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All the latest News from Ely College

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  • Raising awareness of infant asthma with student-led designs

    Published 17/10/18

    Ely College students successfully design novel packaging solutions for infant asthma treatment, as part of a challenge set by Cambridge researchers. 

    The ‘Unpacking Asthma’ challenge, set by Designing Our Tomorrow (DOT) at the University of Cambridge and COSMOS at the Cambridge Science Centre, encouraged participation from more than 300 students in Years 7, 8 and 9 from across East Anglia.

    DOT is a collaboration between the Department of Engineering and the Faculty of Education. All DOT resources are created with teachers and industry partners, and are mapped to the new GCSE and A-Level specifications for the design and technology curriculum. DOT’s mission is to equip every student with the thinking tools to spot and solve problems in a complex world. 

    Over a six to 12-week period, students learned how to solve a real-world engineering challenge, which in this instance, was designing a packaging solution that brought together all the necessary equipment and information needed to effectively treat infant asthma, and help reduce a child’s fear and/or anxiety of the condition in the process.

    We are teaching students to be empathic engineers and developing their conceptual thinking in the process - Melanie Smith, Designing Our Tomorrow

    There are 5.4 million people in the UK currently with the condition, and 1.1 million of those are infants (1 in 11)1

    Melanie Smith, Operations Manager at Designing Our Tomorrow, said selected students now have the opportunity to develop their concept packaging ideas with designers, and potentially contribute to a systematic assessment in NHS hospitals. 

    “We are so excited to see how the students’ design ideas progress and the enormous potential and subsequent impact they may have on children with asthma in the UK,” said Melanie. “DOT also continues to work with the NHS in London through the Healthy London Partnership, which is raising awareness of infants with asthma as part of its #AskAboutAsthma campaign. We are teaching students to be empathic engineers and developing their conceptual thinking in the process.”

    Melanie added that feedback from the students had showed they had understood the complexity of not only the design brief, but also the implications asthma has for children diagnosed with the condition and those connected to them.

    As one Year 7 student said: “We learned that asthma doesn’t only affect the person with the condition, it also affects all the people that are around them. It made me think about how packaging has to be – not just child-friendly, but it has to be easy for all people to use.”

    A regional awards ceremony was held at the Department of Engineering, prior to the national Starpack Industry Awards held at The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) where students enjoyed a trip on the London Eye. Winning students from Ely College were presented with prize certificates and plaques for securing three bronze places and one silver.

    Source: Asthma UK 



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  • Year 11 Matters Timetable

    Published 08/10/18

    The new Year 11 Matters timetable is now LIVE!

    Many thanks to all staff contributing additional sessions in support of our Year 11 students. These are fantastic opportunities to support GCSE revision and coursework catch-up.

    Remember... be like Bill because Year 11 does matters.

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  • Ely College students showcase their design and technology learning at a key national conference

    Published 04/10/18

    Year 8 students from Ely College were invited to showcase their exceptional work at the Design and Technology Association conference in Birmingham on Monday 1st October. The conference aimed to influence government policy on how we train the next generation of British designers and engineers.

    Enjoying keynote speeches and panel discussions at the event hosted at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, four students, who had previous won awards for their work on the Asthma Design Challenge, met with influential leaders across the education and design technology industries. The event set out a vision for how design thinking can be embedded within our education system, equipping all students with the knowledge and skills required to confidently face the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

    Focusing on what we should be doing to inspire more young people to study design and technology as a route into careers in the design industry, engineering and manufacturing, Ely College students demonstrated a range of creative digital and technical skills to captivate delegates. The college was asked to showcase how students use techniques to remove design fixation, demonstrating how they create abstract drawings using a range of visual stimuli and by what means sketch modelling can be used to both design and test possible outcomes.

    Pictured: Alex Brewis, Lilia Cassam, Jennifer Morgado and Charlotte Wragg

    Their showcase reinforced the message that design and technology should be an essential curriculum option; a ‘life subject’ for all students, supporting policy intent on creating more high-tech engineering and digital opportunities in a society that is increasingly reliant upon technology.

    The delegates and organisers at the conference commented on how well the students represented the college. Teacher of Technology at Ely College, Mr Bausor commented: “The showcase has been brilliant and their attitude and focus was exemplary throughout the day.”

