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The Magazine of Cambourne Village College


Magnificent Macbeth — Page 3

School funding in crisis CAMBOURNE VILLAGE COLLEGE

Last month I sent our parents another letter about the dire state of school finances.

school life. At CamVC we are hit even harder than most due to our position as an evergrowing school. Secondary schools are funded on the number of pupils on their More than 7000 headteachers who are roll in the October of the previous year. part of the campaign group Worthless, Where schools have the same number wrote to their parents on the same of children leaving Year 11 as join Year day, urging them to continue to lobby 7 each year, the system makes sense, the government about the extremely but for a growing school, it’s punishing. challenging shortfall in funding that In the first five years after we opened, schools are facing. our position as a new school meant that School budgets have been cut in real we were allowed ‘estimate’ funding terms by 8% since 2010, according to based on our projected growth for the figures from the Institute for Fiscal next year. Studies and, like schools across the As soon as the school had a five yearcountry, at CamVC we are having to groups, however, the system of ‘lagged’ TOUGH CHOICES: For Cambourne due to funding shortfalls. make hard choices about the numbers funding kicked in, and although we had of teaching groups and options subjects on offer next year, and about how many 1040 pupils on roll in September 2018, we are funded this year on the 940 pupils support staff we can afford. we had in October 2017. Last September I attended the national protest march on Downing Street of more The Local Authority gives us a little extra ‘growth funding’ in compensation, but than 1000 headteachers, to try to get the government to take on board the real this is only a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of pounds we are denied impact that the funding cuts are having on the quality of education they can offer, through this system. and on the recruitment and retention of teachers, but it seems that the Children in our school still get a great education due to the fantastic quality and government will not listen. work ethic of the teaching and support staff, but it’s infuriating not to be able to Since Christmas, Damian Hinds, Minister for Education, has further infuriated the give all pupils what we know they deserve, and to see teachers working teaching profession by twice refusing to meet with the Worthless group, which themselves silly because we can’t afford enough support. represents the united voice of headteachers from 64 local authorities. I urge every parent to lobby the government to provide adequate funding for our The diaries of education ministers ‘need to be prioritised according to ministerial, schools so that teachers stop leaving the profession, and we can invest properly parliamentary and constituency business,’ we were told. in the futures of our children. Meanwhile, worries over the school budget impact on almost every aspect of Claire Coates, Principal

Cambourne gains DofE operating licence

Cambourne Village College is delighted to announce that we are now an independent Duke of Edinburgh Centre. The change means that the College will now be in charge of validating awards and issuing certificates to our committed participants. Peggy Noble, who last year took on the role of DofE Coordinator for the College, is now our DofE Manager. Leigh Bellis, who has previously helped organise many of Cambourne’s expeditions, is now our Award Verifier. The DofE Award is one of the longest running youth awards in the country. It provides opportunities to build independence and teambuilding skills for all students from Year 9. The Award comes in three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Bronze and Silver can be completed at secondary school, while Gold is usually completed during Sixth Form. At Cambourne Village College, we currently offer the Bronze Award to your Year 9s and 10s, with the aim to, in time, offer Silver as well. The college provides support in allowing students to hire equipment and there is financial support available for IT’S OFFICIAL: Cambourne’s DofE Manager Peggy Noble with the paperwork eligible parents. Please contact Peggy Noble for more information on and (right), a DofE expedition.


q Magnificent Macbeth — 3 q A Taste of the East — 4 q Divine Exploration — 4 q First-hand War Stories — 4 q Stand Up for what Matters — 5 q Stepping Back in Time — 5 q Play Highlights Drug Dangers — 6 q Water Works for Students — 6 q Unique Setting for Play — 6 2

q Talks Aim to Inspire — 7 q Extending Learning — 7 q Getting to Grips with Poetry — 7 q Creating Holiday Paradise — 8 q Science Round-Up — 8 q International Update — 9 q Trust News — 10 q Sport — 11-12


Magnificent Macbeth! HAUNTING: Scenes from Cambourne’s acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

CamVC Productions’ latest show Macbeth hit the stage in March to great critical acclaim.

and talented cast of 28 pupils were ably supported by a fantastic band, tech team, and backstage crew, all made up of students from the school. The production was performed to around 200 primary school pupils earlier in the However this production was unlike any other. Firstly because it was the first week, before playing to four large and enthusiastic audiences, especially later in school production to involve all five year groups, with Year 7 pupils new to the the run, as word got around that Macbeth the Musical was not to be missed. school auditioning back in September alongside Year 11 pupils preparing for Deputy Principal Emily Moody said: “This is a production where every element their GCSEs. Secondly this was Head of Drama Lauren Fearn’s first production dazzles, from the atmospheric lighting to the edgy costumes and the threatening at the helm, and finally because Shakespeare’s classic play, now over 400 years set. It is by turns ominous, haunting and jazzy. old, was given a fresh makeover, with 15 brand new songs written by Head of “We are shown the witches in all their creepiness, eyes glaring and movements Music, Geoff Page. perfectly choreographed, with dramatic and clever use of stagecraft to bring the As well as the usual challenges that a musical presents, such as learning the supernatural before us. songs and the choreography for each number, the actors had the extra challenge “We see Ben as Banquo threaten Goncalo’s Macbeth, who cowers before him, of learning to memorise and correctly deliver the language of Shakespeare’s while Julia is a commanding Lady Macbeth, whose madness shakes us. most haunting play. They admirably rose to the challenge and the very strong “We watch with bated breath as Taya and Millie evoke the tenderness of motherhood and the innocence of babyhood, before the inevitable death of the innocents is hauntingly, almost beautifully enacted. “We tremble before Naeem’s grief as Macduff, and feel Malcolm’s power (Bryn) as he incites his revenge. As the crescendo builds, we sense that heads will roll. “The band is sharp, the songs are dynamic, and the cast are hugely to be congratulated on such a slick performance, so well supported by the tech teams. “The words of Shakespeare sound natural in their mouths, and the tragedy is evoked in a way that can’t THE PLAYERS: The cast of Macbeth take a curtain call. fail to impress and move us.” And social media was alive with positive reviews of the show, such as: “I was lucky enough to get a ticket for the final night, and it was very easy to forget I was watching ‘just’ a school production. Everyone had worked extremely hard to deliver something with a high degree of professional polish.” Everyone was disappointed when the show was over, but plans are already afoot for next term’s Year 7 Production, a musical called ‘Strike’, based on high drama of the Matchworkers’ Strike of 1888, which will start after Easter. And there are already some thoughts about next year’s whole school musical, but anyone itching to know what Cambourne will be doing next, will have to be patient! DEATH: Macbeth and Lady Macbeth after the murder of King Duncan (left) and Banquo is killed (right).



