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All the latest News from Ely College

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  • Year 7 Cambridge University trip with the Insight Discover Programme

    Published 27/04/22

    Just before the Easter break a group of year 7 students visited Cambridge University as part of the Insight Discover program. The day introduced the ‘All about me’ project that encourages the students to start thinking about their futures. Throughout the day there were team building activities, including blindfolded Lego tower building. They had a Q&A session with 3 current Cambridge University students which included questions such as ‘How many lessons do you have?’ and ‘ Do you get much homework?’. The day finished with a trip to the Museum of Cambridge.

    Find out more about this exciting programme here: Big thank you to Mr Fricker for organising this trip and working closely with Cambridge University to offer our students exciting opportunities beyond the classroom.

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  • Meridian Trust secondary schools join forces for hub event

    Published 24/03/22

    We were proud to hold a hub event for secondary schools across Meridian Trust, sharing resources and creating opportunities for student collaboration. The three hub schools (The Ferrers School, Swavesey Village College and Sawtry Village Academy) played host to secondary schools across our Trust for an afternoon of activities, focusing on three subject areas: Geography, History and Modern Foreign Languages (MFL).

    During the MFL session, students looked at other means of communication, centred on sign language. The objective of the session was to develop students’ ability to work in a team, to improve their communication skills, as well as to have a better appreciation of the diverse language needs in today’s world.

    As part of the geography session, students in Year 7 looked at disaster management, considering different types of hazards, how we respond to these and trying to build and design earthquake-proof buildings. The aim of this session was for students to understand the link between engineering and geography.

    For History, the three hub schools participated in sessions all focussed on investigating different types of sources. At Swavesey Village College where our Ely College students attended, they examined objects, artefacts and sources from The Fitzwilliam Museum which were created before, during, and after the transatlantic slave trade – these form part of the collection at the University of Cambridge Museums.


    Guest speaker, Dr Zoe Farrell from the University of Cambridge visited Sawtry Village Academy to deliver a valuable talk on sources and material culture and provide students with in-depth knowledge on life in sixteenth-century Europe. Using sources from the National Archives, students at The Ferrers School reviewed Chamberlain and Hitler documents to explore the policy of appeasement before World War II.

    We are so proud of our students for their hard work and for showing such an enthusiasm for learning. It was fantastic to see everyone working well together and making friends with students from other schools.

    Well done to all the students involved, the three hub schools in particular for being such welcoming hosts and to Ross Perkins, Ines McMahon and Alan Lovesey, the subject leads for History, MFL and Geography, who collaborated to provide such a well organised and productive session for our students.

    Read more via our socials here:

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  • Careers Week: Top UK vet inspires students to think about future choices

    Published 18/03/22

    In the latest in our series of guests for our Year 7 to 9 students we were treated to a fantastic virtual presentation and discussion from Dr Mandisa Green.

    Mandisa is a prominent veterinary surgeon and the Former President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

    Her interest in animals was sparked when a young child living in Trinidad. Mandisa recalls helping her family to take care of their chickens, one breed kept for eggs, and another for their meat; as well as a whole host of pets that included cats, dogs and a tortoise.

    Her parents supported her on her journey to becoming a vet. Mandisa’s career began when she moved back to the UK aged 18, ready to start vet school. Mandisa didn’t find university easy but her determination and tenacity got her through. She qualified from the University of Edinburgh Royal School of Veterinary Studies.

    Mandisa’s philosophy, that she told the students, is “If you really, really want something in life you have to face any adversity that comes along, but what you mustn’t do is give up on your dream.”

    Mandisa was elected to the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons 2014-2022 and became its President in 2020. A theme of Mandisa’s presidential year was Diversity and Equality, to champion a more diverse and inclusive profession with renewed intention.

    We thank Mandisa for taking the time to inspire our students to think about their GCSE choices and future options and CMAT for another fantastic Trust-wide livestreaming event!

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  • Ukraine Donations Drives

    Published 11/03/22

    Leaving with their cars packed FULL of desperately needed supplies, we offer a HUGE THANK YOU to various Ely College staff who have facilitated the drop offs & storage of the many student donations this last few weeks. The generosity for our community to aid the Ukrainian Crisis is amazing! #SupportUkraine πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦πŸŒ»

    Any further donations, or if you can volunteer in the local warehouses, we know that Ukraine Lifeline is a local effort that would greatly appreciate your continued support.

