a community ‘street art’ project, recently submitted their stunning banner during a special awards ceremony held at Bridgnorth’s Town Hall.

Mayor, Councillor Rachel Connolly, awarded the students their certificates and congratulated them on their beautiful banner, which is about to embark on a journey to feature in an art display in Thiers, France – Bridgnorth’s twin town for almost five decades.

For the past eight years, the Bridgnorth Twinning Association has invited local schools to take part in the French town’s annual Ville Haute en Couleurs Arts Festival, where banners are hung around its streets from June to October.

This year’s theme was ‘au bonheur des fleurs’ or ‘the happiness of flowers’ and the students, all from Year 9, put their heads together and created an eye-catching, colourful design, featuring abstract floral patterns.

Head of Creative Arts, Mrs Rhodes, said: “The students worked really hard during their lunchtimes and it was great to see their enthusiasm and commitment as they collaborated to produce an exciting piece of art for the festival.”

A big thank you to our fantastic team of artists – Erin Abbiss, Katie Sands, Daisy Berry, Nella Devereaux, Agatha Liddle, Harry Hughes and Denzel Chamberlain – who have done us proud.

Michael Penn
Head Teacher, Michael Penn

Coleham Primary School

Coleham Primary School Logo
Rich Cultural Experiences

Reflecting on the last couple of half-terms, words like busy, relentless, challenging and exhausting come to mind, but also inspiring, rewarding and successful. Our Ofsted inspection was a great opportunity for our staff and families to recognise the incredible efforts they have all made, and the great impact we have had on so many people.  To be able to see that all the hard work is recognised is a great thing.


We have been bust, as ever at this time of year, preparing staffing for 2024-25 and have had some significant changes: 3 retirements in long-serving staff and 2 promotions, which leave 3 vacant teaching posts.  Julie Munns, a veteran of 29 years’ service at Coleham is retiring at the end of the summer, as is Kevin Edwards, a stalwart of Year 6 for the past 12 years.  We also say good bye to Les Jones, our inimitable caretaker for the past decade.  All three have been incredible servants to the school and we thank them for everything they have done. 

Sadie Howson takes up her role with the Trust full-time, meaning Gemma Jones takes on the SENDCo role for both Coleham and Bowbrook: I am sure both will do a fantastic job!  We have appointed Liz Rank and Sonali Mukhopadhyay to two of the vacant positions: both have worked at Coleham as HLTAs and Liz is rewarded her ECT job after training with us this year.  We have also appointed a new teacher in Sarah Featherston, who joins us from Telford.

Sol in the Galapagos

Sol in Year 6 was elected as the winner in a global Darwin-themed doodle competition and won a trip for him and his family to The Galapagos to take part in the Darwin 200 celebrations.  We’re so happy that we were able to make that happen for Sol – well done!

Plant & Craft Fair

We have also had our annual Plant & Craft Fair and a huge thanks goes to Tracy Othen for organising everything!  This year was notable for the number of child-led entrepreneurial stalls selling all things from 2nd hand clothes, to jewellery to handmade treats for pets!

Tom Larkham
Head Teacher, Tom Larkham

Hodnet Primary School

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Science Week

At Hodnet school we celebrated science week in style this week from plant investigations to chemical reactions and lots of fun along the way.

  • We had a delightful visit from the activity buses team sponsored by Severn Trent Water. They taught us how to keep our seas and rivers clean and all about toilets and sewers – all the disgustingly exciting science involving poo – yes we said it and we were allowed to say it! We had a great giggle holding pretend cartoon poo’s!
  • Plant science including germination in Y2 and recording findings of experiments for a pretend TV company in Y3.
  • DNA extraction in Y6. They investigated the properties of DNA and were so fascinated by this topic that they continued to evolve their learning to find out more and more! They followed a step by step method and extracted DNA from bananas. Super exciting.
  • Outdoor learning in Reception Forest Schools, using their science skills to find possible solutions to their ‘I wonder’ questions. They even had a real scientist visit from Mrs O’Connor who put her Lab coat back on after all these years, to find that reception class were indeed scientists. They also created chemical reactions earlier in the week.
  • Disgusting digestion in Y4 who imitated the stomach and small intestine with a zip bag and pair of tights – fascinating. They also tested egg shells to investigate the effects of drinks on our teeth. Proving the reason that we don’t allow juice in school – well done class 4!
  • Time and space – in assemblies Mrs Lyall shared the evolvement of GMT and its importance in the world. She also shared photos of family visits to Observatories in Sydney and Kielder Forest, inspiring others to think about possibilities to look for beyond our world.
  • The science gadget shop encouraged children to buy small science based gadgets, with all profits going towards new science equipment.
  • Supertato Jelly experiments in Y1 and magnetic investigations in Y5 made for a very busy week.
  • The Xplore science show, a special treat paid for by our wonderful PTA, captivated all year groups and brought a fantastic week to a close. 

