Students and facilities at William Brookes School in Much Wenlock, Shropshire

JL Edwards Award

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Who was JL Edwards?

Jack Edwards

Jack Edwards was the Headmaster of Much Wenlock Modern School for 16 years. As the first Headmaster of the school that was to become William Brookes, he had an enormous influence. He also played a role in the life of the wider community of Much Wenlock. He was a cheerful, wise and enthusiastic man who was a much loved local figure until his death in 1968. Many adults in the community including many of your grandparents and neighbours still remember him with great respect and affection.

Many adults in the community including the grandparents, aunts and uncles of current students still remember him with great respect and affection.

What is the JL Edwards Trust?

After Jack died in 1968, the large community institutions of the area, like the Old Students’ Football Association, the Wenlock Players, the Youth Club, the Town Councils of Broseley and Much Wenlock, the School Governors, the Rotary Club of Ironbridge, (of which Jack was a member), and many others got together to form a Trust in his name.

The idea of the Trust was to ensure that the original motto of the school, that has now become William Brookes School, lives on in the deeds and actions of its students. This was "Courtesy, Enterprise and Endeavour", three things that Jack Edwards valued very highly and wanted to encourage in the students who attended his school.

Courtesy - means being polite, kind and considerate in your manner and approach to other people.

Enterprise - being enterprising - means showing initiative, courage and imagination in what you do and the way that you do it.

Endeavour - means that you will always be committed to working hard for whatever goal you are aiming to achieve, and that you plan your activities in detail so that you can overcome any potential problems that could stop you achieving your goal.

Taken together, the motto still represents the best of what we hope young people will aspire to in their thoughts, words and actions.

The Trust has now been in place for over 40 years. During this time, funds have been raised with regular appeals which have led to donations from private individuals and from community organisations. Each March the Trust meets to consider a number of schemes put forward by students and to select which ones to fund. In November the Trust meets again at the school to hear how successful the funded schemes have been.

Students who are successful in their applications to the Trust will have thought about what they want to do and why they want to do it. The aim of the schemes put forward should be to offer students the opportunity to be supported in something that they would not otherwise be able to undertake, with the aim of improving and developing their characteristics in respect of Courtesy, Enterprise and Endeavour.

Because the funds of the Trust are limited, students must remember that not all applications will be successful. Sometimes the Trust will fully fund an application, sometimes partly and on occasion may choose not to fund an application at all if it feels that some aspect of the criteria has not been appropriately met.

The method of selection is through an informal interview of the candidates by a panel of Trustees following receipt of a detailed outline of their proposed scheme. The Trustees are provided with these outlines in advance of the meeting in order to allow preparation of questions for the applicants.

The family, Jack’s wife Betty, and his sons, Bill and Jonathan, were delighted to support the development of the Trust and successive members of the family have been pleased to work with the official Trustees who are the representatives of the community institutions mentioned above. Betty served on the Trust from 1968 until her death in 1976 at which time Bill and Jonathan became involved until 2007 and both came back to the school to assist in the selection of Award Winners each year and to hear of the success of the schemes. After the sad death of Bill in 2007, his two children, Kate and Robert, have now joined their uncle Jonathan as members of the Selection Committee.

The Trustees would like to invite former recipients and other interested parties to support the ongoing work of the J L Edwards Memorial Trust Award Scheme by donating to the current fund. If you would be interested in supporting this valuable and unique opportunity then please contact Kerry Cloud at

Students can apply as an individual or with a friend or friends if that is what the scheme demands.

This year’s awards

Up to £1,500 has been set aside by the Trust for the 2018 Award Scheme. This means that there is the opportunity to apply for a significant sum of money and for a number of awards to be made. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Trust this year, two additional "golden" opportunities have been created for WBS students aged 16 or over to travel abroad to work on a life-changing charity initiative.

At their AGM in 2014, the Friends of William Brookes School agreed that £1000 would be given to the J L Edwards Memorial Fund in order to provide an additional award of £100 to help students who wished to undertake a project with the "community" as its focus.

"All students must be afforded opportunities to experience something special during their school life. Visits, activities and foreign travel are all examples of the chance to flourish in new surroundings and hopefully motivate you further. Most of these experiences are selected for you by school but imagine how good it would be to choose the activity yourself and be supported to help pay for it? Interested? I would be and so should you, as this really is a chance of a lifetime that I hope you will apply for!"

Mr Renwick, Head

"The Award Scheme is a unique opportunity to commit yourself to a real challenge that will make a difference. It is likely that you will remember this for all your life as something special to have been involved in. Don’t miss having a go!"

