Headteacher Blog – Friday 13th May 2022
Exams Season Begins
From Monday 16th May we will be running exams in the Auditorium, the Apex, some of our computer rooms and classrooms for our Year 11 and 10 students. The first three weeks are all formal qualifications, joined from 13th June by Year 10 mocks. Year 11 will be wearing non-uniform.
Signs will go up around school asking for quiet from the rest of the school to help with concentration. There will be some re-rooming of lessons to accommodate the exam needs. We wish all our candidates a positive experience and that they do themselves and their teachers proud.
Congratulations to Luka, Daniele and Leo in Year 7 who raised an amazing £150 for the
Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. They have been interested in the Russia-Ukraine events and decided to raise money by doing a bubble tea sale. They came up with their own flavours, designed an advertising poster and held the charity sale in their neighbourhood last weekend. While running their stall the boys were greeted by a Ukrainian refugee recently resettled in Cambridge who was very moved by the efforts of the boys. A poignant moment for all involved. Well done, boys, we are very proud of you!
What does an outstanding school mean to you as parents and carers?
- Thursday 26th May
- School Auditorium
This event will be an opportunity for Chesterton parents and carers to talk to senior leaders and give feedback on what the school does now and what you would like to see the school do in order for the provision to be outstanding for your family. It is always important for us as a school to reflect on what we do and to adapt and change but never more so than in this post-pandemic climate.
The evening will begin with a short presentation and then parents/carers will have the opportunity to meet in small groups with senior leaders to discuss thoughts, ideas and opinions on what an outstanding school means from a family perspective.
We would be grateful to see as many parents at the event as possible so that we can gather a wide range of opinions and ideas. After the event we will draw the feedback together and produce an action plan to share with all families.
If you are able to join us, we ask you to register here so that we can plan accordingly: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-does-an-outstanding-school-mean-to-parents-and-carers-tickets-336273712727
National Youth Theatre Success
This week, the NYT results have been released and young people aged 14–23 across the UK have found out whether they have been offered a place in this prestigious company, alumni for which include the likes of Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Rosamund Pike. On average, only one in ten of the applicants for NYT are lucky enough to be offered places in the Company, through being invited to attend a residential summer course on devising. In the past, Chesterton students have been highly successful in auditioning for NYT, with five students being offered places last year.
This year, they have broken a record! No less than 11 of the students (both current and former) who attended the Workshop day have been offered places. This is a truly remarkable achievement and one for which they can be exceptionally proud. A huge congratulations to Bill, Ciara and Maria (who left Chesterton in 2021 but have remained in touch with Drama); Oliver from Year 11 at Witchford Village College (who has collaborated with Chesterton Youth Theatre over the course of this year); Laurie, Michael and Rafa from Year 11 at Chesterton; Dominic, Imogen and Isabella from Year 10; and Quinn from Year 9 (who has also been offered a place in the Globe Youth Theatre, London). We very much hope that being part of this world-renowned company will help these outstandingly talented actors to pursue their dreams further, both on stage and in life.
Meanwhile to those who didn’t get offered places this year: we very much hope the experience will impact positively in the future. So often, the most celebrated actors face initial rejection and what makes them become better at their craft is the process of bouncing back. Every single person who auditioned made a strong impression and performed a monologue that showed distinction. Congratulations to all!
Theatre Trip to London
On Thursday evening, the Drama Department took 30 students from Years 11–9 to see ‘The Corn is Green’ starring Nicola Walker at the Royal National Theatre. The production was stunningly directed; it follows Emlyn Williams’ 1938 autobiographical story of a boy from a Welsh mining village incentivised by an eccentric English teacher to apply for an Oxford scholarship.
The cleverness of the set design; the meta-theatrical staging; the heavenly choral singing; and the beautifully nuanced naturalistic acting were all aspects of the production which the students said they especially enjoyed. It was also very insightful for them to be in the Lyttelton Theatre shortly before some of them will be examined on another production which took place in this building, but which they were only able to watch online due to Covid.
Best of all perhaps, this world-class performance included a former Chesterton student, Helena Wilson, who played the role of Miss Ronberry, demonstrating her starry heights and witty aplomb as an emerging lead actress. Helena has only just taken over this part and in a message to us afterwards, described it as ‘destiny’ that Chesterton Youth Theatre was there to watch her in this unexpected development in her career. With the play being all about what it means to work hard at school and follow your dreams – as well as the complexity of an effective teacher-learner relationship – it really did feel this trip came at the right time for all. It was a lovely evening in London and the students were all a credit to the College in the way they conducted themselves.
