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Ely College

All the latest News from Ely College

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  • TICKETS NOW ON SALE! The Caucasian Chalk Circle - 7th & 8th March

    Published 16/02/24

    We are so proud to announce the ticket launch for our next whole-school production: "The Caucasian Chalk Circle".

    This is a powerful & moving performance & the students have done an amazing job stepping up to such a challenging piece; interpreting the text in a modern and inspiring way! This is a text usually reserved for A-Level studies so our cast, ranging from Year 8s to Year 12, dug deep to put on a wonderful show for you.

    True, a little different from the last few years of our big musical showcases, but 'performed in the round' we can't wait to welcome you to into our circle for what is set to be a stunning evening of theatre!

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  • Following the recent granting of planning permission for Needham's Tower, MP Lucy Frazer MP met sixth form staff

    Published 02/02/24

    Lucy Frazer MP met senior staff from Bishop Laney Sixth Form in Ely on Friday, 26th January, to mark the beginning of works to expand the student intake from 300 to 400.

    Bishop Laney Sixth Form is the sixth form attached to Ely College and currently serves 150 pupils per year group. Both the sixth form and the school are part of the multi-academy Meridian Trust.

    The £5 million of funding for a new development was secured by the school and the trust after they applied to the Government’s £140 million ‘Post-16 Capacity Fund’, which invited eligible providers of 16 to 19 education to apply for capital investment to accommodate the upcoming rise in this demographic.

    As the local MP, Ms Frazer wrote to Baroness Barran – who is the Minister for the School System and Student Finance – in December 2022 to make the case for the development. In her letter, she cited Ely College as the only sixth form provider in East Cambridgeshire, and the rapid regional growth in recent years, which if maintained, would see the sixth form exceed existing capacity by 2025.

    The bid was accepted by the Department for Education on 7th June 2023, allowing the sixth form to press on with their plans to renovate and upgrade ‘Needhams Tower’ and provide new classroom space for students and staff of Ely College.

    Planning permission was then approved on Monday 22nd January, meaning works can begin.

    Ely College target early 2025 for completion.

    Lucy Frazer MP said:

    “This exciting expansion will give more opportunities to 16 to 19 year olds in Ely and improve the experience of existing pupils and staff at Bishop Laney Sixth Form.

    “As the local MP, I threw my weight behind this bid because I want to make sure we give young people the opportunities they need.

    “The Government is investing heavily in our schools with a record £59.6 billion for 2024-25.”

    Simon Warburton, Principal of Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form, said:

     “We are delighted that planning permission has been granted for the renovation of Needham Tower to become the new home for Bishop Laney Sixth Form. The state-of-the-art sixth-form centre will greatly improve the educational experiences for students in our local community and across East Cambridgeshire.

     “It was a pleasure to show Ms Frazer around the site today and for her to witness the fantastic progress that has already been made. We are deeply grateful for her support of this project and the wider backing of our local community during the planning application. We look forward to watching the progress of the site over the next few months and to being able to invite more members of our community to visit as soon as we’re able to.”

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  • BOOK NOW for our Apprenticeship Fair 2024!

    Published 05/01/24

    Ely College Year 11s will be networking with potential employers during the school day but after 3pm we would like to open our doors to our wider community! OPEN TO ALL LOCAL SCHOOLS, recent leavers and the public after 3pm. Please book in advance via Ticket Source...

    Book now



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  • Meridian Trust launches new careers education website to support parents in guiding their children

    Published 03/01/24

    Meridian Trust is proud to launch a new initiative to support families in guiding their children through careers education and crucial school transitions.

    The newly launched website, Meridian Pathways, is designed to assist the parents and carers of students in our schools, giving them everything they need to get inspired, spark conversations and support their child with planning their future.

    Meridian Pathways guides parents through four pivotal transition points:

    • moving from primary into secondary school;
    • choosing options;
    • looking at post-16 opportunities and courses;
    • looking at post-18 opportunities and courses.

    Each transition point is a time for reflection and consideration about the future and at each point, we have set out a series of activities and questions that parents could ask and/or complete with their child during the transition points in their school journey. 

