Headteacher Blog – Fri 15th July 2022

Visitors

This week we have hosted 30 Headteachers from schools in Delhi, India, The group was on a week-long professional development course focused on leadership in education. During their time with us, our visitors enjoyed dropping into lessons and talking to leaders, staff and students about Chesterton’s provision. They left with lots of ideas and leaving behind open invitations for staff and students to visit Delhi – we will explore this further.

 

Rowing Scholarship

Congratulations to Clarisse (Year 8) who completed the ‘Try Rowing’ course with Rob Roy Boat Club and was selected to receive a one-year rowing scholarship. The next part of her journey starts in September.

 

Wimbledon Opportunity

Congratulations to Yinghan (Year 9), on his recent success in the under-14 county tennis competition. Yinghan won the competition and now has the opportunity to take part in the national competition at Wimbledon.

 

A Day in the Life of an English Undergraduate

Year 9 Chesterton students enjoyed a day in the life of an English university student during enrichment this week. Students visited a range of important sights in the city and took part in activities. Their first stop was a visit to the Cambridge University Library. Students commented on the ‘telephone box’ architecture before stepping inside to the wonders of the Darwin exhibition where they practised guessing emotions by facial expressions and compared their own expressions to those depicted in Darwin’s photographs. Students also learnt about Darwin’s various travels as a
22-year-old and were able to relate to Darwin’s sentimental nature when looking at a page he saved from his manuscript because his child had drawn a picture of their family home on the other side of the page. Students even began making links to The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde when Jenny the orangutan was mentioned.

Students then stepped into the map room where they viewed the range of maps in the legal deposit library. They particularly enjoyed looking at the historical maps of Chesterton (spotting where their homes are or would be in some cases) and the magical maps of fictional worlds such as the Marauder’s map and Middle Earth.

Next to explore were the study areas and library (which contains 8 million books) where they discovered how books are stored and spotted the way books are arranged by a letter according to size.

Students then made their way to the English Faculty Library where they were able to apply their newfound knowledge by taking part in a scavenger hunt for books. Students expressed how they loved having this opportunity to explore so many books and how this made them ‘more interested in literature’ and ‘want to study English at university’.

Following this, students had a lecture on close reading where they pondered how they might make an announcement that their class was declaring to be independent from the school and teach themselves, before then exploring the Declaration of Independence. Many students enjoyed the links to Hamilton’s ‘What comes next?’

Last stop was a tour of St. John’s College where students spotted key features of the college by playing bingo and, in addition, learned about college rivalry and history. Many were not impressed at the professors’ reactions to the installation of the student baths. One student commented in disbelief; ‘What do you mean they did not wash for eight weeks before they put the baths in?’

That brought our enrichment day to a close – a day learning outside the classroom and one where students benefitted greatly from the experience. Many thanks to Mrs Phillips for organising this rewarding experience and to the wider English Department. Our wonderful students represented the school so well and staff felt rightly proud of them.

A special thanks to parents and guardians for their continual support. We want to thank the staff at The University Library, The English Faculty and St. John’s for doing everything they could to accommodate us and make us feel so welcome. The trip was a great success and truly enriching for all involved!

 

Year 7 Library Trip

During the enrichment days, 81 Year 7 students made the trip over to the Cambridge Central Library where they had a guided tour of the three floors, learned about the
behind-the-scenes workings of the library (including the Dewey Decimal System) and enjoyed some time immersed in reading. On our return to school we enjoyed a picnic on Jesus Green. We would like to thank the staff at the Cambridge Central Library for hosting us, our Year 7 students who were so well behaved and Mrs Phillips for planning the day.

 

 

Music News

Congratulations to the Junior Choir members who gave an excellent performance at Birmingham Symphony Hall as part of the National Festival of Music for Youth last Saturday. The students represented Chesterton (and Cambridgeshire) brilliantly and sang really well. The comments from the music mentors were very positive and encouraging. A huge thank you to all the families who supported this event and to the staff who accompanied the students.

In music enrichment this week we have enjoyed hosting an Indonesian gamelan in school, and learning to perform as a gamelan ensemble together, as well as going out of school for a highly informative demonstration of the Great St Mary’s Church organ. Well done to all students involved, who have participated with real enthusiasm, and thank you to our external facilitators for giving us these brilliant opportunities.

