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All the latest News from Ely College

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  • May Half Term Revision - y11 Matters

    Published 17/05/19

    Please find attached the revision sessions running over the May half term holiday. We hope Year 11 students will be in attendance and find the sessions useful. There is no requirement for students to wear uniform. They should arrive promptly so that they can be accompanied to the sessions.

    For those sessions that run Tuesday to Friday, students should enter the usual way. On Sunday 2 June, students should meet at the Bishop Laney Sixth Form entrance which is where the sessions will occur.

    Morning sessions are 10-12:30 and afternoon session are 12:30-3.

    Students have been wonderful in this first full week of exams and we are confident that this will continue next week. We are encouraging Year 11 to have a rest over half term so that they are on their best form for the two weeks that follow half term too. If you would like to discuss anything, please contact me directly.

    Mrs Mustill

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  • Young Writers Published

    Published 15/05/19

    Congratulations to four of our amazing Creative Writing #Session6 students who entered a Young Writers competition and were selected from 8,000 entries to be published!!!

    The POETRY ESCAPE competition inspired students to express themselves through poetry, providing them with a platform to voice their opinions, thoughts & feelings, to break down barriers, destroy stereotypes and liberate their creativity. A fantastic #PLEDGES achievement!

    Well done to Emily, Eloise, Esme and Jenna!

    "The students really responded to the idea that their voices can be used to speak of injustice. Each student is able to home in on what they truly care about and what they would like to see change in the world. Breaking the silence had sparked debates and conversations that extend beyond poetry. We look forward to reading all the entries in the published anthology."

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  • PLEDGES and Futures Day

    Published 03/05/19

    Yesterday was a another fantastic #PLEDGESandFuturesDay ay Ely College and a great way to celebrate the last one of the year in style! Here's a recap of the day and a big shout out to our staff and external speakers who make the day so engaging and meaningful to our young people!

    Year 7 worked in the hall most of the day with Learn 2 Earn activities, provided by Young Enterprise. Students worked as a year group, empowering them to make informed decisions about their future careers and finances.

    Year 8 completed a series of Citizenship sessions including:
    • Safety for School, led by Sgt Phil Priestly and his team at Cambridgeshire Constabulary. Introduced by Lucy Frazer MP, they cover conflict resolution, Cyber Safety, County Lines and Knife and Gun crimes. 
    • Work Shadowing preparation, led by The Skills Service including team building fun with balloon armchairs and other citizenship, diversity and British Values sessions.

    Year 9 celebrated the diverse nature of our school community. Led by our amazing Ely College staff, sessions took a closer look at their home nations, including culture, sport, food and festivals.

    Year 10 were lucky to get a tour of Anglia Ruskin University followed by a series of workshops on Higher Education in school. Perfect as they start to think about Post-16 options and life after school.

    Year 11 showed amazing commitment to their revision schedules and took the day to focus on exam preparations, working on their core subjects. They appreciated the time to take a deeper look at various modules.

    Please do consider building on this all-round fab day at home; ask questions about their thoughts or feelings on what they learnt yesterday, and continue those key conversations about their safety or the PSHE skills they need as they manage their lives now and in the future.

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  • Dance and Gymnastics Festival with Primary School partners

    Published 02/04/19

    Last Friday, Ely College held a Dance and Gymnastics Festival for two of our local primary schools, Millfield and The Lantern. With the help of staff, the day saw our dedicated Sports Leaders plan and deliver an exciting warm up dance and stretch routine before the primary pupils showcased the dances that they had been working on with our older students.

    The afternoon finished with a performance from our Year 7 and 8 gymnasts who performed a stunning routine to The Greatest Showman OST. The gymnastics team are hoping to show their routine again at the Level 3 School Games competition for the opening ceremony if their application is successful.

    Well done to all involved! True PLEDGES spirit shown, as they not only participated but took on leadership qualities, excelling as they offered a service to younger students. Building strong bonds with our partner primaries so younger pupils feel confident around the college site and can interact with staff and older students is an important part of the primary transition and vertical tutoring process. 

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  • Ely College teacher recognised at the 19th Design and Technology Association Excellence Awards

    Published 01/04/19

    On 22nd March, David Bausor, Lead Practitioner of Technology at Ely College was presented with the award for Innovation and Creativity in Design and Technology for his outstanding contribution at the 19th Design and Technology Association Excellence Awards. An annual event held at The Institution of Engineering and Technology, situated on the banks of the Thames in London, the Awards recognise the commitment and achievements of teachers, teacher trainers, education consultants and academics across primary and secondary schools, and further and higher education.

