Reality Is Not What It Seems


Four aspiring physicists from the Community College visited the Hay Literary Festival on 1 June to be inspired by 'the physicist transforming how we see the universe', according to the Financial Times.  The four students; Max Ellis, Jack Finn, Charlie Kinsey and Taliesin Lund, heard Carlo Rovelli talk about the nature of quantum gravity - the current most popular explanation of gravity that it is made of discrete granular quantities.  The talk took place only an hour after NASA announced that it had witnessed the aftermath of two black holes colliding, adding further evidence to Rovelli's claim. Rovelli also explained how astronomers are engaged in searching for black holes with a diameter of only 1mm in deep space, yet with the mass of the Moon that are due to explode now!  The boys are all triple scientists, leaving the college this summer to take Physics A-level.  The next generation of Rovellis perhaps - good luck!

Gold Coins Found In Piano



Treasure inquest: Thursday 20 April 2017

Statement from The Community College Bishop’s Castle

Kathy Dowbiggin, Business Manager at The Community College Bishop’s Castle, said:
“Monday 21 November 2016 started as a day like any other at The Community College Bishop’s Castle – but turned out to be anything but.

“The discovery of hundreds of gold coins in a piano was incredible, exciting and almost unbelievable – and meant it was a day that none of us will ever forget.

“It was during the summer term in 2016 that The Community College appealed to the local community for the donation of any unwanted pianos, as the school did not have enough pianos that students could use for lessons or practice. We were extremely grateful to receive several donations, with the final piano arriving in September.  On 21 November that we invited a piano tuner (Mr Backhouse) to visit the school to review and possibly tune four of the donated pianos. He felt that one of the pianos had particular potential and set to work.  A short while later he informed me and the headteacher that he’d discovered several small packages concealed under the piano’s keys. We opened one of them and found that it contained a number of coins, which we agreed were gold sovereigns.

“Clearly this was something that none of us could possibly have imagined and it’s hard to describe how we felt on making this discovery.  After the initial shock, surprise and excitement, we had to quickly decide what to do next.  We photographed the packages in situ, numbered and photographed each package, and placed them in the school safe.  After carrying out some internet-based research into gold sovereign and the Treasures Act 1986 we agreed that the coins were a significant find and should be reported to the coroner.  Shortly after contacting the coroner’s office we were contacted by Peter Reavill [Shropshire’s finds liaison officer], who was working on the coroner’s behalf. In this conversation and a subsequent meeting we discussed the find, the Treasures Act, and how the piano was acquired. Peter confirmed that the coins were genuine and took them away for safe-keeping… and began the investigations that led us to where we are today.

“If the school were to be a beneficiary from the find, then we think it’s only right and fair that the money be used to benefit our students and the local community of Bishop’s Castle.”


The College would llike to extend its thanks to Mr Peter Reavill for his help and support during the past six months.  Peter, who works for the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme based in Ludlow, has supplied invaluable knowledge and expertise in relation to this discovery. We look forward to working with Peter further as he will be conducting presentations to the students at the College and its Community.


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Local MP Philip Dunne welcomed news that the Community College in Bishop's Castle may benefit from sharing a reward for finding a spectacular treasure of gold coins.  During routine tuning and cleaning of a piano donated to the Community College last September, several packages of gold sovereigns were found hidden under the keyboard.

Mr Dunne said today: "I have seen the hoard of gold coins, and was astonished to discover they had been found secreted for decades in a piano in my constituency.  Whoever placed them there had clearly intended these coins would not be found lightly. So full credit to the piano tuner for revealing the hoard through his diligent inspection.  I have not seen pure gold coins before, other than in a museum, so was startled to see what good condition they are in.  I am delighted that Bishop's Castle Community College may become a beneficiary by way of reward for helping bring this treasure to light. This is another sample of what makes South Shropshire so special - it is not only a great place to live, but also a safe place to hide treasure!"


Community College Rocketeers Win Regional Final



A team of three students from the Community College, Bishop's Castle won the West Midlands Regional Final of the "Race for the Line" Bloodhound Land Speed Record Challenge. Charlie Banford, Alfie Booker and Jack Smith (all aged 14) designed and built the fastest rocket powered car at RAF Cosford, beating around 30 teams from across the region. At the same event Norbury Primary School took third place for the primaries category. The competition is run by the Bloodhound Land Speed Record attempt which is producing a car designed to go faster than 1000mph next year. These winning rocketeers from Shropshire will have their team names written on the tail fin of the record breaking car. The three boys are very excited about representing their college and their region at the finals in June. The first prize in the national competition will be to go to South Africa to watch the Bloodhound land speed record attempt next summer.

This initiative is designed to enthuse and engage students in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), due to a national shortage of skills in these areas, particularly in engineering. The Community College is introducing Engineering GCSE and has developed links with engineering and STEM based organisations across the region in order to raise students' aspirations and careers awareness.




Heritage Skills



During the last week of March some of our Year 9 students took part in two days of activities based on heritage skills. We were lucky enough to have had four specialists come into college to run workshops based on stone masonry, lime plastering, thatching and green wood working. This opportunity had been kindly provided by Stiperstones & Corndon Hill Country Landscape Partnership Scheme.  The full story was on BBC Midlands Today on 31st March 2017.

The workshops took place on the college site within the college day involving 24 students. The practical activities allowed students to gain hands on experience as well as learning the theory and history behind the techniques. Students not taking part also had chance to view the activities as they moved around the college site during the day.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jen Jones, Jon Bielstein, Alan Jones, Luke Unsworth, John Munro, Neil Mapes, Dave Faye and Ned Scharer for providing their time and expertise during the two days.

Mr McMahon