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  • ITN reveals Ely College student as winner of 'My News in 65'

    Published 19/04/21

    Ely College student Will Maltby unveiled as winner of a prestigious national children’s journalism competition. 

    ITN has announced Mei Gray and Will Maltby as winners of its first ever children’s journalism competition, 'My News in 65'.

    Gray won in the 7-10 age group for her piece on the Covid-19 puppy boom with Year 9 Ely College student, Will Maltby securing top place in the 11-14 category for his report on children’s mental health.

    The kids’ competition launched at the end of last year as part of ITN’s 65th anniversary celebrations. Young people were invited to make a 65-second piece on one of three themes: happiness, change and inspiration.


    The entries were judged by: ITV News presenter Mary Nightingale, Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow, Channel 4 News reporter and former BBC Newsround journalist Ayshah Tull, ITV News and Loose Women presenter Charlene White, and 5 News presenter Sian Williams.

    The most popular theme among the submissions was change, as children considered the impact of Covid-19 on everything from their school lives, friendships and mental health, to how it has affected their local high street or climate change more widely.

    In the 11-14 category, Will's entry looked at the issue of mental health and wellbeing. The judges were impressed with the thoughtful set-up of Will’s report and his thorough research, noting how he had carried out a survey of his friends.

    Mary Nightingale said Will was clearly interested and engaged in the subject. Sian Williams, a professional psychotherapist, added that he “came across as credible” and “was passionate about the subject.”

    Will got the chance to catch up with Jon Snow himself last week as they met via Zoom call for a virtual mentoring session, where Jon commended him for his piece. They hope to meet again soon, in person when restrictions ease, as Will is invited as part of his prize, to tour the ITN news room studios and watch one of their programmes being broadcast live. Will is a keen media studies student, who hopes to build on this experience and explore careers in the creative industries in the future.

    The community at Ely College is so proud of Will and all that he has achieved. His Media teacher and staff here know that his passion and initiative will be an inspirational example to his fellow students, especially linking opportunities such as this to their PLEDGES.

    Filmed at home, Will used his time in lock down to represent the voices of young people on this important issue, raising awareness for mental health as well as furthering his own skills, understanding and gaining national recognition.

    Ely College Principal, Simon Warburton added: " Mental health and wellbeing is a key priority for the college and our role in supporting the community.  I am thrilled with Will’s high quality production and will certainly be looking to him and his considerable editing expertises to polish off any materials I use in the future." 

    Will has developed a very employable skills set. Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow commented : “I hope this competition gives children the belief that they can also go out and tell stories now and in the future. I’ve done it for 44 years and it is a fantastic job. ITN’s 65-year anniversary is a brilliant opportunity to encourage children to engage with journalism and I am delighted to be judging the entries.”

    Another popular theme was inspiration and several children reported on Black Lives Matter or chose to report on inspirational figures in their lives, from their best friends to grandparents.

    Another judge, Charlene White said: “I was inspired from an early age by Sir Trevor McDonald and having worked recently with young people making IRL with Team Charlene, I know the breadth of creativity our next generation of journalists possess – and their thirst for truth and passion for questioning.”

    The shortlisted entries were judged for the originality of the stories, creativity and connection with the audience. Sian Williams added that she was looking for “potential, not video quality. A reporter needs to connect with the viewer with drive and personality, highlighting an issue in a way that feels passionate, credible and engaging.”

    ITN is the UK’s largest commercial news provider making ITV News, Channel 4 News and Channel 5 News. ITN Productions also makes documentaries, sports production and advertising.

    The competition will open again with new themes in September 2021 until the end of the year. Winners will each receive an I-pad; a chance to meet judges via zoom and when lockdown restrictions ease, a day at ITN including a tour of the newsrooms.

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  • Ely College awarded pioneering mental health recognition

    Published 16/04/21

    Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form has achieved the School Mental Health Award which is delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form were awarded a Gold standard for its outstanding mental health and wellbeing provision.

