Page 1


01763 223400

Spring 2016

The News Magazine of Melbourn Village College, an Academy of the Comberton Academy Trust

Faith Crockford as “The Artful Dodger” in our recent production of Oliver Further photos can be found on pages 6 & 7

Mastering Maths MVC NEWS

Two Melbourn Village College students have started the new term with their fascination for all things mathematical boosted by a series of masterclasses. Year 9 pupils Dan Arthur and Thomas Cockman attended Mathematics Masterclasses at the University of Hertfordshire, where they attended six lectures hosted by Professor Alan Davies.

He was joined by other member of the university staff, teachers and visiting lecturers as they introduced the teenagers to topics including mechanics, chaos theory, codes, ciphering and sequencing. The Masterclasses started life as Faraday’s Christmas Lectures and were originally scientific shows, with a maths lecture becoming part of it in 1978.

Thomas Cockman and Dan Arthur

After this, lecturers and teachers realised there was sufficient interest in maths to offer a stand-alone programme. The masterclasses began in 1984 and offer the most able young mathematicians the chance to expand their knowledge.

Dan said: “Overall I found the experience enjoyable as it widened my mathematical understanding and presented me with new fields of this fascinating discipline, some of which are not covered during school maths lessons.”

Gifted and Talented

gender teams and it was Team P (Sammy Bream, Hauxton; Callum Dunlop, Harston & Newton, Gethin Rogers, Barrington; and Ed Watson, Foxton) and Team R (Finn Oakley, Barrington; Tom Papworth, Harston & Newton; and Elliot Pratt, Hauxton) who tied for top spot when the scores from all the activities were totted up. The day started with the seven groups completing magic squares involving numbers and algebra. They then had a target for their mean average time to run round the playground. The target was quite generous and was one of the highlights of the day for Melbourn maths teacher and organiser Clare Rogers. She said: “The interesting part about the running was

Gifted and talented primary school mathematicians took part in a series of challenges at Melbourn Village College. Year 6 students from seven of the college’s feeder primary schools took part in the team event. They were split into mixed school groups but same

STEM Club contributes to the Royal Society of Chemistry Global Experiment


pg 2 Mastering Maths pg 2 G&T Young Mathematicians pg 2 STEM Club pg 3 Jacob Hanson pg 3 Donation to MVC pg 3 Ewan’s Recycling Iniative pg 3 Safe on the Roads pg 4 Eyes on the Prize pg 5 Sam Harrison Artist pg 5 Science

seeing those who realised that to get the average time right they had to run around the playground incredibly slowly.”

The main competition followed. Year 9 helpers gave each group two of a possible 16 cards with maths problems. The group only moved on to the next card once they had the correct answer. Mrs Rogers added: “We all enjoyed the morning and the Year 9 helpers were invaluable. They supervised, timed runs and scored challenges with enthusiasm and maturity. They were a credit to the college.”

Our teams of Year 7 and 8 students have finished writing up their projects as presentations to enter the BP Ultimate Challenge competition, and are now waiting to hear if they have been successful. They have the chance to attend a celebratory event at the Science Museum in London, £500 for the school and Science Museum goodies for themselves. Meanwhile, they have been getting messy again in the lab! The Royal Society of Chemistry have devised a project for everyone to become more aware of the water cycle. The capture of water by hydrogels in nappies, disposed of in landfill sites, is potentially a major environmental problem. Our results have been submitted on the website ( and can be compared to other schools all over the world!

pg 5 Maths Challenge pg 5 BBC School Report pg 6 & 7 Oliver pg 8 & 9 Ski Trip pg 10 PTFA Report pg 10 Food Tech Exam pg 10 Burrell Awards pg 11 Comberton Academy Trust News pg 12 Adult Education

In the Medals

A dedicated judo player has reached the National Schools finals later this year. Melbourn Village College student Jacob Hanson reached the national stage after winning a bronze medal at the Eastern area championships at Thetford. Competing against much older boys – the competition was for Years 10-13), 14-year-old Jacob, a member of Melbourn Judo Club, will now compete in Sheffield on April 2nd. Jacob, a green belt, who has been a judo player for almost six years, has the best attendance record at his club, rarely missing a Saturday session or a Tuesday evening, where he trains with the seniors. Now he heads north in the Easter holidays having learned a really important lesson. The teenager was worried about his weight so skipped breakfast but then forgot to eat after the weigh-in, which had a noticeable impact. A Melbourn Judo Club Coach, said: “Forgetting to eat had a big impact on his performance, but hopefully a good lesson learned. “Jacob has the best attendance record at the club. He is an 11th Mon, which is midway through his green belt. To put that into context there are just six juniors (Under-16) that are green belt or above in a club of 101 children.”