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  • Bishop Laney visits Emirates Stadium for UCAS and Apprenticeship Fair

    Published 01/10/18

    On Friday 28th September, Bishop Laney Sixth Form students visited the Emirates Stadium for the latest Search Fair. The UCAS and Apprenticeship Fair brings together hundreds of universities from across the country as well as employers who offer apprenticeships.

    Students have the chance to speak to universities first hand to understand and find out what they offer, how to apply and what the universities look for in students. There was the chance to speak to American Scholarship representatives as well as many varying industry professionals all offering apprenticeships at different levels.

    With thousands of sixth form students in attendance, there was a real buzz about the place, with plenty to see and discuss. Talks were held throughout the day on different aspects of the UCAS application (some of the photos here are from the talk on personal statements).

    A fantastic experience as our Bishop Laney students build on their successes and plan for their futures.

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  • Bioinformatics Blitz

    Published 28/09/18

    Bioinformatics Blitz

    Today 50+ students from Ely College took part in the national Bioinformatics Blitz.  Run by the Wellcome Trust and Sanger Institute, to celebrate the launch of Lifelab in Cambridge, Peterborough and Ely, the challenge was set to see how many young people could complete the bioinformatics task at the same time!  

    What is the challenge?

    Working in teams of four, could our Year 11 students correctly complete the Function Finders BLAST activity? The idea is they translate DNA sequences into amino acids and use computer programmes to identify the protein that the amino acid sequence belongs to.  The fastest group from each school is set to receive a small prize!

    We are so grateful to our Science staff for making new and exciting connections with industry leaders such as Life Lab and the Wellcome Genome Campus, forging new partnerships with the biotech research community. We hope to bring more hands-on science projects and events to our students and build on this fantastic launch success.

    Follow @camlifelab and @WGCengage for more information. #Bioinformaticsblitz


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  • New Student Librarians get to work

    Published 21/09/18

    Students involvement in the running of our school library has never been so active. Mrs Shaw, our LRC Manager explains the work involved.

    With the beginning of the new school year, we are pleased to present our fantastic new team of Student Librarians for 2018 / 2019. Students from Year 8 onwards can apply to join the team. After attending an interview and accepting the position, training can begin.  Student Librarians work on the main LRC desk issuing and returning books, serving at the School Shop and often help to shelve the books. As well as these everyday duties a vital part of a Student Librarian’s work is to support fellow students in the LRC with any queries: from searching for a book, to helping them access our dynamic online library system.

    New recruits are trained both by Ms Shaw and the Senior Student Librarians. Younger students are overseen by more experienced Student Librarians. Training and learning from one another is a collaborative process the students certainly benefit from; as the Student Librarians grow in seniority and experience, so do their responsibilities. Team spirit is very important and as training progresses, the feeling of mutual support is wonderful to see.

    Championing lifelong learning, our Students Librarians can often be found in the LRC quietly reading or encouraging lively debates in reading groups. They charge themselves with promoting everything the LRC has to offer, including computer spaces for homework catch-up. Our Student Librarians also undertake other projects such as competitions, literary polls and various fundraising efforts. Students who become Student Librarians use this experience to gain PLEDGES Points, which quickly build towards their Awards.

    Watch this space for some exciting LRC initiatives coming up this term. Student Librarians are heavily involved in organising, selling and promoting the hugely successful Book Fair which takes place towards the end of the Autumn term – just in time for Christmas, so an ideal time to do some gift shopping for friends and family. Our 2017 Book Fair allowed the LRC to claim just over £200 of free books for the LRC. Student Librarians are also currently helping get ready for the school’s Booked Up programme which will see every Year 7 student receive a FREE book during their first term at Ely College. More about this soon so keep an eye out for our next newsletter.


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  • Open Evening 2018

    Published 14/09/18


    Open Evening at Ely College is THE event of the academic year and we welcome our local community to take a tour. Join us for a look at what we can offer your child and get involved in some wonderful activities host by our students, subject leaders and teachers. While this evening has prospective Year 5 and 6 students in mind, we encourage adults to have fun too!

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  • Ely College students get a ‘Rocking’ opportunity!

    Published 05/09/18

    Starting this term, a group of lucky Year 7 Ely College students will be benefitting from the generosity of THE LLOYD-REASON FOUNDATION. A talented delivery team of tutors will work with four selected students in Year 7 who have shown the potential and willingness to develop their interest in learning and playing a musical instrument.

