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All the latest News from Ely College

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  • Christmas Lunch

    Published 05/12/16

    Christmas Lunch 2016 - Tuesday 13th December

    One day only, available to all Year groups


    No advance payment needed. Students can top up their catering cards as usual

    The Express Lane, with limited hot snacks and pasta, will still be available for students not participating in the Christmas Lunch event

    FSM students are entitled to this dinner and their daily allowance on this day will be increased accordingly

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  • Ely College joins forces with Engineering Development Trust to give students a taste of industry

    Published 02/12/16

    Ely College is improving the career opportunities for its young people by collaborating with national educational charity the EDT (Engineering Development Trust) and their partners from The Bloodhound Project. Working together they will enable the pupils to take part in activities which will give them an insight into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers with local industry.

    As part of a series of STEM days across all year groups, Year 7 students were challenged to work in teams to design, build and test their own wind turbine models. This active learning session allowed them to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of wind energy using their design technology, maths, science and engineering skills. Students also enjoyed a fascinating talk by Mike Ford, engineer on the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car Team.

    Through various tasters, projects and placements, Ely College pupils will learn more about local employers and local industry. Combinations of visits, talks, ‘hands-on’ projects and mentoring by engineers and scientists will allow the young people to see STEM subjects being used in practice and give them a taste of working in these industries.

    Sam Craven, Science Curriculum Leader, said of these STEM partnerships, “Ely College is committed to ensuring that our students are prepared for the world of work, that they understand the careers that can be available for them and, particularly in the case of STEM careers, the skills and qualification they will need. We work with organisations like the EDT and The Smallpeice Trust to connect with local industry and provide our young people with opportunities that enable them to apply theory into practical experiences, helping them to understand that working hard during education can lead to a rewarding career further down the line.”

    EDT has a proven track record of success, with 30,000 young people being reached across the UK annually through their programmes. Students who have taken part have then gone on to experience success in STEM-related industries and beyond.

    Michelle James, Education Officer for EDT, who led the session commented “The behaviour of Ely College students has been excellent. They all got involved in the project and asked challenging questions about energy sources for the future. We are delighted to be working with Ely College in providing their students with the opportunity to participate in activities that will raise their awareness of STEM careers in local industry. It’s important for young people to be aware of the future opportunities available to them whilst they are still in education, so that they can make informed decisions about their study options. Giving them an insight into STEM careers and into local industry at a young age can help to raise aspirations and give them hands-on experiences that will help them throughout their studies and into their future careers.”

    Earlier this year, the college joined Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT). CMAT has a strong track record in improving achievement and attainment in the region and the Trust is committed to improving the quality of education and life in the county of Cambridgeshire.

    Winners of the Wind Turbine Challenge - Well done!

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  • Catch up: Learning Outside the Classroom

    Published 30/11/16

    Here's a little catch up of some stories we have been featuring over on our new Facebook page. Like the page or follow us over on twitter for daily content.               

    Earlier this month, a selection of Year 8 students took part in a scholars programme known as ‘The Brilliant Club’.

    The club is designed to challenge and motivate students at levels above their key stage; it also inspires students to consider the top 30 Universities in the country as a reality for them all and helps equip them with the skills necessary.

    They had the most amazing day at the launch hosted at Catherine College, Cambridge University. Meeting with their PhD tutor..., they had a focused study session where they all communicated with her confidently and with ease.

    They also participated in an amazing debate where they had to prepare ‘elevator’ pitches about one thing that they would like to change about their school. This wasn’t easy as they were challenged every step of the way. The change in their confidence was evident from the start to the end of the day and they are now engaged and fired-up to complete their assignments.

    We look forward to celebrating their successful completion of the programme in January 2017. Many thanks to Mrs Batchford who leads this fantastic Session 6 club.

    We also had the pleasure this month of participating for the first time in the Shakespeare Schools Festival! Throughout October and November, 30,000 young people took to professional stages nationwide, performing the Bard’s works in front of a live audience in the biggest Shakespeare celebration of the year. 

    This year brought with it the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and the 16th annual Shakespeare Schools Festival. The national festival saw in 313 festival nights that took place in 131 theatres across the country, with up to 25 performances a night happening simultaneously. 

    Ely College was proud of it emerging stars of the stage, as they performed 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' at the Mumford Theatre in Cambridge. Our Drama students from all backgrounds seized the opportunity to experience the magic of theatre through the timeless work of Shakespeare.