    Nominated and voted for by peers in the education sector, the Design and Technology Association’s Excellence Awards is open to the 11,000-strong membership and non-members across England and Wales.

    Awards were presented by Lesley Morris, Chair of the Design and Technology Association and Tony Ryan, Chief Executive of the Design and Technology Association

    Tony Ryan, Chief Executive of the Design and Technology Association, recognised Mr Bausor’s achievement, saying: “Dave is to be congratulated on his well-deserved award, and celebrated for going above and beyond what might be expected in his contributions to supporting the subject of design and technology.  We know that employers across the advanced manufacturing and creative industries are already concerned about the real shortage of engineers and designers and we need more people like Dave Bausor and his team to inspire future generations.”

    Principal Richard Spencer commented: “We are thrilled to be able to share this news with the community. David has been with Ely College for over 5 years and his enthusiasm for teaching and sharing good practice is commendable. This is fantastic for Dave, and fantastic for us to have colleagues recognised at a national level for their work and expertise.”

    The Awards’ night saw presentations made under 12 categories, with delegates from Britain and overseas in attendance.

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  • The appliance of science at Ely College Fair

    Published 01/04/19

    To celebrate British Science Week, Year 7 & 8 students from Ely College hosted their second annual Science Fair last week. Inviting parents and local primary schools, who attended over the two days, this year’s event was enjoyed by over 300 members of the community.

    Using their lessons to plan, test and prepare presentations for the public, science students did a superb job of showcasing a range of experiments. The Ely College Science Fair is a fantastic opportunity for parents and pupils of all ages in the area to be inspired by science and STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Working in partnership as part of the CMAT Trust, this year saw Year 5 & 6 pupils from the Lantern join in, as their mini scientists explaining their class investigations into the effects of gravity.


    With everything from mobile phone holograms and up close dissections to air cannon footie and the ever-popular slime recipes, the range of experiments on display was impressive. Sam Craven, Curriculum Leader at Ely College applauded students for their commitment to putting on an engaging and inspirational event: “We are so proud of the hard work and enthusiasm of our Year 7 and 8 students during this year’s science festival.  We are delighted that two primary schools, Lantern and St Mary’s, also had children present work from their science lessons. Harlequin Nursery enjoyed the fair as well. Something for all ages! This year was bigger than last and we are already planning and looking forward to next year.”


    Last year this fantastic event gained recognition, as it was nominated and shortlisted at the Cambridge News Education Awards for ‘Science Project of the Year’. While our young scientists just missed out in 2018, it is clear this year they have gone the extra mile and are proud to call their college ‘Secondary School of the Year’; an award Ely College and our community gained last year in acknowledgement of the vast improvements made at the College in recent years.

    Ely College students were awarded Science Fair commendation rosettes and PLEDGES awards, with some invited to Cambridge University to repeat their experiments for the public as Science Ambassadors at the Cambridge Science Festival School Zone on Saturday 23rd March. “This was another fantastic event and our students were commended for their maturity, science knowledge and enthusiasm.”

    For more photos from our science fair, take a look at the Ely College Facebook page here.


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  • Year 11 Duke of Edinburgh Awards

    Published 14/03/19

    Year 11 Students have been working hard to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Awards. Students have to partake in a minimum 6 month programme which includes participation in the following areas:

    - The physical section looks at their commitment to a physical activity over a period of time for their benefit of their health and general fitness.

    - The skills section focuses on the development or enhancement of a creative skill they have developed over time such as playing a musical instrument.

    - The volunteering section requires students to commit to a longer period of time working for a non for profit organization and helping and assisting with the day to day chores.

    Students have also completed an expedition in which they planned, navigated, and walked for a period of 2 days with one overnight camp. This has been a very worthwhile experience for all those involved, highly regarded by colleges and universities,  and one I hope they will remember for many years to come.

    Jamie Waters - Scott House Senior Tutor and DofE Coordinator


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  • Ely College students return to Kenya’s Rift Valley to volunteer with their partner schools in the Nakuru slums.

    Published 12/03/19

    Teenagers and staff from Ely College have recently returned from another life-changing experience, volunteering their February half term to help disadvantaged children at the Jubilee and Ungana Academies in Kenya.

