It’s been lovely to welcome everyone back to school and especially our new Year 7 who have made a very impressive start, smiling through all the new challenges.
Congratulations to last year’s Year 11, as Chesterton students once again excel in their GCSE results. Over half of all grades were awarded at grade 7 (grade A) or above, 68% of all students achieved at least one grade 7. One in five grades awarded were the new ‘super’ grade 9; in fact over 40% of students gained at least one grade 9 and 13 students achieved at least 8 grades 9s: both extraordinary achievements. Success came to all groups of students with excellent progress in all areas. The average grade achieved across all students was a grade 6. Subject areas excelled across the board with student success high in all subjects from English, Maths and the Sciences, Humanities and Arts and Vocational subjects. We are delighted to be able to have secured such strong foundations for our students with results upon which they can build their future success.
Whilst students and staff have rested over the summer, our builders have completed significant internal works to the new building including flooring and staircases. The most significant focus though has been on a rather challenging refurbishment programme that we asked them to deliver. We are pleased to say that we now have two brand new student toilet blocks and two fully refurbished admin areas. We also have four brand new computing classrooms which will create a computing hub for the school.
Former students, parents (including members of the PTA), teaching staff and associate artists from Chesterton have founded a theatre company called Achilles’ Heel. Rehearsing at the college over the summer, the company took its inaugural Show, ‘TLC’ by Suzanne Marston, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in early August. The tour was a huge success, and the performance prompted superlative praise from the public, both in online reviews and by word-of-mouth at the Forest Theatre (Greenside venues), where they performed to virtually full houses each day. The cast and crew worked brilliantly together, both on stage and off, promoting the performance on the Royal Mile every morning, and seeing other theatre in the evening. At the heart of the work was Chesterton’s Exams Officer, Nicola Von Schreiber, who stage-managed the Show and resided with the young cast of 16 – 20 year olds at a lovely apartment just off Princes’ Street.
‘TLC’ is going to be revived for a home performance on Monday 10th September here at Chesterton’s Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are sold out for the 8pm performance, but a handful remain for the 6pm showing. If you would like to see it, tickets can be reserved by emailing email@example.com . It is hoped that Achilles’ Heel will continue to create and produce innovative and searing theatre based on classical texts, and that ‘TLC’ might be toured further to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where Marston first came across Henryson’s ‘The Testament of Cresseid’, the medieval poem which inspired her play. More information about its work, and opportunities to join the company, will follow in due course.
On Tuesday 18th September, the 2019 Cohort of GCSE Drama students will be hoping to follow the footsteps of the 2018 Cohort in their starry success as actors, by performing their Unit 1 devised pieces to the public. Five 25 minute performances will take place (involving around 30 year 11 students), and these will begin at 5pm, with short intervals between each one. The performances are all based on the song ‘Vincent’ by Don Maclean, and the picture ‘Wheatfield with Crows’ by Van Gogh himself. If you would like to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, requesting the number of seats you require. The event is free, but seats are strictly limited, and the performances will be presented in an examination context. We would really appreciate enthusiastic and focused support from an audience, who will also be invited to write feedback on post-it notes, so that the students might reference it in their documentation of the practical work!
Instrumental lessons will restart next week. Students should check the timetables in the music department and speak to their music teacher if they have any questions.
Music department extra-curricular clubs will all begin next week. There are a huge variety of music clubs for all years, including: samba band, orchestra, Y7 Choir, Chesterton Singers, recorder group, saxophone group, jazz band, Only Boys Aloud and ukulele and guitar group. Please do encourage your child to look at the timetable on Daily Notices or in the music department and come along to try a group.
Students took home their new timetables this week which show both the subjects taken and the sets they are in. Please do refer to the Groupings and Setting Policy on the school website for more information.
The ESOL free English lesson day for parents who speak English as another language will be held on Friday 14th September, 9.30am at Chesterton Community College Cadet Hut. If you are interested in attending please get more details at: www.esolcafe.co.uk.