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@Combertonvc & @CombertonSF &

The Magazine of Comberton Village College ISSUE  52, WINTER 2019

Amazing sights of Paris — Page 4


Array of talent on show SONG AND DANCE: Students perform at Comberton’s annual International Talent Evening.

This year’s event marked the 12th anniversary of Comberton Village College International Talent Evening.

The theme of the event was “Haba na haba hujaza Kibaba”, a Swahili saying which translates as “every little helps”. This saying is indeed the key to the success to our International Talent Evenings as so many people helped to make this event possible. The evening started at 7pm for the X half of Year 7 and at 8pm for the Y half. Each half of the evening saw an amazing array of songs, poems, dance and musical items with one common theme — a celebration of languages at CVC!

Each of the Year 7 classes sang their Eurovision song with such enthusiasm and pride that it was very tricky for the judges to select the winners on the night! The languages teachers were there to encourage their classes with the singing but also with the dancing. We saw some very good moves on the night and some great outfits too! At the end, two groups were awarded winners of the 2019 Eurovision song contest — Year 7 Toulouse and Year 7 Lyon, who both sang their Abba-themed songs in French. Both groups enjoyed an exclusive non-uniform day the following week. The judges were extremely impressed by not only

the energy on stage, but also by the quality of the pronunciation. The evening could not have been possible without the support of the languages teachers, but also that of our readers, dancers and musician, so thank you to all. We are already looking forward to next year’s International Talent Evening. It will be another fantastic opportunity for Comberton Village College to promote language learning and children’s rights to speak and use their home language as stated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Marielle Burgess, MFL Department & Assistant Principal

Adult classes: Try before you buy . . . Many adult education classes at Comberton will re-start in January 2020. If you are a new learner and unsure whether a course will suit you, please come and try a session before enrolling. One new course, not in the original programme, is a Drypoint Printmaking Day School on Saturday, January 25, 10-4pm. Taught by Mr Feijoo, a teacher in the school’s Art Department and an expert printer, this class will be open to anyone who wants to explore their creative side, while learning a traditional printmaking technique. We are also offering a new, beginners’ 10-week Silver Jewellery-making course, on Wednesday afternoons 4.30-6.30pm, which will teach you how to make beautiful silver earrings, necklaces, pendants and rings. There are other new courses on offer too, such as Art History: US & Australian Art (8 weeks, Mon 1.15-3.15pm), Mexican Cookery or Vegan Cookery (4 weeks, Monday or Wednesday 7-9pm) and Golf for Beginners, held at Bourn Golf Club (Monday, 11-12.30pm, starts 24th February, 5 weeks). In addition to Comberton, some of our courses take place at Cambourne and from the 21st January we are offering two free courses: Basic English

q MFL Round-Up — 3 q Friends Hand over Cash — 4 q Get Ready to Rock — 4 q Concert Delights — 4 q Understanding Nazi Rule — 5 q Different Kind of Learning — 6 q Trust News — 7


CREATING: Jewellery making is one of the classes on offer through the Adult Education programme.

Skills for Beginners (10 weeks for non-native speakers, Tuesdays 9.4511.45am) and Maths for Adults Functional Skills (23 weeks, Mondays 6.459.15pm). Please contact the Adult Education department for more information about any of our courses and we will be happy to help you: 01223 264721, email or look on our website,


q The Magic of Italy — 8 q Insight into Student Life — 8 q Test of World Knowledge — 8 q Going to Extremes — 8 q Sixth Form News — 9-12 q Staying Safe Online — 13 q Maths Round-Up — 14

q Team’s Tie-break Agony — 15 q Robot Put Through Paces — 15 q ‘Choose Maths because it’s Hard’! — 15 q A Winning Pitch — 15 q SCSSP Update — 16-17 q Sport — Pages 19-20

Amazing sights of Paris


Earlier this term a group of Comberton students from Year 9 upwards visited the beautiful city of Paris.

We travelled by bus to Dover and then took the ferry to Calais and eventually arrived in the French capital after more than three hours on a coach. We settled into the hotel before heading out to explore the city. Our first excursion was to ‘La Madeleine’, which is a beautiful church. As it was Sunday there was a service going on which we were able to take part in. From there we walked to the ‘Fragonard Parfumeur’, where we learnt about the different types of perfume, how to apply perfume and lots of other interesting facts about perfume. This was really good fun. We got to smell lots of different scents and also to buy some. Later we walked to Sacré-Coeur, which we all agreed was beautiful, especially the view. Our second day in Paris was spent visiting the famous Louvre museum, where we were all mesmerised by the beautiful paintings and sculptures, especially the Mona Lisa, which was smaller than we expected. From there we went to Montparnasse. This is the tallest building in Paris and we all loved seeing the view and taking photos from the top. In the evening we went to Montmartre. This is a very chic and cosmopolitan area. We really enjoyed going around the market buying souvenirs and being immersed in the French culture. On our last full day we went on a boat ride on the River Seine and from there we saw the main monuments including Notre-Dame. Then we visited the Eiffel Tower and went to Napoleon’s tomb (it was amazing seeing

WHEN IN PARIS: Students on the tourist trail . . . the beautiful architecture). Our final morning in Paris was spent touring other sights and we saw many amazing monuments including Luxembourg Gardens. It was then time to make our way back to the UK. We all thank Madame Johnson, Madame Barnes and Madame Dunn for making this trip possible. We all had an amazing time and came home with lots of great memories.

Highlighting the value of learning a language

CENTRE STAGE: Students gave an acceptance speech when they collected their prize.

Student has her poem published

Year 7 student Krisha has had her poetry published after being named one of those shortlisted from Routes into Languages East Mother Tongue, Other Tongue competition. She performed her work ‘My Precious Daughter’ — in Gujarati — at the celebration earlier this term along with others from schools across the region who either wrote in their first language or one that they have been learning. Sarah Schechter director of Routes into Languages East, said: “It was really difficult for our expert linguist and poet judges to select the winners this year.” The Mother Tongue Other Tongue is an annual poetry competition is a multilingual event which celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages spoken in schools across the UK. It also gives secondary school students the opportunity to practise and improve their foreign language skills for any language they are learning, and appreciate their heritage, using poetry. The published poets were all given a copy of the anthology and certificates and the anthology is available to purchase for £10 from Routes into Languages East.

Some Year 9 students take part in an activity called Language Leaders, where we prepare lessons to teach at primary schools. Part of this was to go to Murray Edwards College, part of Cambridge University, in October, to learn about the importance of languages and to hear others speak about their experiences with them. When we arrived, we were greeted by lots of friendly students and teachers as well as two grand buildings. Then, we went into an auditorium to have a talk about why languages are so useful, but not before we were split into the different Harry Potter-themed groups. We were told what we were doing for the day, then started our activities. First, we had a tour of the site while some university students studying languages told us about their experiences and how they enjoy learning new things in their chosen languages. The college very large, and it looked like they had a lot of good facilities to help you study

Emily and Guilia (9N)

languages, including a huge library. When we arrived back to the assembly hall, we completed our own personality quizzes to see what type of leaders we would be. It made us think about the strengths and weaknesses of our leadership skills, and then helped us timprove on what the test showed. We were then shown what types of jobs require language skills, and most of the ones we thought of used them in some way. We learnt that languages can be used in so many different jobs and are a very useful skill to have, so that inspired us to carry on learning languages for a long time and teach the primary school children well. Finally, we played some language-based games, which helped with our organisation and preparation. Overall, this trip for Language Leaders was enjoyable and informative and taught us all about why languages are so important. Muy bien! Beth (9N)

LEARNING DAY: Year 9 students at Murray Edwards College for Language Leaders training.


Friends hand over cash


Two worthy departments have been given a cash boost by a charity linked to the college.

Friends of Comberton Village College Trust Fund has donated a total of £8,500 to support The Cabin and acoustics and lighting at Comberton Sports & Arts. The Cabin received £5,000 to purchase new play equipment for the ever-increasing number of students supported by the centre for students on the autistic spectrum. Head of The Cabin, Jane Hylton, said: “We are very grateful for the support given to the Cabin and wider school community by ‘Friends’. “The existing gym equipment supplied three years ago has been so well used that we decided to expand the variety of machines so that more students can benefit from the equipment at breaks and lunchtimes. “The Friends’ money was spent on the new pieces of equipment in September and already they have been well used since then!” POPULAR: The Cabin gym equipment is well used by students. The other £3,500 is paying for the new sound and lighting deck in the Performance Hall. This helps Manager at CSA, to develop the skills to effectively manage the lighting and support many different, dance drama and music events, both within the college sound requirements for the wide range of events hosted by the school. and for external hirers, which includes the Jill Bridger School of Dance. CSA General Manager Ally Stewart said: “All at Comberton Sports & Arts are They make an annual donation of up to £500, from offering refreshments at their delighted.Many thanks to ‘Friends of CVC’. I’m sure the new asset will hugely summer shows, to support the performing arts at Comberton and some of the help with provision of high-quality productions and shows.” Friends’ contribution to the sound and lighting deck has come directly from this Deputy Principal Sean Sycamore said: “Huge thanks to the Friends group for their contribution. on-going support of the college and for further developing opportunities for The deck has been carefully selected to help students at the college, who wish to students to enhance their confidence and skills in such an area. develop their technical understanding of supporting backstage work. Interested You can donate to ‘Friends’ at students will work with Charlie Rayner, a past student who is now the Events

Concert delights

Get ready to rock . . .

