Week ending 13th june

We have some very innovative EAL work happening in school, led by Rosaria Maffei. She supports students who come to the school with English as an additional language and we have many students where this is the case, due to the transient nature of some of Cambridge’s population. Our students often make excellent progress because of the support they receive and then are able to access our curriculum and go on to take a wide range of formal qualifications. In January, a group of trainees from Cambridge University attended a training session on teaching EAL strategies run by Chesterton in which several EAL students showed the importance of EAL strategies by teaching a lesson in their own language for the trainees; once whilst employing these strategies and once without. The trainees were so impressed by the session that they decided to create an informational video of these students showcasing the importance of these strategies and the trainees will present this at the University as part of their course. Chesterton will be credited in the video for the EAL strategies and the other resources used in the original training. The workshop took place this Thursday and, without a doubt, the students deserve the majority of the credit for their amazing work with special praise for our student Elifsu Mercan’s excellent contribution.
• House competitions continue to engage the students. The House Mario Kart competition is heating up and there are some excellent drivers in all houses; it will be a tough competition. Healthy competition was evident when Erinn Heggan, Head of Cavendish house, trounced Assistant Head Steve Erickson .The Rubber Band Car Competition started earlier this week in tutor groups and there will be a big race between houses soon. So far there has been a lot of interest and it appears that we have some innovative engineers in the making! More information on the heats to follow.
• Please look at the photos on our Facebook page of students preparing for their Duke of Edinburgh expedition. With the countdown ticking, the Year 9 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition students dusted down their tents to hone camp craft skills. Having successfully put up the tents in the blistering heat (let’s hope the sun stays for the actual expedition), students lit the trangias to make a fair trade cup of tea and tuck in to the chocolate biscuits. Next week students will be planning their route and learning more about how to use a compass and map independently.
• The week closed with twenty one staff volunteers being trained on how to use STAR lesson, our new lesson observation software. We are very excited about this initiative and Dr Kath Hutchinson, our Director of CPD who led the training, said that staff were amazed at the quality of what can be observed. The camera has the capacity to zoom in on student written work and record every detail of the lesson; this is great for staff development and will certainly feed into our continuing drive to deliver outstanding lessons.
• If you have been into school recently you will have seen the usual host of builders and decorators, who seem to have joined our staff permanently as we continue our work on improving the site. The developments for creating The Apex, a flexible learning space where students can be inspired, are now firming up for work over the summer with plans now for how the lighting and flooring will look. We are also hoping to revamp our school hall over the summer with a facelift that will make it a suitable space for all our school events. We look forward to welcoming you in the new term for parents’ evenings and school performances.
• Rehearsals for this year’s school performance of “Oliver” are going well. I was speaking with Jacob Millin and he has been impressed by the facility some students have demonstrated learning lines incredibly quickly. I’m sure it will be a great event and tickets will sell quickly as always.

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