Blog – Fri 17th June 2022

OFSTED Success for the Trust

This week the Eastern Learning Alliance have been delighted to announce that Ofsted has rated our Norfolk secondary school, Downham Market Academy, as a ‘Good’ school. This is particularly exciting news for their local community, as the school has not achieved a rating of ‘Good’ or better from Ofsted for well over 15 years.

This judgement reflects a significant milestone in the trajectory of rapid school improvement since ELA started their work at the academy in 2017. Ofsted noted that “the Trust has tirelessly supported leaders to ensure rapid improvement across the school” which neatly summarises the extensive work the Trust have undertaken in improving strategic direction, outcomes, teaching and learning, and personal development of students at the school.

The Trust leadership team and DMA colleagues are extremely grateful to all the members of staff from Chesterton who have provided support and advice over the last five years. It was great to have the collaborative work of our trust recognised. Mark Eastwood, Head of School at DMA, summed this up really well:
“The ELA trust is not a separate entity who work outside of the schools; the Trust is all of the schools working together, being supported and challenged to be the best that we can be.”


PTA Updates

Call for Chesterton Bash Helpers

Thank you to everyone who has bought tickets for the Chesterton Bash and donations too. We have been thrilled with ticket sales!

It’s all hands on deck for our fantastic parent volunteers organising the Bash and now we need to recruit some fun-loving parents available to help on Friday the 1st of July.

Join in and help!

  •  the Decoration Team transform the school grounds from 3.30 pm until 5.30 pm
  •  on the night to welcome guests, supervise stalls including the Sweet Tooth Tombola, support the Bar Team, and most importantly we need ‘cashiers’ for the Latin Food Stall.

If you are willing and available and can please, please get in touch with 

We’re also now collecting donations for The Bash Sweet Tooth Tombola!

  • Contributions for any confectionery, chocolates, or sweets can be left at the School Reception until Wednesday 29th June.

Thank you for every contribution and effort to support the PTA in raising funds and bringing families together for benefit of students.

This term we are focusing on fundraising for outdoor spaces from outdoor furniture to topsoil for the SEND garden.

If you can’t join in the celebrations or help on the night, but can make a donation, please do so here via ENTHUSE. Donations can be gift-aided.


Year 10 Health Students

As part of their coursework our Year 10 Health and Social Care students have all been involved in planning exciting activities to run with the students at Castle School. They have been pushed way out of their comfort zone and some of them were very nervous about doing it, but they have all successfully planned and delivered their activities to the students. They did this confidently and with great enthusiasm. The staff at Castle School have been really impressed with the way our students interacted with theirs and the level of maturity they showed. They absolutely did us proud. Well done 10YHS1!


Year 7 Illustration Workshop

Thank you so much to local children’s illustrator Tonka Uzu for coming in and running fantastic comic-making workshops with Year 7s. Students and staff were extremely positive about the event, with students just saying they wished it were longer! We were all impressed with how quickly students picked up the new skills, and by their very creative and varied ideas. We hope parents enjoy seeing what students were able to produce. English teachers also learnt new skills about story planning and mapping. It was a fantastic start to our unit on graphic novels. Thank you also to Miss Ellison for letting us use the library for the day and for making a display of graphic novels some of them brand new!


Music Department News

  • The samba band and folk fiddle band (formerly ceilidh band) will be performing at Chesterton Festival on Saturday. If you are going, do keep an eye out for us! Samba will perform at 12 noon and folk fiddles at 12:45pm.
  • The folk fiddle band is also playing at Jesus Green Lido on Tuesday evening at the Summer Solstice Swim. If you would like to go for a swim on Tuesday evening at around 7pm you can enjoy listening to them play at the same time! Hope to see some Chesterton families there.
  • On Friday lunchtime (24th June) at 12:30pm Key Stage 3 musicians are giving a lunchtime concert at St Andrew’s Church, Chesterton. All are welcome to come and watch and admission is free. The concert will last for around an hour and feature soloists and small ensembles.