There are many posts about some of this week’s science found on our science page, or on individual class pages, please take a look! Science page link

Penny Lyall
Head Teacher, Penny Lyall

Much Wenlock Primary

Much Wenlock Primary School Logo
World Book Day

At Much Wenlock Primary School and Nursery, we love to read. Children (and staff) had a wonderful week celebrating and developing their love of reading for World Book Day. There were a range of fun activities from dressing up as a character from a book to creating a delicious cakes based on a book theme.

Big Readers/Little Readers. We were incredibly proud and moved to see how caring and supportive our older children were when reading with Key Stage 1. They were true role models that demonstrated impeccable behaviour.

Much Wenlock Book Bake-off

Wow! What a turn out for our Much Wenlock Book Bake-off. Thank you to all that took part and attended the event. Our community is so unique – and the support was overwhelming.

All cakes were outstanding and delicious – it was almost impossible to pick a winner. However, after much deliberation the judges picked a winner in the four different categories. Every child who entered also received a prize. The contributions have raised much needed funds for our school library.

Live Arts Festival

Much Wenlock Primary School had an incredible outcome in the Live Arts 2024 Festival.

Choral Speaking: Gold, Reading for Performance (Year 5): Gold, Silver and Bronze. Duologue: Gold, Singing: Gold, Verse speaking:  Gold, Silver, Bronze.

We are incredibly proud of every child that entered, regardless of the outcome. It demonstrates bravery and tenacity to perform to a room full of competitors and observers – you felt the fear and did it any way.  The parents were amazingly supportive with loud applause and cheers throughout. It was an early start for some so an extra thank you for making that effort for your children. It meant the world to them. A huge thank you to The Live Arts team – warm, encouraging and extremely well organised.

The feedback from the judges following choral speaking stated:

“You bring words to life with joyful enthusiasm and exuberance.”

This was the theme that followed throughout the day. Our children genuinely love reading and communicating. We want to continue to build this enthusiasm and is the reason why we want to invest heavily in our library and literary experiences for all our children. Our curriculum drivers are Community, Communication, Connections, Change. This was demonstrated in abundance during the festival weekend. This is The Wenlock Way.

Carl Litchfield
Head Teacher, Carl Litchfield

The Priory School

Priory School Logo
National Reading Champions

A library team of readers came second amongst over 30 teams entered in the West Midlands area quiz for National Reading Champions 2024.

The team of year 8 girls (supported by the library Moomin mascot) worked together, had a great positive energy throughout and always cheered everyone else.

They just missed out on first place and a trip to the grand final in London, but came away with a prize of £60 of book vouchers.  The online quiz hosted by Mr. Dilly was great fun, very tricky at times but wonderfully motivating to encourage reading amongst young people.

Now we’ve set the bar high for next year!  Pictured in the National Reading Quiz team are Eva Butele, Anna Lysenko, Eleanor Brayne and Gwen Murray all in 8A.

World Book Day

World Book Day itself is always a big day in The Priory School calendar.

Staff and students get the chance to come in costume to school and every year the creativity and effort put into these lift our spirits. Reading for pleasure is on the decline nationally amongst young people so we embrace every opportunity to remember the positives and joy of reading, celebrating great books and characters.

The main hall was packed at break time with a selection of great costumes all selected for our annual competition. Winners received gift vouchers of their choice, sweets and book prizes from the English department.

