The clocks have changed, and the nights are drawing in, but school life seems to be getting busier and more vibrant as the run up to Christmas takes shape. Just this week we had the spectacular Autumn Concert, which showed off the amazing array of musical talent from Verdi by our Symphony Orchestra, to Big Band, several choirs and ensembles, and a saxophone quartet, as well as several soloists! It was a true celebration of the musical life of the school - if you couldn’t make it this year, make sure you get it in your diaries for next year!
And tonight we have the IGCSE Drama showcase from our Year 11 students; one of several dramatic events taking place this term, with the senior production of Elektra on 28 and 29 November, where our Years 10-12 will be retelling the Sophocles’ Greek tragedy. Get your tickets by following the links listed in the notice below.
Our talented linguists took part in a wonderful cultural exchange as part of the university’s Festival of Ideas at the end of last term. This competition is a brilliant opportunity, for some of our bi-lingual students to write poetry in their home languages. The event was a true celebration of multiculturalism, with two winners and a further six students shortlisted, whose work will be published in the ‘Mother Tongue’ book.
One of the many areas which has really impressed me since I joined the Senior School is the extensive guidance programme put together by Dr Allison Curry, which I’m delighted to see moving further down the school, with the first Year 7 session coming up this month. Pupils will be encouraged to make use of the Foundation’s ‘Thinking Skills Toolkit’ as a means to consider the questions ‘What is work?’, ‘What is a career?’, ‘How have careers changed?’ and ‘What skills might we need for the future?’. Prepare for them to be challenged!
Meanwhile our older students have been busy with the Year 10/11 Inspire and Guide programme with exciting presentations from Prof Richard Fentiman, a professor in International Law; Mr Steve Carden on product development consultancies; Dr Emma Woodberry, a Clinical Psychologist and Ms Buse Gurbuz, an Architect. These are wonderful opportunities for our young people to have their eyes opened to careers and opportunities which might otherwise never have crossed their minds.
Incidentally, if you have an interesting story to tell, or unusual career to promote and would like to participate in our Inspire & Guide speaker programme, please do get in touch with Dr Allison Curry (firstname.lastname@example.org). Alongside these aspirational, eye-opening and often refreshing career routes, the students in Year 10 have started considering the possibilities that exist in both post-16 and post-18 education that includes new university initiatives such as degree apprenticeships, alongside the advantages that participating in higher education may afford.
To assist the Year 11 students in their initial consideration of A Level/IB choices, they have started to explore some of the new subjects open to them at sixth form such as sociology, psychology, environmental studies, ab initio languages, classical civilisation, and dare I mention politics in the current climate, to name just a few of the many subjects covered over the sessions. We look forward to further sessions looking at IB and A Level choices; the use of facilitating subjects; and university A Level/IB requirements in the latter part of this term. Material for guidance-related events continues to be advertised on the Year 10-13 individual Guidance Google Classrooms and if you know of something specific that students may benefit from, once again, do let Dr Curry know so she can promote it.
This term also includes the opportunity for the first sets of parents’ evenings, with Year 11 coming up on 21 November (at the sixth form) and Year 7 on the 4 December in the senior school hall.
With the end of this term approaching already at a relentless pace, it’s been great to see the House Captains firing their houses up with plans and auditions for the incredible House Talent and House Song competitions which mark the end of what is often the busiest term of the year. From what I’ve seen and heard so far it looks like there is plenty of talent to show, so this should be a wonderful highlight to end this term!
Dr Andy Kemp
Head of Senior School
Electra - tickets now on sale!
This term’s main school production is Electra, adapted by Nick Payne.
When young Electra’s father is murdered by her mother, her world changes irrevocably. Ten years on, bound by grief and unwilling to forgive, Electra surrenders to an all-consuming desire for revenge that propels her towards a bloody and terrifying conclusion.
Mrs Walker directs Years 10-12 in this contemporary retelling of Sophocles’ fabulous Greek tragedy. The production incorporates original choreography, created by members of the cast in enrichment.
Arguably these last few weeks are some of the best and busiest in the school sports calendar. The tournaments, cup competitions and regular fixtures build to a crescendo as the teams gel together and produce some of their best performances.
The girls hockey teams have continued to make great progress through the opportunities provided in their games sessions and school fixtures.
The U14s participated superbly well at the England Hockey Tier 1 Regional Hockey Tournament at the beginning of November. The team narrowly missed out on progressing through to the Regional Finals by one point, after recording four wins from their six matches.
For the first time Stephen Perse participated in the U16 Indoor Hockey County Tournament. In a round robin tournament format, with three other schools taking part, the squad performed really well. They secured a second place finish, only losing to the eventual winners. This was a great experience for all involved and something to build on for next year as we look to develop an indoor hockey programme.
It has been another busy term of football with plenty of fixtures across the senior school. The Year 9 Boys’ team beat Stamford Welland Academy in a tense penalty shootout to go through to the Third Round of the ESFA National Cup. The Under 13 Girls’ performed superbly in the Grand Prix tournament at Swavesey Village College.They didn’t concede a single goal on the way to convincingly winning their pool with five wins and one draw. The Under 13 Boys’ lost in their second Round ESFA Cup tie against a strong Priory Academy team, but bounced back superbly with a great result in a friendly against North Cambridge Academy. Good luck to the Year 9 Boys’ and Year 9 Girls’ teams who have ESFA National Cup fixtures coming up in the next couple of weeks.
Finally the netball teams have been working extremely hard in recent weeks and are starting to reap the rewards. The U15's knocked out Haileybury College to continue their journey in the Sisters in Sport Cup competition. They now meet Sevenoaks at the end of November. The U13's beat Goffs Academy in the same competition, and they play Berkhamsted in the next round. The U14's are playing Surbiton High School and are also still in the cup competition.
Finally, both the U16 & U14 netball teams have just been crowned County Champion for another year running! Both squads played some amazing netball, with neither team losing a match. They will now both play at the Regional Tournament on 25 January. They will be joining our U19s who have also qualified.
To stay up to date, please do follow us on twitter @SPFSport and remember to check the sports website www.stephenpersesport.com for fixtures, results and team selections.
On 16 October, a handful of senior and sixth form students attended the "Routes into Languages East" Mother Tongue Competition Celebration Event at the Murray Edwards College as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.
Preparations are well underway for the PFA Christmas Fair and we’re beginning to feel that festive glow. Don your elf shoes and Christmas jumpers and come along to Rosedale House from 12 noon - 2pm on Saturday 7 December to get in the Christmas spirit. There will be stalls, games and crafts, as well as the obligatory Santa’s grotto, and it promises to be a fantastic morning for all.
If you are able to volunteer on the day, and/or help with the set up the night before, please complete the Google Form. We need more volunteers please – we can’t run all the stalls without helpers.
We are also looking for donations of the following items to help the fair go off with a sparkle. Donations can be brought into any school site and left with the main offices at each site in the week commencing 2 December. We are incredibly grateful for any support and donations given – thank you in advance for all your support.
-Second hand Toys, games and puzzles
-Second hand Christmas jumpers (washed please)
-Second hand uniforms (washed please)
-Teddies (washed please)
-Bottles for the bottle tombola (anything - wine, rum - if it comes in a bottle, we'll take it)
-Chocolate and sweets for a tombola
-Baked goods (cakes, cookies, muffins, mince pies etc to be sold at the bake sale on the day, but strictly nut free please).