Headteacher’s Blog week ending 31 January 2020
Venue for Hire: Dance Studio
Our Dance Studio with mirrors and sprung floor is frequently used for dance and ballet rehearsals. With 84m² of space it is also perfectly suitable to accommodate martial arts groups and other fitness-based activities.
Venues in School
It would be a great help to us if you could advertise to friends, colleagues and local organisations our new facilities which we do let commercially. All of this income comes back into school and supports children’s education. We have amazing new state-of-the-art facilities: the auditorium; training rooms; new classrooms; and canteen. All ideal for a range of groups and we also offer professional catering. Don’t hesitate to recommend us; by doing so you are supporting your child’s education at Chesterton.
We are delighted to announce that we will be using an innovative technique to support families of Year 11 students to help them with their revision this year. Parents/carers are receiving an email every day between 20th January and the start of the summer examination period in May. This message will include a small number of revision questions covering a range of subjects for parents to ask their child.
The vast majority of these will be multiple choice questions. We would like parents/carers to ask their child these questions and then let them know whether or not they got the correct answer. If they did not answer correctly then please encourage them to review their notes on this part of the course. If they are still unsure, they should ask their teacher for help.
We are running the programme for the following reasons:
1. Many parents have told us that they do not know how to support their child’s revision as they struggle to ‘open the door’ to a discussion about school. We hope that the daily questions will provide a springboard for discussions.
2. Many parents have told us that they do not have the subject expertise to support their child’s revision and therefore do not feel confident in discussing exam subjects with them. The daily revision email will provide them with questions to ask their child, along with answers and supporting resources, empowering them to become involved in their child’s revision.
3. Research shows that the ‘little and often’ approach to revision can be particularly successful. The questions in the daily programme are short.
4. The programme has been designed using the principles of ‘interleaving’ so that students regularly revisit different topics and themes for each of the GCSE courses. Scientific research shows that this is a very effective way of helping students with memory and recall of key facts.
5. Academic research shows that there is a motivational impact for students when their parents/carers become actively involved in their schooling. Where parents engage in supporting their child, the child’s grades improve.
The daily email revision programme was trialled in 2018 and 2019 and has attracted attention from a number of educational analysts as well as being featured in the Chartered College of Teaching’s Journal, ‘Impact’. We are keen to collect feedback about your experiences of the programme to help us to formally evaluate its success. If you participate in the trial then we would welcome your comments about the programme – its structure, the questions, how it is working (or not) for you and your child. Please feel free to email Dr Hutchinson at any point over the coming months to share your feedback.
Student permission letters for our West Road Concert on Thursday 19th March have gone out to students in rehearsals this week. Please do return these to the Music block as soon as possible. It is not too late for students to get involved in the concert; they should speak to a member of Music staff if they are interested in doing so. We have extended the payment deadline for the school trip to watch the National Youth Orchestra on Saturday 18th April, as we would like to encourage as many students as possible to attend. The PTA have kindly sponsored this visit to lower the cost for students and it will be a fantastic concert. Please do sign up via ParentMail if your child, from any year group, is interested in attending; if you have any queries, please email Miss Wilson.
National Careers Week
The Careers Team are celebrating National Careers Week, which takes place the week commencing Monday 2nd March 2020. We will hold an assembly each day of that week, where volunteers will give an overview of their career, discuss the route they took to get into it, explain what the working environment is like and why they are interested in this particular career. We would love to involve you as parent(s)/ carer(s) to help us run the assemblies, as we think it would be more relevant and meaningful for the students. If you would like to volunteer some of your time to deliver an assembly and talk about your job/career, please get in touch with Mrs Carrie Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mr Desbois (email@example.com) as soon as possible. Time would be as follows: from 8.45am (to set up) then assembly from 8.55-9.10. Thank you for your support.
Boccia Leadership Award
Miss Bywater’s Year 10 Sports Leadership students have been participating in an England Boccia Leadership Award for the last 10 weeks. The students have flourished and progressed in developing their leadership, by working on key attributes such as resilience, organisation, communication, innovation and evaluation. The group have learnt, created and reflected on inclusive Boccia activities, to ensure every child is included and having fun through physical activity. The students will be leading local students from Castle School and Arbury Primary School in the upcoming weeks. All the students have worked incredibly hard to achieve this award, whilst challenging themselves to come out of their comfort zone. Well done Nadia, Leonie-Marie, Imogen, Lina, Amy, Tazmin, Katie, Ellie, Chelsey and Samaya.
It’s been a busy week for Robinson. Year 7 took part in “What’s My Line” career morning, where they spoke to six different employers and tried to guess what job they do. Our Year 11s were looking particularly smart on Wednesday for the Revision Conference Day, helping them to get ready for the upcoming summer exams. On Friday, Robinson had an assembly to commemorate the Holocaust. In other news, the Thursday break time competitions are back. Please encourage your child to come along to A1 at break time on Thursdays to compete in a number of fun challenges and win some house points for Robinson. Congratulations to our ‘Best in House’ certificate winners this week, Gabriel (R5), Yuxin (R5) and Kathryn (R6) – what a brilliant achievement!
