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All the latest News from Ely College

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  • Trip to Bletchley Park

    Published 03/05/17

    Thanks to colleagues, parents and students who made the ICT trip to Bletchley park a successful day. Students enjoyed their interactions with various WW2 artefacts and cipher interception to unravel Hitler’s WW2 plans.

    As we toured the rather vast site capturing detailed historical facts, students, especially KS3 students were on their best behaviour. The excitement, enthusiasm and positive demeanour were maintained throughout the trip, and several students said they would be looking forward to another visit to Bletchley Park.

    It was also lovely to receive positive messages from parents regarding their children’s experiences at Bletchley Park and we will plan another educational visit to Bletchley Park and other Computer Science places of interest in the near future.

    We look forward to seeing students’ experiences at Bletchley Park contribute towards their growing passion for Computer Science and other subjects. As follow up to the trip we would like to encourage more students (especially girls) to develop more interest in Computer Science by attending the Computing Club on Mondays after school in NG7.

    Mrs Adegoke

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  • Department for Education says Ely College is "moving strongly in the right direction"

    Published 24/04/17

    Staff and students at Ely College were pleased to receive highly positive feedback after a visit from an inspector from the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Office last month.

    The inspector visited the College on the 23 March to assess its progress since joining with Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) in July 2016. Following his visit the inspector wrote to the school to report on his observations.

    In his report the inspector celebrated many aspects of the College including its improved communication with parents, its new house system and vertical tutor groups and its improvements to staff morale and the school building. In his concluding statement the inspector stated that he felt “the College is moving strongly in the right direction.”

    Principal, Richard Spencer, said: “We are delighted with the findings of this report and proud of the transformation the College has made so far. There is still much to do to ensure we provide the high quality education for all pupils that the people of Ely deserve but as the inspector so nicely put in his report ‘there is an important feeling of optimism for the challenges ahead’.

     “I would like to thank the community for their continued support of the College. Parents in particular should be very proud of the role they and their children are playing in the transformation of the school. If you would like to see the changes for yourself and take a tour of the school please get in contact with the College’s reception.”

    The inspector’s report particularly praised the College’s new house system and vertical tutor groups. It said they have “been an effective way of building mixed-age families and promoting a community feel” within the College. The inspector said students saw this as a more efficient system and a considerable improvement on what went before.

    The inspector also met with some of the College’s Year 11 students and in his report he noted that students were very complimentary in recognising the efforts of staff to help them catch up and achieve their personal exam goals. 

    The report said students “described how times had changed: the teaching was much better, the staff were visibly 'going the extra mile', and poor behaviour was much less frequent”. The report said students felt they would generally recommend the school and that any areas for improvement were being effectively tackled and managed.

    The report also said students spoke highly of the changes the College has made to the school building so far and were very complimentary about their ability to have a say in the running of the school. They told the inspector they felt that their suggestions were taken on board and often led to actions. The inspector said he had overheard a lively debate about the proposed new uniform in the corridor and said “such initiatives are a very effective way of involving students and giving them a stake in school life”.

    The report praised the role of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough based Trust, CMAT, in the transformation that has taken place at the College. The report 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”.

    CMAT were recently ranked as the fifth highest performing multi-academy trust in the country for its performance in the Key Stage 4 league tables.

    To read a more detailed exploration of the report, please visit the College’s website for a letter that has gone home to parents.

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  • Creative Writing Workshop

    Published 24/04/17

    On Wednesday 5th April, during the Easter break, a group of students from Years 7 to 10, attended a Creative Writing workshop in the LRC, led by local author, Julian Sedgwick.

    Julian kicked the workshop off by giving students unusual items and artefacts to use in creating a character. These ranged from a human skull, to a World War 2 German passport! 

    Each group then shared their character and discussed how they could improve. Julian then guided students through the structure of writing a story, detailing the main components for a successful plot.

    The workshop moved on to focussed on writing an opening which creates impact and hooks the reader. Students ended the workshop by reading out the beginning of their stories to each other. Julian ended this fantastic day by giving away signed posters and encouraging students to keep up their good work.

    Some of the students have decided to continue to meet weekly to continue with their creative writing and hopefully recruit others to a Creative Writing Club. Great work and initiative from our young authors.