    This award, compiled and submitted by Assistant Principal Mrs Rachael Mustill and Designated Safeguarding Lead Mrs Lynn Riches, recognises the many steps that Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form has taken over the past five years since joining the Cambridge and Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT).  Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form reached the highest grade of “Excelling” for all 8 elements of the award which includes, Support for staff, Support for students, Working with external providers and Leadership and strategy. 

    Principal Simon Warburton said, “I am thrilled that the Carnegie team for Mental Health has reviewed our actions and commitment to supporting wellbeing and mental health and rated it as reaching their gold standard.  We still have much more to learn and more to do to support our college community and we will do all we can to support other schools and organisations with their mental health awareness”.

    The award was established in 2017 by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – part of Leeds Beckett University – and social enterprise Minds Ahead.

    The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools aims to strengthen pupils’ mental health by supporting schools to make a positive change at all levels of the UK's education system, improving students’ outcomes and life chances.

    Professor Damien Page, Dean of Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, said: “Achieving this award is not just recognition of a whole-school approach to mental health, it’s a recognition of the school’s commitment to improving the life chances of children and engaging with the wider community including staff and parents/carers.

    “We’re truly proud to have worked with Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form in this vital work and look forward to further collaboration.”

    Nationally, more than 1000 schools have signed up to take part in the mental health award.

    Dean Johnstone, founder and CEO of Minds Ahead said: “This award shines a light on the excellent work schools are doing to promote mental health for their community of children and adults.

    “It is thrilling and humbling to learn about Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form and the many other schools engaged in the quality award process. I’d like to offer my congratulations on this deserved recognition.”

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  • Update on Network access

    Published 15/03/21

    Update on internet access and college services

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  • Exclusive preview with special message from children's author Julian Sedgewick to celebrate World Book Day!

    Published 03/03/21

    Ely College will celebrate World Book Day across two weeks this year so that all Year 7 & Year 8 students can take part in activities during their LIVE library lessons. Covid, remote learning and a busy week ahead of phrased returns into school isn't going to stop us from celebrating World Book Dy 2021 in style!

    During previous years, we have been very lucky to welcome local author, Julian Sedgwick, into school to talk to Year 7 students about his work as a successful author. Students have found his talks inspirational and there is always such a buzz amongst them after his talk. The juggling knife show tends to cause a stir!

    We are very proud and grateful for our continued links with Julian and the support he offers Ely College. This year, despite the difficult circumstances, he continues to inspire our students, although this is in a slightly different format. Julian has recorded a special message for our students and an introduction to his new book Tsunami Girl, which will be available in March.

    We are very lucky to have this exclusive preview!

    When we are back in school, all Year 7 students will have the opportunity for a live chat with Julian during their library lesson.

    Julian’s new book; Tsunami Girl will be available from Toppings along with other books shops. Toppings is running an order and collect service and can arrange for the book to be signed by Julian. To contact Toppings; phone 01353 645005 or email

    World Book Day vouchers

    World Book Day vouchers this year are being issued in paperless format. Please note that it is one voucher per child. Click on the link below to claim a voucher for your child:

    There is also a link to a list of participating bookshops.

    There is a huge range of activities on the website for families to enjoy together:



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  • Bishop Laney student is sending out care boxes to people with mental health issues

    Published 22/02/21

    Bishop Laney student is sending out care boxes to people with mental health issues.

    A Fenland teenager has launched an initiative aimed at giving a boost to people with mental health problems. Ruby Williams, 18, from Manea has set up an appeal on Facebook for support for the scheme which provides personal care/treat boxes to people who are suffering with their mental health.

    The A-level student, who attends Bishop Laney Sixth Form, decided to raise money to provide boxes after she received a box herself. She said: " I received a box and it really made my day. I thought about it long and hard and I thought it would be great to start a project up for myself, especially in lockdown. My aim in life is to always try to help others and I hope by doing this I will."

