Week ending May 23rd

  • A group of students planned a Bengali Festival to celebrate Bengali language and culture this week. The students did some teaching and learning in Bengali and enjoyed some music, art and food together with their friends and families. The celebration was absolutely wonderful with the students doing a fantastic job in organising and running the event. Special mention goes to Masuma, Lucky and Saruja for their wonderful dancing and Nahima for teaching us how to count to ten. Masuma also read a poem. Mr Kabir, our Bengali teacher, was kind enough to sing; there was a professional dancer and a short talk from author Shahida Rahman who is an ex-Chesterton student. Many other students were involved in ‘back-stage’ activities, including making delicious refreshments. Many parents, aunties and even grandparents came along to the celebration.
  • On Monday morning 100 Year 7 students and 8 members of staff set off for St.Davids in Pembrokeshire for a week of adventure and adrenalin fuelled fun. The students enjoyed a variety of water based activities, including kayaking, surfing and coasteering; some on the beautiful Whitesands beach. Whilst on the land they took part in a hillside search and rescue, putting first aid skills to use. They also walked to Abereddi Bay to learn about our oceans – maybe we have some budding Marine Biologists. Students also made life rafts, learning team building skills and seeing whose could stay afloat the longest. Each evening the students were also involved in activities, from trusting friends to help them walk the tightrope, to designing a piece of beach art from materials they found on the beach. The students have forged new friendship groups and have risen not only to the new challenges they have had to face but also the challenges of the British weather: experiencing rain, thunder, freezing winds and brilliant sunshine.
  • Very few Year 7 students remained in school, but for those who did we put together a variety of activities. In Science some students worked on a robotics’ module normally reserved for the year 8 course.  In another lesson they were able to familiarise themselves with data-logging kit, in an activity that is part of the physics’ GCSE course; this was equipment which was partly funded by the PTA. There are some photos on the Facebook page.
  • As part of the school’s World War I centenary celebration this year, the History Department took a group of Year 8 pupils to Duxford. The staff at Duxford planned an exciting, interactive talk on trench warfare, which included Kane Stamp dressing up in an authentic World War I uniform, Luke Calderwood testing out his quick fire skills with a World War I rifle and Arnie Freund-Williams, Ellie Connor and Victor Gillett trying on some rather fetching World War I gas masks! We will be putting some photos up on the school’s Facebook page very soon.
  • Special mention this week goes to William Tan who took part in the Welsh National Taekwondo Championships last weekend and became the national champion in his height category.  This is the first major competition since his success last year in the world championships.  Look out for Will in the 2020 Olympics!
  • Students from Chesterton experienced training with elite sportspeople this week, as they worked with the England under 20 rugby team at Cambridge Rugby Club.  This took place in the run up to the match on Saturday between England and Georgia; so a great context for our students to be working in.
  • As you will be aware we hosted a Teachmeet for local schools to share good teaching ideas. I am always impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm Chesterton staff show about developing themselves professionally. This week six of our progress support workers and teaching assistants gave up their evening to attend the inaugural Teaching Assistant Teachmeet in Northampton. Events like these are great for sharing good ideas, which can then be used in school.
  • STAR lesson has now arrived in school: this is the filming software we will be using to record lessons to support teacher coaching etc. We are all very excited about it and I had my first experience with it when my lunchtime training session on self-directed learning was filmed. It felt a bit strange at first, but once we were into the session with staff talking about all the exciting things they are doing in lessons I forgot it was there.
  • Look out for the article this week in the Cambridge Evening News about the Rolls Royce Prize. There was an article about our position as finalists in this prestigious prize.
  • I had a great day on Tuesday watching Y9 music performances. Students had selected their own songs to perform and in groups performed at a very exciting gig. It was great to see so many staff and students watching and there was a great supportive atmosphere for everyone who performed.
  • On Monday 2 June, the parents of Year 10 students of Languages will be coming to a speaking workshop.  They will find out how to help their children to prepare and revise for their first controlled assessments in GCSE speaking.  Parents of older children will be demonstrating how they have done it before and then parents will be splitting into French, German or Spanish workshops to practise with their children.  It is a very useful hour!  Katrina Patterson tells me that a student last year said, ‘Right, that’s it, my mum’s helping me from the word go next time!’
  • The week ended with Y11 shirt-signing. It was great to see Year 11 students enjoying this rite of passage; it was all very good natured and what was going to take a morning, with students able to leave when it was completed, lasted through the day as no student seemed keen to leave!
  • Just remains for me to say I hope you have an enjoyable half-term.

 

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