Not just one… but THREE hard working Franklin House students have become the first this year to achieve their Gold PLEDGES accolades. It has become clear that students have spent their time in national lockdown well, as not only the Gold’s, but also the Bronze and Silver awards have been rolling in!
Kicking the start of term off with a bang, Lucy Francis and Sophie Norman in Year 11 met with our new Principal Mr Warburton to be awarded their Gold pins and certificates. These were the first Gold PLEDGES Mr Warburton would bestow in his new role at Ely College so this was a memorable moment for all.
When asked what the secret to their success was, the girls commented on how, throughout Years 9 and 10, they had both took part in a number of activities that accumulated quickly, leading them to GOLD. These included taking up the roles of Sports Leaders and volunteering at sporting events. This, they discussed, was particularly rewarding at the time, as they both enjoyed the opportunity to encourage younger students at Ely and partnering schools to find their passion in sports and keep up with exercise. Both enjoy dance and had great fun, sharing routines with primary school students as we invited them to collaborate in different sports projects with the college.
Speaking about their achievements, Lucy and Sophie said: “It has been hard work to meet the criteria, but we have really enjoyed the challenge. We were given ownership on so many projects including our recycling project and different House projects we did together when we joined the student council. Working towards our PLEDGES has offered us new experiences we are very proud of and we now look forward to encouraging other students to do the same and keep aiming for Gold.”
Just a few days later, Franklin House hit the mark again as Joseph Chapman was awarded his Gold pin. Joseph is only in Year 9 and has already achieved great things through the PLEDGES system. One of our current Student Ambassadors, he is working on his personal project put forward for consideration by the student council; this year he and a friend are working to revamp our infamous Ely’s Got Talent show AND start to plan for the schools Aquafest boat race entry in July. It is their hope that loads of students will get involved in these events, not only to earn their own PLEDGES but also in the hope that these events will raise money for the RNLI.
After listening to student feedback last year and some time to reflect on the value of PLEDGES, the extracurricular system has recently been updated including how to log PLEDGES through TEAMs and the class notebook. Mr Fisher and Mr Craven have taken the lead on this so if you have any questions please contact them.
Since Ely College joined the CMAT trust, the college has introduced a simple but broad set of PLEDGES that pupils are expected to complete during their time at the school, at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. The fact that some students are completing the set before Year 11 is very impressive. Students gain their PLEDGES through activities and work across seven categories: Participation, Leadership, Environment, Diversity, Giving, Excellence and Service.
We have recently adjusted the PLEDGES poster to include more COVID friendly options, in the hope that student keep going with their PLEDGES through this difficult time and know there are outlets for them to achieve. Well done to all the Bronze and Silver award winners this term, including Freyja Gunn from Turing House here with Mr Burke.
The PLEDGES form part of the school's parallel curriculum – a system that is designed to develop the whole child and complement the academic courses. Similar to the Duke of Edinburgh scheme (also offered at Ely College!), it helps pupils develop character and skills that can be taken into their adult life.
Simon Warburton, Principal at Ely College said “The scheme has really helped drive a wide range of activities and improved relationships. It encourages students to give back to the school and their communities. Through PLEDGES, we can recognise, encourage, and reward those important aspects of personal development and learning that examinations do not. I’d like to congratulate Franklin House and look forward to giving out many more gold awards in the months to come”.