IN FULL SWING: Rehearsals for schools’ ‘We Will Rock You’ are under way at Comberton. With 24 of Queen’s biggest hits delivered in a show that boasts the scale and spectacle that marked the bands’ legendary live performances, this will be one of the most spectacular musicals Comberton has ever produced. Unprecedented success in theatres around the world has paved the way for schools’ ‘We Will Rock You’ to revisit our college, where a cast of 55, a student band and a student technical team will embrace the excitement, energy and flamboyancy of everything Queen represented. ‘We Will Rock You’ is a futuristic tale. It tells of a massive corporation, Globalsoft, which sends computer-generated music to all the people on the planet. Singing, musical instruments and any expression of creativity, are banned. But Lost Texts are known to exist which talk of music from years gone by. A group of rebels (the Bohemians) strive to discover the lost music, and bring down the corporation. The two heroes, Galileo and Scaramouche, discover musical instruments buried in rock, which they use to vaporise the head of the corporation (The Killer Queen), and send the Power Of Rock around the world to free the masses, enabling them to be musically creative once again. Tickets are now on sale for our production via Wisepay with the show running from Thursday 23rd January to Saturday 25th January (including a matinee).


The Christmas concert was truly a bumper edition this year. Year 7 delighted us with their excellent singing of Jingle-bell Rock and it was a treat to hear the senior choir joining in with them for Gaudete. The large orchestra crammed the stage for their performance of Bach’s Toccata and Mars from the Planets Suite. Alongside so many different ensembles, from ukuleles to strings, the excellent Baker Big Band to the brass ensemble, the concert was punctuated by a number of superbly presented solos. The concert ended with a confident Jazz Band soloing on Miles Davis’s All Blues. In fact this was the third outing for the Jazz Band, following hot on the heels of their appearance at the Cambridge International Jazz Festival and a workshop with London Jazz Orchestra bandleader Scott Stromann. Other musical events this term have included the first ever soloists’ concert and a pupils’ concert for string, piano and woodwind instrumentalists. Details of all future music events can be found on the school website. Ben Parker, head of Music

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: The Christmas concert featured ensembles and soloists.


Understanding Nazi rule

SHARING INFORMATION: Expert tour guides explain some of the local history to Comberton GCSE students.

In the early hours of Thursday 21 November 2019, 50 Year 11 GCSE History students and five members of staff set off from CVC for a four-day trip to Germany to immerse themselves in 20th Century German history. GCSE History students study five topics across their two-year course and this trip aimed to give students an up-close look at Living Under Nazi Rule, their fourth topic. The trip, run by Anglia Tours, started off in Nuremberg, a beautiful city almost entirely rebuilt to capture its medieval history after it was nearly destroyed during WWII. After sampling some local German food for lunch (and some McDonald’s!) at a shopping centre, students immediately got down to the business of coming to terms with some German history. Their first stop was Nuremberg’s fantastic Documentation Centre, situated on the site of the Nazis’ never-finished Congress Hall, right on the edges of the infamous rally grounds, where the Nazis held their party rallies in the 1930s. Aided by the Centre’s audioguides, students spent about two hours going through 13 years of Nazi history — from Hitler’s rise to power, to the rather disappointing outcomes of the Nuremberg Trials. After this tour, students got the opportunity to literally walk in the footsteps of history, going outside to explore some of the remains of the rally grounds, including the site where the 1930s Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will was filmed. After an early start and a busy day, the arrival at old medieval stables-cum-hostel was much appreciated, and students went to bed with a beautiful view of the city of Nuremberg. Friday morning’s first visit was to the Palace of Justice, the site of the Nuremberg Trials, where some of the top Nazi generals were put on trial after the end of the Second World War. This visit brought many questions to the surface around the idea of ‘justice’ and how Germany began to heal itself and deal with its Nazi past after the war. After the Palace of Justice came the chance to do some shopping — many bags

UNUSUAL ACCOMMODATION: The hostel in Nuremberg where the Comberton party stayed.

were stuffed with the famous Nuremberg lebkuchen, especially the teachers’! The tour then set off on a two-hour coach journey to Munich, the ‘capital of the movement’ during the Nazi era. Students had a brief walking tour of the main sites of the city and were then allowed free time to explore some of the shops. The Munich Park Hostel was a highlight for many students when they realised it had a massive games room, and many of the CVC students quickly made friends with Australian students staying at the hostel while on an exchange. Saturday was dedicated to understanding more about the Nazis rise to power, with students following the actual route of the 1923 Munich Putsch and having a chance to see the various buildings and beer halls that were integral to the beginning of the movement. After a quick trip to a Christmas market for some and Starbucks for others, the next stop was a visit to Ludwig Maximilian University, famous not only for being Munich’s university, but for being the home to the members of The White Rose Group, who opposed Hitler by encouraging students in Munich and other cities, to revolt against Nazi rule. The memorials there are particularly powerful, and reminded all of us that not everyone was silent in the face of the Nazis’ horrific policies and actions. Saturday was completed with a trip to a local bowling alley. This was another highlight for many, including the teachers, who had a great time laughing at the bowling. The final day of our trip began with a visit to the Dachau Memorial Site, on the grounds of the former Dachau concentration camp. While emotionally difficult for many students, it was also the most compelling part of the trip for a great number. The sheer size of the camp, the existence, still, of the gas chamber and the crematoriums, brought home to many why Nazi Germany and the Holocaust are necessary subjects to study today, and why the mantra ‘never forget’ is still so important. The final stop on our tour was to Munich’s own documentation centre, opened only in 2015. This museum deals with the history of the Nazi Party in Munich, a topic still considered very sensitive in the southern part of a country which is still uneasy about their former designation as the ‘capital of the movement’. Although there was lots of information to get to grips with, students asked some great questions and had the opportunity to consolidate some of the knowledge they’d learnt in lessons and on others part of the trip. Overall, the students represented themselves, their teachers, and CVC excellently. They asked insightful questions, engaged with hugely difficult topics, and managed early wake ups with no complaining. It was a fantastic experience for everyone involved and we are excited to offer this trip again next year to the current Year 10s. PJ Burns, History Department



Different kind of learning FOCUSED: Students hard at work in the Year 9 maths and Year 7 PE activities during Curriculum Extension Days.

Nail art took on a whole new meaning for Year 9 students during this year’s Curriculum Extension Days.

expert tuition and modified routines showed fantastic student progress with all able to perform a group routine by the end of the session. This was high energy and very tiring, showing off the athleticism and fitness levels And the boys as well as the girls were happily engaged experimenting with nails required for dance performance. and colours — to create amazing geometric pictures. Last but not least the students had a taster session in squash, a very fast paced They spent the morning selecting their designs and putting them on to paper game full of strategy and technique, and once again they received expert tuition before spray-painting a board black and transferring the design using nails and from a highly qualified coach. coloured string. Students not only developed their physical attributes, but also looked at coaching They discovered that circles, squares, equilateral triangle look better with the and umpiring. string than rectangles or isosceles triangles and that large shapes were more It really was a fantastic two days, with lots of learning and developing new skills impressive than small ones. Simplicity was also important for maximum effect. and trying and exploring new sports and activities. On the other day, the year group had a mix of science and an introduction to the Year 8 students spent one day at Walton-on-the-Naze, looking at coastal erosion Duke of Edinburgh online portal for the 160 students who have signed up. and the sea defences that have been put in place. In an introduction to STEM (Science Students looked at these defences, their Technology Engineering and Maths), they advantages and disadvantages, and were were set a challenge to create a bungee able to weigh up the pros and cons for rope and drop an egg as close to the themselves. ground as possible. Their other day was at school where they There was lots of trial and error and a few chose from a range of MFL-linked broken eggs! In the grand finale, each activities. These were Ancient Italy, group was able to test their egg, and have Zumba, Capoeira and Japanese. it filmed in slow motion so accurate Krisha (8C) chose Japanese and learned measurements could be taken. simple words and phrases as well as facts Students also had to present their about the country following a quiz. approach and testing procedures to the “Students also learned how the alphabet class, developing their presentation skills. works in Japanese, and how to write their STEM careers and related ideas were names, “ she said. “We also did some explored, and all students filled out an crafts, such as origami and fan-making.” application form to become a member of a After a showcase of all the groups’ work, team at Marshall’s Aerospace for a day. they had a chopstick challenge to pick up Year 7 were also scientists, completing a as many sweets as possible. day of experiments, ranging from testing Sophia (8O) chose zumba and said: “I washing powders to plastic bags to how really enjoyed it because it was very far you can ping a margarine tub. They energetic and fun and the teacher was then produced a poster of the entire very friendly.” investigation process. All posters were Year 10 spent one of their days with the judged and there were some overall English Department where the focus was winners from the X and the Y half. on thinking and writing about poetry. On the other day Year 7 cohort were The day began with the half year immersed into a world of sport and gathering in the Sixth Form Lecture activities. Across a jam-packed day, they Theatre for Mr Shelley’s introduction to all engaged in six 50-minute crash courses in COASTAL STUDIES: Year 8 students looking at sea things poetic. They learnt, for example, of alternative games and traditional sports. defences on the East coast. the connection between poems and cakes During gymnastics the students used a — in particular, cakes with toenails buried in them... variety of apparatus, including beam, asymmetric bars, vaults and floor and After that, students got the chance to put theory into practice in some group work developed a wide variety of skills. exploring and then presenting, in a range of creative ways, two of the Power and In mountain biking they developed basic skills such as gearing and cornering and Conflict poems they’ll need to be experts on for their second Literature exam. then looked to build on the legacy of Team Sky (now Team INEOS) and master The day ended with a focus on context; Year 10 were able to watch and reflect on the skill of track cycling. Students took part in a Keirin-style race with a pace“They Shall Not Grow Old”, Peter Jackson’s incredible and incredibly moving setter picking up the speed and then a two-lap sprint to decide the winners. This World War One documentary film. inclusive event allowed all participants to pit their skills against level opposition. Their other day was involved with careers activities, including information on Many had a new experience when they tried Korfball in a session delivered by a apprenticeships, CV-writing and interview techniques followed by a careers former England player and experienced coach, who put on an energetic and carousel with employers. enthusiastic session. A cross between basketball and netball, and with a playing For those in Year 11 doing art music or catering, it was mock exam time, while area that surrounds the posts, this mixed team sport was a firm favourite and the rest of the year group spent time with senior staff members on a carousel of created a great atmosphere with an emphasis on teamwork and communication. activities looking at life after Year 11, including money management, revision The dance sessions delivered were a mixture of contemporary and street. The techniques and well-being.