    Over the next school year, THE LLOYD-REASON FOUNDATION will fund ongoing weekly tuition, as well as providing each student with a brand new instrument. Students will learn to play together as a band over a series of workshops, and will be given the opportunity to record in a professional recording studio, shoot a music video and, at the conclusion of the year, to play a live performance.

    Ely College Principal, Richard Spencer, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with the Lloyd-Reason Foundation on this exciting project. Their generosity will hopefully spark a great collaboration. We are keen to encourage even more of our students to take up a musical instrument, and look forward to watching these students develop as individual players and, hopefully, as a great band!’

    Professor Lester Lloyd-Reason ended: ‘The Lloyd-Reason Foundation aims to give disadvantaged young people access to music tuition, instruments, recording studios and live performance and in Ely College we have found the perfect partner to help us deliver on this mission. We believe that together we will succeed in transforming and enriching these young lives through this very exciting initiative.’

    Pictured are students Jan Dietrich, Ralf Dodd-O’Brien, Tom Rees and Wyatt Sharpes-Edwards with staff and tutors at the launch of the project on 11th July.



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  • Roadshow Dates for Primary Parents

    Published 05/09/18

    Roadshow dates for Primary Parents


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  • ‘Secondary School of the Year’ Ely College celebrates impressive GCSE results

    Published 23/08/18

    Hot on the heels of being announced as ‘Secondary School of the Year’ at the recent Cambridge News Education Awards, Ely College has today built further on the huge improvements secured in 2017 with some of the best GCSE results in its history.

    62 per cent of students secured grades 4-9 in both English and mathematics - a 27 per cent rise on 2015. 44 per cent of students secured the top grades (5-9) in both English and mathematics – a 4 per cent increase on last year, and significantly above last year’s national average.

    The proportion of students achieving the top grades was particularly pleasing. An impressive 60 entries were graded at the new ‘Grade 9’, which is awarded to the top 3 per cent of students in the country.

    138 GCSEs were awarded at either grades 8 or 9 (equivalent to at least the old A*), compared with 91 at that level in 2017. Overall, the proportion of top grades awarded (grades 5-9) rose sharply, by 10 per cent, to 51 per cent.


    Richard Spencer, Principal of Ely College, commented: “I’d like to congratulate all of our students and their families on these excellent results. Improving on last year’s results seemed a tall order twelve months ago, but I’m delighted with how the students and staff have risen to that challenge.

    “The excellent results today reflect a great deal of hard work from our students and my wonderful staff.

    “Ely College is once again a school of which the community can be proud, and we are determined to build further on this success in the years to come.

    “I wish all of our students every success as they move onto further education, and am excited to be welcoming many of them back to our own Bishop Laney Sixth Form.”


    Exceptional individual outcomes:


    Abigail Brown – seven at grade 9, one at 8, two at 7

    Gemma Brown – eight at grade 9, two at grade 7

    Harriet Cree – six at grade 9, three at 8, one at 7

    Ellen Olley – seven at grade 9, one at 8, one at 7, one at 6

    Oscar Wolfe – six at grade 9, two at 7, one at 5

    Sam Cavill – five at grade 9, three at 8, two at 7

    Hannah Croucher – five at grade 9, three at 8, one at 7

    Suzumi Yokohama – six at grade 9, one at 7, two at 6, one at 5

    Harry Whittaker – four at grade 9, one at 8, four at 7, one at 6

    Beth Laws – one at grade 9, five at 8, three at 7

    Max Johns – one at grade 9, three at 8, five at 7, one at 6

    Last week, Bishop Laney Sixth Form, a new collaboration between Ely College and Soham Village College, celebrated an excellent set of post-16 results, with a 100 per cent pass rate in its vocational courses. The average grade awarded was a distinction. From this September, students will once again be able to study A Levels at Bishop Laney Sixth Form.

    For more information about Ely College, please visit:





























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  • Bishop Laney Sixth Form Celebrates Impressive Results

    Published 16/08/18

    Students and staff at Bishop Laney Sixth Form are celebrating today, following another excellent set of results and a 100 per cent pass rate for its vocational courses.

    Bishop Laney Sixth Form opened its doors in 2017 as a new collaboration between Ely College and Soham Village College to provide excellent post-16 education for students across East Cambridgeshire.