Safe on the Roads

Artist’s Legacy to MVC

The art and design department at Melbourn Village College has received a cheque for £500 and two pieces of original artwork in memory of a former student. Talented artist Steven Law, who attended the school from 1983-1988, died in August after a long illness. But his family has not forgotten where Steven’s talents were initially nurtured and developed and has


asked the college to spend the money on the next generation of budding artists. Melbourn Principal, Simon Holmes, said the school planned to spend the money on frames to display the work of artistically gifted and talented students around the school and further afield. He added: “We are extremely grateful to Steven’s family for the artwork and the donation, and hope to use them to create a legacy that will continue to inspire young artists and graphic designers for many years to come. “ Steven Law went on to become a graphic designer, working for a number of companies in Cambridgeshire before his death in the summer aged just 43. The donated artworks are pictures of boxers Simon Brown and Evander Holyfield drawn using fine-tipped felt pens.

Nothing goes to waste

A Melbourn Village College student with a passion for recycling has been invited to present his ideas to the school’s governing body. The Chair of Governors, Sue Williamson, was so impressed with the work that Year 9 student Ewan Walpole has done as part of his Awards Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) Geography short course, that she has asked him to speak to the rest of the governors at a forthcoming meeting. “I was very impressed how a Year 9 student has the knowledge and desire to improve the environment of his school and beyond,” she said. “Clearly the work is a passion for him and he is going to be continuing working on this agenda for the next few months.” Working with his TA and following a recycling survey, Ewan identified that Melbourn staff and students were aware of recycling but not where to recycle things at school. He started a battery recycling collection to complement the recycling the school already does and is looking at ways that classrooms can offer more recycling options without taking up too much room. He believes it is the responsibility of staff and students to make sure things are in the right places for recycling as nobody has time to sort it out and unsorted rubbish just ends up in landfill.

Charlotte Van Bochoven is the proud owner of a new bike – and she now knows how to maintain it herself. Charlotte was one of seven pupils from Years 7-10 who spent two days of her halfterm on a Bike Bank Project maintenance course run by Cambridge-based Outspoken! Cycles, who offer a range of bike training and repair workshops for cyclists of all ages. The 11-year-old was given a bike from the police’s unclaimed cycles store to work on and learned how to take off and repair a wheel, mend a puncture, adjust the brakes, do a full M check (checking the whole bike), keep a bike in good condition, use tools correctly and name parts of the bike. And she received a fantastic surprise at the end of the course, which saw participants leave with a nationally recognised ASET bike maintenance qualification – she was allowed to keep the bike she had brought up to scratch! Charlotte’s mum, Jackie Van Bochoven, said: “The course was amazing and Charlotte was very excited to tell me about all the things she could now do with her bike. The team at Outspoken were a great bunch and Cat the trainer was ‘really nice’ and helpful. “Then to top it all Charlotte came home with a fab bike with a fantastic lock, spare inner tube, repair tools and pump. Amazing! “Charlotte has already been out on her new bike several times with a huge grin on her face. We are looking forward to going out on a family ride soon as we now have a mini bike mechanic with us.” The course, led by Catherine Thompson, Outspoken’s head mechanic, was paid for through local sustainable transport funding from the council. Those, like Charlotte, without their own bikes were given a community one while the others worked on their own machines but still went home with maintenance goodies. The other Melbourn students on the course were Eleanor Harris (Year 7), Oliver Habergham (Year 8), Matthew Martin, Owen Martin (Year 9), Benjamin Hardie and Lucy Pettit (Year 10).



Year 9 have their Eyes on the Prize

All of Melbourn Village College’s Year 9 students were given options guidance with a difference when they attended a university careers morning. Ahead of selecting their GCSE subjects, the cohort attended an ‘Eyes on the Prize’ day hosted by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge. They were 1450 13 and 14-year-olds at the annual event which ARU said was its largest yet and aims to help pupils: • Understand how GCSE options and the grades they achieve will impact their future • Understand more about future opportunities for study and employment • Ask questions about the subjects and courses they might like to study in the future • Look around a university campus and meet some university students The day started in a lecture theatre where students were encouraged to think about their journey through education and about the fact that as technology develops so quickly they might be doing jobs in ten years’ time that don’t even exist now. A visit to a careers fair and a tour of the ARU campus followed and the students were really positive about their experience. Adam Baker said: “It was good to find out about the options open to us in the future and I was impressed by the number of universities who were there for us to talk to,”

while Dan Arthur commented: “It was useful and helpful for making decisions about the future and invaluable to be able to talk to the sixth forms about the best GCSEs to study to be able to get on to the A level courses I want to do.” Sam Forbes added that the morning had been “a really good experience and very valuable. We felt lucky to be given this opportunity and it was useful to be able to speak to teachers from some of the Cambridge sixth forms.” An interesting comment from one of the girls who said “it has helped me to draw a clearer plan for my future, I am hoping to become a surgeon”. And John Hinton said he “really enjoyed the campus tour” giving him the chance to “find out what a university is like, looking at the facilities and the scale of everything.” Amanda Davis, who organised the trip, said: “This is the third year that we have taken students to ‘Eyes on the Prize’ and it has been better each year. There was a really varied mix of sixth forms, apprenticeship providers, employers and local universities at the careers fair and it was great to see our students making the most of going round the stands to gather information and talking to the representatives with such maturity.”


Former student inspires young artists


Former student Sam Harris, who recently held his first art exhibition at The Plough Shepreth, gave a special viewing to our Year 10 art students. Inquisitive students were given tips on technique and use of colours. Sam’s take on Cambridge life is a very colourful one and well worth a view. You can see more on Sam’s facebook page at

Sam will return to the college during Activities week when he will set up his easel and paint a view of the college, looking at Sam’s work it’s sure to be colourful. Students will be joining Sam on this masterclass and we look forward to seeing their works of art.

Science outside the classroom Heads down for the annual BBC School Report Maths Challenge

One hundred Year 9, 10 and 11 students took part in the nationally recognised UKMT maths challenge answering 25 multiple choice questions in one hour under normal exam conditions. Two out of the 100 students have progressed to the next level organised by Kangourou sans Frontières (KSF) an independent association, whose purpose is to organise the annual Kangaroo contest with the aim of promoting mathematics among young people around the world. The name sounds strange, but recognises the fact that the organisation was inspired by the Australian Mathematics Trust. Each year over six million school pupils aged 5-18 from more than 50 countries throughout the world take part at various levels. Usually around 5,500 pupils from all three year Students from Year 10 had an opportunity to visit the groups sit the Intermediate Challenge are invited Babraham Institute as part of their “School’s Day”. to sit either the grey or pink Kangaroo papers, Students spent the morning working on their own lab dependent on school year. projects, ranging from exploring glow-in-the-dark gene Will Browning Year 10 qualified for round two in expressions, to identifying genetically modified organisms. the Pink Kangaroo and Students then had the opportunity to talk to research Toby Walker Year 9 for scientists and PhD students at the institute to discover how the Grey Kangaroo. We they could progress into science research. Cat Rich Acting wish them luck and will let Head of Science said “The day was well organised, you know the oveall extremely informative and thoroughly enjoyed by all” outcome later in the year.


Students have been taking part in a workshop offered by Unit Twenty Three exploring how young carers (people under the age of 18) provide care, assistance and support to other family members. According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), there are 149,000 young carers aged between 15 and 19.

A thought provoking, engaging, fast paced touring theatre production entitled Freefall told the complex

Our Reporters this year are: Year 7: Rory Walker, Grace Martin, Logan Best, Cameron Shepherd, Leah Baker, Year 8: Lucy Dickinson, Jenny Elliott, Faith Crockford, Libby Mott, Year 9: Starlily McCormick, Christan Wood, Mathew Booth-Brown, John Hinton, Tom Cockman, Willow Thompson, Eden Moss, Year 11: Alderney Smith, Ben Doughty, Oscar Carter

This year’s BBC School Report saw students choose their own topics to report on and they came up with a wide range of ideas. Their reports include the EU Referendum, Airport Expansions, Smoking, Anti Bullying, Youtube and the Internet, Emojis, the MVC Oliver production and Melbourn Village College as a school. The students spent a whole day recording and editing their pieces just like a real BBC news room!

story of Jas and her life. The Freefall workshop uses techniques from Forum theatre that raises awareness for young people about the challenges of being a

young carer. Our students were thoroughly engaged in the workshop, and participated enthusiastically.



