Cambridge Education Guide Autumn/Winter21 Web

AUTUMN /WINTER 2021

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Welcome

EDITORIAL EDITOR

Nicola Foley 01223 499459 nicolafoley@bright-publishing.com CONTRIBUTORS Charlotte Phillips ADVERTISING GROUP AD MANAGER Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 samscott-smith@bright-publishing.com SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVE Jemma Farrell-Shaw 01223 492240 jemmafarrell-shaw@bright-publishing.com DESIGN & PRODUCTION DESIGNER Emily Lancaster emilylancaster@bright-publishing.com AD PRODUCTION Man-Wai Wong 01223 492242 manwaiwong@bright-publishing.com

We know that we have school leaders, subject specialists and educational innovators out there, finding ways of ensuring that our children’s potential continues to be realised in creative ways, and bridging subjects to create ever more exciting co-curricular programmes. Future months will, undoubtedly, be challenging. But, as our first-rate establishments demonstrate time and again, they have the will, tools and experience to spur our children to new heights. This next generation will inherit our world, with all its profound problems. Making sure they are equipped to take them on is essential; not just through academic excellence, but by building the flexibility to think differently. Are school leaders up to the task? Without a doubt.

ven the most hardened of curmudgeons must have felt a slight softening at the start of the new academic year, with the

return of those familiar sights and sounds – nervous parents, children in oversized uniforms and reassuring teachers. It was proof that, if life isn’t yet back to normal, it feels several steps closer. Everything that has made our area a byword for excellence in education at every age is needed now more than ever. From nursery to post-graduate studies, it is vital to promote innovation and creativity – and a desire to relish tradition without being in thrall to the past. Addressing the impact of the pandemic – on everything from social skills to mental health – is a priority.

MANAGING DIRECTORS Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck 01223 499450

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CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 3

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Contents 16 | CULFORD SCHOOL

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TX | 01284 385308 | culford.co.uk Set in 480 acres of beautiful parkland, with an 18th-century mansion at its centre, Culford provides first-class boarding and day schooling for more than 670 children aged from 2¾ to 18. With a strong emphasis on sport, Culford believes in educating the whole person to deliver awell-rounded, fulfilled individual with excellent academic results. 22 | ST FAITH’S Trumpington Road, Cambridge CB2 8AG | 01223 352073 | stfaiths.co.uk St Faith’s is an independent preparatory day school for boys and girls, aged four to 13. The school prides itself on its dynamic community and warm, welcoming personality. It has a reputation for excellent standards academically, and across a huge breadth of subjects and activities. 24 | FELSTED SCHOOL Felsted, Essex CM6 3LL | 01371 822600 | felsted.org Only 45 minutes south of Cambridge, Felsted School offers families contemporary boarding options with a choice of three, five or seven nights a week. Pupils can access a wide academic curriculum, balanced with a rich programme of co-curricular activities to suit their talents and interests, all available on-site.

30 | GRESHAM’S Cromer Road, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6EA | 01263 714500 | greshams.com Set in 220 acres in beautiful north Norfolk, Gresham’s provides a high-quality, fully rounded, excellent education to boys and girls from the age of two to 18.

32 | ST JOHN’S COLLEGE SCHOOL 73 Grange Road, Cambridge CB3 9AB | 01223 353652 | sjcs.co.uk St John’s College School is an independent co-educational day and boarding school which offers an exceptional educational experience to pupils aged four to 13. The college has won the national Best Prep School and Best Prep School Head in the Tatler Schools Awards, and also offers a Flexible Learning Programme.

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36 | KIMBOLTON SCHOOL Kimbolton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 0EA 01480 860505 | kimbolton.cambs.sch.uk An independent co-educational day and boarding school near Cambridge, Kimbolton offers a busy and stimulating environment for pupils between the ages of four and 18.

38 | KING’S ELY Old Palace, Palace Green, Ely CB7 4EW | 01353 660707 | kingsely.org A day and boarding school, King’s Ely offers an outstanding education for children and young people aged one to 18. The school provides a broad and balanced curriculum, with a focus on nurturing the abilities of each pupil.

46 | THE LEYS The Leys, Cambridge CB2 7AD | 01223 508900 | theleys.net The Leys is a co-educational independent day and boarding school in Cambridge for 11 to 18 year olds. The school offers a close-knit, engaged and friendly community in which pastoral care is a top priority.

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48 | MANDER PORTMAN WOODWARD 3-4 Brookside, Cambridge CB2 1JE | 01223 350158 | mpw.ac.uk MPW is a small, independent fifth and sixth form located in the heart of Cambridge, with a range of courses. For children at other schools, it also offers popular Easter revision courses.

50 | OAKS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Cherry Hinton Hall, Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge CB1 8DW 01223 416938 | oaksinternationalschool.co.uk This independent day school offers an exciting, international education for boys and girls aged three to 16. Pupils from all over the world, as well as Britain, are taught a wide range of engaging lessons in small classes.

60 | ST MARY'S SCHOOL Bateman St, Cambridge CB2 1LY | 01223 224167 | stmaryscambridge.co.uk An independent day and boarding school for girls aged four to 18, St Mary’s is located near the Cambridge Botanic Garden and offers GCSEs and A-levels.