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  • Ely College staff recognised as Parliamentary COVID Community Champions

    Published 07/03/22

    It was a pleasure to welcome Lucy Frazer MP to Ely College on Friday as she surprised four of our staff with Parliamentary COVID Community Champions Awards!

    Whilst they themselves were keen to express the 'team effort' over the last few years, we were delighted to recognise their hard work & dedication to the various aspects of our COVID response.

    Taking this time to reflecting on the collective efforts, from 'safe & well' checks in homes during lockdown to whole school testing with our wonderful team of volunteers & speedy compliance; we celebrate them as they have inspired as well as safeguarded our students!

    #aboveandbeyond #PLEDGES #communitychampions



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  • World Book Day 2022

    Published 07/03/22

    World Book Day - Photos coming soon!


    Everyone at Ely College enjoyed 2022 #WorldBookDay thanks to the wonderful Ms Shaw in the Library Resource Centre and our fab English department. Free books for Year 7, World Book Day vouchers for everyone, author visits and inspiration talks! This is what it's about but it's also nice to get home and just find some quiet time to read πŸ“–πŸͺ„

    Of course we had another brilliant author visit from award winning and Carnegie nominated children's author Julian Sedgwick. Our Year 7's are inspired year after year by his visits! Poignant this year in particular as his latest book 'Tsunami Girl' offers insights into recovery after disaster.

    After his talk & a very popular lunchtime book signing, our World Book Day (UK & Ireland) celebrations continued. Our short story competition winners earned an amazing indepth experience with Julian. The creative writing workshop produced some excellent ideas & we look forward to sharing some of their stories on our website.

    As always a HUGE THANK YOU to Julian for supporting Ely College. With more WBD free books being handed out today and vouchers to spend at the weekend, we have celebrated tomorrow's #WorldBookDay is style!


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  • Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration

    Published 11/02/22

    Ely College participated in a range of events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, which occurs annually on 27th January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

    Across the tutor groups, students were given the chance to reflect on genocides, both historical and more modern. Each tutor group was invited to reflect on the theme of ‘One Day’, that one day we may enjoy a future free from prejudice, hate and discrimination. Students were invited to anonymously write down a message to their future self about the Holocaust, or a reflection on the topic. We took these and created a collage, made up of the many messages of hope for the future.

    In our Year 9 history classes, we had the opportunity to view an interview with a Holocaust survivor,Eva Clarke BEM. We all found the experience very moving, and at times extremely difficult and challenging. Students had the following reflections after the lesson:

    “I found this very moving and would most certainly be interested in studying this in greater detail. I was struck by the fact that similar stories as to what happened to that family, the grief, the pain and the hardships, happened several million times. I found it astounding that one group of people was so determined to exterminate an ethnicity”

    “It’s scary that any person could do those things to another human being”

    “I wish we found out more from Eva Clarke such as how does life compare from the Holocaust to the present day”

    “It was very moving and revealed all the hardships people went through at that time. It also showed how evil humans can be, and why something like that should never happen again”

    “The details shared were so specific and personal that it allowed me to understand the Holocaust in a new way”


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  • Ely College IS the β€˜School of Rock’ as opening night of their first whole school musical blows audiences away!

    Published 21/01/22

    Opening night of Ely College’s first whole school musical is a ROCKING success as students smash all expectations with an awesome showcase of talent. With shows on Friday and Saturday evening to follow, these sold out seats were the hottest tickets in town and elated audience members declare Ely College as ‘the school that truly rocks’!

    With over 150 students taking part, the decision to put Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘School of Rock’ on as a school production was an easy one; this is the first school musical in a while but it is fun, witty, involves fantastic music and provided a wonderful opportunity to get as many students involved in the arts as possible. Jonathan Newsome, Musical Director and Head of Music at Ely College continued on to say: “Such high levels of students participation and the commitment they have shown is a testimony to the vision and ethos of the college; to provide the most enriching educational experience we possibly can. The students have, in turn, shared this with our exceptional community over three show nights!”

    Catherine Seymour, Head of Drama at Ely College also directed and produced the show and commented on the array of talent at the college: “We can honestly say it has been an absolute pleasure to work with such a talented, enthusiastic and inspiring group of young people. These kids are going to have their names in lights one day! They have shown exceptional resilience during what has been the most challenging of circumstances, supporting each other and coming together to put on this amazing production.”