All Year 11 students had an interactive day, designed to increase their knowledge and understanding of religion and beliefs as part of their statutory Religious Education provision.

and thinking through where food comes from and its link to nature and the earth. Narayani explained how cows are treated and kept at Bhaktivedanta Manor out of respect. Students then also had the opportunity to try out some Mindfulness during the day. Rooted in Eastern religious and philosophical traditions, many of them had already heard of the practice through school or social media. The day was themed around Hinduism and Eastern At this stage in the year, many students enjoyed having the faiths. opportunity to concentrate on their own thoughts and take Students had the privilege of hearing from a wide range some time out from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. of visiting speakers and engaging in workshops Both Will and Dee introduced mindfulness in an engaging throughout the day. and fun way, using music and imagery to teach it, as well Cathy, a former teacher at Hills Road Sixth Form College, as giving students the opportunity to have a go. kicked off the day with an overview of Hinduism in the Our visitors commented on how wonderful the Cambourne UK. Village College students were within each session, their Students learned about the significance of Leicester enthusiasm for taking part and their great questions. within the UK as a centre of Hinduism and the historic Year 11 also clearly enjoyed the day with the following and political reasons for immigration within the last feedback: “I enjoyed tasting the food and learning about the century. This helped make sense of why Indian culture is THE KITCHEN RELIGION: food because it’s interesting to know what they eat and so present in the UK today. what they can't eat.” Learning how Hindus value Two Hindu speakers visited school to give a personal “The mindfulness was the best as I was able to understand cooking and trying some Indian perspective and to give students the opportunity to ask my thoughts better.” food was part of the day. questions. “The food tasting was great, because I got to learn more In the Food Tech room students were able to have a go about the food and how it relates to the culture, and because it tastes good.” at preparing vegetarian dishes, both sweet and savoury. Hinduism is often known “By taking part in activities, like being different characters, helped to understand as ‘the kitchen religion’ and it was fascinating to see the importance of cooking the Ramayana story more.”

Divine exploration!

A group of 31 Key Stage 3 students and two members of staff visited the Divinity Faculty, which offers courses in Theology, Religious Studies and Philosophy, and Trinity College. This trip provided an excellent opportunity to see where RPE could take them in the future and all the different pathways of study which are on offer. The students had a fantastic day out of school, seeing inside some of the iconic buildings. Harry (7U) reported: “After the bus ride into Cambridge, we left to go into the site of many of the Faculties (where students learn) and found our way to Divinity. “We were then taken into a lecture room downstairs and one of the professors explained the history of Theology, Religion and Philosophy in a talk called ‘Religion, Diversity and the Secular University’. He also explained that there is a French equivalent where he studied. “We then walked to Trinity College (a college is where students sleep, do recreational activities and research) and we walked into the entrance where many of the dorms were. We then went to the dining hall, which had many paintings of kings and famous students, like Henry the VII or Isaac Newton. We were then taken into the courtyard, where we were told about the Great Court Run, which is a race that takes place every year where students run around the Great Court in the time it takes the College clock to strike twelve (around 44 seconds). We also walked around the couryard and took some photos. “I think this trip was very interesting and educational. It also allowed me to think about what I want to do for University. Finally, it let me explore Trinity LEARNING ZONES: The Davinity Faculty and Trinity College. College and let me know what it may be like to go to Cambridge University.”

First-hand tales of war from a Holocaust survivor

HOLOCAUST REMEMBERED: A survivor speaks to students.


Year 9 and 10 pupils at Camborne took part in a live webinar hosted by the Holocaust Education Trust to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and remember what happened during the Nazi rule in World War Two. The students took time out of their lessons to witness this once-in-a- lifetime opportunity, which we may never get again as there is a dwindling number of survivors. We listened to Harry Spiro (being interviewed by barrister and TV personality Robert Rinder, whose family also have close links with experiences linked to the Holocaust) as he brought to life his memories of his life during the Holocaust. He told stories of his home town, Piotrków, which was the first place where the Nazis established a Ghetto in Poland, and of his time in Auschwitz, Treblinka and Buchenwald, which were concentration camps in both Germany and Poland. This experience taught us the horrific truths of the Holocaust directly and it seemed to resonate with us on a more personal level because it wasn’t out of a textbook — it was a real-life account from one of the few survivors of the Holocaust. We really appreciate having this incredible opportunity: listening to the stories of a man who experienced the Holocaust first-hand. Natty (9R)

Stand up for what matters


This term, eight Year 10 students have taken part in a Political Literacy Course run by Shout Out UK. This is an AQA-accredited course that aims to give students an increased understanding of politics and political systems.

