4th May 2021 — Moreton Hall has been awarded Boarding School of the Year by the prestigious Tes Independent School Awards 2021. It proved to be an excellent day for the school with Mrs Sylvia Grace, former Head of Moreton Prep and current teacher and Housemistress, also awarded the Tes Lifetime Achievement Award for her significant contributions to education and teaching excellence. The awards were announced on Friday night, 30th April.
After a tumultuous school year, Moreton Hall was chosen from more than 400 entries across the country as an exemplary example of traditional boarding school excellence for its breadth and depth of activities and dedication to its pupils and local community.
The Tes judges said: “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.”
Josh Dixey, Chair of the Board of Governors, Moreton Hall, said: "I thank the Tes judges for recognizing what we who know Moreton Hall well witness every day. Moreton Hall is a joy-filled school led by the creativity, expertise and unwavering commitment of its staff. The school community was undeterred by the challenges presented during the past year, finding creative solutions while exhibiting their resilience and kindness. I salute Mr Budd and his staff and the pupils of Moreton for their many accomplishments and this well-deserved award."
George Budd, Principal, Moreton Hall, said: "We are absolutely thrilled with this award, especially after such a year of upheaval and uncertainty. It’s all down to the staff - they have been truly amazing.
We are often told that we have a ‘start-up’ company ethos here at Moreton, where there is constant innovation. We simply try to enable pupils to have a willingness to try new things and it is wonderful that this has been recognised with this award”.
In the past year, despite the pandemic and national lockdowns, Moreton Hall continued its standard of excellence and to innovate on behalf of its pupils.
The year began with the opening of a school farm that provides hands-on learning, quiet sanctuary and comic relief with free range chickens exploring classrooms and emailing about their adventures.
Student-led Moreton Enterprises, a cornerstone of the school’s entrepreneurial education, opened an online tuck and created and manage Courtyard Cafe, which opened this week. Moreton Enterprises also hosted a business conference which included workshops and talks from professionals for both our pupils and invited local students.
When exams were abruptly cancelled before Easter Break last year, House and Academic staff created an entirely bespoke six week programme of activities to keep Years 11 and 13 productively engaged during the Summer Term, folding in life and wellbeing skills, A level taster sessions and enlisting Old Moretorians to discuss careers and university life.
Moreton’s academic societies moved online offering masterclasses by leading professionals in the arts, science and music, as did its weekly drama school, Face2Face, and the North Shropshire Orchestra, with more than 90 local pupils participating free of charge.
When the new community theatre on the school’s grounds was forced to shut, Moreton championed the local arts community by providing a virtual weekly venue for performers and their audiences. Over 14 weeks, Moreton gathered local talent and streamed 25 hours of poetry, music, drama and dance performances for anyone to watch safely from home. Compilation DVDs were provided to local nursing homes.
Topping it off, Moreton ranked in the top 35 independent schools for sport. The school also enhanced its strong sports offering by opening the ACE Sports Performance Hub, which allows it to provide the community for sport what it already offers across the performing arts.
The school also redeveloped our nine-hole golf course, opened the Halsall-Williams Library, created an archives room to display our heritage and an event, Floreat Moretonia, to celebrate it. We appointed a Head of Adventure Education to extend our outdoor activities, with kayaking lessons on the canal that runs along its 100 acres of parkland, with paddle boarding and rock climbing to follow.
Lead TES 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.”
At the heart of these efforts are Moretonians, who have pivoted, innovated and not only weathered the past year with grace, but flourished.
George Budd, Principal, Moreton Hall, said: "Moretonians, like children across the globe, have been tested as a pandemic reached into their homes and classrooms. While others worry over what has been lost in education over the past year, I see an incredibly bright future with resilient, passionate and kind young leaders ready to make a positive impact. This award is for them."
Moreton Hall is one of the UK’s leading independent boarding and day schools and Tes Boarding School of the Year 2021. Located in beautiful north Shropshire, Moreton educates girls from 3-18 and boys from 3-13 in a high-achieving and nurturing, family environment.