Happy New Year and a very warm welcome back to you all. I hope that the winter break has proved restful, even for those who are returning to the prospect of mock exams this January.
I write this returning on the train from London. Out of the window I see the archetypal fusion of the old and the new - in amongst the fields of rural Cambridgeshire I can see farm equipment juxtaposed with solar panels and the poly tunnels that characterise modern farming. It reminds me of the characteristics of a good quality modern education - an evolution of the new alongside the best of what has always made up good teaching. It also reminds me of the importance of equipping our young people to be adaptable to a changing landscape.
One example of how we try to achieve this at the Stephen Perse Senior School is seen in the ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’. This term Ms Lavergne has created an exhibition titled ‘What you can find in an enchanted forest’. The idea of the Cabinet is to draw students into the space with a theme that can relate to all curriculum areas. Teachers bring lessons to the Cabinet to explore the theme and appreciate the links between the subjects. As the cultural heart of the school, this space proves incredibly popular with both older and younger students, boys and girls. The Cabinet reaches beyond its own four walls and currently there are fairy tales displayed around the school. We also have a ‘magic’ week planned (although as a scientist, I might prefer a more logical explanation of the phenomena on show!) and there are various related films being shown in our movie club.
Spring is, I think, my favourite of the 3 terms. It starts cold and dark, but ends with the days getting longer and warmer. It also ends with our wonderful Spring Concert at West Road on 19 March. This is not the only cultural highlight, with a Rock Concert held a couple of weeks later, and the Year 9 play and Year 10 drama showcase also in the last few weeks. I am also pleased to say that we will be holding Barnardo's Day at the end of term. Slightly different timing to normal, but hopefully just as fun, and a great opportunity to raise awareness about a worthy cause with which the school has had a link for almost a century.
I look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events, or at one of the Parents’ Evenings over the course of the term.
Many thanks to all who supported the Stephen Perse PFA in 2018.
We had a great Christmas Fair, hosted by the Junior School in December, which raised just over £1,000, making a really good surplus for us to invest in 2019 activities - thanks go to all staff and parents who helped with arrangements. The Panto sold out exceptionally quickly this year, but while we sold a fair number of Christmas puddings, supplier issues mean we may not repeat this again.
Parents signing up to Classlist have put Stephen Perse in the top 10 of schools using Classlist - a total of 71% of parents in our community have now signed up, so do join us so you don’t miss out! Please sign up to communicate with other parents and year groups, and to get notices about the PFA and our events to support students across the school. You will have been sent an email (over the summer holidays last year) to the email address that you have indicated to use for school communications, so please check your email for the link and sign up asap, or look out for a reminder from the Classlist app.
PFA - Looking forward in 2019
The PFA is always keen to engage with parents as committee members, as Class Reps, or for one-off events and activities. We are specifically looking for a parent volunteers to help organise the Valentine's bake sale and the Summer Fair as well as to manage second-hand uniform sales.
Activities planning for 2019 will kick off at the PFA meeting in FMR1 at the Senior School on Monday, 14th January (7pm arrival for 7.30pm start). We'll be discussing a PFA-funded, student-led competition to invest in new equipment or new activity(ies) across the SPF schools - so we'd welcome volunteers who'd like to get involved!
If you want to bring more to the table, we would very much welcome your input about what else we can do to support the parent community and get the most out of parents joining in for the students! Please do get involved by attending the PFA meeting on Monday, 14th January, by getting in contact by email (email@example.com) or via Classlist.
Manor Activity Centre
Manor Activity Centre are offering an opportunity to Stephen Perse students to participate in one of their summer camps. These are different from most of those that they offer in that they offer training towards a number of National Governing Body (NGB) Awards. The students will work towards these awards and may stay at the Manor House for the full programme of three weeks, or any individual week. For students staying the full three weeks there is the opportunity to add the RYA Powerboating Award free of charge. The age range is 11-15yrs and is offered to students of private schools associated with The Manor House and will not be widely available to the general public.
They are ready to take bookings from today and any interested parents should email Lesley Kirk (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the Information Brochure which includes the booking form. The child's place will be confirmed on receipt of the £200 deposit per child per week. Manor can accept bank transfers or card payments by phone. The balance is due 8 weeks before the trip. The places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.