The Trust has appointed an Education Welfare lead for the first time.

Kerry Puttock will be working closely with our schools, helping them to achieve attendance figures above the national averages and have the highest possible levels of welfare for our students. She will provide advice on complex cases, complete EHAs to facilitate multi-agency support, evaluate procedures and assess our monitoring systems. Kerry will also meet with students and families experiencing attendance issues. She is well-placed for this new role with a NEW WELFARE ROLE: For Kerry Puttock. background in Human Resources, where she focused on improving adult attendance, as well as having worked in pastoral and SEN roles in education, including at Melbourn We were delighted to welcome Offord Primary School, near Village College. Huntingdon, into our Trust in September. She said: “The Cam Academy Trust Offord is the seventh Primary phase school to join The Cam is passionate about ensuring an Academy Trust. From the outset, we have been able to provide excellent and comprehensive leadership at the school with Kate Ruddock, Deputy at Hartford education for all students. Junior School, taking on the role of Head of School. Unfortunately, some of our students In addition, Shelley Desborough, Head at Gamlingay Village inevitably have challenging circumstances which can lead to Primary, is providing an executive Head role to work closely with poor attendance. I will be working Kate to confirm strategic developments for the school, while the school’s governing body, including its Chair, Liz Simpkin, a former with each school to help improve the increasing absence rates and make headteacher, have formed the core of the school’s Local sure we are doing everything we can Governing Body within the Trust. to help students attend school and The school is making positive strides and is rapidly integrating reach their potential. within the community of schools in our Trust. All of us look “I will spend a day at each school, forward to working positively with everyone at the school.

Offord join Trust

working more so with secondary schools in the first instance, and supporting primaries where needed. I will be liaising with Headteachers and Attendance Officers to identify key attendance concerns and work out where I can best support them. I will provide advice on referral letters, penalties and how to manage different circumstances affecting attendance, such as medical or mental health reasons, as well as looking at how we can support these individuals. “It is really important to me that I get to know the families of our students. Some families have had negative experiences of school which in turn can impact their child’s view of attending school. Although it can be challenging, if we can connect and gain support from the whole family, it can have a hugely positive impact on a student’s attendance. We must work to break the historical patterns and cycles of negativity within a family regarding education. Already I have seen that in schools where the Attendance Officer and Family Officer work closely together, the attendance of these pupils is higher. “Another of my aims for this role is to increase collaboration and sharing of best practice between schools. “I also want to work towards removing barriers to education, especially for those suffering from poor mental health. Encouraging early intervention is very important as it increases the chances of turning a situation around.

Thumbs up from Ofsted

Hartford Junior School in Huntingdon, which joined The Cam Academy Trust in January 2017, was inspected by Ofsted in October. The inspection went very well and properly recognised the excellent progress made at the school in recent years. The overall grade for the school was deemed to be ‘Good’; the first time that the school has been judged as ‘Good’ by Ofsted inspectors for more than a decade (as acknowledged in the inspection report). In the opening words of the report, the

school is ‘on its way up’. The report goes on to confirm that: ‘This is as a result of the effective leadership provided by the headteacher, the deputy headteacher and other leaders.’ We are all delighted at this great acknowledgement of the work done by everyone involved with the school. It is really good news for the local community that the school is providing high quality education for pupils and is determined to continue to improve further as it moves forward.

Working together to share good practice DELIGHTED: Hartford Junior School staff and pupils Picture: Hunts Post after their Ofsted ‘good’ grading.

At the beginning of November we received a visit from senior staff at the Red Kite Learning Trust. This Trust has Primary and Secondary Schools located in Harrogate and Leeds as well as having an active Teaching School Alliance that, among other things, is involved in much teacher training work. As such, the Trust has many similarities with The Cam Academy Trust. The visit was a reciprocal visit as staff from our Trust visited Harrogate and Leeds last summer. The purpose of the exercise is to look at particular areas of work in each Trust, compare notes and make observations to help with future developments. The focus for the visit of Red Kite Learning Trust was to look at how our schools work together for mutual benefit and to consider ways that this might be developed further and more effectively. Some very helpful insights were given following positive visits to several schools in the Trust and conversations with some staff. We hope that this will help us as we consider how further we can make the most of being a group of local schools working together to support the best possible education for all pupils in all our schools.

SHARING IDEAS: Comberton Principal Peter Law with Red Kite leaders.

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


The magic of Italy . . . COMBERTON VILLAGE COLLEGE

Another 40 students from Years 8 and 9 are already counting down to their Activities Week trip to Italy next summer. The annual history and geography trip is completely ‘sold out’ so for those who won’t appreciate it in person or for those going who want a preview, below is a report from some of those lucky enough to have visited the Bay of Naples this summer. “We spent four exciting days exploring the natural wonders and the historical sites of this region, including Pompeii and Herculaneum. “Our trip started very early on Monday morning at 2:20 am. We flew to Sorrento and spent the rest of the day exploring the city. Then we visited an ice cream-

ON TOUR: Students on this summer’s Activities Week trip to the Bay of Naples.

Insight into life as university student

The University of Cambridge Religion, Theology and Philosophy taster day at Girton College started in the Old Hall where we were greeted by friendly members of the college. We were seated on a table of six students, three of whom we didn’t know. As the day continued, we followed a timetable which included talks on topics such as Mindfulness, Science and Literature all relating back to the main subjects, ‘Religion, Theology and Philosophy’. These taster lectures were given by lecturers who currently teach at Cambridge University and these talks really opened our minds to a deeper way of thinking. After four different talks, we were

given a tour of the college by a student who is currently enrolled at the university. We were shown all the different aspects of the college, like the indoor pool, the library, the chapel and the dining hall. This tour showed us what it is like being a student at Cambridge. This was very interesting as we had not seen or experienced this before. We also enjoyed a buffet lunch prepared by Girton caterers, which was very delicious! The day ended with two more talks, including a science demonstration as part of the Religion and Science lecture. Overall it was a very beneficial day and we all really enjoyed it. Milly (11O)

MIGHT AS WELL BOUNCE: Students enjoy the social trip to

Xtreme 360.


making shop where we tried new flavours, such as hazelnut and lemon sorbet. While there we learnt the difference between the methods of making sorbet and ice cream. It was a great first day! “On our second day we also had quite an early start as we had to catch a ferry to the Island of Capri. Once there we took a boat tour around the island where we saw some amazing views. One of the best parts was when we went under an arch in the middle of a rock which historically symbolises friendship. After the tour we took the funicular, the public bus and then a chair lift to get to Ana capri. Again, the views were amazing at the top before we were surrounded by clouds, which was very atmospheric. We then made our way back to the hotel where we had free time before bed. We started the third day with a trip to Mount Vesuvius (before it was too hot). We learnt lots of geographical facts and explored the crater. After climbing Vesuvius, we went to Pompeii where we looked around the site and found out lots of new facts about how the Romans lived. We even drank water from ancient Roman water fountains! On the last day, we were all very sad to leave but we started our morning by walking to the beach and enjoyed the view of the coast. Then we took the one and half hour bus journey to Herculaneum where we had time to explore the ruins in groups. Everyone enjoyed this time with their friends and at 1:40 we left for the airport. After an eventful flight we took the bus back to CVC and were all very tired and looking forward to going home. Overall, we enjoyed the trip! Ciao!” Orla (10T), Robyn (10C), Max (10I) and Luise (10R)

IT’S THE TAKING PART . . . Students with their certificates of participation.

