Week ending 16th October

  • Year 10 and 11 GCSE Drama students enjoyed seeing ‘Lord of the Flies’ at Cambridge Corn Exchange last Thursday evening. The production prompted many of them to offer well-researched critiques of its staging concepts, comparing the merits of Nigel Williams’s play with William Golding’s original novel. Other students were profoundly moved by hearing this story of human survival for the first time. In all cases, the students were a credit to the College in the mature way they conducted themselves at the theatre.
  • Next Thursday 22nd October all GCSE Drama students will be performing in an evening of contemporary drama entitled ‘Tell Me The Truth About Love’. The event is free and if you would be interested in attending what promises to be an innovative and invigorating piece of ensemble theatre, please email smarston@chesterton.cambs.sch.uk to reserve a seat. The 65 students involved are working very hard to present extracts from Harold Pinter’s ‘Betrayal’ and Nick Stafford’s ‘Katherine Desouza’: both artistically challenging and culturally stimulating plays which explore themes of deception, memory and love. The performance, which takes place in the Farnsworth Hall, starts at 7.45pm and should be concluded around 9pm. Suzy Marston, the director, is very excited to be sharing the work and hopes that it will inspire a community of Chesterton theatre lovers to want to see more modern drama in the future!
  • The first “Pop Reading Movie Club” happened this week. The club is to encourage students, with English as an additional language, to interact in English in a social and academic context through meetings, readings and……popcorn! The club’s sessions start with the screening of a film punctuated by brief opportunities in which the students can engage in a short debate. Subtitles are provided in order to include all students: EAL students and English as first language speakers. In the weeks after the screening, the students will have to read the book on which the film is based and the EAL students will read an EAL differentiated graded version of the book. This week’s film was “Life of Pi”. Dropping in to see the club, it was great to see a packed classroom with students with fifteen different languages sharing this experience and debating about the film.
  • This week in English we had a special visitor who came to speak to our Enterprise Group, who are a small group of year 8s, on Tuesday. Rod Ghanem was born in Syria and still has family and friends there. He came in to speak to students about the refugee crisis and life in Syria before the war. The Enterprise Group have been learning about refugees and had written some great questions for their visitor. Students learned about conscription to the Syrian army amongst many other topics and discussed the power of nationalism. They also learned about the difference between Syria before and after the outbreak of war and what it is like to have friends and family who live in a dangerous location. We hope to welcome more fascinating guests like this in the future.
  • On Thursday 15th October we hosted 30 trainee teachers from the Cambridge Teaching Schools Network.  The trainee teachers took part in an afternoon of workshops focused on engaging students, led by Assistant Heads, Cathy Abrahams and Peter Watts.  We were delighted to be able to support the group at the outset of their teaching careers.
  • The Year 10 Astronomy class took home textbooks this week which have been sponsored by the University’s Institute for Astronomy. This is another example of the ongoing support for the course that has seen several visits over the last few years by practising astronomers to discuss their work and contribute to the course delivery. A big thank you to the IoA! The astronomers also celebrated “Ada Lovelace Day” by looking at the contributions of female astronomers to the subject: Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, Henrietta Swan-Leavitt and Williamina Fleming, amongst others, providing the inspiration.
  • Following the Parent Forum times have now been identified for Latin parent consultations for all year groups. These are being placed into the online booking system and a Parentmail will be sent next week alerting you as to when booking opens.
  • The first tea-time concert of the year happened this week and it was wonderful to see such an array of talent, with our accomplished performers playing alongside those who have just started to learn an instrument. I would really recommend attending future concerts.
  • We held our Post-16 evening this week, for our Year 11 students who are beginning the process of choosing their sixth-form destinations. It was an incredibly well attended event and it was lovely to see the excitement and enthusiasm amongst the students about the array of choice available to them.
  • During the course of this half term we have been using the App SeeSaw to record examples of student work and the feedback provided by teachers.  We are now able to release details to parents of how to access this resource so that you can view your child’s work.  Letters will be coming home with students today (Friday) to parents who did not sign up last term with instructions on access.  Parents who signed in last term can use the same login details as before.
  • We were delighted to welcome James Biddulph, Headteacher at the new University Primary school, for a tour of the school this week. The new primary school opened for students this September and has Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 students. We look forward to building links with the primary.
  • Next week we complete the final part of the bid process for the new Darwin Green secondary school. This involves an interview on Tuesday with local councillors; local government officers and a representative from the DfE. We will keep you updated with the outcomes.
  • Provisional league table results have been published. Whilst these results are provisional (for example they might alter slightly where exam remarks have resulted in higher grades) they demonstrate the excellent results our Year 11 students achieved this summer. Please do look online http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/
  • Don’t forget the PTA Quiz at 7.30pm this evening!

 

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