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All the latest News from Ely College

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  • School is closed with provision being made for the children of Key Workers

    Published 18/03/20

    If you are a key worker and have not yet completed the survey to let us know then it, and other information, can be found here:

    Access to the school will be from 8am

    School provision will be between 8.30am - 3.30pm

    All children must have left site by 4pm

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  • New Principal for Ely College named

    Published 13/03/20

    Today, Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust was pleased to be able to confirm that the Trustees and Academy Council have appointed Mr Simon Warburton to work alongside Mr Spencer as the new College Principal from September.

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  • Congratulations to the Year 7 Maths Challenge team.

    Published 10/01/20

    We came 3rd in the CMAT Year 7 Team Maths Challenge! 

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  • 'Meaningful vote' counted at Ely College after Hustings and Mock General Election

    Published 12/12/19

    Ely College students back Labour in ‘mock’ General Election

    Following a very successful event run in the 2017 General Election, students at Ely College were once again given the opportunity to have their opinions heard at the ballot box. As part of the college’s PSHE curriculum, all students took part in a ‘mock’ election process, complete with ‘hustings’ visits from each of the South East Cambridgeshire local candidates.

    All four candidates visited the college over the course of the week and each addressed an assembly of students on their different visions and policy platforms. Prominent issues raised included the environment, school funding and Brexit.

    Our students and staff joined the nation as they took to the polling stations on Thursday to cast their votes in school.  The returning officer for the college made a formal results declaration on Friday morning, after the count had taken place. The results were as follows, with Labour candidate, James Bull, emerging as the overall winner:

    The actual winner of the South East Cambridgeshire parliamentary election, Lucy Frazer MP, will take some comfort in the breakdown of the vote. Bishop Laney Sixth Form students bucked the overall college trend by backing the Conservative candidate with 32% of the vote.

    Ely College Principal, Richard Spencer, said: “This generation of young people feel passionately about many topics such as the environment and securing more opportunities through education. We wanted to help students understand the issues the country faces, as well as the importance of exercising the hard won right to vote. This has been an amazing opportunity, and they took full advantage of being able to ask questions about issues important to them which makes us very proud. I’m very grateful to all four of the candidates for giving their time to come and engage with them. We fully intend to keep this tradition of mock general elections in the future.”

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  • Young Leaders 'Open the Games' with international hockey player and support the local Schools Games

    Published 08/07/19

    Young Leaders from Ely College recently volunteered at the School Games, run by the South Cambs School Sport Partnership, giving students from local schools across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough the chance to take part in competitive sport.

    The School Games offered local students the chance to compete in a variety of competitions and adapted multi-sport activities and would not have been possible to run without our fantastic group of young leaders. Opening the ceremony was our very own Sport Leaders Lara and Henry, alongside Scotland International Hockey player Jamie Cachia; both did an amazing job of helping to create a positive and vibrant atmosphere for all of the students.

    Once students had made it to their activities, it was the job of our Young Leaders to work throughout the day with numerous groups of children to teach them new activities, encourage them and above all ensure that they were having fun.

    Throughout the day multiple members of staff, who were overseeing the events, were commenting on what an amazing job they were all doing and how engaging and supportive they were with the students. All 28 Young Leaders and our 2 'Masters of Ceremony' were an absolute credit to Ely College, with their positivity, helpfulness and enthusiasm helping to make the games a huge success.

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  • Ely College ‘transformed’ as Ofsted rate the school Good with Outstanding features ​​​​​​​

    Published 01/07/19

    In its first Ofsted inspection since joining the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT), Ely College has been rated Good with Outstanding leadership and management.

    It has been a fantastic three years for the college, who were announced last summer as ‘Secondary School of the Year’ at the Cambridge News Education Awards and achieved some of the best GCSE results in their history.

    Now, just three years after joining the Trust, Ely College has been rated Good for ‘quality of teaching, learning and assessment’, ‘personal development’, ‘behavior and welfare’ and ‘outcomes for pupils’. The College’s post 16 provision, Bishop Laney Sixth Form, was also rated Good.

    The ‘effectiveness of leadership and management’ was judged to be Outstanding. Inspectors said: “Since taking up his post in September 2016, the principal has been unwavering in his determination that only the best will do. Senior leaders, the trust and governors have successfully transformed the culture in the school.” They continued: “The quality of teaching, learning and assessment, achievement and behavior have all improved significantly as a result.” 

    Principal, Richard Spencer, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the outcome of our Ofsted inspection. We have waited a long time for a report like this and it is an accurate reflection of all the hard work and dedication that our staff have put in to transforming the school over the last three years. We are indebted to all at CMAT, the Fenland and East Cambridgeshire Opportunity Area and our fantastic local community who have supported us on every step of our journey and enabled us to become the school we are today. Looking forward, we’re excited to carry on building on this success and continuing to provide a fantastic education for the children in our community.”

    The running of Ely College transferred to CMAT in July 2016. This came after discussions with the Department for Education which aimed to secure local support for Ely College, with the aim of moving the school more quickly towards becoming Good. Before joining the Trust, Ely College had been through a turbulent period, with Ofsted judging the school ‘inadequate’ and requiring special measures in 2015.

    Mark Woods, Chief Executive Officer of CMAT, said: “We are over the moon with the results of the inspection at Ely College. The College’s success is a real representation of our commitment to providing a high-quality education for everyone, at the heart of local communities. We are thrilled to have been a part of the College’s journey and excited to see what we can continue to achieve together in the future.” 

    The full report can be found on the College’s website but the key findings are detailed below:

    • Leaders have transformed the school by successfully establishing a culture of high expectations of both staff and pupils. As a result, the quality of education has improved rapidly. Parents and pupils recognise the significant improvements that leaders have made
    • Leaders have worked relentlessly to improve behaviour, teaching and achievement. Staff share leaders’ ambition and want the best for pupils
    • The overwhelming majority of parents who responded to Parent View, Ofsted’s online questionnaire, were supportive of school leaders and acknowledged that significant improvements had been made
    • The Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (the trust) has been instrumental in securing rapid improvements in the school. School leaders’ work with the trust has contributed to improved teaching, learning and assessment and ensured that leadership at all levels is strong
    • Teaching is effective in helping most pupils to make strong progress in many subjects, including English and mathematics
    • Leaders have carefully constructed a curriculum that supports pupils’ academic and personal development well. An extensive range of extra-curricular activities, a well-planned personal social and health education (PSHE) programme and the PLEDGES system contributes strongly to preparing pupils for life in modern British society
    • Governors have a comprehensive knowledge of the school. They provide appropriate support and challenge which ensures that school leaders’ actions result in improvements
    • Adults know pupils well and provide them with the support needed to complete their studies and progress to education, training or employment
    • The sixth form provision is good. Students typically achieve well on the vocational courses offered. Leaders have re-introduced A-level courses to broaden opportunities for post-16 study in the local area

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  • CMAT Outdoors Challenge / CMAT Athletics Festival

    Published 20/06/19

    CMAT Outdoor Challenge 2019

    All CMAT secondary schools took part in an outdoor challenge.  Despite the weather, fires were lit, orienteering was run and pupils enjoyed the specially designed activities.    

    Joining some of our fellow Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust secondary schools, with each school entering two teams, students took on various outdoor pursuits. From making tent pegs, helping them shelter from the rain TO giving emergency CPR and keeping a casualty safe and warm, each challenge in turn was met well.

    It is a VERY difficult task to make fire in the rain ... but our Ely College teams excelled, with Team A coming in 7th place out of 12 and Ely Team B coming 2nd place!  Well done to all involved!


    CMAT Athletic Festival 2019

    A very successful Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust Athletics Festival took place with all seven secondary schools taking part and enjoying a day of competition and team work.

    We love the summer term where we get more and more opportunities to get out and compete with our fellow Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust schools.

    As well as the Outdoor Challenge, last week saw the PE dept take students to the 2019 CMAT Athletics Festival! Ely College students won 4 gold medals and our Year 9 team came 3rd overall in their Year category!

    Well done to everyone competing, especially James, Danielle, Naomi and Edwards with their golds!




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  • Maths Trip to the Science Museum London

    Published 19/06/19

    The Maths department took a number of Year 7 and 8 students to the Science Museum in London last week! Along the journey we saw some famous sights: Tower Of London, The Shard, The Gherkin and drove across Tower Bridge.

    At the museum students engaged with ‘hands-on’ maths; exploring friction of different surfaces as we slid down slides, raced to pull ourselves up a pulley, trajectories of water jets and probability as we battled to spray our partners.

    The visit ended with Newtons Laws of motion being brought to life with rocket experiments and plenty of Big Bangs. A great day had by all!




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  • Students take part in the 'MRC Festival of Medical Research' as the Science Bus comes to Ely College

    Published 18/06/19

    Today the Medical Research Council 'Science Bus' rolled up to Ely College!

    As part of the #MRCFestival of Medical Research, our KS3 students enjoyed interactive learning with real University of Cambridge researchers as they showcased their work! The summer festival is now in its fifth year, travelling across the UK and areas of Africa, sharing their science to educate and inspire by involving the community to gain new perspectives.

    The teams offered up some fascinating insights into DNA, genetics, biomarkers & so much more! They were impressed by students level of knowledge and how they engaged with the activities. Part of the festivals mission is to attract and inspire new talent to the field and event's like these for young adults really helped them gain a glimpse into a researcher's world. Ambitious Ely College students were keen to ask career-related questions to explore their future options. 

