Headteachers Blog 25th March

New Beginnings

Last summer, Hawraa and Ameera in Year 11 were awarded a bursary from London firm finnCap in order to start their own company New Beginnings, supporting newly arrived refugee teenagers in the UK. Hawraa and Ameera plan to use their own difficult experience of arriving in the UK in order to support other teenagers.

This week finnCap’s Head of Marketing visited Chesterton to run a planning meeting with Hawraa and Ameera. The pair took part in a brainstorming workshop focused on creating a logo and brand for their new company and identified key areas of content for their website. They were also introduced to the idea of some high-profile companies who might partner with them to offer more support to their teenage clients.

As part of the bursary finnCap’s design and web team will now set about bringing Hawraa and Ameera’s ideas to life with the aim of the company being up and running later this summer. Watch this space.


Term Dates

A reminder of the term dates for the remainder of this academic year:

  • The current Spring Term ends: next Friday 1st April.
  • The Summer Term begins: Tuesday 19th April when it will be week 1 on the school timetable.
  • Monday 2nd May Bank holiday Monday
  • May Half Term Monday 30th May – Friday 3rd June
  • Summer Term ends: Thursday 21st July
  • Friday 22nd July is an additional holiday day due to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee


Reward Events

Next week over 300 students across Years 7-11 will be attending the ‘50 ABP end-of-term rewards celebrations’. This is a fantastic achievement for our students and we look forward to celebrating with them.

  • Year 7 – Monday 28thMarch – p5 & 6
  • Year 9 – Tuesday 29thMarch – p5 & 6
  • Year 10 & 11 – Wednesday 30thMarch – p1&2
  • Year 8 – Thursday 31stMarch – p1 & 2

A special mention goes to the students who have achieved over 100 ABPs this academic year. Our 2021-22 shooting star ambassadors are: Dhanvika; Nadia; Farheen; Luke; Soumaya; Emma; Edmund; Laurie; Anita; Harriet; Lilijana; Laytham; Thomas; Amy. This is a huge achievement and the students should be very proud of themselves! We look forward to celebrating and seeing more students next term receive their special award.


Staff News

Two members of staff have welcomed babies into their families in the last couple of weeks.

Congratulations to Mrs Butler, Assistant Head, on the arrival of her baby girl and congratulations to Mrs Igoe, Assistant Head, on the arrival of her baby boy. Please join us in wishing both families the very best for the future.


Chesterton Lecture

On Monday 28th March, 15:10-16:00, Professor Sir John Aston be presenting a face-to-face lecture on school site. This lecture will be on: ‘A Scientist in Government?’ The lecture will take place in E15. Sir John Aston will talk about their:

time as a Chief Scientific Adviser (to the Home Office) and how science was used in many different ways, both during and outside of the pandemic. He will talk about how recently the country and the world has fought against the pandemic, science advice to Government has been highly visible. Scientists such as Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance have become household names for giving advice to the Prime Minister. But what is it really like to give science advice to politicians and government ministers? Is science only important in a pandemic or is science something that is used in government in more normal times?

If this is something your child/children are interested in, then please can you reply to Mrs Hawkins at: . Please can all replies be sent to me by Friday 25th March 2022.


Kenya Trip

Miss Siddall, Assistant Head and Head of Science is travelling to Kenya to continue the work she does for her charity Nakuru Children’s Project.

Visiting Kenya at 18 years old and after experiencing the generosity of people who have so little, I returned to my Cambridgeshire home with a bedroom full of belongings but it felt empty. I had been teaching in a remote, matope (mud) school, literally built from the ground by two local teachers who wanted to bring education to their community. Each year they took the mud and sticks and constructed a new classroom for the next year’s intake. On my return home I worked with some friends selling our unwanted possessions and with a few donations from family and friends, quite quickly we raised the money needed to fund the first brick classroom. 

