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All the latest News from Ely College

September 2016

  • Innovative learning in & out of lessons

    Published 30/09/16

    Students at Ely College embrace exciting opportunities for innovative learning.

    This month Ely College has supported learning schemes and workshops in order to teach students essential skills and prepare them for the world of work.

    As the new school term begins, Ely College has run some exciting opportunities for students in their Library. As we have done for many years, pupils of the school are being given the opportunity to become Student Librarians whereby they can issue and return books, serve in the school shop, organise the shelves and help their peers.

    Students who have embarked on this popular scheme, which has received the highest sign up rate for a long time, are being taught the importance of teamwork and the children are proudly wearing their new librarian badges.

    The incredible turn out for the scheme demonstrates the schools on-going pursuit to encourage students to secure their PLEDGES (Participation, Leadership, Excellence, Diversity, Giving, Environmental and Service) both in and out of lessons.

    Over the years Student Librarians have gone on to study librarianships, working in the local public library and further afield, including one ex-student that worked at Cambridge University Library.

    The LRC will also be running a new reading aloud session. Staff, and hopefully in time community leaders, will give their lunchtime to sit as guest readers and bring classic novels to life. We have begun with 'A Tale of Two Cities' by Charles Dickens.

    As well as promoting extra learning in the library, Ely College also encourages STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) events hosted by Smallpeice Trust, an educational charity, at the school.

    At a recent STEM event students had to complete the “Smart Building Challenge” in which they had to design and build a system that filters, collects, detects and pumps collected rainwater. This challenge involved using design technology, maths, science and engineering skills in order to stimulate the students learning.

    Anne Shaw, Learning Resource Centre Manager, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the turnout for these new schemes. It is a pleasure to see the children thrive and enjoy the sessions, indicating why they have been so popular.

    “It is important for the children to learn the essential life skills practiced in the session, which will further their personal development and help them in the working world.”

    Earlier this year, the college joined Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT). CMAT has a strong track record in improving achievement and attainment in the region and the Trust is committed to improving the quality of education and life in the county of Cambridgeshire.

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  • STEM Day

    Published 21/09/16

    STEM Day 2016

    We are running a STEM event (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) on Thursday, September 22nd, at Ely College for our year 8 students.

    The event is completely free and will run for the entire day, which means some student will miss their timetabled lessons.  Held at Ely College, so no additional transport is required, this programme will run during the normal school day (finished by 3pm).

    The event is hosted by the Smallpeice Trust, a renowned educational charity that has been delivering these events for 50 years.  Please visit their website for more information about them.

    Our students will complete the “Smart Building Challenge”, which will see them design and build a system that filters, collects, detects and pumps collected rainwater.  This challenge involves the use of their design technology, maths, science and engineering skills and will include the use of soldering irons under guidance of teaching staff and with proper safety precautions.

    There may be photographs taken for publicity purposes, both by Ely College and the Smallpeice Trust. 

    Please let us know if you do not want your child to participate.

    Contact: Sam Craven, Curriculum Leader for Science. Email:

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  • Photo Permissions

    Published 16/09/16

    Photographer – Tuesday 20th September 2016 

    On Tuesday 20th September 2016 we will have a Photographer in school all day working with us on promotional and PR shots.  We will capture images of our facilities, staff and students.  

    If, for any reason, your child should not appear in any public materials, please ensure your child is aware so they can make themselves known to Mrs Vella and the Photographer to avoid appearing in any of the photographs.   

    Thank you for your support.

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  • Take a Tour with the Principal

    Published 13/09/16

    Principal Tours and Opportunities to Meet

    Open Evening will be held on Thursday 13th October at 5:30-8pm. This will be followed by an Open Morning the next day on Friday 14th October 9:00-11am. All families are invited to attend to hear about plans for the development of the school and to see some of the exciting changes. We look forward to following up our recent series of Primary Roadshows and meeting many prospective Year 6 families.

    Richard Spencer, Principal of the college has opened up his diary, making himself available for tours each Friday between 9-10am. Booking for these tours is essential. Parents should contact Bev Saddington at the school to book onto these tours. Find out more here

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  • Old school uniform collection

    Published 09/09/16

    Donating unwanted old College uniform 

    In conjunction with one of our parents, Ely College will be collecting old, unwanted College uniform and then donating these to children in Africa.  We will work with Re-Imagine at the Witchford Recycling Centre to coordinate this. 

    In the meantime, if you have any old College polo shirts, or other uniform items, then please drop these into the collection bins available in the College main reception.  We will happily take these off your hands! 

    Thank you for your support.  

