Blog – Fri 11th December 2020
The Virtual Christmas Carol Service will take place next Wednesday, 16th December. The Music Department are delighted that a great number of students who have chosen to take part in the preparations for this event and have been busily recording their contributions in and out of school. This event will involve introductory festive performances from students before the main carol service with the traditional readings and musical performances. If you would like to receive a link to this event, please do ensure that you have signed up using this form: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=iE8vFaNpu0Cc_clg92cBVVQLWG2CNB1KjATJ7aJ3KjpUOEtUWEdGNjBIMzFSU1JKNkZCT0E1TkwzRS4u.
We hope that lots of families will sit down as a household to watch together; we will send the link in order that you can watch the introductory performances from 6.30pm, so that the main service will begin at 7pm. However, it will remain live so that if you cannot watch at this time, you can watch later on.
We are really pleased to hear of a number of students’ instrumental and music theory exam successes – congratulations to all who have recently taken music exams! Please do let the Music Department know of your achievements if you have not already.
Last week our Year 7 and 8 members of the Design Team welcomed Sally Jones from the Design Museum who introduced them to the Ventura Mini Challenge design competition being run by the Design Museum in London. Sally inspired the students using quick prototyping techniques to design their own product ideas, with a brief to make a product using sustainable materials suitable for sale in the Design Museum shop. The students have been beavering away to finalise their proposals and are submitting their entries for the chance to win a prize. Follow @designventura on Twitter to see their ideas. Students from Year 9 will also be taking part in a workshop with the Design Museum this week as an introduction to their participation in the full Design Ventura challenge which they will be completing at the start of next term.
‘Tis the Season for Giving…
We are very grateful for the generosity of Paul Davis of “Paul’s Garden Design Maintenance & Landscaping” who responded to our appeal for a Christmas tree. We now have a gorgeous real tree in our outdoor courtyard to add a bit of Christmas cheer and encourage some festive spirits among Chesterton’s community. Thank you, Paul!
“Bah! Humbug!” to Covid Preventing Christmas Festivities!
We are excited that we have managed to secure an opportunity for all Year 8 students to see a live-streamed performance of the Old Vic’s big-hearted, smash-hit production of Charles Dickens’ immortal tale A Christmas Carol. Directed by Matthew Warchus (Artistic Director of the Old Vic since 2014); starring Andrew Lincoln as Scrooge (Teachers, Love Actually, The Walking Dead) and written by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) this is an experience that was too good to be missed! THE OLD VIC: IN CAMERA usually streams the empty auditorium as the show’s backdrop, but this production will be, for the first time in the series, presented as a full-scale show with live musicians, theatrical lighting, set and costumes, and with a cast of 19 performers. In total, almost 80 freelance creatives, actors and musicians will be employed to create this production. It looks set to be a stunning one!
The live-streaming will take place via Zoom, during the afternoon of Wednesday 16th December 2020, starting at 1pm. Students will remain in their usual classes / classrooms, but, as this is a live-streaming, will experience the production at the same time as all their year group peers across the school, making it a truly shared experience at a time when ‘coming together’ is proving such a challenge.
Please join us in congratulating Mr Kingsley-Mills, Teacher of Mathematics, who has completed a Masters of Education with the University of Cambridge and has been awarded a Distinction. Mr Kingsley-Mills’ research focused on active learning approaches.
Year 7 PSHE Day
On Thursday 3rd December, Year 7 took part in a PSHE day (Me, Myself & I!). Over the course of the day, they participated in a variety of workshops exploring a range of topics all designed to explore the changes experienced during puberty including: wellbeing, sleep, hygiene and exercise. This was their first PSHE day at Chesterton and the students engaged well with the activities reflecting on their personal health and wellbeing. Many students offered positive contributions during discussions and were respectful of others’ opinions in the room. It was fantastic to see the whole cohort thinking about their teenage years with such maturity. It is common for students to have lots of questions following the day particularly around puberty and we encourage them to chat any of these through with the PSHE team, their form tutor or Head of House. If they would like to look through any of the content again they can access this on the PSHE Edmodo page.