    The musical, based on the 2003 comedy film starring Jack Black, features new music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber as well as lyrics by Glenn Slater and script by Julian Fellowes. With Year 10 student Alfie McCreadie smashing the leading role, it follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn money by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There, he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. While teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.


    Speaking of his decision to roll the show out to schools, Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “I’m delighted. I encourage teachers and their students to pick up their instruments, get going on the script and show the world everything they’ve got to give.” Ely College students have certainly taken this to heart and attacked rehearsals with an inexorable pursuit of ‘musical fusion’.

    With what was described as ‘roof raising energy’ and seats limited due to Covid measures, parents and community members lucky enough to get a ticket had rave reviews to offer as they came down from the highs of such a spectacular show: “[I emailed] to say how brilliant it was and how blown away we were with the level of talent, from the acting and singing to the musicians and the behind the scenes team. The children were all incredible and the hours that they have put in to achieve such a high standard was evident. The dedication of your staff is always something we appreciate and it is clear that those staff members involved in this production have gone above and beyond to organise every little detail.”


    The musical is especially relevant as we navigate changing measures and restrictions; it places a huge emphasis on togetherness, the impact of live music and the importance of protecting creativity in schools. Mr Warburton, Principal of Ely College described the show as a “love letter to live music, the arts in schools and learning”. A real feel good, high energy, positive show, he added: “It champions every one of our students, it champions music and being part of something together, playing live and putting yourself out there.”

    Show dates run from Thursday 20 January to Saturday 22 January 2022. Tickets sold out back in November but everyone at the college is keen to build off the successes School of Rock has produced and look forward to more shows and musicals like it in the coming years.

    Photo Slideshow below - more available on our Facebook page.



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  • Duke of Edinburgh Awards for Year 11

    Published 20/01/22

    Following what has been a difficult couple of years, Mr Waters was delighted last week to have awarded so many Bronze DofE awards to our Year 11 students at Ely College.

    Coronavirus has closed campsites and prevented face to face training sessions from taking place but these students in Year 11 have overcome barriers to achieve their award as well as focus on their upcoming GCSEs.

    The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme lasts for a lifetime as it imparts skills and builds character in our young people. Employers reference the Duke of Edinburgh programme favourably and Colleges and Universities look upon the challenges of the scheme as a reflection in the young people who rise to them.

    Our Year 11 Bronze award winners this year are a real credit to the college. They were fantastic on the expedition weekend back on October half term and throughout the year when completing their Physical, Skills and Volunteering sections.

    Ely College is keen to build on the success we've had in offering the DofE and looks to roll this out to more students each year! Currently, students in Year 10 can access the Bronze award scheme, and we are seeing record numbers take part.

    For now, we look forward to handing out more certificates to our Year 11 cohort shortly, and hope in the future we will be able to extend this scheme; maybe even introduce the Silver Award scheme in college!

    Mr Waters commented: "I am particularly keen that no student in the college is left behind; we can support students with disabilities to complete the expedition and offer a package of support our pupils to ensure they can access the scheme including kit hire. At Ely College, we believe in extending the boundaries of learning, achievement for all and pursuing excellence, in fact all our core values can be found in the Duke of Edinburgh Award."


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  • More courses launched at Bishop Laney Sixth Form during successful open evening

    Published 26/11/21

    Last week, the doors of Bishop Laney Sixth Form opened to prospective students and their parents for the school’s annual open evening event.

    Due to Government restrictions, last year’s open events had to be held in a virtual environment and so Bishop Laney Sixth Form were delighted to welcome prospective students in person this year. This gave the opportunity for visitors to meet staff and current students and find out all that the Sixth Form has to offer.

    At the open evening, Bishop Laney Sixth Form, part of the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT), announced they would be further increasing their choice of courses for students – now offering 37 courses in total.

    These include a blended offer of A-Level and Technical courses to allow students to tailor their Sixth Form programme and support students’ progression beyond the college in their future careers.

    New A-Level courses for this year have included Further Maths, a more challenging qualification, aimed at extending and deepening students’ understanding beyond the standard A-Level Maths subject. Music Technology has also been introduced for those who are interested in the development of popular music, and in learning and developing practical skills through creative composition, performance and production.

    Adam Steels, Head of Bishop Laney Sixth Form, said: “It was wonderful to be able to welcome people into our college this year and great to see so many families in attendance.