    Drop boxes are labelled as such in the main reception foyer


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  • Homework Planners

    Published 05/09/16

    Unfortunately, there has been a slight delay in the delivery of student planners. We expect to be able to distribute these on Monday 12 September.

    In the meantime, students will all have a paper copy of their timetables that they should keep with them at all times. To avoid confusion, homework will not be issued to Years 7 and 8 this weekend. We apologise for this slight delay to normal service.

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  • Welcome Back

    Published 05/09/16

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    It is a pleasure to welcome you to a new academic year and an exciting new chapter for Ely College.

    The summer has been a very busy one at the College. The students will arrive back to a school that looks and feels very different, with a number of areas repainted, House signage added throughout, and several new teaching spaces. We’ve also improved some of the outdoor areas and begun to create an attractive new space adjacent to the new dining hall and Science block. More work is planned over the next few months as we seek to significantly improve the learning environment.

    The exam results this summer represent a pleasing improvement on 2015, and reflect a lot of hard work from staff and students. I’d like to congratulate everyone involved. However, we have very high ambitions for all of our students, and everybody recognises the need to build further and improve. My message to students and staff this week is a simple one: let’s be more ambitious and seek to really raise the bar in terms of what we can achieve together. The improvements we will deliver will be founded on the values that CMAT are so successfully bringing to all of our schools. We have tightened our expectations in terms of the behaviour and effort we will expect, but we recognise that we must match that with teaching that challenges, excites and inspires. I know that I can rely on the support of parents as we embark on this journey and look forward to meeting more of you in the coming weeks and months.

    I’d like to extend a particular welcome to new parents and to our Year 7 students. Our new House and vertical tutor group system will provide parents with more regular feedback on the progress your children are making, while also generating a more cohesive and welcoming atmosphere. You should also find it much easier to make contact with us through the House offices and dedicated Student Support Advisers (SSAs). We recognise how important clear communication is to you, and will work hard to try and improve and sharpen this through the year. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

    I’m delighted to be able to welcome a number of new staff to the College. We are particularly pleased to have a number of new mathematics teachers starting with us and look forward to delivering a more consistent experience in this area. There is a genuine sense of excitement and optimism that I am confident will translate into a happier and more settled experience for everyone in 2016/17.

    In the coming weeks we will be launching our new ‘PLEDGES’ system of rewards and extended curriculum opportunities. We’ll also be working on a new reporting system to provide students and parents with more helpful information about your child’s progress. We are working closely with local partners on an exciting new chapter for our sixth form provision, and I am looking forward to visiting a number of the local primary schools to spread the buzz and excitement about all the changes going on here at the College.

    I am confident that our minor modifications to the College uniform (shirts and House ties) are widely understood, but we have sharpened the guidance on the website for the avoidance of any doubt. We do intend to enforce and maintain high standards in this area, and will be challenging students should inappropriate shoes, skirts/trousers or make-up begin to creep in. Equally, we intend to enforce very high standards of conduct and discipline around the College: we will be continuing with the policy of not allowing mobile phones to be used in school, and will be absolutely intolerant of any rough, intimidating or bullying behaviour.

    There will be quite a lot of change this year, and change can be turbulent for any organisation. We have tried to get most of the most significant adjustments in place for September, but I would ask for your forbearance and understanding as we seek to implement the systems and practices that we know from our experience will make a difference. Be assured that we will work hard to ensure we keep the welfare and progress of the students at the heart of everything we do.

    It is an honour to be your Principal, and I look forward to working with you in the coming months and years. Since arriving at the College, it has been fantastic to discover how pleasant and welcoming the children and the community are. I can’t wait to get started. Here’s to a bright future for Ely College and a successful, happy 2016/17!

    Richard Spencer



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  • Pleasing GCSE results for Ely College

    Published 01/09/16

    Students at Ely College recorded a pleasing set of GCSE results this year with 47 per cent of students achieving at least five A*-C grades including English and Maths. Twenty-one per cent of students also achieved the EBacc qualification.

    There were many strong individual performances, including those of Madeleine Rose who achieved 8 A*s and 2 As, Emily McCord who achieved 3 A*s and 7 As and Rosa Kelly who achieved 2 A*s and 8 As.

    Evelyn Forde, who stepped down as Principal, said “I am delighted that the strategies we put in place with a real focus on teaching and learning has led to this great set of results for Ely students”. 

    Chris Tweedale, CEO of CfBT Schools Trust commented “Ely College has been part of CfBT Schools Trust during the 2015/6 academic year and we would like to congratulate Evelyn and her staff on the improvements made during the year".

    On 1 July, Ely College transferred to a new sponsor, Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT), who will take over the running of the college from September.

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