EACH month the SNJ will be visiting a different school to discover a little more about what pupils are learning and report on life in the classroom. 

In this edition of our In the Classroom page, we paid a visit to Stroud High School.

Andy Warhol, the French Revolution and the laws of physics were on the morning’s learning agenda.

After a chat with head teacher Mark McShane, I was given a tour by year 12 A-level student Georgie Horsell.

An aspiring Oxford undergraduate, she is studying history, biology, geography and my own favourite – English literature.

First stop was the art department, where year nine girls were working hard on pop art projects.

I spoke to Holly Townsend, 13, concentrating hard on her study of the American Andy Warhol.

With sketching pencils in hand, she examined the iconic tomato soup cans and silkscreen painting Marilyn Diptych.

“We are given a free reign over what we want to work on,” she explained, “it’s a nice environment to work in.”

“Our teachers are great. They let us develop our work how we want but are always on hand to give advice and support if we need them.”

Moving on through the art-filled corridors, we visited a drama class practising for a GCSE performance.

At Stroud High, explained head of drama and show director Chloe Caselton, the pupils give a presentation of their project to family and friends and are graded on the overall performance.

With the show scheduled for that night, the year 11 students were rehearsing lines, while others prepared lighting and technical equipment.

The aspiring players were set to stage a production of Cagebirds by David Campton.

In this allegorical play, the students explained, six birds live in a cage, each absorbed in themselves, until one bird – the 'wild one’ – breaks out to find freedom.

Moving through tennis and netball courts to the other side of the school grounds, my tour guide told me about her favourite club at the school, the debating society.

The group gathers once or twice a week to discuss topics ranging from Scottish independence to that age-old of question of mankind – which are better, chocolate buttons or Maltesers?

The club has 10 regular members at debates. These, Georgie said, are sometimes against students at boys’ school Marling.

Naturally, she said, the girls usually won.

Last stop on the tour was the science block, filled with sounds of clinking test tubes and experimentation.

We saw one of the school’s favourite lessons by physics teacher Mr Lockheart.

To examine the centre of mass, he had set up different sized objects in the room.

The task was to find the centre of mass by balancing objects such as spades, books and pens on their fingers.

His hands-on and energetic teaching style, Georgie explained, was renowned.

“Everyone loves Mr Lockheart,” she said. "His lessons are so practical and engaging. You really remember what you learn."

Would your school like to be featured on our In the Classroom page?

Call 01453769422 or email jaw@stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk