This week at St Faith's

14th June 2024

Sports Day

In Games and PE lessons, pupils in Years 3-8 have been determinedly practising both their track and field events in preparation for today’s Sports Day. We are very fortunate to be able to make use of the excellent University of Cambridge track and field facilities at Wilberforce Road and every year it is a much-anticipated and enjoyable school event for pupils and families alike. We look forward to including a photographic gallery from the day on our social media channels and in next week’s newsletter.

Pre Prep Fun Day

For the Pre Prep children, today must have seemed unusually quiet with the majority of pupils away at Wilberforce Road for Sports Day. Nevertheless, it is not without its advantages, and Pre Prep had ‘the run’ of the whole school site on their own Olympic-themed Fun Day. The children enjoyed a wide range of fun-filled activities as they took turns to visit and explore the different ‘zones’ of the school.

Tying Ties!

The ‘graduation’ from Year 2 in the Pre Prep to Year 3 as part of the main school involves several changes for the children. This includes the expanding curriculum, the opportunity to enjoy more subject specialist facilities, as well as making new friends among the additional pupils who will join the school in September. Year 3 children also become the proud owners of our distinctive red and black striped blazer, which immediately identifies them as a St Faith’s pupil. This means that a new skill must be acquired before September – that of tying their own school tie. Not to worry though, because help is at hand. On Thursday, several of our senior pupils visited the Year 2 pupils in Southfield to help them to tie their ties. Everyone seemed to have fun and I am sure there will be plenty more practice ahead of September.

Book Fair

This week, the library became a mini bookshop as we celebrated the return of our annual Summer Book Fair. Pupils have been enjoying the new books on offer, discussing choices with their friends (and parents!) and making some tough decisions in order to stick to their individual budgets. Thank you to all those who have supported this final library event of the academic year. All commission raised from the sale of these books will be shared with local primary schools in September, and our Year 8 Pupil Librarians will also be assisting with the purchase of books to replenish classroom libraries

Chartwells Team Volunteering Day

On Friday 31st May the Chartwells team braved the dreadful weather and spent a very enjoyable day volunteering at Cambridge’s first community farm, CoFarm next to Coldham’s Common. The day started with an informative introduction to the community farm and all their plans for 7 acres of land by Gavin Shelton, Founder and CEO. The farm is in its 5th year and so far, it has donated over 25 tonnes of quality fruit and vegetables worth over £100,000 to local community food hubs. If you would like to volunteer or know more about their community-based agroecological farm, please visit their website https://www.cofarm.co/uk

In the Classrooms

I joined Year 5 in a Science lesson, where they were learning all about ‘matter’, whilst Year 3 have been studying light and shadows, and Year 6 elements and compounds. Spanish ‘snack-related’ vocabulary has been on the menu this week for Year 5, whilst Year 7 have been using their creative talents to make ‘wishing trees’ out of wire in Art. Topics being studied in Humanities have included the Siege of Troy for our Year 5 children and the English civil war for Year 6, who have also found time to explore hip-hop and rap in their Music lessons. Year 8 have continued their studies of the Islamic faith, and Year 4 have been researching special sites and churches. Year 4 have also developed their understanding of marketing, using their persuasive writing skills to design some very compelling adverts for toys.

Road Safety Day

Wednesday was Road Safety Day – an important area for the daily attention of our whole school community. Mrs Hudson and the School Council marked the day by promoting the importance of safer cycling with the message ‘Have you Seen Me?’ outside the school gates at morning drop-off. Their message was reinforced with eye-catching banners, which the pupils had made themselves, and to assist with cycling visibility, they also distributed eye-catching snap bands to both pupils and parents.

Foundation 2024 Familiarisation visits

Throughout this week, the Admissions and Early Years teams have been welcoming all the new children who will be joining us in Foundation in September, for the second of their three familiarisation visits. As well as the children getting to know their future class friends, it has also been an excellent opportunity for parents to introduce themselves to one other. We will host the final ‘Meet the Class’ visit on Friday, 28 June. At that point, the children will all be in their allocated classes and anticipating the start of school in September, and we look forward to welcoming them into our community.

U10 – U13 National IAPS Swimming Finals

There was much excitement last Saturday as 21 of our Year 6, 7 and 8 pupils went to the Aquatics Centre in London to compete in the IAPS National Swimming Finals. We had 6 relay teams and 7 individuals competing. The standard of swimming was, as always, exceptionally high and the whole team entered into the spirit of this competitive event, despite the nerves! Five new school records were set by 3 individuals and 2 relay teams, 4 of these even improving upon new school records set at last Tuesday’s gala against Bedford. A huge well done to everybody concerned, with particular congratulations to our individual finalists. The results can be found in the sidebar of this newsletter.

Under 13 County Cricket Festival

The U13 girls’ 1st XI Cricket team performed superbly in the U13 County Cricket Festival at King’s Ely on Wednesday. The festival comprised five 10-over-a-side matches. The girls competed against The Perse, King’s Cambridge, St John’s and King’s Ely A & B teams and they won every game convincingly. Particular highlights included scoring 100 runs against The Perse in the first match at exactly 10 an over and brilliant fielding and bowling against a strong King’s Cambridge team when the girls were under significant pressure. The girls showed tremendous sportsmanship and team spirit throughout the day and the standard of their batting, bowling and fielding was exceptional.

Rowing

Rowing has gone from strength to strength in recent years at St Faith’s, with children in Year 7 and 8 able to learn and develop new skills and experience a new sport. This term, we have had children out on the River Cam in single sculls, doubles and coxed quads. Eight pupils travelled to King’s Ely to experience racing in octuples this week. We aim to help the children to discover a sport that they might continue throughout their adult life and, for many, rowing will give them the opportunity to stay fit and to take part competitively if they choose. The children hone their skills on the rowing machines at school before heading out on the river in a single scull. Once they have mastered the balance and coordination needed, they progress into a coxed quad and the double. We are very fortunate to be able to make use of the facilities at the Combined Colleges boathouse which provides an excellent location for our novices. We make an annual trip to Ely to join their rowers in mixed-squad racing, organised by their Head of Rowing, Craig Ward – we are very grateful to them for providing the opportunity to race in octuples.

East Area Athletics Championships

U12-U14 Boys and Girls

As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, on Friday 7th June, 49 of our Year 6-8 athletes travelled to the East Area Athletics Championships at Bedford International Athletics Stadium. The day was incredible, featuring remarkable performances and even the breaking of school records. We are thrilled to announce that 13 pupils and 4 relay teams have qualified for the national finals, which will take place at Birmingham Athletics Stadium at the beginning of July. A heartfelt thank you to our dedicated coaches and teachers for their unwavering support and guidance, which made these achievements possible. Congratulations to all our talented athletes!

U10 and U11 Boys and Girls

On Tuesday the annual East Area Athletics Championships took place at the Cambridge University Athletics Sports Ground at Wilberforce Road. 21 athletes from Years 4 and 5 competed against 30 other independent schools from the Eastern Region. As well as the many St Faith’s staff who supported the event, we would like to extend our thanks to Carol Wright and Dave Phillips, our starter and track official respectively. There was one new Area Record, and several children came very close. Certificates will be on their way shortly to all schools who had pupils in the top 3 of the finals or field events. You can read the report of the event from Mr Mageean in the side bar of this newsletter.

And Finally….

Looking ahead to the action-packed final weeks of term, there are still many exciting events on the horizon to which we can look forward. These include our Year 8 and Year 7 overseas trips, our Summer Music concert on Monday 17th June, the SFPA Summer Party at King’s College, Prizegiving, and our Enrichment week activities. Whether your Saturday and Sunday involves music rehearsals, sporting events, sourcing a dinner jacket, writing a speech or packing for upcoming school trips, I wish you a happy and relaxing weekend.

With all best wishes,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn