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Ne ws@Com The News Magazine of Comberton Village College ISSUE 27, SUMMER 2011


Sixth Form Special — Pages 8 and 9


Fundraiser’s award TIRELESS Comberton fundraiser Vijju Churchman has had her efforts recognised. The Deputy Treasurer of the CVC Trust Fund and a parent governor was honoured at the South Cambs District Council Chairman's Arts Awards at Swavesey Village College. The Arts Development Managers, who are based at the Village Colleges, received nominations from the residents of South Cambridgeshire District Council. Difficult decisions were made before the winners were finally announced during the course of the presentation evening. Mrs Churchman received the "Outstanding Fundraiser" Award. She is a skilled fundraiser, who

HONOURED: Vijju Churchman with her ‘Outstanding Fundraiser’ award.

works continuously to support a range of projects and productions in Comberton and also further afield. She is always brandishing raffle tickets, putting up posters, sending out e-mails, running a bar or managing other volunteers (willing or otherwise). A real driving force, she managed to reach the target of £16,000 for the CVC Grand Piano Appeal in 365 days. She is also a committed fundraiser for the Teenage Cancer Trust. The event also included memorable performances from Alex Woolf, Swavesey Folk Group, Melbourn Dance, TyrannoChorus, Mark Swann from Rambert Dance Company, CVC's cast of Copacabana, and a screening of the hilarious School of Lego film before the amazing finale from world-class harmonica player, Steve Lockwood.

Pupils are snap happy LAST MONTH Diana Cullingford was presented with a camera for the Green Room after winning a competition that was run by Vital, part of the Open University. Mrs Cullingford sent off a letter to Vital saying that the camera would be greatly appreciated since many pupils in the Green Room do photography but do not own their own camera and have to borrow one. As a pupil hoping to do photography next year, I am enthusiastic that the camera will help me achieve a high standard of work, therefore raising my chances of getting a good mark. Everyone in the Green Room is very grateful for this fantastic piece of equipment, presented by Deborah Record, and will use it to create exceptional photography. Moesha McLaughlin (9R)

INSIDE THIS ISSUE  Dressed to Impress — Page 3  Visitors see CVC at Work —

 Science Round-Up — Pages 10 & 11

Page 3

 Working Together — Page 11

 Pupils cast a Spell — Page 4

 Cashing in for TCT — Page 12

 Yr 8 & 9 Reviews — Page 4

 National Success — Page 12

 Globe Visit — Pages 4 & 5  ‘New Potter’ Drops In — Page 5  The War — Page 5  Boffins Show Skills — Page 6  Hectic Day for Chefs — Page 6  World of Work — Page 6

 Sensational Dance — Page 13  A Change of Style — Page 13  New event success — Page 13  Water Adventures — Page 13  Fun-tastic Festivals — Page 14  A Real Team Effort — Page 15

 Spelling Bee Finals — Page 7

 Medal Treble for Charlotte — Page 15

 CVC Goes Wild — Page 7

 Water Battle — Page 15

 Party Time — Page 7  Sixth Form Officially Opens — Pages 8 & 9

 Vocational Update — Page 16 Designed and edited by Judy Czylok. Contact:

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HERE YOU ARE: Diana Cullingford receives the Green Room’s new camera from Deborah Record.

Reaping the rewards THE Tesco Vouchers collection ended in June and with your help the school has been able to order about £500 of sports equipment for our PE Department. On behalf of CVC, the 1,400 Tesco Vouchers remaining were donated to ‘Mary’s Meals’. This was sufficient to provide up to 140 children with a daily meal for a week. “Mary’s Meals is a simple idea that works — by providing a daily meal in a place of education, chronically poor children are attracted to the classroom where they can gain a basic education that provides an escape route from poverty for themselves and their communities. “Mary's Meals provides daily meals in schools for over 526,000 children in 16 countries across Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. “Where Mary’s Meals is provided, there is a rise in enrolment, attendance and academic performance. It not only addresses the immediate needs of hungry children by giving them a daily meal, it also allows those children to receive an education. The global average cost of providing a child with a meal is just 4 pence.” More details at This year the 3,000-plus Sainsbury Vouchers that found their way into our Tesco collecting boxes were donated to the Comberton Playgroup. Thank you.

Read all about it on-line This edition of News@Com is also available as an e-publication with a page index, word search, tell-a-friend, print and download options. Go to the CVC website at and follow the link. We welcome pupils’ and parents' opinions and feedback about the online format.


MODES OF TRANSPORT: Pupils arrived for the Year 11 Ball in many different ways.

Dressed to impress THE Year 11 Ball was held at Churchill College, Cambridge, on Thursday 30th June. Although the weather had threatened rain, the sun shone on the various vehicles which pulled up to the red carpet. These ranged from motorbikes to vintage buses and there was even a helicopter! As the students emerged there were gasps of astonishment and applause at the array of beautiful gowns and the effort that had been put into their preparations for the evening. There was a huge array of colours and styles and everyone looked amazing. As the photographer snapped away on the red carpet the students were made to feel like film

stars at a premiere. Once up the steps they were treated to a drinks reception as they watched their friends arrive. Inside Churchill College there was a buffet supper and a disco for two hours. The dance floor was packed with students, staff and our South African visitors. The lovely weather continued and students spilled out on to the lawn to chat and socialise with staff and friends. Many of the staff enjoyed the evening as well and it was lovely to see so many students dressed up and having a great time. Thanks to all parents for picking up their children promptly and see you all on Results Day, August 25th. Lynn Stewart, Head of Year 11

STEPPING UP: Year 11 pupils come off the red carpet and up the steps into Churchill College.

Visitors check out a different way of assessing pupils A PARTY of nine teachers from different schools in Singapore (population 5 million), visited CVC last month. They told us that the main languages in Singapore are: Malay, Cantonese, Tamil and Hindi, but that English is very important. After touring the school with pupils whom they described as “extremely courteous, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their studies�, they attended a seminar on Assessment led by Mr Lawrence followed by a Question & Answer seminar chaired by Mrs Martin. The Singaporeans were particularly interested in how teachers at CVC approach formative assessment. They liked the ideas in our British education system where pupils are encouraged to understand the criteria which inform grades. Thus pupils are able to learn how to improve their skills by attending to the feedback teachers give. In Singapore, they said that the emphasis was much more on final grades and summative assessment and they seemed to think that we had a better balance in the way we work. All in all, the Singaporean teachers were very pleased with their impressions of the GROUP SHOT: The visitors from SIngapore, Mary Martin and school facilities, the welcome from pupils and what they learnt in the conference sessions. Mary Martin their tour guides.


BBQ fun for Year 8 AS we had watched it rain during the day, we heaved a sigh of relief as the grey clouds drifted away, revealing sunshine and warmth for the Year 8 BBQ. With roughly 250 students attending there were many activities to keep us busy. There was football and cricket on the astoturf, Twister and face-painting from the Year 9s on the field, two pool sessions and great music from a playlist made by one of our own. The food was cooked by the tutor team and we had the choice of a burger or a hot dog. After going back for seconds, we were well and truly stuffed! We then played more games on the field but almost as soon as it started it was time to go home. We all had a great time and special thanks to the Year 10 prefects who helped us, the tutor team, Ms Phull and Mr THE HEAT OF BATTLE: Comberton students after their heat success. Southcoat and the Years 9s for the face painting. Claire Shawcross (8I) and Floss Murray (8C)

Pupils cast a spell . . .

TOUGH CHOICES: Pupils select their BBQ food.

‘Heroes’ to benefit YEAR 9 have been working hard to raise money for their chosen charity 'Help for Heroes'. The last few pennies are yet to be counted, but we estimate that we have raised more than £500. This has involved a range of activities; from sponsored silences to face painting at the Year 8 social. We also held a cake sale in the Summer Term and raised well over £150, though we were very lucky to have rescued some of the cakes from hungry Year 9 students before the actual sale (we won't mention any names!) We have also enjoyed a range of social activities. We went on our annual trip to Thorpe Park. The weather was great, although some of the year group still managed to return to the coach dripping wet after going on the Log Flumes. We also planned a very civilised trip to see 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' during the Cambridge Shakespeare festival this week; we particularly enjoyed the spectacular picnic! We are very happy to see Mrs Compton return following her maternity leave, but very sad that Mrs Davidson is leaving our team to lead the new Year 7. We wish her lots of luck — though she won't need it! — and a big thank you for all her hard work with our year group.

EARLIER in the year, four Year 7 students — Alex Day, Lauren Hall and ourselves, Julian Semerene and Bex Walford — were chosen to represent CVC in The Times Spelling Bee competition. We were all really excited; we couldn't wait. In preparation for the event we attended lunch-time practices and also started several of our English lessons with some practice. After all the practice, it finally came time for the first of the competitions: the local heats. The heats for our area were at the Huntingdon Cineworld and, after finally getting the door of the minibus to open, we were on our way. We were all feeling very nervous, unsure about what it would be like and how we would do. We were up against a number of schools from across the county, including some from the private sector. The competition was split into two parts. The first round was the elimination round — each competitor needed to spell their word correctly to win points; if we didn't, we were out. At the end of the first round the points were announced and we were in second place. The

second round was a quick-fire challenge, with teams attempting to spell as many words as possible in two minutes. They announced the places in ascending order; the tension was high but we thought we had done it and, sure enough, we were announced as the winners! We all felt amazing afterwards; we were going to the semifinals. If the area heat had been nervewracking, it was nothing compared to the semi-finals held at the end of May. Our day started early with an appearance on the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire breakfast show, before heading off to Cambridge Cineworld for the competition. A place in the national final at the O2, with Dick and Dom as hosts, was the prize for the winners. As expected, the standard was very high and, despite a good performance, we could not capture first place. We learned recently that the winners later went on to take the national title, so no shame there. Overall, this was a fabulous experience and we are so glad we had the chance to be a part of the team's success. Julian Semerene (7I) and Bex Walford (7R)

Sharing the ‘poor folk’s’ view ON May 26th nearly 50 Year 8 students went on a trip to see Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. The trip was organised to coincide with our Shakespeare unit in English. It had been teeming with rain all day but, as we finally arrived in London after a long coach journey, the skies began to clear and we were set for a lovely evening. After a short walk along the Thames to The Globe, we all enjoyed an opportunity to explore the shop and café before the performance began.

We were all amazed when we first set foot in the theatre because it is huge and has been made to look exactly like the original theatre that stood there in Elizabethan times. We had tickets for ‘The Yard’, the standing area traditionally occupied by the poorer folk or ‘groundlings’ who could not afford seats. The experience is a bit different from Shakespeare’s time when The Yard was a haven for pickpockets, but it is still very ‘up-close and personal’ and a few of us got quite a shock the first time the actors came in among us for part of a scene.


‘New Potter’ drops in WRITER John Stephens came to CVC from the USA to give a talk to Years 7 and 8 about his new book, The Emerald Atlas. In a few years’ time, John and his fantastic book are tipped to be as big as JK Rowling and the legendary Harry Potter. In this talk, John amazingly managed to captivate the attention of roughly 600 pupils and teachers all in a humid, crowded hall on one of the hottest days of the year so far! John gave tips on how to write with a good story structure using humorous tales from his childhood, which involved snakes under his sister’s pillow and a fridge-sized bully playing “road block”. In addition to this, John gave a short explanation about where his inspiration was from, which turned out to be a simple picture of him and his sister when they were younger, which he elaborated on to make the basis of his story. Also in his presentation he read short passages of his book, which were exciting and gripping. He also signed and wrote personal notes in copies of his books for the pupils. The talk was ended with a huge round of applause from every member of the audi-

Mum’s the word for Jenna YEAR 9 pupil Jenna Rainbow was persuaded to enter the Festival of Words competition by her mum — and won. Her entry will be heard at the Welwyn Garden City event and she is the proud owner of a trophy and certificate. She said: “I am not really a self-assured writer but entering the Festival of Words and actually winning was good for my confidence. At first I wasn't too keen on having a go, but my mum convinced me and I'm glad she did. “The story itself is about a woman's battle with leukaemia and perhaps the reason I wrote it was to raise awareness about horrible diseases such as the one in the story.”

PERSONAL COPIES: John Stephens autographs his book for CVC students. ence. Everyone enjoyed it thoroughly and we were very grateful to John for travelling such a long way to see us here at Comberton. Amy Jones (7L) and Grace Hardy (7V)

The War

I AM in a war. Not with guns, not with swords, not even with fists. But even so, it is a war I am losing. My name is Ada Sales, but that isn’t important. The only thing that matters at the moment is telling you my story. It started in the summer of 2004. While lying in bed one evening an abnormal pain in my joints began to emerge, It felt like someone was holding each of my bones and tightening their grip gradually. I managed to get no sleep that night. The next day I spoke to my husband about my rather uncomfortable sleep. It was quite apparent he was not fully awake and simply gave me a kiss before going to work. I ignored his lack of reply and decided I would take the day off from my job. Weeks passed and the pains in my body did not leave, in fact they became worse. I woke up each day to find new bruises covering my body, their swollen purple hue almost mocking me . . . but I didn’t complain. The Yard is also open to the elements but fortunately the sky was I put it down to the fact that people became clear, apart from the very noisy aeroplanes that occasionally disrupted more susceptible to bruising as they aged. the performance and the drips that fell off the roof of the theatre right My worries only really began when people on to our heads! began to stare at me on the street, like I The actors were brilliant and the performance was very entertaining, was a freak show. It was about this time I but by the end we were all exhausted as we had been standing up for decide to visit our local GP, Mr Nightingale. hours and it was so cold we could no longer feel our fingers and toes! (Ada Sales was referred to hospital and the Thankfully the coach was very warm and some of us were able to story continues) sleep on the way back. “I do not wish to alarm you, and if treated We all loved the trip and would like to thank our English teachers for properly you will be fine, but we have been the opportunity, particularly Mrs Moody for all her organisation. testing for leukaemia.” Hannah Edgoose (8E) & Felicity Kirby-Wilson (8R) I froze. My thoughts became a daze and I

of Shakespeare!

felt sick. This couldn’t be happening. Not to me. Not to me. I had tested positive and for the next few months my days consisted of treatment for the ravaging disease inside of me. I would have good days and bad days; days where I felt like I could beat it in a day and days where all the hope and all the energy in me drained away. The latter began to become overwhelming. My hair gradually fell out and I soon found myself bed bound and utterly hopeless. The week after I had discovered my battle had been no use — I was terminal. I refused to spend the rest of my days in a care home and instead let my family come and visit; my daughter and son, my grandchildren, my brother — the people that meant the world to me. I wanted to see them all. Despite the physical pain I was in, the happiness I felt seeing my loved ones was unmatched. In the spring of 2005, much like when my symptoms first began, I was lying in bed. But something felt different. I stood up and somehow I felt like I was flying, but still firmly on the ground. I turned and saw … my own body, lifeless and cold. It was over. I am in a war. Not with guns, not with swords, not even with fists. But even so, it is a war I have lost. Jenna Rainbow (9N)


Boffins show skills! THE Junior Maths Challenge produced an excellent number of certificates for the talented Year 7 and 8 pupils who took part. A total of 101 pupils did so — a handful of Year 7 pupils missed it because of their Spanish trip but they may have an opportunity next year! Gold certificate achievers in Year 8 were Melchior Chui, Alistair Sheppard, Jack Benson, Jack White, Christopher Reid, Alex Hannah Marshall (8O), Pinches, Edward Glasse, Samuel Rowbotham, Melchior Chui (8L), Wenjie Xu, Charlie McRobie, Jonathan Xue, Thomas Denney (9N), Katie Reynolds, Joelle Tasker and Naomi and Kartik Vira (9I) took Butterfield. Altogether in Year 8 there were 14 part in a number of chalgold certificates, 15 silver and 11 bronze. lenging rounds such as Year 7 pupils also achieved well, gaining four the fast-paced Relay gold certificates, 11 silver and 17 bronze. The Race, the deadly Head-toYear 7 gold achievers were Sean Coyle, Ewan Head and the fiendish Jenkins, Roman Godfrey and Alex Lione. Crossnumber, as well as MATHS CHALLENGE: Four CVC pupils battled it out in London. Melchior achieved so highly that he was invitcreating an attractive look forward to coming back next year bigger, stronger, ed to take part in the follow-on Olympiad poster on the subject of the Golden Ratio. round. This involved two hours of challenging We battled teams from as far afield as Northern Ireland and with more hats! questions and he achieved a silver medal, and Dundee, and came a creditable 63rd out of the origiHannah Marshall, Melchior Chui, Thomas Denney, putting him in the top 250 of the 250,000 who nal 3,000 teams. We thoroughly enjoyed the excursion to London, and we Kartik Vira and Miss Slusar participated.

LAST month, four unbelievably intelligent mathematicians and Miss Slusar went to London to take part in the Team Maths Challenge.

Hectic day for Chefs on the go ON Friday 17th time to set up our June 2011, (the display for 9am. date most Year We cooked on a 10s will know as kitchen stage in the dreaded front of a large Chemistry exam) crowd alongside Ammi Aslett, Ruth another school, Smith, Harriet being harassed by Bols and Emily a woman with a Glover took part in microphone and the final of the the camera man. East of England After cooking, we Schools Food headed back to Challenge. school, revising all We were asked to the way, ready to BIG STAGE: Comberton pupils at the East of England Show. cook a ‘healthy do our GCSE school lunchbox’ and some of you may have been involved in chemistry exam at 1pm. the questionnaires sent around to help us decide what to After the exam, we jumped back in Mrs Jones’ car and make. returned to Peterborough showground for the prize-giving. We finally decided to cook; trout pasta salad, carrot and Whilst standing by our display, we collected feedback from the coriander soup, granola bar, fruit fool and a pomegranate and judges and waited impatiently for the results. The man took mint pressé. his time delivering them… We competed in the preliminary round at CVC and impressed Sadly he didn’t say ‘Comberton Village College!’ but we loved the judges. the day and were happy with the outcome as the winners, From there we were picked out of 12 teams to compete in the from Dereham High School, beat us by just one mark. final along with five other schools. It was a hectic day — as We loved the experience and we would like to thank Mrs we left Hardwick at 7:45am, Harriet realised she had forgotten Jones for helping us throughout the preparations for the coma key ingredient for the carrot and coriander soup: the corianpetition. der! So after a quick detour to a nearby Co-op we arrived in Emily Glover (10V)

