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All the latest News from Ely College

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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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  • Ely College celebrates fantastic GCSE results

    Published 24/08/23

    Staff and students at Ely College, part of Meridian Trust, are celebrating another set of impressive GCSE results.

    Simon Warburton, Principal of Ely College, said: “We are thrilled with the exceptional results our students have secured in 2023.  Our Year 11 cohort of 212 students displayed a wonderfully mature attitude to their studies and preparation for their exams and I know they will be delighted with their grades this morning.”

    Many of the college’s students are celebrating particularly strong results, including Izzy Lawes who achieved a sweep of ten grade 9s (the highest possible grade) across her subjects.  Nicholas Greaves achieved 7 grade 9s, 1 grade 8 and 2 grade 7s and Brooke Bibby and Juliana Poli each gained 6 grade 9s and 4 grade 8s. Tia Hill also secured 4 grade 9s, 5 grade 8s and 1 grade 7.

    The college were thrilled with the progress made by Will Maltby, Cameron Wilson, Nathan Beech and Rose Burlton, who secured on average 2 grades higher than their prior attainment predicted.

    Simon continued: “At Ely College, we are always striving to be an exceptional college for an exceptional community. The awarding of these wonderful GCSE grades, along with the best ever A Level and vocational results announced last week, should be a source of huge pride for all connected with the Ely College community. It was an absolute joy to share these results with our students this morning and we wish everyone the very best of success for their future careers.”


    Richard Spencer, Executive Principal at Meridian Trust said: “Huge congratulations to everyone celebrating well-deserved success today. The students and their families should be very proud of all they have overcome to secure these results. Meridian Trust is very proud of the results secured by Ely College, and I’d like to extend my thanks to the wonderful staff who have supported our young people during their time at the college.”

    For more information about Ely College, please visit:


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  • Bishop Laney Sixth Form students celebrate Post-16 success

    Published 17/08/23

    Students at Bishop Laney Sixth Form, part of Meridian Trust, have achieved a fantastic set of Post-16 results this year.

    Adam Steels, Head of Bishop Laney Sixth Form, said: “We are delighted with these results which reflect the continued growth and success of Bishop Laney Sixth Form. These results mean our students are completing their studies with some of the highest grades ever achieved at Bishop Laney.”

    “I congratulate the students on these results and thank staff, parents and families for the part they played in realising these aspirations.”

    “Our students leave us today not only heading to Universities up and down the country from Cardiff to Newcastle and many places in between; but also to take on high-quality apprenticeship roles, whether those be in London, or closer to home at Addenbrookes’ Hospital, or here in Ely.”

    Individual success stories:

    Maria Akritidou achieved two A*s and an A Grade across her three A Level subjects of Art, Pscyhology, and Sociology; and will take up a place at the University of East Anglia to study Psychology.

    Caydn Perez-Bent combines Computer Science and Maths A Levels grades of A and B with a starred Distinction in Business to join Sky, on their engineering degree apprenticeship programme.

    Sam Lindop will be heading to the University of Sheffield, to study aeronautical engineering following his impressive performance in Maths, Physics and Computer Science.

    Kiera Clifford secured a double Distinction grade Diploma in Applied Science and will be taking up an apprenticeship with the NHS at Cambridge University Hospitals.

    Katie Froment achieved A*AB in her A Levels and will continue to pursue her love English Literature by studying it in Cambridge from September.

    Ziggy Poli will be building on excellent achievements in Maths, Further Maths, and Psychology, all at A* and A grade, by taking up a university place studying Maths at the University of East Anglia.


    Simon Warburton, Principal of Ely College & Bishop Laney Sixth Form added: “

    “I am thrilled with the results that our 2023 cohort have achieved. The combined success of students gaining top grades alongside a number of our students gaining degree level apprenticeships means that we are fulfilling our commitment to provide an exceptional educational experience for our community.”

    “These results herald a new and exciting phase in the life of Bishop Laney Sixth Form – we commence the renovations of Needhams tower this term to become an inspirational place of learning and the new home for Bishop Laney for January 2025.”

    If you wish to enquire about current opportunities within the sixth form, please contact and 01353 652818.

    More photos can be found on our facebook page here; thank you for celebrating with us!

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  • Ely College rows at Henley Royal Regatta!

    Published 05/07/23

    On Sunday 2nd of July, eleven students and two members of staff from Ely College, alongside their Isle of Ely Rowing coaches took part in a truly unique opportunity. At the request of the Henley Stewards, through our partnership with East Anglia Youth Rowing (EAYR) our students travelled down to participate in the Row-past Celebrations, taking to the River Thames as part of Final Day of Royal Henley.

    The Henley Royal Regatta is a historic and prestigious annual rowing event;  up there on the calendar with the Olympics and World Championship competitions for elite rowing teams. 732 crews from around the world raced this unique course as part of the week-long event, with only 26 winning silverware and bragging rights for another year. Rowing the Henley course presents a tough challenge in competitive racing with no segregation of the boats (lanes); whilst our crews weren’t competing, the weather conditions and 1500m course offered up both a technical and physical challenge for our young rowers. Our coxes also showcased their growing competencies in navigating the stretch of water. They should be very proud of their efforts, as the college staff and their coaches are.