Classics for All Teaching Awards
The Chesterton Classics Department has recently been nominated for an award from Classics for All (CfA). We have been recognised for expanding the Classics and Latin provision into Key Stage 3, GCSE and soon, A Level, as well as offering the chance to do Ancient Greek. CfA have also recognised and commended the cooperation that takes place between ELA schools. We have received £300 to go towards educational resources and look forward to being able to share these with students soon.
Music Department News
The Music Department is hoping to organise a trip to the BBC Proms again this year. This trip will take place in July and is open to anyone who is taking part in a music extra-curricular activity or who is in Year 9, 10 or 11 and taking/has opted for GCSE Music. The deadline for the initial sig- up is Tuesday 17th May. More details can be found on Parentmail and the Music Department extra-curricular clubs Team. We hope there will be lots of interest.
There is still time to sign up for the next Teatime Concert which will be taking place on Tuesday 24th May at 3.45pm. This is a great opportunity for students to perform in an informal setting. All are welcome! It might be that you have been working on a song or piece in your own time and want to share it with the world, or that you are preparing for a music exam this term and want to have chance to perform your pieces. Any interested students should sign up on the Music Office door.
The ceilidh band is a new group this term open to any students who play:
- double bass
It runs on Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 8.15–8.40 in M2 with Ms Veryard. The ceilidh band plays traditional music, largely from the British Isles, and performs at lots of different outdoor events throughout the Summer term. This term we will be performing at:
- a jubilee street party
- hopefully at Jesus Green Lido,
- Chesterton Festival
- the school outdoor Summer Concert
Students don’t need to learn the music off by heart; sheet music will be provided for the rehearsals and concerts. It is not too late to join and any interested students are very welcome to come along and give it a go. We hope to see many students taking up this great opportunity.
PE Department News
- Basketball League Play-off matches – O2 Arena, London
More than 100 students and staff will be making their way to The O2, London on Sunday, to watch the men’s and women’s BBL cup finals. This is the climax of the British basketball season and promises to give our students experience of elite sport in a fantastic sports venue. Look out and listen out for us all on Sky Sports this weekend.
- ‘Try Rowing’ Programme
Our Year 8 Rowing Club link with Rob Roy Boat Club is now in full swing. Approximately 120 students completed land-based rowing challenges last Friday – if they enjoyed the challenges you can sign them up for the club ‘learn to row’ sessions via robroyboatclub.net.
Twelve students will be selected to learn how to row on the water with five free introductory sessions and will then take part in a Chesterton-Parkside boat race in July. In the past, many of those involved have then gone on to enjoy rowing socially, compete locally/nationally or even progress to the GB rowing programme… Watch this space!
- Twitter @pechesterton
All the latest news from the PE Department can be found via Twitter – @pechesterton.
Anything from lessons to extra-curricular clubs, fixtures, tournaments and trips can be found, with regular updates.
Chesterton Lecture Series
On Monday 16th May, 15:10–16:00, Drew Crisp will be presenting a face-to-face lecture on our school site. This lecture will be on: ‘Liverpool FC – The Business of Football’
The lecture will take place in E15 when Drew will discuss:
‘Public opinion, fuelled by media hype, is that football is funded by rich owners and success is only achieved by spending more and more. The reality is very different, the business of football is big business and it has to be sustainable. As one of the club’s Directors and SVP of our digital business, it’s my job to enable commercial growth. I’ll provide some insight as to how we do this, how we use the global brand of Liverpool Football Club to create a longstanding and economically viable business.
Whether you’ve an interest in economics or sports management, psychology or digital technology, there will be something of interest for you. Failing any of that, there might be some LFC merchandise!’
In the week commencing 16th May all students in Years 7–10 will have the opportunity in tutor time to design the school’s British Values and Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) logo. This logo will be used and displayed every day at Chesterton and we would like our students to get creative!
The House Council will be judging all entries and using the following criteria:
- makes remembering the British values and SMSC easier
- would appeal to Years 7–11 students
All logos must be submitted to Mrs Hawkins by Monday 23rd May, 15:30.
There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, alongside lots of Above and Beyond Points being awarded for outstanding entries. The winner will be announced on Friday 27th May. We look forward to receiving lots of entries!
Summer Term 1 Wellbeing Newsletter
This half term’s Wellbeing Newsletter includes lots of helpful tips, signposts and videos to support you, your children and family as well as a reminder on our wellbeing referral form for parents. There are lots of different resources on the newsletter this month, so please read at your own pace!
If you have any wellbeing questions or suggestions for our next newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Hawkins on
Be Kind to Our Minds Workshop
On Monday 16th May, 25 Year 7 and 8 students have been selected to participate in a
‘Be Kind to our Mind Workshop’ lead by Mrs Hawkins. We look forward to working with some of our students while they learn the power of positive affirmation.
