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Key Notes: 17 October 2022

17th October 2022

Teaching and Learning

Over the last few weeks, teachers have been embedding retrieval practice (to remember information in a low-stakes way) at the start of all lessons. Some of the strategies used include:

  • Questions from the last lesson, last week, last term
  • Choosing a keyword from a previous lesson and using it appropriately in a variety of ways
  • Picture prompts – how much can you describe from the picture linking to prior learning
  • Draw what is described, eg a wave
  • Keyword bingo
  • Study something (based on prior learning), then try to reproduce it from memory

Please do speak to your child about strategies to remember information – here is the video that was sent out earlier, about how the brain remembers information. Students then need to be able to apply this information to new and different situations. The importance of ‘extended talk’ in full sentences and trying to use subject-specific language at school and home can really support this.

Language Skills

On Wednesday we welcomed David Binns of Sanako UK who gave a very thought-provoking and inspiring talk to our year 9 students about how useful basic foreign language skills are at work. He employs many staff who have STEM qualifications but also needs them to have some language skills so that products can be sold abroad as well as in the UK. His presentation was very informative and will help our students to think about choosing a language as one of their options later in the year.

Forthcoming Events

  • 19th October: Deadline for Y11 personal statement to be handed to tutors
  • 19th – 20th October: Practical GCSE Drama Exam
  • 24th – 28th October: Half Term

Physical Education

On Monday we were delighted to see one of our largest turnouts at PE enrichment clubs for some time. We had over 60 students for football and hockey on the AstroTurf pitch.

The year 8 mixed hockey team went to Cambourne on Wednesday night for a fixture. The students played some excellent hockey and came away with a well-deserved 2-0 win. Look out for some great Key Stage 3 football fixtures coming soon!

Year 11 students Emma, Olivia and Thomas represented MVC in the badminton fixture at Cambourne on Wednesday. They played a range of singles and doubles matches, developing skills in preparation for their GCSE PE qualification. 

Well done to our new crop of Sports Leaders who did an amazing job officiating at the BEE Primary Netball Tournament on Monday.

Sporting Achievement

Congratulations to Ellie (Y8) who came second in an U12 grade 4 tennis tournament at Huntingdon Tennis Club on Sunday 9th October.  She had to overcome the 2nd seed in the 2nd round to get to the final.  She trains regularly at Royston Tennis Club and has started playing for the Ladies' 3rd Team.

Girls’ Rugby

If you are interested in rugby, the Shelford Girls Rugby Club are looking for new and seasoned players for their U12s, U14s and U16s teams. For more information contact James Hall, Head of Girls Rugby at or visit

Football Activators

Our Year 10 and Year 11 Football Activators achieved their Youth Sports Trust Award in girls' football this week. They started the award last year to develop life skills and leadership through football, volunteering their time to run after-school sessions for younger students. The FA wants to give every girl equal access to football by 2024, and our Football Activators have been a vital part of this mission. Those involved should be very proud of what they have achieved and what they plan to accomplish moving forward. 

School Building Work

Improvements to the canteen are continuing, and over the half term holiday it will be equipped with a new ventilation system and a new roof.

The ongoing work to improve the classrooms on the lower floor of the George Edward block, (English) should be finished over half term when the new external doors will be installed together with some additional furniture and furnishings.

The Food Technology practical room and classroom are starting to take shape. The kitchen units are being installed this week (see photo) and we are on track to complete these facilities by the end of November.

Maintenance of the all-weather AstroTurf pitch will also be taking place during half term.

Enrichment Activities

Students are enjoying the autumn enrichment clubs that are taking place after school from 3-4pm. There are lots of options to choose from on Monday – Wednesday each week and spaces are still available. Here are some photos of golf, gardening, art, science, hockey, football and sewing.

Science Club

Science club goes from strength to strength with a fantastic turnout each week. At the last session we started a two-week project inspired by NASA's recent DART mission to alter the course of an asteroid.  Students were set the challenge of designing and creating a device that can launch projectiles not only as far as they can but also, as a second challenge, to hit targets! This coming week they will be testing to see how well their devices can throw anti-asteroid devices (conkers) at their intended targets!  The challenge has been set; will they defend the earth in time from incoming asteroids?

Co-curricular Music

Students have made an excellent start to the cocurricular music programme at MVC. Show Band now features instruments from all four families of the orchestra as well as keyboards, bass, drums and of course singers. So far, band members have enjoyed learning repertoire by Bob Marley, The Police and Bill Withers. Christmas Concert rehearsals will commence w/c 31st October. The Christmas Concert is scheduled to take place in the Main Hall on Monday 19th December at 19.00.


This month’s Centre 33 Wellbeing talk is on the topic of ‘Sleep’. It would be suitable for any young person aged 13-25 who is experiencing difficulties with sleep, such as finding it hard to get to sleep at night, waking during the night, or feeling very tired during the day. When you sign up for the talk you will get access to two pre-recorded talks, and an invitation to a live Q&A session on 25th October at 5.30pm. All wellbeing talks and recordings will be made available on the Centre 33 YouTube channel and website afterwards. More information here.

SCDC Wellbeing Week Events

South Cambridgeshire District Council invites you to come along to one of their free events to find out what support and services are available in your local area to look after your health and wellbeing. This includes sport and activity services, community groups and health checks. You can also talk to the service providers about what would benefit you in the area.

  • Monday 24th October at Harston Village Hall: 1:30pm to 4pm
  • Wednesday 26th October at Bar Hill Octagon Building: 1pm to 4pm
  • Thursday 27th October at Linton Sports Centre: 1pm to 4pm

All ages welcome. No booking required. For more information email:

Post-16 Information

The deadline for Y11 personal statements to be typed up and sent to tutors is Wednesday 19th October. Students have been working on these in tutor time. Support is available at lunchtime and after school in IT2 on Wednesday 19th October. Students will soon receive their login details and have a lesson with Mr Willder on how to apply online for courses. Check out the Get the Jump’ Skills for Life campaign which provides information to make young people aware of all their post-16 choices and help them decide on their best next step.

Upcoming Careers Events

Year 9 and year 11 students will be having a careers talk by staff from the University of Hertfordshire on Tuesday 1st November.

Year 9 students will then have an opportunity to take part in an Enterprise Day on Wednesday 9th November – this will last all day instead of lessons and will end with a Dragons Den style finale! (Photo from 2021-22 Enterprise Day.)

Personal Social Health Education

This week our year 10 students had a PSHE session about: transition from KS3-KS4; GCSEs; time management; being positive; pressure, influence and friends; and different types of relationships.

River Mel Restoration

Last year, the MVC Eco Group did their bit to improve the environment by litter picking in the River Mel that borders the school grounds. We are delighted to learn that the Wild Trout Trust has been successful in securing a grant of £10K from Cambridge Water to take forward the next phase of river restoration for the River Mel involving scrub and tree thinning and channel re-building with gravel. See the poster board below for more information.

The Willow and the Walnut

At MVC we are very fortunate to be in such a beautiful country setting. Our grounds include many trees including a willow and a walnut tree that were planted when the college was built. These two trees symbolise important values that are still just as relevant today:

  • Willow: flexibility & adaptability
  • Walnut: wisdom & discernment

Student Showcase: Y11 Art

Year 11 MVC art students are busy preparing for their forthcoming practise exam which will take place in December. They have been working on artist research and response pieces in relation to the artists they have studied, using a range of media. Mrs Ward and Mrs Heeks are very impressed with the detail and quality of artwork that has been produced so far.


Our partner contractors are seeking to recruit cleaning staff, catering staff and a relief school crossing patrol. See below for details:


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