On Monday, Mrs Davies spoke to the children about the theme of gifts and what they considered to be the greatest gifts. Answers included animals, experiences, forgiveness, the gift of time and the gift of friendship. We heard about research demonstrating that good friendships are important for emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. As well as being important at school, we also know from our Old Fidelian community that many important life-long friendships begin at St Faith’s.
We then listened to two special stories about friendship which linked to International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27th January. The first story was that of Sir Nicholas Winton. During a period of nine months in 1939 Nicholas Winton rescued 669 children from the country then known as Czechoslovakia, bringing them to the UK, thereby sparing them from the Holocaust. This effort to evacuate children was known as the ‘Kindertransport’. Sir Nicholas Winton was an inspiration to many people, all around the world, although he humbly insisted that anyone would have done the same.
The second story was that of the remarkable friendship which was struck up between a rocket engineer called Arthur Kern and a young girl called Lilly Maier. Arthur was a child of the Kindertransport forced to leave his childhood home in Vienna because of the war. He was not able to return there until 60 years later. When he knocked on the door of his old flat in the Gussenbauergasse in Vienna, it was 11-year-old Lilly who answered the door. Lilly and her mother welcomed Arthur and out of this visit, a deep friendship grew. Arthur’s story was to have a profound impact on Lilly, inspiring her to study History. As an adult, she decided to write a book about this remarkable friendship, Arthur and Lilly: The Girl and the Holocaust Survivor, which is a truly inspiring read.
On Monday, families joined us for a wonderful selection of music at our lunchtime concert, in which pupils from Years 2-6 were performing. Four pianists and a cellist played pieces including Prelude from the C major Suite for Cello by J S Bach, Summer by Joe Hisashi, Pillow Dance by Bartok and Sonatina in C by Kuhlau. It requires confidence and skill to stand in front of an audience as a soloist, and so all the pupils who rose to this challenge are to be warmly congratulated. It was also encouraging to see a range of pupils and members of staff attending the concert to support the performers and we look forward to the next one.
Patterns and Pastries
Following on from the success of last term’s ‘Books and Biscuits’, this week Foundation parents have enjoyed ‘Patterns and Pastries’ after the morning drop-off. As part of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children are developing a deep understanding of the numbers one to ten, the relationships among them and the formation of patterns within those numbers. The use of practical resources really helps the children develop the knowledge and vocabulary to build maths mastery. A variety of maths activities, games, puzzles, problem solving tasks and other resources were played with during our ‘Patterns and Pastries’ sessions, inspiring many pattern and number related conversations!
Year 1 Place Value
This week Year 1 pupils have been doing some practical work on place value with numbers up to 50. They have used tens and ones in different ways, part and whole models. They particularly enjoyed working with tens frames and cubes to help with visualisation.
NSPCC Pre Prep Number Day
Continuing with the numbers theme, the Pre Prep are raising money for the NSPCC by wearing items of clothing with a number on them. As part of their Number Day today, they have also enjoyed a range of cross-curricular Maths activities, ranging from cooking to measuring to using iPads. In Foundation they have practised counting in Spanish, sung number songs in Music and in the classrooms, looked at the arrangements of dots on dominoes to find pairs of numbers totalling 6,7,8. They have also enjoyed lots of number themed stories, such as Six Dinner Sid, Handa’s Surprise and Kipper’s Toybox.
2JJ Class Assembly
The 2JJ class assembly today was all about how the planets orbit around the sun, supporting their current topic of ‘Space’. The children represented the planets going around the sun and they delighted their audience with the ‘Planets Song’ as well as reading the poem ‘Planet Roll Call’ by Meish Goldish.
My Special Place
Pupils in Year 3 have been considering the places that are special to them. This is inspiring them to create a piece of work to explain why a particular place means so much to them and their families. Given the opportunity to present their work through whatever medium they wanted, there have been some wonderful pieces of writing, photography and even an iMovie!
The Creation Story
Continuing with the iMovie presentations, last term, Year 3 were learning about Christians and the Bible. 3L explored the functionality of several iPad apps and animated the Creation Story using iMovie and Keynote. I hope you enjoy these 2 compilations of their work.
Good News for Everyone
We welcomed a visitor from ‘Good News for Everyone’ to speak to the Year 7 pupils this week. This organisation, previously known as The Gideons, distributes free Bibles to schools, hospitals and hotels. Our speaker talked about his Christian faith and explained that the Bible is important to him because it is like a lamp guiding him in the darkness. The Year 7 pupils were each offered their own copy of the New Testament and Psalms.
Year 4 have been learning about Sikhism in Humanities this term. The children enjoyed a perfect afternoon outside drawing flowers which are used to celebrate Sikh festivals such as Vaisakhi.
The World of Microbes
Year 5 pupils are currently learning about the world of Microbes in their Science lessons. On the topic of kitchen hygiene, Peter Burt and his catering team kindly gave our Year 5 pupils a fascinating tour of St Faith’s catering facilities last week, affording them a great real-world perspective of how the spread of microbes is prevented. As well as being able to hear about practical applications of their new scientific knowledge first-hand, the pupils also gained a real appreciation of what an amazing job they all do to feed 700 people every single day!
Year 6 Humanities
On Thursday, Dr Hyde-Dunn gave Year 6 pupils a talk about Henry VII and the different forms of propaganda and display he used during his reign. It was an opportunity for the pupils to find out more about this fascinating monarch, who is normally in the shadows of his more famous son, Henry VIII. The Year 6 pupils learned about Henry’s skillful use of visual culture at his coronation, as well as his elaborate burial arrangements in the re-founded Lady Chapel of Westminster Abbey. The talk was followed by a discussion session in which the pupils asked some very perceptive questions.
Intermediate Maths Challenge
This week, a group of Year 8 pupils chose to participate in the Intermediate Maths Challenge. The challenge is aimed at Year 9 to 11 pupils; it involves a range of problem-solving tasks encouraging mathematical reasoning and precision of thought. There are 25 questions, and to add to the challenge, incorrect answers beyond question 15 are penalised with negative marking! Pupils worked diligently through the problems and showed real resilience and determination. We were delighted that so many Year 8 pupils put themselves forward for this challenge, and we look forward to receiving the marks from UKMT later this term. In the meantime, if you would like to have a look at the style of questions, please do follow the link to find past papers along with solutions: link
This weekend additional hockey matches have been arranged for the Year 5 boys to play Kent College Junior School. Parents are very welcome to watch the games. We also wish good luck to our U11 & U13 gymnasts who will be taking part on Sunday in the Mixed BSGA (British Schools Gymnastics Association) ‘Milano Team Trio’ and ‘Floor & Vault’ Gymnastics Regional Round at Chelmsford Gymnastics Club.
Bentley Brownie Sale
An ever-popular charity event, this year Bentley House have adopted the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance. as their chosen charity. The crews are tasked on average with seven ‘missions’ each day, with helicopters taking off from bases in Cambridge and Norwich.
Thank you to our families for taking the time to make such delicious treats which have been very popular at break times this week, and to Bentley House pupils for all of the funds they raise throughout the year for this very important local charity.
Foundation 2024 Parents’ Breakfast
This morning, it was our pleasure to welcome some of the new St Faith’s families who will be joining the school for Foundation 2024. A delicious breakfast was the perfect opportunity to sample St Faith’s catering and hospitality, as well as for parents to meet one another, and for members of the SFPA to introduce themselves. This is part of a series of ‘Friday Foundation Breakfasts’ taking place over the coming weeks – thank you for making the newest members of our community feel welcome.
Pre Prep Open Morning
Our next Open Morning event on Thursday, 25th April will focus on entry to the Pre Prep. Registrations can be made via the home page of the school website. We invite all of our families with younger siblings to join us for the morning.
Life Education Centre
Next week, we are very much looking forward to our visit from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Life Education Centre from Wednesday 7th February. You are warmly invited to attend one of the two parent information sessions which will take place via Teams. Details of the Teams links were sent to parents of Foundation to Year 6 last week. The class schedule for visits to the centre can be found on the button below.
Following the Big Garden Birdwatch last weekend, we have all been paying particular attention to the the natural world around us this week. This includes the many beautiful snowdrops that have started to appear, reminding us that Spring is on its way. I hope you are able to spend some time in the great outdoors over the next few days and I wish you a relaxing weekend.
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn