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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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  • Mock general election and hustings to introduce students to the world of voting

    Published 21/06/17

    Earlier this month Ely College students were treated to their very own hustings debate between three of the candidates for South East Cambridgeshire.

    Lucy Frazer, Huw Jones and Lucy Nethsingha addressed the students at the debate, answered their questions and encouraged them to vote for their respective parties in the College’s mock general election.

    The mock general election, which aimed to get students involved with politics from a young age, saw students vote for their chosen party following the hustings. Each house in the College represented a constituency and students visited different polling booths around the College to place their vote.

    The vote was followed by an official count led by a small team of students, who announced the winner of the Ely College general election as The Liberal Democrats. 

    Lorraine Young, Subject Leader at Ely College, said: “Once we heard the announcement about the snap general election, we knew we wanted to get our students as involved as possible. We often hear in the news about the low turnout of young voters and we wanted to try to do something to get our students engaged in politics from a young age.

    “The mock general election has given our students a wonderful opportunity to experience playing a role in the democratic process and we hope they will continue to engage with politics once they reach 18 and are able to vote.”



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  • District Athletics Results

    Published 25/05/17

    Over forty Ely College students represented the school at the Annual District Athletics Championships in King's Lynn last week.

    Our students from Years 7 to 10, who competed in a full range of Olympic athletic events, performed magnificently; showing their talent and determimnation as they battled it out with pupils from Witchford Village College, Neale Wade Academy and Cromwell Community College,  King’s Ely, Thomas Clarkson and Wisbech Grammar.

    Ely College athletes performed superbly on the day and we want to thank them for their hard work. We have traditionally managed to field a strong and full team and whilst this year saw us take more competitors than ever, it was disappointing to have a number of our most talented athletes drop out on the day.

    This said a final 4th place finish behind the two private schools in the Isle and Witchford did not leave us too disappointed. Missing out on the plate to Witchford for the first time in three years hurt, but we are hungry for next year and have our eyes on the prize!

    Special mention for standout performances and winners must go to:

    Year 7 David Horn 1st Javelin

    Year 7 Tegan Bowen 1st Shot Putt

    Year 7 Thomas Martin 1st Shot Putt

    Year 8 Lucy Wittaker 2nd Hurdles and Long Jump

    Year 8 Lara Faulkes 2nd in 800m

    Year 7 James Marsh 1st 400m

    Year 7 Kyle Islam 1st in the Hurdles

    Year 8 Hayden Jones 1st in the Javelin

    Year 8 Kian Smith 2nd in the High Jump

    Year 8 Henry Olley 2nd in 800m

    Year 8 Alex Oakhill 2nd in 1500m

    As a result of the performances in this competition, the following pupils have been selected for the District Athletics Team due to compete at the County Championship on Saturday 27th May in Cambridge:

    Year 9 Javelin Josh Stacey

    Year 9 1500m Jacob Bell

    Year 10 Discus Evelina Vorobjvaite

    Year 10 Javelin Adrian Chalmers

    Year 10 High Jump Dechlan Linney

    We wish them all good luck!


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  • Uniform Fact Sheet

    Published 12/05/17

    Conclusion to the 2017 Ely College Uniform Consultation

    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 taking 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 a Uniform Fact Sheet to share with you. This is the final decision following the consultation.

    Please download the Uniform Fact Sheet here.

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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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