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World of work ALL Year 10 students took part in two weeks' work experience from 4th-15th July as part of their WorkRelated Learning programme. A number of students were able to take up placements which had already been organised by Connexions, but the majority had to find their own placement — they were encouraged to stay as local as possible and not to work with close friends/family. As in previous years a very wide range of placements were undertaken including: Arts Administrator with The Young Actors Company, Cafe Assistant at Clowns Café, Laboratory Assistant with Cancer Research UK and Garden Centre Assistant at Oakington Garden Centre. Work Experience provides our students with practical experience of the world of work including interviews, working with adults other than their teachers and being independent. It is also the basis for a speaking and listening exercise which they undertake in Year 11 for their English GCSE.


CVC goes wild! LAST term Comberton was awarded a Heritage Lottery grant (Young Roots) and this term students have been learning about natural heritage and local natural habitats. Cambridge Wildlife Trust has been delivering a 14-week programme to interested Year 9 and 10s. Here is our record of what we have done so far. May 12: We met in the evening to maximise our chance of seeing bats and newts around the school. We're glad to say we were able to see both and learnt a lot about both of them. May 19: We learned new ways of taking wildlife surveys and tricks to help us identify species we found. Millipedes and caterpillars were aplenty as well as water mint and cow parsley. We even found a newt egg underneath a curledup leaf. RIPE FOR REFURBISHMENT: The pond area before Activities Week. May 26: We visited Cambridge Wildlife Trust Garden to pick up ideas for the renovation of the college pond area. and insects that live there and how it is managed, which includes putting sheep in June 9: We mapped out the wildlife area we already have by drawing out its paths, there twice a year. entrances, pond and ditches. Also, we looked at where we could place features such June 23: We planned the information board and leaflets we plan to produce. as bird and bat boxes and hedgehog houses. In activities week, work started to renovate our wildlife area in the college grounds June 16: We visited Cambourne Meadow Nature Reserve to learn about the flowers and create an interpretation board.

Boys close to glory FROM almost 33,000 pupils nationally (5,000 from the Eastern Region) two CVC students, Edward Shellard and Ewan Jenkins, won through to the national final of the Year 7 languages Spelling Bee.

VITAL COG: The CVC language leaders were a key factor in the success in taking the language spelling bee on to the national stage.

Edward and Ewan fought valiantly in the national final with both students doing themselves proud. In the end it was down to a three-student nail-biting sudden death fight-out for the fourth and final championship position, which Ewan was close to winning. The Spelling Bee is a competition to assist young language learners to succeed, the aim being for students in Year 7 to practise and improve their vocabulary, spelling and memory skills in a foreign language. The project was the brainchild of MFL teacher Jane Driver and, with Routes into Languages and a group of very talented Comberton student leaders from Year 8 and 9, the project has been successfully rolled out throughout England and Wales with a phenomenal 33,000

school children participating. The Bee has been supported from the outset by a group of very dedicated CVC student leaders. Jason Mashinchi is one of the leaders who has been involved in the project from the start. This year he has singlehandedly built a multifaceted web-site for the project where teachers can register their students and download information and instructions for the competition as well as providing an on-line game for competitors and language learners to use. According to Ms Driver: “All the student leaders have been essential to the success of the competition and Jason in particular has been a massive asset to the Bee Team. In the current economic climate Jason's website is key to making the competition sustainable in the future and the fact that he is only in Year 9 makes it all the more impressive.” Both Ewan and Edward are now keen to start working with next year's Year 7 students to pass on their knowledge and experience this time as student leaders, not competitors.

Party time for Adult Education’s oldest tutor ON June 26, adult students in Monday mornPottery studio had to be converted into a ing’s Drawing and Painting class celebrated teaching workshop for the school. For the last the tutor’s 80th birthday. three years David has taught Drawing and Painting, in different media, and reckons he David Ashpole is Community Education’s oldest tutor in the college and says he has no can teach just about anyone who wants to plans to retire at the moment ‘as long as my have a go. knees hold out’. For details of David’s class, please see the David was Head of Art at Chesterton college website and come Community College in Cambridge for many and try a session if you’re not sure. Details of years and after retiring from this post 15 years PARTY TIME: For David Ashpole. the new 2011/12 Adult Education programme, which starts in September, can ago, started a new part-time career in Adult Education. also be found on this website. For many years David taught adult Pottery classes at Comberton, until the


Sir David Bell and Sir Garfield Sobers perform the h

Sixth Form officially o SIR Garfield Sobers, the world’s greatest all-rounder, wowed staff and cricket-mad pupils during an impromptu visit to Comberton. The visit, organised only 24 hours before they arrived, co-incided with the completion of Comberton’s new gym, built as part of the multi-million pound sixth form project, and Sir Gary cut a ribbon to declare it officially open. The West Indian legend, in England to promote the under-18 schools cricket competition he runs in Barbados, spent time regaling a spellbound audience with anecdotes of an unrivalled cricket career. Now 74, Sir Gary still has a remarkable recall of names and games during his heyday. But he also revealed that he doesn’t now spend much time watching cricket — it interferes with his time on the golf course. During a question and answer session, Sir Gary told youngsters that the key to cricketing success is practice — getting the shots right in the net rather than just trying to hit it knowing you won’t be out. Sir Gary, who also represented his native Barbados at football, table tennis and dominoes, revealed that he turned down a goalkeeping trial at Everton because of the cold. Sir Gary was accompanied by Kenyan former international Basher Hassan, a team-mate at Nottinghamshire when both men played county cricket. Comberton Executive Principal Stephen Munday — himself a cricketer and Everton supporter — said: “It was a privilege and an honour to meet a truly great sportsman and a great man like Sir Gary. As a keen cricketer myself, it was wonderful to hear from a true legend. “What a wonderful example he is to young people. The way that he emphasised the importance of taking pride in whatever you do was a great message for our youngsters. “The fact that he also nearly played for Everton Football Club was a remarkable, unexpected bonus!”