INSPIRATIONAL: Students made speeches on

Stepping back political issues that they care about.

in time . . .

In February, a group of Year 7 and 8 students visited the ‘Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms’ exhibition at the British Library, London. This was an English and History trip to support the pupils’ study of the Anglo-Saxon period, as well as its literature — namely the epic poem of monsters and heroes, ‘Beowulf’. Max (8M) wrote: "When we arrived at the British library after a long coach trip, we were greeted by a librarian and taken to a locker room to put our coats and bags. “We then were taken into the 'Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms' exhibit and shown around. First we saw a brooch that had the Anglo-Saxon repairer’s name carved on to the back, we then were shown further down stairs into another section of the exhibit where we watched a short clip about how and what materials were needed to make a manuscript. “We saw ancient books that had been and still are today very important and valuable; we also saw a book that had returned to England for the first time in 1300 years. It is basically an illustrated version of the bible and was a gift to the Pope. “The next section of the exhibit was a section about important Anglo-Saxon women and items, like a lady's bible and a coin of an Anglo-Saxon Queen. “At the end of the trip we saw some rare Shakespearean books and music sheets — pretty cool. Then we went to the shop and we bought bookmarks and rubbers (for no reason). All in all, it was an amazing trip."

Over eight weeks, the students have learnt about the history of politics up until the present day, gaining an understanding of how the British Parliament works. They found out about the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as the role of an MP, particularly our own, Heidi Allen. Having learnt about the process of formal debating in Parliament, the students practised this themselves, debating a range of issues including whether or not the voting age should be lowered. They then moved on to consider the international community, exploring how the EU works — of course, a very hot topic! — and the UN. Finally, students were taught about how to campaign for a cause and speak in front of a crowd. As inspiration, they watched the inaugural speech of Mhairi Black MP, who was 20 when she was elected as a SNP Member of Parliament. Black’s passionate call to arms for young people to shape the world around them encouraged the students to write their own speeches about a political issue they cared about. Students shared these at a Speeches Evening, performing in front of teachers and local councillors, who visited to encourage the students to aspire with their political ideas. The speeches were a huge success: topics chosen ranged from how democracy is an outdated system, to the independence of Catalonia, to the tragic increase of knife crime. All the students demonstrated how the course has taught them to think critically about the world, find something they care about and then argue their case. It was an inspirational evening, and I am so proud of all of the students for taking part. Well done! Laura Clash, English Department

Play highlights drug dangers

BACK IN TIME: Students visited the British Museum to see the ‘Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms’ exhibition.

KEY MESSAGE: The ‘County Lines’ play teaches students about the perils of drugs and drug dealers. Years 9 and 10 watched an Alter Ego Production, ‘County Lines’ about the dangers and risks of becoming involved with drugs and drug dealers. The performance was spectacular and had a very evident meaning built in to the fabulous acting. I was taken aback by the marvel of it. The educational value was remarkable. The performance informed us about how we should be careful who you talk to, and that you should always be aware that you must talk to someone if you do get yourself into any trouble. It also brought to light the importance of going to the police if you feel unsafe or in trouble. I was able to gather opinions from pupils in Year 9. All of them agreed that the performance was educational and gave a clear message. One pupil said: “The performance was relatable because the lead actor reached out to us, almost like a father to his children.” Alter Ego Productions previously demonstrated the importance of healthy relationships when they came to Cambourne Village College. The Tough Love performance taught us about the risks of unhealthy and abusive relationships and how to seek support if you find yourself in this position. Erin (9R)



EYES ON THE WATER: Students on the geography trip to study rivers in Epping Forest.

Water works for students Sixty-five Year 11 GCSE Geography students travelled to Epping Forest last month to complete their final piece of fieldwork on rivers.

Students travelled into the heart of the forest to investigate how Loughton Brook, a small river, changes downstream. Complete with wellies, waterproofs, clipboards, tape measures and metre sticks, students took width, depth and velocity readings at three different sites along the river. Along the walk students saw several meanders, river cliffs, tributaries and a storage pond. The Environment Agency were completing some maintenance work in the area, and explained to us the need for the storage pond and embankment to reduce the likelihood of flooding in Loughton. Students had some free time in Loughton for lunch (where it seemed many ended up in KFC!), before completing a short walk down to a much deeper part of the river. Our wellies were just about high enough! It was an enjoyable day and our Year 11 students returned to school with all the data they needed to complete the investigation. Emily (11M) said: “We embarked on our adventure to Epping Forest, where we did a number of activities investigating the rivers’ different courses and depths to see whether it changed throughout the different stages. “This was our fieldwork for our geography paper 3 exam and a recap of the coasts and rivers unit where we learnt key words for paper 1physical geography.” Dion Burgess, Head of Geography

Unique setting for play inspired by Brooke KEY MEASUREMENTS: Students collect the data they need.