    Currently the Sixth Form offers predominantly vocational and technical study programmes and therefore has no A Level results to report today. However, from this September, Bishop Laney Sixth Form will also be offering a suite of A Levels, alongside its successful suite of professional and vocational qualifications.

    The Sixth Form achieved a 100 per cent pass rate for its vocational courses, with 56 per cent of results awarded at Distinction or Distinction* level and 93 per cent awarded at either Merit or Distinction level.

    Principal of Ely College, Richard Spencer, said: “We are delighted with these results, which reflect a great deal of hard work from students and staff. We’d like to congratulate all of the students on their achievements. We are also very pleased that so many of our students have secured excellent university, employment or further training opportunities and we wish them all well for the future.

    “These results demonstrate that Bishop Laney Sixth Form is already delivering excellent outcomes for students locally, and we are looking forward to expanding the curriculum to include some A Levels this year. Students in East Cambridgeshire deserve to be able to access excellent sixth form provision without the cost and stress of a long journey. We are delighted that Bishop Laney Sixth Form is successfully delivering that opportunity.”

    A number of students achieved particularly high results including Holly Cole and Ewan Evans, who achieved Distinction* grades in Media, with Louisa Bennett and Brandon Ransome also attaining the top grade in their achievements; Louisa in Business and Brandon in Sports Science.

    Within the Media department, all the grades achieved were at either distinction or distinction* levels, with Sports Science also performing noticeably well; 80% of the grades achieved were at the top two levels.

    Our Business & Finance students also performed well, with all of our Level 3 Accounting students, completing the AAT Advanced Diploma at Merit level. The Personal Finance course, which is a core part of the Bishop Laney offer for Level 3 students, also added to the high achievers group, with over 20% students achieving an A grade.


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  • Scott House visit their House Charity

    Published 20/07/18

    Scott House visited the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity to celebrate the end of term and present them with a large cheque for the money raised this year. Student enjoyed a tour of their new facilities and beautiful gardens. The were all very pleased to see how their fundraising efforts were being put to good use to benefit those in need; their creative ideas were flowing as they discussed fresh ideas for fundraising in the new year.  

    Well done to all Scott House students for supporting your House charity and working towards your Charity PLEDGES! Those with their Bronze PLEDGE will now be looking to step it up a gear, aiming for Silver and  Gold!

    Full Story:

    As part of the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust’s well-established PLEDGES system, Ely College held a Charities Day dedicated to fundraising. Through fundraising for a local charity, students could work towards their pledges or broaden their experiences as they work towards their future careers.

    PLEDGES were introduced at Ely College last year and are vital in ensuring students leave college as well-rounded individuals, to support their academic and career paths. A system of rewards and behaviour, PLEDGES help students develop character and responsibility that can be taken into their adult life. They encourage students to get involved with the wider experiences the college and community has to offer them.

    In the lead up to the big charity day, the students came together in their form groups and Houses to vote for their House charities for the year. The kind students of Scott House voted to support the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity.

    Students brainstormed fundraising ideas, planned and prepared their stalls and the culmination of their hard work came together on Wednesday 13th December as ‘Charities Day 2017’ took place. The school site was divided into event areas with a food court, media zone, disco and even a haunted house! Soak the teacher was very popular as were glitter makeovers and various delicious cake sales.  As well as the traditional lucky dips and tombola’s we had some fresh ideas. From karaoke to Elfie Selfie stations, console room to sweet casinos; there was something for everyone!

    The event was well supported by the local community, with Gourmet Brownie and the Ely Fire Service joining in the fun to raise money for these great causes. Principal of Ely College, Richard Spencer, thanked his staff and all who supported the event and said: “PLEDGES and Futures Days are so important because they play a vital part in helping our students to develop empathy as well as more tangible skills such as the teamwork and responsibility that comes with event planning.

    “Handling cash with an insight into customer service and building communications skills that will benefit them throughout their lives, preparing them for life beyond the classroom. We are delighted with how the students have embraced their House Charities this year and we look forward to running fundraisers for them throughout the year.”

    From everyone at the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity we would like to say thank you to all the students and tutors from Scott House. We were absolutely delighted to be the recipients of £429.12. The funds raised will help us to provide vital care to people dealing with a life limiting illness.

    Thank you so much and we look forward to working with you all in the future!

    Article taken from the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity website after student visited to give them the House Charity cheque. See the full story on their website here:$=1300&o     


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