Week ending 13th December
- Christmas did feel like it had officially arrived in school today: Alison Bigglestone organised a wear your Christmas jumper to work day to raise money for Save The Children. Our usually sartorially elegant staff were perhaps not looking their best, but it was in a good cause!
- Other Christmas events have continued through the week. It was a delight to attend the annual Chesterton Christmas Carol Service at Selywn College Chapel. I was incredibly impressed by our talented students, the quality of the musicianship was superb and the comments from the audience at the end were superlative; even those who had to stand through the service due to the exceptional numbers who attended the event. I’d like to thank Anita Langdale for organising the event, her first carol service since starting in the school in September as Head of Music.
- On Friday evening the PTA organised the Christmas Fayre. This was a highly over-subscribed event with all of Cambridge’s crafters descending and hoping to have a stall at the event. Once again there was a wonderful atmosphere and I’d like to thank the PTA for their outstanding commitment to the school.
- This week we had Kate Henney, a PHD student at the university, talking to some of our Y9 female students about aspirations. She is completing her thesis and wished to undertake some research about how girls perceive themselves academically. The Y9 girls involved were excellent and really engaged with what Kate was doing. It will be interesting to see if we can build on her findings, to ensure that the academic choices our students make don’t conform to stereotypes.
- Linked to work on aspiration we have been focusing this week, as a senior leadership team and with Heads of House, to look at how we can support the small group of Y9 students who we feel would benefit from some additional support and motivation before they choose their GCSE options. It is still a long time before Y10 and we are keen to put a programme in place to support those students so they are prepared for the rigours of GCSE study; as early intervention is the key to success. We have identified a small group of Y9 students in each house and Heads of House will be working with both students and parents to see how we can ease the transition to GCSE.
- The end of a school term is always about preparing for the next term as well and there has been a great deal of preparation linked to the Y11 students for revision support from January onwards. The Y11 students will receive their mock results on Tuesday and we will be sharing with them the support ideas we have in place, such as a study skills day in January and on-line resources. We are currently in the process of producing flipped learning videos to help guide revision; we feel these will be really useful for both students and parents who would like to support their child. We are also producing some parental guidance videos about how to cope with the challenges of having a child taking exams, which we will have ready in January. There will also be guidance about how to achieve an A / A*, with a booklet and visits from university admissions’ tutors to consider why it is important to aim for the highest grades possible. We have some very able students who should be challenging themselves to achieve at the very highest levels and it is important we nurture and guide them, as best we can. If there is anything as a parent you would find useful please don’t hesitate to contact us.