    The website has been created in collaboration with Careers Leads across all of the Trust’s schools, with invaluable feedback from existing Meridian Trust parents. The information shared is shaped around the context of the Trust and each of its schools and communities to ensure it is tailored to the families who will use it.

    The Meridian Pathways initiative aims to make career planning a collaborative and engaging process for both parents and pupils, acting as a starter for an important conversation. The website provides a framework for families to reflect on achievements, discuss aspirations, and make informed decisions about future educational and career paths.

    Angela Manley, Director of Careers at Meridian Trust, said: “We are delighted to be launching the new Meridian Pathways website today. This resource has been a hugely collaborative process, bringing together colleagues from across the Trust to create a useful resource which we hope will be an area of support and guidance for parents.

    “We know that starting conversations with your child about their future can be difficult and we hope these activities and conversation starters will provide some fun and easily accessible ways to get families talking and inspired for the future.”

    Visit the Meridian Pathways website to find out more:

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  • ‘Charities Day’ sees Ely College students raise over £5000, with an equal split going to our six chosen House Charities

    Published 20/12/23

    Established in 2017, each year students at Ely College set themselves the challenge of raising as much money as they can for their House Charities. This year with a change to the proceedings and an equal split of all the money raised, students set their eyes on the inaugural ‘Charities Day Cup’, with House pride & bragging rights up for grabs.

    On Wednesday 20th December, every student contributed to this massive fundraising effort. Not just a 'normal non-school uniform day', this festive fun day is only possible because of the generosity of parents and carers who donated raffle prizes and resources, as well as money. Raising £5700 so far in online donations, meant that every student could spend cashless vouchers on the day at a huge range of stalls set up by their peers.  


    In the lead up to the big day, students voted for their House charity for the year. It was a difficult process as so many worthy causes were on the table, but overall each House leaned towards a charity that help children. Students shared their thoughts and empathised with young people their age who face difficult challenges or life threating conditions. This year, Ely College will be supporting the following six charities, with an equal split of the funds raised:

    • · Arthur Rank Hospice - Scott House

    • · Spectrum Cambridge- Etheldreda House

    • · C9 Cancer Ward at Addenbrookes - Franklin House

    • · East Anglian Air Ambulance - Turing House

    • · Ely Food Bank – Seacole House

    • · Addenbrooke Charity Trust (ACT) - Bishop Laney Sixth Form

    Students brainstormed fundraising ideas, planned and prepared their activities and stalls and the culmination of their hard work came together as they celebrated the end of term! The school was divided into event areas with tuck shops, a sports zone, a ping pong disco and even the return of the ever popular ‘stage door haunted house’! The Sumo Obstacle run was a big hit, as were glitter hair extensions, face paints and various delicious hot chocolate and cake sales.  As well as the traditional lucky dips and tombolas, we had some new ideas; the penalty shoot out against Mr H the T-rex was great fun!


    Congratulations go to Seacole House, who earned the most vouchers and won the new Charities Day trophy! Charities Day is not just about the end of term celebration. Offering students the opportunity to earn their ‘Giving Pledge’, this day is one of the Meridian Trust’s well-established ‘PLEDGES and Future Days’, where students work towards their PLEDGES programme, broadening their skills and experiences that will aid them in the future.


    College Principal Simon Warburton thanked everyone who supported the event, especially staff and form tutors. He 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 teamwork and the responsibility that comes with event planning.”

    “We are delighted with how the students have embraced their House Charities this year and look forward to running more fundraisers throughout the year. We want to thank our families for their support also. Given the current economic climate, the total raised is a testament to our wider community. We’ve always aimed to be ‘an exceptional College for an exceptional community’ and moments like these show we are hitting that target. We wish you all a restful festive break.”

    The WisePay link is still OPEN if anyone would still like to make a donation.



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  • In case you missed it: Our Winter Wonderland winners!

    Published 15/12/23

    Huge congratulations to our Winter Wonderland competition winners! Some talent on display...

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  • A Christmas Newsletter

    Published 11/12/23

    Check out this fabulous Christmas Newsletter developed by students ahead of the festive season!

    Click on the PDF below to read in full...

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  • Planning application submitted for £5 million refurbishment at Bishop Laney Sixth Form

    Published 07/12/23

    Bishop Laney Sixth Form (Ely College), part of Meridian Trust, is excited to announce the submission of a planning application for a £5 million refurbishment project.

    This initiative aims to establish a state-of-the-art sixth form centre that will improve the educational experiences for students across East Cambridgeshire.

    In June, the Department for Education granted additional funding to Bishop Laney Sixth Form, enabling the refurbishment of the existing Needham Tower block into a new, purpose-built home for the Sixth Form.

    This development follows the success of an application made by Meridian Trust in November 2022. The application highlighted the anticipated surge in demand for school places in East Cambridgeshire and garnered support from Ms Frazer, the local Member of Parliament.

    This week marks a pivotal moment as plans for the redevelopment have been officially submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council, outlining a visionary transformation of the Needham Tower block.

    Simon Warburton, Principal of Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form, said: "This marks an exciting next step in our plans to create a new purpose-built home for Bishop Laney Sixth Form. The project will empower us to provide further high-quality education locally and will greatly enhance the learning environment for the young people in our community. We are deeply grateful for the support received so far and eagerly anticipate sharing more details when we are able to."

    The redevelopment looks to reimagine the current building, symbolizing regeneration while prioritizing environmental sustainability. Plans include making the facility environmentally carbon neutral and achieving zero net carbon targets for energy consumption.

    As the project progresses, more details will be unveiled. The Sixth Form has already shared an initial concept design (pictured attached) as a glimpse into the vision for the future.

    For more information about Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form, please visit:


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  • Training with award winning charity fundraiser John Willis ahead of our own Games2Inspire!

    Published 04/12/23

    Great to welcome back Power2Inspire's John Willis this morning, as he trains our Year 12 Bishop Laney Sixth Form students to be 'Sports Inclusion Leaders' ahead of our Powerhouse Games style #GamesToInspire on Friday.

    Celebrating yesterday's 'International Day of People with Disabilities', over 60 Year 7 students will soon participate in different inclusive sports, such as boccia, new age kurling and goalball. Students, teachers, and volunteers will focus on the spirit of inclusivity and the opportunity to learn about and participate in adaptive sports. We hope students will discover new sports and develop a greater appreciation for the abilities of disabled athletes.

    This morning however, it was wonderful to celebrate with John, the news that earlier TODAY he was awarded the UK Prime Minister's daily Points of Light Award!!! Huge congratulations to John on this AND his recent ITV regional Pride of Britain Award for his charity work with Power2Inspire!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

    Read more here:

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  • Nine Lessons and Carols at Ely Cathedral

    Published 28/11/23


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  • Summer at Eton Dorney

    Published 09/10/23

    We are a month into the new term with so much still to fit in before half term. It's nice to take time to look back; we finally caught up with our rowing students who, over summer, were lucky enough to take part in the summer courses run at the Eton College Rowing Centre - Dorney Lake.

    Dorney Lake was a venue for the 2012 Olympics! With experienced coaches on hand, participation, progression and performance was installed in the rowers who took part in the courses with the aim of providing each participant with the skills to flourish along their rowing journey. By giving students access to world-class facilities and top quality coaching, they strive to create excellence for all course participants.

    Check out what our students had to say about their time there:

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  • Girlguides set sights on trip to India - Book your BINGO tickets to help them get there!

    Published 05/10/23


    So many of our students go 'above and beyond' daily as well as thinking outside the box when aiming to earning their #PLEDGES. A great example, are our students involved in various local groups such as Girlguiding Ely - Rainbows, Brownies, Guides & Rangers.

    We currently have a number of our students involved in a HUGE fundraising push to get the Guides to INDIA! 

    15 girls have been selected to represent their local area and country internationally at the Guiding World Centre in Sangam, India, next year. We are going to follow their progress closely, as even our very own Technology teacher, Ms Leatherland is involved as a local leader.

    Check out their cycling efforts this past weekend! WELL DONE TEAM! Keep going; we look forward to supporting you all each step of the way:

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