62 | STEPHEN PERSE FOUNDATION Union Road, Cambridge CB2 1HF | 01223 454700 | stephenperse.com The Stephen Perse Foundation is a group of independent schools that provides excellent opportunities for students – and achieves exceptional exam results without sticking blindly to the syllabus or having to cram facts and figures.

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L I FE AFTER LOCKDOWN

THE PANDEMIC HAS CHANGED THE L I VES OF A WHOLE GENERAT ION OF CHI LDREN. WE LOOK BACK ON I TS EFFECTS , AND FORWARD TO A HOPEFUL FUTURE Testing Times

N

Then followed another last-minute lockdown around Christmas. Now it’s a case of third time lucky. After much toing and froing over the pros and cons of vaccinating younger children, the decision was made to offer jabs to those aged between 12 and 15, and not just with chronic health conditions. While vaccination rates vary widely (our area doesn’t, unfortunately, come off

obody can be in any doubt about how much our children have had to cope with. Four- year-olds starting reception in

NOW IT’S A CASE OF THIRD TIME LUCKY

September 2019 had just taken their first steps in formal education when it was all whisked away from them in the run up to Easter. That autumn, when everyone was hoping it was safe to go back in the classroom, there was more disruption.

CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 9

L I FE AFTER LOCKDOWN

SCHOOLS ARE BACK, BUBBLES HAVE POPPED

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brilliantly), schools are back, bubbles have popped, and whole-school activities such as assemblies can take place again. And, while children with Covid-19 must still spend ten days isolating, their friends can stay at school, as long as they continue to test negative. We’ve had a stark lesson about our young people’s mental health that’s made it overwhelmingly clear that more has to be done to support them. In 2019, 6,500 young people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough were reported to have mental health issues – and that was before the pandemic struck. They also had to wait a minimum of three weeks before getting an initial assessment, according to a report from the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). As Ofsted flags the link between time out of the classroom and an increase in challenging behaviour from pupils, it’s also evident that teachers have had an incredibly difficult time. They were given a front-line role, required to deliver top-class education online and in-school, sometimes swapping between the two with minimal notice. That’s no longer the case, but the effects linger. A survey by a teaching union earlier this year found almost one in three teachers had sought help for physical or

CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 11

L I FE AFTER LOCKDOWN

mental health issues that emerged during the pandemic – and almost 90% had suffered from anxiety. The pandemic has also made chasms between the haves and have-nots horribly clear. Our city continues to be polarised; at once a treasure trove of highly paid jobs in cutting-edge industries, and home to higher levels of poverty than many other areas. In fact, it’s among the most unequal cities in the UK, and local food banks have reported a 127% increase in customers since 2015. While the statistics make depressing reading, there are some glimmers of light. Our area consistently boasts many high- quality schools, with the vast majority gaining top ratings. Currently, only a handful of maintained and academy senior schools aren’t rated good or outstanding by inspectors. Over 80% of primary schools also achieve top ratings. There have been some surprising discoveries, too. New schools can be overwhelming places. But for some younger pupils, being in a small bubble with peers has provided a comfort zone, helping them form strong bonds with a small number of children well before expanding their social horizons and mixing with different year groups. After discovering their newest

CHASMS BETWEEN THE HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS ARE CLEAR

they are setting up Squirrels, a new group for four- and five-year-olds. The focus will be on enjoying the outdoors and forging friendships, while developing fundamental social skills put on hold during lockdown, as well as having fun. The first new members are being recruited from

pupils in year 7 relish being together in smaller groups, some schools have made this a permanent arrangement. An array of organisations are also coming to the rescue with imaginative solutions to help mend the damage. The Scout Association recently announced

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deprived communities, where research suggests children’s confidence and anxiety levels have been particularly affected by the pandemic. It includes three groups to be set up in our area. The goal, says the government, is for children to have a more normal education experience during the academic year ahead. We won’t know for decades how much impact these strange times have had on our children. But with so many individuals and organisations determined to fill in the gaps for every age group, there is every reason to be hopeful. THE GOAL IS FOR CHILDREN TO HAVE A MORE NORMAL EXPERIENCE

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ADVERT I SEMENT FEATURE

Culford School BURY ST EDMUNDS

here are few places quite like Culford. It is a school that places the individual at its heart, where teachers are committed to helping every child realise their potential and become the best they can be. You can see such dedication run throughout the school. Whether your child is one or 18 years old, Culford provides a high-quality education and the dynamic support needed to open up opportunities for every pupil. These combine into a highly personalised learning programme that helps each child achieve their aspirations. The Pre-Prep and Nursery, Prep and Senior Schools combine to offer a superb through-school experience for children. The school takes enormous pride in all

the pupils, who go on to excel in both their academic and sporting pursuits. Indeed, Culford School itself is just as unique as its staff and pupils. A blend of the historic and the modern, the school is set in 480 acres of beautiful Suffolk parkland, with an 18th-century mansion at its centre. It also boasts modern academic and sporting facilities that are the envy of schools and academies across the UK. No matter a pupil’s interest or passion, Culford School provides the foundation for them to flourish. Pupils have secured places at the most respected universities in the world, competed at national and international golf championships, and have been

