Headteacher’s blog week ending 6th September 2019
Dear parents and carers
Welcome to the start of the new academic year. This weekly blog keeps you informed of significant achievements and points of interest.
Once again we are celebrating amazing GCSE results. Over half the grades awarded were grade 7 (the equivalent to the old grade A) or above and more than 1 in 5 grades were awarded at the ‘super’ grade 9 level. The progress of all students was again outstanding with the provisional progress scores indicating that students achieved one grade higher in all of their qualifications than their peers nationally. We are exceptionally proud of the students who worked incredibly hard to secure this success.
Gala Performance to launch our new Atrium Theatre
Over the summer, the Performing Arts Faculty at Chesterton has been very busy. Planning, rehearsals and practice have been underway for Chesterton’s Gala Performance on Thursday 12th September in the new Atrium Theatre at 7.30pm. The event will launch the college, community and commercial use of this new, state-of-the-art performance space and conference hall. It is designed to showcase the aural and visual possibilities of the auditorium and stage, as well as celebrate the extraordinarily rich array of talent that exists within Chesterton, past and present. It is hoped that the Gala will be a very special and memorable occasion, involving around 120 performers and artists between 11 and 89 years old! Material ranges from Elgar’s cello concerto in E minor; to contemporary dance fusions; to extracts from classic plays and musicals like ‘The Seagull’ and ‘Oliver!’; to improvised comedy. The comprehensive and collaborative content has been carefully curated so that it is connected to the ever-evolving story and ethos of Chesterton. Many of the performers are current students at the College, and others are former students and staff, including West-End actress Helena Wilson; BBC Young Musician of the Year Finalist Annemarie Federle; and former deputy headteacher Rex Freeman. We are confident that those attending the Gala (by invitation only) will very much enjoy the event, and we are excited that Lord Adonis will be our honoured guest. Thank you to everyone who has supported to make it happen – let’s wish good luck to the Company, and hope that this is the start of many wonderful performances in our new 200-seater professional forum!
At the very end of the summer term, 31 student musicians and 8 staff enjoyed an action-packed Saturday in London. Whilst we had a walking tour of the sights in the morning, a busy afternoon visiting museums in South Kensington, fun in Hyde Park and a McDonald’s tea; the highlight and purpose of the trip was to watch Joshua Bell and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra perform Prom 2 in the Royal Albert Hall, which was much enjoyed by all. The students were a delight to take on the trip and represented the school impeccably.
National Musical Events Huge congratulations to two of our students who have taken part in national musical events over the summer. Butterfly (now Y11) plays cello in the prestigious National Youth Orchestra. Their summer course comprised performances at Saffron Hall, the Royal Albert Hall (as part of the BBC Proms) and the Konzerthaus in Berlin. You can watch their BBC Prom on BBC iPlayer, as it was televised, and get just a hint of the phenomenal talent of the orchestra. Jasmine (now Y8) took part in the 88 Pianists project at Birmingham Conservatoire. This was a world record attempt to have 88 children from across the country playing one piano at the same time, adjudicated by Julian Lloyd Webber. You may have seen coverage of this on BBC’s the One Show and on the news. The world record was smashed! All music extra-curricular clubs will be up and running from Monday 9th September – please do encourage your child to look at the timetable on Daily Notices, in the music block or on the Parentmail sent home. There is a huge variety of groups on offer; something for everyone! Please contact Miss Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any queries.
On 11th August at Shepreth Wildlife Park, Chesterton’s canteen were awarded a commendation for our efforts to reduce our single-use plastic. Since our new build launch we have completely stopped the use of plastic bottles, disposable cutlery, disposable bowls and all straws.
To find our more and how you and your company can help please visit www.swccharity.org/cambridge-plastic-pledge.
With our new menus about to become active, we have taken the decision to reduce our beef usage. Beef has a huge impact on our carbon footprint and it is obvious that our staff, students and parents care passionately about the future of our environment. With all that in mind, the Soil Association is calling for the government to update ‘weak’ school meal rules and bring in a mandatory meat-free,
‘plant-based protein day’ each week to help tackle the climate change and the obesity crisis. The food at Chesterton is of a very high standard but we are going to try a plant-based day one day within our 3-week menu cycle. We hope all students and parents will support this as we take another small step in doing our part to help our planet.
International learning activities
In the past year Chesterton Community College has participated in a variety of international learning activities. Some examples of these are: Language learning trips to France and Germany; Cultural Exchange trip to China; hosting headteachers from India; being part of Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning; and partnering with two schools in Kathmandu, Nepal. All the hard work that has gone into these international activities has been recognised. Over the summer Chesterton gained International School Award from the British Council. The International School Award celebrates the achievements of schools that do exceptional work in international education. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need for life work in today’s world.
English Lessons for parents who speak English as another language
ESOL is offering a free lesson day on Friday September 13th 9.30-12.30 in the Cadet Hut
Please contact Sarah Adams Sadams@chesterton.cambs.sch.uk or Chesterton Sports Centre for more details.
Future Champions Grant Congratulations to three students who have recently been awarded a ‘Future Champions’ grant to assist in the further development of their sport. The grant recognises existing high levels of performance in sport, and provides funding for sports equipment which can help to push on to the next level: Hana for ballet; Max and Lucca for football.
A reminder that the website is currently available at http://ccc.cambridgeshireeducationaltrust.org/
Have you registered for Easyfundraising?
It’s really easy and done in a few steps.
Go to easyfundraising.org.uk to register. Scroll down to the box where you search for your cause. Type in “Chesterton Community College” and pick your student’s house from the drop-down list. Click the pink “Support this cause” button.
Follow the instructions to create an account
When asked, click the pink “Donation Reminder” box. This will add an extension to your Chrome browser which lets you know whenever you’re on a site that will make an Easyfundraising donation
Don’t forget to get the mobile app for your phone too!
What is Easyfundraising?
Easyfundraising is a trusted platform where over 3,000 registered retailers donate a portion of their earnings back to charities when you make online purchases at no cost to yourself.
Chesterton Community College
Mrs Lucy Scott