    The boxes contain toiletries, chocolate and sweet treats, as well as colouring bits and bobs and hot drinks such as teas and hot chocolate.


    Ruby launched an appeal to raise £100 to help cover the costs of postage, and was also asking for donations of small items to send out. The response she continues to receive is incredible! As well as suitable boxes to use for posting, she has been inundated with donations and a small pot of of funds to top up postage. 

    Please keep them coming and support this personal and meaningful project. She has set up a wish-list via Amazon for those who would rather donate rather than than offering cash donations.

    People can nominate themselves for one of the boxes and Ruby said: "I nominated myself through another scheme, and then forgot all about it until the box came through and it was such a lovely pick me up."

    "I have already sent out over 100 boxes and I have another many more people on the waiting list. I have mental health problems myself so I know what it is like and it is especially hard for people at the moment, which is why I think this scheme is such a great idea."

    In a such a short time, Ruby has independently created a safe space to talk about mental wellbeing and built a community that helps and inspire each other. To find out more you can visit: Rubys Mental Health Boxes on Facebook where you will find links to make donations or nominate to receive a box.

    Find out more here, where Mr Patman gave her a big shout out to the rest of the Bishop Laney student body: 

    Ruby is also the recently elected new Chair of the Bishop Laney Student Council. We look forward to seeing more exciting work from them when we all return to college.


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  • Ely College thanks Spotted in Ely for years of support as they honor Mark Cooney with new Community Spirit award

    Published 27/01/21

    Ely College is delighted to launch a very special award. The ‘Mark Cooney Community Spirit Award’ is a personal thank you from all of us at the College; year on year it will allow students to celebrate their peers’ important contributions to our local community.  


    Earlier this week, members of the college leadership team met with Spotted in Ely’s creator and chief editor, Mark Cooney, to pass on their best wishes for his forthcoming wedding and treatment. The college team surprised Mr Cooney over the video call, informing him of the intention to establish this new award in his honour. It will be awarded each year to students who go the extra mile and do something special for their community, as Mark has done for years. 


    Restrictions permitting, we hope to be able to return to Ely Cathedral in the summer to host our annual Presentation Evening. A highlight of our summer term, this fantastic event gives us the opportunity to bring together staff, students and families to celebrate the many wonderful achievements of our students.  


    We have seen that the Ely community spirit is stronger than ever this year, and it is this strength that we hope to pass on to Mark as he moves forward with his treatment. 


    Executive Principal, Richard Spencer, commented after their online meeting: “Mark Cooney has had such positive effect on our community through his work and management of Spotted in Ely. He has led by example, and this new award will embody the community spirit that he represents. His kindness, talent and enterprising commitment to the city sets a fine example to our young people as they become citizens of Ely.” 


    “This is a small way to show our appreciation for the continued supported from the Spotted in Ely team and their commitment to showcasing the positive stories from our college, and those of our wonderful city.” 

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  • WIN a Smart Watch! Physical Activity Log Competition

    Published 11/01/21

    Get active! Get involved! There are a number of physical and mental benefits of Exercise which have been outlined below.

    During lock down we would like you to log your physical activity using the link to a form below. This will help us to record physical activity levels over lock down and will also give you a chance to be entered for a Prize Draw for a SMART Watch!

    After each session, activity or exercise you do, please complete this form as a record (All Students / Staff who complete 10 hours of exercise will be entered for the draw). In addition to the prize draw, a weekly leader board will be published of activity minutes (Top 5).


    *Please enter each session individually rather than a mass of sessions together.

    The prize draw for the Smart Watch will take place on Friday the 19th February at 5pm. All entries to the below form must be dated between the 08/01/2021 and 19/02/21 to be included. To qualify for the draw you must have made separate entries totalling 10 hours of physical activity.

    Physical Benefits

    -Increases bone density and strength

    -Increase cardiovascular health

    -Help with body maintenance

    -Improve muscle tone and strength

    -Increase energy levels

    Mental Benefits

    -Improve your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

    -Regular exercise can help you relax and sleep better

    -Exercise can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills.