Test of world knowledge

Last month some of my friends and I headed to Long Road Sixth Form for the annual geography quiz hosted by the Cambridge Geographical Association. At the World Wide Quiz, schools from around Cambridgeshire battled it out to win. Each school was divided into an A and a B team. Each round put our geographical knowledge to the test. For example, in one of the rounds we had some satellite

images from which we had to identify the place. In another round we answered questions from the iGeo global quiz. The A team ended up fourth of 17 teams, two points behind The Stephen Perse Foundation in third. Perse won and were second, while our B team were 12th. Overall, I would say we had a brilliant time and I would recommend going to this quiz if you are interested in geography. Oshie (10C)

Going to extremes

Last month 104 Year 9 students headed off on two buses to Xtreme 360 in St Neots. There were loads of trampolines all over the floors and there was a section with balls where we played dodgeball, which was really fun. There was also an area where we could run up, jump and dunk the ball in the hoop. One area had long trampolines where I spent a lot of my time watching some Year 9s doing amazing tricks. Lastly, there was a foam pit with two longer trampolines where we could jump next to our friends and see who could flip the furthest. We had a fun and tiring social although we got to have a break from bouncing for slushies. We definitely will be going back! Hallam (9T)

A position of strength


More space and superb results are reasons for cheer

After another busy summer and the start of the Autumn term it is time to take stock of how the Sixth Form has continued to go from strength to strength. After our significant growth in numbers for September 2018 entry, we anticipated another year of significant demand from our local community, Trust schools and the secondary schools across the Cambridge Area Partnership (CAP). Our Sixth Form now has just more than 500 students combined between Year 12 and Year 13 studying subject combinations in both A-level and BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma courses. Over the summer, we completed a number of expansion projects that have provided us with a new and improved Core (Sixth Form café and common room), two additional Sixth Form science labs and the relocation and upgrade of our BTEC Business Studies facilities. We continue to invest in our facilities and teaching environment to enable us to successfully manage this growth (although it is not expected that the Sixth Form at Comberton will grow further). Comberton’s class of 2019 secured superb examination results with an overall pass rate of 100 per cent across all subjects at A-level and BTEC Level 3, including an impressive 30 per cent of grades at A*-A or equivalent and 84 per

cent at A*-C grade or equivalent. Unsurprisingly, the next step for many of this cohort has been university, with more than a third of students securing places at prestigious Russell Group institutions, including at Oxbridge, and others securing places on very competitive degree courses elsewhere, school leaver programmes and apprenticeships, as well as a considerable number currently enjoying gap years. Once again our new Year 12 intake are focussed on settling in and making progress with their academic studies, while Year 13 students are busy making their applications for their future courses and activities beyond Comberton. Our Open Evening on October 30th was again bustling, with Year 11 students from Cambridge Area Partnership Schools and beyond. We very much look forward to receiving applications in January after the final application deadline. As we approached the Christmas period, we had several key events taking place, including supporting charities such as Children in Need, Jimmy’s Night shelter Appeal and the Global Literacy Foundation Appeal. Perhaps Year 12 students are less likely to look forward to their mock exam period in January, but, of course, examination experience is of vital importance! David Clarke Head of Sixth Form

Youth voices deserve to be heard SOCIAL EXPANSION: The Core — the café and common room — has been extended and improved.

LOOKING ROUND: The Sixth Form Open Evening attracted visitors from Comberton and beyond.

“The second day looked at how the Year 13 student Georgia has raised resolution is implemented globally, and nearly £1000 for the World Literacy the role of governments and Foundation as one of their stakeholder institutions. There was also ambassadors, which included going to a fair, where I was able to present the Hungary last month for a forum on work of the World Literacy Foundation. peace and security. “A session on ‘Methods for Intercultural Here she explains more: “For the last Learning and Peacebuilding’ was six months I have been a Youth perfect for me as a modern languages Ambassador for the World Literacy student. We looked at the need to Foundation. I have held multiple understand cultural differences and fundraising events, including an odd how we can break prejudice and socks day at college and a concert, stereotypes through activism. raising £935.08. “The final activity was starting to “During this time, I was selected to develop projects that could continue represent the WLF and the UK at the after the forum. Ideas included social Euro-Arab Youth Forum on Peace and SPREADING THE WORD: At the Euro-Arab Youth Forum. media campaigns to fight the Security at the European Youth Centre to get young people involved in peacebuilding normalisation of violence against women, microin Budapest, Hungary. and activism, through protection, prevention, fora in individual countries, and a report on the “Organised jointly by the Council of Europe and partnerships and disengagement and poor treatment of young activists by the the League of Arab States, the forum brought reintegration. It was a great insight into the work authorities. These were presented on the final together 100 young leaders, activists and youth of the UN and other diplomatic institutions. day, as well as a report on 10 years of Euro-Arab workers aged 18-30 for a dialogue on UN Security cooperation, and the findings of the forum. Council Resolution 2250: Youth, Peace and “The way young people, and particularly those “The Forum was a unique opportunity for me to Security. It brought together representatives from involved in activism, are viewed and treated by take a step into the world of activism through organisations such as UNICEF, the European the media and authority figures interests me, and NGOs and international charities, rather than Youth Parliament, and Greenpeace, from the session made me reflect that young people smaller community-based work as I have been countries such as Qatar, Georgia, France and are a massive part of the population, and our doing. I’m looking forward to carrying what I Tunisia. presence in the important conversations should learnt forward with me into my future activism.” “The first day focused the resolution which aims reflect that.


Physics in the real world SIXTH FORM

Setting off from Comberton to visit CERN, we flew to Geneva, Switzerland, having safely negotiated security, airport sushi and Crispy Kreme and a rather small Easyjet plane.

We then took a train to Geneva, and a short walk to the hostel, stopping only to observe Geneva’s famous fountain, a waterspout that flies 140 metres into the air. The hostel was good, offering a dinner of meatballs, vegetables and an assortment of puddings, which were promptly eaten. Our first official activity in Switzerland was a few rounds of bowling, a chance to wind down and relax after a day of traveling. Saturday saw us traveling early to the border of Switzerland and France where the Large Hadron Collider is, at 27km in circumference, the largest science experiment in the world. We attended a talk by one of the scientists of the LHC, discussing topics ranging from relativity and particle physics, to the logistics of the running of CERN and their recent scientific output. After the talk, we took another bus across the border into France to visit one of the many various experiments within the complex. The specific accelerator that

A quantum leap

UNDERGROUND: At the Compact Muon Solenoid

More 60 Sixth Form students (mainly Physics and Computer Science) attended a lecture by Alan Denton, from the Institute of Physics and the STEM Learning Partnership, on Quantum Key Distribution. This is basically how can messages be encrypted so they cannot be hacked. The key physics links to Heisenburg’s Uncertainty Principle and the linear polarisation of light. These were demonstrated with some ropes, metre rulers and some enthusiastic sixth form students. Our future cyber security will very likely rely on this, and Alan was able to tell the students about the £270 million investment from the government into four Quantum Technology Hubs (Oxford, Glasgow, York and Birmingham Universities) and the other 17 universities also working on this exciting new technology. It was a fantastic lecture which engaged and challenged the students. Alan ended the lecture with a demonstration which initially was like magic (there were actual oos and aahs from the audience) — Sellotape was used to allow polarised light from the same source to appear in multiple different colours. Physics can explain. Euan Willder, Head of Science

LEARNING: Students attend Alan Denton’s lecture.


we saw was the CMS or compact muon solenoid, a particle accelerator designed to use large magnetic forces to bend the path of particles from the Large Hadron Collider. As part of the tour, we descended to almost 100m underground, where the detectors, as well as many of the computers are stored. The detector itself is 15 by 15 metres in height and width, as well as 21 metres long. Compared to the sizes of some of the other detectors, however, it is one of the smaller models, with the ATLAS detector clocking in at an impressive 25 by 25 metres in size. During the visit to the CMS, we also looked at the workspaces of the scientists, such as their meeting rooms and where they look at the data that is collected from the collider. After finishing the tour, we took the bus back to the visitor centre, finishing the day at CERN with a look at the observatory dome, a building that had information on the other planets in the galaxy, as well as about the countries that take part in CERN from around the world, such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland and France. In the next half of the day, we visited the city of Geneva. As one of the most important cities in Europe, Geneva hosts organisations such as the Red Cross as well as many of the United Nations bodies. We visited the cathedral St Pierre, including walking up hundreds of stairs to the top of the bell towers. This was worth it though for the views across the city. On Sunday morning, we headed to Bern to visit the Einstein museum. A twohour train journey and a physics quiz later, we arrived in the Swiss capital and made our way towards Einstein’s house, where we had a guided tour about his childhood and what he went on to discover and theorise in his later years. We learned about his theory of relativity, which is a very complicated theory that you learn in Year 13 and at university level physics. Yet we got the chance to hear about it from a physicist who was very passionate about this subject. After an exciting and educational morning, we went to visit the bears that live over the bridge and saw them running and roaming through their enclosure, which was amazing. Then it was back to Geneva and the airport. Overall, the trip was a big success. We learnt a lot about particle physics and the theory of relativity, which sparked interest in most of the 29 Year 13 students and had people asking questions throughout the weekend. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the weekend with the small shopping trips and sightseeing excursions that took place. We really recommend going on the trip. It is a wonderful experience to have. Sam (U6-EH) and Ellie (U6-JD)

Let them eat cake!

