Headteacher’s blog week ending 13th December 2019
Welcome to the last blog of the autumn term. While still working hard academically, we are fully ensconced in the festive season with carol concerts, fairs, Christmas jumpers and productions.
Want to Help?
Many parents ask how they can support the school, especially given the current funding crisis in schools. It would be a great help to us if you could advertise to friends, colleagues and local organisations our new facilities which we do let commercially. All of this income comes back into school and supports children’s education. We have amazing new state of the art facilities: the auditorium; training rooms; new classrooms and canteen. All ideal for a range of groups and we also offer professional catering. Don’t hesitate to recommend us; by doing so you are supporting your child’s education at Chesterton.
Venues for Hire: Atrium
The Atrium is a multi-purpose foyer space which can be used as an add-on to the Atrium Theatre or as a space in its own right. Floor to ceiling windows, high ceilings and a bespoke wall mural make this a light and modern space while the acoustic panelling provides a welcoming environment.
We have some very exciting pieces in store for the Christmas Cabaret this Tuesday 17th December, 7-8pm in the brand new Atrium Theatre. Tickets are completely free and you can just turn up on the door and help yourself to a complimentary mince pie – everyone is invited, the more the merrier!
Year 9s are currently studying homelessness as part of their Drama scheme of work, using theatre as a tool to make these issues accessible to a wider audience. The evening will be raising money for Centrepoint, a charity supporting more than 10,000 homeless 16-25 year-olds finding a home and a job every year. This is taken from Centrepoint’s website:
“Family breakdown, poor mental health, abuse and violence – these are some of the reasons young people become homeless. Centrepoint provides more than just a safe, warm and stable place to live. We help young people tackle physical and mental health issues, develop independent living skills, and access education, employment and training opportunities. Our work is challenging, but we’re driven by the knowledge that we can help homeless young people reach their full potential. You can help us do this.”
Here is some of the work we have planned on the night:
A commercial dance piece from Musical Theatre Club
Extracts from DNA by Dennis Kelly and Chatroom by Enda Walsh
Acapella ‘Hometown Glory’
Preview of the upcoming Year 8 play
A variety of solo songs
Duets from alumni
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Year 7’s have been performing their assessment pieces for the last fortnight in their Drama lessons. The students were given ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ as a title and a brief framework with different characters and personality traits to choose from. The students have then built on this idea to create their own mini-plays with full set, props, costume and even sound effects. It has been a pleasure to watch the fantastic work they produced and the efforts students went to outside of lessons to prepare their pieces; one group even brought in a Christmas tree and another group made their own four-foot present! The improvement students have made since the start of the year is wonderful to see with the performance teaching them vital life skills about public speaking and being a confident speaker.
Do come along and donate to this fantastic cause and enjoy the work of Chesterton’s talented Drama students.
PTA News – 13th December
We are very pleased to have been accepted as a charity on AmazonSmile this week. For a free (and super-easy) way to raise money for the PTA, please consider starting at smile.amazon.co.uk whenever you shop on Amazon. On your first visit, you can designate Chesterton Community College Parent & Teacher Association as your chosen charity and they will donate a portion of every qualifying purchase to the PTA.
For all your other online shopping, please visit www.easyfundraising.org to support “Chesterton PTA – Cambridge”. With over 3000 retailers participating, you are almost guaranteed to raise free money for the school while doing your Christmas shopping.
The stash of chocolates and gifts for the Christmas Fair next Thursday is growing steadily but with over 1000 students visiting the stalls, we could still use more. The PTA would love to turn your unwanted gifts and spare chocolates into cash to benefit the school. Donations can be given into school Reception marked for the PTA.
We look forward to seeing many of you at the next PTA meeting on Wednesday 22nd January, 7:00pm in the school library. In the meantime, if you’d like to join the PTA mailing list (no obligation to volunteer) or would like to give us ideas, do drop us a line on email@example.com.
Mock General Election
Thursday 12th December marked the Chesterton mock election. The library was transformed into a polling station complete with registrars, booths, live election coverage and even ‘tellers’ checking turnout. 391 students registered to vote, including 67 postal votes for those who were unable to vote in person.
