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The Porta

Winter 2013-14

Welcome to The Porta HAPPY New Year and welcome to the Winter 2013-14 edition of The Porta. In addition to news and views from across all sections of the school, it brings me great pleasure to introduce herewith The Porta Extra, a new biannual supplement for and about an important sector of the King’s Ely community – our alumni. We hope you enjoy this publication and, as always, we welcome your feedback. Please email any comments or suggestions for future features to the media and marketing department at Sue Freestone Principal

Front cover image: Design by student Archie Haynes (age 12)

Choristers perform on Gareth Malone’s The Choir series final

THE Ely Cathedral Choristers joined forces with choirmaster Gareth Malone for an evening of choral celebration when the final episode of the popular BBC Two series, The Choir: Sing While You Work was filmed at Ely Cathedral.

The show sees Gareth scouring the country in a bid to find the best workplace choir, spending months working with organisations across Britain and putting their workforces through their musical paces. In the final, which was filmed in the cathedral back in September and aired during Christmas week, Gareth challenges the three remaining choirs to interpret a piece by Paul Mealor, composer to the royal family, meaning that each choir must agree on their strengths, their style and their stars. The Ely Cathedral Choristers provided the backing vocals for all of the performances. The choristers have also worked with James Bowman, Aled Jones, Jose Carreras, Britten Sinfonia, The Orchestra of St John’s, The Brandenburg Consort and The City of London Symphony Orchestra, to name but a few. Further information about our Boy and Girl Choristerships, including the new male Sixth Form Choral Scholarship, is available on our website, The clip is available to view on the BBC website:

Centre of Excellence award puts King’s Ely on the map THE new academic year got off to a flying start when the school gained the coveted Centre of Excellence award by the Geographical Association, which is the highest accolade a school can receive in the subject.

related career. The school has also played a leading role in supporting geography teachers in local and regional cluster groups through continuous professional development (CPD) training.” All of the award winners undergo a rigorous moderation process. The assessors were hugely impressed by the manner in which geography is “made relevant to students at King’s Ely”. They went on to say: “Students have a huge range of opportunities to develop their interest and love of the subject and the department has an extremely high impact beyond the school itself.” Head of Geography, Claire Kyndt, commented: “We are very excited to receive this award, which reflects the enthusiastic, excellent and innovative teaching in the Geography department.”

THERE was more success for the Geography department in the Michaelmas term when teacher Alan Parkinson received a medal for his outstanding contribution to geography and education.

At the same conference, the book Fieldwork through Enquiry, which Alan co-wrote with John Widdowson, won the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers Book Award. Another of Alan’s publications was also commended, and he has previously received the Royal Geographical Society’s Ordnance Survey award for excellent teaching. While delighted to have received the medal, Alan humbly remarked: “What was equally important to me was to read and hear the comments of others who were there, who appreciated the work that I’ve created and shared over the years.”

This prestigious award recognises a department’s contribution to quality geography, both within and beyond the school, and has only been awarded to 40 schools in the country. Over the past few years, the Geography department at King’s Ely has integrated iPads into the curriculum, built a departmental website and taken students to Iceland and China, as well as establishing the Geography Ambassador group to support those students interested in a geography

Alan was awarded the 2013 Tivy Education Medal, along with an honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. The medal, which is rarely awarded, was presented to Alan by Professor Iain Stewart, who has produced several television programmes on geology and earth science.

The school will collect the award at the Geographical Association’s annual awards evening, which takes place at the University of Surrey in April. Principal of King’s Ely, Sue Freestone, commended the staff and students for their various contributions, adding: “Given advances in technology and our growing understanding of our world, 21st century Geography is one of the most exciting subjects any pupil can study. It is very gratifying to have the excellence of the work our geographers are doing recognised by the Geographical Association.” King’s Ely is also a centre of excellence for Maths and Chemistry and the school is a recipient of the coveted NACE award for its excellent standard of teaching and learning.

Senior students gain top language awards LANGUAGE students have received prestigious awards for work they completed last year as part of the national Routes into Languages initiative, which aims to promote participation and innovation in language learning to make a lasting impact within the school sector and the wider community.

Eight students from King’s Ely Senior earned the initiative’s Language Leader award after swapping their notepads for interactive whiteboards to teach younger pupils at King’s Ely Junior. In addition, two students completed a series of independent tasks to achieve the Language Challenge award. Sarah Schechter and Tony Morgan from Routes into Languages East presented the students with their awards during Senior assembly. Senior’s Head of Languages, Esmeralda Salgado, commented: “The Language Leader programme is designed for Year 10 students, who are required

to complete three hours of teaching with Year 6 or Year 7 sets in either German or Spanish. To achieve this, meetings took place weekly to discuss teaching strategies on how to present vocabulary, practise grammar and carry out speaking activities. Students also mentored peers within their year group, created grammatical booklets for specific grammatical points and worked as language ambassadors for the school. “The Language Challenge is open to Year 9 students, who have to complete a series of independent tasks such as learning a foreign song, writing a story or poem in the target language and

researching a particular grammatical point, just to mention a few.” Alex McGrath, Head of King’s Ely Senior, added: “At a time when the teaching of languages is in decline in this country, I am delighted that initiatives such as this at King’s Ely are assisting in embedding language learning, developing the confidence of our students and giving them a challenge to embrace. We are educating children to take their place in a global economy, and acquisition of a modern foreign language gives them a competitive edge, opening their horizons to a wealth of opportunity at university and for their future working lives.”

A special day for academic scholars WITH the backcloth of Ely Cathedral providing a suitably outstanding setting, the highest achieving students became King’s and Queen’s Scholars during a special installation service in the Michaelmas term.

Every year, students are selected to become King’s and Queen’s Scholars on the basis of excellence in their GCSE examinations. As academic leaders of the school, the Scholars receive their distinctive red gowns – the colour traditionally associated with royalty – and are admitted as members of the Cathedral Foundation, strengthening the special link between King’s Ely and the Cathedral. The King’s and Queen’s Scholars also provide a continuing connection to the foundation of the school by Henry VIII in 1541 and the introduction of co-education in 1971, soon after which our current Queen instigated Queen’s Scholars. Two International Scholars are also appointed each year and join the King’s and Queen’s Scholars in leading the school academically and during many important formal occasions. Principal, Sue Freestone, remarked that the Admission of Scholars Service and the Gowning of International Scholars are principle highlights in the life of King’s Ely, adding: “Becoming a Scholar means so much to the students involved and I can do no better than to quote one of them, who said: ‘I am so happy that I am now a King’s Scholar and that I have fulfilled one of my dreams. Ever since I first saw the Scholars (which was when I was four years old), I have really admired them and to be one of them is truly amazing!’.”

George celebrates exceptional exam results AT THE start of term, Sixth Form student and King’s Scholar, George Ryan, discovered that he achieved an overall average score of 98% in his AS papers, with 100% in seven of the 11 papers that he sat in June.

George, who achieved four As in AS Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Religious Studies, scored 100% in three of his Mathematics exams as well as gaining top marks in four papers in his other subjects. He now has high hopes for achieving his first choice university placement. “Top universities these days look not only at achieved grades, but at percentages too as they aim to differentiate between the top achievers,” said Head of King’s Ely Senior, Alex McGrath. “In George we are privileged to teach a truly outstanding academic, who has been well supported and guided by some excellent teachers.”

Dare to


A SELL-OUT production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat brought the spirit of King’s Ely to life this Christmas when Junior and Senior pupils joined forces in a colourful display of energy, courage and integrity. For the first time in the school’s 1,000 year history, both Junior and Senior pupils took part in the end of term production, reflecting the alignment of the Junior and Senior Drama departments and providing a fitting tribute to the late Nanette Van-Wright Jordan, the former Head of Drama, who died suddenly last year. A cast of 60 students spent nine weeks rehearsing for a total of 97 hours before a packed out show-week, which sold out almost two weeks before the opening night. Directed by Head of Drama, Nick Huntington, with Peter North as Musical Director and Natasha Hobbs as Choreographer, the production was complemented by support from

all sections of the school. Staff joined current and former students to create a wonderfully colourful set; the Fine Art department painted some wonderful Egyptian flags; and parents Fiona Rosenberg and Anne Robertsson-Blume took charge of costumes. The cast, which included Joseph (Eric Dowell), the three narrators (Fiona Campbell, Georgia Schneider and Anna Willis), Pharaoh (Matt Ley), Potiphar (Philip Hicks), Mrs Potiphar (Emma Jones), Jacob and the brothers, the dancers and the chorus filled the stage with sheer joyous entertainment, and the whole production process was filmed by Year 12 Media student Max Openshaw, who produced a documentary showing the making of a King’s Company production. Nick commented: “Co-curricular productions such as Joseph are worth every single minute of time and effort put in, as the benefits reaped by our pupils are so incredibly impacting on their social, emotional, physical and cognitive development; “life-changing” as one parent of a cast member

succinctly put it.You cannot quantify the results of drama, which is why there is such a threat to the legitimacy of the subject at this current time of educational reform. Not only is drama a legitimate subject, it is an invaluable one, and, at King’s Ely, drama is treated as a serious subject in its own right and not simply a tool for pedagogy. With skills to acquire, specific subject knowledge and drama vocabulary to learn, as well as a rich and vibrant British theatre scene for our students to analyse and critically evaluate, it is no wonder it is a popular and important subject at King’s Ely.” The school received a plethora of positive reviews of the production, with many show-goers taking to Twitter to share their experiences.You can read the 140 character reviews with the hashtag KEProductions or by searching @Kings_Ely For information about future productions, please visit our website, To join the mailing list, please email

T eache r s g et c r e ati ve w ith t he c u r r icu lum CHILDREN at King’s Ely Acremont have been travelling through time and space in their very own time machine! Recognising the importance of imagination and the role it plays in cognitive development, teachers have been getting creative with the curriculum, as Jo Lyall reports: “Year 1 children found a letter from a group of Victorian schoolchildren, so we built a time machine to travel back in time to visit them. The whole year group spent a week as Victorian schoolchildren, learning about the toys, clothes and homes in the Victorian era. Taking their learning a step further, we also held a Victorian Sports Day and we rounded off the topic with a Victorian themed soiree for parents, with a poetry recital, dancing and a flea circus.” Back in the present day, the teachers at King’s Ely Acremont have also been using real-life technologies to engage the children in the classroom, such as Quick Response (QR) codes and iPads.

“Children came in to school to find a giant QR code in the classroom,” said Jo, adding: “We used one of our iPads to scan the code and it revealed a message from the future, from two children living in 2163. They then started noticing QR codes everywhere – on books, toys, games and even on bus stops. Then, collectively, we came up with the idea of setting up a treasure hunt. In groups, we wrote clues for various places around school, typed the clues into a QR code writer, printed them out and set up our treasure hunt. Every child had the chance to scan a clue

and, eventually, we found the treasure – chocolate coins! “As well as using iPads to read and write QR codes, we regularly use them in the classroom to create pictures and animations, read and record e-books, research different countries around the world, and practise fine motor control. This was the first time that we have used QR code technology in the classroom; we also plan to link to videos and soundtracks in the future.” Creative teaching and learning is at the very heart of education at King’s Ely, particularly at Acremont. In addition to learning through books and pictures, the children are fully immersed in each topic. Head Lynda Brereton added: “The benefits of the creative curriculum are tangible in all areas, with the children being enthused and excited about their learning. We have all noticed that the children also want to take their learning home; for instance, following a recent topic on the Polar Regions, one little girl was given a penguin to adopt as a birthday present, such was her interest in the topic.”

Textiles department earns national notoriety IT’S BEEN another exciting term for the Textiles department, which saw students exhibiting their creations at a number of high profile shows across the country. A collection of designs by A Level students was on display at Alexandra Palace in London for the Knitting and Stitching Show 2013, giving the students, the King’s Ely Textiles department and the school some wellearned national publicity.

The department also held an exhibition at Burghley during the Burghley Horse Trials event. The attendance at this event was approximately 155,000 and many current parents were present alongside families now interested in sending their children to study at King’s Ely. This was by invitation only, and King’s Ely was the only school exhibiting within the Royal Crafts Association pavilion. Director of Art, Alison Rhodes, has secured further events for the coming year, including an exhibition at Olympia

in London. “These events provide an invaluable opportunity for students to display their fashion design and make links with industry,” said Alison. “It is at this type of exhibition that we first made links with headwear designer Lauren Martin from Philip Treacy, the Directors at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace, where students Connie Wynn and Emanuella Tamimi have second interviews later this month, and the organisers of Burghley.”

WANTING to make a positive contribution to the wider community is something that we aim to instil in children from the moment they join the school community.

Although a culture of giving is present in all sections of the school, the pupils take more of an active role in fundraising in King’s Ely Junior. At the beginning of the year, students vote for charity reps in each of their houses, which enables them to they have a say in which charities we raise for. Once a charity has been nominated, a representative is invited into the school to explain how the money raised would help. In addition to two major annual

events – the Charity Action Day and the Santa Run – the school community takes part in a variety of fundraising activities, from cake sales to concerts. Pupils and their families often come up with entrepreneurial ventures of their own, such as selling bookmarks, running a raffle or holding a craft stall. “Overseeing the charitable endeavours and community minded actions of the students in King’s Ely Junior is one of the most uplifting aspects to my role at King’s Ely,” reflected Richard Whymark, Head of King’s Ely Junior. “Our links with the wider community are vitally important to us. The work the children do in support of local charities and organisations supporting many local people is of

great significance to them, the school and the students’ families, and the children’s commitment to this area of their endeavours is remarkable. “Over the last year, hand in hand with our local community, the pupils in the Junior section of the school filled a shopping trolley for the Ely Foodbank each week, raised over £11,000 for their chosen charity and continued to support nationwide events such as Children in Need and Movember. As we develop the range of activities and opportunities in the Junior section, we will continue to seek meaningful ways in which our younger students may work within our wider community and make a tangible contribution to it.”

King’s Ely Junior donates over £11,000 to the East Anglian Air Ambulance AFTER raising an astonishing £11,188.38 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), children from King’s Ely Junior travelled to the air ambulance’s base at Cambridge airport to see the ambulance in action and present the charity with a giant cheque.

The money was raised through a whole host of fundraising activities last year, such as non-uniform day, cake sales, the Santa Run, a Christmas card sale, mini enterprise crafts and a charity summer celebration. Mary Dunn, Deputy Fundraiser for EAAA, was pleased to accept the cheque on behalf of King’s Ely Junior, saying that it was an “absolutely wonderful donation” and thanking the students for all of their hard work in raising such an amount.

Unfortunately, the air ambulance had been called out on an emergency not long before the students arrived, so they were not able to see it. However, they were great ambassadors for the school, saying that it was more important for the ambulance to be saving someone’s life. Sarah Green, Charity Coordinator

for King’s Ely Junior, said: “We are extremely proud of the students for raising such an incredible amount, and the enthusiasm and generosity of the King’s Ely community has been fantastic. “The school’s chosen charities this year are Macmillan and CLIC Sargent and we hope to raise a similar amount, if not more!”

Hair-raising scenes as Junior staff and pupils complete Movember fundraiser STAFF at King’s Ely Junior went for the big shave on Friday November 29, 2013 after growing their moustaches for the month as part of the Movember campaign.

Local barber Tony Milan was drafted in to do the honours during a special school assembly in the Morbey Hall on Friday lunchtime. Students also got involved in the fun by wearing adhesive and painted moustaches. Collectively, they raised over £560 for the Movember campaign. The annual event encourages men across the world to grow moustaches to raise awareness of the often ignored issues of men’s health. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, claiming the lives of around 10,000 men every year, and Movember aims to change this by changing the face of men’s health. Sadly, Mr Whymark’s beard survived the

big shave, although he has promised to face the blade next year if the school can raise £1,000 for the campaign.

Parents donate school uniforms to children in Africa PARENTS and pupils at King’s Ely have come up with the perfect recycling solution for their old school uniform.

Members of the Uniform for Overseas (UFO) committee have been organising collections of the premium-quality items to send to schoolchildren in Africa, in areas where parents cannot afford to buy suitable clothing for their children. Volunteers spent a day sorting and packing donated items at The Lighthouse Centre in Ely building on the success of last year’s collection, where over 300 polo shirts, 200 jumpers, 100 pinafores, 50 blazers and were collected and transported to Rwanda. Event co-organiser, Jenny Jeffreys, said: “We had a very successful day packing

hundreds of items of donated clothing, taking our total for this collection to 51 boxes of clothes and five boxes of books. This is more than twice the number of boxes sent last year and will help the Mothers’ Union in Rwanda to continue the work at their school in Kigali and within the surrounding rural community.” The collection was then delivered to Christian Hope International in Essex, which shipped a container to Rwanda last October. Jenny added: “The initiative would not have been possible without the support of the local community. Horizon Retail

Marketing Solutions donated use of their vans as well as warehouse storage space, The Lighthouse allowed us to use their hall for sorting and packing, Tesco’s Fruit and Vegetable Department donated all of the boxes and the Cathedral branch of the Mothers’ Union assisted with fundraising and packing.”

Fairy tales help King’s Ely embed cultural integration


T IS an opportunity to discover a whole new world, making it one of the most popular events in the school calendar – children at King’s Ely Acremont heard tales from all over the globe this term when international students paid them a visit during the school’s annual Book Week.

