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All the latest News from Ely College

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  • Success at East Cambs Careers & Skills Fair

    Published 13/10/17

    Following from the success of last year’s event the East Cambs Careers & Skills Fair returned to Ely Cathedral on Tuesday 10th October. Now in its fourth year, the fair has continued to grow and draw attention from local schools and businesses alike.

    Schools from all over the district got involved this year. We saw pupils from the North Cambridge Academy, Witchford Village College, Soham Village College, Ely College and Kings Ely attend.

    This year there was also an interactive area specifically focused on apprenticeships where students could learn more about the wide range of opportunities and support available to them for this career route. This was located under the impressive Octogan at Ely Cathedral.

    Nicki Pritchett from Ely College, who helped organised this fantastic event, said: “The skills fair provides our students with the chance to really explore some of the many options available to them after they leave school. Getting to put names and faces to some of the biggest employers in the district is really helpful and events such as this one help to build really good connections”.

    We are already planning for next year! There will be opportunities for businesses to exhibit at the fair and to get in front of local students. Businesses are encouraged to contact Economic Development Team at East Cambridgeshire District Council for exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities via You can also speak to Rebecca Sussex at The Skills Service about the event on 07931 206624 or via

    This year’s fair was kindly sponsored by Thorlabs with West Suffolk College sponsoring the Apprenticeship Area, Shearline Precision Engineering sponsoring transport and Tesco Ely sponsoring refreshments.

    Councillor Lis Every said: “The last event provided a great opportunity for both employers and young people to take time out of their normal routine and focus on the future. We hope that businesses will get to meet potential employees and students are able to explore the many opportunities for employment in the district. We are proud to be involved in the event, which echoes the council’s priority for East Cambridgeshire to continue to be a place where people want to live and work.”

    Rebecca Sussex from The Skills Service said “Skills fairs such as this offer both young people and businesses fantastic opportunities to network and make connections. There are so many different avenues that young people can take post school and these Skills & Careers fairs demonstrate that”.

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  • Year 11 Matters

    Published 27/09/17

    Please find attached the provision for Year 11 sessions running in College. These take place both at lunchtime and after school (Session 6). Most of them are open to all, but some are targeted. If you are unsure, please email your child’s subject teacher directly. Many are revision sessions for the mocks that begin on 20 November, but some are also catch-up sessions and others are for coursework. We hope that you will encourage your child to attend these sessions – Thanks, Rachael Mustill

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  • Minibus Notice

    Published 27/09/17


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  • Open Evening & Principal Tours

    Published 08/09/17

    We are please to announce our Open Evening dates!

    Additionally we are keeping our (new) doors open and welcome you to join our Principal Tours!

    After a wonderful start to the new academic year, with the successful introduction last year of vertical tutoring, three year KS4 and a warm welcome for our new intake students, Ely College is looking forward to offering our excellent facilities to a growing number of families and the wider community. As part of our continued development, we are very pleased to have benefited over the summer from a major refurbishment programme, which has provided us with the best possible facilities to meet the demands of high quality teaching and learning.



    If you would like to find out more about the work of the school, please browse through the rest of the site and look out for our newsletters. Better still, come and see us in action- we are currently offering a series of tours to interested parents, especially, but not limited to, primary school parents.

    Richard Spencer, Principal at Ely College, invites all interested families to attend his Principal's Tours Fridays, from 9am til 10am. Opening the doors to all, these tours will showcase what’s on offer at Ely College, and can be tailored for current or prospective parents.

    We currently have availability on the following dates:

    22nd September 2017 – 9.00 -10.00am

    29th September 2017 – 9.00 - 10.00am

    13th October 2017 – 9.00 -10.00am

    20th October 2017 – 9.00 -10.00am

    The deadline for applying for a Year 7 place is 31st October 2017. BOOK NOW!

    Families will be introduced to many teachers and shown the fantastic facilities around the College. The aim of the tour is to give parents an insight into the work and commitment made so far,  as well as the vision CMAT has, as a successful local academy trust with its strong track record.