Period Products Scheme
Following the launch of the new Period Products Scheme last week, all students have been provided with information to help to break down stigmas and improve their awareness of ‘period poverty’. The ‘help yourself’ basket has supported a large number of students who have found themselves caught out unexpectedly, who have forgotten to bring products with them or who are unable afford the products they need. Please ensure that your daughter has their own personal supply of period products in their school bag at all times (this is important whether or not they have started menstruating). Period products are also available for free in Cambridge community centres and from Arbury Court Library. For more information on the scheme at school, please contact Sarah Welch.
This week, the following Fawcett House students have earned rewards for being awarded Above and Beyond Points (ABPs) in lessons: Level 1 (10 points): Immy, Matthew, Erin, Mavi, Ilona, Tingkang, Madalena, Reith, Guney Level 2 (30 points): Fahima, Sophia, Isla, Freddie, Mabel Level 3 (50 points): Jason In addition, congratulations to Mila, Cameron, and Oisin who have earnt the most ABPs for
Fawcett House this week. Keep up the good work! Also a massive well done to the following students for maintaining their 100% attendance figure: Sophie, Charlotte, Phoebe, Raphael, Zac, Hannah, Victor, Louis, Freddie, Torsten, Mohammed, Luke, Jason, Justine, Carolyn, Damilola, Katie, Quinn, Finn, Hanna, Mariko, Hasin, Adam, Hassan, Rachel and Lorenzo.
Indoor Rowing Success
Congratulations to more than 25 students from Chesterton, who took part in the annual Cambridge schools’ indoor rowing competition this week. As ever, there were some outstanding individual results and all the rowers received fantastic support from the team. The most impressive performance of the evening was from Lara in Year 8; she achieved 104% of the age-related gold medal time calculated by British Rowing and finished in first position over all. The following students also performed well in their age category: Julia S – 1st in the Year 7 girls’ race, Emma J – 1st in the Year 10 girls’ race, Laurie – 1st in the Year 9 boys’ race, Heinrich – 1st in the Year 7 boys’ race, Eamonn – 1st in the Year 10 boys’ race, Josh – 2nd in the Year 8 boys’ race, Prune – 2nd in the Year 9 girls’ race. Look out for some of these names in the 2028 Olympics!
Hill House Update
We would like to start by wishing all of our Year 11 students the best of luck in any and all upcoming interviews. To help students best prepare for exams this year, Year 11 took part in a collapsed revision day this week aiming to showcase a variety of revision techniques as well as the importance of a healthy work-social life balance, diet and sleep. Elsewhere in the school, house competitions have started again in A1. It began this week with the quick-thinking, fast-talking game of articulate; something I am sure Hill students would excel at. Next week Thursday will see paper take flight in a paper aeroplane challenge and so we encourage all students to come along to A1 and earn some Above and Beyond Points for the house.
Our Year 11 students walked to Histon Road Cemetery during their lessons this week. Our exam theme this year is ‘Events’ and therefore a lot of them are exploring the idea of ‘life events’. Students took some incredible photographs and spent the rest of the week editing them and adding their personal touch.
Our students participating in the Ambassador programme have started to plan their wellbeing initiative that will be launched in school after half term. The students have also put together an activity for next week where all students will be participating in a mindfulness minute to help raise awareness of the importance of mindfulness and wellbeing.
Each Monday our students have a mindful activity that they participate in during form time; over the last few weeks they have been looking at Bob Ross and his ideas on relaxation. Students have responded really well.
Our half-termly newsletter will be released next week; however, if you have tried any activities, apps or have any other self-care ideas that you think would benefit our students and families, then please do get in touch with Mrs Butler so that we can feature these in the newsletter.
Just a reminder that our website has a mental health section to support families and students as well as our daily notices that advertises in-school and local support.
Congratulations to the following students that have unlocked Level 2 this week: Shabrina, Frances, Ella, Jessica and Libby. A huge well done to Kloe in Cav 1 who received the most ABPs in the whole house.
This week students have been exploring routes into careers as our Year 7s are having a career day next week. It is have been wonderful to see our older students supporting the Year 7s with their ideas and ambitions.
As we are approaching half-way through the academic year, we would like to reflect on the many positives of students in Equiano. A total of 3772 ABPs have been awarded, with Eq.9 still streaks ahead with 489. Behaviour for the vast majority is outstanding, with 107 students with an unblemished record of no bad news slips for any reason. A further 30 students have a perfect record with 30+ ABPs, including Ishaaq in Eq.1, Isabel in Eq.6, Chelsea in Eq.1 and Rose in Eq.5. During form time this week students have been studying fake news, and how to differentiate between fact and fabrication online.
Chesterton Community College
Mrs Lucy Scott