Ten students from King’s Ely International, which provides intensive academic courses for around 55 international students each year, enthralled the Year 2 children with stories and fairy tales spoken in their native language, including Korean, Spanish, Chinese, Kazakh, German and Taiwanese. With the use of mime and objects, including an exquisite traditional dress

from Korea, the children were fully engaged and eager to learn more about the countries the international students came from. They posed a wide range of questions and there was sheer amazement that money in China was made from plastic, making it impossible to rip! The aim of the annual event is twofold: to help the international students integrate into the local community and to promote the cultural understanding and skills that young people today need to live and work as global citizens. “Book Week at Acremont is always a marvellous opportunity to celebrate King’s Ely International’s rich cultural diversity,” commented Sarah Bellotti, Director of King’s Ely International. “Both our international and younger pupils are enriched by the experience, which highlights not only what is different in

language but, more surprisingly for some, what is also very similar in culture: the Three Little Pigs, for instance, is a story told all over the world.” Principal, Sue Freestone, added: “One of the strengths of King’s Ely is the opportunity for integration across what may be perceived as barriers in other contexts. Students from all over the world have an opportunity to realise that the shared experiences of life that bind communities far outweigh the perceived differences that divide them.The birth of that understanding cannot happen early enough and the value of the work our King’s Ely International students do with the children in King’s Ely Acremont is incalculable for all concerned.”

Breaking the ice to make friends for life ENSURING that students feel happy, secure and warmly welcomed from the moment that they arrive in their new school is high on the agenda at King’s Ely. Meeting their classmates and making friends can be a daunting prospect for any new recruit, but it is particularly challenging for international students who also need to build bridges across language barriers and cultural divides.

To help new King’s Ely International students get to know the British students better – and vice-versa – the school organised a speed-friending session between a group of International girls in Wendreda House and the Year 11 girls in Torfrida House, which is a day house in King’s Ely Senior. The teachers had lots of questions prepared to help the students make conversation, but it soon became quite apparent that, regardless of where in the world girls come from, just providing them with hot chocolate and a space to chat is all that was required. The Torfrida common room buzzed with voices and accents from all around the world, as the girls chatted and laughed, sharing ideas on favourite music, movies, hopes for the future, and of course the occasional comment about boys! “The staff involved certainly intend to

make this a regular date in the King’s Ely calendar, as it has undoubtedly helped the International girls feel more integrated,” English Teacher Susan Stirrup reported.

Equestrian team jumpstarts the season in style THE King’s Ely Equestrian Team kicked off the new school year with a professional new look, not to mention a promising start to the season.

Riders and their horses received a brand new kit for the different disciplines, which has received countless compliments from parents and showgoers, and, with five new riders in the team, there’s been a lot going on at various venues across the region. Katie Cameron and Poppy Warren led the way at the start of term at the Jumping with Style competition at the College Keysoe in Bedfordshire, with Katie winning the 80cms class in a very competitive field and qualifying for the National Championships. The course

includes jumps and cross country jumps in an arena, where competitors not only have to jump the jumps, but are marked on their style of riding and the harmony between horse and rider. Four of the school’s new riders – Emily and Louis Gredley, Thea Holdaway and Rebecca Everitt – competed at the show jumping event at Topthorn Equestrian centre, along with seasoned show jumper, Sebastian Bishop. Emily came fourth in the 60cm class and Sebastian was awarded two third placings in the 90 and 95cm classes. Half term saw Katie, Freia Gould and Phoebe Plumb taking their ponies to the National Championships at Addington Manor. Competing against schools from all over the country, the team finished in a highly respectable 15th place. There was more success at the College of West Anglia show jumping event. The school had riders in all of the classes, and Emily, Louis and Thea, who were the team for the 60 and 70cms class, were placed 2nd and 4th respectively. Katie, Poppy and Freia were placed 4th in the 90cms class. Rebecca and Katie also did well in the Arena Evening at the Jays Equestrian Centre in November, and Emily was placed a respectable 6th in the championship class at the Grass Roots show jumping class. Sue Cameron, Team Manager and parent, said: “A big well done to all of the riders who represent the school in this discipline. Many hours of training at

home produce the results and they are all very dedicated. “It’s been a great start to the year, and, with many events coming up during the Lent and Summer terms, we hope the riders will continue with great success. We plan to have some team training once the weather improves, and certainly aim to have more riders at the National Championships this year.”

Junior football teams win Isle of Ely tournament

THERE was success at the double for King’s Ely Junior as both the boys and girls teams emerged victorious in the Isle of Ely Primary Schools Football Tournament. The boys played some superb football to secure a well-deserved victory. The first group game was a thumping 10-0 win over Wilburton, with King’s Ely beating rivals Little Thetford by 1-0 in the second match. This set up a semifinal clash against Robert Arkenstall of

Senior girls serve up second place in Aegon debut

THE King’s Ely Senior girls’ tennis squad took on Wyggeston College and Bedford Girls in the first round of the National Aegon Team Tennis Competition last term. Although it was the first time that the school has entered the competition, which is open to anyone with a rating between 7.1 and 10.2, the girls put on a smashing performance, finishing in a highly respectable second place. “We are all extremely proud of the way in which the girls played,” commented team coach, Sebastien Scaux.

Haddenham, which ended 3-0 to King’s Ely. The final saw King’s Ely Junior replay Little Thetford, this time with a win of 5-0. The girls were hugely excited to represent the first ever Year 6 girls’ football team. They certainly did not disappoint the crowds, winning their two games and the overall tournament, with results of 2-0 and 5-0 against Little Thetford and Ely St Mary’s respectively. Teacher Dan Parratt commented: “It was a very enjoyable afternoon

and all of the King’s Ely players were a credit to the school in their fine play and wonderful team spirit.”

Four crews break four records at Ely regatta ROWERS from King’s Ely broke four records at the Isle of Ely Ouse Marathon in the Michaelmas term. Seven scullers and one cox joined rowers of all ages and abilities in a total of 89 crews for the 22km race from Denver Sluice to Queen Adelaide Bridge: one J15 Coxed Quad comprising Eddie Bond, Gabrielle Berraondo , Jamie Stiff, Will Fellows, coxed by Emily James; WJ15 Single Isla Taylor, WJ16 Single Christina Fialova and J18 Single Toby Rudkin, who broke several records in the summer. With the boats all rigged, the two girls led the way, closely followed by the Quad, leaving Toby to boat last of the King’s Ely crews. Isla was first home for the

school, setting a record time of 2 hrs 0 mins 11 secs, breaking the WJ15 record and coming 56th overall, which was an excellent result. Christina then came home in a time of 2 hrs 15 mins 55 secs, placing her 71st overall and setting a record for the WJ16 category.The Quad put in a super scull, finishing in a time of 2 hrs 23 mins 29 secs.They also broke the record for the J15 Coxed Quad, placing them 78th.Toby had a great start to the season, setting a new course record for J18 and Single Scull in a time of 1 hr 38 min 45 secs, and beating the previous record by over 5 mins. Support from parents along the route made life just that little bit easier; both Toby and Isla’s fathers decided to bike the route to provide on-the-spot encouragement too.

THANK you for reading the Winter 2013-14 edition of The Porta.

We’ll be back in the Spring with more news and features from around the school. In the meantime, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @kings_ely

extra The Porta


WELCOME to The Porta Extra, containing news of, and for, Old Eleans. We hope to publish the Extra twice a year and contributions from our OE readers would be welcome for future editions. Please email Susie Bromwich, Director of Development, at or call 01353 660531.

Welcome back! Autumn lunch OLD Eleans from the 50s and 60s enjoyed a day at King’s Ely last September which, for some, was their first time back at school for decades.

Coffee on arrival in the Old Palace was followed by a nostalgic walk around the site, which included a search for signature bricks in Old Hereward and a venture into the boarding houses, with the latter meeting

general approval on how much has changed. After a beautifully presented lunch in the Monastic Barn, guests were shown around the Old Palace and then went on to the cathedral for Choral Evensong, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. The two lunches this term, on 28 February and 14 March, are already booked up, we will plan further dates for the summer.

Old Choristers’ dinner

Party at the Palace

A TOTAL of 61 members of the Old Choristers society and their guests enjoyed the 104th Annual Reunion Dinner at The Almonry Restaurant in September.

RECENT leavers of 2010, 11 and 12 returned to see the Old Palace and renew friendships in August.

On arrival, they were greeted by the King’s Ely Barbers, who entertained magnificently in the Almonry Garden before dinner. The guest speaker was David Price, formerly Assistant Organist at Ely and now Director of Music at Portsmouth Cathedral. Mark Harris proposed the vote of thanks to David. Earlier, members had joined the cathedral choir to sing Evensong.

Plans are being made for an extra event, probably on 18 May, to mark the 30th anniversary of the founding of Choir House, and this year’s reunion will be held on Saturday 13 September. Details will be published on the society’s website, society_choristers.html For information about these and other events, please call John Marshall on 01353 664927 or email

Our newest OEs had just left before the Old Palace opened as the new home for the Sixth Form in 2012. As special guests, they were able to make full use of the bar, under the stewardship of Miss Knibb and Mr Griggs! The school would like to make this an annual event for young OEs before the university terms start. All recent leavers are warmly invited to join us for the next Drinks Party in late August 2014.