    Ely College offers an all-round education to its students with a proud tradition of academic excellence and wonderful opportunities in sport, music, art and drama within the supportive local community. We are very proud to be leading our school at such an exciting time and look forward to meeting you. Booking in advance is essential. Please telephone the PA to the Principal on 01353 652815 to make an appointment or email

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  • Best ever results for Ely College as dramatic improvements secured in GCSE results

    Published 24/08/17

    Ely College today secured the best GCSE results in its history and a dramatic improvement on recent years, with 64% of students securing the top grades 4-9 in both English and mathematics - a 14 per cent point rise from last year, and a 29 per cent point rise on 2015.

    Further success included 60 per cent of students achieving at least five A*-C grades, including a score of 4 or above in English and maths - a 12 per cent increase on 2016.

    In English, 78 per cent of students achieved a grade of 4 or above, marking a 15 per cent increase on 2016 results. Furthermore, in maths 69 per cent of students achieved grades of 9-4 - a 10 per cent increase from the previous year.

    Richard Spencer, Principal of Ely College, commented: “I’d like to congratulate all of our students and their families on these excellent results for Ely College. We are very proud of what Year 11 have achieved.

    “The significant improvements secured today are the result of a great deal of hard work from our students and my wonderful staff.

    “Ely College is once again a school of which the community can be proud, and we are determined to build further on this success in the years to come.

    “At the start of the year, I challenged the whole school community to look for an additional 10 per cent in all that we do. For us to have exceeded that in terms of results in our first year is fantastic.

    “I wish all of our students every success as they move onto further education, and am excited to be welcoming many of them back to our own Bishop Laney Sixth Form.”

    Last week, Bishop Laney Sixth Form, a new collaboration between Ely College and Soham Village College, received an excellent set of post-16 course results with 89 per cent of students securing outcomes at either merit or distinction level in vocational courses. The pass rate for the A Level entries was 87 per cent.

    New scoring system

    This system has been introduced for English literature, English language and mathematics GCSEs. The new scoring system grades student’s results on a 1-9 scale, with 9 being the best grade. This system aims to allow for more differentiation between student’s results with 4 being a standard pass and 5 a stronger pass. Similarly, an 8 or 9 score is the equivalent to an A*, but the new system provides distinction between students who would achieve a lower A* to those achieving a higher A*.  This provides 4-9 as being comparable to A*-C. Additionally, the new English and maths GCSEs implemented this year are more rigorous with one final exam at the end of Year 11, rather than spread across the two years.

    The grading system has only been rolled out with English and maths for the 2017 results. In 2018, another 20 subjects will be graded at levels 1-9 with the aim that by 2019 a majority of subjects will be under this new system.

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  • Bishop Laney Sixth Form posts impressive results

    Published 17/08/17

    Students at Bishop Laney Sixth Form were celebrating today as they received some excellent post-16 course results. Based at Ely College, Bishop Laney Sixth Form opened its doors this year as a new collaboration between Ely College and Soham Village College.

    From 2018, Bishop Laney Sixth Form will offer a suite of ‘A’ levels alongside other professional and vocational qualifications. Currently, the sixth form offers predominantly vocational study programmes. The pass rate for vocational courses was a fantastic 100 per cent, with 66% of results awarded at distinction or starred distinction level (a distinction carries the same number of UCAS points as an A grade at ‘A’ Level), and 89% awarded at either merit or distinction level (the equivalent of an ‘A’ Level grade A*-C). The pass rate for the small number of ‘A’ level entries was 87%.

    Notable individual achievements include:

    Sophie Wensley – Triple starred distinction in Applied Science.

    Laura Nicolajsen – Triple starred distinction in Business.

    Emma Bailey – Triple starred distinction in Media

    Callum Munden, Philip Turner, Samuel Austin – Starred distinctions in Sport

    Amy Cross – Starred distinctions in Performing Arts

    Principal, Richard Spencer said: “We are delighted with these results, which reflect a great deal of hard work from students and staff. We’d like to congratulate all of the students on their achievements.

    “We are very pleased that so many of our students have secured excellent university, employment or further training opportunities and wish them all well for the future. These results demonstrate that Bishop Laney Sixth Form is delivering excellent outcomes for students, and we are looking forward to expanding the curriculum offer further to provide ever more high-quality provision here in East Cambridgeshire.”


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  • Ely College celebrates rapid success since joining CMAT

    Published 31/07/17

    In July 2016, Ely College joined the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT). A year on, the College has had its best year yet and in March was labelled as “moving strongly in the right direction” by the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Office.

