Skip to content ↓

Latest News

All the latest News from Ely College

December 2018

  • Reaching the GOLD standard!

    Published 18/12/18

    Reaching the Gold standard!

    A hard working Etheldreda House student has become the first this year (and only the second ever!) to achieve a Gold PLEDGES accolade. Just 20 months since the school officially rolled out the reward and behaviour system at Ely College, the Bronze and Silver awards have been rolling in, but this is the only current Gold.

    Christopher Atkinson in Year 10 took part in a number of activities to achieve his Bronze, Silver and Gold PLEDGES. These included taking up the role of Sports Leader in Year 9, fundraising (both for his House charity and via fun runs), being part of the archaeology dig trip, taking an extra GCSE in Latin, and even attending a Russian wedding!

    Speaking about his achievement, Christopher said: “It has been hard work to meet the criteria but I have really enjoyed the challenge. Working towards my PLEDGES has taken me into new and different experiences. I like that something you do out of school like experiencing cultural diversity at a family friend’s wedding can earn you PLEDGES in school. I’m going to push myself further and help others with their PLEDGES.”

    Adding to his PLEDGES points 'beyond the classroom' was the secret to his success, with things like his piano grading and youth leadership work via his local church, all counting towards Gold! He added: “The Gold PLEDGE means a lot but I have always tried to give back to my community. Taking the lead on running holiday clubs with the church and putting myself forward for form representative in school means I can speak up for people my age.”

    Since Ely College joined the CMAT trust, the college has introduced a simple but broad set of PLEDGES that pupils are expected to complete during their time at the school, at bronze, silver and gold levels. The fact that Christopher has complete the set before Year 11 is very impressive. Students gain their PLEDGES through activities and work across seven categories: Participation, Leadership, Environment, Diversity, Giving, Excellence and Service.

    The PLEDGES form part of the school's parallel curriculum – a system that is designed to develop the whole child and complement the academic courses. Similar to the Duke of Edinburgh scheme (also offered at Ely College!), it helps pupils develop character and skills that can be taken into their adult life.

    Richard Spencer, Principal at Ely College said “The scheme has really helped drive a wide range of activities and improved relationships. It encourages students to give back to the school and their communities. Through PLEDGES, we can recognise, encourage and reward those important aspects of personal development and learning that examinations do not. I’d like to congratulate Christopher and look forward to giving out many more gold awards in the months to come”.

    Read More
  • ‘No one left on the bench’ as Ely College students take up the challenge to design for disability

    Published 13/12/18

    On Thursday, Ely College welcomed John Willis, founder of Power2Inspire. His charity promotes inclusive and adaptive sports, so no one with disabilities or impairments is ‘left on the bench’. Ely College invited John, who was born without fully-formed arms or legs, to speak with their design and technology students and start on a collaborative journey of designing for purpose.

    Speaking with mixed years in assembly, John introduced students to what Power2inspire does for people of ALL abilities. Bringing disabled and non-disabled children together for the Power House Games and regular Festivals of Inclusive Sport, everyone is able to keep fit and active together. John, on his own is an inspiration, having completed a personal challenge he set himself back in 2016.

    His ‘Road to Rio’ challenge saw him take on all 34 Paralympic and Olympic sports, having a go at everything from archery to judo, ending with a charity game of golf. John reflected on the challenge: “You can imagine playing Handball with no hands was tricky, but it was a great privilege to make friends with professionals and show how fantastically welcoming the world of sports can be.”

    Inspired by his talk, Year 10 Design and Technology students moved on to a workshop exploring how this remarkable man has to overcome barriers in his everyday life.  Working in groups, students looked to invent or adapt everyday items that could help John with real world problems. To help them, John explained: ‘the challenge is not in coming up with solutions, but phrasing or forming the question in a way they shows that these young people really understand the problems less able bodied people face. Empathy is a big part of the project today as students reframe their world, experiencing problems from a new perspective. I have been very impressed with their efforts.”

    This is the first time Power2Inspire has worked with a secondary school young designers: “Ely College has really embraced this concept of collaborative designing, working together around a contextual problem. We are challenging young people to think of solutions for issues they haven’t encountered, which is good practice for the future where they will need solutions to issues we have yet to face.”

    Trying to make lives easier by designing for disability, it is hoped they can stumble upon innovative solutions that are often better than those when we design for the norm. Dave Bausor, Lead Practitioner for Design and Technology at Ely College added: “We are keen to develop a supportive partnership going forward. Today is the students’ first steps on journey of design. We are looking forward to taking their ideas, and developing models and practical proto-types for John early next year, as well as supporting the charity through our PLEDGES and Sport Leaders programmes.”