Year 11 PSHE Day
On Wednesday 9th December, Year 11 had the very important PSHE day named ‘My Health’. It was fantastic to welcome three visiting parties for the day to deliver sessions. We were able to host Terrence Higgins Trust to deliver a session on sexual health with a focus on STIs and it was also wonderful to welcome ‘It’s on the Ball’ who spoke brilliantly about cancer awareness in particular looking at both breast and testicular cancer. The students were really intrigued and asking some brilliant questions throughout both of these sessions. The final visitor was virtual and utilised the Microsoft Teams online platform. ‘Straight Talking’ lead a session looking at pregnancy and parenthood and the students were fully involved throughout and appreciated the interactivity of the session even though they were not in the room. The further three sessions were looking at important topics such as HIV; staying safe with drugs (inspired by the charity the Loop); and medical awareness. The students grew in confidence throughout the day to further question and think about these topics. If they wish to discuss anything in more depth then we recommend they chat with the PSHE team, their form tutor or Head of House. The resources are all available to look over on the PSHE Edmodo page.
The online festive calendar continues this week. Behind the doors this week students and staff have found: a toilet roll challenge, candy canes, staff wearing Christmas socks and an invitation to guess how many Christmas jumpers are in school on Christmas jumper day, all with lots of prizes up for grabs. More festive fun from the calendar next week and special thanks to the PTA for sponsoring the calendar and all the prizes and treats.
Earlier this month six Year 10 students (Miranda, Joszef, Jamie, Winston, Julia and Peo) volunteered to take part in the United Kingdom Maths Trust (UKMT) Senior Maths Challenge. The Senior Maths Challenge is designed for students in post-16 education, so to volunteer for the challenge in Year 10 shows real enthusiasm and a certain amount of guts; to even pass would be a great achievement. In fact they managed to achieve two Bronze Awards, three Silver Awards and a Gold Award, with Julia qualifying for the next round: the Senior Kangaroo. The results are all amazing and show just what can be achieved when students are prepared to push themselves outside of their comfort zone.
PTA raffle and the Change to Win a Christmas Hamper
Last few days to buy raffle tickets! The PTA are raffling two hampers of Christmas goodies, kindly donated by Stir Café and Bakery as a fundraiser for the school. Each hamper will have all sorts of lovely things to enjoy during the holiday season. Raffle tickets are £1.00 per ticket and available for sale on ParentMail (use the Payments tab, then visit “shop”) until 15th December. The winners will be announced on 17th December.
Rehearsals are in full swing as the Year 7 and Year 8 Drama Clubs continue to devise their own plays in chamber groups based on the Greek myth, Icarus. Year 7 will be performing in the Atrium Theatre space after Christmas, but the 50-strong company will finish their term of intense and magical weekly sessions with a special Christmas-themed workshop this Friday. Year 8 are working over Zoom; the aspiring young actors have created a sci-fi version of the classic story which would make George Lucas proud! Will the Icarus space mission make it to Mars? Find out on Thursday 17th December at 8pm.
Meanwhile, if you’re in need of some festive cheer, the Year 9 Drama Club are putting the final touches to their virtual pantomime ‘The Wizard of Oz’ which is being performed and recorded over Zoom for an online audience. Guaranteed to lift your spirits, Dorothy and her friends have lots of fun in store as they battle against the Wicked Witch. The virtual performance takes place on 15th December at 8pm so prepare yourself for some audience participation and extremely corny jokes!
Finally, our GCSE Drama students didn’t want to miss out on all the fun, so they have decided to add to the performance mix by making some short recordings of their own. This time it’s not ‘drama’ in the dystopic, cutting-edge, high-octane sense: you’ll have to wait for Year 10’s ‘1984’ and Year 11’s ‘Published Play Extracts’ for that, major productions due to take place in February 2021. But what the GCSE students have produced is guaranteed to entertain you! Classes 11X, 10Y and 10X (the three GCSE classes) are competing against each other (with the help of their overly keen teachers) to perform their own rendition of a Christmas classic pop hit. The challenge they have been set is to take one lesson only to choose, choreograph and arrange a Christmas song, which they then perform to camera. Every member of the class must sing a solo, and all three of the songs must be given a Covid, college, comic context (or dramatic lead-in, as they say in musical theatre land). You can vote for your favourite Christmas hit next week when the YouTube links will be released on this blog. Watch them, and fill in the google form link we’ll also provide in order to help choose a winning group. The only criterion is: the spirit of Christmas. It’s going to be a stiff competition.
