Week ending 4th November 2016

  • As you may remember from our letter in May 2015, we have been working with the Local Authority on a project to redevelop our site, to allow us to increase our intake by a third (two new forms of entry); initial conversations began in 2013. All the demographic projections show that Cambridge will soon be very short of secondary school places and we want to be in a position to serve our community, by accepting all students from our catchment area who want to study at Chesterton. The new build will be substantial, and would transform our site for the better, so we have been very excited about it; it would mean new performance space, dining areas, redeveloped outdoor spaces and exciting new art spaces – all of which would benefit students and the wider community. In mid-2015 the local authority put the project on hold, while they revised their demographic projections. That process took a year, but the results are much the same: more places will be badly needed.  However, we are now experiencing a further delay as the local authority would like to ensure that North Cambridge Academy is full, before any additional students are taken at Chesterton.
  • Chesterton is currently over-subscribed by a factor of two and, given the demographic pressures on the horizon, we are increasingly anxious about our ability to serve our community with enough places.  Building projects take time! We are making this case to the local authority and nationally; we will keep you informed as this develops. If you do have any questions, perhaps about future admissions of siblings, then please do not hesitate to contact us or the local authority.
  • 30 students of drama, from Year 10, will be performing in school next Thursday evening. Please do take this opportunity to see what impressive work is happening within drama. The play begins with the death of a young person, Adam, which came about as a result of his peers “having a laugh”. The group – who “everyone wants to be part of” at the local school – decide what to do about Adam’s fatal disappearance, which some might perceive to be a tragic accident, and others would call murder. Everything takes a turn for the better when whizz-kid-cum-psychopath, Phil, constructs a plan to pin the blame on a “fat, balding postman with bad teeth”. The gang transforms from one of guilty, juvenile delinquents to innocent, local celebrities; except that things never turn out quite like you expect them to…or do they?… Dennis Kelly’s work is celebrated the world over for its black humour and non-compromisingly honest perspective on the lives of young people in 21st Century Britain. Please be aware that the production is not suitable for students under 13 years of age, and it contains strong language.
  • We were delighted this week to receive a certificate commending our level of participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The award is offered in school purely through teachers giving up their time unpaid and therefore to have such a high participation rate is superb. We have 40+ Year 11 students currently registered, and working towards their Bronze award. There is a meeting this Friday (3.15pm in the Apex) for any students in Year 9 (and beyond) who are interested in working towards their Bronze award; the meeting is being publicised via daily notices.
  • On Tuesday we were delighted to see so many Year 7 parents at the ‘iPad’ tablet learning information evening.  Mr Kirkby, our Director of eLearning, gave a presentation about the scheme at Chesterton with advice on eSafety and use for eLearning.
  • Lots of parents have signed up to the Chesterton Reporting System (CRS) over the half term break, which is fantastic. If you have not yet activated your account please do so: using the letter code which we sent home with students and the email code sent to parents. Over the coming weeks, we will suggest areas of the CRS to look at and tips for working at home with the information.
  • Some sporting news:
  • Year 10 students gain a qualification in sports officiating. Two students from Chesterton attended a netball umpiring course, during the half term holiday. Congratulations to Felicity Lawrence and Isobel Godfrey, who are now qualified to umpire.  They will definitely be putting this qualification to good use, as they’ll be helping to organise the Year 7 & 8 netball club on Wednesdays after school.
  • The seasons are changing: the college rugby and hockey seasons are gradually drawing to a close.  It has been fantastic to see so many training and taking part in the regular matches/tournaments with other local schools.  The results have also shown a high level of success.  The college basketball season is about to begin:  we’ll be trying to at least match the success of last year, when all the teams progressed to the final of the district schools’ tournament.  Watch this space!
  • The girls’ basketball club takes place on Thursdays after school and the boys’ club takes place on Tuesdays after school: all welcome.
  • We have eight University student volunteers working in the Maths Department, starting this week, mostly tutoring students who have signed up for either a lunchtime or after-school session.  In total we have over ninety students from Years 9, 10 and 11 who have signed up for one of the tutor sessions.  These will run until the Easter holiday during the University term times.
  • Jed Upjohn, in Year 11, was involved in filming at Pinewood Studios and Elstree Studios in 2015. Jed was performing in ‘The Crown’, which is being launched on Netflix this Friday evening starring Matt Smith (ex Dr Who) and Claire Foy. He is in the first episode (this Friday) as a chorister in Westminster Abbey during the wedding between Prince Philip and Elizabeth (filmed at Ely Cathedral last August). He will be featured in the later episode of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth, where he is page boy to Prince Philip (Matt Smith). Do tune in.
  • Year 7 have started a new tutor time topic on the theme of Study Skills. This builds on the Study Skills Day run by science last term and aims to help students set good study habits and develop organisation skills which will help throughout their time at Chesterton.
  • Year 8-11 tutor groups are continuing with the topic of ‘Radicalisation’ exploring scenarios linked to extremism, justice and British values.
  • Amma Solomon- Graham, a member of staff and qualified youth worker, will be leading on a Year 10-11 mental health support group on Thursdays which will help support students in the lead up to mock examinations. A daily notice will be advertising this to students.
  • Young Carers support is continuing to be on offer this year with Charlotte Currie from Centre 33 taking a lead. Charlotte will be in school on alternate Tuesdays (starting this week) offering drop-ins, 1:1 support and groups from 3:05pm- 4pm. A daily notice has been sent out to advertise the group.
  • Michaela Edwards, an Early Intervention Worker, will be holding two coffee mornings for parents this half term. They will take place in the library on Wednesday 23rd November and 7th December from 9-10:30am. Initially the coffee mornings will be a way of offering informal support to parents. It is hoped that following these sessions, a parenting course will run.
  • International Singing Group: we invite you to join us for rehearsals before our final performance on Thursday November 24th, which will occur at our “International Celebration Evening” here at Chesterton. The rehearsals are on Wednesdays from 5-6pm in the Music Block at Chesterton
  • Please do remember the PTA meeting on Tuesday, next week, at 7.30pm in the library. Everyone is very welcome.

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