UNFORGET Staff and pu cricketing le Garfield Sob the day he o opened Com new gym.

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honours as £9.5m project is handed over by builders

opens for business

TTABLE: upils with gend Sir bers on officially mberton’s

SIR David Bell, the Permanent Secretary to the Department for Education, is clearly a big Comberton fan. As Ofsted’s chief inspector of schools, he memorably told Comberton Executive Principal Stephen Munday: “I’ve seen the future and it works.” He ‘came back to the future’ to officially open the main building of the new sixth form last month and his message was just as postive. “You’ve created the kind of education system we want to see not just working in this area but across the country,” he told an invited audience of staff, governors, pupils, members of the Local Authority and those involved with the planning and construction of the multi-million pound sixth form, which opens to 185 pupils in September. “ We believe very strongly that the best leaders and the best teachers should have the opportunity to share that and to help others to help improve education.” As well as unveiling a plaque to mark the opening, Sir David, who was knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours just four days before he visited Comberton on his first official visit as ‘Sir David’, cut some of the ribbons of a piece of artwork constructed by Year 10 BTEC Art and Design students. The audience also heard from Mr Munday and were treated to the first public playing of a piece of music created specially for the opening by Year 9 pupil Jay Richardson. Four new buildings have been added to the site to accommodate the sixth form, which will eventually cater for 350 students. The main building at the front of the school houses classrooms and science laboratories, a lecture theatre and a ‘cyber cafe.’ There is also a new library with two entrances, which will be shared by all students

STUDENTS MATTER: Sir David Bell listens to the views of two of Comberton’s Head Prefects. from Year 7 to Year 13. A new gym has been built next to the existing one; there is an Expressive Arts centre behind the sports hall and a design studio and a workshop have been constructed in a single building behind the technology department. Mr Munday said: “We are absolutely delighted with our new facilities. I think that it is fair to suggest that they are some of the very best of any state school Sixth Form anywhere in the country. “The classroom spaces are wonderful and the general larger spaces are even better. Some, such as the outstanding new Lecture Theatre, will also provide excellent opportunities for the wider local community.”

NEW BEGINNINGS: An original composition helped mark the opening of the new Sixth Form, which includes ‘The Core’ cyber cafe and a tiered lecture theatre (left).


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10 PUT TO THE TEST: CVC students at a Year 9 science challenge.

The appliance of science

LAST month a group of Year 9 pupils travelled to Duxford Imperial War Museum to participate in three scientific activities. The first workshop with ARM involved pupils forming teams and programming codes to race robots around a race track. Another activity, with Napp Pharmaceuticals, taught us about High Performance Liquid Chromatography and how it can be used to separate compound mixtures WE went to a Year 9 science challenge at Homerton College with students from and give important results for a variother secondary schools. ety of things, for example drug testOur first task was to investigate some dark, white and milk chocolate (eg their melting point). Dima, Kartik and I had our own investigation. We had an hour and ing. Lastly, we had a go at a half to finish the whole experiment and the make a video clip on what we did Spectroscopy using Colorimetry and and our results, and then finally, we were to upload it on to their Youtube Beer Lambert Law with the Royal Channel. We had a great time. Society of Chemistry. After lunch we carried out our last task of the day, which was to make two types We concluded our day with a look at of slime, one had to be bouncy and the other had to be really stretchy. the many hangers filled with aeroThe task seemed very easy, but we found it pretty difficult and we didn't even planes, missiles, tanks and various make it to the semi-finals. We had great fun making the slime and making a other interesting artefacts. All in all, mess. At the end of the day, we found out who won the competitions and there we had a lot of fun partaking in these was a quick presentation of making ice cream instantly and we all had a taste of activities and we definitely feel a lot it. Yinnie Chan (9B) PRACTICAL WORK: Students at Duxford. smarter too! Subha Kumar (9M)

Chocolate challenge!

Looking after British wildlife PARK LIFE: Year 7 girls with their wildlife park.

OUR project for this topic called Living World was to design a wildlife park for Comberton. Its purpose was to enhance and improve the habitats around our area and it was to only have British animals in it. It could have as many British habitats as you needed. Each group was made up of 3-5 students and every group allocated a team leader. The group would have to set their own personal homework and the team leader had to make sure everything was running

smoothly. Each student had to cover the following points when describing their animal: diet, habitat, adaptations, species, food chains and other facts. Every group made a model park and collected information on at least one animal each. At the end of the topic you had to present your work to the rest of the class, and every student had to contribute. I really enjoyed this project as it was very creative and imaginative. I would definitely do it again! Ella Black (7E)

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Simply marble-ous ALMOST 300 excited Year 6 pupils visited CVC one afternoon last month for the annual CVC science challenge. This year, teams from our nine feeder primary schools were busy making a marble run from a series of everyday materials. The challenge was to engineer a structure which would allow the marble to travel to the floor in the slowest time but without stopping altogether. Ideas this year included shallow slopes, long tubes, matchsticks as speed bumps and narrow openings to slow the marble down. The challenge also allows our new pupils to visit the science department and meet both science staff and their new year group in a fun but competitive atmosphere. There were lots of winning teams who each received a Horrible Science book as a prize for their school. Catherine Meddle WORK IN PROGRESS: A marble run under construction.

Spaghetti junction!