CULFORD SCHOOL BURY ST EDMUNDS, SUFFOLK IP28 6TX

01284 385308

CULFORD.CO.UK

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ADVERT I SEMENT FEATURE

“Pupils demonstrate excellent attitudes to learning as a result of a supportive and caring environment” Independent Schools Inspectorate

Available at culford.co.uk

KEY FACILITIES State-of-the-art library

Championship- standard indoor

tennis centre 25m heated swimming pool Football programme Indoor golf studio Drama theatres and music studio Dance programme Excellent in all areas – ISI Personal visits welcome all year round

as 7.30am and leave as late as 6pm for Pre-Prep, 8pm for Prep pupils and 8.30pm for Senior pupils. Culford also offers full, part and flexible boarding options, which can be a great solution for busy families. CAMBRIDGE CONNECTION There is a shuttle service for pupils who live in and around Cambridge, leaving from Park & Ride stations and delivering pupils to school within 40 minutes. If you would like to learn more about the school or organise a personal visit, please visit the website or contact the admissions team on 01284 385308 or email admissions@culford.co.uk

ranked among the top ten junior tennis players in the UK. To that end, it is no coincidence Culford is currently ranked the top co-educational school for tennis in the UK by the Lawn Tennis Association. The school sees education as a transformational process that guides pupils toward academic success, gives them clear moral values and develops their leadership qualities in readiness for the adult world. SUPPORTING BUSY FAMILIES At Culford School, an Extended Day Programme is provided that has been designed to help busy working parents by giving them extra flexibility. The programme allows pupils to come into school as early

CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 17

SUPER- CURR ICULAR

A Little Extra WI TH MORE ACT I V I T I ES OUTS IDE THE TRADI T IONAL CURR ICULUM THAN EVER BEFORE , SCHOOLS ARE HELP ING PUP I LS IGNI TE NEW- FOUND PASS IONS

I

f your mental images of school life revolve around static classroom scenes, it may be time for a reboot. Because while there’s plenty of traditional learning going on in our area’s schools, it’s coupled with a richness of mind-expanding, eye-opening opportunities. These don’t just add knowledge (pretty much a given), but also offer new ways of thinking, and are capable of shaping pupils’ lives in the future. The heart of school life remains, of course, the curriculum – broadly speaking, everything that features on the timetable, with a particular emphasis on core academic subjects. But that’s just the start of the learning experience. There are also co- or extra-curricular activities that cover everything from after- school clubs and drama productions to debating competitions, sports fixtures and community service. It’s these aspects of education that can forge the most enduring memories. Ask adults what made the biggest impression on them at school, and they’re likely to recall the triumphs and tribulations of sport or drama ahead of academic success. These really matter, because in addition to being enjoyable and challenging, they also

FROM ROBOTICS TO ARCHERY, CLIMBING TO ORNITHOLOGY, STREET DANCE TO BUILDING ELECTRIC GO-KARTS

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SUPER- CURR ICULAR

them to come forward with suggestions of their own. With well over 100 clubs, societies and activities available in many institutions, it’s no wonder the co-curricular programme spills out into spare corners of the school day. Before-school training, lunchtime rehearsals and end-of-day clubs and societies make schools vibrant, exciting places to be. As if that weren’t enough, there’s also the super-curriculum. Some schools

From robotics to archery, climbing to ornithology, street dance to designing and building electric go-karts, the range is extraordinary. Pupils may be encouraged to write and perform their own plays, take part in the ever-popular Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, or enter national competitions (often doing exceptionally well). With so much out there, it is rare for a child not to find something that lights a spark. And if they don’t, school staff will embolden

help children develop their personalities and skills. These may not appear on a certificate, but will stand them in good stead later in life. While academic qualifications show just how good you are at a particular subject, it’s the co-curricular activities that tell a future university or employer that you’re also brilliant at running a fundraising project, or keeping up morale when you’re captaining a team that’s just lost its mojo in a crucial match.

CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 19

SUPER- CURR ICULAR

IT COULD HELP PUPILS GAIN VITAL, CV-ENHANCING SKILLS

term it ‘enrichment’ – a way of exploring a topic, subject or interest in more depth than is possible in timetabled lessons. It might include bringing in external speakers, whose insights and passion resonate with their young audience. It could involve independent research, or helping pupils whose hearts are set on a career in a highly competitive area like medicine to gain vital, CV-enhancing skills and experience. Sometimes it’s a case of helping pupils with an existing interest to take it to the next level, perhaps through original research that encourages them to explore a subject they love in more depth than the standard curriculum allows. At a time when the world seems an ever more uncertain place, it’s reassuring that some schools are busily ensuring pupils do far more than acquire sheaves of top grades (though they’re extremely good at that, too). While the future – as always – remains unknowable, our best hope is the generation to come. Not only are the experiences afforded by the co- and super- curriculum both rewarding and satisfying, they will provide resilience and flexibility in young people that will benefit all of society in the decades ahead.

CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 21

ADVERT I SEMENT FEATURE

St Faith’s CAMBR IDGE

here are many reasons why the Times Educational Supplement named St Faith’s the Pre-Prep/Prep School of the Year in 2019. Not least, according to the judges, because of the school’s innovation, commitment to sustainability and narrative of excellence in a number of key areas, but also because: Ƚ Ƚ Opportunities to explore, create and think abound in every classroom, from English to Engineering, Science to Sport and Classics to Computing. Ƚ Ƚ Children at St Faith’s are developed, nurtured and taught to equip themselves well for life. Ƚ Ƚ World-class teachers tailor their styles to meet each child’s individual needs, making lessons accessible, engaging and challenging for every pupil.

Ƚ Ƚ The school’s academic curriculum (including Computing and Engineering) is groundbreaking in its innovative content, resulting in an average of 28 senior school scholarships awarded annually. Ƚ Ƚ Future-facing academic subjects are interspersed with sporting endeavours, musical experiences, artistic creations and dramatic performances. Ƚ Ƚ Children have the space and time to express themselves away from the classroom thanks to a spacious site, carefully planned timetables and holistic pastoral care structure. Ƚ Ƚ The school follows an accelerated curriculum across all subjects, thanks to small class sizes, talented teachers and pupils’ above-average abilities.

Personal tours

Visit the school for a personal tour: stfaiths.co.uk/ admissions

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ADVERT I SEMENT FEATURE

In 2018, the Times Educational Supplement awarded St Faith’s the Strategic Education Initiative for the introduction of Engineering as a core curriculum subject. The Good Schools Guide said: “Overall, a very impressive school. Plenty of space, an excellent, innovative education but, most importantly, a joyous place to be.” The Week Independent Schools Guide 2019 selected St Faith’s as the Best for Innovation, referencing the quality of its STEM facilities. Finally, Tatler commented: “This learning makes for enquiring young people who develop tremendous resilience and little fear of failure.” But don’t just believe what you read – see for yourself on your very own personal tour of the school. Drop in on lessons as they happen, observe children engaged in their learning and feel exactly what it’s like to be part of this award-winning school. Please contact the registrar, Anna Cornell, on 01223 229421 for further details.

Ƚ Ƚ Every classroom is equipped with the latest teaching technologies, while screen-free days ensure learning is not digitally reliant. Ƚ Ƚ The library boasts over 12,000 volumes, relevant to all readers, from the youngest to the most advanced. Ƚ Ƚ Plentiful sporting opportunities – not just a focus on glory and trophy collection. Sport empowers mental as well as physical fitness, resilience and team spirit – and is an emotive demonstration of getting out of life what you put in. Ƚ Ƚ Our Engineering and Computing facilities are equipped beyond many inventors’ wildest dreams, complete with virtual reality studios and an astronomy suite. Ƚ Ƚ A state-of-the-art STEM Hub provides expansive indoor space for large interdisciplinary projects, including wave machines and suspension bridges. Ƚ Ƚ St Faith’s performing and creative arts develop self-belief and confidence and give children a lifelong appreciation of the arts.

TRUMPINGTON ROAD CAMBRIDGE CB2 8AG

01223 352073

INFO@ STFAITHS.CO.UK

STFAITHS.CO.UK

CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 23

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Felsted School NORTH ESSEX

umping on the smart minibus from Trumpington, to the wide-open space of the north Essex countryside, chatting and laughing with their friends throughout a 45-minute journey. That’s just the start of a packed day for pupils at Felsted School. A growing number of Cambridge families are choosing Felsted for their children; not just for the excellent academic results, but also the huge choice of sports, arts, adventures and community activities that are part and parcel of every school day. The beautiful Felsted campus, with more than 90 acres of playing fields, pitches and landscaped grounds, is the setting for an education that encourages each pupil’s character to flourish. Skills, talents and passions discovered here will last well into adult life. BROAD AND EXCITING The academic curriculum is broad and exciting. Felsted School, for boys and girls aged 13 to 18, offers a huge choice of subjects at GCSE and A-level, as well as the popular International Baccalaureate. The 11- to 13-year-old boys and girls have their own domain at Felsted Prep School, a bridge between the younger and senior years. Their learning is focused on honing the independent study skills needed for future development. Children aged four to 11 have a whale of a time in their small classes. Carefully devised lessons will lay solid foundations in maths and literacy, introducing the wonders of science, languages, sport and the arts. STRETCH, CHALLENGE, REINFORCE Right across the school, pupils at Felsted have the support they need. The more academically able are stretched and challenged to achieve new heights, while those who need it are given extra reinforcement. Each pupil’s individual academic needs are met.

@FELSTEDSCHOOL

@FELSTED_SCHOOL

OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM Felsted teams and individual sportspeople are often seen lifting national trophies. That said, sport really is for all. Team games are played at every level, so each pupil has the opportunity to represent the school in competition. Rugby, hockey, netball, football, tennis, swimming and athletics are all on the timetable, but there are plenty of options when it comes to keeping active and healthy – including yoga and dance. The school has its own professional-standard music school and theatre. These buzz constantly with the sound of young performing artists developing their skills. A link with the Junior Guildhall in London brings world-class instrumental teachers to Felsted, and the school calendar is bursting with concerts

FELSTED SCHOOL, FELSTED, ESSEX CM6 3LL (45 minutes south of Cambridge)

01371 822605

FELSTED.ORG

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ADVERT I SEMENT FEATURE

‘‘We chose Felsted for our children because we wanted them to be well-rounded. We’ve seen huge changes in them since they joined – they’re responsible, sociable, respectful of others, and know how to pull together as a team’’ Parent of three Felsted pupils

and productions. Art is impressive, too, and high- quality artwork is showcased within the school, often included in public exhibitions. LEADERSHIP AND TEAMWORK Pupils at Felsted are encouraged to develop attributes that make a difference in the world. There are many opportunities for them to be challenged physically and emotionally – and put leadership and teamwork into practice. The Combined Cadet Force, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and Model United Nations are very popular, and there are countless other chances for individuals to take on positions of responsibility and act as role models. INTERNATIONALISM AND UNDERSTANDING Felsted is an international community, bringing together pupils and staff from across the UK and all around the world. Working and living side by side gives unique insight into a range of cultures, views and values, encouraging young people to develop true understanding and respect for others. BOARDING BENEFITS Many pupils choose to board in one of the school’s comfortable, modern boarding houses – these really are a home from home. Felsted offers accommodation in either shared rooms or single bedrooms (depending on ages), quiet places to study, and communal areas for fun group activities. Houseparents care for the boarders 24/7, and there is a real family atmosphere. WELLBEING The wellbeing of pupils at Felsted is the top priority. Each individual member of the school community is known, valued and supported by a network of experienced teaching and non-teaching staff, totally dedicated to their care. The school has its own Wellbeing Centre, and an established programme of activities and initiatives to promote good mental health. There is also a fully equipped medical centre on campus, staffed by qualified healthcare professionals, available to pupils and staff day and night. VISIT FELSTED! To find out more about Felsted, visit the school. Please go to felsted.org/opendays to register for an open event. Alternatively, contact the school to arrange a personal tour at 01371 822605, or admissions@felsted.org.

SHORTLISTED FOR THREE AWARDS

Prep School of the Year

Boarding School of the Year

Sports School of the Year

A-LEVELS & IB DIPLOMA

AGES FOUR TO 18

CO-EDUCATIONAL

DAY & BOARDING

CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 25

SUBJECT CHOICES

Full STEAMAhead TO KEEP UP WI TH THE DEMANDS OF A MODERN WORLD, SCHOOLS ARE RETHINK ING HOW SUBJECTS ARE GROUPED AND TAUGHT

n addition to commemorating an amazing scientist and Covid-19 hero, the recent launch of the Sarah Gilbert Barbie doll also shows – if proof were needed – just how attitudes towards science and allied areas have changed. It’s a shift that was in motion well before the pandemic struck, as our regard for STEM subjects (that’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics to you and me), and the people who have mastered them, soared. The impact of STEM subjects on the learning experience has been quite extraordinary. In 2019, sciences were more popular with girls than boys, based on the numbers sitting them at A-level, while in 2020, the top A-levels across the board for all pupils were maths, psychology, biology and chemistry. Part of that is very largely down to the huge amount of work in our area’s schools to bring STEM subjects out of the lab, off the blackboard and into the limelight. And quite right, too, given their importance – not just to the young people who are studying them, but to the country as a whole. A couple of decades back, there was a sense that maths and the sciences were losing their popularity. With the world becoming ever more reliant on technology, it was essential to find a way of making these subject areas more appealing and relevant. What didn’t help was the traditional approach that kept different subjects in their own little boxes. Teaching delivered everything that was needed to

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SUBJECT CHOICES

When it comes to the activities themselves, there’s been a careful nurturing of talent. This has seen pupils go way beyond the curriculum, wowing not just their own school communities with a dizzying array of originality, but winning accolades from the outside world, too. Societies that cater for budding medics and vets have been around for a while. However, pupils from our schools are also busy developing apps, winning

Traditional science blocks are being reimagined, with schools increasingly housing STEAM subjects under the same roof, or at least closer together. It’s all about disrupting the conventional thinking, which forces children to make binary choices between sciences and arts. Instead, the emphasis is on inspiration, showing children how to use knowledge creatively across subjects, and encouraging them to work collaboratively.

pass exams, but didn’t necessarily inspire pupils by showing how subjects related to each other. A different approach was required. Bringing the arts into the mix added an extra dimension, turning STEM into STEAM. This move made it relevant to many more students – as well as widening their choice of subject areas further down the line, to put new emphasis on a balanced curriculum.

CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 27

SUBJECT CHOICES

PUPILS ARE ENCOURAGED TO DEVELOP A PASSION FOR SCIENCE AND CREATIVITY

awards in international science and maths contests and joining a growing number of coding groups (some just for girls). Others embrace robotics and engineering – at one school, they’re even developing a number plate recognition system, to track vehicles as they travel around the school site. And it can start young, with even primary age pupils being encouraged to develop a passion for science and creativity – before any stereotypical notions about subjects have had the chance to take root.