Consider yourself.....marvellous

Students, staff and volunteers produced an enthralling production of Oliver which ran over three consecutive nights. The production was full of drama, music and fun and we applaud our players and their support teams.

“I went to see a well known musical called Oliver. The actors had learnt their parts well and the

music was fabulous. Joe Randall Yr 8 played Oliver, an amazing one at that; the next Hollywood

best actor! Loud, clear and not afraid to make people laugh.

Oliver as reviewed by Will Parker Yr 7

Alice Frewin Yr 7 said “It was really exciting being part of the play. You have to put in lots of hours and commitment but it was worth it. Orchestra at the ready

Mean and moody - Alex Farrow Yr 10 as Bill Sykes

Preparing for the big night PE Teacher Rob Walker as lovable rogue Fagin

“Talented children who sing, dance and act at the same time. As well as the cast the orchestra made the experience magical. It was obvious that the performers had worked so hard and others wish they could achieve what they have. Even coming to school on Saturdays, this shows dedication.” Oliver as reviewed by Grace Martin Yr 7





Taking the lead roll - Mia Flowerdew Yr 10 as Nancy.

An interview with Ben Nicholls Yr 7 who played Mr Bumble revealed that he found learning the lines hard but as he said “it was fun and worth the time”. Ben’s favourite song was “boy for sale”.

Cheerio...we’ll be back soon!


Postcards from Austria MVC NEWS

Amazing experience for MVC young skiers, forging new friendships, building confidence and learning new skills.




Work Experience Appeal MVC NEWS

All Year 10 students will be going out of school on work experience placements from 4th to 15th July this year. Some students are still searching for employers who would be willing to offer them an experience of work and we would be very pleased to hear from you if your company would be willing to give this opportunity to a Melbourn Village College student. In the past students have gained a huge amount from their work experience placements, gaining in confidence and all-important work skills for their CVs.

Cooking up a storm...

GCSE Food Tech students have been cooking up a storm this term during their final exams. Below are just a few examples of the culinary delights expertly cooked and served up by our budding chefs. Catering Teacher Shirley Mackenzie said “There have been some outstanding performances by our year 11 students in their practical exams this year, the standard was amazing. They have demonstrated making pasta from scratch, de-boning and using high risk chicken, making spun sugar to name but a few. They should be congratulated on their tenacity and commitment to get the very best grade they could. I am very proud of them!

Roy Burrell Awards GCSE Exam Timetable Students, staff and parents gathered for a celebration of sport within the Cambridge & District Secondary School Sports Association.

Special guests were England youth team cricketer Max Holden, who has recently signed professional forms with Middlesex, and John Willis, Zoe Clayton proudly displaying her medal founder of Power2Inspire, presented the awards along with CDSSSA chairman Sean Sycamore.

Zoe Clayton Year 11 was awarded for her achievements in badminton playing at County and National Level over the last few years and for gaining her Level One coaching exam.

Alderney Smith also Year 11 was recognised for her contribution as a young sports leader and for her volunteering role.


Voyager’s rapid progress COMBERTON ACADEMY TRUST NEWS

Most areas of The Voyager Academy are making rapid progress.