ONE Wednesday in science club we were having some fun attempting to make a bridge that could hold a pen or pencil. But we could only use two ingrediants, spaghetti and marshmallows. When we ripped the marshmallows, which we had to do to use them, they were very sticky and we had to dip them in a beaker of flour. Our group of three made a basic structure with four triangles made of spaghetti and then a zigzag shape along the botTHE Swavesey Science Challenge this year was all about Forensic into every lab. Matt and I carried out the biology challenge where we tom to provide strength. science. used protein-digesting enzymes and iced ethanol to work out which Other groups chose different Our challenges were based on a crime scene and how crime scene red sample was blood and pin the correct suspect. Melchior and structures such as a straight investigators could undertake to find evidence and prove a criminal Edward carried out a physics challenge where they looked at surline of spaghetti, which actususpect guilty or innocent. face area and height dropped of blood splatter. Kristina and Becky ally worked very well. There were four challenges to complete: one biology practical, one carried out the chemistry challenge; they prepared solutions and At the end of making our chemistry practical, one physics practical and a quiz and an obserconducted flame tests to discover which chemical was hidden in structures we tested them by vational test. each unlabelled substance taking two tables and graduWe split our team up for the practical challenges and put a pair linked to the crime scene. ally pulling them apart. Many thanks go to Miss Our structure was useless Segal and Mrs Dean for and was the third to collapse making this great afternoon WE have been working on a but it was amusing watching possible for us. Good teamproject in BTEC Art to design them fall. Everybody enjoyed work means we are confiand make a 3D periodic table this activity, especially the dent with our results and for a Chemistry Science lab winning teams who got a excited to hear (what will (right). We have finally finished whole bag of marshmallows CRIME SCENE: surely be) good news. putting it together and we feel it looks great. to split between the team. Anne-Lucie Bugain (9B) Toby Hart and Lucy Pollard Pupils at work.

Crime scene analysis is a practical challenge

Place for art

Working together in maths and science TEACHERS have continued to work hard this term both in and out of the classroom researching their practice. On Thursday 23 June four CVC teachers went to the annual CamSTAR Network Research Conference hosted by The Bishop Stortford High School in Hertfordshire. Here they listened to a selection of presentations from teachers of other schools in the network including a talk from one teacher who had spent time in the Antarctic to develop teaching resources. Our own Ms Foster presented her research on the exploration of students’ responses and experiences to their encounters with academic historical texts over a nine-lesson scheme of work. The Maths and Science departments have seen their first extended collaboration project written and organ-

ised by Mr Willder and Mr Dawes. In May the whole of Year 9 undertook a cross curricular project where they were investigating whether ships sink faster in sea water or fresh water. A lot of pupils were able to make predictions using their own general knowledge but they were challenged to prove it! The aim of the project was for pupils to experience first-hand not only the similarities but also the differences between Maths and Science. There are clearly links between the subjects as both regularly use and represent data and undertake measurements and calculations. However, sometimes the approach is different in each subject. For an entire week, all Year 9 pupils went to their Maths and Science lessons as normal. However, their Maths and Science lessons led on from one another. The topic was introduced in a Maths lesson, where

pupils could compare the Maths data handling cycle and the Science investigation cycle. They then came up with a prediction for the experiment. In the following Science lesson pupils undertook an experiment using floating beakers, sand, salt and fresh water. They collected their data, and returned to Maths to plot a graph and analyse the data from a Mathematical view point. Upon returning to science with their graphs, pupils then concluded and evaluated the data from a more scientific view point. The project was concluded in Maths where pupils compared the similarities and differences between the two subjects. Mr Willder is now researching the impact of this collaboration for his Master’s dissertation. For more information on the CamSTAR Network go to:

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THERE’S A MCFLY IN MY TEA: Comberton staff have an energy-boosting break Pictures: Sara Churchman with team captain Harry Judd, from McFly.

A SMASHING TIME: Comberton Exeuctive Principal Stephen Munday hits out.

Cashing in for TCT "It's a perfect day. I love cricket... What else would I want to do?" were the words of Executive Principal Stephen Munday at the Carlton Celebrity Cricket match on Sunday 26th June. He went on to say that "it's a great opportunity to raise thousands of pounds for a worthwhile cause in the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT)." It certainly was fun. There were attractions for children accompanied by various marquees which all revolved around the celebrity cricket match. On a day where the weather was charitable too, the game was contested between the Bunburys team made up of some celebrities in sport, such as the legendary Australian pace bowler Jeff Thomson and was captained by Dr David English, who has been pivotal in the match's co-ordination since it was established, with Fiona Rosenberg and her father Robin Wylie, who told me that the field was turned into a cricket pitch 10 years ago and that event has continued to take place in their private grounds ever since. Facing them, were the formidable Teenage Cancer Trust XI, including Mr Munday and fellow CVC staff Mr Lawrence, Mr Allcock, Mr Uttridge as well as members of the Music Department, a former pupil plus additional local village players.

The team was captained by the drummer Harry Judd, of McFly, who said: "My best friend had cancer at the age of 12, and I saw what he went through growing up, so in that way, Teenage Cancer Trust who I've supported for six years now, is really important to me." Charitable is how you could describe Mr. Munday's bowling during the match itself! Yet the boundaries which exploded from the pitch (sometimes perilously close to spectators and their cars...) off his bowling could be justified by its origins in the form of a cricket player who used to play for England. A notable performance among the CVC staff was Mr Lawrence, who took two wickets at the cost of three runs as well as himself scoring 21 runs. In the end, the Bunburys ran away with a victory of 84 runs but, the most important victory was the contribution to Teenage Cancer Trust. Thanks to Vijju and Larry Churchman and family for the work that they invested in the success of the event, also to Mrs Fisher and the sports leaders who took part. Thank you to Fiona Rosenberg and Robin Wylie for organising and making the event possible. The total raised so far is more than £12,000. Aneesh Sharma (10M)

National succcess for pupil

FANTASTIC FOUR: Four 2011 national grand champions (Dan and Gup grades, under 17s and adult) and some of the Masters.

KAITLIN Sabnis Thomas (8R) secured the National under-17s Dan (black belt) Grand Champion trophy at a recent competition in Birmingham. The competition was very tough, with a much higher standard of performance than for a number for years. In order to secure the trophy Kaitlin had to win all three competition events; weapons, forms and sparring. Kaitlin is currently a Cho Dan Bo, candidate for Black Belt and hopes to take her Black belt test in October. The latest win follows Kaitlin’s


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National under-17s Gup (non black belt) Grand Champion trophy in Birmingham last year. Kaitlin is a member of the Korean martial arts club Comberton Tang Soo Do, which is based at the Meridian school in Comberton. The club is part of the World Tang Soo Do Association which has 45 clubs in the UK. Fellow CVC students and Comberton clubmates Kymran Sabnis Thomas, Kira Nelms and Adam Goss also competed.


