Welcome to Alex Loktionov, our new Governor. It's a real pleasure to welcome him to our Governing Body as one of our ex pupils (taught by Mrs Daire, our Headmistress) and as such we expect him to bring unique insight and perspective to the running of the school.
A few words from Alex himself by way of introduction: I was born in Lyon, France on the 6th September 1992. My Russian parents moved to England in March 1995, and when I started my education at St Colette's school in Cambridge, my knowledge of English was almost non-existent. Over the course of my three years there, the expertise and kindness of the staff allowed me to not only become fully fluent in English, but also to overcome the initial shock and complex social barriers experienced by an only child facing a totally unfamiliar culture.
Fifteen years later, I am at Selwyn College and was top of my subject class list at Cambridge University, having previously secured 7A*s at A-level. This A level achievement was a Cambridgeshire record and according to the Independent and the Associated Press placed me in the top three students nationally. I am also the President of the Cambridge University Ancient Literature Society and the Humanities Society of Selwyn College.
However, I have always been aware that my own work would never have led to this level of success if it were not for my life-changing learning experience at St Colette's, The Phoenix's predecessor. When I learned that St Colette's had been forced into closure, I could no longer stand aside and accept that the wonderful primary education that had shaped my future would no longer be available to future generations. News of a successor school, The Phoenix School Cambridge, immediately gave me hope and I gratefully accepted the offer to become a member of its Governing Body and Board of Trustees. I am delighted to see the ethos and education I experienced continues at The Phoenix School Cambridge and am greatly looking forward to working with the other Governors and the outstanding teaching team to deliver the promise of a personalised, caring education for future generations of children in the Cambridgeshire area.
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We look forward to seeing you at school on Friday 7th June 2013 from 9.30 - 15.15 and Saturday 8th June2013 from 10.00 - 12.00.
Please use these opportunities to meet our teaching team, parents and children and find out more about the school. Examples of the children's work will also be available for you to look at so you can see the levels of achievement our children attain at every age. All are welcome and we look forward to meeting you on the day.
For many parents choosing a school for their child, class size is one of the fundamental features that they look at when making their decision. However, many people are not aware of the benefits of small class sizes (typically less than 18 pupils) and the positive effects they can have on learning.
Small class sizes are essential for good learning and can hugely influence the level of academic excellence achieved by pupils. A report by Professor Peter Blatchford of the Institute of Education, University of London, found that "in both reading and maths, pupils in small classes performed significantly better than pupils in regular classes."
This academic success came from teachers being able to spend more one-to-one time with pupils as well as having more time to spend planning and marking work - two key opportunities which are not easily accessible for teachers of regular sized classes. As a consequence of small class sizes, pupils are also better behaved and are more engaged in the learning process. Pupils in small classes ask more questions, discuss subjects with teachers and are more inquisitive than their regular class size peers.
The evidence in favour of small class sizes combined with exceptional teaching is overwhelming and as a result, there is no better place for your child to flourish than at The Phoenix. Small class sizes are at the core of our philosophy and always have been, for a child being a member of a small class can be fundamental in early learning and development and forms a solid foundation for their future.
Our small class sizes allow teachers to spend more time with children individually and with small average class sizes throughout the school - you can be sure that your children will receive the attention and high standard of education that they deserve.
We want our pupils' questions to be listened to and answered, and in a small class, no hand goes unseen and no voice unheard. No child goes without the opportunity to take the lead in a sports activity or in a school performance and this allows their confidence to flourish in preparation for their move into secondary education. They leave our school fully prepared for the challenges a larger class environment brings with the confidence to be heard and seen amongst their peers.
Our small class sizes allow children to thrive in a productive learning environment where any negative behaviour or educational issues are spotted and resolved quickly. Children can play safely together and learn how to interact with various age groups with no fear of bullying or being scared of the other children.
Every child knows every other child at the school and as a result learns to interact and communicate with different age groups giving them another essential life skill. Younger children are inspired by the older children, whereas the older children learn how to care and be responsible for younger children.
We believe in maintaining small class sizes from nursery level all the way through to prep school, meaning that your child will receive a consistently excellent standard of education throughout their entire time at our school. Every child is known and is loved at The Phoenix and therefore your children will never disappear into the crowd.
A case study written by one of our parents:
'My painfully shy son joined St Colette's and has been with it's successor, The Phoenix since it opened. Five years ago he wouldn’t even let go of the teacher’s hand at an Easter Bonnet Parade and refused to wear the bonnet itself. He hardly ever spoke and hated physical contact with anyone and we were very worried about him. He has been at The Phoenix for 3 years and everyone who knows him cannot believe the remarkable change that has happened over the time he has been at the school. Due to the small class sizes, my son has been given the attention he deserves, he is listened too and has been encouraged in every way which has helped build his self-esteem and confidence. As his classes have never exceeded 8 children, he has also been taught at a speed to suit his own capabilities and as he is a speedy Gonzales in Maths, this has meant even though he is in Year 3 he is already flying through the Year 4 Maths curriculum and he is thriving as a result.
At a birthday party this year, where there were many children from a number of other private schools, he ended up winning the orienteering competition (partnered with an ex-Phoenix pupil) and he had no problems mingling with a large number of highly competitive children, something that we would not have imagined 3 years ago. On a recent train journey, he held an hour-long conversation with a friendly gentleman he introduced himself too, we were there, but only as observers and felt quite left out!
He never stops chatting with adults and children alike, loves learning (even out of school!), is very outgoing and we have The Phoenix team to thank for this transformation.'