This week has seen a number of St Faith’s pupils undertaking activities away from our school site, exploring transport routes, visiting cultural and artistic sites, and taking part in competitions and fixtures. I hope you will enjoy reading about these, and other events, in this week’s newsletter.
Foundation Bus Trip and Local Area Walk
As part of their topic ‘Let’s Explore’ Foundation took the bus into the city centre. After reading the ‘Fitz and Will’ stories by Laura Robson, Jia Han and Katherine Mann, there was great excitement as the children spotted the lion statues outside the Fitzwilliam Museum. The pupils were encouraged to look up and share their observations. They spotted ‘Dinky Doors’, flags of all colours, turrets, spires, and patterned brickwork, as well as lots of details in the emblems of Emmanuel College and Christ’s College, as well as the iconic silhouettes and motifs of King’s College and Chapel. On their return to school, the children wrote with enthusiasm about their observations. Thank you to all our parent helpers who helped to make this great adventure possible.
Year 8 Art & Design Group Trip to Castle Fine Art Gallery
We were delighted that one of our Year 8 pupils was named winner of the ‘The Castle Fine Art Young Artist Competition of 2023’ on Tuesday afternoon. The competition challenged pupils to produce ‘creative responses’ in the style of their favourite artist from the gallery, or to respond imaginatively to a thought-provoking theme which they encountered in a previous visit.
The winning artwork was influenced by acclaimed landscape artist Scarlett Raven and will be framed and displayed in the gallery for the summer; our pupil was presented with £50 worth of art vouchers to spend at Tindall’s in Cambridge. Another of our pupils was placed runner-up for his carefully observed interpretation of works by Paul Caufield and another pupil’s original response to the artwork of Peter & Jayne Smith was also named runner-up.
Talia Melesi, assistant gallery manager for Castle Fine Art, Cambridge, said: “It is always wonderful to welcome the children from St Faith’s School to the gallery to learn more about our artists. It’s clear to see how much time and thought each pupil applied to their original entries to the competition; the range of work was so varied and carefully executed. I’m sure Scarlett Raven would be thrilled to see the interpretation of her work and we look forward to displaying it in the gallery in a few months’ time.”
U9 ISGA 5 Piece Nationals 2023
This competition took place on Saturday 24th February at Tormead School. Mrs North reported that the venue was excellent and the atmosphere electric. Our youngest national finalists enjoyed the occasion and made the most of their opportunities. Medals and trophies are given out from 1st to 6th place and we were excited to gain that coveted 6th place in both the group category and the overall standings. The whole team felt very accomplished standing on the podium with two medals earned.
U11 4 Piece Challenge Cup
Also on Saturday and at Tormead School, our Year 6 girls really enjoyed the opportunity to participate in this excellent competition. The great draw was the chance to perform their floor routine on a sprung floor. All four members of the team showcased their most challenging skills and for two of our pupils, they performed round off back flips for the very first time. The team finished in a highly creditable 8th place overall.
U9, U11 and U14 Boys’ National ISGA Championships
Saturday marked the most challenging event of the gymnastics calendar to date for the boys – the U9, U11 and U14 Boys’ National ISGA Championships. This also took place at Tormead School and once again, the team enjoyed performing their routine on a sprung floor. One of the boys completed a round off back flip for the first time and another pupil championed a round off back tuck somersault with great style. Despite competing against some Year 9 boys in their division, our U14 boys’ team beat their nearest challengers by an impressive 21 points. Our pupils were placed 2nd, 4th and joint 5th positions.
The U11s showed their skill, poise and determination with two pupils performing round off backflips. One of the boys won the gold medal with the team also gaining 1st place honours.
The U9s looked confident and polished in their performance. St Faith’s took both 1st and 2nd places. The team took the gold medals bringing the trophy haul for the boys to five. All boys show excellent potential to develop greater skills. They work exceptionally well with each other and always represent St Faith’s with pride.
U13 Boys’ East Regional Hockey Finals
Today the U13 boys’ hockey team have travelled to Ipswich Sports Centre to take part in the East Regional Final competition and we look forward to hearing about their progress in this prestigious competition
This weekend, St Faith’s pupils will be competing in a local Golf Competition at Kingsway for Years 4-8. Meanwhile the U10 and U13 Girls’ teams will be taking part in the ISGA Five-Piece Premier National Gymnastics Championships and the U11 and U14 Boys’ and Girls’ teams will be competing in the Mixed Sports Acro and Tumbling BSGA East Regional Round. Good luck to all who are participating.
As reported in last week’s newsletter, our Chess teams were in action last weekend in the Cambridgeshire Chess Championship (CCC). Three teams took part and our A team ended the day in the silver medal position in the CCC League, just behind King’s College School.
The next big chess event will be the Megafinal on Saturday 18th June. This is open to everyone, and players of all abilities are welcome to take part, so please encourage your child(ren) to sign up if you think they would enjoy this. Please contact Mr Jamie Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any further details.
On Tuesday and Thursday this week, members of the School Council and Eco Committees were outside school at morning drop-off to conduct a survey about travel to school, and especially capture the thoughts of St Faith’s pupils on cycling as an option. Our dedicated Committee members were also handing out bicycle lights and fluorescent snapbands to reinforce the school’s messages about safer cycling.
