A sunny May morning with the trees in blossom and the Moreton Hall grounds in their full spring glory would ordinarily have provided the perfect backdrop to the school’s traditional May Open Day on Saturday. However, although the lockdown restrictions meant the school’s gates were physically closed, for families from across the region and indeed around the world interested in finding out more about the school’s unique educational provision, the Moreton Hall Virtual Admissions Day ensured that the school was very much open with a warm welcome on offer from staff and students.

Greeting the 30 families who Zoomed in for one of the three sessions across the day from locations as local as Oswestry and as far away as China, Principal George Budd talked about how the school’s unique values Scholarship, Gaiety and Humanity, as defined by the Shropshire school’s transformational former headmistress Bronwen Lloyd Williams (1945-73), had continued unabated during the current crisis. With virtual learning platforms enabling Moreton Hall pupils around the country and across the globe to continue to access the full breadth and depth of the school’s educational experience, Mr Budd highlighted how academic lessons, extra-curricular activities such as choir, drama rehearsals and science clubs, and the school’s uniquely integrated pastoral provision have all continued since the transition to remote learning.

The Principal and key staff were joined by pupils from across the school, including boys and girls from Moreton First and girls from the senior school who joined the Open Day guests to talk about the many opportunities on offer for both boarding and day pupils.

For Molly Creaser Ogden who joined Moreton Sixth from the Corbet School in Baschurch for her A Level programme last September, the Admissions Morning encapsulated the Moreton ethos: “The community spirit shown by students and teachers logging on on a Saturday morning was wonderful to be a part of. Being able to talk to prospective students and parents about how amazing Moreton is, was a privilege and I loved being able to contribute to it.

As a passionate sportswoman, sixth former Milly Wray from Shrewsbury welcomed the chance to showcase Moreton Hall’s reputation for sporting excellence and sport for all: “I talked about the excellent sporting facilities and coaching at Moreton, and how sport at Moreton is inclusive, offering a range of sporting activities at different levels of ability.

From a military family posted around the world, sixth former Kundai Chipondene joined Moreton Hall in year 5. For Kundai the Admission Day “was a fantastic opportunity to be able to represent Moreton with so much warmth and honesty. I hope the families who joined us were able to genuinely see every student’s passion and pride in Moreton, even if it was through a couple of screens!”

Deputy Head Girl, Cici Jin arrived at Moreton Hall from China in year 8. On Saturday she zoomed in from her home in Yunnan Province and reminisced about arriving at Moreton as an anxious 12 year old with very little English. She still remembers the welcoming hug from her house mistress which broke the ice that day and set her on her Moreton Hall journey. Cici says “It was a real privilege to be part of the Open Day. I felt incredible that I had the confidence to speak on behalf of other International students like me, showing potential pupils and parents how Moreton has supported me and, most of all, transformed me into someone I’m proud of.

Reflecting on the day, Moreton Hall Principal, George Budd says: “We hope our virtual admissions day captured the essence of a Moreton education. It’s always a pleasure to hear from the students themselves; their personal stories and experiences add so much colour to an event such as this”.

The next whole school Open Day is scheduled for the Autumn.