83% turnout (of those registered)
Following a very close result and an exciting recount, Chesterton students elected the Labour Party by a margin of just 10 votes.
Lib Dem: 37.1%
Rebooting Democracy: 0
The Year 10 Politics group proved to be incredibly efficient polling station staff and vote counters.
Music Department News
Thank you to all the students, staff and families who contributed to our school carol service at St John’s College on Thursday evening. It was a lovely festive occasion with many great performances and we are really grateful for everyone’s hard work in preparing for and participating in the service at this busy time of year.
We look forward to our next whole-school music concert on Thursday 19th March 2020 at 7pm at West Road Concert Hall – save the date!
Students will be able to enjoy Christmas lunch on Wednesday. No need to book as it is available to all, but please ensure your catering accounts are topped up.
Every house has enjoyed getting together for their house breakfast this week. An opportunity to chat to students from other forms in the house and house leaders, and of course enjoy some great food from the canteen.
Throughout the term it has been great to see so many students involving themselves in the wider life of the school: participating in the huge range of extracurricular opportunities on offer and contributing to our local community, for example by visiting care homes and supporting at Milton Road Library.
It is never too late to start getting involved in all these different opportunities. Do have a look with your child on the website and perhaps a new year resolution could be to get involved in Chesterton’s extracurricular world.
The Architecture Festival took place this week from Monday 9th December to Wednesday 11th December. It was an absolute pleasure to see over 80 students across Years 8, 9 and 10 highly engaged and being able to design and express some fantastic creative concepts. The Dip Renovation is really taking shape and it was excellent to get an insight from the students about how they would use the space and who could benefit from it. Each day involved an introduction to the brief from Cambridge Association of Architects, a tour of the Dip area and a speech about wildlife preservation. Students then returned to the Apex, the creative base for the afternoon. Students were then free to create and propose a master plan of the area and a sculpture for a study or wildlife shelter. They were carefully mentored and guided by Mrs Chamberlain, Anastasia, Amy, Alison, Agnes and Aimee – all offering either architectural knowledge or knowledge of the project. We were delighted by how students responded to the drop-down days and some excellent suggestions were made. We will now go away and consider our options for the Dip area.
Students and staff are enjoying the Chesterton December Calendar. This week’s doors have included: writing Christmas cards to lonely older people, watching a festive musical number performed by the staff and hunting for staff wearing festive socks to win prizes.
Last Day and Christmas Closure
Thursday 19th December is the last day of the Autumn term. School closes at 3.05pm and reopens on Monday 6th January when it will be Week 2 on the school timetable.
Non-uniform Thursday 19th December
Thursday 19th December is a non-uniform day. In the morning we will be holding a festive fair which students will have the opportunity to visit. The fair will include a gift stall where children can buy gifts for family and friends and have them gift wrapped by volunteers from the PTA. There will also be a chocolate tombola, cake stalls and lots more games and stalls for students to visit. All money raised will go the PTA and Age Concern.
On Monday morning Cavendish was lucky enough to have a House breakfast in the dining hall during form time. It was a lovely event where students spent time with other Cavendish students and staff sharing their favourite moments of the term so far. Mrs Butler served the students from behind the food counter where they could have an orange juice and a pain au chocolat. It was such a nice environment and a great way to start our penultimate week. As well as the breakfast, Cavendish have been treated to: our virtual advent calendar; have been hunting down teachers wearing Christmas socks; and writing Christmas cards which will be received by Age UK and distributed to lonely individuals over the festive season. Cavendish has also donated a huge amount to Jimmy’s Christmas Appeal; from dog food to sleeping bags, blankets and tins of soup; and we made Christmas crackers for our Christmas meal next week.
This will be our last blog for the term, so Mrs Butler wants to spend this time to congratulate all the Cavendish students on a fantastic term. She loves her job as a Head of House and feels this term has been particularly great, with our new Year 7 arrivals, students taking pride in following our ethos and the amount of positivity she is hearing about Year 11s getting through their mocks and college applications. Cavendish has had a great term and Cavendish students should enjoy a well-deserved holiday.