Last month, students in Years 8-10 attended the premier of MESH Theatre's 'The Solider' at the Orchard Tea Rooms in Grantchester, Cambridge. The play was inspired by the life of Rupert Brooke, a solider and famous poet during the First World War. It was performed at the Tea Rooms because it was where the student Brooke was famously a lodger, inspiring his poem ‘The Old Vicarage, Grantchester’. The students enjoyed the performance and were intrigued by the use of minimal props (and performers) throughout the play. David Rich, the National Education Coordinator of the First World War Centenary programme, commented: “It was a pleasure to have the students of Cambourne at the performance, and the questions they asked the performers at the end showed some really thoughtful responses to the play. “The staff and student reflections in the questionnaires are really helpful. The maturity with which your students approached their feedback was quite extraordinary.”


WADING: Looking for the perfect spot for data collection.

Green-fingered boys host tour Year 10 boys have been working towards the highest level of school gardening awards. As part of the Level 5 RHS (Royal Horticulture Society) School Gardening Awards, they have been busy raising funds for the school garden and linking up with a local primary school.

TEA ROOMS: The setting for the Rupert Brookeinspired play ‘The Soldier’.

This term, they hosted a workshop for the gardening

club from The Vine Inter-Church Primary School,

taking their pupils on a tour of the polytunnel and

helping them to sow peas and nasturtiums to take

back to their own school garden.

Talks aim to inspire all


This year, CamVC has started running a series of talks called ‘Aspiration Fridays’.

The aim is to inspire students by introducing them to a range of ideas that we don’t have time to explore in detail in the curriculum. Outside speakers have delivered bimonthly lunchtime talks to students from Years 7 to 11 on topics as diverse as Classics and Oceanography! We began the series in December with a talk on Classics, where the speaker, Henry Tang, explained what the subject is and showed students how Ancient Greece and Rome still have an impact on our lives today. Next, students heard about their civil rights in a talk on Criminology, before learning about how maths can be used to anticipate natural disasters, such as avalanches. We continued to extend our understanding of science in the real world through a talk from Cleo Jongedijk, from Imperial College, London, entitled ‘Oceanography: Our Plastic Seas’. Students were shocked to discover that approximately 1,000 HANDS-ON: Students plastic Wembley Stadiums exist under the water because of the huge amount of plastic waste that has made its way into our oceans. Cleo encouraged students to consider how they could reduce their waste — it was a really inspirational talk. The last two talks we have received were on Engineering, where we learnt about how engineers are needed across the world to solve complex problems, and Geology. Our speaker, Nicola Skipper, from the Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge, brought real fossils for the students to handle, as well as a cast of a T-Rex’s brain.

were able to handle some of the fossils at the Geology talk.

Students found out that T-Rex brains were smaller than their teeth, but shaped in a similar way to crocodile brains, leading palaeontologists to conclude that the dinosaurs had an exceptionally good sense of smell, as well as co-ordination. Before the end of the spring term, we will have heard a talk on Astronomy, and then next term, we are looking forward to finding out about Old English, midwifery, entrepreneurship and Zoology. If any students have any suggestions for a talk that they would like to hear, or if any parents know of someone who could deliver a presentation, then please do speak to Miss Clash in the English Department.

Getting to grips

with poetry

Extending learning

CONFERENCE: Year 10 students had the opportunity to participate. At the start of February, a group of Year 10 students braved the snow and icy conditions to attend a Masterclass conference in Cambridge. The conference was led by a group of academics with the goal of extending the learning of students outside of the classroom. They attended a series of lectures that included “Examining claims about the afterlife”, “Holocaust, historiography and Hitler”, “The psychology of outstanding achievement”, and “Rock in 11 dimensions: Where physics and guitars collide”. These lectures were fascinating, and enabled the students to make many cross-curricular links between the subjects that they are studying for GCSE. The students also had the opportunity to take part in a debate with other local schools. The motion was “This house believes the monarchy should be abolished”. They were able to engage in balanced academic debate, and one brave student raised a question from the floor directed at the panel. The students served as good ambassadors of both the school and the Cambourne community, and they enjoyed being able to take part in this academic opportunity.

Fifty-two Year 11 students went to the Cambridge Corn Exchange to attend the Poetry Live! event. The live conference was a valuable opportunity for GCSE English Literature pupils to listen to, and question, some of the poets whose work they have studied. The conference also included two useful sessions from AQA’s Chief Examiner. These sessions offered useful tips and suggested approaches on how to tackle the different questions pupils can face in the exam. All pupils attending the conference were given a booklet that included sample essays and examiner comments. It was wonderful for our pupils to hear live readings and discussions throughout the day. We heard from Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage and Imtiaz Imtiaz Dharker Dharker. The day concluded with a captivating reading and talk from John Agard. The live readings provided pupils with a deeper understanding of the ideas and messages they are hoping to share through their poetry. After the trip, George in Year 11 said that John Agard was ‘a legend’, while Paige said she was so glad she had gone because Imtiaz Dharker had explained what the most ambiguous poem in the poetry anthology was actually about! Not only was the trip a fun day out, but it’s given our Year 11s a greater understanding of the poems they’ll be examined on, exam technique to use, and perhaps an even greater gift: an appreciation of the art of poetry.



Creating holiday paradise

PARADISE FOUND: Year 7 had plenty of ideas for making their island models, including using Fortnite, clay and cake!

Year 7s have been enjoying their Island Project in English this term.

