This week at St Faith's

1st July 2022

This week has been Enrichment Week at St Faith’s. Pupils in Years 3-8 have had a wonderful opportunity to be ‘off-timetable’, extending their knowledge of different topics and having huge amounts of fun along the way. The week culminated in the annual ‘Makukhanye Day’ Charity Fair.

Since 2003, St Faith’s has had a relationship with the Makukhanye Township School in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Each year we hold a fund-raising event at the end of Enrichment Week and the children learn more about life in a township in South Africa.

It has been a wonderful, action-packed and busy week and I hope that you will enjoy this montage of photos to give you a flavour of the week across the year groups. The children have immersed themselves fully in the different challenges, visits and activities each day. Those of you who follow the @St_Faiths twitter account will have already seen some of the very happy images captured throughout this week.

Science ‘Off The Page’

On Monday, Year 3’s ‘Geology Day’ enriched and extended their Science unit on rocks and soils. They compared and grouped different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and physical properties, described how fossils are formed and identified that soils are made from rocks and organic matter. They also used different types of scientific enquiry, setting up a practical investigation to determine the permeability of rocks and a simple erosion model. They made predictions, used fair tests and made careful observations. There was a huge amount of enthusiasm for Geology amongst the pupils and my conversations with them confirmed that they found the day truly inspiring

Author Visit

Year 3 pupils also enjoyed an author’s visit this week, from Mrs Alison Miles – herself a former Visiting Music Teacher at St Faith’s and The Leys. She came to talk to the children about her series of beautifully illustrated rhyming tales, featuring ‘Snippy the Crab’, sharing stories of exploration and adventure.

Maths and Games Day

On Thursday, Year 3 enjoyed a day of Maths activities: constructing 3D shapes from nets and dowel rods, practising 2D shape names with an ipad investigation, trying to measure the capacity of containers (without spilling too much water!) and investigating different pentomino shapes using five cubes. (The answers are in the picture, but can you arrange the pentominoes into a 10 x 6 rectangle?) Year 3 children then ran around the field and tennis court solving a Maths treasure hunt which was exhausting both physically and mentally! They also learned that in Mathematics at least, sometimes slow but steady actually wins the race. Well done everyone!

Harry Potter Day

Year 4 started Enrichment Week with a magical themed Harry Potter Day. The children looked fabulous in their outfits and we even had a Hedwig! The children met the famous ‘Sorting Hat’ early in the morning, and from this were organised into their Hogwarts’ houses for the day.

On Tuesday, the children enjoyed pond dipping where they discovered common newts, water boatman and dragonfly larvae living on our school site. This was followed by a practical session learning about motte and bailey construction in the afternoon.

STEAM Day

Wednesday brought around STEAM day (Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics), where the children produced parachutes and dropped them from the Sports Hall balcony. Other activities included designing frisbees, taking part in a paper model challenge and eating some very sour jellybeans to see how our taste buds work!

On Thursday morning, the children enjoyed a fascinating trip to Little St Mary’s church, while the afternoon saw a visit from a famous author, Onjali Rauf. This was an amazing opportunity that sparked real excitement around writing and reading for the children!

Nene Valley Outdoor Water Sports Day

On Monday, the Year 5 children enjoyed a great day of water sports at Nene Valley. They were able to take part in sailing, climbing and paddling in teams on large inflatables. There was some impressive teamwork in evidence and the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the new challenges.

Flamenco Dancing

On Tuesday the sounds of swirling dresses, clicking heels, castanets and laughter could be heard emanating from Ashburton Hall. Red scarves swirled in time to the music of Flamenco as the Year 5s took to the dance floor.

University Botanic Gardens Visit

During the Year 5 visit to the University Botanic Gardens, pupils explored the tropical glasshouses and produced some beautiful illustrations of tropical plants, showing their adaptation to the humid environment. This tied in with their Science and Humanities topics this year, which included rainforests and habitats.

Visit to Imperial War Museum Duxford

The Year 6s visited the Imperial War Museum at Duxford on Wednesday. Their host for the day was a former Royal Navy Pilot called Mike, who commented that the children were ‘the most curious and attentive school audience that he had had the pleasure of talking to all year’.