Comberton Sixth Form took on the challenge of raising money for our annual Children in Need Day. It began in wonderful style with the arrival of students in various arrays of costumes from unicorn onesies to amazing spider man outfits. On arrival, students were greeted by members of the sixth form charity and community enrichment group C4 asking for donations to this worthy cause. It was great to see such generous support from the Sixth form as they dug deep into pockets and wallets for their coins. At break, there was a wonderful cake sale bash in the sixth form Core with contributions from many student cake makers eager to help. The favourites were the scrumptious Smarties cookies and the Maltesertopped cupcakes, which sold out in five minutes! The cakes were nearly all sold out by the end of the day. We would like to say a huge thankyou to everyone for such amazing support for this worthy cause and for our highest ever amount raised £285.56. Roll on next year! Imogen, Miri and Lizzie (Year 12)

CAKE TIME: The Childen in Need bake sale in full flow.


The outdoor classroom!

DATA COLLECTION: Physical geographers at work on the Dorset coast, while human geographers collected their data in nearby towns.

At the beginning of October, all the Year 13 geography students travelled to the Leeson House field study centre in Swanage, Dorset, to complete the fieldwork needed to write our A-Level coursework. Having arrived the evening before, we began our Sunday morning bright and early to visit the areas where we would be collecting data. We first split into two groups: those who were doing human geography coursework on place and those focusing on the physical geography of coasts. From here, the human geographers travelled to Boscombe and Corfe, while the physical geography students took the short journey to Studland and then Swanage. We were taught methods on how to successfully carry out our investigation,

including tips on the best way to write questionnaires and take beach profiles. Using what we had learnt on Sunday, we went out again on Monday and Tuesday to take all the measurements, calculations and surveys we needed to complete our investigations. Although we worked in small groups, we each had a separate aim and hypothesis. The two days were very long, and we were faced with pouring rain and brilliant sunshine (for October). However, when we made it back to the field centre, the evening games of table football, ping pong and hide-and-seek began and made the trip entertaining. As a result, we all came home exhausted, with lots of information and ready to complete our coursework. Katarina (U6-MR) and Alice (U6-EH)

Hospice experience is about life not death When I began work at St Clare Hospice near Harlow in 2018 I knew that it was an exceptional place which aims not just to help sick people but to change the way people think; hospice care is about life and living, not just death and dying. Walking inside is like walking into someone’s home; the rooms are hotel-quality with a warm, comforting feel. Wildlife roams the beautiful gardens and instead of the bitter odour of disinfectant, the delicious smell of roast dinner fills the hallways. Smiles and laughter are everywhere. Behind the scenes are the finest medical equipment and expertise. Recently it was officially designated as a University of Cambridge Teaching Hospice. Medical students learn about palliative care — giving people with life-limiting conditions help to manage their symptoms. It’s a positive place where people often live on for years with high quality care. For young people like myself, the hospice runs an outstanding Ambassador Scheme. The project helps sixth formers who are interested in a career in medicine or healthcare to gain practical experience by volunteering on the Inpatient Unit. I attended for two hours almost every Sunday to watch medical intervention, serve tea and talk to

FURRY FRIENDS WELCOME: The hospice has an open door policy on pets. patients. I even brought-in my 10-year-old former guide dog Rocky, as the hospice has an open door policy on pets. He was a huge hit, especially with the nurses, who fed him dinner scraps! For five months, I learned about patient care, the role

of doctors, nurses, counsellors and the valuable work of other staff who make the hospice tick; cooks, cleaners and volunteers. I had some worries about facing ‘the end’; having grandparents, it had been on my mind. My own grandfather unexpectedly died in hospital at the end of my placement. The staff were wonderful and supportive. It made me feel better to see that for the rest of my family, there will be an alternative place for them with the highest standards of care and personal attention. The experience of speaking to patients and staff has given me a new perspective on hospice life and has been invaluable in my university application. It has also shaped me as a person. The positive attitude of staff and patients was inspirational in everyday life. I didn’t witness anyone pass away and staff were always attentive as to how I was feeling. It’s astounding that apart from a small amount of NHS funding, most of the money to run the service comes from charitable donations. I would recommend the placement to any student interested in working in the healthcare or medical field and I would recommend them as a very worthy charitable cause. They really do have the power to change lives. Megan (U6-RW)

Old and new students discuss change Plenty of former students were among the guests as Comberton’s charities enrichment group hosted the annual community Christmas afternoon tea party and raffle in The Core. The guests all enjoyed talking to the sixth formers about their lives and how much Comberton has changed over the years, particularly for those who attended the college as students. The visitors are members of the Comberton

Friendship Club, which meets monthly for social activities. This was one of two events that takes place at CSF in the academic year, with a summer tea party as well. The event has now been running for seven years and any money raised from the raffle and quiz at the event is added to the amount raised for Children In Need. All the cake and raffle donations came from CSF TEATIME: At the Christmas party. students and staff.


Selfless duo recognised SIXTH FORM

Two Comberton students dedicated to helping others get the most out of sport have had their efforts recognised.

Leadership Camp in July, I was fortunate enough to win one of four awards — the Innovate Award — and that meant I got to experience the differences in sporting culture between the USA and England. During the trip, we went to different schools, coaching sessions, workshops and panels. We also experienced first-hand the attitude towards college sports as we stayed on the beautiful campus of Endicott College where most of our sessions were held and we were also able to go and watch any sports games or practices in the evening. Away from the coaching side, we also took trips and learnt so much about the history and culture of Boston, especially about the Salem Witch Trials. It was an absolutely amazing week and I have taken WINNER: Lily collects her award. away so much knowledge from some incredible coaches. I will keep that with me and try to implement it in my coaching in Jessica has only just moved into adult dance competitions but is the future.” already making her presence felt. She qualified for the ISTD Ballroom and Latin national finals in Blackpool and, in only her third adult competition reached the semi-finals of the Ballroom competition and the quarter-finals of the Latin one. This puts her in the top 12 in the country at her level for Ballroom and in the top 24 for Latin, which is an impressive achievement at just 16-years-old.

Lily has been named as Living Sport Young Community Volunteer of the Year, while Izzy won a trip to America for her impressive football leadership, which has carried on since joining CSF from Cambourne Village College. Living Sport, a charity which is dedicated to raising community participation in sport in Cambridgeshire, named Lily as their top young volunteer at the annual awards ceremony late last month. She has undertaken many hours of voluntary work both in the community and in her time at Comberton Village College and now in the sixth form. She leads multiple weekly football sessions, ranging from a local girls’ village team to sessions for elite players in the Cambridge United Development Centre. She also volunteers at United and, at school, has set up a different clubs, including one for Year 6s to help with transition and a boccia club for students with disabilities. Izzy, also a finalist at the national Youth Sport Trust Girls Active Awards in the ‘Leader of the Year’ category recently, is also a ‘Girls Activator’ with the YST. She said: “In October half term I was lucky enough to go on a week-long trip to Boston, Massachusetts with the Youth Sports Trust. REWARD: Award winners spent a week in “At the Girls Football Youth the USA.

Making an impression

Representing Great Britain

GB CALLS: For one of CSF’s students.

Fencer Hannah continues to make an impression after winning a place in the Great Britain under-20 squad late last season. The 18-year-old Upper Sixth student has already represented her country twice this season, competing in the Women’s Junior section at the Eden Cup in London last month and then last weekend taking part in a World Cup event in Romania.

ALL DRESSED UP: For the National Finals at Blackpool.

Inspired by the Lionesses . . .

NEW TEAM: CSF’s girls’ team at their first match and,

inset, the new kit sponsored by Anglia Ruskin.


As many will already be aware, there has been a huge growth in international women’s football, both in terms of profile and audience. At Comberton Sixth Form, we have always valued #GirlsCan, but until 2019 we had previously never managed to get a Sixth Form girls’ football team running in a sustainable way. Our growth in student numbers, along with the growth in women’s football, has changed all this for CSF. Staff and students have worked with other local sixth form centres and colleges to encourage them to promote girls’ football with the aim of establishing an inter-sixth form league in the Cambridge and North Essex areas (one has been established for many years for the boys). In October, we hosted a visit from the Youth Sport Trust and Football Association as part of a drive to promote girls/women’s football. This was filmed by the BBC for Newsround and shown in early November. We are delighted to say that all this effort from students and staff has paid off, with CSF playing its first competitive girls football game away at Impington International Sixth Form on November 6th. While the result didn’t quite go our way with a final 2-1 score, we see this as the start of the journey! We are very grateful to Anglia Ruskin University for their kind sponsorship of the new CSF girls’ team kit and their support of this venture and we continue to seek partners to support other sporting initiatives at CSF. Abbey Cotton, PE Dept, and David Clarke, Head of Sixth Form

Tips to stay safe online


During their time at Comberton students will be exposed to a range of different educational points relating to staying safe online.

We focus on identifying the risks of the online world, how to stay safe and the legal aspects by sharing some of the things legally you can and cannot do online. Students at Comberton are on a online safety learning pathway to ensure they get specific input at different points in their time at the school. Where possible this pathway uses four specific points to help pupils stay safe when using social networks. 1. Private Vs Public By default, almost every social network will set up new accounts with public access. Clearly this is a concern as anyone using these accounts can therefore find people online. Over time it has become clear that many students are indeed selecting to make their profile private and therefore restricting the access to the wider world. It is usually in the interest of the company who develop and run the app to make accounts public, but unfortunately this makes these less safe for users. We have seen tsome apps (applications) actively hide the feature which allows users to make their account private. If in doubt search for help on the app and look at how to turn the account setting to private. A good way to ensure you can follow the steps is by searching how to make accounts private on a video viewing site such as YouTube. It is important to make the change from public to private as soon as possible. We have noticed that some students have created accounts on multiple social networks, but then only go on to change the accounts which they use most often. The danger is that those accounts which remain public but unused are still possibly sharing personal data to all users.