The following year we went to visit and although the classroom was far less dusty, the roof wasn’t blowing in the wind and cows were no longer wondering into maths lessons, I realised that education is more than just a classroom. The children were still hungry, small children missed school to look for work and pupils were completing primary school without hope of going to secondary school (in Kenya you are required to pay fees).

Over the last ten years, Nakuru Children’s Project has given 387,000 free school meals to children in need; keeping children in school and off the streets and income to local retailers; offering 164 students the chance to progress to secondary education, often the first in their families; as well as funding the construction of 21 classrooms and other educational facilities.

During the pandemic my regular visits had to stop and I was left coordinating lifesaving support for 368 families as coronavirus hit Kenya as well as making plans for our future development.

It has been two years since I was last in Kenya and this Easter I am excited to see how the pupils at our schools have grown as well as visiting the land purchased during lockdown with dreams of bringing a community with high levels of poverty, greater numbers of free school meals to nursery and primary schools, building emergency housing and a social worker’s office to support vulnerable teenagers and growing our own food to sustain ourselves. It will become the hub from which we can support hundreds of low-income and vulnerable children to succeed within the government education system.

If you would like to find out more about the charity please visit the website: https://www.nakuruchildrensproject.org.uk/

Any donations big or small will help us to reach our goal (it costs just 33p to feed a child).  Alternatively if you have any unwanted educational games or new socks/underwear you could donate, please drop them at reception.


UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge

We have a long and very successful tradition of entering students for the UKMT Maths challenges. There are three levels of entry and the Intermediate Challenge Level was taken earlier this term by a variety of students across Years 9 and 10. The students did amazingly well, securing 15 Gold, 32 Silver and 16 Bronze Awards, of which 31 students qualified for the next round – the bizarrely named ‘Kangaroo Stage’, which was sat last week. Congratulations to all participants and good luck with the results!

Maths Puzzle Website

We are always delighted and amazed by the ingenuity and creativity of our student body and we were recently very excited to hear about a new website created by one of our Year 10 students, Zac. The website is an almanac of interesting maths puzzles. Each puzzle has a difficulty level and the website comes with its own FAQ and leader board. The website address is https://sites.google.com/view/the-cotta-problems/home


English Department News

Easter reading

The Years 7 and 8 Teams pages continue to get updates of students’ reading recommendations, so if students are looking for something to read over the Easter break, that might be a great place to have a look for some ideas. Of course, we’d encourage all students to relax with a book over the holidays, so do pop into the school library any break, lunch, or before or after school, to pick up some reading material.

Creative writing

Thanks for all the entries for the national creative writing competition, Twisted Tales. The deadline is 1st April so please email any final entries to Mrs Phillips to enter for you. More info can be found here: https://www.youngwriters.co.uk/competitions/KS3-4/twisted-tales

The two creative writing clubs (now run by Miss Trevett and Miss Ganvars, both on Friday lunchtimes) continue to be wonderful creative spaces for students, and we’d encourage anyone to try coming along for a session to see what they think.


Equiano House

Only one week to go before the Easter holidays! Spring is definitely here with lots of students enjoying the sunshine in the courtyards at break and lunch.

The PE Interhouse Competitions for Years 7, 8 and 9 have been in full swing this week with these year groups competing in both netball and football tournaments to win points for their House Team. After a close competition across all of the year groups Equiano has come out on top in the Year 9 netball, 2nd in Year 8 football and 2nd in Year 7 netball. Well done to all students involved – you should all be very proud of yourselves!

On Tuesday this week Year 8 took part in a PSHE day on the topics of “My Body, My Rules” where students were learning about setting and maintaining boundaries and understanding how best to look after themselves and each other.

Thursday marked the return of the West Road Concert where many of our students were showcasing their musical talents. Well done to all involved; we know you have been practising and are sure it will have been a great success!