There may be some way to go. Women are still under-represented in senior positions in science, engineering and technology fields, for example – and no Barbie doll, however inspirational, will change that. Regardless, it all helps. And with schools in our area taking on a bit of a superhero role themselves – by boosting the popularity of STEM and STEAM subjects for all ages – there’s never been a better time to embrace your inner scientist or engineer.

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CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 29

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Gresham’s HOLT, NORTH NORFOLK

ounded in 1555, Gresham’s is an authentic boarding and day school, providing a fully rounded education to boys and girls aged two to 18. Spanning a 200 acre site, the school has excellent facilities, located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, just four miles from the breathtaking North Norfolk coast. Gresham’s holds an ‘Excellent’ rating across all nine categories, following an Independent Schools Inspectorate visit, which is testament to the high-quality teaching and outstanding pastoral care. THE DYSON BUILDING The Dyson Building opened at Gresham’s in September 2021. Sir James Dyson, a former pupil at the school, enabled the innovative new centre for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education. Building a dedicated centre for STEAM subjects disrupts the established narrative that young people must choose between science and the arts at an early stage of their life. By teaching the subjects side by side, pupils will begin to see how the knowledge gained from one discipline can be used in a creative way in another. Creativity and original thinking have always been the cornerstones of a Gresham’s education; the Dyson Building establishes state-of-the-art facilities to see this continue into the mid-21st century. Spaces are equipped with the latest technology, with art hubs, IT points and open-stair seating areas turning the spine of the building into an area for collaborative studies. Extra-curricular activities give pupils the opportunity to tinker and discover new ways of working. At Gresham’s, pupils are building robots from Lego; using chemistry experiments to paint; designing, building and racing electric cars; and even using computing to code a character for an upcoming drama performance.

Open days

Next Open Morning May 2022

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ADVERT I SEMENT FEATURE

“Hard to think who would not thrive in this happy, well-run school” The Good Schools Guide

GRESHAM’S, CROMER ROAD, HOLT, NORFOLK NR25 6EA

Sir James Dyson said: “By creating state-of-the-art spaces, I hope that we can foster, inspire and educate more brilliant young minds. I am so pleased that Gresham’s will be leading the charge.” REMARKABLE ALUMNI Gresham’s provides a broad and enriching education, enabling pupils to discover their own talents and develop into confident, well-rounded individuals. The school has a tradition of producing outstanding achievers in all walks of life, including architects, diplomats, engineers, musicians, athletes and many more. Old Greshamians have been inspiring others for generations, from composer Sir Benjamin

Britten, to poet W.H. Auden. More recently, Old Greshamians making their mark and creating headlines include international rugby players Tom and Ben Youngs and Academy Award-winning actor Olivia Colman. A PERFECT LOCATION North Norfolk is a beautiful place to live and learn. A weekly bus operates to and from Cambridge, leaving school at 4.45pm on Saturdays and dropping at Trumpington Park & Ride at 6.45pm. Pick-up from Trumpington Park & Ride at 6.45pm on

01263 714614

ADMISSIONS@ GRESHAMS.COM

Sunday arrives back at school for 8.45pm. Academic, art, music, drama and sport scholarships are available.

GRESHAMS.COM

CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 31

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St John’s College School CAMBR IDGE

t John’s is the only school to have been awarded national Best Prep School and national Best Head of a Prep School in the Tatler Schools Awards. It is also the only prep school to have its teaching rated ‘inspirational’ by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, and the first of very few to have achieved the coveted ‘exceptional’ grade for children’s attainment. It is described by The Good Schools Guide as “a joyous place that’s buzzing”. At St John’s, staff believe in a childhood filled with affection, in which children know that they are known and valued, in which they learn to trust themselves and each other, in which they find and express their voices, discover the differences they can make for themselves and others, learn to think for themselves, to question, to collaborate, to be independent, and to own and take charge of their learning and their lives. The education at St John’s is about the whole child. Pupils become independent learners and creative thinkers who are prepared to question, with their curiosity very much alive. They get the best from themselves and achieve very highly within, and beyond, the classroom. The aim is for the children to develop a real generosity of spirit, to know and care about how to get the best from others, to do well while at the school and long after they have left for pastures new. FLEXIBLE LEARNING The youngest children are full of questions, rich with curiosity, and staff work to preserve and strengthen their questioning and thinking skills. From the earliest

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Open days

Our next open morning will be

held on Thursday 14 October 2021 between 9.45am and 12.00pm. To attend, please contact our registrar, Mrs Emma Luck 01223 353652 or admissions@ sjcs.co.uk

‘exceptional’. Though the school is not selective at kindergarten, the children are on average in the 85th percentile on national tests or ability before they leave. Exam results are outstanding and, on average, the 56 leavers gain around 26 scholarships to the strongest schools. The children continue to be exceptional learners: up to one third of past pupils gain Oxbridge places each year in due course, more than in the most academically selective of schools. KNOWING AND CARING FOR YOUR CHILD Education at its best is a profound act of care. If we care, then we will notice. If we notice, then we will act on a child’s behalf. If we act for each child, then each child will achieve their best and become their best selves. To be known, to be noticed, to be valued, to be cared for – fundamental things for all of us, these are the essentials of a good childhood, and they are at the heart of the St John’s way. FIND OUT MORE You can get to know more about the ethos of St John’s College School by signing up for one of the virtual open days or by arranging a personal tour to look around St John’s and to ask any questions. Please contact the registrar ( 01223 353652) or admissions@sjcs.co.uk .