As a part of the project, the students are given the opportunity to design the perfect holiday island that would appeal to a wide range of visitors. They consider and implement different accommodation facilities, historical and geographical features, leisure attractions, shops, eateries and even transport and communication infrastructures as part of their designs. Then, when their islands are fully conceptualised, they complete three different written pieces about them. Firstly, the text for a Wikipedia page about the island; here, the challenge is to write objectively and categorise all of their information into logical sections. The students enjoy researching real life islands, such as Hawaii, on Wikipedia to see how encyclopaedic texts are assembled online. Next, the Year 7s enjoy creating promotional leaflets for their island. After the formality of Wikipedia, using big pictures, bright colours and pithy slogans

alongside their persuasive text provides some lovely light relief. Finally, inspired by the writings of Bill Bryson, the students imagine that they have visited their island and produce a piece of travel writing about their adventures there. This creative writing experience allows the students to imagine a holiday that goes wrong, and the results are often hilarious! This project is undeniably packed with fun activities, but one of the highlights is definitely the homework where they create a perfected version of their island. While many children draw and colour a map, some go further. This year, some students used the gaming platform ‘Fortnite’ to create their island and then filmed a tour of the place; others used modelling clay to build a 3-D model; some students went even further and made their islands out of cake! It is great to see our Year 7s inspired and continuing to work hard in English. Thank you to all the parents who are supporting our students’ English at home by encouraging reading every day and, if the occasion calls for it, helping build an island! Holly Vote, English Department

Students rise to STEM challenge

Ice-cream is ‘cool’ science!

CHEMICAL COOLING: To make ice-cream.

Students at Cambourne celebrated British Science Week with a range of activities. The Week — which actually lasts 10 days — is a national celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and aims to encourage an interest in science pursuits among the general public and to encourage younger people to become fascinated by the world in which we live. Cambourne’s activities included making recycled polar bear lanterns for International Polar Bear Day and seeing ice-cream made with liquid nitrogen in a matter of minutes with the help of scientists from the University of Cambridge. Liquid nitrogen is -196 degC so the freezing process occurs in seconds. Students also visited The Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, spread the word about the Cambridge Science Festival and celebrated Earth Hour on March 30th.


To celebrate British Science Week 2019, 55 Year 8 students went to Birmingham NEC for the annual Big Bang Fair. Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK. The Big Bang Fair aims to show young people the exciting and rewarding opportunities out there for them with the right experience and qualifications, by bringing classroom learning to life. It gives visitors the chance to try out more than 100 hands-on activities, see dozens of mind-boggling shows, hear from inspiring engineers and scientists from some of the UK’s biggest companies and find

out about the opportunities available in STEM. Pupils explored large exhibition floors designed to encourage a journey of discovery through the event. Many of the stands featured working scientists and engineers, all available to answer any questions that our students had about jobs and careers. There were also timed theatre shows and workshops. Each student was given a Big Bang Challenge pack as part of registration. The Challenge was a series of fun tasks to complete throughout the day: collecting stickers, finding activities that help people/create things/use technology, taking a career quiz to identify jobs that might suit them, or speaking to an engineer to try and guess their job. A few of our students entered the competition and we are waiting to hear if they’ve won a drone! The coach journey was just as exciting, where we encountered numerous wind turbines and a rainbow — which encouraged pupils to discuss renewable energy as well as rainbows and splitting light!

A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH: Students enjoyed the Royal Air Force exhibits.

Exchange opportunities


MOSIACS: Students display their work at the Roman Forum in Zaragoza.

Last month 10 students from Cambourne Village College and around 20 from Comberton went on an exciting exchange trip to Zaragoza, Spain.

Going there and living with a Spanish family helped us to enhance our communication skills and we learnt more about the Spanish culture than ever before. Learning all these communication skills helped us greatly when we ventured out into Spain as we could speak with the locals more easily and understand many of the tour guides while we were being shown astonishing landmarks such as The Aljafería Palace and The Plaza of Our Lady of the Pillar. The families were also very kind and gave us wonderful new experiences and trips. These included visiting a huge leisure centre where some of us went swimming and played football. We also visited three of the largest shopping malls in Zaragoza. These were filled with Spanish food, souvenirs, books and films that were brand new and very different for us. Many of the days we were given the opportunity to try these new and original foods and they were unlike anything we had tasted in England. In Spain they love to add spices when eating savoury and go completely overboard when they make sweet things. The food was incredible.

At the weekend, one of our families travelled with us to Valencia to celebrate the Las Fallas festival and set off firecrackers (los petardos) in the main square. We later all watched a Spanish movie before venturing to the Oceanographic aquarium and staring in awe at all the sharks, jellyfish, seals, dolphins and turtles in their habitats. One of the most exciting trips was a big tour of Zaragoza. There was so much to look at and the rivers and landscapes were beautiful. For some of the day we visited shops and for the rest we visited bridges and landmarks. We also visited the magnificent Aljafería Palace. It is an Islamic palace with an amazing view both inside and out. It held many secret stories which we were all intrigued to find out about and it was fascinating to find out about the history and past kings that lived there. We would recommend this trip because it shows you so much about Spanish culture that we would have never known about if not for this experience. Spanish skills also get improved greatly as you communicate with both your exchange partners and people around. We have made many friends throughout our time in Spain. We’re extremely excited for the Spanish Rosa Molas School exchange partners to come to England and we hope they will enjoy being here as much as we enjoyed Zaragoza. Jabriel (9M) and Oliver (9M)

BEE WORDS: CamVC’s trio practise for the regionals.