Save the Dates: 13th–15th July
The Summer Enrichment Programme for Years 7-10 is back. The cost of participation in the three-day enrichment programme is £32 per child – a Parentmail has been sent to all our families. In order for us to run this exciting enrichment opportunity, we are asking for voluntary parental contributions of £32 per student or an amount that you can afford as without your support we would not be able to run this programme for the students.
A big thank you to Dr Alexia Casale for a wonderful lunch event in the library last Friday, learning all about her journey to becoming an author, with lots of hints and tips for budding writers. Thanks also to the students and staff who attended, especially for the brilliant questions to Alexia. It was a very inspiring and educational session – a perfect prompt to get writing on this sunny weekend, perhaps.
Her books will soon be available to borrow from the library – I think we are all intrigued after the sneak previews about Cambridge life, bones and buried husbands.
Watch this space for future author events…
As we come to the end of another great week at Chesterton this one is bitter sweet for a lot of our Year 11 students and teachers. This was our Year 11 students’ last full week of normal lessons before they move into their revision timetable in preparation for their upcoming exams.
Year 11 have already been working so hard it was great for them to have time to relax and celebrate their achievements with an extended leavers’ assembly organised for Friday morning. Lots of photos, videos and memories over their five years at Chesterton will be shared and, of course, the results of the ‘Most Likely to…’ survey the Year 11s have been completing. Who will be voted most likely to become Prime Minister or the next leading sportsperson?
The Year 11 Prom Committee have been busy planning fundraising events for the Prom at the end of June – check the Weekly Notices on Teams if you want any more information on this event. On Thursday this week they organised a number of fun games (including Shoot the Teacher) to raise some money for Prom.
Year 11 will still be in school for their revision sessions and exams but we would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our candidates good luck for their exams and for the next new chapter in their lives after Chesterton.
Well, what can we tell you? Life at Chesterton goes on much as it has this past age, or at least this past year.
This week the school played host to a group of students from Austria, who were here on an English-language intensive course and became a source of great interest among many Chesterton students. Year 9 had a bumper week of PSHE, with some students taking part in a special workshop on Monday, and the whole year enjoying a PSHE day on Thursday. And Chesterton Youth Theatre took a group of Year 9, 10 and 11 students to see the National Theatre’s production of “The Corn Is Green“.
This week we highlight the achievements of our Year 11 students, who had their last full official day of regular school classes on Thursday. Cavendish Year 11s (and apparently those in other Houses as well) have worked very hard to reach this stage and we congratulate them.
As in last week’s edition of the Cavendish Blog, we would also like to highlight the work of the Prom Committee, who this week organised a successful fundraiser and designed the invitations which will go out this week. Year 11 continues to surprise and impress us all – well done, and good luck in the weeks ahead.
We think that’s all from us for now. Don’t forget to be awesome!
This week has marked the final formal week Year 11 have before their exams start on Monday, and it was a pleasure to see all of Year 11 for their final celebration assembly on Friday. With a mammoth kahoot, messages from form tutors and photos from years past, the Year 11s had the perfect send-off to their career at Chesterton, and we want to wish the Hill students all the best as they start these exams, and beyond!
Meanwhile, there’s been a hubbub of activity on Thursday, with Year 9 doing a PSHE day on ‘Knowing Your Body’, hearing talks about important topics as they mature into adults, while the Year 11 Prom committee had a very exciting fundraising activity, with teachers being shot (only by nerf bullets) – it was interesting to see which teachers were most requested!
Finally, we want to congratulate Peo, Amy, Lucy, Isla and Rebecca in Year 11 for achieving the most ABPS in Hill – well done! We are sure you will continue to go above and beyond as you exit Chesterton.
Mr Firth, Miss Malik and Miss Walton would like to pass on a huge congratulations to all of our Fawcett Year 11s for making it through until the end. We had a celebration assembly on Friday where we shared lots of great memories over the years. This was then followed by shirt-signing and ice cream which was very well deserved. Best of luck to each and every one of you during the exam period over next few weeks!
In other news, Year 9 had their PSHE day ‘Knowing Your Body’ where they explored very important topics such as consent. Assembly this week was on Vegetarianism while in PSHE, students have been learning about the law and human rights. Just two more weeks until half term, so keep up the good work!
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 9193 points which is 530 points ahead of second place Fawcett. Keep those ABPs rolling in!
In form time this week, we have been discussing the law and how it affects us. Ever thought about what your laws would be if you were on a desert island? Additionally, very excitingly Miss Chibbarro has launched a new maths teacher TikTok! You can find her at MC_Maths for short revision videos.
Finally, please join us in wishing Paddy and Freya 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.