age, pupils are given essential tools, knowledge and understanding, with the aim to also give them more. St John’s College School has a flexible learning programme of development, incorporating child-led, independent learning, creative and critical thinking, digitally enhanced learning, philosophy, emotions for learning, compassion and loving kindness, as well as outdoor learning, which benefits from access to a landscaped forest garden. An enrichment programme has been implemented for nine to 13 year olds to explore the development of sustainability projects, as well as enjoy cross-curricular work in computing, the arts, design technology, maths and science, and to give space to My Mind (incorporating mindfulness, study skills, tai chi, PSHEE and philosophy, as a foundation to the skills necessary for critical thinking, self-management of learning and management of self). The aim is to foster children’s ability to possess their own learning, engage their innate curiosity and creativity, and encourage them to connect with their feelings about themselves and the world. ATTAINMENT A curriculum that puts belief in children at its core draws from them the highest levels of attainment, and pupils’ achievement is described by inspectors as

73 GRANGE ROAD, CAMBRIDGE CB3 9AB

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CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 33

EDUCAT ION T IMEL INE

The Education Timeline THE KEY DECI S IONS TO BE MADE AT DI FFERENT STAGES OF YOUR CHI LD’ S EDUCAT IONAL JOURNEY

BIRTH TO PRESCHOOL (RISING FOUR)

Visit local nurseries and childcare providers. Register as soon as possible, particularly if you require full-time nursery provision at an early age. Visit local pre-preps. Check deadlines for registration, but plan ahead – popular schools may have an official deadline but, if oversubscribed, will offer places based on date of registration. AGE 4½–7 Talk to your child’s current school about their progress and ask for advice on future schools. Visit prep schools (usually from year 2) and note registration deadlines (normally the autumn term of the preceding academic year). Check details and dates of assessments. AGE 7–11 If your child attends a fee-paying school, use teachers as a sounding board for senior schools. Attend meetings covering future schools (normally from year 4). Visit senior school open days (from year 4 or earlier). Check deadlines for 11+ registration (normally the November or December prior to entry). If you wish to apply for a scholarship, note any separate deadlines, together with 11+ entrance exam dates (normally held in January of year 6). Liaise with the school about preparation and flag any concerns. Children sitting the 11+ Common Entrance exam in year 6 will also need to be registered (in October or December for examination in November or January, respectively).

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AGE 11–16 Register your child for 13+ Common Entrance/scholarship exams, sat in year 8 for year 9 entry. In year 9, pupils will choose GCSE options, taken in the summer of year 11 – subjects such as languages, art, drama and humanities (this will be in addition to core subjects such as English language and literature, maths and sciences). In year 10 and year 11, visit open events at sixth form schools and colleges to discuss courses, including apprenticeships (from age 16). Register for places. The deadline for registration and assessments/interviews is normally the autumn term of year 11.

AGE 16–18 Start planning for life after school. Attend careers talks, visit universities, research UCAS requirements and deadlines: October of the preceding academic year for Oxbridge, medicine, dentistry and veterinary science; mid-January for most other degree courses. Accept or defer a university place once A-level results are in (August), or apply for a place through clearing. If workplace-based training and qualifications are the goal, start considering which industry or occupation best matches interests and career ambitions, and research schemes and employers.

CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 35

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Kimbolton CAMBR IDGESHI RE

imbolton is an exciting place to study, combining strong academic provision with excellent pastoral care. At its heart, beats a strong sense of community – where everyone is encouraged to be involved and all contributions are valued. Boys and girls aged four to 18 thrive in the school’s happy, safe environment, centred around the historic Kimbolton Castle, with its 120 acres of grounds. A SENSE OF BELONGING A-level results put Kimbolton among the top schools in Cambridgeshire – but the Kimbolton experience offers so much more. Renowned for its caring, family ethos, visitors frequently comment on the kindness and respect that underpins the 1100-strong community. Small class sizes and an established house system mean that every pupil has a strong sense of belonging. Across all ages, children forge a broad range of friendships and settle in quickly. INSPIRING INDEPENDENT THINKERS The use of iPads by every pupil in the senior school has given teachers a powerful creative tool with which to enthuse children to effectively organise, communicate, learn and study. Kimbolton’s teachers utilise this technology alongside traditional methods, giving children a strong advantage in future learning and employment. Almost all pupils gain places at their chosen universities, with many heading to Oxbridge colleges and Russell Group universities. The school has a strong track record of students receiving offers for the most competitive courses, including medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences. FIRST-CLASS FACILITIES On-site facilities include a new Science and Maths Centre, a modern theatre and concert hall, and large sports complex – including a 25m indoor swimming pool.