    Ely College feel exceptionally lucky to have built links with the Medical Research Council and be on the doorstep of some world class science! A huge thank you to MRC Epidemiology Unit and MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit for sharing their knowledge with our students!

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  • Ofsted Inspection

    Published 10/06/19

    * Please see UPDATE below *

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    We have just received notification that Ely College will receive our long-awaited OFSTED inspection on Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th June.

    Attached is a notification letter and a guide to the inspection process for parents. We would be very grateful if as many of you as possible would complete the survey linked in the letter this evening or tomorrow morning please.

    The survey link can also be reached here:

    Please note that the Year 9 parents’ evening and the geography field trips will go ahead as planned.

    We are looking forward to this process, and approach it with great confidence. The students need no ‘preparation’, but we would obviously be grateful if you could underline to them the importance of demonstrating their usual high standards over the next two days.

    Best wishes,
    Richard Spencer


    UPDATE -  13/06/2019

    Dear Parents and carers,

    I’m writing to thank you all for your support during our recent OFSTED inspection. More than 200 of you contributed responses to ‘Parent View’, and we were delighted that more than 95% of you registered a very positive impression of the work of the college.

    The inspection team fed back their judgements to school leaders last night. The process of writing and quality-assuring the report will now commence. This can take a few weeks, during which time the outcome remains provisional and confidential. We will notify you as soon as the report is published and can be shared.

    For now, I will simply say that I am immensely proud of all the staff, the students and the wider college community. We are all looking forward to a very positive and busy end to the school year, with more exciting plans for further improvements in 2019/20!

    Best wishes,

    Richard Spencer

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  • Ducks and balloon armchairs teach students about teamwork and business skills

    Published 20/05/19

    How a fun business simulation run by The Skills Service helped local students to develop vital employability skills, such as teamwork, problem-solving, leadership and entrepreneurship. 

    Jo and Rebecca from Enterprise East Cambridgeshire recently spent time working with students at Ely College and Witchford Village College, judging balloon armchairs and origami paper ducks.

    At first glance that might seem like a very strange thing for an Economic Development team to be doing, but read on to find out how this fun business simulation helped local students to develop vital employability skills, such as teamwork, problem-solving, leadership and entrepreneurship. 

    Ducks Enterprise Challenge

    Year 7 students (age 11 to 12) took part in The Skills Service’s Ducks Enterprise Challenge, making and selling origami ducks to a team of ‘buyers’ from the local business community.  One of the aims of Enterprise East Cambridgeshire is to help establish links between local schools and businesses, so off we set to participate in the Ducks Challenge.

    Students participated in a manufacturing simulation, running a virtual business with each group member assigned a role in their company: 

    Managing Director: leading the team

    Accountant: managing finances

    Buyer: purchasing materials for making ducks

    Sales executive: negotiating the best prices for the ducks with external buyers (us)

    Production workers: making paper ducks and responding to supply restrictions and changes in buyer demand

    Each team then competed with the other teams to see who could make the most profit.  The aim was to run a virtual business in teams, using skills that you would find in the business world.  The teams had to source stock material (coloured paper) from a supplier using a start up loan. Once they had bought the raw materials they then set up production of their origami ducks.  This stock was then sold on to a team of buyers - us.   More money was paid for excellent and original ducks whilst less for poor quality. 

    This process is repeated over five virtual working days, each lasting around 15 minutes, and various problems or challenges are introduced at different stages to reflect real business life and encourage team working skills.  Imagine having spent your budget on pink paper only to find the next day that pink is soooo yesterday and nobody will buy the ducks you spent ages making!  There were, most definitely, lessons learned.  Fines and bonuses were issued at the end of each day to penalise or reward certain behaviours.  Winners were duly crowned, with their team having made the most profit.

    Balloon Armchairs Challenge

    As part of Ely College’s 'PLEDGES and Futures Day', the Balloon Armchairs challenge also tests the teamwork, communication, planning and lateral thinking of groups of students. Armed with only 20 balloons and a roll of sellotape, each team has to make a balloon armchair, with a base, back and arms. The final challenge involved all teams testing their armchair. The last bottom remaining off the ground, firmly on their balloon based armchair is the winner! The grand finale can be quite a noisy one with some chairs robust, others, well...just bust. 

    You can only imagine the noise level of so many students during such an energetic and fast paced activity, and the event was a huge success with students all really engaged, gaining confidence and using skills they might not have realised they have.  We can highly recommend getting involved with The Skills Service and contributing your business skills to benefit local students.  We had a great time and will be back again next year.

    For more information on the Skills Service visit 

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