Multisport Day

As part of the Year 6 multi-sport day, a group of 13 boys and girls went to Cambridge Lakes to play nine holes of par 3 golf, with scores ranging from 45 to 35. The last shot, by the last player on the course, resulted in a birdie two. Golf was certainly the winner!

At the same time, the Year 6 pupils who had chosen the ‘dance’ option for this session visited The Leys Dance Studio and were taught by a professional choreographer.

Big Picture Day

As part of Big Picture Day, the aim of the day was to give the Year 6s a sense of the scope, scale and chronology of History, as well as improving their general knowledge. The quiz contained a number of rounds from the History of Sport, Entertainment, Art History, Famous Leaders and Wars and Conflicts.

Visiting St Paul’s Cathedral

For the avid followers of Twitter amongst you, you will already know that St Paul’s Cathedral in London took only 35 years to build after the Great Fire of London in 1666. It was one of the many facts that the Year 7 pupils learned about this magnificent building when they visited it on Tuesday. They were able to experience both the panoramic views across London from the outside of the dome, as well as the internal views 30m above the Nave from the Whispering Gallery.

‘Camp Out’

The adventure began for the Year 7s straight after school on Thursday with tents springing up on the school field, sausages sizzling on the BBQ and a good helping of team activities continuing through the summer evening, including a ‘silent disco’.

Ahead of the ‘Camp Out’, pupils had visited The Leys for an activity day. They were able to choose from an extensive ‘menu’ of activities, including Water Polo, Dance, Squash, Climbing and Volleyball. After all that activity and excitement, plus a night of camping, some additional rest may be required this weekend!

Residential Trip to Kinver Edge

Year 8s embraced their residential experience in Kinver this week and triumphed in their goal to make memories with friends to cherish forever.

62 Year 8 children were able to spend 5 nights under canvas, co-operating with one other, tolerating some variable weather and slightly bumpy ground, and embracing the joy of spending time outdoors.

The children delighted the staff with their capacity to collaborate, to empathise and to support one other. They scaled walls, learned to canoe, built shelters, stacked crates and zoomed down ziplines. In the evenings everyone congregated at the campfire where the group entertained each other by lip-synch groups, talent items and skits. Despite the changeable weather, spirits always remained high. The smiles and accompanying encouragement from peers were heart-warming for children as they faced all kinds of challenges. We really hope that the Kinver Edge experience helped the children to develop ever greater resilience and confidence in their abilities. We are enormously grateful to all the staff who went on the trip and who participated in everything with such a cheerful and energetic outlook. They loved spending time with such a delightful group of children.

Other News….
Collaboration in Engineering and Computing

At the end of last week, 22 Y5 pupils and 2 staff from Harston & Newton Primary School spent the day with us taking part in Engineering and Computing challenges. They worked with some of our Year 7 and Year 8 pupils to build and program a robot, then they designed, built and raced a rocket car in the Engineering workshop. Our visitors really enjoyed making use of the specialist Engineering facilities here at St Faith’s and they really appreciated the warm and friendly welcome from our pupils and staff.

‘Meet the Class’ Foundation 2022

At the same time as the bustling activity taking place on the school field for Makukhanye Day, the new Foundation children for September 2022 came into Southfield today to ‘Meet the Class’. Although the children had visited Pre Prep on previous occasions, today was the first time that they had met everyone in their new class, as well as meeting the new teacher they will have in September. We are excited to see the next generation of St Faith’s pupils so eager to join us.

Old Fidelian Football

Last Friday, the final Old Fidelian (OF) event of this school year took place. Parents, staff and Old Fidelians played a series of football matches and enjoyed refreshments together afterwards. After some keenly contested fixtures, the parents’ team emerged as the overall winners!

And Finally ….

Next week we look forward to celebrating the successes of all our pupils throughout the academic year with a range of special assemblies, as well as Speech Day on Friday.  We particularly look forward to our Year 8 pupils being back in school after their Kinver adventures, for their final week at St Faith’s before becoming our youngest ‘Old Fidelians’!

With all best wishes, 

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn