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Extra-Curricular Activities

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In addition to their timetabled PE and games lessons, Years 7 to 10 also take part in a series of inter-form tournaments. These usually take place across a whole morning, with all students from the year group participating, but some tournaments are held at lunchtimes. A trophy is awarded to the winning form in each year group. Forms learn to work together as a team, and students enjoy the competition.

Clubs are organised for a range of sports: rugby, football, hockey, netball, cricket, tennis, short tennis, basketball, badminton, rounders and athletics. Clubs are open to all students, regardless of ability. There is also a comprehensive midweek fixture list involving teams from St Ivo competing with other local secondary schools. St Ivo students are invited to trials for District and County teams. Please see our sporting success page for more details.


During the week the Dance Department runs a number of lunchtime and after school clubs such as Tap, Ballet, Key Stage 3, Street Dance, Reflex, Rebound and Ivo Dance Companies. Please refer to our clubs timetable page for more information. Every November the department produces our annual performance of Ivolution, a dance show held at the Burgess Hall where dancers from every year group, clubs, and BTEC courses perform to live audiences. The department also holds a smaller performance during the spring term in the school’s main hall. The department has recently added a new charity event, “Dance Dash” in which Year 11 students create a dance to perform as many times as possible in as many locations as possible during one day, all in aid of Sport/Comic Relief. Our students regularly perform in events at DanceEast in Ipswich, watch live performances on trips, lead dance activities at local primary schools and participate in workshops led by visiting professional dance artists.

Drama and Theatre Studies

Throughout the year there are a number of performances in drama; we will be presenting ‘West Side Story’ at the Burgess Hall in February and holding a number of performances of exam pieces in the drama studio in March. In June we will be presenting our annual showcase of Year 10 drama.


Students in Year 7 take part in the “Foreign Languages Spelling Bee”. By taking part students practise and improve their vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation and memory skills in French and German

Year 9 students take part in the “Foreign languages Translation Bee”. This competition helps students to improve their tenses and grammar – an essential foundation for going on to achieve well at GCSE.

We currently run trips to the French Christmas Markets (Y8), Cologne and Aachen (Y9) and the Europa Centre (Y7). We have links to Stadtallendorf (Germany) and Sospel (France).

Students in Year 8 have the opportunity to learn basic Latin in twilight sessions on Wednesdays where they find out about a family who really lived in Pompeii at the time of the eruption of Vesuvius. Students in Years 9 and 10 are preparing for Latin and Roman Civilisation at level 1 (equivalent to foundation level GCSE) in classes on Wednesday after school. They see the Romans at both end of the Roman Empire, that is in Braitannia and in Egypt. The level 1 topic this year is the Roman Army. At lunchtimes on Tuesdays, Year 10 students are preparing for level 2 Latin and Roman Civilisation (equivalent to higher level GCSE). Their topic is also the Roman Army which they study in Latin but back this up with research which they read in English. Adults at school are also welcome in all these classes.


We have numerous peripatetic instrumental teachers at St Ivo, teaching 1:1 lessons to students on strings, brass, drum kit, voice, piano and keyboard, woodwind, guitar and ukulele and recorder. These are taught by private music teachers who come into school on a weekly basis, and we aim to give access to these lessons to all students although there is a cost involved to parents/carers. Students can take up these lessons at any point in their time at St Ivo.

We also have 16 free extracurricular music clubs on offer: Harmonise and Cambiata (vocal groups for year 7-9 girls and boys respectively), Barbershop, Vocalise, and 4-part choir (vocal groups for Key stage 4 and 5 students), Wind band, String group, Steel pans, Samba band, Guitars and ukuleles, Recorder Group, Swing Band, Folk group, Brass group, Saxophone ensemble and Theory club. These all happen either at lunchtime or from 3-4pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. The department holds four concerts per year (November, December, March and June) which are of an exceptionally high standard, and also regularly contributes to community events such as the St Ives carnival, concerts in St Ives and Cambridge and charity events


Students in all years enter national competitions organised by the UK Mathematics Trust, with a number gaining certificates. Each year, up to nine Year 8 students take part in a series of five mathematics workshops in Cambridge. The Saturday morning workshops are organised under the auspices of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Speakers include university lecturers, and participants work on challenging areas of mathematics outside the school curriculum.

Press Matters

Items are released to the local press regarding school or individual achievements.


The Eco-Ivo o group comprises students who are interested and enthusiastic about getting involved in environmental projects both locally, nationally and globally. Meetings are held every fortnight in the geography department to discuss strategies for promoting eco ideas and events and for raising environmental awareness in school.

Over the past year the group has been instrumental in maintaining a high Fairtrade profile in school with an event each term. We were runners up in the Huntingdon District Council Green Hearts Community Awards; we have entered a bid each year since the start of these awards and were touched by the words that were expressed about the school on the night, “St Ivo has always been an environmental beacon amongst schools in Huntingdonshire and 2012 has been another successful year for all involved in environmental activities with the school.” Further work has been focused on the recycling of textiles and to this end the school has been in collaboration with St Ives Town Football Club to site a textile bank on the far end of the Rec Centre car park. The theme of textile recycling will be promoted by the Environmental Network (organised and run by Stuart Nunn, St Ivo geography teacher) which coordinates work between St Ivo and the local primary schools. Further afield, we are still supporting the rescue of albatross chicks in the South Pacific by collecting stamps and closer to home, we are strong supporters of Holt Island Nature Reserve.

Meetings are held in N21 on Thursdays, Week B. All new members welcome!

Duke of Edinburgh

St Ives DofE Open Award group have been offering DofE programmes to young people in the local area for over 20 years. The current coordinator has grown the programme from 8 participants, 20 years ago, to a current annual cohort of around 90 young people at Bronze, Silver and Gold level of DofE. The Award group thrives due to the continued commitment of a strong team of volunteer leaders and helpers. It is the largest Open Award group in Cambridgeshire.

The group operates out of Broad Leas centre in St Ives and run as an Independent Award group in partnership with the St Ives Locality team. As an Open Award group we can take young people from any educational establishment and even those who have full time jobs or who are home schooled. All are welcome from Year 9 upwards.

Young people can join a DofE Award from Year 9 at Bronze level, moving to Silver level in Year 10 and Gold level after their 16th birthday. Young people are accepted at any level provided they meet the age requirements, they do not have to work their way through all the Award levels.

The Award itself is built by the young people depending on their interests and activities. It is split into 4 sections at Bronze and Silver Level and 5 sections at Gold Level. Each section has equal merit and the whole award cannot be gained without completing all the sections.

Young people must take part in a Volunteering activity, a Physical activity, a Skill activity and an Expedition. At Gold a Residential experience is also a requirement.

Many activities that young people already do can be used to help them to gain their DofE Award, eg Music lessons are a Skill, football club are a Physical or helping out at cubs is Volunteering.

St Ives Open Group monitors and guide young people in their choices and support them along the way until they have fully completed their award. They also operate a full training programme for the Expedition section of the DofE Award at all levels. Expeditions at Bronze take place in neighbouring counties, at Silver expeditions go slightly further away, choosing The Peak District, Shropshire Hills or The Pennines, and at Gold all expeditions must take place in “Wild Country”. In the past assessed expeditions have been completed in The Dales, The Lake District and in Wales. The group has even started doing cycling expeditions at Bronze level as well as the traditional walking expeditions.

Any DofE Award at any level is an important part of a young person’s CV as it shows their commitment to a range of activities over a period of time. All DofE Awards are looked on very highly by UCAS, and employers, a recent survey showed that employers regard DofE second only to exam passes. The Gold Award is the culmination of the range of Awards and is particularly highly regarded because of the time and effort it requires to complete.

It really is worthwhile taking on the challenge and making yourself stand out from the crowd.

Recruitment at St Ives Open group takes place in the Autumn term every year before October half term. If you would like to find out more send please email or

Please note that the St Ives Open D of E group and organisation runs separately to St Ivo School, other local organisations (scouts, cadets etc) also offer the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Other Opportunities

The ‘Green Fingers Club’ originated about 15 years ago and with the Crazy Compost Company acts as the fund raising arm of the Animal Shed Club which looks after the school rabbits and guinea pigs. The Green Fingers Club grows bedding plants, leeks and rhubarb for sale to staff and the public and the Crazy Compost Company recycles the animal waste into garden compost or mulch. Around £650 gross is raised in this way each year and the profits used for repairs, veterinary bills and investing in new plant or animal stock.

