Dear Parents and Carers
We are very much focusing on the future at the College, with the remaining group of Upper 6th students finalising their degree course choices and completing their university applications. From now onwards Dr Mark Woodward, our Head of Guidance, will be writing a regular 'Guidance update' in this Newsletter to keep you updated about university and other post-18 opportunities.
In addition, our Principal Tricia Kelleher gave an assembly in the 6th Form this week where she talked about ‘The Future’ and what that means for the learners in the College. It was a thought-provoking talk for our students, with an emphasis on the changing nature of the jobs market, and the impact of technology on the types of jobs and careers that will be available in the future.
Miss Kelleher made specific reference to the growing impact of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and about the number of jobs that will eventually be replaced by machines. I also remember reading not too long ago that as much as half of today's work activities could be automated by 2055. This may be extreme, but we need to be mindful that our students will be entering a workforce that needs to adapt to change - there will have to be an increased emphasis on transferable skills, not just examination results. So how can we ensure that our students develop these skills?
For me, the answer comes in two parts. The first is obviously through our academic curriculum, but the second is making the most of the opportunities available at the College and in the wider community. Just trying out new things and putting yourself in unfamiliar situations can make a significant difference. Setting up and leading a student club, joining the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme, taking part in the Engineering Education Scheme, helping to produce the student newspaper, joining the Debate Club or Model United Nations, learning to ‘code’, performing in the school play and/or working on the community art project... each activity can contribute in some small way.
Learning how to learn and developing a love of learning have always been important. In tomorrow's world, they will be even more so, as we will need to develop new knowledge and skills on the job and throughout our life. For our students, the majority of their successes to date have been measured by their performance in public examinations, so it is sometimes difficult to persuade them to maintain their commitments to enrichment and extra-curricular activities - especially as the examinations approach. I would appreciate it if we could work together on this, as it is not only important for our students in terms of their skills development, but will help them manage stress and have some downtime.
Head of 6th Form
Upper 6th Parents Evening
Just a reminder that the Upper 6th Parents Evening is on Monday 27th November 2017. The majority of students have already made appointments with their subject teachers. Mrs Paris (Head of IB), Dr Rahman (Head of A Level), Dr Woodward (Head of Guidance) and I all teach this year group and therefore will all have appointments of our own.
If you would like the opportunity to speak with one of us, please contact us as soon as possible and we will try to slot in an appointment.
For the Upper 6th this is a busy period, with the 15th October deadline for Early Applicants to UK Universities now passed and moving on to Aptitude Testing and Interviews. This month is also the Early deadline for US applications, and for a few other international destinations. The next set of university deadlines are coming in January.
This month I reported back on the pre-TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment) testing that took place before half term, one of a growing list of Aptitude Tests that are used by Oxford, Cambridge and an increasing number of other universities for entry into their degree courses. More information about these tests is available here.
Students in the Upper 6th will now be starting to get offers from universities, although the bulk of offers are more likely to be made after the 15th January final deadline. Universities have until 31st March to let students know if they have submitted an application and they then have until May to make their decision.
I will be talking to the Lower 6th shortly about the whole array of options in terms of destinations, advising students who are looking at a non-UCAS route to start thinking about what it may involve sooner rather than later. Formal training in researching university destinations will start for the Lower 6th next term, when a number of different universities and organisations will be coming in for talks.
Any questions on university and further education guidance please contact Dr Mark Woodward, Head of Guidance.
Charity of the Term
Our students have adopted Home-Start Royston and South Cambs as their 'Charity of the Term' and are planning some fundraising activities to help the scheme raise much needed funds.
The charity supports families with young children who are in crisis, and may be facing isolation, housing issues, disabilities or mental health issues. Benedict and his fellow students are keen to make a difference, and are busy planning fundraising activities.
'Inspire Me' - Game Theory
Game Theory, a lecture by Dr Manuela Dal Borgo
Wednesday 6 December, 16.30 - 17.30
This term's series of 'Inspire Me' talks, in which we welcome guest speakers into the 6th Form College to help challenge our students to think differently, is coming to a close with an exciting lecture from Dr Manuela Dal Borgo on 'Game Theory'.
Game Theory is the science of logical decision making in humans, animals, and computers, and is widely used across economics, political science, and psychology, as well as logic, computer science and biology. All our 6th Form students are welcome and encouraged to attend Dr Dal Borgo's lecture in the Old Library.
The Bard in Italy - Y11-13 trip
“What news on the Rialto?“ asks Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.
In the extremely early hours of Thursday 19 October, 38 intrepid students set off for Italy accompanied by four members of staff from the Visual Arts, English, Drama, and Modern Foreign Language departments.
This trip was conceived after a lunchtime conversation which discussed the fact that over a third of Shakespeare’s plays were set in Italy. So our students set off to discover more. Read about their adventures and take a look at some snapshots on the school blog.
Evensong at Ely Cathedral
On Wednesday 1 November, The Singers visited Ely Cathedral to sing the service of Evensong for All Saints' Day. Inspired by the magnificent surroundings, the choir sang fantastically, and the Cathedral clergy were most appreciative that we were able to cover this important service during their own choir's half-term break.
The Cambridgeshire Holiday Orchestra Christmas Course takes place from 27 - 30 December at West Road Concert Hall. This very longstanding Cambridge organisation provides opportunities for singers and instrumentalists, and also includes exciting opportunities like Samba, Folk music and Gamelan. If you haven't yet come across Holiday Orchestra, it is something we are very happy to recommend: visit www.holidayorchestra.co.uk for further details.
If any parents who are new to the Foundation are musicians, please do let the music department know; there are occasions when we need to reinforce the Symphony Orchestra, in particular with brass instruments, double bass and viola. We also occasionally expand our choirs to perform a big choral work and will advertise such opportunities when they arise.
Michaelhouse Lunchtime Concerts
Our series of lunchtime concerts at Michaelhouse Chapel in town continues with great success.
Performances so far this term have included music for solo piano (Juliette Richards), music for recorder, flute and voice (Olivia Petryszak and Katie Diss), chamber music by Telemann and music for oboe and guitar (Annabel Jenkinson and Christina Lewis). There are two further concerts this term: Friday 17th November (Annabel Butler - piano and violin) and Friday 1st December (Kira Bhamra - piano).
The concerts start at 12.30pm and last for half an hour. Everyone is very welcome - there is a fabulous café adjoining the chapel and meeting for coffee or lunch before or after the concert is a popular part of the afternoon for our regular attendees!
Classics Reading Competition
Every year, schools from all over the city come to compete in the Cambridge Classical Association’s reading competition. This year, the competition was tough indeed with a record number of competitors taking part, but our Senior School and 6th Form students blew away the competition, resulting in:
- Intermediate Latin Prose - Christina Lewis 1st Place
- Intermediate Latin Verse - Priyanka Narayan 2nd Place
- Intermediate Greek Verse - Juliette Richards 2nd Place
- Senior Greek Verse - Imogen Stow 2nd place and Harry Roth Highly Commended
- Senior Latin Verse - Annabel Jenkinson 1st Place
- Senior Latin Prose - Ben Tomlinson 2nd Place
Read more about our success in the full news article.