Cavendish has over 45% of its students still on 100% attendance and over 50% of students have received 20 Above and Beyond Points (ABPs), which is such an achievement. Kloe (Cav 1) has not only received 100% attendance this term but is also second in our leader board with 47 points. Nafeesah (Cav 8) has also achieved 100% attendance and has an amazing 35 points. Some of our other top leaders in attendance and points are Haaniya (Cav 7), Lorenzo (Cav 1), Soren (Cav 9) and Diego (Cav 4).
We had our third yoga session with Unite Yoga this week. It has been a great success and we are keen to get more students benefiting from the free sessions. If your son or daughter (Year groups 8-11) are keen to join in, either drop Mrs Butler an email or ask them to visit her in E18 for more information.
With the lead-up to Christmas, getting up in the mornings can be quite tricky. Mrs Butler has sent the newsletter out again via Parentmail and daily notices as it has some great advice on how to look after yourself in this dark, cold season.
We would like to thank Alison who has been volunteering with some of our Year 7s this term. She has spent almost every Monday lunchtime with some of our students and has volunteered to come in next term and work with a different age range. Alison used to be a Young Person’s Worker and is keen to share her skills.
It has been a very busy week for Robinson. During tutor time, things have been getting festive with students and tutors making eco-friendly Christmas crackers; thank you to all who donated materials for this. Each day, tutor groups have been opening up an e-advent calendar, with each door revealing a joke, gift or task. This has included writing Christmas cards for the elderly, receiving chocolates from Miss Martinelli and watching a rather stunning staff rendition of ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’. On Friday, Robinson students enjoyed a House Christmas breakfast in the food hall. It was a brilliant morning when all Robinson students and tutors got together and ate, drank and were merry. We are still collecting donations for Jimmy’s Night Shelter; thank you so much to all students and parents who have contributed to this fantastic cause so far. Alongside the festivities, students have been brushing up on their political knowledge ahead of Thursday’s mock election. Robinson Year 10 Politics students Teilo, Fiona, Rosie, Amelia, Raees, Celia and Jacob helped to staff the polling stations on the day. Congratulations to Robinson students Maria and Toby who performed in You Will Not Forget on Tuesday and thank you to Lauren who helped front of house. Miss Martinelli was stunned by the level of talent and professionalism displayed on stage.
Fawcett House enjoyed a special breakfast together this week to celebrate their successes and to officially welcome the festive period. The overall mood within the House village is one of joy, excitement and wholeness which creates an awesome atmosphere to finish a term with. All students in Fawcett have been creating eco-Christmas crackers in their form groups while continuing to donate so generously towards the Jimmy’s homeless shelter organisation – they will certainly make many children happy this Christmas. As we round off a hugely successful term for Fawcett, our attendance remains steady with Fawcett 9 taking the attendance crown – they will be rewarded next week. Fawcett 1 have retained the coveted ABP trophy as they have now sailed past the 400 point mark as a form group. Lots to look forward to next week as term comes to a close on Thursday – all that is left to say is to hope you all have a lovely and joyful festive break and welook forward to welcoming our students back in January.
Hill House enjoyed a fresh breakfast and hot drink together this week in the run-up to the Christmas break. Meanwhile the festivity continued in tutor time with an electronic advent calendar which revealed a staff rendition of ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’, where it’s fair to say a variety of vocal talent was on display. The real musical talent was to be found at the Carol Service at St. John’s College Chapel, where we were immensely proud to see have a variety of Hill students perform. Lastly, students have also been on the hunt for teachers with festive socks for a chance to win a prize. Any raffle tickets awarded can be entered into the draw by posting them into the box outside Mrs. Hubbard-Young’s office. Good luck!
It was a very good term for Equiano students, with over 3000 ABPs issued. Well over half of Equiano students received zero bad news slips all term. 77 Equiano students achieved a perfect attendance of 100%. Tutor time has been diverse, as usual, with some fantastic assemblies, Mindfulness Mondays, topical news quizzes and thought-provoking PSHE sessions. Well done to all Equiano students for engaging in tutor time activities, as well as engaging in all aspects of Chesterton life, from lessons to extracurricular clubs. Have a well-deserved rest, and we look forward to seeing students back refreshed in January 2020.
Chesterton Community College
Mrs Lucy Scott