Alison Pope
Head Teacher, Alison Pope

St Martins 3-16 School

Our Garden

Our St Martins Unlimited enterprise team have been very busy preparing the primary garden— they have now officially handed it over to staff and students. We are sure you’ll agree that the garden looks absolutely wonderful—thank you for all your hard work and for the very generous donation’s from local companies including Dobbies and ECT Sawmills and the support of Be a Better Fish, and Paul and David, the organisers of the St Martins Flower and Vegetable show.

Outstanding Young Citizens

Charlotte Walsh and Martha Green from Year 9 have been awarded an Outstanding Young Citizen Award for their work  setting up a Youth Garden with OSNOSH. They also meet with Oswestry Council looking at how local transport can be improved as part of the local Youth Forum.  What a bright future these students have ahead of them !

Combined Cadet Force

Promotions were awarded this term for some of our Combined Cadet Force (CCF) – achieving the required level of skills in activities including first aid, shooting, map and compass reading and physical training. Those that have Corporal rank have also been heavily involved in supporting the development of skills with the more junior members. Well done everyone! LANCE CORPORAL—Dylan Arias, Faye Bamford-Griffiths, Jack Bamford Griffiths, Lyla Evans, Michael Evans, Taya Evans, Thomas Gaskin, Daryl Jones, Caitlin Lewry, Liam Lloyd, Louie Vagg, Charleigh Rae—Cooke, Daryl Jones     CORPORAL—Mathew Jones and Keira Penniall

Road Safety for Nursery

CSO Peter Roberts from Oswestry Rural North Safer Neighbourhood Team came to visit Nursery as part of our Beep Beep Day, to help us share the message about road safety. He talked to the children about how to cross the road safely, the importance of sitting in car seats in the car, and how we should all wear helmets when we are on our bikes or scooters. We all got to have a sit in his police car, and see the lights flashing. 

Sue Lovecy
Head Teacher, Sue Lovecy

Thomas Adams

Sporting success at Thomas Adams School
U12 Boy’s Football – North Shropshire Champions!

On Monday 15th January, our U12 Boys Football team won the North Shropshire 6-a-side Football Tournament. The boys won all of their group stage games; they then went on to win through penalties in the semi-final before winning in the final. All the boys played incredibly well and worked together as a team; they didn’t concede a goal in normal game time throughout the tournament. Congratulations!

U13 Boys Handball

The U13 Boys have won the England Handball Regional West tournament! The boys were undefeated across 6 games, playing different teams from across the region. They will now go on to represent the West region in the England Handball Nationals. Big Congratulations boys!

Mark Cooper
Head Teacher, Mark Cooper

Williams Brookes School

At William Brookes School, Adventure Awaits!

William Brookes School has been humming with activity as per usual. During the last term, we launched our parental newsletter The WBSpotlight where we now have the perfect place to showcase all the enriching activities and experiences that our students participate in and/or have access to. This new method of communication has gone down really well with our families, alongside a more significant Twitter presence online.

Key events that shine through from the last term, include numerous trips abroad, namely to Rome and Berlin. VI Form and Year 10 students were both treated to unique cultural experiences.

Coming up, our adventurous students will have the opportunity to visit Spain (next month), Germany, Poland and the Pyrenees. With so many schools scaling back their trips offer we are really proud of the incredible menu of experiences abroad that our staff plan for students.

Closer to home, our students continue to explore the natural world around them with impressive numbers of students working towards their Bronze (49) and Silver (24) (The) Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards. Many schools have to travel miles to access beautiful rural locations such as those in Shropshire, a stone’s throw from our school, but many of our students can take these incredible views completely for granted.

William Brookes School benefits from the most beautiful, rural location and it’s essential that students are given as many opportunities as possible to engage with nature and the great outdoors. The most recent (The) Duke of Edinburgh expedition coincided with an incredible display of the Northern Lights. Students were so tired after a day of trekking and map-reading that they apparently slept through it – but the staff tell us it was phenomenal!

We can honestly say that at William Brookes we encourage our students to hold an appreciation of our local area, alongside insisting that they are outwards facing and curious about the world that exists outside of Shropshire in far-flung locations across the world.

Head Teacher, Stephen Richards
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