Annual Regatta: from the Old Eleans v The school


THE King’s Ely Archive provides a wealth of nostalgia for all age groups. Our selection this term brings you: The Government Inspector, 1958: This classic memento sent in by David Broughton shows the school production of 1958. Paul Coulten has kindly supplied the cast names. Cast: standing, left to right: JT Bowman (School Superintendent), AL Burnett (Yosif, a servant), D Perritt (Inn Waiter), T R Richards (Gendarme), MJ Prendergast (Peter Ivanovich Dobchinsky), J Walkey (Peter Ivanovich Dobchinsky) PM Coulten (Postmaster)

From left: The OE Club’s Honorary Secretary, Rosie Holliday, with current students Henry Darby and Lucie Clift and Head Rowing Coach, Liam Smith. OLD Eleans went head to head with the school’s rowers in the second annual regatta in October. The King’s Ely eight took on a team of OEs in the best of three 500 metre races from the rail bridge to the road bridge. Families, friends and members of the public came along to support the crews and enjoy a reception at The Boathouse restaurant. The regatta took place on the stretch of river where King’s Ely and Cambridge University students row, which is also

where the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race was held in 1944. It was the only time in the race’s 150 year history that the boat race has not been held on the River Thames, as London was deemed too dangerous during World War II. Head Rowing Coach at King’s Ely, Liam Smith, said: “Rowing is such a strong tradition at King’s Ely and it was great to be able to bring former pupils back to relive their childhood experiences and meet the next generation of Old Eleans.”

Seated: SJ Cox (District Judge), RWC Jeffery (Mayor’s Daughter), VAM Bolam (Mayor’s Wife), GW Porter (Junior Official), DW Broughton (Charity Commissioner), M Rouse (Mayor)


Lara - a living legend OE James Fuller tells his story JAMES Fuller’s first book charts the incredible story of one of the greatest cricketers the world has ever seen.

most famous figures. Other titles currently include Bob Marley, Che Guevara and Jimmy Cliff.

James, who attended King’s Ely between 1982 and 1991, said he was thrilled to have been given the opportunity to write West Indian batsman Brian Lara’s biography by publisher Macmillan.

James wrote the book during the five years he lived in Lara’s homeland of Trinidad and Tobago, having moved there with his Caribbean-born wife Farah in 2005. The couple now lives in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, where James is Senior Writer at the Bay of Plenty Times.

“When Macmillan asked me if I was interested they didn’t get to the end of the sentence before I accepted,” said James.

“Trinidad is a very vibrant, fun-loving culture...and I wanted to incorporate that,” “For a lifelong cricket fan to be asked to do something like this was a dream really. Being a cricketer of very limited ability it was also the only way my name would ever be mentioned in the same breath as Lara’s.” The book, Caribbean Lives: Brian Lara, is part of the new Caribbean Lives series which celebrates some of the West Indies’

Amongst many accomplishments Lara, a thrilling and controversial player who retired in 2008, still holds the world record scores in test cricket (400 not out) and first-class cricket (501 not out). “Living in the Caribbean gave me the time and opportunity to access people who were close to Lara at every stage of his life and career: coaches, teachers, neighbours, and family, school friends, fellow players both amateur and professional - people like Jimmy Adams and Deryck Murray. “I was really fortunate in that respect and was very conscious of the avenues which were open to me because of where I was living,” said James, who has been a journalist for 15 years and formerly

worked for the Cambridge Evening News. “Trinidad is a very vibrant, fun-loving culture as well and I wanted to incorporate that,” said James, who played cricket, hockey and rugby for the school and cricket for local clubs Ely and Haddenham. “The whole process was a lot of hard work but also a lot of fun.”

U15 hockey, 1988:

Top row, left to right: M Reeve, C Larsen, A Negus, J Fuller, J Stannard, E Anderson, G Hopkins. Bottom row: P Griffiths, L Marchant, E Steyn (Captain), D Swinhoe, G Christofi. We’ve tracked one sportsman from this photograph: James Fuller, now a journalist and author living in New Zealand, who has just published a biography of Brian Lara...



Old Eleans’Club Committee, Annual Reunion and Dinner DURING the AGM in October, the Old Eleans’ Club Committee inaugurated Roy Wood as President of the Club and welcomed two new committee members: Richard Claxton (left 1989), who is a current parent, and Robert Le Grice (left 1974). The committee is working with the school’s development office to promote fellowship amongst former pupils and ensure their life-long connection with King’s Ely.