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  • Uniform Consultation

    Published 30/03/17

    Ely College Uniform Consultation 2017

    Back in September 2016, we recognised that to change the uniform entirely as CMAT came in, would place a burden on families and would not give us the time to properly consult on different views. We have therefore been consulting through 2016/17 with a view to a full uniform change in September 2017.

    We have valued your comments and taken them into consideration as we work with the Student Council and the feedback they gained from the Student Voice. As a result we now have samples to show you, kindly modelled by our students. A final decision on the consultation will be made at the start of the Summer Term in April/ May.

    Please view the consultation photos here. 

    Parents and carers can email questions or comments:

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  • Year 12 Public Services on Call

    Published 29/03/17

    Last week, the Year 12 Public Services students visited Ely Fire station for the last time this year. What an experience and insight into the demands of being a firefighter they have gained... Huge thanks to the fire house and outreach team.

    In previous visits, students have been taken out of their comfort zones and challenged with team building activities and tasks, working and developing key skills. This time, students were put through their paces with an insight into the entry requirements for the fire service, in terms of the fitness standards required.

    This really gave the students a first hand experience of feeling what needs to be accomplished to enter, and remain, in the service. Students worked in pairs completing a number of different station’s, from carrying hoses, 5 Gallon Drums, unraveling a hose form the fire engine, dragging a body and carrying their oxygen supplies.

    Staff also got a pretty amazing view from the top of the training tower. The scenery was beautiful and looking over the school site in the distance was quite touching.

    The work conducted between the team and the students, has really prepared them for some of their course assessments, and we cannot thank the team at Ely Fire Station enough.



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  • Maths Challenges

    Published 29/03/17

    We've had students take part in a number of Math challenges over the last few weeks.

    8 students from year 10 took part in the FMSP Maths Feast, and yes this did involve food. Congratulations to the following students for their impeccable behaviour and team work. We had two teams Ely Girls and Ely Boys.

    Lina Bretby   E-DMA

    Abigail Brown   F-SPH

    Sam Cavill   T-KBU

    Harriet Cree   F-SCR

    James Hambley   T-SDE

    Ellen Olley   F-SMA

    James Taylor   S-LRI

    Oscar Wolfe   T-AFR

    There were 5 courses and 18 teams took part, while teachers had to change schools and mark the rounds. Ms Szymanski had a very lively group from the Philip Morant School in Colchester and Mr Barlow had a group from Abbey College. Some spent most of their time arguing with the group and the judge for extra point, but in the end Ely came a very respectable 5th and 8th place overall.

    The Starter  -  a true or false round

    Amuse-Bouche - Countdown in four parts... winners were Ely Boys!

    Main - a comprehension round... remember ‘tables of squares’? The students had to learn how to use these and use them to answer questions.

    We then had something to eat. A teenagers capacity to eat came in handu here! Plates piled high with cake, crisps and sweets – they left the fruit for the teachers!

    Dessert –  6 problems to solve and students were to submit only 4 of them.

    Petits Fours – This was a relay round the teams split into two and were only allowed to communicate in their pairs.

    At the end we had an ‘Oscars’ moment! It was announced that Ely College Girls had won the last round and as they went up to receive their prize the adjudicator said that he had made a tiny mistake and another team had scored 2 marks more. In the end they gave Ely College a winners certificate for good sportsmanship.

    Our teams did brilliantly, took part enthusiastically and behaved impeccably. Even when they had that last win taken off them at the last minute the girls saw the funny side of it and graciously sat down again.


    United Kingdom Mathematics Trust Maths Challenge was up next. The Math department took four students to the maths team challenge held at Cambridge University Centre for Mathematical Sciences.

    Congratulations to the following students for their impeccable behaviour and team work. The teacher overseeing our group said that she was very impressed with their teamwork and at how polite and hardworking they were throughout the event.

    Aaron Clark  E-GBA

    Ben Feeney   E-JML

    Henry Olley   F-TBA

    Charlie Edwards   S-EWA

    The day was very busy and the students took part in four rounds lasting 45 minutes each with 30 minutes for lunch.

