Headteacher’s blog week ending 20th September 2019
The college Open Evening for prospective new students is taking place on
Thursday 3rd October from 6-8pm. We are very grateful to the many students who have agreed to help at the event. We are always in need of more student helpers so they should please speak to Mrs Hubbard-Young if they are available.
Climate Change Protest
We were pleased to facilitate several members of staff joining the climate change protest this week to represent the school. This is an important issue for us and we continue to evolve our practice. Recent changes include: increased recycling around the school site, removal of single-use plastics from the food hall, recyclable sandwich packaging, reduction in beef on the school menu and a plant-based day included within the menu cycle. There is always more that can be done and we will continue our work in this area alongside the college Eco Club.
The school is closed from 12pm on Thursday 3rd October and all day on Friday 4th October for staff professional development. The school reopens on Monday 7th October.
Thanks and well done to the one hundred musicians, dancers and actors who took part in Chesterton’s Gala last Thursday evening. The event has been described in writing as “incredible”, “awesome” and “phenomenal” through its comprehensive range of acts and stunning depth of talent on show, but ultimately, it spoke for itself. The magic of theatre is that this performance – for which some have been preparing throughout the summer holiday – has now vanished into thin air, though the memory of so many searing moments will live on in the minds of those who saw it. The Atrium Theatre space is now well and truly open and, even since the Gala, has developed as a theatrical venue, with more black drapes to cover the sides and back of the stage. If you are interested in hiring the space, please email Martin Russell: firstname.lastname@example.org
GCSE Drama Performance
On Tuesday 24th September 2019, performances for the current Year 11’s GCSE Unit 1 will take place in the Atrium Theatre at Chesterton. We very much hope that family, friends and anyone interested in contemporary theatre will attend. The performances take place as follows:
7.00pm: Group 1 – Peter, Saul, Aziz, Freya and Taya performing “Four Balloons and an Off-Shore Account”
7.30pm: Group 2 – Lauren, Hanna, Clare, Esme and Maddie performing “Cloaked Judgement”
8.00pm: Group 3 – Esme, Daisy, Frankie and Gary performing “The Waiting Room”
8.25pm: Group 4 – Joseph, James, Heather, Emily and Nikita performing “Anyhow in a Corner”
The work is devised by the students themselves; it is based on stimuli relating to themes of endurance and bravery, as well as the myth of Icarus. The performances are free and it will be possible to leave the theatre between each group; though it would be great if you might stay for all four groups, so that the audience is a good size for all! If you are able to attend, please arrive on the door by 6.25pm and switch off mobile phones etc before entering the theatre. The work is suitable for Year 9 upwards. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Extra-curricular Clubs Update
All extra-curricular clubs are now up and running. These are an amazing opportunity to discover new interests and new friends. Do discuss the programme with your child and encourage them to attend. Below are a few highlighted opportunities.
Amnesty Club is on Tuesday in A4 from 3.15 to 4.15. It’s a fascinating opportunity to learn about injustice in the world and find ways to understand how this can be fought. It is open to all year groups.
Musical Theatre Fitness Club
The club started this week and the students have begun learning the choreography from the West End and Broadway hit musical, ‘Hamilton’. The class begins with a cardio session, stretching and some basic technique, before moving onto the routine. The routine began as a short eight-count section and the students collaborated to create a full-scale musical number, which they are excited to be performing on loop at the coming Open Evening. As well as featuring some dynamic, explosive, innovative choreography and music, the musical explores the story of forgotten American Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, and his ascent out of poverty and to power, against the backdrop of the American War of Independence. All year groups are welcome on Wednesday mornings 8-8.45am in the Dance Studio.
Music Extra-Curricular Clubs
Music clubs are in full swing and we have seen good attendance in the first fortnight. There is still opportunity to join a group! In particular, we would love to see new and old members at the samba band which meets on Friday mornings at 8.10am. This group is a lively opportunity for those who don’t play an instrument to make music as part of a group, as well as for those who do to expand their musical horizons with some more complex rhythms. All welcome.
