We are delighted to welcome the new Year 12 students to the College and we are happy to see them settling in to College life, making some new friends and starting to embrace all that the College has to offer. Next week (October 11 2018) we will welcome Year 12 parents and guardians to the ‘Introduction to the Year’ event this will provide an opportunity for them and the students to meet with the tutors and discuss the first few weeks at the College, there will also be a short presentation with an ‘Overview of the Year Ahead’ given by Dr Rahman, Mrs Paris and myself.
Our upper sixth UCAS application process is in full swing with the early application deadline fast approaching. All our medical and veterinary medical students have now submitted their applications and the Oxbridge applications are only marginally behind. Our standard applicants are in the final stages of making their university choices and hopefully putting the final touches to their personal statements. Thanks to the support of a number of dedicated staff we have an after school session for our medical and veterinary students to practise their interview technique in the new style of 'Multiple Mini Interviews' now used by many Universities. Hopefully they will not be too daunted by the ethics station manned by Mr Walker!
I am actually writing to you from the IB Global Conference celebrating the IB’s 50th Anniversary. I have just attended the keynote address that was given by Lord David Puttman, entitled 'The Future: Friend or Foe?'.
Lord Puttman suggests that the future despite all the scaremongering about automated jobs, fake news and the digital ‘brain drain’ is nothing to fear and if we focus on the way we educate our young people it can be something to look forward to with hope and optimism. He argues that the skills of creativity and critical thought are going to play an increasing part and that schemes of assessment should focus more on these skills to prepare student for the future.
We know that the IB naturally lends itself to developing these skills but at the College we believe firmly that this approach should benefit all students. In Year 12 both A Level and IB students follow a ‘Theory of Knowledge’ course and thinking skills are embedded across the curriculum. Students are encouraged to look at ideas and problems from a new perspective and be creative in their thinking.
Lord Puttman also talked about the importance of resilience to cope with all the changes that lie ahead. In the first assembly of the Year I spoke about resilience and making the most of all the different opportunities the College has to offer and I encouraged the students to take a risk, step out of their comfort zone and try something new. This month we have heard about various opportunities. Firstly, the French department's language trip to Antibes in February which includes lessons at a Language school for those studying French at the College and also those who just want to develop their language skills. Secondly, the National Citizenship Service's Autumn Programme which takes place during half-term and includes a service, adventure and action element. Thirdly, the Gold Duke of Edinburgh which is a longer programme of up to 18 months but with a similar ethos and an expedition element. Finally, the Theory of Knowledge Retreat to Burwell House in November based on the theme of identity. The students will be evaluating the perspectives, biases and methods of producing knowledge both of themselves and of other people. There are a range of activities planned including cultural orienteering, producing art and evaluating subjectivity and objectivity in the arts and a cultural trip to some local sites to consider how historical knowledge is produced and evaluated.
I really do hope that the students have embraced these opportunities and are planning to join in with at least one of the above activities in the coming weeks and months.
The Senior XI hockey team were at Wilberforce Road last week for the U18 County hockey tournament. Ably led by Emily Barker and Fran Töpel, the team played some very attractive, attacking hockey. A tight defeat opened the tournament before the opposition were outclassed in the second match by 3 goals to 0. To progress to the regional round, a victory was required in the penultimate match but unfortunately it wasn’t to be, despite the quality of play on show. Congratulations to all of those who took part and represented the college so well
Our U18 netball team are busy training for their County Tournament taking place in two weeks time. Preparation is going well, and they have their first match v Hills Road next week - good luck girls!
We have also welcomed CCSS students into our football, volleyball and basketball clubs. We are excited about what the future holds in terms of having more senior teams and fixtures!
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.