    Read More
  • Scott House Food Drive

    Published 13/12/18

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

    Students across school were inspired by those in Scott House, who have organised this year's collection. Everyone donated an array of food to give to those in need, from baked beans to cornflakes. The donation was wholly organised by the students with form groups S-EHI and S-IBU taking the lead and making sure the large haul reached it final destination.

    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 Ely Food Bank is open very grateful for all the students efforts and also would like to thank the parents at home who have supported students in giving a little more at this key time of the year.

    Read More
  • CMAT Lantern School to get playground makeover

    Published 10/12/18

    An Ely primary school will be getting an an extreme makeover to its outdoor space to enable children to remain more physically active - whatever the weather.

    Planning permission has just been approved to tarmac a section of the top field at the Lantern Community Primary School to turn it into an all-weather surface to be used throughout the school day, as well as for out of school activities.

    Headteacher David Lawrence said: “I’m delighted we’ve finally got permission to go ahead with this. It will improve the play facilities for the children enormously.”

    Building is due to start in February, depending on weather, and will cover an L-shaped section of the field, which gets muddy throughout much of the year.

    “Mr Lawrence said: “From October to May we have problems with the field as it is. This is the solution.

    “For the children it’s going to be brilliant - they need space to run around. This means they can have it all year.”

    The new playground, costing just over £70,000, is partly funded by £10,000 raised by Friends of the Lantern School, the school’s PTA, last year. 

    The rest of the money comes from school funds and the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT).

    FOTLS chair Andrea Roose, whose son Milo, six, attends the school, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to contribute £10k to this project. 

    “It reflects a fantastic year of fundraising by the committee and our volunteers and wouldn’t have been possible without the continued support of all our children, parents and the school.”

    In addition the current trim trail equipment will be reconditioned or replaced within the next few weeks.

    The school has just been gifted a section of grass by Ely College, which is also part of CMAT.

    The Ely primary caters for about 450 children as well as running Goslings Pre-School.

    Future plans include turning a strip of land at the side of the school into a vegetable garden.


    Read More
  • Ely College’s first Christmas Market raises £1400!

    Published 03/12/18

    Ely College’s first Christmas Market was a gift to… and from the community

    On a wet and cold Thursday evening, the people of Ely turned out in their hundreds to support their local college and small businesses. Ely College Christmas market on 29th November was a fantastic festive success, raising £1400 for their PE and Drama departments. An event set to be repeated next year!

    Earlier this year, two members of staff had a plan to give something back to the community, an opportunity to come together and get some Christmas shopping done; all whilst hopefully raising funds for the students. It was the rest of the community who went above and beyond to make this market such a spectacular occasion.


    Whether it was the Bishop Laney catering students offering homemade mince pie and refreshments, or the drama club entertaining the crowds, staff and students gave a helping hand. Hair and Beauty students were also on hand to pamper and prepare visitors for the party season.

    Supported by members of the Ely Military Band and fresh from their royal performance for HRH the Prince of Wales earlier in the week, the music department provided the festive spirit. Our LRC’s Book Fair was also popular, selling Scholastic titles, which in turn has already earnt the school library over £100 in free books.


    The support from parents has been overwhelming, with a flurry of tombola donations and local companies donating services and prizes to the grand raffle. Organisers Bev Saddington and Victoria Cutforth are grateful for the support, which has raised enough to make some worthwhile improvements to student resources: “With over 30 different stalls, we are proud that Ely College were able to host such an event providing a wide range of gifts and products.”

    “This was our first Christmas Market held at the school and it certainly exceeded everyone’s expectations. We hope to hold another Christmas market next year to help raise funds for other college departments. For now, we would like to say thank you to everyone who came and supported us.”



    Read More
  • A Royal Perfomance

    Published 03/12/18

    Royal Visit to Ely

    Last Tuesday, braving sub-zero temperatures and Arctic conditions, the musicians of Ely College met HRH Prince Charles and his wife Lady Camilla, Duchess of Cronwall during their visit to Ely.

    Musicians from Ely College, joined by pupils from Ely St Johns and Rackham Primary schools entertained the crowds as they waited to catch sight of the city’s Royal guests.

    Our school woodwind and brass ensembles really did a fantastic job, especially considering the harsh conditions. Musical instruments become significantly more difficult to play in extremes of temperature and Tuesday was no exception. Together with chilled fingers and the biting wind even the most stalwart of professionals would have called it a day… but not the musicians of Ely College! They not only stayed but also played and did so very well indeed. They were a credit to themselves and to the school; their families should be very proud.

    HRH Prince Charles spoke to two of our musicians, Eloise Barter and Zoe Ayres, marvelling in their hardiness and ability to play so well in such cold conditions. He thanked our musicians for their excellent music, which was a compliment well deserved. HRH the Duchess of Cornwall shook the hand of Isabel Simper to both thank and congratulate her and the rest of the ensemble.

    It was certainly a day to remember.

    Read More