    The students did well and considering that all schools take their best students, and ours should be very happy with their 17/27 finishing position. There were a lot of selective (grammar and private) schools in the competition and it was nice to see Cambridgeshire schools in the top 3. On the way home we discussed how we might prepare for next year and the students said they would like a lunch time club. We are looking into running this. It was lovely to see how bubbly and keen they all were after an exhausting day.

    Top 3 teams

    1. Perse School
    2. Comberton Village College
    3. Cottenham Village College

    Looking forward to next year!

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  • Official Launch of Hub Partnership

    Published 29/03/17

    Ely College &The Norwich City FC Regional Development Programme Launch Official Partnership.

    CMAT School, Ely College & Bishop Laney Sixth College, have continued their strong link with the Norwich City FC Regional Development Programme for Cambridgeshire, by officially being unveiled as a new Community Hub Partner, which will provide exclusive benefits to the College & wider community of Ely.

    Following on from the successful first 18 months of the Boys College Football programme at Bishop Laney, both parties have continued their engagement opportunities for the pupils through a variety of curricular & extra-curricular activity delivered at the school by RDP staff to support their students & provide pathways through sport and education.

    The introduction of the Girls College Football Programme for September 2017 continues to provide further opportunity and diversity within the College and brings together an accompanying ethos of ‘providing opportunities for everyone’.

    Alex Kaufman, the RDP Development Officer for Cambridgeshire commented on the partnership:

    “We are delighted to officially confirm the Norwich City FC RDP partnership with Ely College & Bishop Laney Sixth Form, and with the Colleges ownership through CMAT, we have already seen a clear increase in the opportunity provided for the young people of the school and the surrounding areas. We will continue to provide Ely College & Bishop Laney Sixth Form programmes and projects that will support the growth of their pupils in sport, further education and careers and look forward to working closely with the Head teacher, Richard Spencer and his team of dedicated staff”.

    Richard Spencer, Head of Ely College, said:

    “It’s great we’ve been able to build upon the excellent relationship forged with Norwich City FC Regional Development Programme. This opportunity widens the net for more students to benefit from our high standards of teaching and support within our vibrant Sixth Form. We are very excited with this new initiative enabling students to broaden their skills, try out new activities and, above all, enjoy their learning”.

    As part of the launch, ex Norwich City FC Club Captain & Community Ambassador, Adam Drury, attended the launch event and also spent some time speaking to the students about his journey into the First team, and gave an insight into how they can progress and what is needed to become successful.

    For further information on the courses on offer at Ely College & Bishop Laney Sixth Form, contact and for further information on the Norwich City FC Regional Development Programme for Cambridgeshire, contact Alex.Kaufman

    Read more here.             Photos: Spotted in Ely

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  • Site Visit with Skanska

    Published 29/03/17

    Helping to attract the next generation of construction workers

    Students from Ely College were invited to attend the North West Cambridge Development construction site and learn from contractor Skanska about the wide-variety of career opportunities available in the construction industry.

    Skanska is working on the North West Cambridge Development as the site wide infrastructure contractor, which will create a new district in Cambridge with homes and community services for the area.

    Over 20 Year 9 students and four teachers took part in a tour of the development. The students are currently studying construction and engineering courses run by Ely College.

    David MacKintosh, who teaches design and technology, at Ely College, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience what it is like to work in the construction and engineering industries. We are excited to be working with Skanska to give our construction and engineering students the chance to enhance their learning experience by visiting the North West Cambridge Development. 

    “As part of college’s 14 to 16 curriculum, we value vocational courses as they can lead into apprenticeships, closing the much talked about skills gap.  Links with industry leaders such as Skanska help bring the real world into the classroom and can expand the classroom into other environments.”

    Sandra Nicholls, Public Liaison Officer, at Skanska, explained: “We recognise that we need to attract more people into the industry to fill the current skills gap. To do this we need to change people’s perceptions of our industry and demonstrate the wide range of career opportunities it has to offer.

    “Our purpose is to build for a better society and we do this by delivering some of the country’s biggest construction and infrastructure projects that make a positive difference to the communities surrounding them, like this project and Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.”