There will be a celebration event on Friday this week for all of our students in Years 7, 8 and 9 who have achieved 75 Above and Beyond Points. A huge congratulations to Ophelia, Isabel, Lara, Lottie, Olaf, Lino, Yasmine, Gregory and Deniz who join the event from Equiano. There will be another celebration next term for anyone who has just missed out this time – keep up the great work!


Cavendish House

We have had a busy week at Chesterton.  Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 competed in interhouse sport, and our Cavendish boys won in Year 7 and Year 8, while the Year 8 Cavendish girls came in a strong second.  In our book this amounts to an overall win for Cavendish.  (See, what did I tell you?)  Thank you to all the older students who helped run the interhouse sport days!

Our Year 8 students enjoyed their PSHE Day on Wednesday.  On Thursday over 100 extremely talented students took part in the school’s annual Music Concert at West Road Concert Hall; this was not a competition, but if it were then the volume prize goes to the ever-popular Suns of Samba.  And on Friday a brave group of Year 10 students departed on the school’s (first) annual overnight expedition to York, where they would enjoy York Minster, the National Railway Museum and the Jorvik Viking Centre, home of the famous preserved poo.

This week’s Cavendish shout-out goes in fact to a student from Fawcett, Sélène (Year 8), who along with friends baked over the weekend and went door to door selling their wares to raise money for Ukrainian refugees.  Well done, team Cavendish salute you!

That’s all from us this week.  Don’t forget to be awesome!


Hill House

The sun has been shining at school this week, and what better timing than for the Inter-house Sports competition, which ran from last Friday to Tuesday? Years 7, 8 and 9 each had their chance to compete to win glory for their house. Hill students worked hard in their matches, and although we may not have achieved first place, Hill students can feel proud knowing they represented their house well, both on and off the pitch. Well done to our Year 7 boys, who came 2nd in their football tournament, and we look forward to next year when we can push towards first place.

Year 8 have definitely had an eventful week, starting with their Inter-house Sports competition, and then having a PSHE day on Wednesday. It was great seeing students get stuck into the varied topics, such as relationships, consent and harassment, and we hope that all the Hill students now feel more confident understanding and managing their relationships.

However, the most exciting event must be the Year 10 trip to York, as a group of 46 Year 10s headed off to York to discover the history and literature of this city. We can’t wait to hear from the Hill students about what they saw and even if they saw any ghosts on their Ghost Tour!

Finally, we wish to congratulate the following Year 11 Hill students for continuing to go above and beyond: Isla, Peo, Chiara, Marley and Uniza – keep up what you are doing as you reach the final few weeks of your school career.


Fawcett House

Well done Fawcett students for an excellent penultimate week of term! This week has been a busy week for sport with Interhouse competitions taking place for Years 7, 8 and 9. Fantastic work to the Fawcett girls in Year 7 who won the netball! Year 9 boys also took home the gold at football so congratulations! You have made Fawcett proud.

This week’s assembly was about how the House Council works and what changes they have implemented so far. Applications will open next term to be part of next year’s council.

Many congratulations to Cari-Ann, Ben, Hnin, Nina, Libby and Sélène who attended an ABP Reward Event this week for reaching a whopping 75 ABPs! There will be more rewards events next term so keep on earning them! As always, Miss Malik, Mr Firth and Miss Walton are here if you need any support.


Robinson House

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

We are in first place in the House Points competition with 7907 points which is 133 points ahead of second place Fawcett. Keep those Above and Beyond Points rolling in! In form time this week we have continued to look at online awareness and fake news.

We would like to congratulate the 17 Year 7s, 22 Year 8s, 15 Year 9s, and 6 Year 10 and 11s who reached the 50 ABPs goal this term. Your hard work is amazing and is what is keeping us at the top of the league tables.

Key Stage 3 Inter-house football and netball took place this week. Our Year 8 girls are the sporting heroes and came in first place. Also in Year 9 we got the silver medal in both competitions. Well done to you all.

Finally, please join us in wishing Alexander, Eva, Romilly, Yasmeen, and Vlad a very happy birthday this week.