    Below we have attached a supporting NETFLEX document that provides links to a range of exercise activities from Yoga and Stretching to Circuit work outs; great if you are struggling for ideas or motivation. You are welcome to complete other types of activity and log these such as walking, running and cycling etc.

    Have fun and take part! Stay safe!

    Mr Coe

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  • Festival of Arts Celebration!

    Published 15/12/20

    Did you see our Festival of Arts Celebration?!? Don't miss it, follow the link here: Go to this sway!

    We are so excited to finally share this with you all. As well as our Winter Wonderland winners, we're showcasing all of our festive arts! With our Year 'Bubble' choirs & fabulous performances... students said 'the show must go on'! While we can't come together for our usual Winter Showcase, it is so beautiful to share such warmth & positivity with you all at this festive time of the year.

    REMEMBER: Friday (18th) is the end of term and it is Non School Uniform Day.

    Regardless of donations we want ALL students to join in (festive jumpers optional), but IF YOU CAN take 5 mins to donate VIA WisePay our House Charities will see the benefits.

    No cash donations will be taken in on the day.

    Our Winter Wonderland inter-house competition has been going for a number of years now, but we've never had so many AND such high quality entries before! Over 500 students took part, earning their #PLEDGES & showcasing their talent. Here are the winners with their stunning pieces!

    From this competition there was an overall winner chosen and a winner from each of the Houses. 6 designs were also chosen to be produced as the official Ely College Christmas cards. Over 50 other entries were awarded “Highly commendable” certificates as the standards were so high making choosing winners very difficult.




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  • Latest Ely College Podcast

    Published 15/12/20

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  • Message from CMAT cEO: Ban the Beard VS save Santa

    Published 08/12/20

    Mark Woods, CMAT’s CEO, has been growing his own feral Lockdown beard since 20th March 2020; no shaving, no trimming, no fancy manscaping – just the real deal as it comes.

    Initially Mark swore he would not touch his beard until all students were back in school full-time, however, seeing what a natural beauty the said beard has blossomed into, he thought he would give you the choice as to what he does next.

    Two campaigns were set-up:

    1) Shave (also known as ‘Ban the Beard’): Mark will give his beard a good trim or remove it completely (to the relief of his family!) and at least return to looking as near respectable as he has ever managed.

    2) Leave (also known as ‘Santa’): Mark pledges to turn into CMAT’s (or other associated organisations) very own Santa Claus: no shaving until the school breaks up for Christmas, a full white dye-job and some Covid-safe ‘hohohoing’.

    The deadline for making your decision was the 30th September. Some terrified staff, parents and friends voiced their concerns about Mark’s lack of grooming and pushed the ‘Ban the Beard’ campaign. Alas, and unfortunately for some, the idea of Santa Claus seemed to be the frontrunner, raising over £1,000 for Sue Ryder, Thorpe Hall Hospice.

    Although the initial conditions were that, unless the £5,000 target was hit, Mark would decide on the outcome of his increasingly feral beard, however, Mark and his co-organisers have since decided that he will keep his beard anyway (and much to the annoyance of his family!).

    Mark and the team would like to thank everyone for their generous donations in support of such a superb cause as Sue Ryder, a charity with a special place in the hearts of all those at CMAT and their associates’ hearts.

    Please continue with your generous donations! All monies raised will support the outstanding work of Sue Ryder, Thorpe Hall Hospice in memory of our dear friend Martin Bacon, who benefited from their care and who always enjoyed a silly plan.