Sensational dance

RANGE OF STYLES: Comberton pupils on stage at the Dance Summer Showcase earlier this month.

THE Summer Dance Showcase on July 1 was a success. There were many dances in different styles and all of them were fantastic. There was a huge variety to watch and everybody enjoyed it, especially the dancers. The auditorium was full and behind the scenes we were all excited and wanted to get out there and perform our best for friends and family. The weeks of dance lessons before the showcase were great fun, energetic and sociable and that showed in the dances we performed. On the day of the showcase we had a rehearsal day during school and that was enjoyable and necessary for us to make the final touches to our performances. At the end of the show a number of surprised and delighted students were presented with vouchers for summer sessions at Bodyworks by the teachers from the Cambridge-based company who teach a lot of the classes at CVC. Thank you to Mrs Edwards and all the dance teachers for making the past term so enjoyable. Paige Newey (8R)

A change of style

AFRICAN STYLE: Three of the girls who went to Bedford recreate one of the African dance moves.

AS Mrs Edwards drove 11 CVC girls to Bedford so we could take part in three dance workshops, none of us really knew what to expect. We had all thought that we would be doing the typical jazz, contemporary and street classes but after being told by Mrs Edwards the day before that we would be taking part in African dance, Indian dance and Capoeira, no wonder some of us were apprehensive. When we arrived we were taken to a performance hall where we were briefed on the day’s goings-on and were then split into groups and led to various halls by our teacher. My first class was African dance. It was really fun and you were able to let yourself go and have a great time learning the new moves. After break we then had Indian dance. We were taught a traditional Kathak dance then a more upbeat Bollywood one. The last workshop of the day was Capoeira. It was really tiring but amazing and unfortunately we had to leave early to get back for the buses. We would love to do something similar in the future and we would all like to say a big thank you to Mrs Edwards for organising the day. Charlotte Jones (9M)


Fun-tastic festivals Blue’s picking up the Fair Play Award medals for the team who best supported each other. Every pupil in every team scored points at every event — high jump, long jump, standing broad jump, 50m, hurdles, 400m, shot, quoit throw, javelin and skipping —– and the red team came out with the best average. But winning was not the primary aim of the day. The emphasis is on fun, friendship and teamwork with everybody getting a certificate of participation as well as a T-shirt. The festival, which was run by Comberton sports leaders with staff support, now costs in excess of £1,000 to run and would not have been possible without support from sponsors, who this year were C&D Motors, Signwork & Expertees, The Apple Tree Dental Practice

MORE than 300 youngsters celebrated the 10th anniversary of Comberton’s hugely successful Primary Athletics Festival. The day-long athletics extravaganza started in 2002 as a way of introducing just over 200 Year 6 pupils to secondary school without the pressure of mixing with the older children or having to find their way around unfamiliar buildings. The 10 and 11-year-olds, most of whom will start at CVC in September, were divided into 11 teams, each with different coloured T-shirts — which the pupils kept — and spent the day working as a team to complete 10 athletic challenges. The red team came out as winners with the Bright

RUN, JUMP, THROW: Pupils at Comberton’s Primary Athletics Festival take part in a range of events. GREY skies couldn’t dampen the spirits of 1,400 children who took part in the annual Mini-Olympics event on Tuesday 21st June 2011 at the Wilberforce Road athletics track, Cambridge. The event was for Year Four children and was about encouraging more young people to get involved in sport whilst inspiring them to strive to achieve their personal best. The day involved the children rotating around a series of 16 different stations where they were able to try out a range of different and often new activities. These include a variety of Olympic and Paralympic sports, for example long jump, Boccia, hockey, shot putt, hurdles and tennis. Keeping with the Olympic theme all 1,400 children were wearing t-shirts in the colours of the Olympic rings. Many of the participating schools had made their own Olympic torches, which they were able to parade at the closing ceremony. At the end of the day children were awarded certificates for demonstrating Olympic values, such as Respect, Determination, Excellence and Friendship. The event was organised by the South Cambs School Sports Partnership and sponsored by Hobbs Sports, who provided T-shirts for the children, and South Cambs District Council. Another supporter of the event was the South Cambridgeshire Rotary Club, who

as well as Hilary’s Wholesale Cambridge and The CoOperative who provided an amazing selection of fruit, breakfast bars and water for the rest station, which is always a vital part of the rotation as youngsters also spend time there getting to know their team-mates. Rachel Baxter, a teacher from Bourn, said simply: “The Year 6s from Bourn had a wonderful time!” Claire Coates, Comberton’s Deputy Principal in charge of transition, said: “This was an excellent opportunity for our new-intake pupils to learn more about Comberton, meet new friends and show off their athletic talents. The children really entered into the spirit of the day, assisted by our great team of Year 10 Sports Leaders, and we look forward to them starting with us in September.”

provided volunteers to help with the parking on the day, no mean feat when you have more than 30 coaches to get on site and park in a 30-minute time slot! Claire McDonnell, Partnership Development Manager said: “The day went really well; it was great to see so many children taking part in sport and the Olympic torches they had made for the event were fantastic and added a real splash of colour to the closing ceremony. Yet again the sports leaders did a fantastic job for us in running all of the activities and encouraging the children to do their best.” Cllr James Hockney, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Champion for the Olympics, who attended the event said: "The South Cambs School Sports Partnership team did a fantastic job. I was so impressed at how well it was organised. It was great to see all the youngsters taking an active part in the day and working together and encouraging one another.”

TRY SOMETHING NEW: Year 4 pupils have a go at golf and tug-ofwar.

