A message from the Principal
As you are aware, Dr Gill Sutherland, our recently retired Chair of Governors, led the school’s transformation from the Perse School for Girls to the Stephen Perse Foundation over the course of the last two decades. Today the Foundation boasts six very successful schools for girls and boys across Cambridge, Madingley and Saffron Walden. With a progressive educational philosophy and a global outlook, the schools of the Foundation look to the future with confidence and a strong sense of being part of an extraordinary community.
We believe there is no better way of honouring the huge contribution of Dr Sutherland to the Foundation than creating the new Sutherland house in September 2018. This is a historic moment for our schools as the Sutherland house will be the first ever Foundation schools’ house. Students in Cambridge and Saffron Walden will be united for a range of extra curricular activities under one banner competing against the other traditional school houses. With growing numbers of students, Sutherland house will provide a host of new opportunities and add to the competitive spirit of the many and varied house events. I wish all the houses well in the forthcoming year.
The summer term has a rhythm and momentum like no other and Junior School pupils are currently enjoying a great variety of extracurricular experiences, as well as considerable focus and attention on the curriculum.
This week pupils in all year groups have been taking their end of year assessments in English, Maths and Science. It was good to see them preparing for their papers in lots of different ways – such as writing on tables, using apps and acting as teachers!
Good too to see them engaged in normal lessons and activities.
It is not usual for visitors to ask what exactly we mean by ‘extracurricular’. The quick answer would be ‘clubs and trips’ but a more considered response might perhaps be ‘enabling pupils to grasp opportunities, make choices, step out of their comfort zone, accept challenges and expand their horizons’. You would be right in thinking that this is a truly multifaceted dimension of Junior School life.
Competitions and challenges
We are always pleased when pupils enter competitions and challenges promoted in school. There seem to have been quite a few of late, including Science, Maths, Computational Thinking, History, Writing, Art, General Knowledge and Photography! We are delighted to congratulate the following individuals on their successes in some of these.
Henry and Juliette, Year 6, achieved bronze certificates and medals and Jonathan, Year 6, achieved a certificate of participation in the Primary Mathematics Challenge Bonus Round.
Having reached the top 10% of the UK Bebras Challenge in the autumn term, nine members of Year 6: Amelia D, Amelia F, Alexey, Celeste, Haruka, Henry, Jayan, Juliette and Marton, qualified for the Oxford Computational Challenge in March. This was a very tough assignment and we were thrilled that they all achieved superb results.
Congratulations also to pupils who have recently participated in special events out of school.
These include Abbey who achieved Gold for Sparring & Silver for Weapons in the UK Open Championships of Traditional Tang Soo Do Federation.
Lili for significant achievements in chess and karate.
Marton, Juliette and Natalie for entering a swimathon to raise money for Cancer Research and Marie Curie;
and Isabella who rode her Shetland pony in the late Duke of Beaufort’s colours at Badminton.
Expeditions – near and far
The first half of term has seen Junior School pupils in all four year groups out on expeditions, all of which have enriched their learning across different aspects of the curriculum.
Year 3 pupils who regularly visit our Latham Road site for sport and outdoor learning were excited to visit the Foundation Nature Reserve, at the far end of the site, as part of their Science topic on plants.
Meanwhile, Year 5 pupils had an even shorter walk for their visits to the University Botanic Garden, where they had the opportunity to extend their knowledge of plant life cycles.
We are fortunate to have such fantastic sites so near school. Groups of Year 4 pupils continue to enjoy weekly lunchtime visits to the Botanic Garden and this term their focus has been on looking for links between the natural world and curriculum areas, such as Science, Art, Design and PSHEE.
Pupils in Years 4, 5 & 6 have also ventured further afield. Year 5 thoroughly enjoyed a day trip to Cadbury World as the launch for their cross-curricular unit with the delicious title, ‘Chocolate Heaven’! To read more please click here. These pupils are now looking forward to their residential trip to Norfolk in early July.
Year 4 pupils were the first to leave school with packed suitcases and wide grins of anticipation. Their three day trip to Burwell House was a huge success and it has been wonderful to see how much the children gained from this unique experience. To read more please click here.
The following week it was the turn of Year 6 pupils to set forth on an adventure away from the familiar environments of home and school. We were very pleased that every member of this year group was eager to embrace the chance to spend four days in Normandy, especially those who were initially slightly hesitant and those who had never been abroad. This too was a most successful trip and we are very proud of all the pupils involved for making the very most of the experience. To read more please click here.
Creative and Performing Arts
Music making and performance is one of many golden threads in Foundation schools and this term Junior School pupils have wonderful opportunities to contribute towards concerts in different venues. The first of these was held in the Senior School Hall on Tuesday 8 May. We were treated to a fantastic evening of solo performances by members of Year 5 & 6 – what a range of instruments, styles and pieces! Well done to every individual who successfully auditioned and performed in this memorable concert.
Pupils in Years 3 & 4 have the opportunity to perform in their soloists’ concert in the Junior School Hall at 5pm on Monday 11 June. We very much look forward to this event and also to our Summer Concert in the West Road Concert Hall at 7pm on Thursday 28 June. This is a highlight of our summer term calendar as every single pupil is involved. The programme is shaping up well but is currently under wraps!
Liaison across Foundations schools
We were delighted to welcome members of Year 10, who form the new 2018-19 Liaison Committee, to an assembly earlier in term. Having introduced themselves, the team of 13 will make weekly visits to Junior School and City Pre-Prep classrooms. This is a really special link for us with the Senior School and enables pupils across sites to share experiences and build relationships.
We have also made the most of a link with a small group of History students from the Sixth Form College this term. Their first session focused on ‘Tudor Remedies’ during which the Year 5 pupils, guided by the Sixth Formers, learnt how to tie veins, cut mice in half to treat warts, and test urine. The squeals and looks of horror from the pupils show that they much prefer today’s modern medicine! The second session was less gruesome but by no means less exciting. The Year 5 pupils were taught about features of Tudor portraits and then given the opportunity to create their own portrait of Queen Elizabeth I using the old method of ‘Pointing’. Meanwhile, some pupils became spies and wrote secret messages using lemon juice. This link illustrated the benefits of collaborative events between the schools and both the Year 5 and Sixth Form students gained much from the sessions.
Collaborative events and friendly fixtures with Dame Bradbury’s are always highly popular and this term there are several of the former and an abundance of the latter! Year 6 pupils are excited about meeting up with their counterparts at Latham Road on Friday when they will take part in a Swiss style tennis tournament and a carousel of activities involving modern languages, with support from Year 7 students. The programme looks amazing! Year 3 pupils are looking forward to their second collaborative meetup of the year. The focus of this event on 22 June is Spanish. This, along with their club sessions, is a great introduction to a second modern language, which will be on their timetable in Year 4.
The summer sports season is well underway and we have been impressed by the high numbers of pupils attending cricket, tennis and athletics clubs. The programme of fixtures is just taking off and we are eager for news of matches later this week and after half term. To keep up to date please click here.
With best wishes for a pleasant change from routine over the half term break next week,
Head of Junior School @SPFJuniors
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Award-winning New Build
Exciting news! Our New Build has won two awards:
- RIBA East award 2018
- Cambridge Design and Construction award - Large Building Category
Both awards are regarded internationally as a mark of excellence and illustrates the regional importance of our New Build as a piece of architecture.