    Principal Richard Spencer, who attended the evening, thanked & congratulated "our Shakesp-heroes" involved in the outstanding production. The cast and crew received high praise from the professional adjudicator and were a credit to the College.

    "Bravo and encore! You are such stuff as dreams are made on!"


    And finally, a huge well done to our Year 11 & Year 10 students who took part in the Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) back in July. They got their certificates and feedback in assembly today. All A*/A!

    Run by The University of Cambridge this outreach archaeology programme allows the students to work at an undergraduate level with fantastic detailed feedback. Ely College has worked with Access Cambridge Archaeology as a Beacon School for a number of years now and we look forward to next year's course.

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  • Bishop Laney Open Evening

    Published 31/10/16

    New Post-16 Offer Opens Its Doors To The Public

    Interested students and members of the public are invited to come along to find out more about the new Bishop Laney Sixth Form at their open evening on Wednesday 2 November.

    It was just last month that the two local academy trusts, Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (sponsors of Ely College) and Staploe Education Trust (sponsors of Soham Village College), launched their new sixth form provision across East Cambridgeshire.

    The event aims to share more information about the vision behind the new sixth form and to explain how the two trusts will work together to run the provision. The event will begin at 6.30pm with the aim to finish around 8.00pm, and will take place at Ely College.

    The new sixth form offer will start with a focus on professional courses. Every course the sixth form will offer in 2017/18 will have a clear professional relevance to it, and will have a dedicated business mentor from the local community. All students will also engage in planned work-related learning to include relevant work-experience, as well as receiving impartial careers advice and guidance.

    Principal of Ely College, Richard Spencer said: “We are excited to share our vision for Bishop Laney Sixth Form with the people of Ely and Soham, and to ask any questions that students and their parents may have. Although, we are starting small and focused this year, our ambitions are great and our offer will continue to grow for years to come.”

    The sixth form will be based predominantly on the Ely College site but with classes also increasingly taking place at the Soham Village College site.

    Although the Bishop Laney Sixth Form will officially open in September 2017, students are able to apply for a place now.

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  • Dress Diabolical for Diabetes

    Published 21/10/16

    Ely College Sixth Form students will be putting on their spookiest outfits for Halloween this year, in aid of Diabetes UK.

    Werewolves, zombies, witches and skeletons will be making their way to the College where they will partake in spooktacular stories, a paranormal picnic bake sale and a living dead quiz.

    The event is being organised by the College’s sixth form student union, and is part of the college’s PLEDGES system, which encourages all students to get involved in extra-curricular activities.

    Fleur Patten, English teacher and Sixth Form Student Support Officer, is a Type 1 diabetic and was delighted that the Sixth Form union decided to make this their first fundraiser of the year.

    She said: “We intend to support many charities this year but this one was difficult to resist. There is much in the media about the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, but it isn’t helpful to blame.

    “Type 1 is usually developed in teenage years or younger from a trigger which causes the body to attack its own cells and render the pancreas unable to produce insulin. We are very lucky to have Addenbrooke’s so nearby but it’s not easy for children to manage diabetes in school. We hope our antics today help to raise awareness.”

    Laura Nicolajsen, joint chair of the Sixth Form student union, said: “We were shocked when we heard 1 in 16 people in the UK has diabetes and one person is newly diagnosed every 2 minutes. We want to do our part to lower these statistics. We hope that a cure is discovered in our lifetime.”

    The college are still looking for donations, so if you have a few pennies to spare for a good cause, please visit their Just Giving page at:

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  • Open Evening Presentation

    Published 21/10/16

    Missed out on the Open Evening talk? Or want to revisit some of the points Richard Spencer and his team raised on the night?

    The presentation slides from the fantastic Open Evening event are now available here.

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  • Post-16 Progression

    Published 10/10/16

    Last week saw the focus turned very squarely onto Year 11 with Parents’ Evening followed by the 16-19 Progression Evening the next day.  A huge thank you goes out to everyone involved in both evenings.

    We received some great feedback from parents, and hosting them in the sixth form was a timely reminder of our Post 16 facilities and provision. The Progression Evening was well attended and it was lovely to receive so much interest in Bishop Laney Sixth Form both here and at Soham Village College.