2. Online friends Obvious though it may seem, ensuring that online friends and followers are known in the real world is still something students should be encouraged to ensure they do for all accounts. Our internal research shows that many students still accept friend requests/account follows from people they don’t know. Some students also actively seek friendship with people they don’t know and request to be friends of others based only on a name, image or app-generated recommendation. Clearly accepting friend requests from people you don’t know is undoing all the good work of ensuring the account is private. Many apps these days will encourage you to select additional friends based on the people you follow/befriend or groups which are liked based on things such as films, music and television programmes or personalities. People who wish to abuse the system can use this mechanism to start appearing on lists by liking similar things as students. It is therefore vital that students are vigilant in only allowing online friends to be people they know in the real world.

3. Posting images Students should do this check before posting any images online:— l Do I want this shared with everyone? Even images which are sent to one person can be shared. Apps which state the ‘image will disappear after being viewed’ or similar don’t guarantee that others can’t take screenshots or the use other apps which store so-called temporary images. l Is the image I share a representation of myself? Rightly or wrongly people are judged on their online persona. Consider what others may think of the images you post. l Is the image legal? Sexting is the sending of inappropriate images online and applies to anyone under 18. l Am I more identifiable in the real world because of this picture? Avoid posting images of you and others in school uniform, for example, to limit the possibility of you being traced. l Is the image the only data I am sharing? Many phones link images with hidden meta data containing details such as date, time and location. With specialist software you can identify the location an image was taken. It is possible to turn

off location services entirely on a phone so this data isn’t stored. You can also choose which apps use location services so it can be on for apps such as google maps but off for snapchat. l If you are unsure about any of the above items don’t send it!

4. Think before you post. Our student review shows that many more students think they haven’t been unkind to someone online compared to those who say they have had something posted about them which they felt was unkind. It could be the case that the students being unkind maybe not from our college.What is much more likely is that students don’t consider what they are sending as unkind. The main reason for this is that without direct human interaction empathy is more difficult. Often what starts as a joke turns into students being unkind to one another online.

Repeated unpleasant messages could constitute a breach of different UK laws. This type of behaviour falls under the term cyberbullying and is reportable to the police.

Employers and other organisations such as universities legally can and do review online profiles. Based upon their findings they can deny interviews or in extreme circumstances terminate employment status.

When sending messages pupils should ask themselves the following questions: l Could the message upset someone? l Could the message be viewed as cyberbullying? l Could the message reflect badly on me either now or in the future? l Would I be happy for anyone to read this message? l If you are unsure about any of the above items, don’t send it!

The development of apps moves at an incredible pace. It is almost impossible to become familiar with every new social networking app or try to guess at which app is going to be the most popular for students to start using. It is hoped that using tips which can effectively be applied to any social networking app is more robust than building a guide to each. There are times however, when finding out a little more about different apps can be useful. The website can be used to gain further knowledge about different apps and online games to highlight the possible dangers. Left is an example of some of the breakdown of an App called Snapchat. Along with overview details such as these, there are plenty of more elements on the website to fully understand the app from both a child and adult perspective.


Cash boost for eco engineers COMBERTON VILLAGE COLLEGE

Eco engineering club is all about dealing with the climate crises here and now in our own community.

Our goal is to stop thinking of plastic as waste and start looking at it as useful construction material. We started by creating Eco bricks from plastic bottles which had been used at our Christmas lunch last year. We compacted a lot of clean non-recyclable waste into the bottles to produce extremely sturdy ‘Eco bricks’. Students who attended the club last year managed build an eco-bench big and strong enough to seat three people. This year the club has received a £3,000 fund from the Royal Society of Mathematics in London to help expand our eco projects.

Celebrating all things maths

We have also been lucky enough to acquire a space in which eco bricks can be produced. This year we aim to create concrete blocks, reinforced and bulked out with Eco Bottles inside, using moulds we build. We are even learning how to use a cement mixer and a 3D printer to produce these! None of this would be possible without the help and guide of our STEM engineer, Dr Rodger Thornton, who visits the club every week, and helps us understand the engineering behind construction. The club is open to all, and currently runs on Monday and Tuesday lunchtimes. It will run as an after-school club every Tuesday between 3 and 4 after Christmas. Please e-mail if you would like to join our effort. There is always room for one more Eco engineer!

RECYCLED BENCH: Students have constructed a seat from waste bottles.

Shining stars

ECO ENGINEERS: The plan is to build concrete bricks reinforced and bulked out with eco bottles at their centre.

On the week of 11–17 November, the entire school participated in the UK Maths Week, celebrating the genius of mathematics. Every day in form time, each tutor group was given a maths problem to solve, including the horizontal and vertical reflection of time and a problem about squares as palindromes. There was a display promoting maths week in the foyer and the dining hall, showcasing the work and enrichment projects that were completed last year. We also celebrated achievement of the nine students who took part in Games of Dragons in St John’s College during the summer. Comberton had much to celebrate at the end of this beautiful day, with all groups achieving great results and two of Comberton groups coming first in their category. Our Maths leaders worked tirelessly to encourage younger students to attend the free lunchtime maths clubs available. These are Eco engineering (Mondays and Tuesdays), Mathematical yarn (Wednesdays) and UKMT maths challenges (Thursdays). All clubs take place in CPR4 and everyone is welcome.


Every year the maths department invites students to take part in the UKMT maths challenges. There are three individual and three team challenges every year: Junior for Years 7 and 8, Intermediate for Years 9-11 and the Senior for Sixth Formers. CELEBRATING MATHS: The whole school took part in UK This year two exceptional Year 11 mathematicians, Ben and Kai, Maths Week. entered the Senior maths challenge, and did so well they are eligible for the second round. They said: “The Senior Maths Challenge has been a great experience. It was a very difficult, yet rewarding experience that we are both extremely proud to have done so well. “We hope to do well in the British Mathematics Olympiad.” The individual intermediate challenge is in February, followed by the junior challenge at the end DRAGON-SLAYERS: The Game of Dragons competitors. of April.

Team’s tie-break agony


Once again, we entered two fantastic teams into the internationally renowned Kids Lit Quiz last month featuring pupils from Year 7 and Year 8.

The Magisterium included William, Elizabeth, Emily and Bryn, while the Kiwi Kwizlets featured Harry, Sophie, Lily and Rufus. Competing against 15 schools, all dressed in their blazers, we took on the most well-read children in the region, fighting for a place in the national finals. The quiz was made up of 10 rounds, all containing obscure questions on a range of subjects including witches, watches and who said what. At the end of the 10 rounds we stood in joint first and second place. The Magisterium faced the tie-breaker question against the Swavesey Swans and, devastatingly, lost to a question about Miss Peregrine. Despite this painful outcome, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and came away with great memories and a bunch of books and book vouchers. William (8C) and Harry (8I)

A winning pitch

The Reading Agency sent out an email asking book groups to pitch for a set of books to review and keep. We sent in our pitch and were successful! We are now reading and reviewing; ‘Scoop McLaren Detective Editor’ by Helen Castles (New Frontier Publishing). This adds anther dimension to the book group as the students can directly affect how the book is received. It also adds another set of books to our ‘Group Read Trolley’. The Reading Agency is supported by the Arts Council and creates programmes to promote and encourage reading. If you would like to know more, log into their website.

BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE: From the Comberton teams.

ESTEEMED COMPANY: Students with a celebrated maths expert.

‘Choose maths because it’s hard’!

A group of students was invited to spend a day in the Institute of Mathematical sciences, and explore Careers in Mathematics, organised by Comberton maths teacher Mrs Tang- Gentile. The students spent time looking at some mathematical problems and heard some inspiring talks by reputable mathematicians from Cambridge University. One memorable quote came from Alison Boyle who told the students: “Mathematicians don’t choose to do maths because it’s easy. They choose to do it because maths is hard and they enjoy a challenge.”

The final talk was presented by Sir Professor David Spiegelhalter, who is one of the most cited mathematicians in the world and an expert in probability and risk. The talk was highly informative and as always David presented things in an engaging and very funny way. The professor was happy to see a familiar face, Mrs Doza, and invited her and the Comberton students to the best seast in the hall. At the end we even got to take a photo with him before we travelled back to Comberton. It was a very enjoyable and inspiring day!

American goal for Comberton robot builders

Comberton students are dreaming of winning a trip to America — if they can get their robot on board. The 20 members of Comberton’s STEM club, who range from Year 7 to Year 13, have created Niki with the goal of winning the UK FIRST Tech Challenge, the first round of which takes place at Duxford in February. In teams supported by a mentor FIRST Tech Challenge participants learn to think, operate and collaborate like innovators — designing robots to compete in tournaments. Earlier this month the Comberton group had the chance to refine Niki at a Scrimmage at Chesterton Community College, a productive day where they got Niki and its arm to work. Lucy (L6-WG) explained: “We had the opportunity to test the robot in the

REFINING: The Scrimmage gave students the chance to improve to their robot. competition set up. We also met up with another team from Norfolk and another from Chesterton who were both massive in helping us to adapt our design and code and have offered their future help particularly with 3D printing. “We also came up with an idea of a possible wheel, motor, and servo combination to make the robot faster and more efficient as well as making the arm more manoeuvrable. “We also took measurements to replicate competition protocol of the bridges: 36.2cm versus. 51.5cm from clamp stands. “Now our robot fits through the bridge, which scores us the most points and we are intending to keep it this way. From now on the meeting time will be spent on the development of our arm.”


