Blog – Thursday 21st July 2022

ELA Summer Newsletter

The Eastern Learning Alliance summer newsletter contains news and stories from all the schools in our Trust.  You can read the newsletter here:

Turing Scheme

This week we were delighted to announce we have been awarded funding by the government’s Turing Scheme to allow a number of students to travel internationally next year. An overview of the project has been sent out by parentmail and is available in the Notices Team. More information will be available next academic year.


Enrichment Trip to RSPB Fen Drayton

Last week almost 70 Year 7 students braved the relatively hot weather to venture to RSPB Fen Drayton lakes via the guided busway. For many, this was the first experience of a nature reserve, and many learnt how to use binoculars to view and appreciate wildlife (kindly loaned by the RSPB).

On previous trips we had been fortunate enough to glimpse the very rare Bittern, but sadly this time it remained hidden in the reed beds. The reserves were somewhat quiet in terms of bird species, but the keen eyes of Dr Timney spotted a Common Sandpiper from the hide overlooking Moore Lake.

We were certainly not disappointed by the abundance of butterfly species, with the reserve teeming with Peacocks (butterflies, not birds), Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells, Commas, Small and Large Whites, Brimstones, Gatekeepers and Speckled Woods. Students also took part in a nature photography competition. Congratulations to Florence, Rhahin, Freddie, Petar and Maddie who all won prizes.



English Department News

English teachers are looking forward to teaching some new texts and schemes in Key Stage 3 in September, including a new introductory unit which takes Year 7 on a historical sweep through English Literature to consider what makes something canonical literature, plus a new Year 8 scheme of work on Shakespeare’s History plays, looking at the dark and thought-provoking “Richard III”. We are also looking forward to welcoming back the very popular Shakespeare company, “Shaking Up Shakespeare” to perform “Julius Caesar” to Year 8 in September (students should remember this from watching “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in January of Year 7).

We should like to thank everyone who has contributed to the school book clubs this year, either in person (Year 7 and 8 club) or virtually (Years 9-11 and staff). We are currently waiting to hear whether our school’s book club bid to do Booker Prize shadowing next year has been successful. If anyone has any suggestions for how these clubs should be run next year or books or themes to focus on, please speak to an English teacher 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 or Milton Road Library if that is something you might be interested in doing?

We continue to receive positive comments and feedback for the recent English enrichment trips to Cambridge and university libraries, including university staff saying what a pleasure it was to work with our students and that they hope we’ll be back again. Thank you once again to parents and students for your support and engagement. We hope to run related activities in future, including strengthening our links with the university.

A big thanks to Miss Gavars, Mr Roadknight, Miss Trevett, Mr Payne, Miss McClean and Mrs Phillips for running our department extra-curricular clubs this year (Creative writing, Script writing, Journalism club, book clubs). Thanks also to Mrs Ellison for all her support with books clubs, suggesting and putting together book lists and making tempting displays, and of course with her promoting reading in general, including putting together the wonderful Chesterton express underground challenge which was sent to all Year 7 and 8 parents earlier this year. We look forward to welcoming new Year 7 club members in September, when the updated list of extra-curricular activities will be announced.

In the school library, Mrs Ellison has been ordering and organising some exciting new books, and there is some new reading material particularly worthy of mention. Earlier this term, trainee English teacher Miss Gavars did some lovely work with our Year 7 students on riddle poems. Although Miss Gavars has now moved on to start a new job, she has kindly printed our students’ riddle poems as an anthology and there is a copy available to look at in the library. Year 7s are welcome to go and have a look at their poems.

Some Chesterton students recently had their stories chosen to be published in a “Twisted Tales” anthology. We have a copy of the book in the library so students and their friends can borrow it to see their work in print. Mia, Nicolas, Ceana, Maeve, Arlo and Miranda all have stories included.

Earlier this term, there was a lunch talk with local young adult author, Alexia Casale, for students in Years 7, 10 and 11. Mrs Ellison has kindly ordered copies of Alexia Casale’s books “The Bone Dragon” and “House of Windows” for the library, so any student who attended the event might now want to have a look and perhaps borrow the books – they make for fabulous reading, and “House of Windows” appears on the NHS list of ‘books on prescription’:

A plea for help: There are 271 overdue library books including over 30 missing copies of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” on loan to Year 8 students. Please can students have a really good hunt at home and return any of the missing books they can find.

The English Department wishes everyone a lovely summer break, and we hope you find time to relax with a good book!


Music News

Sixty-eight Year 7-10 students enjoyed a trip to the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London last Saturday. The day began at Cambridge North Station where we caught the train to King’s Cross and then used the underground to get to South Kensington. After a picnic lunch in Kensington Gardens, students had some free time to explore either the Natural History or Science Museums, and then to source their own evening meal. A huge variety of foods were found!

We then made our way to the Royal Albert Hall. The Prom itself featured John Wilson conducting the Sinfonia of London in a selection of British orchestral pieces including Elgar’s famous Enigma Variations. From our seats up high in the Rausing Circle, we had a fantastic view of the orchestra; one student said afterwards “the music gave me chills”. Being in the Royal Albert Hall to hear and see such wonderful playing was a really special experience.

Although our journey home was late, students continued to behave in an exemplary fashion and were a pleasure to take on the trip. Thank you from Miss Wilson to all the students involved, and to Mrs von Schreiber, Mr Moore, Mr Payne, Dr Aullybux, Ms Sagun, Miss McEwen, Miss McClean, Mr Bond and Ms Veryard for accompanying the trip.


