Week ending March 7th
- I’m sitting here writing the blog in my “non-uniform” clothes, as we raise money with the PTA to support projects within school. They are currently assisting our plans to develop an innovative classroom space which is very exciting. Their fundraising activities this week have not just focused on a non-uniform event, but also the first PTA student quiz which was held at the end of this week. It was a great event and showed the students to have some great knowledge, answering questions which had been set by each department in the school. Thank you to the PTA and the student organisers for all their hard work.
- We had our first schemes of learning meetings this week across the school, with all Faculties remaining behind at the end of the school day to work on the development of lessons incorporating all our recent innovations. I had the privilege to drop into all the meetings and was incredibly impressed by the level of thought and engagement I saw from all staff. Working together staff are creating some really exciting resources for students.
- On Tuesday we held a coffee morning for parents, where students had made cakes with individual messages for their parents; they were really stunning. During the morning parents were able to look at the feedback books for their children and speak with senior members of staff. We were pleased to see so many of the parents we had invited and we hope to hold similar events in the future.
- I was invited to Handwriting Club this week, which is led during two lunchtimes by our teaching assistant Nikki Phillips. The aim of the club is to support students to improve their handwriting and clearly the students involved were enjoying the challenge. As a reward at the end of the term the students hold a party and I have been promised a handwritten invitation to the event!
- It was an honour this week to hear Eva Clarke speak to all of our Year 9 students. Eva was born in Mauthausen Concentration Camp, Austria, on 29th April 1945. She is the only survivor of her family, 15 members of whom were killed in Auschwitz: three of Eva’s grandparents, her father, uncles, aunts and her seven year old cousin, Peter. Eva is a former Chesterton parent who tours the world giving educational lectures about the holocaust and its impact. She is in an incredibly compelling speaker and we were all very moved by her testimony and resilience.
- As a senior leadership team we have started delivering our Friday tutor time revision sessions to Y11 students. Students can pick from three sessions ranging from how to be resilient to note taking, to support their revision planning. We hope these sessions are supportive at this pressured time, especially for those students who have also had college interviews this week.
- More than twenty year 11 students received the prestigious Roy Burrell Award on Tuesday evening. The annual award recognises excellence, participation and positive attitude in sport, in the Cambridge district – the local equivalent of the sports’ personality of the year award. Awards were presented this year by Gail Emms – world champion, European champion and Olympic silver medallist (badminton).
- Bella Fowlie is the first student in year 7, this year, to be presented with the ‘Chesterton Blue’! The ‘Blue’ recognises active participation in at least three sports at Chesterton, excellent attitude and sports’ participation at district, county, regional or national level. Bella plays club football and has qualified for the national indoor rowing competition.
- It was World Book Day on Thursday and we had some great events which are the springboard for our reading for pleasure campaign, which is being led by Rob Parkinson. There were some great costumes:
Bob the Builder, Mary Poppins, Willy Wonka and Skulduggery Pleasant to name a few (there are pictures on the Facebook page). We are also launching Readathon and there are numerous events such as author visits; a balloon launch and quizzes coming very soon.
- The balloon launch involves Y8 students writing twitter style book reviews which they are then going to launch into the air with helium balloons and hopefully the person who finds it will feel inspired to read the book. I’ve read some great reviews in preparation, for example one Year 8 student in Cavendish House wrote about Michael Murpugo’s book “Shadow”: “Saddening story, but well written and detailed; in the end everyone is enlightened”
- A parent asked me recently about the enrichment opportunities which are on offer to students and I thought it might be helpful in some blogs to highlight what the school is offering. Obviously you will hear a great deal through ParentMail and also by looking on the website at our extra-curricular offer, but I thought it might be interesting just to focus on one subject and see what has been available over the academic year. Science has offered the following opportunities for students: Robotics club; Science club; Astronomy GCSE; Physics at Work trip to Cavendish; Amgen genetic engineering enrichment; Zoology Museum trip; Fossils and bones presentation from University of Cambridge; Engineering day workshop with Cambridge Science Centre; Science Careers Day; Science careers trip to Broadcom; Science biomedical careers trip to Addenbrookes Cancer Cell unit; Science enrichment trip to Institute of Education; Bronze CREST awards; Eco club Hedgehog project; Big biology day at Hills Road – Year 10 and 11; Cambridge Machine day at Corn Exchange; Presentation on telescopes by Professor Newsam and Women in science and engineering presentation by Dame Athene Donald. When it is all recorded in one place it shows the range of opportunities available and I will endeavour to collate in a similar way what is being offered by other subjects, to give a quick overview in the blog.