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Key Notes: 5 November 2021

5th November 2021

Back to school

Pupils returned to school this week after a well-earned half term break. Whilst we have seen an increase in numbers and have positive cases in all year groups we are really pleased that the overall number remains relatively low compared to other schools. If your child is off school (for Covid or other reasons) please ask them to log into Teams – their teachers will be setting them work on Teams to ensure that they don’t fall behind.  If your child is unwell and unable to work, we don’t expect the work to be done at the same time as the class, but placing the work on Teams enables them to catch up later.

On Wednesday the school nursing team came into school to give Covid-19 vaccinations to  around 300 of our 12-15 year olds. Thanks to Jenni Goldsmith and Louise Reeves for organising the pupils and to our very able group of community volunteers who all ensured that everything ran smoothly. If you would like your child to receive the vaccination, you can still do this by contacting the NHS on 119 to arrange an appointment, visiting a drop-in centre or clicking this link.

Y9 Enterprise Day – Wednesday 10th Nov

On Wednesday next week Form the Future will be coming into school to work with all Y9 pupils on a business idea/project.  They will present their ideas in a Dragons’ Den final towards the end of the day with volunteers from local businesses judging!


A reminder to parents that pupils will receive their logins for the online application platform during the week beginning 22nd Nov (after their mock exams). They will then have 3 weeks to complete their post-16 applications.

Student Support Centre Request

The Student Support Centre would like to ask if anyone could donate any old dolls with moving limbs and clothes.  This would be used to help pupils learn about the human body and how to label parts like hair, nails etc.  The dolls clothes will also be used to teach about appropriate clothing for different weather and occasions.  Any size of doll is fine. If you have a doll you would be willing to donate, please email

Flu Vaccinations

The date of pupil flu vaccinations has been changed to Thursday 18th November.  Flu vaccine consent forms are still available from Reception.


Year 9 pupils working out density in a Physics lessons, using Archimedes’ principle of water displacement .....EUREKA!

Meanwhile, some year 7 students in Science have been making 3-D cell models out of many different materials, including fabric, playdough, Lego, papier-mâché, pompoms, balloons and cake!

Physical Education

Our KS3 pupils have their first rugby fixtures of the year on Thursday next week (11th).

We will host St Ivo with a 3pm KO straight after school on one of the recreation ground pitches. Pupils who have been selected should try to attend the rugby enrichment on Tuesday after school for some practice and ensure they have boots and a gumshield for the match.

Meanwhile our Year 11 boys football team are eagerly waiting to find out who their opponents will be in the last round of the U/16 ESFA Boys National Small Schools Cup which will take place after their mock exams. You can be one of the first to find out their opponents by checking this link.

Progress with the new Astroturf pitch is speeding ahead for completion by the end of the month. 


We have been delighted this week to welcome back an ex-pupil of MVC, Betsie Bridges. Betsie is currently studying English Literature at University and has aspirations of training to become a teacher. The pupils and teachers have enjoyed having Betsie in our lessons and wish her every success in her future career.

Mental Health and Wellbeing: Anxiety

At the end of this newsletter you will find an information sheet on Anxiety, including how to recognise the signs and some strategies to help support your child with anxiety. On Tuesday 16th November we will be holding a KS4 Support Coffee Morning for parents/carers of pupils in Year 10 and 11 on managing Teenage Anxiety. This will take place between 9-10am in the main hall.  Social distancing will be observed, masks preferred, and refreshments supplied.  Please email Mrs Deadman if you would like to attend. We hope to roll this out to other year groups later in the year.

SEND Support

Pinpoint provide help and information to parents and carers of children and young people aged 0-25 with additional needs and disabilities in Cambridgeshire. No formal diagnosis is required to access support from Pinpoint. Pinpoint also hold professionally-supported workshops and events including sessions around autism, ADHD, sleep, anxiety and mental health. More information and full listings of upcoming FREE virtual sessions can be found here.

Rainbow Flag Training - LGBTQ+

On 4th November, staff at MVC attended an awareness-raising session on LGBTQ+. This is part of our initiative to work towards the Rainbow Flag Award at MVC.  The training was very well received and complimented the new stock of LGBTQ+ books available in our library. The Rainbow Flag Award is a quality assurance framework helping schools to take a whole organisational approach to providing safe and supportive environments for LGBTQ+ pupils. The award focuses on six key areas: skilled teachers, supportive governance, effective policies, inclusive curriculum, pastoral support and pupil voice.