The Year 7 Choir is off to a great start and has already begun preparing a range of songs to share with visitors at Open Evening. Year 7 students are very welcome to come along at 8.10am on Tuesdays.
Chesterton Singers is an enthusiastic choir for Years 8-11 who meet after school on Fridays to rehearse challenging repertoire from a variety of genres; currently, the choir are preparing for a Come and Sing performance with the Cambridge Philharmonic. All voices are welcome.
School orchestra has also made a great start and is exploring a range of music, from TV and film themes to the classical repertoire. All instrumentalists welcome on Thursdays 3.05-4pm.
Students who would like to play ukulele or guitar are invited to the Ukulele and Guitar Jam on Monday lunchtimes in the Music Department. Beginners and experienced players welcome.
We are really pleased that Chesterton Singers, following their successful performance of The Pelicantata in May, have been asked to sing with the Cambridge Philharmonic again. They will be providing the children’s chorus, together with Swavesey VC, in Orff’s Carmina Burana on Sunday 29th September at West Road. If you would like to attend to support the students, or to sing as part of the adult chorus, then more details are available here. https://cambridgephilharmonic.com/concert/come-and-sing-carmina-burana/
Chesterton Pride Community is back. Last year we had a lot of successes: we launched poetry and art competitions, hosted two Equali-Teas and took part in School Diversity Week, celebrating with a rainbow non-uniform day and bake sale. This year we want the group to become even more visible in the school, to make sure that Chesterton is an inclusive and safe community for all students. We want to encourage tolerance and acceptance regardless of identity. If students identify as LGBTQ+ or simply want to support and promote equality and diversity in our school, join us in B14 every Wednesday after school. We are looking forward to watching films, welcoming guest speakers, organising more events and generally having a nice time listening to music and having a chat whilst eating biscuits! For information or advice, please come and speak to Miss Martinelli in B14 any time.
Over the summer, Mrs Gibson trained to teach mindfulness (kindly funded by the PTA) and is offering a ten-week course to students of any age. It will run on Wednesdays after school in week 2. Alternatively if students want to share their experiences with mindfulness or other stress management strategies, they should pop along for an informal session on Tuesday lunch week 1 (Years 7, 10 and 11) or Friday lunch week 1 (Years 8 and 9). Staff and students welcome.
This runs every Tuesday at 12pm (period 4a) in room A3. Topics include: British parliament / Democracy / Brexit / Politics beyond Great Britain (U.S. / China / Russia / Italy). Students are having lively debates, not only regarding politics but also drawing in economics, history and philosophy. They also look at sources like Cicero, Marx, Keynes et al. Cake / biscuits provided to fuel brains.
Big Ideas Club
The Big Ideas Club will meet for the first time on Friday 27th September in A14 after school. Any students interested in debates and discussions about philosophy, politics, society (and occasionally biscuits) should come along! Please speak to either Miss Bates or Miss Powell for further details.
Science club got under way last week with students making burning ‘sugar-snakes’ appear out of pots of sand. This week sees students investigating the colours produced as different salts are introduced into Bunsen burner flames. The club meets every Thursday 3:15 – 4:00 in E11 and is open to students in Years 7-9.
Our Year 7 SEN students have made an impressive start and are settling well in to lessons. They are very welcome to come to A7 and spend their break and lunchtimes in a calm but social environment where they can meet new people and make new friends. There are plenty of activities to choose to take part in from mindful colouring in, UNO, Monopoly to Lego building and Scrabble.
We have four Progress Support Workers (PSWs) in the SEN team this year who have been helping our new students: in lessons and getting around the site.
There are plenty of extra-curricular clubs on offer so if you think your child would like some initial support in attending a club, our PSWs can help with that too.
If you have any queries or would like to meet our SENCo or Assistant SENCo, please do not hesitate to get in touch. See below for contact details.
SENCo: Erinn Heggan (Years 7, 10 and 11)
Assistant SENCo: Liz Askham (Years 7, 8 and 9)
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Chesterton Community College
Mrs Lucy Scott