    The College transferred from its previous sponsor, CfBT Education Trust, in July 2016. The planned transfer was the result of discussions with the Department for Education to secure more local support for Ely College, with the aim of moving the school more quickly towards becoming ‘Good’ and beyond. 
    Among the changes that have been made at the College this year were the introduction of four, student-named, houses, which operate as small communities within the larger school, providing close support to families and monitoring students’ welfare and progress. The College also introduced a smart new uniform and has ensured high standards of behaviour. 

    Significant investment has been made by the Trust to improve many areas of the school building and a PLEDGES rewards scheme has been introduced to encourage students to develop character, take responsibility and gain new experiences as a preparation for life. These initiatives are featured in all CMAT schools and have a track record of improving standards and behaviour. 

    The Trust, which was founded by the governors of Swavesey Village College – a school regarded as being outstanding in all respects, has a history of delivering rapid improvements in standards and achievement. Nene Park Academy, North Cambridge Academy, Stamford Welland Academy and Sawtry Village Academy have all seen their KS4 results and Ofsted grade improve since joining the Trust.  

    Principal, Richard Spencer, said: “It has been a fantastic year for Ely College and I am so proud of everything that we have achieved since we joined the CMAT family. We are thrilled to be welcoming a higher number of students into Year 7 in September and we are delighted that a significant number of Ely parents are once again putting their trust in the school. 

    “There have been plenty of individual moments of success throughout the year which have shown the benefits of the work we have been doing. In April, we hosted a very positive monitoring inspection by the Department for Education, who concluded that the College was ‘moving strongly in the right direction’. We are hoping to see these improvements convert into improved exam results over the next few years.

    “I am also very excited to be launching our new sixth form this year in partnership with Soham Village College. Bishop Laney Sixth Form will officially open in September 2017 and will start by offering professional courses, broadening out to run a suite of A Level qualifications from 2018.” 

    In a letter to parents Richard Spencer outlined what he considered to be the top ten successes of the past year under the sponsorship of CMAT: 

    1.    Raised standards. A new framework of teaching values and expectations called ‘Ely Expects’ has been designed and implemented by staff to raise the levels of challenge and standards of teaching in the classroom.

    2.    Raised expectations. We introduced a smart new uniform and have enforced high standards of behaviour. Students have developed and implemented a rigorous ‘anti-bullying’ pledge, and are working closely together in supportive, mixed-aged tutor groups.

    3.    A complete house system. Ely College is now organised into four, student-named, houses. Etheldreda, Franklin, Scott and Turing houses operate as small communities within the larger school, providing close support to families and monitoring students’ welfare and progress.

    4.    Refurbished buildings. Significant investment has been made to improve many areas of the school. The oldest building, the Bedford block, will undergo a complete refurbishment over the summer. New classrooms, toilets and outdoor areas have been added, and movement around the site has been improved.

    5.    A new sixth form for the Ely area. In partnership with Soham Village College, Bishop Laney Sixth Form will officially open in September 2017. Based at Ely College, Bishop Laney will start by offering professional courses, broadening out to run a suite of A Levels from 2018.

    6.    Communicating clearly. Parents and friends of Ely College are now able to follow and celebrate the work of the students through our regularly updated social media feeds, re-designed website and regular informative newsletters. Every half-term the Principal hosts ‘Parents In The Loop’ open forum-meetings to update parents and hear their views.

    7.    Extending learning through PLEDGES. Our PLEDGES rewards scheme encourages students to develop character, take responsibility and gain new experiences as a preparation for life. All students accrue PLEDGE points by engaging in activities outside of the classroom that support participation, leadership, the environment, diversity, giving, excellence and service.

    8.    Opening our doors. Ely College is working with an enterprise advisor and business mentors to build ever-closer links with local businesses. We host regular enterprise events to promote and connect students to the world of work. Our adult and community education offer continues to grow, and we have expanded the range of groups and societies using our facilities.

    9.    Academic tutoring for success. Smaller tutor groups have allowed for regular academic mentoring meetings for all students. A wide range of revision and catch-up sessions, along with a significant ‘Year 11 Matters’ programme of support and guidance has helped prepare the students for exam success this year.