Art and Design

The Art and Design Team have had a busy end to the term and have been having a good old sort out to get all the materials and resources ready for the start of the new term in September. Big thanks to David S Smith UK in Fordham who have donated a significant amount of cardboard for our Art and Design projects next year.


Year 10 Duke of Edinburgh Expedition      

A group of Year 10 students all successfully completed their Bronze DofE Expedition during the enrichment days last week. The way they worked together and supported each other in their teams was outstanding and their positivity and can-do attitude made it a really enjoyable couple of days for all. The creativity they brought to their cooking was especially impressive and during the evening at the campsite it felt as much like we were on an episode of MasterChef as a DofE Expedition! A huge well done to all involved.


Grow a Row Project

The ‘grow a row’ project made our first donation to Fairbite today: some very well received squashes and courgettes. The Fairbite club is designed to help local people who are struggling financially. For a very low membership fee local families and individuals can shop for free. You can find out more about Fairbite here:

Thank you to the students and Mr Gilliver and Ms Gibson for your hard work.





Equiano House

Wow, it’s been hot out there! The heatwave has meant we were learning from home for the Monday and Tuesday of our last week of term – yes, last week of term! July seems to have flown by and we are already wrapping up the school year.

Les Miserables took place this week and the students’ performances were incredible. Students showed such resilience with a strong “the show must go on” attitude, which paired with amazing singing and acting produced a wonderful show! Well done to everyone involved for your super effort over the past few weeks and months of preparation.

Our students have been working very hard all year both inside and outside of the classroom. All of the teachers at Chesterton want to recognise their achievements and say a huge well done for all their efforts. It’s a close call for the House Above and Beyond Points standings and all will be revealed in our end-of-year assembly.

We hope you all have a great summer holiday with friends and family and we can’t wait to welcome you back to Chesterton in September.


Cavendish House

And so, another year at Chesterton Community College drew to a close. The last week began with a memorable heatwave which saw the UK reach its highest temperature ever recorded, and saw Chesterton staff and students take an almost nostalgic return to remote learning. The Cavendish Team hopes everyone was able to keep cool.

Last week we reported to you live from Ypres in Belgium. The rest of the trip was a success, and representatives from Cavendish 4 enacted the form’s weekly tradition of singing Rebecca Black’s “Friday” at 8:50.

This week was dominated by a range of end-of-year activities including prize-givings, farewells, and a splendid production of Les Misérables from Chesterton Youth Theatre.

Cavendish shout-outs this week go to the winners of our Summer House Awards: Emma (Year 7), Kate (Year 8), Shabrina (Year 9) and Thomas (Year 10). Congratulations to you all!  That’s all from us this week, and indeed this year. Have a great summer, House Cavendish, and don’t forget to be awesome!


Hill House

Have you noticed that it was hot this week? As the heatwave scourged through Cambridge, school closed for Monday and Tuesday, ensuring students could safely keep cool but still get through their work via Teams. Despite the unfortunate cancelling of the Les Miserablesproduction on Monday and Tuesday, the crew managed to pull off an additional showing of the play on Thursday afternoon, and the school was abuzz with the sounds of the people singing on Wednesday and Thursday. Congratulations to all who took part in the production, both on-stage and off-stage, as it was a real pièce de résistance of the best musical about resistance.

Hill House students were treated to their final assembly on Wednesday, with special congratulations to those few students chosen to receive the Summer House awards: Audrey and Zubadaih in Year 7, Saima and Matthew in Year 8, Quinn and Lili in Year 9, Natalia and Dylan in Year 10.

It has been a very eventful year, and we wish all Hill students the very best for their summer break, whatever it holds, and look forward to seeing you return in September.


Fawcett House

Congratulations Fawcett students on what has been an incredible academic year filled with lots of amazing achievements. Well done to everybody for your Above and Beyond Points this year. We came second behind Robinson! Hopefully we can come out on top next year. Fawcett 5 won the best attendance and the most Above and Beyond Points out of all of the Fawcett forms.

A huge shout-out to Selene, Amy and Thomas who were top three in our House for the most ABPs achieved. Also to Esmee, Kalina, Carolyn and Tye who were nominated for an Excellence Award. This is a superb achievement and you should be very proud of yourselves!

Mr Firth, Miss Malik and Miss Walton hope you all have a wonderful and well-deserved rest over the summer break and look forward to welcoming you all back in September.


Robinson House

Greetings Robinson House for the final blog post of the year. We hope you have survived the heat. Instead of a weekly roundup, it is the yearly roundup that is a tale of wonderful success. We reign triumphant winning the House trophy this year with a whopping 11,079 Above and Beyond Points. An awesome result so very well done. A special mention has to go to the Robinson 6 form group for having the highest number of ABPs in the school.

As always, we want to wish our Robinson pupils a very happy birthday: the list this week includes all those who gain a year over the summer holiday. So best wishes to Hana, Delia, Imtiyaz, Leo, Mahe, Mahjabin, Olivia, Serena, Fabian, Abdul Malik, Merryn, Maeve, Robin, Maia, Ai Ling Irene, Olivia, David, Cayetana, Tea, Haanya, Louis, Nicholas, Kristians, Shay, Leo, Connie and finally Charlie. Come to the Robinson office for a treat before we break up or upon our return.

Have a lovely summer holiday everyone!