Week Ending 24th March

  • Do remember to vote in the current parent governor elections: you can find information on our website.
  • Today was obviously dominated by Comic Relief, with all students enthusiastically engaged with raising money for this worthwhile charity.
  • Last week Mrs Hubbard-Young travelled to the Chaoyang district of Beijing as part of a small group from the University of Cambridge invited to advise the Chinese government on creativity in education.  As part of the week long programme Mrs Hubbard-Young led workshops with a group of leading head teachers from the district and also had the opportunity to observe lessons.  The visit was a huge success and we are now exploring the potential for more formal links between Chesterton and the education sector in Beijing.
  • On Monday Year 9 students took part in a crime and safety awareness day. This was led by Prison Officers from the charity ‘Prison, Me? No Way!’ and kindly sponsored by The Radley Trust, a local Quaker charity. Students visited a mobile prison cell, took part in a street scene about anti-social behaviour and spoke with an ex-offender. The workshops are an integral part of our PSE programme and they also support the ‘crime and punishment’ unit that Year 10 study for their Ethics GCSE.
  • The annual West Road concert was a great success this week. I never cease to be amazed by the talent and commitment of our students. Well done to everyone involved for such a wonderful evening!
  • On Tuesday in the library we had a special reading lunchtime break: “Reading for Readathon”. Readathon finishes today and as a reward for our students’ efforts they were treated to biscuits whilst they read. On Wednesday in the library our Year 7 students were able to enjoy a fantastic presentation from author Ruth Eastham as part of Worldly Wednesday. Our students heard about adventures in the Amazon searching for El Dorado; mythological adventure in glaciated Norway and historical adventure in World War Two with code breaking and the Enigma machine. Students were given the opportunity to order signed copies of Ruth’s books. Her books are also available in the library for students to borrow. We were fortunate to be able to ask Ruth to judge our Year 7 Flash Fiction competition; we had some fantastic entries but sadly there could only be one winner: Skye Manning Dutton who wrote ‘Boat Trip to Calais’.
  • The geography department has recently launched its new club: ‘Geography Untaught’. Each Friday lunch, Year 8 students volunteer to teach their peers (and teachers!) about an aspect of geography that we don’t study in the curriculum.  So far, topics chosen by our students for debate and discussion have included: recycling, climate change, geographical mysteries and the geography of Mars.
  • If you watch University Challenge you will be aware of Bobby Seagull who is captain for the Emmanuel College team; the team have been doing incredibly well and have reached the semi-final. Bobby undertook his teacher training with us a few years ago and we are delighted to have recently offered him a full time post in the Maths department.
  • Earlier in the week, 40 of our students were thrilled to meet Helena Wilson, the actress currently starring alongside Daniel Radcliffe in ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ at the Old Vic, London. Helena was educated at Chesterton and Hills Road, and has since graduated from Oxford University with a first-class degree in English. Represented by one of the top agents for stage and screen, Curtis Brown, Helena is a young person on the brink on stardom, and – in spite of her heavy schedule – willingly returned home for the day to visit her old school, describing it as “an honour” to see these students perform! The Chesterton students form the cast of ‘The School Film’ by Patrick Marber, a play due to be performed at the School on 24th, 30th and 31st March, as part of the National Theatre Connections Festival. The students are also immensely excited at the fact that the Oscar-nominated writer and West-end theatre director himself has accepted an invitation to attend their performance on Friday 31st March! Chesterton Youth Theatre are among around 300 other youth theatres across the Country performing 10 new plays in the Festival, hoping to be the one chosen to represent the play at the National Theatre in July. Chesterton has already been selected to perform at the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton at the end of April, following their home performances. Suzy Marston, who is directing ‘The School Film’, worked extensively with Helena when she was part of the Young Actors Company. She says:
    “Helena has always been an incredible and gifted young actress, as well as one who radiates kindness and consideration towards the world around her. She could become a vital role model in some of these students’ lives; they work so hard and with such passion and talent, that they need to believe it is possible to ‘make it’ in theatre, regardless of your background. Seeing is believing…”
    Tickets for ‘The School Film’ are still available via the Finance Office/ Parentpay.
  • Please do click on this link to see some of the innovative uses of technology in Chesterton.

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