Key buzz words

Three Year 7 students have spent many hours this halfterm preparing for the regional final of the annual regional Spelling Bee competition. They won through to represent Cambourne at the penultimate stage of the competition — the winners at Queen Katharine Academy in Peterborough on March 26th will be through to the national final. William (7B), Sophia (7O) and Emma (7O) represented Cambourne at the regional round after qualifying from the school round. Their challenge was to spell randomly generated words from a bank of 150. The results weren’t known at the time of publication but what is known is that the national qualifiers will have to learn to spell a total of 200 words!

I went to Bad Hersfeld in Germany on the Cambourne and Comberton German exchange/ music trip for Year 810 students. I stayed with a host family of three people and their dog called Armour. My exchange partner was called Johannes and he was the same age as me. It took us 14 hours to get there by coach through the Channel Tunnel. We were greeted by our host families and had our first meal later that night. I had a room and en-suite on the bottom floor of their three-storey town house. On the first two days we all went to school with our exchange partners and went around with them, seeing how their day compared with ours. They didn’t have to wear school uniform and their days only lasted from 8 o’clock to 1.30. On the third and fourth days we visited various towns, cities and castles. My favourite section of the trip was the colourful and amazing Christmas markets, which we got to see frequently throughout the week. At the weekend and for our final few days, we were with our hosts and I went to the city of Kassel by train. We went shopping for gifts and had lunch in the town. On Sunday Johannes and his friends took me swimming. It was really enjoyable but tiring. Overall, it was a great week with great people and something I will remember for quite a while. I can’t wait to show Johannes England. Oliver (10O)

WORKING: A joint project in Zaragoza, involving students from all three schools.

Why languages matter . . . The importance of languages at work was the focus of the talk to Year 9 students. Visitors from Cambourne-based businesses explained how the ability to speak another language is valued by employers both at the hiring stage and while actually working. Kelsey, of 9R, said: “The other day a really nice person called Natalie Keroughlian came to the Year 9 language classes to tell us about the importance of languages in the workplace. “She works in marketing at Gewiss, a company on Cambourne Business Park.  She told us about why knowing a language can help you get jobs more easily and that it can help you in the work itself.  “We really appreciate the school organising such an important thing that made us realise why we need to learn languages.” Luke, also of 9R, head a different speaker and said: “In our German lesson we had a visit from Aidan Smith, who works at Barons BMW.  “He spoke about his job and how learning a language in school can help in the job market. Aidan Smith’s job title is a ‘Product Genius’ and he has to memorise the details of BMW cars

such as horsepower off the top of his head. “He also told us that when he left school at 16 to go to sixth form he went to his nearest car dealer and worked Saturdays without being paid for two years.  “When the BMW Barons opened up near our school he applied for a job and they were astonished with his experience and commitment and gave him priority.  Speaking German has given him big advantages, especially going over to Munich to meet people on the German side of the business.”

SPEAKER: Natalie Keroughlian.



The Cam Academy Trust has a new Chair of the Board.

Sue Williamson has taken over as Chair of the Trust. Sue was already a trustee and is Chair of the Local Governing Body at Melbourn Village College. She has been the Chief Executive of The Schools, Students and Teachers Network (SSAT) for a number of years and lives locally. Given her work with the SSAT, Sue is extremely well placed to help to guide our Trust in the next phase of its development.

Primary is to join us

The Trust is set to have another school join in the relatively near future. As always with such potential developments, there is much process that is required before the move takes place. However, the intention is that Offord Primary School should join and this has been agreed by the Headteacher Board of the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Office. Offord is a relatively small primary school located near Huntingdon and fits within our Trust’s clearly stated aim of being local and enabling close collaboration between our schools. There are already several primary phase Trust schools in the area (as well as St Peter’s Secondary School) and Offord will further strengthen the close working already in existence there as well as across the whole Trust.

IT roll-out set to start

The Trust’s IT strategy continues to develop. The acting Director of IT Strategy, Sean Sumner, has been appointed as the Trust’s full-time Director of IT Strategy from September. This will enable us to press ahead with our intention to use IT in various ways to strengthen the educational experience for pupils in all of our schools, enable our schools to work more efficiently and effectively and for our staff to have more access to on-line training and development. The first group of pupils, Year 8 at Cambourne Village College, is set to start receiving personal IT devices during next term and to make use of them as an important part of their learning. From there, other groups across the Trust’s schools will have the opportunity to do this. Ultimately, we hope that this approach will be available as appropriate to all students. At the same time, mechanisms are being developed to allow staff from all Trust schools to share resources to have the best possible learning resources available to all.


She has excellent knowledge and understanding of the school system and has visited very many schools throughout the country (and indeed overseas). We are very pleased to be able to benefit from Sue’s leadership of our Trust moving forward from here. Dr Gordon Johnson was the original Chair of the Trust from when it started in February 2011 until he stepped down. Everyone involved in all our schools owe Gordon a great debt of gratitude for all of his great, pioneering work that has enabled the Trust to get to where it is today.

NEW ROLE: For Sue Williamson.

WELCOME: Gamlingay Headteacher Shelley Desborough greets pupils and parents on the first day at the new site.

