Dear parents and guardians,
What an exciting and eclectic start to the year it has been! From the welcome dinner at Girton College to last week’s superb Sixth Form Cabaret, our students have approached the new term with tremendous energy and community spirit.
Our Year 12s have been busy getting to grips with the demands of their new A Level and IB courses and have also started to embrace the plethora of co-curricular opportunities on offer at the Sixth Form. In addition, Year 12 students attended the first of three Elevate Study Skills Workshops scheduled for this year. These sessions are designed to help our students focus efficiently on their studies and to sharpen their approach to exams. To help inform students’ university decisions and broaden their academic horizons, the Sixth Form hosted the first of this year’s International Universities fairs. Delegates flew in from a wide range of global destinations to speak to Stephen Perse and other local school students about the opportunities available to them.
Our Year 13s have also had a busy start to the year with their university applications well underway. I am conscious of the extra demands this places on an already crowded schedule but the Year 13s have embraced these challenges with the requisite determination and focus to succeed. I would like to take this opportunity to say a special thank you to Dr Curry, Dr Woodward, Mr Rudd and the Sixth Form pastoral team for all the guidance and support they have provided to our students along the way.
As I outlined at the start of the year, I firmly believe in our students having a voice and using it to help shape the direction of the Sixth Form. As future changemakers, it is they who will also help shape the future of our society. Our Student President Team play a key role in realising this objective and I am incredibly grateful for all the work they have done this term. From drawing up seating plans and arranging a quiz for the Girton dinner, to organising a Student Activities Fair in the Old Library, to taking part in the Stephen Perse Podcast on the importance of leadership in today’s world, the Student President Team have been instrumental in driving forward initiatives and making everyone feel welcome.
On the co-curricular front, there has been an impressive array of activities this half term. The History Society have certainly been making history with a special talk by alumna Yvonne Morley-Chisholm who presented the research that is currently in progress to give literal voice to the late King Richard III, based on evidence being discovered since the discovery of his skeleton. Next term students will take part in the Tudor History Conference, with distinguished speakers, including Dr David Starkey, in attendance. Our Mathematicians have been preparing for a range of forthcoming competitions, including the Senior Maths Challenge on 7 November and the BEBRAS competition. Our Classicists enjoyed attending the Cambridge Greek play and a pre-performance lecture by Professor Simon Goldhill and it doesn’t stop there! Over the half term break, students will be delving deeper into the ancient past with an action packed trip to Greece. As well as visiting some of the world’s most important archaeological sites, including the Agora, the Parthenon and the Acropolis, and discovering the highlights of public life in democratic Athens, students will tour the famous sanctuary of Apollo and travel down into the Peloponnese to Mycenae, the Bronze Age palace believed to have been home to some of the legendary Greek warriors that fought in the Trojan War.
Beyond the academic curriculum, students have been learning new skills and developing their interests through our wide ranging enrichment programme. Debating has begun the year with a renewed sense of purpose and energy. This term students have debated motions on gun crime in America and on the social responsibility of social media companies. In addition, three of our Stephen Perse debaters took part in The Leys Debating competition. Mrs Foote has been leading a new enrichment course providing Sixth Form students with the chance to build on their public speaking skills. In order to become a more effective communicator this half term students have been working on listening skills, ways in which to prepare, how to use media tools more efficiently and how to maintain audience attention.
There have also been some exciting developments in Sixth Form Sport. Under the leadership of Fran T and Mr Hayward, the Stephen Perse Girls Hockey 1st Team have made excellent progress in their fixtures and cup competitions so far this term. Developing a strong work ethic and improving standards is a key focus for the group. The team has recorded strong results against The Perse 2nd XI, Hills Road 2nd XI and Kimbolton School 1st XI. The team represented the school well during their England Hockey Tier 4 County Cup Competition. The team narrowly missed out on progressing to the regional round after an agonising defeat to Wisbech Grammar School in the final fixture of the tournament. After being one nil up for the majority of the game and hitting the post twice, the team unfortunately conceded two late goals in a match they needed to win to progress through. The squad is looking forward to further matches in the term.
We very much look forward to the Sixth Form play early next term - a dark, double bill of ‘DNA’ and ‘Blackout’. Rehearsals are underway, with students being challenged to expand on their edgy side and turn up the gravitas!
Wishing everyone a well deserved and relaxing half term break.
Head of Stephen Perse Sixth Form