Chesterton Lecture

On Monday 20th June, 15:1016:00, Nikky McLean will be presenting a face-to-face lecture on school site. This lecture will be on: ‘Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders: delivering medical care to where it’s needed most.’

The lecture will take place in E15, and during this lecture, Nicola McLean, President MSF UK, will talk about how they have

‘been involved on and off with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders since the 1990s, when she worked for four years as a Nutritionist and Medical Coordinator within two African countries experiencing crisis and high unmet medical needs. In her talk, she will explain who MSF are, what they do and why the work MSF does is important, while weaving in her own personal experiences. This is a must-see lecture for students interested in healthcare, humanitarian aid, geography or the world in general.’

If this is something your child/children are interested in, then please can you reply to Mrs Hawkins at: .

Tennis Leadership Award

Well done to the Year 8 and 9 students who took part in the annual LTA Tennis Leaders Award, provided by Cambridge Tennis Academy (CTA). A total of 20 students developed confidence and competence to lead over a two-day period, before delivering a primary school festival throughout the morning on Thursday. Everything certainly took place in what felt like ‘Wimbledon weather’!

The Olympic Cup 2022

The PE Department is getting ready for the annual Olympic Cup athletics match at the University Track in Cambridge. The event takes place on Wednesday 22nd June and will feature more than 100 athletes and up to 15 sports leaders from Chesterton. If your child would like to be involved, they can turn up to our weekly athletics club on Tuesday after school – only two more practices before the big event. Watch this space!

Primary School Rounders Festival

It was great to see our primary school neighbours from Arbury, Mayfield, Milton Road and St Luke’s on Wednesday morning. A large number took part in our feeder-primary rounders competition, organised by a very able bunch of Year 9 sports leaders. The weather was matched by the enthusiasm of everyone involved, and the eventual winner was…

Next week we’ll be hosting future Chestertonians, as Year 6 students visit us for the annual athletics festival.

Chesterton Drama Festival

Chesterton Youth Theatre has an answer to the Edinburgh Fringe: a mini-Drama Festival which will take place late afternoons/evenings from 5th–7th July 2022 in North Cambridge’s central hub of creativity, the Drama Studio at Chesterton. The idea is that the Festival will give everyone at school and those further afield a chance to be creative and experimental in their performance work, celebrating it together. At the heart of the Festival is a series of unique shows directed by theatre practitioner Sam Plumb, who has been working with Chesterton students this year to form an improvisation troupe.

There are also various pantomimes, devised pieces, monologues and duologues which have been developed in our Drama Club and lessons. Meanwhile, we would love YOU (parents, staff, younger and older siblings, friends, former students and members of our local community) to become involved.

You can do this in two ways:

  • The One-Page Play Competition

A chance to have your own one-page play anonymously showcased to an audience by an ensemble of pre-, current and former professional actors at the end of the evening on the 6th July. Ten of the best one-page plays will be presented by them in an hour-long, fun competition, where the audience will decide the winning play. The prize is a donation to your favourite charity. The play must be submitted by Friday 1st July, so get writing!

  • The ‘Anything Goes’ Performance Cabaret

A chance to perform an act at the end of the evening on 5th July that celebrates difference and daring to dream. Your act might be anything from stand-up to spoken word; mime to magic. Or it might simply be a dramatic monologue from a classic play … the point is that this event might encourage YOU (non-Chesterton students) to share something creative alongside Chesterton student performers with similar aims and ambitions, in front of a supportive audience.

If you would like more information about either of these events, please look on Parentmail or contact with the subject heading ‘Drama Festival’ on your email, and you will receive a reply with everything you need to know. We would absolutely love you to be in touch – the more contributions from the community, the better.

Finally, we hope that even if you don’t want to showcase your work, you might want to come and watch others. Tickets can be reserved by emailing as above, and it may also be possible to simply turn up on the door of the Drama Studio for each specific event. Just look out for the Parentmail about this, or email to receive the Festival schedule, and once again, thanks in advance for being part our bid to ‘make something new’.


Equiano House

In form time this week all of our students have been thinking about their individual experience of their time at Chesterton. This is in preparation for the student survey that will be sent out next week to help us find out what our students love about Chesterton and what they would like to change. We want to make sure students have the best possible experience at school and want to ensure that all student voices are heard.

Our Year 10 students have started their mock exams this week. Good luck to all our students; we know you have been working really hard!

On Thursday this week Year 7 participated in a comic-making workshop with local illustrator Tonka Uzu. There were so many great ideas – we can’t wait to see the finished stories!

Well done to Eddie, Leo and Henoch from Equiano who completed a tennis leadership course with the Cambridge Tennis Academy this week. These students then went on to support the running of a primary school tennis festival.

Equiano is currently in 3rd place in the House Points competition with 9440 points. We are closing in on second place Fawcett – even more reason to go that extra mile to achieve above and beyond points for your efforts. Have a great weekend everyone!

Cavendish House

This was a week of increased heat and rumour. Word has reached our ears that several members of staff have melted, and at least one member of the English Department is rumoured to have been rendered immobile after his shoes fused with the molten linoleum floor of his classroom. All these stories are unsubstantiated, of course, but it is hot and they have to come from somewhere – there’s no smoke without fire.

We have enjoyed another excellent Chesterton week. Year 10 sat their first mock exams. Several students volunteered to run a primary school rounders day – “It was pretty fun”, reported one Cavendish House participant. And the whole school have been thinking about about the big picture in preparation for the Student Satisfaction Survey next week.

Staff and students have been glad to welcome a new Deputy Headmaster, Mr Hicks, who this reporter is delighted to see is a fan of the tie. From the Cavendish Team, and the whole school, welcome to Chesterton.

As we hurtle towards the end of the year, students are continuing to look forward to enrichment, trips, sport and arts fixtures, as well as a range of end-of-year events like the Prom. For more on these and all other matters worth reading about, stay tuned to the Blog. That’s all for this week – don’t forget to be awesome!


Hill House

Another week is over as we march towards the end of term, and it seems that the weather has finally realised that it is Summer Term and given us some sun. This week has been an important one for form times: Hill forms have been preparing to take part in the school survey, where every student will be given the opportunity to express themselves, enabling us to assess the various sectors of the school, see what great successes are already occurring and also how we can best improve the school. Discussing topics like student support, lesson enjoyment and extra-curricular opportunities, students should feel ready to complete the survey in the coming weeks to the best of their ability.

Finally, we want to congratulate Eva, Saima, Vanja Maja and Arlo in Year 8 for their ABPs – keep it up, and we look forward to seeing who has the most at the end of the year.


Fawcett House

The sun has been shining this week as some Fawcett Year 8s and 9s have enjoyed lots of sporting activities. Sports leaders led a rounders festival for Year 5 students, whilst others took part in a tennis leadership course with the Cambridge Tennis Academy. Well done to all involved.

This week in form time we have been focusing on various aspects of the school experience. We have been discussing ideas such as making our voices heard in lessons which we will be able to feed back to the school next week when we complete our survey. On Thursday, Year 7s took part in a comic-making workshop with local illustrator Tonka Uzu which hopefully inspired some artists!

As always, if any Fawcett students need any support please contact Mr Firth, Miss Malik or Miss Walton.


Robinson House

Hello Robinson House. We hope you are all well. Here is your weekly roundup.

We are in first place on the House Points competition with 10,138 points which is 531 points ahead of second place Fawcett. Achieving over 10,000 House Points is an amazing accomplishment. Well done and keep those Above and Beyond Points rolling in!

In form time this week we have been thinking about our opinions and expectations for the school so that our voices can be accurately heard in the upcoming student surveys. Finally, please join us in wishing Mia, George, and Ronan a very happy birthday this week. Remember to nip into the Robinson office on the B corridor for a small treat. Have a lovely weekend.