During the past 10 years the Green Fingers Club has been actively involved in developing the school garden, a plot of land adjacent to the old St Ives golf course. Each stage of the original development was entered into a national garden competition for the under 18s. The club’s vegetable clocks, Garden of Reflection and biodiversity garden won the eastern region heat of each competition entered and as such went on to represent the region in national finals.

Today, emphasis is placed on providing habitats for wildlife and we can boast seeing Muntjak deer, grass snakes, great crested newts, increasing numbers of birds, butterflies and dragonflies. We are also undertaking a small series of plant trials to determine the best food/nectar sources for bees.

We have also invested in several raised bed containers. In a trial, students have been growing vegetables with a view to creating their own menus. We hope to extend this trial in future years.

As a part of our International Schools status the RE department has arranged many international learning opportunities for the students and has undertaken a project with the British Council. Under their Global Schools Partnership programme we were lucky enough to be twinned with a private International School in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Students in both schools were involved in learning opportunities and projects to share with each other. The main aim of these projects, was to learn about our own heritage and traditions, and those of our friends in the school abroad. We were also be able to challenge misconceptions and understand what it means to be a global citizen in the twenty first century. These projects were enhanced by a teacher exchange programme which allowed teachers from each country to spend time in each other’s schools sharing good practice. We are currently twinned with a private school in Delhi, India carrying out the same tasks and exploring the possibility of a student exchange to India. It is a wonderful opportunity for the schools to be able to do this and for the children to benefit in their learning in such a unique way with the support of the British Council. As a result of this partnership with India students from Years 10 – 13 visited India last October to meet their friends in the school in Delhi which we have been working with. The children from the school in India will be visiting us in September as a part of the exchange programme. Under the International Status we have also been creating links with Rwanda, Poland and China. The activities have included video conferencing and sharing live link up lessons with other children and teachers in classrooms and offices around the world. Projects in geography department have also involved our students visiting others in, for example, Soweto in South Africa as well as letter exchange with a tsunami-hit school in Japan. All these projects have helped to broaden the children’s learning experiences and horizons in a unique and special way.

Charity Events

The school has a long tradition of raising money for charity. Many students participate in the British Heart Foundation Sponsored Swim and profits from activities organised by the year councils are usually donated to charities chosen by the year group. The following gives a snapshot of past activities:

  • Year 7 year council and form groups are raising money for Cancer Research UK. The money is being raised by a number of fundraising activities, such as the ‘coin chucker challenge’, cake stall, candy floss stall, sponsored silence, guess the sweets in a jar and the popular ‘Hl’ dance video. The aim is to raise £1000. Well done to all Year 7’s for their hard work with the fundraising, in particular the Year Council.
  • Year 8 year council and form groups raised money for cancer research and Wood Green. The money was raised by having sweet stalls, cake stalls and much more! Well done to all Year 8s for their hard work with the fundraising.
  • Year 9 supported Macmillan Cancer Support, and put on a number of fundraising events. These included a cake baking competition and a sponsored dance-a-thon. Mr Varey also raised £400 in sponsorship by running the Edinburgh Marathon. In total over £500 has been raised for the charity. Particular thanks go to the year council for all their hard work.
  • The chosen charity for Year 10 students was Bliss. Several events were run over the year including cake stalls and a charity milk float ‘tug-of-war’. In total over £400 was raised for the charity.
  • The Sixth Form supports a number of charities throughout the year. Last year more than £370 was raised for breast cancer research by holding a ‘Pink Day’ and a cake sale raised just over £70 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. The Sixth Form also collects boxes for Christmas presents for disadvantaged children in Eastern Europe, as well as regularly donating blood at a local session. Students are also encouraged to become bone marrow donors.
  • The whole school raised £2,200 for Children in Need, and £1,900 for Sport Relief. Fundraising events included a non-uniform day for students with sixth form students wearing fancy dress, sponsored silences, cake stalls and live music at break and lunch time.

St Ives Youth Town Council

This council was set up in 1999, with proper elections held in the school. Each year group has two representatives and the council has made major contributions to the planning of the St Ives Carnival and other celebrations. Five members of the council visited their counterparts in Stadtallendorf. A major project has been setting up youth groups in the town and working on the St Ives regeneration.