made.” The inspection also included the Voyager’s Sixth Form, which was rated as good, with the report stating that the academy is This was the verdict of Ofsted inspectors when they visited popular and that numbers in the Sixth Form are increasing. An the Trust’s Peterborough Academy earlier this term and increasing proportion of students go on to university and for the moved it out of special measures. vast majority, they are the first in their family to do so. Behaviour Inspectors noted that behaviour and attendance had in the Sixth Form is rated as exemplary. improved markedly since the last Ofsted visit, identifying that Daniel Taylor, Head of Sixth Form, said: “The Voyager’s Sixth pupils are safe, and feel safe. Form is one of its strengths. Our pupils and teachers work very They praised the Principal, Scott Hudson, who took over last hard and achieve good results. summer, and said that the new leadership team have “We are particularly pleased that the report highlights the role established a very positive culture and ethos. our Sixth Form students play in the rest of the school, helping Mr Hudson said: “This report notes the progress we have younger pupils through mentoring for example.” made since the last inspection and we should all – students, Stephen Munday, Chief Executive of CAT, which has sponsored staff, parents and governors – take pride in that. The Voyager since 2011, added: “We are very pleased that the “Coming out of Special Measures is an important milestone strong progress now being made at The Voyager is properly and is a testament to the hard work and commitment of all recognised in this report. members of the Academy. “It is a strong vindication of all the hard work from many people “However, we fully recognise that we still have a long way to associated with The Voyager and in particular of the excellent MILESTONE: Principal Scott go to ensure we deliver the highest quality of education Hudson has led Voyager out of leadership now being provided by Scott Hudson, the Principal, across all areas of the Academy. and his senior team. special measures. “As the report says, we need to further raise standards of “Of course, it is crucial that we now push ahead further and see teaching and to narrow the gaps in achievement between standards continue to be raised so that we can be sure that that the very good different pupil groups. education we want for all pupils is a reality. “I am pleased that the report identified that our self-evaluation is precise and “As part of this, we are very pleased to be entering into a strategic partnership with accurate. We are aware of our strengths and areas for development and will be Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough in order to provide further capacity to studying the report’s recommendations and making further changes to address all of support further rapid improvement in pupil achievement. This is good for everyone.” the issues it raises, as well as building on the improvements we have already

Two schools in talks on joining Trust

Two new schools are consulting on joining the Comberton Academy Trust. Gamlingay First School, currently a maintained primary phase school with pupils up to Year 4, is consulting on becoming an Academy and joining the Trust, while St Peter’s, a stand-alone secondary academy in Huntingdon, is consulting on joining the Trust. Numbers of pupils from Gamlingay have attended Comberton Village College over the years. The school wishes to join a local trust that can strengthen it’s position moving forward in the new educational landscape and the Comberton Academy Trust makes sense on several fronts. Trustees have agreed to the possibility in principle and are now awaiting the outcome of the consultation. It could lead to the school joining the Trust at a point soon after Easter. If this happened, the Trust would then look at arrangements for the school carefully and consider what further developments might most benefit education for all involved. If all proceeds as it might, St Peter’s could be joining the Trust in September. St Peter’s already has a significant partnership with the Trust. It is the only school outside the Trust that joins in with our annual Trust-wide reviews of our schools, led by our Director of Education, Paul Lawrence. They also involve themselves significantly in our professional development programmes aimed at improving general teaching and work in partnership with our maths and science departments. Both of these possibilities would mark a further significant development in the

COUNTING DOWN? Gamlingay could join the Trust next month. work and remit of the Trust. Both have the potential for mutual benefit, strengthening the schools involved and providing further capacity and expertise to the current Organisation.

Sign to save valuable languages projects

A petition started by a Comberton Academy Trust teacher to save languages provision to schools is fast approaching its 10,000-signature target. Jane Driver, who is Head of Languages at The Voyager, has petitioned the Government to stop cuts to key language learning projects rolled out by Routes into Languages (RiL), an organisation funded by the Higher Education Council for England. Funding is due to stop in July and Ms Driver, who previously worked at Comberton, started the online petition just before Christmas. She has already collected more than 7,900 signatures but needs to reach five figures before the Government have to respond.

Last year RiL supported activities for almost 150,000 students in the UK including those at schools across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Ms Driver said: “Unlike other organisations, they work together with schools and teachers to develop collaborative projects aimed at promoting languagelearning at GCSE and beyond. “The ability to speak another language is a skill that is in high-demand by UK businesses, who are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit UK residents with foreign language skills. “Last year, for example, RiL East, which is based at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge, engaged with 18,970 pupils from 114 schools in the

region, of which 5175 pupils were from 46 schools in deprived areas. RiL East also runs some of the projects which have been rolled out nationally, including the very popular Foreign Language Bee for Year 7 students, which was created by Ms Driver while she was teaching at Comberton . It attracted more than 72,000 participants last year and this is set to rise again in 2016. The national finals in Spanish, French and German take place at ARU in the summer. To sign the petition, called ‘Stop the Government from cutting funding for Routes into Languages’ go to

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




MVC News Spring 2016  
MVC News Spring 2016