Gamlingay delight at site switch Gamlingay Village Primary moved into its new premises at the start of this term. For the best part of a year, the former Village College site on Station Rd was refurbished and redesigned to make it a really great facility for a good-sized Primary School. The extensive work was completed late in 2018 and the whole school transferred from the First School site in Green End to much larger premises for the Spring term. Everyone at the school is delighted with the space and the opportunities provided by the new site. The official

SPEAKING OUT ON MENTAL HEALTH: BBC newsreader and journalist Kate Silverton.

opening ceremony has been set for Friday 21 June when there will be a celebration of the significant journey that has enabled Gamlingay Village Primary to come into existence and operate in its new premises. The school’s position has been further strengthened following an Ofsted inspection on Tuesday 5 March. The Lead Inspector took a very favourable view of the school and the education provided there following his one-day visit. Full details of his letter and confirmed judgement can be found on the Gamlingay website

Prioritising mental health

The Royal Foundation, established by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, seeks to support young people with mental health issues and raise the profile of this significant issue in society. In February, the Foundation hosted a conference that focused on mental health in schools. Educationalists and others working with schools were invited from across the country to hear input from leaders in the field and to discuss positive ways forward with the issue. The day was hosted by the newsreader (and recent star of Strictly Come Dancing) Kate Silverton, who kept a firm grip on proceedings, including overseeing panel discussions. The Duchess of Cambridge attended for nearly all of the day and spoke clearly about her concern about the issue and desire to support better provision for all young people with mental health issues. I was fortunate to attend a private discussion group with the Duchess and some others where she clearly showed good understanding and a real desire to see positive developments for young people. All attending the day thought it very worthwhile. Stephen Munday, CEO

For job vacancies across the Trust, visit the CAT website at


Still time to join the fun! FESTIVE FEEL: To the most recent Snowsports Trip.

There are still a few spaces available on the Cambourne 2020 Snowsports Trip — dubbed ‘the best school trip you will go on” by Head of PE Hannah Curtis.

The next chance to take to the slopes of Italy is already filling up fast after the success of the fourth annual trip, which took place in December rather than April for the first time. But it did not disappoint. As 35 students and five teachers headed across Europe to find the snow, the Christmas decorations and lights gave a magical air and set the tone for the festive season. Throughout the week the students were fabulous and each and everyone of them improved their skiing and

JUMP FOR JOY: Students delight in their surroundings.

snowboarding tremendously. By the end of the six days, the beginner skiers and boarders were flying down the blue routes and had even tackled some of the red runs. The intermediate skiers were focusing on pole planting and jumping — something Miss Curtis was never brave enough to do intentionally! The advanced group were so fast and so technically able that Mr Humphrey had trouble keeping up with them, but in his own words “loved every second”. The week was such a great week - new friends were made, amazing Italian food was eaten and hot chocolate with cream was drunk excessively. The whole trip was made even better (if that was even possible) by the après ski of pizza nights, pancakes, bowling and the quiz night (who doesn’t love hearing Mr Humphrey and Mr Lynch sing?) The

Impressive effort

Twenty-one students from Years 7- 10 competed in the 2019 National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships (NJIRC) at the Copper Box Arena in the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park alongside approximately 2000 secondary school and sixth form students from across the country. In the Year 7 Boys, 2-minute race Eddie and George put in exceptional performances — rowing 478m and 423m, respectively. Henry was Cambourne’s sole Year 8 boy in the 3-minute row, placing 65th out of 172 competitors with a respectable 741m. Next up was the Year 8 Girls 3-minute race, where Abigail, Amelia, Neela and Aalia all put in excellent performances with distances of 702m, 698m, 585m and 555m, respectively. Alex and Jensen competed in the Year 9 Boys 4-minute race, rowing distances of 936m and 921m respectively. Cambourne’s best represented race was the Year 9 Girls 4-minute race, where we had an impressive nine competitors. A particular highlight was from Scarlett, Winifred and Claudia, who finished 30th, 31st and 32nd out of

Mixed results for CamVC

presentation night at the end really showed off how much everyone had improved and developed their own skiing and boarding. Saying that we did still manage to hand out a few helmet covers to our students and teachers for keeping everyone entertained on the slopes. These included ‘Muppet of the Day’, ‘Demon on the slopes’, ‘Snow Bunny’, ‘Lucky 4 Leaf Clover’ and many more. I would like to say a massive thank you to the students on the trip who represented Cambourne Village College with such pride. They were an asset to the school. Additionally, another huge thank you to the staff on the trip, Miss Boyns, Mrs Durrant, Mr Humphrey and Mr Lynch for embracing the spirit of the trip and getting fully stuck in, and to Mrs Noble for everything she did backstage.

TEAM EFFORT: Rowers at the Copper Box for the national event.

131 competitors. Ethan rowed an impressive 1352m to finish 29th out of 87 competitors in the Year 10 Boys 5-minute race, while strong performances were also put in by Harry (1226m) and Juliette (1034m) in their Year 10 races.

PITCHING IN: Cambourne’s footballers in action.

Cambourne’s Year 7 teams have made impressive starts to their season with the have worked for each other. Their biggest asset is cat-like goalkeeper Chris, who netballers beating Swavesey 12-6 and the boys winning their first five football has made countless wonder-saves to help his team and inspire them to work just matches thanks to their fantastic work-rate and teamwork. as hard. Solid defending by captain Henry and the way Callum and Year 9’s netballers have been a strong competitive Alex control the midfield has given the boys hope of team since Year 7 and have maintained that this year. challenging for the county title. The B team have had a In very challenging conditions they changed tactics to mixed start, with one superb 7-0 win and one disappointing short passes and close shooting to beat Cottenahm 26defeat. 12. The weather was very challenging to play in as it was Year 8 have had mixed netball results despite their excellent teamwork and sportsmanship and went down 15so windy therefore tactics had to be put in place such 12 to Cottenham. as short passes and shooting closer to the net which they enforced. The football A Team has had some good results with a The Year 9 footballers were still looking for their first stand-out performance from Jason, who scored a double win as this magazine went to press but they continue to hat-trick against Parkside being the highlight. The Year 8 B work hard and remain confident of a change in fortune. Team has seen both success and defeat, but throughout NET GAIN: Cambourne score.