    The opportunity to spectate, rig boats next to Ivy League and Oxbridge World Champions and ultimately row at such a showcase rowing event was truly inspiring for our students. Jason Coe, Assistant Principal at Ely College and head of the rowing programme said “This opportunity recognised and rewarded the ongoing commitment many of our students have made to the rowing programme over the past two to three years with the help and ongoing support of The Boat Race Fund and Love Rowing. A special mention must be made yet again to the Isle of Ely Rowing Club who continue to train and equip our students for such opportunities, as well as Susannah Cass, Head Coach at EAYR who organised and co-ordinated the event including the long transportation of boats down to Henley! The students had an amazing day and represented our community with pride.”


    Maisie Shepherd, 15 commented on behalf of her fellow students, thanking her teachers and coaches for opening new doors to the sport for her and her peers: “Rowing at Henley makes all the early mornings and hard work worth it. We are so lucky to have the Cambridge University Boathouse near us in Ely, and we’ve developed a great passion for a sport that we probably wouldn’t have tried without the free taster sessions. I’ve seen the Cambridge crews training on the same stretch of water as me and I’ve sculled alongside them but always at a distance. So when I met my rowing idol, Imogen Grant at Henley, the current World and European champion, who rowed for Team GB as well as the Cambridge Blue boat, it inspired me to follow in her wake. Like her I hope to build momentum and take my rowing career to the next level. Henley was a brilliant experience for all of us!”



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  • Ely College hosts Aspirational Rowing event at Cambridge University Boat House to inspire its students and other local schools.

    Published 22/06/23

    Over the past three years, Ely College has been fostering a robust connection with the world of rowing, building a firm alliance with the local Isle of Ely Rowing Club (IOERC). This partnership has provided students with first-hand rowing experience on the River Ouse and established an ongoing pathway for those wishing to join the local rowing club, with a considerable number of students enrolling and participating in competitive racing.

    Bolstered by funding from Love Rowing and The Boat Race Fund supported by Gemini, and a new strategic partnership with East Anglia Youth Rowing (EAYR), the college recently expanded this unique opportunity to six local schools. On June 8, 2023, Ely College co-hosted an aspirational rowing event at the Cambridge University Boat House on the River Ouse.

    The event, running from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, was designed to inspire students to try rowing, nurture a passion for the sport, and potentially uncover a new hobby. Participants were divided based on their rowing experience and engaged in a variety of activities such as Boat Race student athlete talks, a land-based rowing machine competition, a water safety talk, a technical skills session, and a coxed quadruple scull (four rowers with two oars and a cox) racing event.

    The day was enriched by the presence of student athletes from Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Clubs; Barbora Hlachova and Louis Corrigan from Oxford, and Cameron Spiers, Iris Powell, and Rosa Millard from Cambridge.

    Cameron Spiers shared his reflections on the day: “It was great to see so many young people try out rowing for the first time, everyone was getting stuck in and having fun. I spent some time out on the launch and was very impressed by how focused everyone was. Hopefully, some people will have found a new hobby that they’ll stick with.”

    Echoing this sentiment, Barbora Hlachova added: “[…] it was fun getting to share our love of rowing with kids who will maybe race in the Boat Race one day! I even got to try out coxing – that was a highlight (and a dream come true…being over 6 ft tall, it was a dream I was slowly giving up on.)”


    Jason Coe, who heads the Ely College rowing programme, expressed his gratitude for the support provided by Love Rowing and a recently announced second round of funding from the Boat Race Fund, as well as the visiting university athletes: “It was an absolute privilege to be able to row from the Cambridge University Boat House and meet with the student athletes…The students willingness to get out on the coaching launch, cox boats, and provide tours alongside the general conversation was a pleasure to see.”

    He added: “ This was our first ever aspirational rowing event and it felt like a huge success, with over 60 students getting an experience of rowing on the River Ouse from the landmark Cambridge University Boat house. This alongside the opportunity to meet and speak with 5 high performance university rowers truly made for a wonderful and rewarding afternoon.”


    “The confidence, enthusiasm and desire to improve was noticeable across all students many of whom were rowing for the first time. We are so pleased we could invite Neale Wade Academy, Soham Village College, Cromwell Community College, North Cambridge Academy and Littleport & East Cambs Academy. None of this would have been possible without the input from IOERC and EAYR on the day, but also without the ongoing support from Gemini, The Boat Race Company & Love Rowing.”

    Siobhan Cassidy, the Interim Chair of the Boat Race Company Ltd, who also attended the event, was delighted by the vibrancy she witnessed: “It was a fantastic afternoon and wonderful to watch everyone in action, great to see children who had never tried rowing before, get out on the water, race and have lots of fun! Huge thanks to Jason and all the other teachers and rowing coaches who made the day such a success. I hope the young people taking part know they have now become rowers and are part of a wonderful sporting community!”

    This event underscores the effective collaboration between these amazing partnerships; welcoming in more schools to strengthen the offer and widen the circle, illuminating a bright future for the young rowing enthusiasts in and around Ely. It offers these young people a thrilling introduction to the world of rowing and the myriad opportunities it holds.


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