    “We’re so proud that being a student at Bishop Laney Sixth Form has many benefits. We pride ourselves on having an enriching curriculum offer led by our dedicated team of staff who are passionate specialists in their subject areas.

    “Every student is known, valued and supported within Bishop Laney and our extensive selection of study programmes ensure we align with our students’ future aspirations. We have also developed excellent relationships with the local community and beyond, to offer students further opportunities and experience. This can be seen through our thriving partnership with Norwich City Football Club, designed to develop students’ employability and wider skills through the club’s Regional Football Development Programme.

    “We hope all those in attendance of our open evening gained a real insight into what the college has to offer, our supportive learning environment, and I look forward to welcoming many of them into our Sixth Form next academic year.”

    Prospective students were able to take part in demonstrations across the college’s A-Level science courses, try out the workshop and studio environments on offer to Design Technology and Fashion & Textiles students and test out their theoretical reasoning with the Philosophy department. Students could also visit the college’s Skills Centre, to see the Bistro laid out for a full student-led three course service, receive a mini treatment from Beauty Therapy students and visit the A-Level Maths department, where they could sample some high-level question papers.

    Families attending the open evening were encouraged to take a lateral flow test before the event and wear face coverings while in the school building to ensure a safe and Covid-secure environment.

    To find out more about Bishop Laney Sixth Form, visit: 

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  • Schools across Ely mark Remembrance Day ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    Published 17/11/21

    Students and staff across Ely schools paid their respects to those who lost their lives during special services and initiatives to commemorate Remembrance Day.

    At the Lantern Primary School, which is part of Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT), the whole school was able to come together via Microsoft Teams to take part in a Remembrance Day assembly at 11am. The school listened to the Last Post and sat silently for two minutes.

    Following the assembly, pupils took part in art activities and listened to poems about remembrance which helped to mark the day’s significance.

    Benita Sherrington, Acting Principal at the Lantern Primary School, said: “In addition to our special service, our Year 6 pupils recycled plastic bottles to create 200 poppies which they planted into the bank of our front playground for us all to enjoy.

    “After all the poppies were placed, pupils observed two minutes silence in front of the display which moved some to tears. The significance of the ceremony was made more poignant for the Year 6 pupils who are currently studying World War Two.

    “Throughout the day and during the two minutes silence, the children were so mature and respectful, and we are so proud of them all.”

    At Downham Feoffees Primary Academy (DFPA), which is part of CMAT, the Principal, Susan Jaques, led a whole school outdoor assembly to commemorate Armistice Day. All members of the school community, including the Chair of DFPA's Academy Council, Mr. Hollington, observed the two-minute silence at 11:00am. DFPA’s Heads of Pupil Voice read the famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae.

    Julia Stead, Assistant Principal, said: “It was very moving to see such respect and consideration shown by all our children.

    “Children who are part of the Scouting and Guiding Movement came to school dressed in their Rainbow, Brownie, Beaver and Cub uniforms, looking very smart in honour of the significant day.”

    During the afternoon, as part of DFPA’s work to link maths with the wider curriculum, Year 1 enjoyed using 2D shapes to print poppies, plus different types of paper to create landscape backgrounds. Year 6 continued to link all activities to their topic this term, World War II.

    At Ely College, which is also part of CMAT, the school observed a two-minute silence at 11am on Thursday but deferred their official Act of Remembrance to Friday as the college was hosting the school vaccination team for the delivery of the Flu Vaccines for students. The following day, students gathered once again, joined by the Ely Branch of the Royal British Legion standard bearers. The college’s principal, Simon Warburton, read the Exhortation and the music students sounded the Last Post.

    Simon Warburton, Principal at Ely College, said: “It was lovely to see our students across Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form making us proud today.

    “Thank you to the Ely Branch of the Royal British Legion standard bearers for joining us for such a commemorative day. To be able to come together as a community and remember those that gave up their lives for our freedom was a special experience and I want to thank everyone for their contributions to such a respectful service.”


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  • Tickets on sale Friday 5th Nov!!

    Published 02/11/21

    Remember Remember... Tickets go on sale on Friday 5th November!

    Get your Tickets from 9am Friday via Wisepay for one of our three School of Rock musical dates! We had to postpone this year, but we are rocking out in rehearsals and have an amazing show lined up for you all!

    Thank you for supporting this production and Ely College!

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