Unusually, I found myself at my desk on a Saturday this week during a quiet few moments of our Alumni reunion. It was our biggest ever event of this sort and saw approaching 200 people in the hall reminiscing over their time at the school. A repeating theme was how much we have progressed over recent years, although some things never change, and there was great enjoyment to be had going up and down the ‘illegal’ staff staircase. Hopefully talk of pinching fig rolls from the kitchens will not be repeated in future reunions of our current students!
There were misty-eyed memories, but also a recognition that the modern world has challenges that cannot be addressed by standing still. They heard a message about our upcoming Festival of Learning with its focus on sustainability and regeneration, and our commitment as a school to educate our students with this in mind. As a school our central mission is to prepare our students for the future and clearly a large part of this will be looking after our planet.
The Festival of Learning on the 9 July is taking shape and promises to be an exciting and ambitious day with a large number of speakers and experts joining us. We will also be working with five local schools as part of the day, and it is important for us all to forge the links and collaborations that will enable the challenges of the future to be met. Each year group will be looking at the problems through a different lens, whether it be how to negotiate and construct persuasive arguments, or engineer a concrete solution to a physical problem. At lunch we will be showcasing vegan food and enjoying a real festival feel with our ‘Fête de la musique’. The day will segue into our evening ‘Celebration of Learning’ where, amongst the prizes, we will hear from students about their experience of the day.
If we needed a reminder that the younger generation have all the talents needed to have an impact on the world, it was evident on Friday evening during our ‘Jazz on a Summer’s Evening’ concert. We had nearly 30 performances during the evening including three students performing their own compositions. Most striking was the support that the students had for each other: an aspect of the school’s culture that we in the Senior School are fortunate to inherit from our 3-11 schools.
As we move towards the end of the term we see a couple of year groups heading off on residential trips - Year 8 to Chalkney Meadows and Year 9 to the Battlefields of the First World War - alongside a Geography trip to Iceland, our netballers competing at the World Schools’ Cup and our musicians heading off on tour. I’m grateful for staff organising and accompanying these trips which are so important in facilitating the wider aspects of character development that are so important in the modern world.
This half of the term is certainly busy and I hope to see you all before the academic year closes out. As a brief valedictory remark, I would like to thank all parents for their wonderful support of the school this year. We aim to provide a remarkable and forward-thinking education, and can only achieve this with your support.
Head of Senior School
Despite the large amounts of rain we have experienced, the Summer term has been as busy as ever. The students thoroughly enjoy the usual plethora of sports offered and have persevered admirably through the variable weather conditions.
The cricketers have made great use of the variety of facilities that we use across Cambridge. Both the boys and girls have produced some impressive results and the members of staff involved in cricket are pleased with the progress.
Similarly the tennis players are starting to experience some success in their fixtures. Recent victories against the Perse for the U13 & U15 Aegon teams were particular highlights. It has also been good to see a boys’ team entered into the Aegon tournament for the first time in the history of the school. They lost their first match, but a special mention must go to Freddie P for stepping in at the last minute and winning his singles rubber.
The athletics programme is also in full swing and we currently have a number of talented athletes. At the beginning of the season we had the Cambridgeshire County Track & Field Championships, a high class competition against club athletes and we had the following medalists: 1st - Fran T U20 1500 metres , 2nd - Delia P U15 high jump, 2nd - Juliette G U13 high jump, 3rd - Emily B U15 100 metres, 3rd - Andrea S U13 high jump.
Following on from this we entered the East Area Prep Schools Championships at Bedford Stadium. An exceptionally good standard event, where we achieved 4 personal bests in very adverse weather conditions and Frederic K produced a confident and composed performance in the U13 boys javelin to achieve 1st place giving him a very well deserved victory. It also earned him selection to compete at the National Prep Schools Championships in Birmingham.
On the track Emily B was selected to compete for the Cambridge District in the U15 girls 100 metres in the County Schools Athletics Championships at Peterborough, she ran an extremely quick and controlled race to come home in 3rd place. She also ran a cracking relay leg in the 4x100 metre relay to help secure the Cambridge team a victory.
The women’s football World Cup is currently entertaining the nation and inspiring many girls to get involved. Girls’ football is now well and truly embedded at the Foundation and the under 13 girls have competed in two ISFA competitions in recent weeks. The 7-a-side tournament was attended by a squad consisting solely of under 12 students, which meant the positive results were even more impressive. Unfortunately the team narrowly missed out on qualification for the semi-finals, but the experience will be invaluable for next year.
Another squad consisting solely of under 12’s competed in the ISFA Futsal Competition at Brunel University this week. It was a similar story of outstanding performances, without necessarily getting the rewards they deserved. Again, the girls narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-finals, but are looking forward to the opportunity to progress further in the competition in 2020. These were the last tournaments of the year, and the girls progress has been remarkable.
Despite hockey taking a back seat during the Summer term, we have received some very exciting news for two of our senior school hockey players. Alex N (Year 8) and Hannah S (Year 11) were recognised for their strong county level performances over the year with an invitation to an England Hockey Regional Performance Centre Assessment. Alex and Hannah attended training days with the current Performance Centre groups in June, gaining a great deal from the experience. They are still waiting to hear if they will be invited into the Regional Performance Centre Programme for the 2019/20 season ahead. Extremely well done to them for reaching this level and we look forward to seeing them back in action next year.
Finally, we wish the U13 and U15 netball squads all the best as they travel to Loughborough on Sunday to take part in the World Schools Netball Cup. It is a real privilege to be invited and the girls who are now further up the school deserve a good chunk of the credit for enhancing the reputation of netball at the school over the past few years.
To stay up to date, please do follow us on twitter @SPFSport and remember to check the sports website www.stephenpersesport.com.
Wendy and Peter Pan - Year 8 Drama and Theatre Production
Thursday 4 July & Friday 5 July, 7.30pm
Our final big production of the school year is Ella Hickson's wonderful adaptation of J.M. Barrie's famous story about the boy who never grew up.
To tie in with the term's theme of sustainability, we have been very busy recycling and upcycling costumes and pieces of set from previous shows including 'Great Expectations', 'The Tempest', 'Six Dead Queens' and 'Oliver!'. Students in Year 9 have had particular fun distressing and 'dirtying' the pirate costumes!
Tickets for the show can be purchased by following these links:
Mediterranean Movie Night at SPF Senior School - 28 June starting at 6pm
Don’t forget to get your tickets for this year's PFA summer event: Mediterranean Movie Night at the Senior School on Friday 28 June starting at 6pm. This event is geared towards all ages, it includes food and movies and there will be a cash bar onsite as well. Older kids can attend with or without their parents. Get your tickets and come along for an evening of film, food and fun!
The deadline for purchasing combo tickets is Friday 21 June. Movie only tickets will be available until Friday 28 June.
Second-hand uniform sale at the Senior School - 3 July starting at 3.15pm
The PFA is responding to the request from parents to run another second-hand uniform sale but we need donations to make it a success. Please drop off donations at the Senior School Reception (Union Road).
The Second-hand uniform sale will be held on Wednesday 3 July from 3.15pm to 4.30pm in the Senior School Activity Space (Union Road entrance).
We need school uniforms that are in good condition from Pre-Prep, Junior and Senior Schools. School uniforms include summer and winter, school sports uniforms, sports bag, school coats (please no frayed, torn, holes or stained items). Last day for drop off is Friday 28 June.
If you would like to volunteer, please fill out the Doodle Poll with your first and last name and you will be contacted with details to help sort and/or sell.
PFA Scavenger Hunt! Loose play equipment for the Pre-Prep and Junior School playgrounds
As part of the PFA Funding Project, the Pre-Prep and Junior School Council presented a video clip at the last PFA committee meeting with their ideas of projects that available funds could be spent on - the winning idea being 'Loose Play Equipment' for the playgrounds.