    Over the last several years, students from Ely College have developed a close connection with two schools in the slums of Nakuru, Kenya’s fourth largest city. Following the success of their October 2017 trip, many students straightaway vowed to return. There has been a big commitment to fundraise for the Kenya Projects over the last 16 months by 24 students.

    As well as the usual cake stalls and sponsored swims to raise funds, students looked to the people of Ely to support their efforts. Ely College is so grateful to the community and local businesses who supported the Kenya Projects, either by sponsoring students or contributing to the mountain of shoes, clothes and school supplies that students took with them as extra luggage. The children of Jubilee and Ungana, staff and parents, were delighted to be gifted even the most basic supplies which we take for granted in the UK. Having something to call their own made the world of difference and this was all thanks to generous donations from our wonderful local community.


    Since returning from their 10-day adventure, which in addition to classroom renovations and building new toilet blocks incorporated a wildlife safari, students have reflected on their experience and the stark contrast with our own lives. Teacher Sheila Branch, who jointly led the trip, commended the students for their hard work and compassion: “Not one of our students complained about the desperately poor conditions. Despite each one of them giving their every effort, either labouring to improve the site or teaching the children in class, at the end of trip they still felt like they wanted to do more. Many chose to leave their own clothes, shoes and personal belongings.”


    Lauren Burrows who also led the trip commented: “We are so proud of the students who have volunteered this year. There is a real sense of continuity & lasting legacy with each visit, adding to each building project to improve the resources. We have built a strong relationship with the staff in Kenya and they have been warm and generous hosts.” As Ely College bid farewell for another year, Kenyan staff and children gave each volunteer a locally made personalised bracelet;  a memento of a life changing and humbling experience.



    For more photos take a look at our Facebook page: 

    For more information about our trip providers African Adventures, click here.

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  • Ely College students take the ‘Time to Talk’ about making healthy choices today, for a brighter future tomorrow

    Published 13/02/19

    Various workshops at Ely College this week, allowed students to explore their personal wellbeing, encouraging discussion about making health choices so that each and every young person aims to reach their fullest potential. Working with outside partners, PLEDGES and Futures Day coincided perfectly with the #TimeToTalk national mental health campaign.

    PLEDGES and Futures Day is a regular feature at Ely College. A day of extended learning focusing on Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE), each age group had a different focus covering some essential elements of the curriculum. By getting involved and engaging with outside partners such as the police and first aiders trainers, students can also earn their PLEDGES awards.

    While Year 11 students looked to the ‘future’, with a dedicated day of revision to immerse themselves in their English Literature GCSE, younger students took part in a carousel of workshops centred around ‘making healthy choices’.  Gaining a deeper understanding of everything from cyber-bullying, positive body image and forming healthy relationships to healthy eating, mental wellbeing and future career choices, these activities simulated the challenges our young people face.


    Working with Sgt Phil Priestley and sniffer dog Bessie, students gained knowledge and awareness of the risks associated with drugs and alcohol. Mr Spencer, Principal at Ely College commented: “We wants students to leave college as well rounded individuals, equipped with the tools to reach their fullest potential in life. These insights, will allow students to play a full and inclusive part in a healthy society and ensure they look out for each other with compassion and empathy.”

    A workshop and activities facilitated by local group Talking FreEly was very popular as staff and students appreciated the time given to ‘just sit and talk’ about the barriers that stop us all from opening up about mental health concerns. Organisers commented on how positively students engaged with the day, explaining ‘that while teen mental health is at the fore front of today’s activities, we hope Ely College students can take these conversations home and continue to break down the stigma around mental wellbeing.’

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  • Reaching the GOLD standard!

    Published 18/12/18

    Reaching the Gold standard!

    A hard working Etheldreda House student has become the first this year (and only the second ever!) to achieve a Gold PLEDGES accolade. Just 20 months since the school officially rolled out the reward and behaviour system at Ely College, the Bronze and Silver awards have been rolling in, but this is the only current Gold.

    Christopher Atkinson in Year 10 took part in a number of activities to achieve his Bronze, Silver and Gold PLEDGES. These included taking up the role of Sports Leader in Year 9, fundraising (both for his House charity and via fun runs), being part of the archaeology dig trip, taking an extra GCSE in Latin, and even attending a Russian wedding!

    Speaking about his achievement, Christopher said: “It has been hard work to meet the criteria but I have really enjoyed the challenge. Working towards my PLEDGES has taken me into new and different experiences. I like that something you do out of school like experiencing cultural diversity at a family friend’s wedding can earn you PLEDGES in school. I’m going to push myself further and help others with their PLEDGES.”