    We encourage our Year 11's to attend the various Open Evenings at 16-19 providers. The Bishop Laney Sixth Form Open Evening will take place on 2nd Nov.

    For those that may have missed the Progression Evening last week, we attach below the slideshow presentation given by Jayne Brown, Vice Principal

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  • Open Evening

    Published 10/10/16

    THIS WEEK! We look forward to welcoming you to our Open Evening and Open Morning events. All welcome, no appointment necessary. See you there!

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  • Session 6 launch

    Published 01/10/16

    Did you see that we have launched Session 6 and our updated extra curricular timetable is now on the website? FIND IT HERE! 

    Fantastic array of clubs and activities which we will continue to add to over the year. Look out for the launch of PLEDGES coming soon, where you can use your Session 6 engagement to start working toward your pledges.

    Also this week take a look at our new look Parent Newsletter, and the exciting launch of the Bishop Laney Sixth Form. The new prospectus can be viewed here.

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  • Innovative learning in & out of lessons

    Published 30/09/16

    Students at Ely College embrace exciting opportunities for innovative learning.

    This month Ely College has supported learning schemes and workshops in order to teach students essential skills and prepare them for the world of work.

    As the new school term begins, Ely College has run some exciting opportunities for students in their Library. As we have done for many years, pupils of the school are being given the opportunity to become Student Librarians whereby they can issue and return books, serve in the school shop, organise the shelves and help their peers.

    Students who have embarked on this popular scheme, which has received the highest sign up rate for a long time, are being taught the importance of teamwork and the children are proudly wearing their new librarian badges.

    The incredible turn out for the scheme demonstrates the schools on-going pursuit to encourage students to secure their PLEDGES (Participation, Leadership, Excellence, Diversity, Giving, Environmental and Service) both in and out of lessons.

    Over the years Student Librarians have gone on to study librarianships, working in the local public library and further afield, including one ex-student that worked at Cambridge University Library.

    The LRC will also be running a new reading aloud session. Staff, and hopefully in time community leaders, will give their lunchtime to sit as guest readers and bring classic novels to life. We have begun with 'A Tale of Two Cities' by Charles Dickens.

    As well as promoting extra learning in the library, Ely College also encourages STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) events hosted by Smallpeice Trust, an educational charity, at the school.

    At a recent STEM event students had to complete the “Smart Building Challenge” in which they had to design and build a system that filters, collects, detects and pumps collected rainwater. This challenge involved using design technology, maths, science and engineering skills in order to stimulate the students learning.

    Anne Shaw, Learning Resource Centre Manager, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the turnout for these new schemes. It is a pleasure to see the children thrive and enjoy the sessions, indicating why they have been so popular.

    “It is important for the children to learn the essential life skills practiced in the session, which will further their personal development and help them in the working world.”

    Earlier this year, the college joined Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT). CMAT has a strong track record in improving achievement and attainment in the region and the Trust is committed to improving the quality of education and life in the county of Cambridgeshire.

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  • STEM Day

    Published 21/09/16

    STEM Day 2016

    We are running a STEM event (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) on Thursday, September 22nd, at Ely College for our year 8 students.

    The event is completely free and will run for the entire day, which means some student will miss their timetabled lessons.  Held at Ely College, so no additional transport is required, this programme will run during the normal school day (finished by 3pm).

    The event is hosted by the Smallpeice Trust, a renowned educational charity that has been delivering these events for 50 years.  Please visit their website for more information about them.

    Our students will complete the “Smart Building Challenge”, which will see them design and build a system that filters, collects, detects and pumps collected rainwater.  This challenge involves the use of their design technology, maths, science and engineering skills and will include the use of soldering irons under guidance of teaching staff and with proper safety precautions.

    There may be photographs taken for publicity purposes, both by Ely College and the Smallpeice Trust. 

    Please let us know if you do not want your child to participate.

    Contact: Sam Craven, Curriculum Leader for Science. Email:

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  • Photo Permissions

    Published 16/09/16

    Photographer – Tuesday 20th September 2016 

    On Tuesday 20th September 2016 we will have a Photographer in school all day working with us on promotional and PR shots.  We will capture images of our facilities, staff and students.  

    If, for any reason, your child should not appear in any public materials, please ensure your child is aware so they can make themselves known to Mrs Vella and the Photographer to avoid appearing in any of the photographs.   

    Thank you for your support.

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