    Mark had this this say as the term ended: "As a parent and a trust CEO, I have often been, I imagine, part of a relatively small group of people who have seen this pandemic from both sides. I have been party to the careful, lengthy deliberations of leadership staff about running track and trace within schools and in attempting to find the fine balance between keeping the school open and the children in school, whilst also trying to ensure that transmission is prevented. Staff are regularly having to make difficult decisions about symptoms, tests and self-isolation, whilst also recognising the stresses and strains placed on colleagues. In addition to contacting parents to explain difficult decisions and exploring contacts beyond seating plans, parents are receiving test information outside of school hours with schools responding, putting plans into action and then sharing it with families. School leaders have to go through this routine time and again. And then, from the parents’ perspective, receiving a phone call or letter from the school which impacts upon their own family life and responsibilities. We are also very acutely aware of the strain that has been placed on so many families for a whole variety of reasons.

    And all this before we even start to consider the impact on teaching and learning and the expectation to manage students in school and at home within a constantly changing set of circumstances.  

    This has been an extraordinary drain on staff in schools and all students within schools. All I will say, is ‘Thank you’ to the staff for all of their commitment, resilience and hard work. And ‘Thank you’ for your ongoing support and patience through this period. I sincerely hope that by the time we reach our next newsletter in the Spring, we will all be feeling that we are starting to make real strides forward in our recovery.

    The normal work of trust does carry on, and we want to celebrate the fact that Northstowe Secondary School finally became a full part of the CMAT family in Sept and the Bluecoat School Stamford, should join the trust on 1st January. Our work with The Harbour School and the Greater Peterborough University Technical College is ongoing."

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  • Jake's pink hair kicks off a month of giving PLEDGES - Get your foodbank donations in now!

    Published 01/12/20

    Well done to Jake who has raised an amazing £553 for Maggie's Cambridge!

    Now then... YES it is true that Jake is a loyal member of Scott House... and YES Maggie's is the Turing House charity so you might have heard about how important they are to us as a cancer support charity.... BUT this was an independent fundraising effort from Jake. He did it for his Nan and like us, his Nan would be so proud!

    With permission from the Principal and his Air Cadets CO, he got people to sponsor him to dye his hair PINK. It will wash out before he starts back at cadets in the new year but for now a HUGE WELL DONE to Jake for smashing his £100 target and kicking off our month of #giving! #PLEDGES #charities


    Here's a reminder of what we have planned for December:

    Taken from the weekly Bulletin newsletter: College charity work between now and the end of term

    Normally we would be gearing up for one of the highlights of the school year, the Christmas Charity Fair. However, due to the nature of the restrictions we now find ourselves under we are unable to run it in a similar way as we have previously. We do still want to continue our charitable work as far as possible and so are planning two activities before the end of term.

    Collection of food for local Foodbanks. Many people have struggled during the pandemic and the importance of foodbanks to our communities has never been more important. To this end we ask that if you are able to please donate items to the collection we are making. If students can simply bring in any items and leave in their year office we will do the rest. Although any items are appreciated there is a particular need for hamper based items, Fray Bentos pies, cereals, chunky soups and tinned rice pudding. Please don’t send in any items that are perishable as we can’t use them. The deadline for this is Friday 11th December and the collection opens on Monday 30th November.

    Non uniform day, Friday 18th December. On the last day of term we will be having a non-uniform day in college. Any monies raised from this will be split equally between the 4 House charities. These charities are:

    Etheldreda - Spectrum Cambridge

    Franklin - C9 Teenage Cancer Trust Ward at Addenbrookes

    Scott - Arthur Rank Hospice

    Turing - Maggie's Cambridge

    More information about these charities will be found in next week’s bulletin. Obviously at the moment we cannot accept cash so donations need to be made on Wisepay. If you log into your account as normal, look for "Shop" and you will find an option called ‘Non uniform day charity donation Friday 18th December’. This will go live on Monday 30th November. We ask that if you are able make a donation of £1 or more to support our local charities then that would be amazing. The day is a normal non uniform day and not a ‘Christmas Jumper’ day however it would be lovely to see as many students as possible in festive colours and attire (including festive jumpers if available). As we also want this to be a school community event all students can come dressed in non-uniform regardless if a donation has been made or not. Standard school advice on appropriate attire for non-uniform days is still in effect.

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