Guest Speaker, Harry Sidebottom

The OE Club’s Annual Reunion and Dinner took a slightly different format last October. Guests met up in the Old Palace for a tour of the magnificent new Sixth Form before

enjoying a Drinks Reception, followed by our Guest Speaker, current parent and Old Elean, Harry Sidebottom. Author, Historian and Classicist, Harry spoke entertainingly about his writing career. Afterwards, a delicious hot buffet was served in the Monastic Barn, and the toasts were made by the Heads of School, Georgia Baynes and David Bercow. The Old Eleans’ Club Centenary Dinner will be held in the Monastic Barn on Saturday 11 October, 2014. This will be a really splendid Black Tie occasion and we strongly urge all OEs to hold the date!

Eliensis Society

Supporting King’s Ely

THE Eliensis Society has been recently formed as a way of thanking all those who make a gift to King’s Ely.

KING’S Ely is well managed financially, but, nevertheless, it is not a wealthy school. Like most other independent schools, fee income alone cannot cover all that is needed going forward, so support through charitable giving has become immensely important.

Support has come from current and former parents, friends and Old Eleans in a variety of ways, including bequests, gifts to the Annual Fund and also towards bursaries and capital projects. We are most appreciative and thank everyone. Members of the Eliensis Society will be invited to a special reception in the Old Palace before the Music Festival Gala Concert on Saturday 1 March.

This generosity can support the provision of extra resources that enhance life at King’s Ely; it will also help maintain the school’s historic buildings and fund new capital projects that are urgently needed. All these aspects ensure that King’s Ely is positioned at the forefront of education in the UK.

events Old Eleans


Old Eleans are warmly welcome to join us at a variety of events at King’s Ely:

Lent term 2014 Friday 28 February 11am, Old Palace

Saturday 1 March 6.30pm, Old Palace 7.30pm, Hayward Theatre Friday 7 March 7.30pm, Hayward Theatre Wednesday 12 March 5pm, Hayward Theatre Thursday 13 March 6.30pm Jesus College, Cambridge Friday 14 March 11am, Old Palace Saturday 15 March 9am Friday 21 March 6.30pm, Trinity House, London

Old Eleans’ Lunch and Tours An open invitation to revisit school, take a tour and enjoy lunch with staff and students in the Monastic Barn. Guests will also have the chance to join in lessons. Eliensis Society inaugural Reception for King’s Ely donors, by invitation, followed by: Gala Concert Featuring the outstanding performers from King’s Ely Music Festival. All welcome. King’s Ely Concert Society Darren Jeffrey (bass-baritone) and Anthony Seddon (piano). Osmond Lecture Guest Speaker: Professor David Spiegelhalter ‘When is it good to take risks? Navigating the perils of daily life.’ KES Chapel Choir Sing Evensong Old Eleans’ Lunch and Tours See 28 Feb above. KES Art Department Spring Exhibition Until Friday 28 March Old Eleans’ Club Spring Cocktail Party Book early for this popular event as tickets numbers are limited.

Summer term 2014 Sunday 27 April 3pm-5pm, Old Palace gardens Wednesday 30 April 11am Old Palace Friday 16 May 10am, Ely Golf Club Sunday 18 May Thursday 22 May 6.30pm onwards Saturday 24 May Old Palace gardens Friday 20 or 27 June TBC Saturday 21 or 28 June TBC

Former Staff Reunion Tea Party Old Eleans’ Lunch and Tours King’s Ely Charity Golf Day in aid of the British Kidney Patient Association. Choir House 30th Anniversary Celebrations Reception at the Jockey Club, Newmarket By invitation Antiques Day and Auction All welcome. Old Eleans’ Cricket Dinner Old Eleans’ Cricket Match

For further details and to book, please contact Susie Bromwich, Director of Development ( 01353 660531), Rosie Holliday, Old Eleans’ Club Honorary Secretary ( - 01353 660700) or email If you would like to request a special reunion or individual visit, please contact Rosie or Susie.

-9 .30 pm

7.0 0p m




Friday 21st March 2014

Trinity House

Tower Hill, London EC3N 4DH Drinks and canapés will be served at a cost of £38 per person (£30 student aged 25 or under, as at May 2014). Please book early! Demand will be high for this event and tickets are limited. Tickets must be paid in full to reserve a place.

BOOKING FORM The Old Eleans’ Club Spring Cocktail Party, Friday 21st March 2014

Please send me...

I/we shall be coming to the Old Eleans’ Spring Cocktail party:

Name: Address: Tel: Email: Name of Partner/Guest:

tickets @ £38

tickets @ £30

Total: £ (Please make cheques payable to The Old Eleans’ Club) Please return with your cheque to: Rosie Holliday, Hon Secretary The Old Eleans’ Club, King’s Ely Cambs CB7 4DB No later than Friday 7th March 2014

For more details please email

The Porta and Extra Winter 14