    Adding to his PLEDGES points 'beyond the classroom' was the secret to his success, with things like his piano grading and youth leadership work via his local church, all counting towards Gold! He added: “The Gold PLEDGE means a lot but I have always tried to give back to my community. Taking the lead on running holiday clubs with the church and putting myself forward for form representative in school means I can speak up for people my age.”

    Since Ely College joined the CMAT trust, the college has introduced a simple but broad set of PLEDGES that pupils are expected to complete during their time at the school, at bronze, silver and gold levels. The fact that Christopher has complete the set before Year 11 is very impressive. Students gain their PLEDGES through activities and work across seven categories: Participation, Leadership, Environment, Diversity, Giving, Excellence and Service.

    The PLEDGES form part of the school's parallel curriculum – a system that is designed to develop the whole child and complement the academic courses. Similar to the Duke of Edinburgh scheme (also offered at Ely College!), it helps pupils develop character and skills that can be taken into their adult life.

    Richard Spencer, Principal at Ely College said “The scheme has really helped drive a wide range of activities and improved relationships. It encourages students to give back to the school and their communities. Through PLEDGES, we can recognise, encourage and reward those important aspects of personal development and learning that examinations do not. I’d like to congratulate Christopher and look forward to giving out many more gold awards in the months to come”.

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  • ‘No one left on the bench’ as Ely College students take up the challenge to design for disability

    Published 13/12/18

    On Thursday, Ely College welcomed John Willis, founder of Power2Inspire. His charity promotes inclusive and adaptive sports, so no one with disabilities or impairments is ‘left on the bench’. Ely College invited John, who was born without fully-formed arms or legs, to speak with their design and technology students and start on a collaborative journey of designing for purpose.

    Speaking with mixed years in assembly, John introduced students to what Power2inspire does for people of ALL abilities. Bringing disabled and non-disabled children together for the Power House Games and regular Festivals of Inclusive Sport, everyone is able to keep fit and active together. John, on his own is an inspiration, having completed a personal challenge he set himself back in 2016.

    His ‘Road to Rio’ challenge saw him take on all 34 Paralympic and Olympic sports, having a go at everything from archery to judo, ending with a charity game of golf. John reflected on the challenge: “You can imagine playing Handball with no hands was tricky, but it was a great privilege to make friends with professionals and show how fantastically welcoming the world of sports can be.”

    Inspired by his talk, Year 10 Design and Technology students moved on to a workshop exploring how this remarkable man has to overcome barriers in his everyday life.  Working in groups, students looked to invent or adapt everyday items that could help John with real world problems. To help them, John explained: ‘the challenge is not in coming up with solutions, but phrasing or forming the question in a way they shows that these young people really understand the problems less able bodied people face. Empathy is a big part of the project today as students reframe their world, experiencing problems from a new perspective. I have been very impressed with their efforts.”

    This is the first time Power2Inspire has worked with a secondary school young designers: “Ely College has really embraced this concept of collaborative designing, working together around a contextual problem. We are challenging young people to think of solutions for issues they haven’t encountered, which is good practice for the future where they will need solutions to issues we have yet to face.”

    Trying to make lives easier by designing for disability, it is hoped they can stumble upon innovative solutions that are often better than those when we design for the norm. Dave Bausor, Lead Practitioner for Design and Technology at Ely College added: “We are keen to develop a supportive partnership going forward. Today is the students’ first steps on journey of design. We are looking forward to taking their ideas, and developing models and practical proto-types for John early next year, as well as supporting the charity through our PLEDGES and Sport Leaders programmes.”



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  • Scott House Food Drive

    Published 13/12/18

    A group of Ely College students have spent their free time over the past few weeks collecting food to donate to the Ely Food Bank.

    Students across school were inspired by those in Scott House, who have organised this year's collection. Everyone donated an array of food to give to those in need, from baked beans to cornflakes. The donation was wholly organised by the students with form groups S-EHI and S-IBU taking the lead and making sure the large haul reached it final destination.

    Richard Spencer, Principal at Ely College, said: “It is heart-warming to see our students voluntarily helping their community and those in need within it. At Ely College, we seek to develop well rounded individuals who are an active part of their communities and these students are a shining example of those values. They should be very proud of what they have achieved”.

    The Ely Food Bank is open very grateful for all the students efforts and also would like to thank the parents at home who have supported students in giving a little more at this key time of the year.

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