Moreton Hall wowed judges with its commitment to its students and the wider community, exemplifying the best of the boarding sector and managing the difficulties of the pandemic with aplomb.
The year began with the establishment of a school farm, which allows hands-on learning and provides a sanctuary for less-confident pupils. It also supplies eggs for pupils and a locally brewed beer to the wider community.
The school reinvented Moreton Enterprises, through which the students run a parents’ coffee shop and an online tuck shop.
It also organised the Moreton Means Business conference, which included workshops with professionals, and developed the Rylands diploma to prepare pupils for life beyond school, which is supported by local businesses.
In light of exam cancellations, staff created a six-week Bridging the Gap programme of activities to keep Years 11 and 13 engaged over the summer term, which offered wellbeing and A-level taster sessions, and discussions with Old Moretonians about university life.
Moreton also championed the local arts community, providing a virtual weekly venue for performers. And it moved its academic societies online, offering masterclasses from professionals in the arts, science and music. Its weekly drama school and the North Shropshire Orchestra did the same, with activities offered free to the local community and involving more than 90 local pupils.
Moreton enhanced its library, a junior art suite and Year 11 common room, as well as modernising staff and sixth-form social spaces, and creating an archives room. It also redeveloped its golf course and opened a sports hub.
Lead judge Gwen Byrom said: “Not only did Moreton commit to providing an outstanding experience to its students, through a range of well-planned initiatives, but its commitment to supporting the wider community in the most challenging of years should be congratulated.”