Today saw the inaugural Stephen Perse Foundation chess tournament, held at the Senior School, but involving competitors from Dame Bradbury’s, the Junior School, the Senior School and CCSS. We welcomed the Cambridge University Chess Club to open the event (and lend us some boards) and played a total of 136 games to emerge with one ‘grandmaster’.
Chess is a wonderful game, teaching strategy, planning, patience and developing concentration skills. In the modern world where everything is at the tips of our fingers, and information bombards us at a mind-boggling rate, these strike me as extremely healthy traits to develop. In contrast, the news has been full of stories regarding the potential harm that an unhealthy attachment to, and reliance on, social media can bring. Whilst we strongly believe that digital tools can be a force for good in the world (not least in the classroom), there is no doubt that social media has the potential to cause much harm as well as good. As a school we endeavour to engage with this and have been working with Digital Awareness UK https://www.digitalawarenessuk.com/ to help shape the discussion with our younger pupils on how they interact with the online world. We are grateful to them for staying into the evening to speak with a group of parents and will look for further opportunities to help parents negotiate this area with us.
We look forward now to an author visit on 14 March from Laura Bates who will be speaking about the ‘Everyday Sexism Project’ and her new book ‘The Burning’. Although fiction, her work is based on real life experiences of women, and looks at negative consequences around photo sharing on social media. The talk is open to Year 9 and above, and also to parents.
Both the chess tournament and this talk are fantastic examples of the ability we now have as a group of schools to offer events that span all our schools and a large range of ages. The trips programme that we run offers similar opportunities and we have a joint Senior School and Sixth Form language trip to Antibes and exchange visit to Kaio in Japan coming up in the next two weeks.
We hope these trips are successful and enjoyable for all, alongside the expanded ski trip to Italy. For those staying closer to home, I hope half term comes at the right time to offer some much needed rest and relaxation.
The Spring Term has started with the usual weather disruptions to the programme. The sports hall has therefore seen plenty of action and all teams are working flexibly and hard to ensure they are match ready.
The Cross Country runners have been enjoying the conditions and have had a very successful season so far. We had 36 runners take part in the ESAA District Cross Country Trials which led to 13 students qualifying for the County round, which included an individual win by Isaac M. At the County Championships all performed exceptionally well and the following students qualified to represent the Cambridge County: Francesca T, Isaac M, Jacob P and Gabriella C. At the Regionals Francesca came 16th and she along with Isaac are both waiting to see whether they have done enough to be selected for the Nationals.
At the Bedfordia Cross Country Championships the U12 Girls team came 1st and the U13 Boys team came 2nd, which included an impressive individual win from Jacob P.
Also in the Cross Country Cup Competition the U13 boys and the U15 girls teams both qualified for the Regional Cross Country Cup competition, a fantastic team achievement.
The boys’ hockey programme is in full swing with County tournaments looming and a busy fixture card. Hopefully the weather has now played its hand and forced the only postponements of the term. The U12’s, many of whom are new to hockey, did manage to complete their first matches against Newport Grammar and impressively the A’s won 6-1 and the B’s drew 4-4.
Girls’ football continues to grow in popularity across the country and the same can be said within the Senior School. The Year 7 and 8 girls’ football club is well attended and although they are still searching for their first 11-a-side win as a team, the enthusiasm levels are extremely high. Mr Tillen reports that the number of shots on target and the number of passes linked in open play are growing game by game.
There have been a large number of netballers competing for the school over the first few weeks of term. There are far too many highlights to mention, but a number of teams remain unbeaten.
On 26 January both the Stephen Perse U14 & U16 netball teams took part in the regional schools tournament held at Stanborough School in Welwyn Garden City after both teams were crowned County Champions last term. The U16 team, led by Maddy F, played first and lost 8-10. Picking themselves up they went on to win the next two matches with ease. The girls dug deep against Woodland, but lost 5-12. Remaining positive and determined, they fought hard to win the final two matches, finishing a very creditable third overall. A fantastic achievement for all the players.
The U14 team, captained by Monica M, started the tournament with an amazing 16-2 victory. Focused and determined, the next two matches were lost by just one goal and in tournament play this can sometimes happen. After losing our next match to a very strong FitzWimarc team, the players got themselves together to win the final two matches. Another amazing effort by the U14 team and they may well get another chance in two years.
As the term continues and the fixtures begin to flow with regularity, remember to stay up to date on the sports website, and follow us on twitter @SPFSport.
Keio Exchange - Japanese students in UK
Y11 Art & Design trip to London Galleries
Location: London, UK Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Design Museum London
Y8 Science Fair Poster Display
5:30pm – 6:30pm
Parents are invited to browse the student’s posters, showing the culmination of their science projects, which will be on display in the activity space before parents' evening.
SaracensMavericks netball team are running half term netball camps for players between 9 and 13 years old. The Cambridgeshire camp is running at the Stephen Perse Foundation on the 18 and 19 February. Click here to find out more and to book your place.
Due to parent demand, PFA members are pleased to be running a Second Hand Uniform Sale on Friday 1 March from 15:45 to 17:00 at the Senior School (Union Street entrance). A wide selection of good quality second-hand school uniforms from the Pre-Prep, Junior and Senior, as well sports equipment, will be available for sale. Parent volunteers will be on hand to help those students requiring assistance in case parents are unable to attend.
Valentine's Bake Sale
The PFA Valentine's Bake Sale returns on Thursday 14 February in the Senior School Dining Room between 2-4pm. Please donate baked goods if you are able, and make sure they are nut free. You can drop off any donations at Senior School Reception.
Alumni Reunion Saturday 15 June 2019 - 12.30 - 5.00pm.
Parents of students who are also alumni of the school, are warmly invited to attend our annual alumni reunion, for a full buffet lunch with wine, refreshments and afternoon tea. There will be tours led by our Year 10 Student Leadership team, and the GCSE and A Level Art Exhibition will also be open for a tour.
Tickets for parents can be purchased using your existing Wisepay login here. All alumni are welcome, but leavers celebrating their anniversary of leaving are especially welcome. This year our groups are leavers of 2009, 1999, 1989, 1979 etc (this would be the year you would have left U6, so if you left in Year 11, add two years to ensure you come with your peers!).
If you are an alumna, and are not in touch with our alumni office, you can update your details on our online form, or email our Alumni Officer, Melissa Santiago-Val, for more details.
Thursday 14 March 12-1pm - Laura Bates, author - for Year 9 - Year 13 students and parents.
"Everyday sexism, feminism and social media in schools."
With an interview panel led by our 6th form students, author Laura Bates, who set up The Everyday Sexism Project, will be discussing her new book 'The Burning' aimed at young adults Yr9 to U6.
Although fiction, it is based on real life experiences of women, and looks at negative consequences around photo sharing on social media.
Alongside the story of how a teenager copes with negative photo sharing, Laura uses a literary device of famous witch-hunts in Scotland during the 17th century. The book explores whether we have changed our attitudes to victim blaming and shaming in 400 years. There will be a Q&A, and this event is a ticketed event for parents and students.
Copies of the book will be available to purchase in advance and more details will follow. Venue will be confirmed nearer the time.