Mrs Cooper, Head (1983-2011)

How you get an award: 3 stages

Stage 1: Thinking & planning

  • First of all you need to think about what you would like to do - there are some examples of previous award winners later in this booklet but the most important thing is to think of something you (or a group of you) want to do personally
  • Your project needs to be one that will challenge you to make a real effort, either physically or in terms of your personal development. You will need to be committed! It needs to be something that is worthwhile for you personally (and maybe others too)
  • It is likely to be something that you will remember for the rest of your life as something special to have been involved in
  • You will need to plan where and when you hope to carry out the activity and make detailed notes of how much it will cost
  • You should discuss your scheme with your Tutor and/or your House Leader, as well as your parent(s)/carer(s)
  • You can involve an adult, where it is appropriate to do so - and definitely where this is needed for safety reasons

Stage 2: Completing your application

  • Write a letter to the Trust, explaining your proposal in detail. Make sure you include information such as:
    • What you hope to do
    • Why you want to do it
    • What you think you will gain from it
    • Where/when you will carry it out
    • Who will accompany you (if appropriate)
    • A detailed plan of how much it will cost
    • How you will make the arrangements
    • Whether there are any health and safety issues
    • Any travel arrangements
  • You then need to complete your application form as well. It is also available on the Student area of the portal. When it is fully completed you should return it, along with your letter, to Mrs Cloud, (Mr Renwick’s PA)
  • You must also attach back up material giving more information about your plans, in whatever format you choose - leaflets, downloads, budget plans, route plans, information about who will help you, etc - things that show you have thought carefully about your project and have taken it seriously

To summarise, you need to:

  1. Complete your application form
  2. Write a covering letter to the Trustees
  3. Provide supporting material which gives further information about your plans

Stage 3: Your interview

  • The Head and the House Leaders will draw up a shortlist of projects to put forward to the Selection Committee of the Trust
  • If you have been successful in being considered for an Award, you will be invited to attend the Selection Committee Meeting which will be held after school on a Friday in March. A letter will be sent home to your parent(s)/carer(s) about this if you have been shortlisted to be put forward
  • You will need to explain your project to the Committee and answer their questions. This will enable them to decide whether or not to make you an Award. Don’t worry; you’ll be given plenty of advice beforehand about your interview! Do not prepare a PowerPoint presentation for this - just be prepared to talk - and maybe refer to some information you bring with you
  • If you haven’t been successful, don’t give up! Have a word with your House Leader to find out why you didn’t make it this time, and have another go the next time around

If you get an award, what happens next?

  • Having already planned your project, you will need to carry it through. If you need any advice beforehand, you can speak with the Head or your House Leader
  • Don’t forget to take photographs of the event, as you will find these very useful for later in the year - see below!

Is there anything else that you have to do?

Yes! In the Autumn Term you and your parent(s)/carer(s) will be invited to the Presentation Evening & Reception, when each successful applicant will be asked to give a short presentation to show how their activity went. In recent years many students have chosen to give a PowerPoint or video presentations or to demonstrate some of the skills or activities involved. Again, don’t worry about this, you will be given plenty of help beforehand, to make sure you are ready to do this well.

Did you know that...

...well over 1000 students have benefited from their Awards over the years?

Examples of previous successful schemes

2017 - Mya Standley
Attend the Hay Literary Festival

2017 - Eloise Wyatt
Take Grade 3 singing exam

2016 - Tom Morrison
Purchase photographic equipment

2016 - Sam Hughes
Purchase music production software

2015 - Ellie Humphries
2nd Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo

2015 - Olivia Ritchie
Complete a First Aid Course with the St John’s Ambulance Service

2014 - Alex Taylor
Tennis coaching sessions and equipment

2014 - Lauren Hickinbottom
Girl Guide trip to Mexico

2013 - Jake Reacord
Be a zoo keeper for a day

2012 - Ffion Davies
Completion of her Associate Diploma for Musical Theatre Performance with the London College of Music

2010 - Rebecca Lefroy
To participate in a 3-day pre-degree medical course at Nottingham University

2010 - Oliver Austin, James Good, Simon Bellows & Claire Crossley
To represent Shropshire at the 2011 World Scout Jamboree in Sweden

2010 - Hannah Vicente
To produce 4 paintings for our new school, representing the 4 houses

2008 - Mollie Muscutt
To help towards completion of Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award by assisting with the finance of her expedition

2003 - Joanna Foxall
To make banners representing each tutor group name - these are still displayed in school!

2000 - Martin & Kris Instone
Cricket coaching course and follow up coaching with WBS students

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