Week Ending 19 July

Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Dr Katherine Hutchinson who was awarded Teacher of the Year at the Cambridge News Community and Education Awards last night. These awards acknowledge “exceptional individuals or groups, who go the extra mile to help others”.

Grand piano

We will soon be taking delivery of a grand piano for the new auditorium. The piano is being supplied by The Cambridge Pianoforte Centre on Kings Hedges Road. They have been extremely helpful in supporting us to choose the best instrument for the venue. We will be launching a fundraising appeal in September to raise money towards the cost of the piano. This will include a series of concerts. If you play in a group that could put on a free concert as part of this series then we would love to hear from you. Please contact Dr Hutchinson khutchinson@chesterton.cambs.sch.uk

Chesterton Youth Theatre’s The Island performances

This week saw Chesterton Youth Theatre’s exciting summer production: ‘The Island’. This double-bill of ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Lord of the Flies’ was performed by 45 students from Years 7 – 10 in the Wynn Williams Garden. This outdoor, site-specific experience benefitted from fortuitous warm weather with the lights coming up as the sun set. Rave reviews from the audience, who gave its cast a rapturous ovation, included superlative praise from a local professional theatre director: “I loved the clarity and beauty of your ‘Tempest’, with excellent performances all round, managing to wring tears and laughter out of us! I loved the promenade aspects of ‘Lord of the Flies’, the excellent timing in those difficult ensemble split-stage scenes, and the bold characterisation from everyone. Who needs the Edinburgh Fringe with such insanely good art on the doorstep?” A huge well done to the students involved and thanks to those who supported it: “rough magic” tremoured through the space.

Brave the shave

At break time next Tuesday, Ms Russell, Mr Barber, Mr Zanni and Mr Bray are going to shave off their hair (both head and facial hair if they have it) in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and the fantastic work that they do for those affected by cancer. Ms Russell will also be donating her hair to the Little Princess Trust to help make wigs for young people with hair loss. If you would like to support this cause by donating online then please use the links below:

https://bravetheshave.macmillan.org.uk/shavers/sam-bray

https://bravetheshave.macmillan.org.uk/shavers/vitor-zanni

https://bravetheshave.macmillan.org.uk/shavers/katharine-russell

https://bravetheshave.macmillan.org.uk/shavers/simon-barber

Recycling in Science

With the final part of the building work now underway, the Science Faculty had a rather smelly problem to sort out.  There is now building work going on in the Science Block, and the chemical storage cupboard was home to a collection of chemicals that were no longer needed for experiments.  After contacting several companies, Lee Palombo of Woodford Recycling gave us a very good quote, and managed to get his boss to reduce the amount they would charge us.  Lee and his colleague Josh were both very helpful in arranging the collection and correct disposal of this hazardous material, which had been accumulating for some time.  Thanks also go to Kevin from Woodford Recycling, who collected, packaged and removed the chemicals.

It is great to be able to count on support from local companies like Huntingdon-based Woodford Recycling, particularly when larger companies provided much higher quotes.  The Science Faculty has a large range of different chemicals to enable students to learn by practical experiments, and also to observe teachers doing demonstrations with more hazardous materials.  It is a vital skill for any future scientists to learn laboratory skills, including the handling of chemicals, glass wear and Bunsen burners. Now the only chemicals we have at school are the ones the students and teachers really need to use.

Plastics reduction in the canteen

With plastic pollution becoming more of a problem we took the decision to remove as much plastic from the canteen as possible. We have stopped selling drinks in plastic bottles opting for self-serve and reusable tumblers and in the 3 weeks we have been open we saved over 2,200 bottles.

We have also stopped using disposable pots, takeaway tubs and plastic cutlery, opting for real plates, bowls and metal cutlery, and again we have saved around 4,500 pots that would have ended up in the rubbish.

We are really pleased with how well all the students have adapted and it was amazing to receive a letters (over 30) from students praising the efforts we are making and how happy they are that they are not the only generation to try and make the change. Commments include “This will help make the school more environmentally friendly”, “Less rubbish will go to landfill and be littering the school to make it a happier and more beautiful place.” Many students are shocked at the amount of plastic and litter we all produce – “over 300 million tonnes every year, of which 50% is single use”.We are working really hard with our suppliers to reduce the amount of plastic in which our deliveries arrive.

We are also about to build our own vegetable garden and will be introducing a plant-based day on our menus to try to help reduce our carbon foot print. Any keen gardeners or anyone with wood/tool supplies they would like to donate, please do get in touch with Spencer Norman. snorman@chesterton.cambs.sch.uk

School Diversity Week

On Friday 5th July, Chesterton celebrated School Diversity Week, a week in which schools and colleges across the UK celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality in education. In 2019, schools and colleges representing 1.2 million pupils signed up to take part. To celebrate and raise both money and awareness for LGBT+ equality in education, we held a rainbow-themed non-uniform day and a bake sale at break time. We also had a gender identity quiz during form time to help students understand more about the T in LGBT. One of our students made some beautiful rainbow ribbons which were sold alongside the amazing array of cakes and it was great to see so many staff and students wearing their rainbows with pride. We raised an incredible £595.39! Some of the money will go towards Chesterton becoming a Rainbow Flag Award school, as well as being donated to Just Like Us (a national LGBT+ youth charity) and The Kite Trust (a Cambridgeshire LGBT+ youth charity). A huge thank you to all the students, staff and parents who contributed their time and baking efforts for this important day.

https://www.justlikeus.org/

http://thekitetrust.org.uk/

https://www.rainbowflagaward.co.uk/
German outreach project

We welcomed a group of former Chesterton students back to school this week, to meet and teach some of our Year 7 and Year 8 German classes. The former students, who now study German at Hills Road and Impington Village College, are undertaking this outreach project as part of their language studies, and were very keen to promote the advantages of learning a language at GCSE and beyond. Our pupils learnt some new German proverbs and compared them to similar ones in English, and they particularly enjoyed a matching game based on German food specialities.