The coming week sees a little bit of magic come to the Stephen Perse Senior School. As I have previously written, for the duration of this term, the Cabinet of Curiosities has played host to a theme related to an ‘enchanted forest’. This led us to the idea of running a week on the theme of magic, in the widest possible sense. We have a range of activities running including a literary contest to rewrite a myth or a fairy tale - perhaps we will see the next ‘Shrek’ being penned over the coming days.
Tuesday will be ‘Stephen Curse Day’ where our students will be able to make their wishes come true. Based on ideas from Greek and Roman mythology, we will be crafting our own charms or making our own cursing tablets (we will only curse things, not people!). Those with an interest in astrology can discover the myths and stories behind their Zodiac sign, others will drop some wishes into our wishing well and, finally, I am sure many will eat some fortune-telling treats.
Wednesday is the school’s cinema night in the Cabinet. We have a Magic Week special, which is ‘Donkey Skin’, the adaptation of a famous fairy tale. It’s a French musical with iconic actress Catherine Deneuve.
Thursday 7 March is World Book Day and we will be continuing the tradition of (optionally) dressing up for the day as a book character. The theme is ‘Fairy tales and iconic stories’, although I’m personally hoping not to see too many ‘muggles’ from Harry Potter. At lunchtime there will be a literary quiz and a spoken word event.
Finally, to end the week on a more scientific note, Dr. Woodward will host his first science show on the theme of alchemy. He will craft some crazy experiments, much like in a Harry Potter potions lesson. For those who enjoy the history of science, there will also be the opportunity to learn more about the mysterious art of alchemy, and how it evolved into chemistry.
It could be argued that a little bit of magic has already happened over half term with the unseasonably warm weather that we enjoyed in Cambridge. Happily, the largest ever SPF ski trip enjoyed temperatures more conducive to that particular activity and had a great week. Half term was particularly busy with trips also heading out to Keio in Japan and Antibes in the south of France. I would like to thank all the students on those trips for representing the school so well and the staff who gave up their half terms to make the trips possible.
Lastly, our music and drama performances can often be fairly magical events and I would like to highlight a couple of upcoming events that are particularly special. On Tuesday 19 March we host our Spring Concert at West Road and the following Thursday and Friday sees a drama production by Year 9 called ‘Second Person Narrative’ by Jemma Kennedy. You are warmly invited to both.
Head of Senior School
Head of Senior School - Announcement
Following three years as Head of Senior School, Mr David Walker will be leaving the Foundation at the end of this academic year. Mr Walker, as Head of School and part of a wider leadership team, has successfully overseen the integration of boys into the Senior School. He will now continue his pastoral career as Deputy Head Pastoral and Wellbeing with responsibility for boarding at Wellington College where he and his young family will return to a boarding school life. We wish Mr Walker and his family every success and happiness in the future.
As Brexit saturates the media, Principal Tricia Kelleher celebrates the power of language learning and musical opportunity to do good, both within our schools and in the world beyond. Read it here.
The week in the build up to half term was a busy week for fixtures and tournaments. It can seem like quite a short term with a lot to fit in, especially if the weather plays its part, but the students have risen to the challenge with great composure.
Quite unusually both U12 and U13 boys’ hockey county tournaments were held on the same week due to postponements earlier in the term. The local hockey scene are getting used to boys from the Foundation attending these tournaments and playing some stylish and creative hockey. The U12’s finished 4th with the U13’s winning their final two classification matches to secure 7th position.
The netball teams are beginning to match up to recent high expectations and are starting to put together some impressive performances. The U12’s and U14’s both took four teams to Saffron Walden County High and together recorded three wins, four losses and a draw. The U15’s hosted St Mary’s this week on the rooftop, a novel experience for our visitors, and successfully won 24 - 17 in a closely contested fixture.
It was great to see our Bodywork dance group participating in the outreach show at The Leys School. They were a real credit to the school and have clearly been working very hard in the club since September.
The fixtures flow thick and fast over the coming half term so remember to stay up to date by checking the sports website and following us on twitter @SPFSport.
PSHE parent information evening
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: Senior School Hall
Satveer Nijjar, who gives talks to our Year 10 about mental health and self-harm in particular, will give a talk about self-harm, what it is, what reasons lead young people to self-harm, and how parents can support their children if they or someone they know is self-harming.
Relevant to parents of Y7 to Y13.
Y10-13 Guidance information evening for parents
6:00pm – 7:30pm
Location: 6th Form College
Y7 Parents' Evening
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Senior School Hall Second of two in the academic year.
WORLD BOOK DAY
9:00am – 4:00pm
Y8 (8A and 8P only) Westminster trip
8:00am – 4:00pm
RS&P and History trip for teaching groups 8A and 8P
Michaelhouse Lunchtime Concert
12:30pm – 1:00pm
Location: Michaelhouse Centre, Trinity St, Cambridge CB2 1SU, UK
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.