    The day concluded with a presentation from Skanska graduates who explained how they became part of Skanska’s graduate scheme, its benefits and the positive experience they have had so far.

    The North West Cambridge Development will open in phases throughout 2017. For more information visit,

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  • Finalist: Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award

    Published 29/03/17

    Ely College student reaches finals of the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Awards in Westminster

    Ely College student, Harry Sindle, was one of five students shortlisted from school librarians across the UK to attend the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Awards in London last week.

    The award ceremony, held at Portcullis House Westminster, was hosted by the School Library Association and the CILIP School Libraries Group in order to recognise the valued assistance of pupils who help within their school libraries. Bestselling author Cathy Cassidy also attended the event along with school librarians, representatives from literacy organisations and publishers.

    Being a finalist for the award recognises the impact of Harry’s work at the College and its library. Principal of Ely College, Richard Spencer, said: “The work that student librarians do at the College is invaluable and enriches not only the library but also each student’s personal development. We are incredibly proud of Harry for getting to the final of this nationwide competition – it is an incredible achievement.

    “We would also like to thank the rest of our student librarians, who are incredibly dedicated in helping out at the school library in their spare time, and Anne Shaw, our Learning Resource Centre Manager, who does a fantastic job to nurture and encourage our students and their love for literature.”

    Each finalist was championed by an author. Harry’s champion was Tamsyn Murray, who gave a porting speech about Harry. The event was attended by 20 successful authors who all presented the finalists with a personal signed copy of their latest book.

    The event was sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators; Authors Aloud UK, a company specialising in organising author visits; EES for Schools, an organisation that provides a range of specialist education services; leading children’s publishers Hachette and Macmillan; and MLS, a company that produces high specification library systems for schools.


    Barbara Band, Chair of the Judging Panel and founder of the award said “Week after week many students support the libraries in their schools by giving of their time and effort. Sadly, this is too often unrecognised and unrewarded. Yet these students are not only helping to create a lively and effective library that responds to the needs of its users, they are also gaining valuable skills and experience in the process. This award was created to recognise that work and also to highlight the unique synergy that occurs when a pupil becomes a library assistant.

    “Pupil library assistants are a valuable element in the running of school libraries – giving service to the school but also gaining skills and confidence from the work they do in the library, which ultimately feeds back into their academic achievement and their motivation.”

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  • NEW Hair & Beauty Salon - Coming Soon!

    Published 29/03/17

    Introducing a new professional Hair and Beauty Salon at Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form...

    The Hideaway

    Bishop Laney Sixth Form is proud to announce a new addition to the range of experiences and services that we can provide to our young people and the community around us.

    The opening of our rejuvenated training facilities and launch of a new commercial salon for Hair and Beauty will provide students with an opportunity to receive expert training in a professional environment, supported by fully qualificed and experienced staff.

    Look out for further news on the launch of The Hideaway Salon; this fantastic training facility based in the Bishop Laney Skills Centre at Ely College is a realistic working environment where our students develop their skills on paying clients.

    Although the services are provided by our students, they are all monitored by trained professionals, ensuring the service clients receive is of the highest standard. To encourage the public to make use of the services, costs are discounted, however, our aim is to provide you with the kind of relaxing and enjoyable experience you would expect from any high street salon.

    The hairdressing and beauty therapy salon is well equipped and maintained to a high standard. Due to being run by students, the Hideaway Salon will be open during term time only, Monday to Friday. Opening hours are subject to availability so booking in advance will be essential. All welcome; we look forward to seeing you at the Hideaway in Autumn 2017.

    A price list and booking details will be made available in due course on the Salons dedicated page:

    Interested in studying Hairdressing at Bishop Laney Sixth Form?

    Limited places are still available for September 2017. Contact us now to find out more and take the next step in your professional development.

    At Bishop Laney Sixth Form, the emphasis is firmly on preparing students for a future career, or to pursue further qualifications.  Throughout the Hairdressing course, we encourage students to develop their customer service skills and professionalism within the salon; using The Hideaway as full commercial salon in daily operation, students see first-hand what this career choice can offer them with every opportunity to achieve their ambitions.


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  • Red Nose Day Beat the Goalie

    Published 21/03/17

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