    10.    Gaining recognition, gathering momentum. We are thrilled to be welcoming a higher number of students into Year 7 in September, despite a reduced catchment area. Significant numbers of Ely parents are once again putting their trust in the school. In April we hosted a very positive monitoring inspection by the Department for Education, who concluded that the College was ‘moving strongly in the right direction’.

    In March, an inspector from the Department for Education visited the College to monitor progress since joining CMAT. Its report praised the role of CMAT in the transformation that has taken place and said that “the Trust has played a key role in bringing about the improvements” and that “its local knowledge and presence have been much valued”. 

    The report particularly commended the level of collaboration between the College and other local schools in the Trust and said that the collaboration “has raised staff expectations about what is possible and contributed to better practice and a climate of improvement”.

    Mark Woods, Chief Executive of Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, said: “Ely College has really benefited from the close relationship it has with other schools in the CMAT family. The transfer has meant that Ely has had much needed support on its doorstep, and has benefited from tailored, local expertise.

    “CMAT is a growing Trust and we were recently ranked as the fifth highest performing multi-academy trust in the country for its performance in the Key Stage 4 league tables. As we grow in the region we are able to share best practice and offer more support to our schools.”

    It was recently announced that CMAT will also be sponsoring Downham Feoffees Primary School, which is just a 5-minute drive from the College. The Trust was also asked to sponsor new free schools being built in the area including a secondary school in Corby and a secondary school and special school in Northstowe. 

    For more information please visit: 


    Some great photos from our first year with CMAT!

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  • Ely College students conquer the Jurassic Coastal Path while raising money for local charity

    Published 21/07/17

    Students from Ely College trekked over forty miles as part of the Malcolm Whales Dorset Walk to raise money and awareness for Children’s and Bowel Cancer. 

    The walk, which is organized by The Malcolm Whales Foundation, has been running for the past eight years and has raised over £110,000 so far. This year the event is expected to add another £20,000 to this total.

    Ely College students tackled the famous Jurassic Coastal Path walking just over forty miles in three days, starting at Weymouth and finishing at Knoll beach in Studland. They battled against steep climbs and descents into Durdle Door and Lulworth cove.

    The money raised will give light relief to families affected by cancer and help them to rebuild their lives, through holidays, granting of wishes and outdoor activity weeks in collaboration with other local charities.

    Stuart Patman, Sixth Form Achievement Leader and PE teacher at Ely College and Trustee of the Malcolm Whales Foundation, said: “It was fantastic to see so many of our students participating in The Malcolm Whales Dorset Walk this year. It was a great opportunity for our students to meet new people and experience something truly inspirational. As part of the walk, students teamed up with staff and students from other schools, and adults and families linked to the charity. They also had the opportunity to meet first hand the people who have benefited from the fundraising they were part of.

    “A huge thank you goes to the staff involved in organising the trip, the students for their determined efforts on the walk and the parents for showing exceptional support prior to and during the walk. I would also like to thank all the local businesses who generously sponsored various parts of the trip.”

    In an email to the College, parent, Ben Gibbs, said: “I was struck by how the students grew closer together as the event progressed. New friendships were formed, care was given, and an appreciation was developed that some people were fighting more than just sore toes as they climbed out of the tenth gorge of the day. It's fantastic to see the school backing this event once again and I know that a great many other parents, onlookers and members of the Ely community feel the same.”

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  • Presentation Evening: Celebrating Student Achievement

    Published 06/07/17

    Ely College students, parents and staff assembled in Ely Cathedral last week for the College’s annual Presentation Evening.

    Over a hundred awards were handed out, many of which were presented by the newly elected Mayor of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, James Palmer. The awards celebrated both the students’ academic and extra-curricular achievements.

    Richard Spencer, principal of Ely College, said: “The Presentation Evening is one of the most important dates in the College’s calendar. Tonight was my first time as principal and I was left with an immense feeling of pride in all that our students have achieved this year.

    “I would like to thank the Dean and Chapter for allowing us to hold the event in such inspiring and beautiful surroundings. I am also very grateful to the new Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, for coming along to the evening.  We look forward to working with him closely in the coming years, especially given his belief in the importance of education.”

