As I ride through Cambridge on my morning commute, it is fascinating to see how the city cycles through the seasons. Tourists give way to students, light to dark and cyclists become car drivers as the dark rainy mornings begin. The wheels of school life continue to turn and a new academic year has begun - a very warm welcome to all those new to reading these newsletters.
It was apposite, therefore, that one of the first ‘Inspire and Guide’ talks of the year was from Luca Leone from Cambridge Architectural Research talking about a sustainable transport strategy for Cambridge. His talk reminded us that we all have a role to play in creating a sustainable future, from our decisions about how we can get to work or school, to the food we eat, to the charities that we support. It was fascinating to hear of the plans for various underground and light railway solutions, although we were left with the sense that we shouldn’t be holding our breath! We’ve had a great start to this year’s Inspire and Guide programme with talks from Ian Beaton on “Climbing Mount Everest and walking to the North Pole; how to choose wisely when you're not certain on career path” and Nye Williams, alumni, on his career in the civil service.
It has been a busy start to term and it was good to see many of you at the Introduction to the Year events. Our Year 9 students have been on their ice-breaking adventure learning trip, and I have just seen our Year 7 students depart to the residential in Lee Valley - tomorrow I join them for some sailing, caving, and climbing. Adventure Learning, in partnership with the Exploration Society, forms a central part of the wider education that we offer. Large numbers of our students have been continuing with the Duke of Edinburgh programme and we are about to launch our 2020 expedition to Akumal in Mexico, for our current Year 10 and 11 students.
I enjoyed preparing my first assembly of the term, based on Jordan Peterson’s book ‘12 rules for life’. Having talked through a few of Peterson’s, I gave my own (‘Be more kind”) and invited some members of staff to offer theirs. Our new Pastoral Leader for Year 8, Cherry Blanchard, talked about finding more out about those things that frighten you (although I think most people just heard that we should hug more wasps!). I then invited our students to come up with their own rules for SPF life. As ever, they have surpassed all that we could come up with - my favourite so far is “When you have a frownie, make a brownie”.
With many events coming up, I look forward to seeing many of you over the next few days and weeks.
This term’s hockey fixture list is fantastically busy and saw teams competing right from the start. There has been plenty to celebrate already and a good amount of improvement in a short time. As ever we are committed to providing fixtures for any club attendees and pleasingly this currently has involved putting out A-D teams with regularity. Rounding up each fixture would take too long, but it is well worth plucking out one or two highlights.
The Year 9s began their 11-a-side careers in unrivalled style by both training and playing on the Olympic pitch in London, at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre stadium. The A team played Chigwell U15A and recorded a 2-2 draw. A brilliant experience and memory to have for those who participated in the trip and it has clearly inspired them to train hard. They have just this week finished runners up in the County round of the England Hockey U14s tournament and will therefore represent Cambridge at the Regionals in November.
The Year 8 girls have also had a fast start to the season by winning the Bedford Modern Invitational Tournament. They progressed through the group stages in emphatic style before clinching the final on penalty flicks against Bedford Modern School. They embark on a mini tour this Friday with matches against Bishops Stortford College and New Hall before taking in a Ladies National League game between East Grinstead and Surbiton.
The year 7s look to be a very strong year group and they have started impressively. At the time of writing they have just finished 3rd in the County Tournament having narrowly missed out on a place in the final. They will now need to wait and see if they are allocated a place in the next round.
The cross country season begins in earnest this Tuesday and we are sending three teams to the ESAA race held at the Bloomfield academy.
Football in the Senior School has started off superbly this term. Both pre-season training sessions were well attended and set the tone for the start of the season.
The Year 7 students have trained well and are eagerly awaiting their first competitive fixture in the ESFA National Cup on Tuesday 9th October. We are hopeful that their performances in training will be carried into matches in the coming weeks.
The Year 8 team have put together a string of fantastic performances and have coped with the transition from 9-a-side to 11-a-side with aplomb. There was a dominant victory over Westley Middle School in a repeat of last years ESFA National Cup tie. The team played well in a narrow defeat to Impington and then produced the performance of the season so far against Horringer Court in the ESFA National Cup. We were by far the better team and missed numerous chances to win the game, but unfortunately a late penalty cost us a place in the next round.
Our Year 7-9 Girls hosted a tournament involving the Iqra Academy and although results didn’t go our way, the attitude and resilience shown by the students was fantastic. There is another tournament in the next couple of weeks and the girls will continue making progress as they experience more competitive football.
In summary, it has been a very positive start to the year and we are looking forward to seeing the students enjoying and progressing in the variety of sport on offer. Please do remember to stay up to date on fixtures and results by checking the sports website (www.stephenpersesport.com) and following us on twitter @SPFSport.
The IB & UK Universities – Making the Most of Your Choices, Cambridge
You may be interested in attending this event which is run by 'Elite IB tutors' who offer private tuition for IB students. As far as we are aware this is the first time this company have held this type of event in Cambridge so it may be an unashamed sales plug by them for their tutoring services but it might also offer some useful information about the IB and higher education providers.