With all of these performances, and in consideration of the stunning solo, duo and ensemble performances the Drama Department has witnessed in the last week from so many students in our Year 7, 8 and 9 Drama classes (as part of their termly assessments), we would like to raise awareness of homelessness this Christmas. If you would like to donate to this cause, alongside the performances shown next week online, we will also release a ‘Just giving’ web link for you to make a charitable donation to Centrepoint. Year 9 students have been studying some of the work of this charity, and the support it offers to vulnerable young people otherwise on the streets is something we want to be part of. Last year, we raised £500 for the charity through our ‘Christmas Cabaret’ in the Atrium Theatre. We hope through these little online performance events, we can still give a little. Thank you to everyone for their drama efforts. If you would like to watch any of the online performances, please email LCooper@chesterton.cambs.sch.uk stating ‘Year 8′, Year 9’, or ‘GCSE Drama’ – he will then share the appropriate link with you. Keep dancing!
Christmas Present Stall
Thank you to everyone who has donated to our Christmas present stall. The stall was planned to take place on Thursday 17th December; however we have decided not to go ahead with stall in order that no additional close contacts take place. If we were to have a positive case in school next week, students identified as close contacts would have to isolate throughout the holiday period and we don’t wish to add close contacts to the ones that are already unavoidable. All the donations we have received will go to families in need this Christmas and to charities such as Jimmy’s Cambridge homeless shelter.
If you are doing any shopping in the coming weeks there are three ways we can raise money for school at the same time. If you could shop via any of these three routes money will automatically go to the school PTA without any extra expense to you.
If you are shopping on Amazon please start at
On your first visit, you can designate “Chesterton Community College Parent & Teacher Association” as your chosen charity – and they’ll donate a portion of every qualifying purchase to the PTA.
If you are shopping more generally online please start at https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/
or download the easy fundraising app. Again on your first visit you can select Chesterton PTA as your charity. You can access most major online stores via the link or app and a portion of your purchase(s) is donated to the PTA.
Please download the Co-op app or visit
to become a member. Once you are a member you can select Chesterton PTA as your charity then every time you buy online or in a shop and show your membership card a donation will be made to the PTA.
This week students in Equiano have been busy creating Christmas cards for a nearby care home. The students have enjoyed this but more importantly it aims to help alleviate loneliness for the older people and the care home staff. The Year 11 students took part in a PSHE day which included topics regarding their health – we hope they gained a lot from this. This Friday students are able to wear non-school uniform and are encouraged to wear a Christmas jumper in order to help raise money for Save the Children. Currently in Equiano Harvey (Year 9) has the most Above and Beyond Points with 54; however he is closely followed by Lily (Year 7) and Gioele (Year 9).
Cavendish continue to impress us with their commitment and motivation across all subjects – keep up the good work! A special mention to the following students who have now received over 50 ABPs: Sama and Lauren (Year 7).
Year 11 had their PSHE day on Wednesday which explored ‘My Health’. We hope Year 11 got lots out of these sessions and a big thank you to all staff involved with the running of the day.
Chesterton’s festive calendar continues to spread the Christmas joy with teachers sporting festive socks on Wednesday – well done to all who took part!
Another brilliant week for Hill students. The house team are so proud of how all Hill students continue to show excellent behaviour and attitude around school despite all the recent changes. Lots of Hill students have been getting involved with causes such as wearing odd socks to show support for anti-bullying week and bringing in lots of items for Jimmy’s shelter. We look forward to seeing all the Christmas jumpers on Christmas jumper day! On another note Hill students have had a great start in collecting Above and Beyond Points, we have 9 students who are now on 30 or more ABPS which is a fantastic achievement. Top honours go to Eisha in Year 7 and Chiara in Year 10. Well done, Hill!
Fawcett House has continued to enjoy the school advent calendar. This week we discovered the origins of the candy cane in form time as one of our advent doors and all of the students enjoyed a candy cane of their own. The overall mood within the House village is one of joy, excitement and wholeness which creates an awesome atmosphere to finish the term with. All students in Fawcett have been creating Christmas cards in their form groups for a local care home while continuing to donate so generously towards the Jimmy’s homeless shelter organisation – they will certainly make many children happy this Christmas.
This week we have had a big push with all students regarding uniform ensuring the high standards we expect. We are proud to say Robinson students have been fantastic uniform-wise so well done! In form time we have been looking at ‘My health’ which was supported by a very interesting assembly concerning human rights. Happy birthday this week to Ronnie, Lucia, Polly and Mehmet! We hope you had a wonderful day. Finally, it was fantastic to see so many of you in Christmas jumpers today. It really got all of us, teachers and pupils, smiling and in the Christmas spirit. Have a lovely weekend.
Chesterton Community College
Mrs Lucy Scott