Open days

Prep School (ages four-11) on Friday 6 May 2022 and Friday 7 October 2022 ; Senior School (ages 11-16) and Sixth Form (ages 16-18) on Saturday 1 October 2022 .

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VIRTUAL TOURS

AGES FOUR TO 18

“Pupils grow into mature, multifaceted and empathic young adults, with a strong awareness of their social responsibilities” Independent Schools Inspectorate

CO-EDUCATIONAL

DAY & BOARDING

KIMBOLTON HUNTINGDON PE28 0EA

BUILDING SOCIAL SKILLS AND SELF-ESTEEM More than 120 clubs and societies flourish at Kimbolton, playing a key part in pupil development. From coding in Robotics Club, to the 125-mile Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race, opportunities abound in sport, drama, art, music and outdoor pursuits. The school also has a thriving Combined Cadet Force, a Community Service Unit and an extensive programme of trips and visits. Such a wide variety of extracurricular experiences help to build children’s social skills and self- esteem – the bedrock for a happy and fulfilled life.

SUPPORTING BUSY FAMILIES Out-of-hours options provide quality support to parents. A before- and after-school club for the younger pupils, plus activities and homework sessions extend the day. Many children use the dedicated bus service, while others choose from a range of flexible, cost-effective boarding options. Kimbolton is half an hour from Cambridge and 40 minutes by train from London. Scholarships and bursaries are available. To arrange a visit, please call the registrar on 01480 862209 or head to kimbolton.cambs.sch.uk/visit

01480 860505

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CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 37

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King’s Ely CAMBR IDGESHI RE

their first-choice university or institution, not just in the UK, but across the globe. However, our school is about much more than exam results and league tables. As reported in the Good Schools Guide , King’s Ely “turns out well-rounded, likeable individuals, who attain academically, but

promises an abundance of opportunity for personal development, both academically and socially. King’s Ely students are renowned for their energy, courage and integrity. Our pupils achieve excellent GCSE and A-level results, and each year students secure a place at

ing’s Ely’s reputation certainly precedes itself, but you don’t really get a true feeling for the depth of those recommendations until you have visited the school yourself. Within the first week of our sons joining King’s Ely Acremont Pre-Prep and King’s Ely Junior, we simply could not believe the change in both the boys’ happiness and their commitment to learning.” These are the words of Mr and Mrs Golding, whose sons joined King’s Ely Acremont Pre-Prep and King’s Ely Junior in September 2020. A finalist in the 2020 Independent Schools of the Year Awards, King’s Ely is a leading co-educational, day and boarding school, with over 1,000 years of history, making us one of the oldest schools in the world. We serve the academic and pastoral needs of around 1,000 boys and girls, from the age of two through to 18, with boarders from seven years old. King’s Ely is nestled in the picturesque cathedral city of Ely – just 15 minutes from Cambridge and one hour from London, with direct rail links to both. The school’s privately run buses stop at key locations around Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk. The adventure of a King’s Ely education enables pupils of all ages to flourish, from the children in King’s Ely Acremont Nursery, to the young men and women in our sixth form. Whether a student shines in a classroom, in a laboratory, on a stage, on a pitch or on a mountainside, our school

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“King’s Ely has such a vibrant and buzzing atmosphere. All students feel welcome

and included” Head Girl, Eleanor

who also realise there is more to life than just results.” When it comes to value-added – a measurement monitored and published by the Department for Education – King’s Ely is in the top five Cambridgeshire schools and the top 200 nationally. Rather than relying solely on exam results, value added takes account of where each student started, and the progress they made relative to other, similar students. We empower our young people to challenge themselves, push beyond the boundaries of their own expectations and achieve more than they believed possible. Innovative approaches to teaching and learning are the hallmark of every section of King’s Ely. Through a broad and balanced curriculum, pupils develop the self-knowledge and inner resilience that enables them to face the challenges of an ever-changing world. The aim is to create responsible young people, who have developed learning habits that prepare them for public examinations, higher education and the testing world of work. At King’s Ely Acremont and Nursery (ages two to seven), such development demands a planned, creative curriculum that is dedicated for the needs of younger children, encouraging them to be independent learners with a passion for knowledge. It requires caring experts, who have the time to give younger pupils lots of individual attention. The beautiful, spacious environment also allows them to

“What I love most about King’s Ely is how there is something for everyone. The school really does cater for all” Head Boy, Ted

achieved through inspiration and support, not unnecessary pressure. Music, drama and theatre, art, fashion and textiles, photography and dance are each embedded in the culture of King’s Ely, with vast opportunities for pupils of all abilities and aspirations. Recent accolades include a five-star review for our original production, Ugly Youth , at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; our boys’ a cappella group – the King’s Barbers – being crowned National Champions; the school winning the Art and

explore, in order to discover the exciting world around them. Moving on to King’s Ely Junior (ages seven to 13), it demands a positive and enriching atmosphere, with a commitment to unlocking potential and developing conscientious young people. At King’s Ely Senior (ages 13-18), it demands exceptional teaching and a culture of independent learning, enabling students to take ownership of their own educational journeys, where results are

CAMBR IDGE EDUCAT ION GUIDE 39

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