We are living in extraordinary times. If the world is a challenging place for adults to negotiate, just imagine how it presents itself to young learners trying to make sense of it. Whilst our national political crisis consumes the time of our politicians, arguably the greatest challenge facing mankind, climate change, is being lost in the heat of partisan debate. I was greatly struck by a recent article in the Financial Times by Simon Kuper @kupersimon about the drought in Cape Town, South Africa. Last year Cape Town nearly ran dry. Kuper observes wryly “the bathtub felt like a relic of a lost civilisation… Beside it was a shower containing an egg timer. The two minute shower has become standard….”. The long term future of cities like Cape Town in Kuper’s opinion are problematic and the creation of water refugees a real issue.
In the face of mounting evidence of irreversible environmental damage across the globe, what can be done to alert everyone to the real and present danger to our planet? In recent weeks in the UK we have witnessed Eco activists making their presence known in the House of Commons’ gallery during a Brexit debate and school children across our country (and the world) choosing to truant from school to make their concerns about climate change known.
At the Foundation we look to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as international points of principle to help shape our thinking around sustainability; yet we want to do more. Our Festival of Learning on 9 July will be focussed on this crucial issue exploring how our young people regenerate our fragile planet. I am delighted to announce that we shall be joined in this mission by Mr Angus Forbes, a businessman and philanthropist, who is evangelical about empowering young people to believe they can make a difference. Angus and his team are advocates for the creation of a Global Planetary Authority (GPA) whose sole focus is to protect and enhance the biosphere (Votegpa.com). We look forward to our older learners participating in the GPA and our younger learners engaging in a range of activities designed to inform and inspire them about the world around them.
The Festival of Learning is very much a community event and I would ask any member of our broader community, our parents and alumni, who would like to participate either by facilitating discussion, speaking to our learners or supporting activities to contact the school. Mrs Handford (email@example.com) can offer an overview of the 3-11 proposed programme whilst Mr Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org) is responsible for overseeing the 11-18 activities. Mrs McKenna (email@example.com ) is our Inspire and Guide Coordinator and is also happy to speak to anyone interested in contributing to this important event or more generally to our speaker programme.
The success of our CamMUN event earlier this term convinced me that our young people are ready and more than capable of addressing the challenges to our biosphere. It is our responsibility to ensure they are properly equipped and educated.
It’s that time of year at the College to say goodbye. We celebrated the last time the whole Year 13 will be together today with a cake at breaktime as the Year 13 IB students embark on their study leave in final preparation for the examinations that start shortly after we return from the Easter break. The Year 13 A Level students will be back in College for just three weeks after the Easter break before they commence study leave and for the first time we see a number of A Level examinations before the half-term break. The next time I hope to see everyone together will be at the Gonville & Caius leavers service on Monday 1 July and at the Leavers Dinner at Girton on Wednesday 3 July. Year 13 parents please put those dates in your diary!
The Year 12 students will take over the leadership of the College after the Easter break and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing student president team lead by Phoebe and very ably assisted by Anna, Finn, Rana, Vita and Rhys for all their hard work and support over the last year. I am delighted to announce the members of the new student president team as Emma, Charlotte, Ella, Madeleine and Jakub who will be lead by the new student president Eva. We will have our first meeting after the break to discuss what our priorities are but from the interview process I know there is a lot of interest in wellbeing and mental health and outreach.
As the Year 13 embark on what is likely to be a busy holiday for them in terms of preparation in the run up to the exams, a number of Year 12 students are off on school visits organised by the Modern Languages Department to Cartagena in Spain and Munich in Germany and we hope that they have an enjoyable experience, learn something new and make some new friends!
The Stephen Perse netball 1st team have had an incredible season, losing only one game and this by only one goal. They have been very well supported by an enthusiastic 2nd team, who have pushed them hard for positions whilst securing some impressive wins themselves. Well done to all and particularly to Emma who has recently been selected to be part of the Saracens Mavericks squad, who are the Superleague team that we are in partnership with.
On Monday 25 March, Rhys and Lucy entered the Cambridgeshire schools golf championships. Lucy reports that ‘there were 56 competitors, 11 girls and 45 boys. It was very windy at the beginning and the course was tough due to being very narrow and some hard pin positions. It resulted in nobody scoring very well because even the really low handicappers were not able to shoot below 80 (par 71). So compared to everyone else Rhys and I played well!’
Lucy - shot 87. 3rd gross girls (on count-back), 6th girls nett and 15th overall gross.
Rhys - shot 96. 13th boys nett, 27th boys gross and 33rd overall gross.
Lucy has now also qualified for the South-East of England Schools Championships on the 31st May and we wish her all the best.
For all the other fixture news and results remember to check the website www.stephenpersesport.com and follow us on twitter @SPFSport.
Thanks to all who took part in the Summer Fair 2019 survey - please use the following Google Drive link to view the results: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Dfvrt_hK4zDDOf2EIwS6WqzG7X2BPZKlWe plan to have an evening event on Friday 28 June at the Senior School - we might do well to position this as a mini-mid-Summer Festival, with food/drink, music, games and associated fun things.
We're looking for additional volunteers for the organising committee and we are happy to receive additional thoughts for the fair/festival - so if you'd like to get involved (it is a fun thing to do overall!) please do get in touch via ClassList or by email on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next PFA meeting
The next PFA meeting is at the Senior School at 8pm on Wednesday 1 May 2019. If you'd like to make suggestions for PFA activities and events, or otherwise get involved in organisation and volunteering for these, please do come along. We'll lay on some refreshments for anyone who comes.
If you'd like to add your 2p on any or all of the above, then please do get involved by contacting the PFA directly either via your year-rep / the PFA committee on ClassList or by email on: email@example.com