King of the leaders . . .


One Cambourne student won a top honour at the prestigious Roy Burrell awards last month – and two others finished in the top five.

Izzy King was named Sports Leader of the Year at the annual Cambridge and District Secondary School Sports Assocation (CDSSA) presentation evening for Year 11 students at Netherhall School. She won the honour for her her inspiring and selfless work volunteering in both school and community football. She is an accomplished young leader who has volunteered at school clubs since she was in Year 8 as well as helping out at sports days and many other sports festivals. She runs the girls’ football club at school, taking it from an attendance of five to 20-plus each week and coaches and manages two KS3 teams in the football Grands Prix and their tournaments. Izzy has recently started coaching at Hardwick and Cambourne Primary School next door and has managed to organise the lettings of the astro for the primary school so they can have better facilities WINNERS: Cambourne students with their Roy Burrell Awards. to play on. And Zara Lachlan was in the top five for Sportswomen of the Year for her feats on Next term she is looking at running a primary schools’ football tournament to her BMX bike. She is British No 4 and World No 14, having competed in the 2018 further build the opportunities for primary football. BMX World Championships in Baku. She also helps coach at her own football club at the Wildcats sessions and is a The awards are given in honour of Roy Burrell, a former sports teacher and volunteer at Cambridge United, working closely with the Girls' development Deputy Head teacher at Chesterton School, who died in 1955 at the age of 49. officer, volunteering on match days and coaching at the soccer schools during the He was well known in Cambridge and in his will he left a sum of money in trust to summer holidays. provide awards for the most talented young sportsmen and women in the District. She was part of the CYCA and ran a lunchtime club at school aimed at Guest of honour was Great Britain and England hockey player Helen Richardsonencouraging disengaged Year 7s to do more physical activity. Walsh who handed out the awards as well as giving an inspirational talk about the Head of PE Hannah Curtis said: “Izzy has been a role model in both school and highs and lows of her Olympic career. She emphasised the importance of working community life and is pivotal in her role as sport prefect in always challenging the hard, but also being kind to yourself, not being defeated by the lows but to PE department to offer more.” celebrate the successes. Additionally Deshawn Lascelles came second in the Sportsman of the Year The other Cambourne students to receive awards were:Saif Terywall (Korfball), competition for his amazing Triple Jumping. Neha Kibria (Tennis), Laurie Cruikshank (Tennis), Ellie Pybus (Hockey), His record is truly impressive; he is the South of England Indoor Champion, Jess Pennington (Dance and Athletics), Alfie Maylin (Football), Lucy Clarkson setting a club and Championship record with a personal best of 14.85m, which (Greg Alvey Award for contribution to School Sport Nominee). ranks him first in the country and currently fourth in the world in his age group.

GCSE PE is not an easy option!

For GCSE PE, students need to produce three videos of them performing practically from a list of set sports. For each sport they need to film isolated skills and a continuous competitive match of their sport. Thank you to all the parents who have stood outside in the cold, wet and snow to film the 40-minute football halves or rugby halves in the winter. Over the last month students in need of an additional sport have been heading to Grafham Water to experience climbing. Within these sessions they have learned to tie knots, belay, climb different routes with different techniques and have even attempted the dreaded overhang. They have filmed themselves climbing up a range of graded routes from 4a to 6a. As a subject, GCSE PE is traditionally thought of as an easy option, however it is far from it. The theory content students need to complete is akin to some Sport Science Degree Courses and the science goes into more detail than the GCSE Triple Science Biology Course. Students are working incredibly hard in all aspects of the course to give themselves every opportunity for success when results day comes around.

Students show skills

UP THE WALL: Students have been learning all

Seven students and seven Sports Leaders embarked on a Sports Skills trip to Impington Village College earlier this term. Throughout the morning the students worked in pairs and took part in a tournament against different schools, doing a range of different activities. These included Boccia, Polybat, Table Cricket and New Age Curling, with the Sports Leaders doing a fantastic job of leading the students through the games. Once the fun was over, the scores for the top overall pairs were counted and the Cambourne pair of Grace and Daniel came joint third overall! It was a fantastic day for those taking part and for the amazing sports leaders for the hard work they put in to make sure it all went smoothly.

Countdown to first annual awards night aspects of climbing at Grafham Water.

Cambourne Village College hosts its inaugural Sports Awards Night, kindly hosted by the Hilton Hotel, Cambourne, on April 24th. This formal and prestigious event will celebrate all our talented and hard-working pupils and all their successes since Easter 2018 and will be by invitation only. The awards that will be presented on the night are: Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year (KS3 & KS4), Team of the Year, PE Department Merit Award,

Commitment Award, Unsung Hero Award, Sporting Excellence Award, Dancer of the Year, GCSE Student of the Year, BTEC Student of the Year, Half Colours, Full Colours. Extra-curricular clubs are one way students can get involved and these have been very popular again this term with 72 recorded at one dodgeball session and trampolining having to introduce a sign-up sheet to cope with demand!


Profile for The Cam Academy Trust

News@Cam Spring 2019  

The termly magazine of Cambourne VIllage College

News@Cam Spring 2019  

The termly magazine of Cambourne VIllage College

Profile for comberton