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Medal treble for super Charlotte FORMER Comberton pupil Charlotte Cox has won a gold and two silver medals at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens’ Olympic stadium. The 20-year-old from Toft was part of the triumphant 4x100m relay team and finished second in both the long jump and in the 200m, where she ran a personal best time of 32.58 seconds. In the build-up to the event, sponsors Coca-Cola GB selected Charlotte as the face of the British team and she presented three videos for the Coca Cola blog. While most of the team were in quarantine with a bug, which at one point affected 32 of the group, Charlotte, who avoided it, was at the British Embassy filming and interviewing! Charlotte is considered a real medal prospect for next summer’s Paralympic Games in London. LONG LEAP: Charlotte Cox equalled her season’s best for long jump silver.

A real team effort AFTER the thunderstorms of the day before it was a relief to see that Wednesday June 29 dawned bright and sunny, for this summer’s Jubilee Cup. Eleven schools from across the city took part in athletic competition at the University Athletics Track in the major schools’ athletics event of the summer, organised by staff and pupils at Comberton. Mr Rogers and Miss McKenzie were the team managers, organising and motivating the Comberton teams while Mr Sycamore worked hard with the Year 9 maths pupils who had put together the spreadsheets that enabled the results to be shared before everyone left. Other staff and sports leaders were at the finish line, timing races and ensuring that the right number of points went to the right schools. It was great to see everybody pulling together so that youngsters from all over the city could experience the thrill of athletic competition. All the Comberton pupils entered into the spirit of the occasion, supporting and encouraging each other to some great performances. Those deserving a special mention include: Year 7 boys: Anthony Scully, winner,

Water battle for glory! COMBERTON'S annual swimming galas were once again close-fought battles of the tutor groups. And for Year 8 and 9 there was still everything to race for going into the relays, which earned double points. And while E were the clear Year 7 winners with 133 points to runners-up N's 112 and I's 108, it was much closer for the older age groups. N snatched victory for Year 8, also with 133 points, but they were just six points clear of V with L a further 10 points adrift. A special mention should go to the girls in C, Floss Murray and Holly Gillson. Along with just five boys, they comprised the entire turn-out from Mr Leggott's tutor group, but managed to fill almost all the events, even swimming two legs each in the relays. Year 9 teams were also allowed to fill the events with whomever turned up and M proved the strongest, amassing 154 points to finish clear of I with 141 and B with 129. Pupils from the feeder primary schools were not so lucky. Thunderstorms all afternoon meant their gala had to be called off. Although the Year 5 pupils who turned up did have the chance to learn the Olympic dance and take part in some athletics relays in the newest gym, they were unable to get into the water.

800m and Sam Cridland, second, 100m. Year 7 girls: Rachael Mellor, winner, long jump, Megan Caw, second, high jump and Emily Dowsett, second, 100m. Year 8 boys: Tom Blatch, winner, 1500m. Year 8 girls: Katie Reynolds won both the high jump and hurdles, an exceptional achievement and Katie Sims was second in the 100m. Year 9 boys: Liam Hunt, winner, hurdles (despite a dramatic tumble on the finish line) and Kola Kavolchuk, second, shot putt. Year 9 girls: Roxi Shini winner, high jump. Year 10 boys: Rukki Diejomaoh, winner, long jump, Morgan Young, winner, javelin and Myles Carter winner, triple jump and second , 100m. Year 10 girls: Sarah Dowsett, winner, 300m, Selina Leung, second, javelin and Ellie Sims, second, 200m. As always the event was concluded with the relays which were as exciting as ever, especially as the Year 10 boys almost won, in the closest of finishes. Overall, after a tiring but exciting afternoon, Comberton finished in sixth place. Many thanks to all the staff and pupils whose help ensured that the day ran smoothly.

WINNER: Javelin thrower Morgan Young gained one of CVC’s wins at the Jubilee Cup.

Sports fun for primary pupils CHILDREN aged from 5-11 years will be able to enjoy a week of different sports at Comberton Leisure’s Summer Sports Week. It takes place from Monday August 8-Thursday August 11 from 10.00-4.00 and includes the chance to try climbing, swimming, tennis, football, kwik cricket, badminton, parachute games, rounders, trampolining and more. The cost is £20 per day or £70 for all four days and there are discounts available if you have more than one child attending. To book or for more information, please call Comberton Leisure reception on (01223) 264444.

A Specialism of Comberton Vi l l a g e College


SCENE-STEALERS: Pupils star in their own art work.

Picture this. . . THE photography unit in BTEC Art and Design is often based on portraiture, especially self-portraits. Students study the work of photographers such as Cindy Sherman, Samuel Fosso and Tim Walker to learn how to describe emotions, personality and imagination on a 2D surface. Photoshop skills are important, but these are used to tweak the original shot which, if planned and executed well, shouldn’t need much embellishment.

The fun bit is dressing up, sourcing locations and creating the story you want to tell. It sounds obvious, but looking into yourself to find the parts you want to show takes confidence and is part of the personal development component of the BTEC programme. Thanks to the following students who have agreed to have their work put into this magazine: Katheryn Woor, Toby Hart, Josh Beresford and Emma Watson. Nicola Powys, Head of BTEC Art & Design

Business tips point students in right direction

LEARNING THE ROPES: Comberton pupils at the business collaboration day.

Designed by Judy Czylok, CVC.

THE Year 10 Business, Administration and Finance Diploma collaboration day took place on Thursday 23rd June, with business students and staff attending from Comberton, Ely and Linton village colleges. The day was based around the subject of careers and employment, and students received extremely useful presentations from local business people. Mr Chris Greaves, HR Director of Ridgeons, gave a presentation about employment legislation, while Heidi Mulvey, of Cambridge University Press, spoke to the students about job interview skills. The students also benefited from a CV workshop which was conducted by Laura Martin and Emma Vinnicombe, from Cambridge City Council. Students were given the opportunity to work together in practising their job application skills by practising interviews and developing their CVs. They found this to be a very useful day, not only for completing their Diploma assignments, but also for potential future job applications. Mr Warrington, Head of Business Education

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Comberton Village College Magazine - Summer 2011  
Comberton Village College Magazine - Summer 2011  

Magazine of Comberton Village College, Comberton, near Cambridge, published by for the Summer 2011 end of term