The great outdoors!

Round-up of the latest news from the South Cambs SSP

Comberton Village College was a hive of activity earlier this half term as 160 children from 17 South Cambs primary schools took part in a fun and challenging Outdoor Adventurous Activities event designed to test their teamwork, self-belief, determination and passion.

The event was open to children in Years 3 and 4 and was aimed at those who don’t normally get a chance to represent their school in sporting competitions or may not like the more traditional sports. Mixed teams of four took part in four different challenges, including an orienteering team scoring competition, netball numbers, the vortex and a school games challenge. Each activity involved teamwork, communication and problem-solving as well as running to find markers to successfully complete each challenge in as quick a time as possible. Claire McDonnell, Partnership Manager, said: “The idea behind the event was to try and appeal to a different group of young people who perhaps don’t like your more traditional sports. “The activities challenged both the mind and body, with children having to work together, devise a plan, find points and make decisions. “It was great to see a different group of young people getting the chance to represent their school, experience being part of a team, have fun and enjoy themselves!” Year 10 students from Comberton’s Sport Leadership Academywere involved with leading the activities and supporting the teams. Teams that best demonstrated the values of teamwork, self-belief, passion and determination

throughout the afternoon’s activities were nominated

by the sports leaders, with the following teams

picking up awards:

Monkfield Park, Cambourne, A, Meldreth Primary

School B, Meridian Primary School, Comberton, C and Petersfield Primary School, Orwell, D. Among the other schools taking part were Fowlmere, Gamlingay, Harston & Newton, Barton. The Vine and Coton.

TEAMWORK: Meridian’s successful quartet and (right) leaders work with pupils.

MARKING THEIR CARD: Youngsters tracked their progress at orienteering-type stations.

Football competition attracts record entries QUALIFIERS: The Vine’s boys’ and girls’ teams are through to the county finals next term.

There was a great turn-out for the South Cambs round of the English Schools FA football competitions held over two days at Impington Village College. The event for Under-11 seven-a-side teams included three separate competitions; small schools, girls and large schools with a record-breaking 48 teams battling it out for one of the three titles. Harston & Newton, one of Melbourn Village College’s partner primaries, have a strong record of success in this competition and again proved the best of the small schools (with fewer than 120 pupils in KS2) as they beat first-time finalists Gt Abington 1-0 in the final thanks to a long-range shot. The Vine, a partner primary to Cambourne Village College, finished with two runners-up titles as they


missed out to Histon & Impington Juniors in both the large schools competition, which attracted a record 19 teams, and the girls competition as the champions retained the trophy they have now won five times. In the large schools’ competition Meldreth Primary won the ‘Spirit of the Games’ award for showing great respect for each other, the officials and the opposition. An ‘All Stars’ team, made up of players from Harston & Newton, Cottenham and Histon & Impington, who put themselves forward when a school withdrew at short notice, were the ‘Spirit of the Games’ winners in the girls’ competition. The winners and runners-up in each competition will now represent South Cambs in the County Finals in

February where they will compete against the winners from the other districts for the chance to qualify for the ESFA regional finals. Claire McDonnell, Partnership Manager, said: “All the football competitions were a great success. We were delighted with the number of entries this year, particularly in the girls’ event where we had just under 200 girls taking part, with many of these playing their first competitive football. “I can only think they have been inspired by the success of the England women’s team this summer as we had nearly double the number of entries from previous years. The game definitely seems to be growing for girls at the grass roots.”

Round-up of the latest news from the South Cambs SSP

Top award for school

THEY’RE OFF: The start of one of the boys’ races.

On the run!

Haslingfield runners came out on top at the South Cambs School Sports Partnership Year 3 & 4 cross-country competition at Milton Country Park where mud and puddles were a key feature.

Thankfully the rain stayed away as Haslingfield saw off the challenge of neighbours Harston & Newton, who also had to settle for second place in the Year 5/6 competition. Thriplow were third in both competitions, for which only schools who entered all four races were eligible. Haslingfield’s was a true team success, coming out winners despite having no runners in the top three of any of the four races. Sophie and Jasmine from Haston & Newton were first and third in the Year 3 girls race, with Martha from Thriplow in between, while classmate Taylor was also runner-up in the boys’ race. Harvey (Thriplow) won the Year 4 boys with Will (Harston & Newton) third, while Jessica topped the girls competition to put Barnabas Oley, Gt Gransden, on the honours board. None of The Cam Academy Trust partner primaries featured in the top three individual finishers in the Year 6 race, but there was a clean sweep for Thriplow at Year 5 thanks to Anna, Zara and Elsa while Harston & Newton claimed the top two in the boys’ race through Thomas and Sebastian. A total of 500 children from 15 primary schools took part, competing both for individual honours and school glory and one of the over-riding aspects was the sense of sportsmanship on display, with one Year 5 boy helping his team-mate across the finish line.

Club is ‘overwhelming’ hit

Julia Scarboro, one of the Partnership’s Primary PE Specialists who also teaches at Comberton Village College, has been delivering a breakfast running club at Meridian Primary School to help prepare the children for the annual South Cambs cross country competition while supporting them to get 30 minutes of the recommended 60 minutes a day of physical activity. The number of children joining the session on a Wednesday morning at 8.15am has been overwhelming, with more than 60 pupils turning up most weeks. Fortunately, Mrs Scarboro has been supported at the club by a teacher from the school, plus several parents. The pupils have enjoyed taking part in lots of different running activities and have shown a great level of enthusiasm for the club. In the New Year, the parent helpers, staff and Mrs Scarboro are planning to invite pupils to take part in a junior park run event at Wimpole to help continue their love for running with families and friends. Staff and parents at the school are keen to continue the club and the South Cambs Sports Partnership are hosting a ‘running’ workshop at Meridian Primary

Five South Cambs Schools have recently secured a prestigious School Games Platinum Award in recognition of their continuing commitment to the development of Physical Education, school sport and competition across their school and into the community. Among them is Haslingfield Primary School, who achieved the platinum award, having maintained consistently high standards with their school sport provision and held a gold School Games Award over the previous five years. Nearby Harston & Newton Primary School retained the platinum award that they have had for the previous two years. A total of 34 South Cambs Schools secured a School Games Award for 2019 in recognition of their commitment to the development of Physical Education, school sport and competition. Partnership Manager, Claire McDonnell, said, “We are extremely proud of all our award winners for the passion which they have shown towards the School Games and their dedication to providing opportunities for all young people to take part in physical activity and school sport. “It’s great to see local schools being recognised and rewarded for their hard work and commitment to provide the very best opportunities for their pupils. With over 5,000 young people competing in local inter-school competitions this year, we are extremely proud of our schools for their dedication to all aspects of school sport and we would like to thank all of the young volunteers, leaders and officials who made our competitions possible.” Meridian Primary School, Comberton, are one of two schools who gained gold for the first time to join Coton and Meldreth Primary Schools and Comberton Village College, who retained theirs. Melbourn Primary School, The Vine at Cambourne and Dry Drayton were among the Trust’s partner primaries who have the silver award, while Monkfield Park, Cambourne, Barton and Barrington Primary Schools have bronze.

AND STRETCH: Pupils cool down after their morning running club. School on Wednesday 8th January from 4pm-5.30pm to help other keen parents/ teachers set up running clubs in their schools. For more information about this course and to book a free place visit

New initiatives aim to give girls more kick! South Cambs SSP are excited to have been recruited as part of a new project by the Youth Sport Trust and the FA to become 1 of 100 FA Girls Football Partnerships across the country. The aim of this project is to work towards the FA’s target of doubling participation by 2020 and providing equal access to football opportunities for girls. Through being a Lead Partnership, we get lots of amazing opportunities for both primary and secondary school students and staff. Disney have partnered with the FA and Youth Sport Trust to create a new initiative for primary schools called ‘Shooting Stars’. This initiative uses hit Disney Films such as ‘Incredibles 2’ and ‘Aladdin’ to capture the imagination of the girls while developing their

movement and football skills, as well as speaking and listening skills, through lunchtime and after school clubs. ‘Game of Our Own’ is a project aimed at secondary schools to increase leadership skills in girls. It also aims to provide schools and teachers with a better understanding of barriers to participation and how to engage girls. The programme trains girls as football activators who are supported to lead a project that increases girls’ participation within their schools. There are opportunities for both marketeers (who design and create advertising for the project) and deliverers (who deliver the content). There is then a follow-up opportunity for these girls to go to a National Girls Leadership Camp.

Izzy, a former Cambourne Village College student, now at Comberton Sixth Form, was a Girls Activator last year and attended the National Camp at Loughborough University. While there she impressed everyone so much that she won an award and got to go to Endicott College in the United States during October Half Term. (See Page 12) Well Done Izzy! Through being a Lead Partnership, SCSSP gets opportunities as well. These have included being able to send a group of school children and staff to the record-breaking England v Germany match at Wembley. To find out more or to get involved with this exciting programme please contact Laura Mott, who is leading on this work, on

























Gym lends helping hand


Former Comberton student Olivia Cornick has returned to her roots and joined the gym at Comberton Sports & Arts in her quest to represent Great Britain at the 2024 Paralympics.