On this theme, a pupil-led initiative that has been suggested for the summer term, is the possibility of a ‘group cycle’ – riding from Trumpington P&R. This idea is currently being explored and we will keep you updated on progress.
Year 1 ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’
Year 1 pupils have been very busy rehearsing for their forthcoming performance of ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’, to which families are warmly invited. The performance will take place next Thursday, 9th March, after which there will be a retiring collection in aid of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal.
I am very pleased to report that donations at the end of the Year 4 ‘Rhyming Pantomines’ last week totalled more than £300 for the DEC appeal – thank you to all parents for your generosity.
Personal Identity and Diversity
Last half term, Year 5 pupils studied Diversity as part of their PSHCE lessons. This week, 5B took the opportunity to explore their own personal identity further and each independently produced a box during their tutor times to celebrate aspects of their own personal identity. A vibrant classroom display also celebrates all the individuals in the class.
Year 6 Primary Maths Challenge
Following our Year 8 success in the Intermediate Maths Challenge, reported last week, we now have news of the Year 6 results for the Year 6 Primary Maths Challenge. In November, Year 6 pupils joined almost 58,000 pupils in taking part in this challenge and then the highest performing pupils were invited to take part in the Bonus Round. Before half term, eight Year 6 pupils participated in the Bonus Round paper, by invitation. This challenging paper encourages pupils to apply their problem-solving skills, to think laterally, and to find answers that are ‘outside the box’. To be invited to the final round is a highly commendable achievement in itself and all pupils performed impressively, with one pupil achieving Gold, and two receiving Silver awards.
Instrumental Soloists’ Festival
On Thursday twenty-eight soloists delighted audiences with their performances in the Soloists Festival. Mrs Catherine Evans-Buczak, Director of Music of King’s Ely Junior, adjudicated the festival and complimented pupils on their performances. Adjudicating and feeding back on over two hours of performances requires great expertise! We are most grateful to Mrs Evans-Buczak for providing valuable and instructive comments to further help those musicians who performed.
Mrs Evans-Buczak was also keen to hear our rehearsal evening: she was highly impressed with the quality of musicianship on display in Concert Band and String Orchestra and also the range of music going on at St Faith’s. Mrs Evans-Buczak commented, “that the pupils show such commitment to the Music department in yielding their free-time to perform and rehearse together is testament to a thriving Music department.’’
Year 7 Parent-Teacher Meetings
It was a pleasure to welcome our families from Year 7 to their Parent-Teacher meetings this week. Our aim is to offer parents an opportunity to discuss their children’s progress at this stage of the academic year with a range of their teachers, and we do hope these meetings were valuable.
In the Classroom This Week
I have very much enjoyed visiting pupils in their lessons this week – Year 2 have been working hard on their ‘dinosaur’ assembly. I joined Year 4 in their Spanish lesson in which they were learning more about the country of Spain and its various cities. The pupils were also discussing Spanish national foods, as well as landmarks, such as the Sagrada Familia. Meanwhile Year 8 were busy using equations to calculate area and volume of a range of 3D shapes in Maths, and they have been testing their knowledge of binary and Python in Computing. Year 5 pupils were very keen to show me the work they are doing to complete their scientific topic on ‘space’, as well as sharing their progress on building and programming Lego robots in Computing.
Table Tennis Competitions
As you may have read from earlier editions of the newsletter, and our school Twitter accounts, there has been a feast of table tennis over the past couple of weeks. Around 90 pupils across Years 5 – 8 have competed in a series of Inter-House Table Tennis competitions. The number of pupils taking part in these competitions has far exceeded our expectations, meaning that extra dates were included in order to accommodate everyone.
This week, it was the turn of the Year 5 boys’ table tennis competition – please do look in the sidebar of this newsletter to find out which House won the event. On the final page of the report, you will also see details of the overall House winner of the Year 5/6 combined events.
Based on the enthusiastic response to these inaugural competitions, we are already planning further opportunities for our pupils, including entering the National IAPS competition in April and devising a program of Year 3 & 4 Inter-House competitions for the Summer Term.
Foundation 2023 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 2023. 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.
SFPA International Day
As part of its programme of community-building events, the SFPA is looking to run an ‘International Day’ event after school in the summer term, to celebrate the mix of cultures, nationalities and languages spoken across our school community. This year’s event will primarily be for Years 5-8, potentially evolving to encompass the wider school community in future years. The provisional date is after-school on Friday 26th May, but this will be confirmed once sufficient parent support has been offered. To enable the event to run successfully, the SFPA is seeking volunteers to host tables at the event who would be willing to showcase different countries, for example to share knowledge, experiences and culture of a particular country through art, food, games and music.
Looking ahead to next week, we have a Year 6 Parent-Teacher evening on Tuesday, the Year 1 Production on Thursday and the sell-out SFPA Easter Community Day, on Saturday 11th March. It promises to be a very busy time! Before then may I wish you all a happy weekend and good luck to all staff and parents who may be participating in the Cambridge Half Marathon on Sunday.
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn