Blog – Fri 8th July 2022

Staff News

Heads of Subject

This week our Heads of Subject spent a day together with a focus on preparing for next academic year. As part of the day we reflected on developments across the current academic year including revisions to subject curriculums and an emphasis on playfulness and memorable experiences in the classroom in the post-pandemic climate. The group then spent time planning ahead for next year, looking particularly at continuous professional development opportunities for staff across the year to support students getting the best provision possible.

New Staff

Last Friday we welcomed the new staff joining us in September. Our new colleagues spent the day hearing from a wide range of different staff, primarily focused on understanding our ethos regarding Teaching and Learning. Across the day new staff visited lessons, participated in workshops and enjoyed a Teachmeet, where a range of staff shared ideas for activities that work particularly well in Chesterton classrooms.

Enrichment Programme 13th15th July

As you’ll know, this year’s enrichment programme will be taking place on the 13th, 14th and 15th July. Firstly, we would like to say a huge thank you for all of your parental contributions – without this generosity, our pupils wouldn’t be able to experience the range of activities that are going to take place throughout this week!

A Parentmail has been sent out this week, so please check for finer details about the three days. We are looking forward to a fantastic few days of enriching activities for our students.

If you have any further questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to contact
Sophie Hawkins or your child’s activity lead.


Summer Music

Thank you to all involved in the summer concert on Thursday evening. The Wynn-Williams Garden was packed with supporters as all our choirs and instrumental groups performed a varied programme on what washappily a sunny evening. We look forward to lots more extracurricular music-making in September. Stay tuned for plenty of opportunities we have planned.

Good luck to the Junior Choir who are singing at the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham Symphony Hall on Saturday.

Well done to Zara, Lili, Omondi and Caden who played brilliantly in a piano masterclass with concert pianist Richard Meyrick on Monday. He was very impressed with their playing and the way they responded to his feedback. Following the masterclass, Omondi has been offered a scholarship of lessons with Richard. This is a wonderful achievement – well done to Omondi.

Drama Festival

The Drama Department would like to give a huge congratulations to all the students who performed in the Festival this week. It was so uplifting seeing it all come together, and you all performed with individual spark, strong expression and creative flair. Those who won medals will hopefully wear them with pride: the cast of ‘Snow White’; Alana and Kate H for individual pantomime roles; the casts of ‘Emotional Damage’, ‘Rhymes of the Fens’, ‘Anne Frank’ and ‘Comedy of Errors’; Charlie and Marnie for individual acting performances; then finally, Sam, Dom, Kader, Danny and Sammy for their overall outstanding contributions to the Festival. Every single performer deserves a medal for the way they shared something of their heart in an array of original dramatic events.

The professionals who came to perform the One-Page Play Competition – moreover, the plays themselves – brought such a treat to us all. As one audience member said:

“What a revelation to watch the one-page plays written
by students . . . we surely have some future stars in our midst!”

A final and very special congratulations goes to Sam Plumb’s Improv Troupe’s ‘Apocalypse High’. Watching all three performances was terrific fun and also fascinating to experience. The skills of each of the 12 troupe members reflect exceptional creativity and courage, thanks to their life-changing leader.

What everyone has learned from this will stay with them for a long time to come. Keep being creative, keep making live theatre happen!


Chesterton v Parkside Boat Race

The Chesterton v Parkside Boat Race has become an annual affair, involving the 12 students from each school, who’ve recently completed the ‘Try Rowing’ course with Rob Roy Boat Club. Milton Country Park was again the venue and it was great to see what’s possible to achieve in a short space of time. Great individual and team performances, and also great to see the competitors from both schools come together after locking horns on the water. In the end, Chesterton finished second.


Sports Leaders in Action

Our Year 9 sports leaders have been outstanding this year. There were 24 of them supporting the Milton Road Primary School Sports Day this week and as always it was great to hear that they have represented the College so well. This was one of the last opportunities for this cohort, before the current Year 8 students take over in September.


Athletics Record Broken

The College athletics records illustrate the highest levels of performance achieved over the last 22 years, since the turn of the century. We’re so surprised at the number of records that have been broken this year. The Year 7 girls’ javelin record was broken this week by Paloma at 22.49 metres


Debate Club

On Wednesday, Chesterton Debate Club hosted its annual political party special. Run in the style of BBC Question Time, both of the largest parties were represented: Freddy for the Conservatives and Natalia for Labour. Smaller parties were also spoken for: Quentin voiced the concerns of the Liberal Democrats, Charlie held the fort for Reform UK and Emilija represented the Green Party. Meanwhile, serious policies were outlined by Miriam, playing Admiral Lord Yelling, 14th Earl of Worcester Sauce.

After impassioned opening statements, the six panelists were grilled by the audience and each other. Tadhg chaired the debate, moderating the audience questions and ensuring that the panelists did not weasel out of answering. Various issues were covered, including healthcare, education and foreign policy.

After 45 minutes our audience expressed their views by single transferrable votes, a proportionally representative system of voting. Despite a tight race, Natalia of the Labour Party was declared the winner. Miriam as Admiral Lord Yelling, 14th Earl of Worcester Sauce, was unable to persuade enough people to vote for her proposal to drain the River Cam and fill it with custard.

From Mr Moore and Mr Ware, a big thank you to all those involved.

Eureka Days

The Cambridge Maths School organised a fantastic event: Eureka Day in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences. Students from Years 9 and 10 took part in different maths activities and interesting talks. The famous Dr James Grime, Mathematician, public speaker, and Numberphile YouTuber gave a lecture on codes. A highlight was when he drilled into a CD (not just any CD – One Direction) and it kept playing!

Students also had lots of fun participating in a Dragon Quiz against other schools, solving a series of interesting Maths Problems (kudos to the Chesterton team who won.) Teamwork did not stop there – using their knowledge of forces and structures, they worked effectively on building paper cranes that could hold a 100-gram weight. Nrich gave the final lecture with their “marbles in a box” problem. Why not give it a go:

Culture Week

This week the BLM (Black Lives Matter) club of Chesterton hosted Culture Week. The week included a variety of tutor time activities focused on learning and sharing about some of the many cultures here at Chesterton, as well as some special food featured by the Canteen. Wednesday’s non-uniform day saw students wear clothing they felt represented their cultural identity. Thank you to the group for organising such an informative and celebratory week.


Year 6 Taster Days

This week we were delighted to welcome Year 6 pupils joining Chesterton in September for two days of induction. The days began with the Headteacher’s assembly in the auditorium where pupils were able to view themselves as a year group for the first time. Across the two days pupils enjoyed activities all designed to help them get to know each other, our staff and our environment. We look forward to welcoming the group back as Year 7 in September. Thank you to Mr Parkinson, Assistant Head, for organising the day and to the group of older students from Years 9 and 10 who helped run the two days and supported our young visitors to get the best out of their time with us.

English Department News

Careers in English

A huge thank you to BBC journalist Jo Floto for volunteering to come in last Friday to speak to Year 10 about careers in journalism. Students described it as “really inspiring” to learn about the important and varied work that journalists do, and the different pathways into journalism. Having volunteer students get dressed up in body armour and try out a field first aid kit was a highlight, as was hearing about Jo’s work in places such as Ukraine, Afghanistan and China. It was a great to see students staying behind to ask more questions, and a real boost to our student press team. Thank you to Jo for his time and interesting stories – our staff and students got lots from it – and good luck with the imminent move to Jerusalem to take up the new role as Middle East Bureau Chief.

The Blaze

Any student interested in contributing to the student-penned “The Blaze” can speak to
Mr Payne or email – just remember Jo’s key messages about fact-checking and integrity in a world of fake news, conspiracy theories and deep fakes!

A level options

Mrs Phillips organised a session for Year 10 this week about deciding which English (Literature, Language or Language and Literature combined) to choose for A-level. The plan is to repeat the session early next term for anyone who missed it.

Personal statements

Year 10 students have been working hard putting together their personal statements in English lessons this week. Many thanks to parents for supporting this important work through discussions at home.

Book clubs and summer reading

The school book clubs are winding down for the year, but if anyone has any suggestions for how these should be run next year or books or themes to focus on, please email or post ideas on the Year 9-11 virtual book club Team.

Cambridge libraries run a summer reading challenge which is aimed at primary-age children, so something you may wish to investigate for younger siblings:

They also welcome secondary-age volunteers to support the scheme by going to the library and speaking to younger children about their reading. Why not pop into Arbury Court Library or Milton Road Library if that is something you might be interested in doing?

Some Year 8 students are using the Chesterton Express Underground reading map (sent to all Year 7 and 8 parents earlier this year) to set themselves a private summer reading challenge: can they complete a line (a genre) or a zone (a level of difficulty) by the end of the holidays? Good luck to them and we look forward to hearing what they have enjoyed reading.

Please do drop into the library to pick up reading material for the holidays, and the virtual library will be available through the summer too:

Rewards Event: Above and Beyond

This week, over 160 students across Years 7–10 celebrated receiving 50 ABPs this academic year. This was a fantastic achievement for our students and we are very proud of them.


Equiano House

Again it has been another exciting week for our Chesterton students (and staff). This week we have been celebrating Culture Week and have had a wide variety of activities to do in form time and around school organised by the Black Lives Matter student group. In tutor time we have been researching what mindful practices are common in different cultures as well as sharing and learning about aspects of the cultures in our tutor groups. The festivities went one step further and on Wednesday we had a non-uniform day where students were encouraged to wear something that represented or reflected an aspect of their culture. It is great to see our diverse school community celebrating their different cultures.

This week we have had lots of welcome events happening in school for students who will be joining us in September. On Wednesday and Thursday Year 6 students joined us from their primary schools to have their first look at Chesterton. Everyone was very excited! Then on Friday many of the Year 11 students hoping to join Chesterton Sixth Form took part in an offer holders’ day where they learned more about the subjects on offer here and the day-to-day of studying post-16 courses at Chesterton.

Lots to look forward to next week with the famous Chesterton Sports Day – returning to
in-person competition – then three days of enrichment activities for all of our students. Have a great weekend!


Cavendish House

It was a busy week in the life of the world’s greatest school, in which Cavendish students played their part. The school welcomed a whole host of Year 6 students who will be joining us next year, who experienced a two-day taster of life at Chesterton.

The whole school observed “Culture Week”, prepared by the Black Lives Matter Club, including PSHE sessions on what culture is; students making a collage or graphic representation of their own culture; and a special quiz about flags and countries. (Which is the only national flag that is not quadrilateral in shape? Answers on a postcard to the Cavendish House Office…)

We also enjoyed “Dress down for your culture” day on Wednesday, when students and staff were encouraged to come into school wearing national or cultural dress. This was also a big week for the performing arts, with three days of a successful Drama Festival including Year 8 Pantomimes, Drama Club Devised Pieces and Small Scripted Scenes, GCSE Monologues/Duologues and the One-Page Play competition, as well as three performances from Chesterton’s new improv troupe, Apocalypse High. Cavendish shout-out to Charlie (Year 7) who won the award for Best Individual Performer in the Devised Pieces, and well done to everyone else who won prizes or took part. Particular accolades to Marnie (Year 9, Equiano) who won both “Best Performer” in the Drama Club Scenes category and whose One-Page Play won the audience popular vote.

On Thursday we enjoyed another excellent music concert in the Wynn-Williams Garden, including a range of amazing talent from across the school in vocal and instrumental music… and of course, this reporter’s favourite, the ever-popular and ever-audible Suns of Samba.

Chesterton Debate Club closed its season with its annual Political Party Hustings, which saw Natalia (Year 9, Hill) win the day for Labour. With only a few days left before the end of term, students are looking forward with anticipation to another action-packed week next week, including Sports Day and Enrichment.

For all the news on that and everything else, stay tuned to the Cavendish Blog. That’s all for now – don’t forget to be awesome!


Hill House

What an exciting week at Chesterton! It has been so encouraging seeing lots of people visiting Chesterton this week: Year 6s on Wednesday and Thursday, and prospective Chesterton Sixth-Formers on Friday. Year 6 students got their first taste of life at Chesterton and it was so good to meet all of the new Hill students for next year. On Friday, prospective sixth-form students got the chance to explore life in our new Chesterton Sixth Form, doing a range of activities and hearing about each subject’s course.

Meanwhile, the rest of the school have been taking part in a culture week, run by the BLM club. Hill students had the chance to research different cultures, do a quiz on flags and countries, and on Wednesday a non-school uniform day, when students were encouraged to display their culture. It was wonderful to see the vibrant range of clothing, with people taking pride in their culture and heritage.

We are certain that the excitement will carry on to next week, as we eagerly look towards Sports Day and three days of Enrichment.


Fawcett House

As the summer holidays draw near, this week we celebrated Culture Week. On Wednesday we had a non-uniform day when students were encouraged to wear clothing that represents them and their culture. The rest of the week saw some exciting activities in form time when we created posters illustrating our cultures and presented them to the rest of the group.

Towards the end of the week, we also welcomed our newest members of Fawcett joining us in September, currently in Year 6. Year 10 also took part in some Geography fieldwork.

A huge well done to all students involved in the summer music concert that took place on Thursday evening and the three-day Drama Festival.


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 11,919 points which is 630 points ahead of second place Fawcett. Keep those Above and Beyond Points rolling in!

In form time this week we have completed an array of activaties celebrating Culture Week. It was also great see you all in your cultural clothing.

Finally, please join us in wishing Sadeem, Lucy, Daniel, Henry, Eva-Jea, and Olivia 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!