They have given her free membership as she looks to combine building her strength and fitness with working on her riding. Diagnosed with a complicated neurological issue while a student at Comberton, the 24-year-old underwent major brain surgery to remove a malformation (AVM) from her brain, but which left her with residual one-sided weakness. She has worked relentlessly to overcome her disabilities and discovered Riding for the Disabled as an outlet after being forced to give up the sports she loved — she was previously a county golfer. She has also had to overcome mental health issues as well as the unexpected deaths of first Jacko, the horse on whom she started competitive dressage, and then Sunny, who was due to accompany her to international heights. She is now riding Ronaldo, an experienced dressage horse, who has been loaned to her, but as he is now 21 years old, the search is on for a younger horse with international potential. Membership of the gym has given Olivia a real boost and RIDING HIGH: Olivia Cornick is aiming for a place on the Great Britain she said: “Dressage is very rewarding but an expensive paralympic team in 2024. endeavour, so every little bit of help really makes a big difference. International tournaments. These include representing GB, most recently at the “Representing GB is all self-funded and each international costs at least £1,200. CPEDI 2* International, where they finished as Grade 3 winners in their first twoThis cost, alongside monthly livery, soon adds up. Therefore, I need to find some star competition. She has now qualified for International 3* next year, the highest more substantial funding so I’m currently seeking local companies that want to level in para dressage. join my journey. I have big dreams and ambitions which are costly! I’ve got here Olivia is now looking forward to training harder both in the gym and on board through the help of local people and truly believe we can make it all the way. Ronaldo! “I’ve been putting everything into enhancing my performance with careful training, “Having been recently invited to train with the BEF World Class Programme, the working hard in the gym and my nutrition. I couldn’t have done it without the plan is do our first abroad international next year and to find a younger horse with support I have received, I’m very excited to have CSA as part of my team to join Paralympic potential,” said Olivia. me on the journey.” You can follow Olivia on Facebook at ‘Olivia Cornick Dressage’, or on Instagram Recently Olivia took an impressive first place when she was up against five-time ‘Livparadressage’’ or contact her through social media if you are able to offer Paralympian gold medallist Natasha Baker and has competed in several support of any kind.

Learning curve

The Year 7 rugby team have been very busy so far this year with various fixtures both home and away. We started off playing Impington Village College. We won comfortably as we made tackles and when we had the ball in hand we used our pace and power. The moment of that match for me was Juju’s tackle. We then went on to play Bassingbourn at home and again we were strong in defence and lethal with the ball which meant a strong win. These matches were a great warm-up for the Year 7 District tournament. After four matches Comberton were unbeaten, winning two, drawing two and not conceding a try and we were hopeful of winning the pool. Our last game was against St Bede’s, who were also unbeaten, so something had to give. Unfortunately, Comberton lost but showed great fight by scoring a few tries to make the last few minutes interesting. Comberton then lost in the third-place play-off. Our next tournament was at The Perse against five private schools. This was a great tournament to be at and the level of rugby was very high. It was clear from the start that the other teams were welltrained, and the games would be difficult. We lost the first three but showed great character by not giving up. The fourth game we won and in the final game we were two tries up as our defensive line was quick and we made interceptions However, the opposition scored four tries to leave us fifth in our pool. Our latest game was against The Leys which we won comfortably and changed up the teams, which was great as it meant we could play against each other. This helped gain an understanding of what we need to improve and our strengths. We also had match teas afterwards, which we all enjoyed. James Hyde, PE Department

QUALIFIERS: Nine Comberton students have reached the county round of the English Schools Cross-country competition.

Nine reach second round

Comberton took 29 runners to compete at the first round of the Schools Cross-Country Championships at Netherhall School. All performed well running in the District round on a challenging and hilly course, competing against runners from other local schools. Nine Comberton runners finished in the top 16 in their race, meaning that they qualified for the next round of the competition on Saturday 11th January where they will represent the Cambridge District against the three other districts in Cambridgeshire. Highest placed was Emily (Year 9), who had an impressive sprint finish to secure second in the Junior girls race. Two other athletes finished in the top five, Jenna (Year 7) securing third place in the Minor girls and Jacob (Year 9) finishing with another strong sprint to claim fourth in the Junior boys. Other qualifiers were Year 7s Sawyer and Toby (8th and 10th in Minor boys), Year 11 Mark (12th in Intermediate boys), Sally-Ann (16th in Minor girls), Lily (7th in Intermediate girls) and sixth former Hannah, who qualified in the senior girls’ section. Congratulations to all the runners who took part and we wish all of those athletes taking part in the next round the best of luck. Julia Scarboro, PE Department


Girls march on in cups


The Under-13 Girls Football team have had a fantastic term, with great success in both the National Cup and EFL Girls’ Cup. The larger squad of 14 have won the last three rounds of the national competition and face Lealand High School, Luton, in the fourth. They have shown real determination as a team, communicating effectively with one another and showing they can be adaptable in a range of positions. They have so far beaten Monks Walk School, Hertfordshire (4-0), Epping St John’s School, Essex (9-3) and stepped it up from a 1-1 draw at half time to beat Ashlyn’s School, Hertfordshire (4-3). With strength in both the midfield and defence, from players such as, Kate, Holly and Sophie, they have managed to quickly stop the majority of threats on goal. Attacking midfielders, Olivia, Hannah, Nisa and Liv have been able to play some great balls through to the speedy and skilful attackers — Gwen, Madeline and often pushing up, Isabel. Year 7s Jenna, Aliyah, Hannah and Izzy have also made their mark in the Under-

13s, providing some quick reactions in goal or delivering perfectly timed passes through to the attack. Their success has continued in the EFL Girls’ Cup. A smaller squad of eight played in the first round tournament at Bottisham Village College, hoping to come out on top and represent Cambridgeshire in the next round. They won all their pool games convincingly, adapting quickly to the need for swift passes and early, powerful shots. They then faced the host school in the finals and thanks to some sharp shooting from twins Madeline and Olivia, they won 6-0! They will now go on to face other schools in the regional round, representing Cambridgeshire. They should be very proud of their achievements as the first Comberton Under-13 team to get into the second round of this competition in the last three years! There are plenty more fixtures to come so if any more girls are interested in playing, the Girls Football Club runs from 3-4pm on Thursdays.

Giving rugby a go

Fifteen Comberton pupils took part in a Cambridgeshire Girls Rugby festival. In the morning, the girls had specialist coaching sessions, before playing a tournament in the afternoon. This festival was for girls in Years 7-11, and there were more than 150 girls taking part from a range of schools. One prize awarded on the day was to the student who demonstrated the RFU’s five ‘core values’ of Respect, Teamwork, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship and that went to Comberton Year 7 Rosie, FESTIVAL-GOERS: Some of the girls at the county event. a brilliant achievement.

GOING WELL: The squad who beat Epping in the national cup (far left) and the EFL Cup team who have taken Comberton into the regional round.

Leaders off to flying start

The leadership academy pupils in Year 10 are already making an impact! They have supported at two sports festivals for primary school pupils. During both events they have shown an amazing amount of maturity, organisation and confidence when leading activities. Congratulations to James and Theo, who won the ‘Leader of the Event’ award for both our festivals. In addition, many of the leaders have been giving up their time to support staff at after school clubs. They have been a great help and have been very valuable to the department.

Inter-form competition gets under way

It’s too tight to call in Year 9 after the first round of inter-form competitions. There are three forms sharing the lead after tutor groups selected boys’ teams for basketball, dodgeball and table tennis, while the girls completed the traditional cross-country run. The boys’ competition was great, with some impressive skills on show, very close matches and the top spot constantly changing throughout the tournament. Lola (9B) and Emily (9R) led their respective half years with Rosie (M) and Maddie (T) second and Olivia (B) and Beth (T) third. The first-round scores, based on a points system, finished with a three-way tie at the top between O, B

and E. There’s also all to play for in Years 7 and 8 after this term’s rounds, which saw girls tackle the crosscountry run and the boys play a highly competitive rugby tournament, which went to the wire. The rugby competitions followed the seven-week block of lessons, meaning students were able to demonstrate in a competitive environment the skills they had learned. It was great to see so many students fully engaged and playing age grade rugby with great technique as well as fantastic understanding of the rules and playing within the spirit of the game. The run proved unpredictable, with some groups enjoying fantastic conditions in the autumn sun, while

others caught the aftermath of continuous rain and wind. Primary School classmates Jenna (7C) and SallyAnn (7E), who both graduated from Barnabas Oley in Gransden, led the way for their respective half years, followed by Annie (7I) and Cara (7V) and Zoe (7M) and Summer (7E). Year 8 top spots were filled by Ginny (8C) and Madeline (8N), with second spots going to Juniper (8O) and Madeline’s twin sister Olivia (8V) and thirds for Hannah (8I) and Mia (8R). Students will now prepare for round two which includes the cross-country run for all boys, netball/hockey for the Year 7 and 8 girls and a variety of games for the Year 9 girls.


Profile for The Cam Academy Trust

News@Com Winter 2019  

The termly news magazine of Comberton Vilage College and Sixth Form

News@Com Winter 2019  

The termly news magazine of Comberton Vilage College and Sixth Form

Profile for comberton