Moonlit Walk 16th April 2022

The bus ride escape into the wild!

At 6:15pm, a group of students who signed up for the Moonlit walk previously, gathered with Mr Brown at Main Hall with excitement before boarding the minibus towards our hiking trail up the Hope Bowdler hills near Church Stretton. Our teacher ensured that we were each fully equipped with warm clothing and appropriate shoes, so we could stay warm in the strong wind. Despite the perfect weather on the day for us to hike, we would still not want to risk any chances of falling sick or getting injured.

Overjoyed with the perfect sunny weather provided, we boarded the bus and departed. When we arrived at the bottom of the hill, Mr Brown told us about what we should be cautious of when hiking up the steep mountain and tips that can help us to hike easily. Along the way up the steep mountain, we came across a sheep farm, where the sheep gathered and ran around freely across the inclined field. It was easy to spot them as they had large markings on their wool to indicate that they belong to the same family. We were warned by Mr Brown to not approach any of the young sheep to avoid distressing the mother, so we made sure we stayed a certain distance away from them. Many of us were amazed as we were witnessing these amazing creatures for the first time.

After roughly 20 minutes of hiking up the inclined hill, we arrived at our deserted destination, which was up a sharp pointing rock that we saw later when we descended to the bus. At the top, there were two families sitting there and enjoying the view, with their family dog running around on the grass. With enthusiasm, he ran towards us and allowed us to pet him. Mr Brown then allowed us to sit on the sharp rock, where we could enjoy a better view of Church Stretton from 426m above.

The Walk

Along the way, our whole group slowly separated into two, as some fast walkers lead the way, while the slow walkers followed behind chitchatting and taking photos of the magnificent view below. Along the way, we saw tiny rabbit holes and wondered where these holes would lead to, associating them with Peter Rabbit.  We stopped at another huge stone for a break with Mr Brown’s offer of hot Ribena and doughnuts filled with different flavors. From there, Mr Brown pointed in various directions to give us an estimate of where Concord, Shrewsbury and the Wrekin were. As that day was near to one of the student’s birthdays, he pulled out a birthday present that was specially selected and told her to open it. It was a bubble blower that we use to play with when we were a child. The student was overjoyed and blew bubbles down the hills, which made the scenery more beautiful and calming.

As the sky was darker, we decided to head back to the bus, along the way, the moon had risen on our left, allowing us to see both the sunset and the moon rise at the same time. Students took panorama pictures to capture both sceneries all at once. As the teachers guided us downslope, they made sure that we had headtorches and flashlights to see where we were heading as the sky got darker, while providing us tips to go down without slipping or falling.

As we boarded the minibus back to campus, we were all shocked by Mr Brown’s Spotify playlist as he blasted it throughout our bus ride, playing famous and top hit songs that we would never think he would listen to! When we arrived at school, we offloaded our gear and equipment that Mr Brown lent to us and thanked him as we got off the bus. We then all headed back to our boarding residence with new memories and sceneries embraided in our hearts.

Audrey – 6.2

COVID-19 in Shropshire: A Student Perspective (Part 2)

We feel that coronavirus news in the media is gradually starting to evolve from being dramatised to more balanced as the UK has reached the plateau and, more excitingly, a constant and steady drop in numbers of newly identified coronavirus cases since May.

Despite the fall in cases though, the government remains vigilant, putting “caution and safety first,” as the vast majority of the new cases were identified and traced via the current test and trace system. Thousands of contact tracers were recruited to interview people who have tested positive, meaning the government has information of their close contacts.

Another positive piece of news is that on the 7th June, it was announced the UK had exceeded its target to increase coronavirus testing capacity to 200,000 a day by the end of May; considering the current trend, it’s very commendable that the country has more capacity than it needs. As the trend is expected to drop continuously, the early success should be given credit to the coordinated hard work of all frontline workers, healthcare professionals, and cooperation of all citizens in the country.

Socially speaking, as cases have decreased, lockdown restrictions are starting being eased. The 2-metre distance rule has been decreased, to at least 1 metre between people. However, this 1m rule includes the use of some personal protective equipment, such as a face mask. This has normalised the use of face masks across the country and face masks are even mandatory in some places, such as whilst travelling on the train and other public transport.

Recently, I have met up with some of my friends in the Quarry (a spacious park in the centre of Shrewsbury). The park was quite busy as many people were spread out, enjoying the sunny weather we have been having. It felt like life was beginning to return to a sense of normality.

Furthermore, shopping is becoming a more normal experience here once again. I am able to shop in Shrewsbury and get everything I need from fully-stocked shelves and I feel the shops are a safe place as there are one-way systems in all shops to minimise contact between people. Even though shops are a reminder of normality, customers clearly remain aware of covid-19, shopping in a more diligent rather than leisurely way, only picking up and touching things they are paining on buying.

The country is opening up again too. From the July 4th there will be hairdressers, hotels, restaurants and several other services being allowed to open. However, some places for now are remaining shut, like spas and swimming pools. Although this is not best for the economy, it will allow the country to open up in a more staggered and safe way. These services will also be a little different from pre-coronavirus, as there will be social distancing and the use of PPE.

Many of my friends from other schools in Shropshire have returned to school and are currently having lessons on their school’s campus. They mentioned that the main differences are that there are seating plans in lessons and lunchtime rotas that ensure students can remain socially distanced from each other.

Rose, Cindy and Holly – 6.1