 

Geography Enrichment

Year 7 students had a fantastic Middle Eastern Experience. They had a mezze meal at Bedouin Restaurant on Mill Road before being taken on a tour of Cambridge Central Mosque. Thank you to one of our school governors, Kal Karim, for leading the tour and teaching us all about the sustainability features of the mosque building. If any parents/carers are DT or Geography teachers and are interested in learning more, please do contact Dr Hutchinson as she is working with the mosque to arrange a teachers’ event focusing on the sustainable building.

 

Equiano House

Only one week left before the summer holidays! It has been a hot week and while the sunshine has had people enjoying being outside, the crazy temperatures unfortunately have meant we have had to cancel Chesterton Sports Day.

This week our students across all year groups have been taking part in a huge range of enrichment activities on and off the school site. There have been excursions around Cambridge to explore our local area as well as computing, sports and drama activities in school.

Equiano’s own Mr Gilliver ran a trip to Fen Drayton via the guided busway where students could visit the RSPB base and take part in activities such as visiting hides, binocular work, identifying trees and pollinators as well as a nature photography competition.

Mr Lawrence took students to Cambridge Lakes Golf Course where they were able to try out the driving range and compete in a tournament to practise their swing and putting technique. Miss McEwen accompanied students to the Science Museum in London where after a train ride into King’s Cross Station they were able to explore the museum’s Women In Science and Everyday Technology exhibits.

It sounds like everyone had a great few days. Enjoy the lovely weather this weekend!

 

Cavendish House

This week’s blog comes to you live from Ypres, Belgium, where this reporter is accompanying the History Department’s famous Battlefields Trip (more below). This week was one that all students will not forget, as we saw the triumphant return to full-blooded enrichment activities for the first time since the pandemic began. Despite the heat forcing alterations to many activities, staff from across the school laid on a great range of fun and interesting events including trips to museums, galleries, the Cambridge Central Mosque, and of course Ypres. A full report of the Battlefields trip will follow in a future blog, but this reporter can exclusively reveal that students enjoyed their first day, with highlights including Immy finding her ancestor’s name inscribed on the Menin Gate.

Cavendish shout-out this week to Charlotte (Year 7) for producing a first-class painting which is to be displayed in the Atrium, and also to Naomi (Year 9) who gamely celebrated her birthday by getting up at 3:30am to attend the Battlefields Trip – she enjoyed a slap-up birthday dinner of chicken, chips and ice cream, and happy birthday was sung. That’s all we have in this story so far.

Tune in next week for more! Until then, this is Mr Ware, Cavendish Blog, Ypres. Don’t forget to be awesome!

 

Hill House

Chesterton has been a flurry of excitement this week, with Enrichment happening on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Whether trips to exciting Cambridge locations, creating whole plays or learning new skills, it’s been great to see how much the students have enjoyed each activity, but there are simply too many to list here!

During Monday and Tuesday, the sounds of the French Revolution could be heard throughout the school, as the Les Mis production had their run-through in preparation for next week. There are still some tickets left but they are selling fast, so make sure you secure a ticket to either the matinee or evening performances occurring next week.

Meanwhile, the History Department took a group on an exciting two-day trip to the battlefields – in a whirlwind trip of just a few days, they will no doubt have some very exciting tales to tell when they return this weekend.

 

Fawcett House

As the penultimate week of this year draws to a close we would like to say well done to all Fawcett students for a fantastic year. Unfortunately Sports Day was postponed on Tuesday but this week has been a very exciting one nonetheless as we have had three full days of our enrichment programme. From playing golf to visiting the Zoological museum, students have been experiencing what lies outside the curriculum with their subject leaders. A group of Year 9s also visited the First World War battlefields in Belgium for what has been an educational and moving trip.

Stay safe in the hot weather and drink lots of water!

 

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 10,927 points which is 532 points ahead of second place Fawcett. Keep those above and beyond points rolling in!

This week enrichment hit us with a wonderfully diverse bang and we have been here, there and everywhere enhancing our cultural experiences. It has been great seeing you all flourishing in different settings. And although Sports Day was postponed due to the heat, we are raring to go next year. So get those sweatbands ready! We hope you have been training hard.

Finally, please join us in wishing Nadia, Julius, Ollie and Feras 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!

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