Online Safety Newsletter – November 2021

The latest edition of our Online Safety Newsletter is being sent out with this edition of Key Notes and can be viewed online here. It looks at one of Netflix’s latest releases - Squid Games and other platforms that show content from the show e.g. TikTok and YouTube. It looks at games like Grand Theft Auto and the mobile version of Call of Duty. There is an in-depth look at your child’s online life and advice on how you can keep your children safe.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary Safer Schools Newsletter

The November edition of the Safer Schools Newsletter is being sent out with this edition of Key Notes. The subjects that we have covered in November’s Newsletter are as follows:

Anti-Bullying Week: One Kind Word; Warning to Parents: Squid Game; Knife Crime Awareness week of action; Remain safe this firework night; Road Safety week: Be a road safety hero. Cambridge Constabulary would welcome any feedback, comments or suggestions on future newsletters at Schools&

Cambridge Eastern Access and Making Connections consultations

The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) will shortly be launching two public consultations on proposals to help people move around the area more easily and sustainably.

The Cambridge Eastern Access consultation will ask for views on proposals for cycling and walking improvements on Newmarket Road, while the ‘Making Connections’ consultation is part of the GCP’s City Access project and will ask for views on proposals to transform public transport, cycling and walking, as well as reducing pollution and congestion in the area. Find out more at the public consultation events on Tuesday 9 November, 5-6.45pm and 7-8.45pm and Wednesday 1 December, 4-5.45pm and 6-7.45pm
at The Abbey Stadium, Newmarket Road, Cambridge, CB5 8LN. Please register to attend at here. Or you can join the East area GCP community forum online event on Thursday 11 Nov, 6pm. Please register online for this webinar here

Have a good weekend,

Simon Holmes

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is something that we are seeing affecting many of our students and we want to ensure we are supporting them and parents to understand anxiety, and give you some strategies to help support them. Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear that is experienced as a combination of physical sensations, thoughts and feelings.  All children and young people feel worried sometimes, and this is a normal part of growing up. At certain points, such as on their first day of school or before an exam, young people may become more worried, but will soon be able to calm down and feel better.

Anxiety can become a problem when a young person feels stuck in it, or when it feels like an overwhelming, distressing or unmanageable experience. If this kind of worrying goes on for a long time, it can leave a young person feeling exhausted,  isolated, and limit the things they feel able to do.

What does anxiety look like?

Anxiety tends to affect a persons body, thoughts and feelings. They may behave differently, they may turn to coping behaviours to try to avoid or manage their anxiety

Physical symptoms

  • Panic Attacks which can include having a racing heat, breathing very quickly, sweating or shaking
  • Shallow or quick breathing or feeling unable to breathe, getting very hot
  • Feeling sick, dry mouth, tense muscles, wobbly legs
  • Irritable bowel, diarrhoea or needing to wee more often

Thoughts & feelings

  • Upsetting scary or negative thoughts, nervous, on edge, frightened, overwhelmed and out of control, full of dread or impending sense of doom, alert to noises smells or sights
  • Worry of being unable to cope with daily things such as school, friendships and big groups/social situations, worrying so much they can’t concentrate or sleep

Coping behaviours often used

  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves – including not wanting to go to school, be in social groups, be away from parents or try new things
  • Repeating certain behaviours – OCD, eating more or less, self harming

Strategies to support children

If your child is struggling with anxiety, there are things you can do to help. A lot of these strategies are about helping your child to understand themselves and find out what works for them.  The more confident they feel about helping themselves when things are hard, the more they will believe in their ability to cope – helping them to reduce the feeling of panic.

  • In a calm moment talk to your child about their anxiety
  • Think together about if there’s anything that’s making them anxious
  • Help your child recognise signs that they are getting anxious (nausea, heart rate, overwhelmed, frightened)
  • Think about activities in which they can express themselves and reduce their anxiety (exercise, drawing, writing in a journal, watching a film, chatting to friends, cooking)
  • Try activities to help relaxation (Headspace, calm apps, audio books)
  • Help them do daily things we know are good for our mental health (good sleep pattern, healthy eating, drinking water, exercise, spending time with loved ones, walking the dog)
  • Cut out the stimulants (caffeine, energy drinks)
  • Spend quality time together and talk about other things – even for just a little while, laugh have fun and relax, and take their mind off their worries.

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