    The audience of students, parents and staff were also treated to performances by The Ely Jazz Band. Prizes given out during the course of the evening were funded by sponsorship from local businesses, including City of Ely Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Needham’s Foundation, PS Financials, Cambridge Building Society, Greys of Ely, N & C Glass, Ken Booth, Lucas Construction and Simply Education.

    Ely College joined the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) in July 2016 and since then have gone from strength to strength. A report from the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Office in March said the college was “moving strongly in the right direction.”

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  • Turing House Food Bank Donation

    Published 06/07/17

    A group of Ely College students have spent their free time over the past few weeks collecting food to donate to the Littleport Food Bank.

    Students in Turing House at Ely College have collected an array of food to donate to those in need, from baked beans to cornflakes. The donation was wholly organised by the students.

    Richard Spencer, Principal at Ely College, said: “It is heart-warming to see our students voluntarily helping their community and those in need within it. At Ely College, we seek to develop well rounded individuals who are an active part of their communities and these students are a shining example of those values. They should be very proud of what they have achieved”.

    The Littleport Food Bank is open between 10am and 12 noon Tuesday and Friday mornings at St. George’s Church in Littleport.

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  • Students celebrate their final PLEDGES and Futures Day of the year

    Published 21/06/17

    Ely College students celebrated their final PLEDGES and Futures Day of the year in style this week with over thirty external speakers and providers addressing students throughout the day.

    The day, which was the final of four PLEDGES and Futures days, focused on democracy and personal finance. A host of local speakers were in attendance including recently re-elected Member of Parliament for South East Cambridgeshire, Lucy Frazer, who held a question time session with students.

    Principal of Ely College, Richard Spencer, said: “Over thirty people from a wide variety of local businesses and charities volunteered their time to help the students today, so firstly we would like to thank all of them for giving up their time and committing to the young people in their area.

    “PLEDGES and Futures Days are so important because they play a vital part in helping our students to develop key skills and knowledge that will benefit them throughout their lives and prepare them for life outside of the classroom. We are delighted with how the students have embraced them this year and we look forward to running them again next year.”

    Year 10 student, Ben Gray, said: “It has been a really interesting day and we have learnt a lot. My year group were visited by Metro Bank and Lloyds Bank. They really seemed to want to help us to understand more about personal finances and to help us not to get into financial difficulty.  It was great to gain detailed insights you would not normally get in lessons and especially to understand the next steps in our lives, such as mortgages and personal finances for university. Seeing how student loans work was great.”

    Other activities taking place throughout the day included students interviewing visitors from a wide range of workplaces, taking part in a Dragon’s Den style activity and taking part workshops on personal branding and managing personal finances.

    PLEDGES were introduced at the College in October and are a vital part of the changes that Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust bring to all schools in their family. Similar to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, PLEDGES help students develop character and responsibility that can be taken into their adult life. They encourage students to get involved with the wider experiences the College has to offer them.

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  • Lovewell Blake donation keeps students afloat

    Published 21/06/17

    Staff and students at Ely College were grateful this week to receive a £500 donation towards their raft for Ely Aquafest from regional accountancy firm, Lovewell Blake.

    Richard Spencer, Principal of Ely College, said: “We are very grateful to Lovewell Blake for their generous donation. It is important to us that our students feel a part of the Ely community and are given the opportunity to take part in lots of varied and exciting experiences during their time at the College. Our students are eager to finish building their rafts and cannot wait to get out on the water. Please look out for us and cheer our raft along on the day.”

    Leigh Thurston, Partner at Lovewell Blake, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Ely College by giving them a donation to help build their raft. We love to give back to our communities where we can and we look forward to seeing the students race to victory on the day.”

    Ely Aquafest is a free annual event organised by the Rotary Clubs of Ely and sponsored by Star Radio, Charles Daniel, Tucker Gardner and The Ely Standard. The raft race takes place on the River Great Ouse starting at Lavender Green. Both the raft that completes the course in the shortest time and the raft considered the most spectacular will receive a trophy.

    Lovewell Blake is a leading firm of Chartered Accountants, Financial Planners and Business Advisers with offices in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.



    Below are some photo of the special raft building day that also took place this week. Amazing skills and leadership shining through from our dedicated students! Next stage... decorating the raft and planning our enterprise stall! 



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