We began the week with House Assemblies and I joined Newton House in their excellent assembly on the theme of “What it means to be humble”, led by the House Captains. The idea of humility was explored with some quotes from Mother Teresa, St Augustine and CS Lewis and the house assembly provided an important opportunity for reflection.
On Wednesday, Pirianka Louis-Montfort (Chartwells Nutritionist) visited school to talk to pupils in Year 7 about food allergies and intolerances. The nutritionist covered the 14 classified food allergens and she also explained that people can have allergies to many other food items such as chickpeas, tomatoes or lentils. Pirianka helped pupils to understand the difference between an allergy affecting the immune system and an intolerance affecting the digestive system.
Pirianka also talked to Years 3 and 4 pupils about healthy eating and the importance of a well balanced diet. The children learned that a handful is the portion size required to achieve one of your 5-a-day and also that ideally these should all be different fruits and vegetables. The pupils were encouraged to “Eat the Rainbow” and learnt that purple/blue fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants which can help fight infections, whilst red fruit and vegetables support your heart and joints. Pirianka explained that green fruit and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals, orange fruit and vegetables are good for your skin, eyes and heart, whilst nutrients in yellow fruit and vegetables can help vision, digestion and the immune system. Thank you to Mr Burt, Chartwells Catering Manager, for organising this most interesting and informative visit.
This week when I visited Mrs Harmsworth’s Foundation class, there was an exciting phonics lesson underway. The children were thoroughly enjoying playing a game called ‘Quick-write’, in which they are shown a flashcard with the phoneme, they say it while performing the corresponding action, then it is hidden, and they write it on mini-whiteboards. The purpose of the activity is to consolidate correspondence between the phoneme and grapheme. At the same time, the pupils also reminded themselves of the definitions of a digraph (2 letters that make one sound like ‘oi’ as in coin) and trigraph (3 letters that make one sound like ‘air’ as in chair). At this half way point of the academic year, it is really exciting to see the progress that the children have made.
Congratulations to the St Faith’s A-team who secured another podium finish on Saturday. As the chess season came to a close, they won bronze medals behind King’s College School and JCB – who are a combination of the top chess players from three schools in Cambourne. En-route to this medal-winning performance, our A team gained victories over the top two teams this season. More news can be found in the index of this newsletter.
Last Friday Year 5 enjoyed visiting a Jewish Museum as part of their Humanities studies. They were able to see and find out about a number of items that are important in the Jewish faith, particularly the Torah. The pupils learned that the Torah is treated very carefully and respectfully, often cradled in a mantle or coat, and sometimes dressed with a special crown, demonstrating its special significance. On returning to the classroom pupils reflected on how we should treat things and people who are important to us.
Year 7 Study Pythagoras’ Theorem
Two of the Year 7 Maths classes have been outdoors this week, applying the rules of Pythagoras’ Theorem when measuring two dimensions of specific locations around school. They needed to apply their knowledge and use the equation to solve the 3rd missing length such as the hypotenuse (the longest diagonal side) or to manipulate the equation to find the length of one of the shorter sides.
Power House Games
On Monday, 12 pupils from Year 8 were invited to take part in the PowerHouseGames and event organised by Power2Inspire. This organisation was established in 2013 by John Willis who regularly visits St Faith’s to talk to the pupils about inclusion in sport. John, a passionate sportsman, was born without fully formed arms and legs and he was determined that his experience of being excluded from as a child sports, should not be repeated. He therefore created the PowerHouseGames.
Events take place several times a year and are designed to be accessible, fun and inclusive for everyone, including those with or without disabilities. Joe (8B) said “we played a variety of games and, as well as enjoying the experience, it taught us about the challenges faced by some people and how rewarding it is to help others”. The children were superb ambassadors for St Faith’s as they whole heartedly embraced the ethos of Power2Inspire and enjoyed a range of activities with both able-bodied and disabled children.
On Monday the U12 Boys’ Hockey National Finals were held at Culford School. The St Faith’s U12 Team had the most fantastic day. After 6 group games they qualified for the knockout stages, safely navigating their way through the quarter & semi-finals. This resulted in qualification to National Final against Culford. In a hard fought match St Faith’s scored in the last minute to become National Champions. Well done to all the boys and the Games staff on this magnificent achievement. It is the 5th National Hockey Title won since 2018.
U11 Boys’ IAPS National Hockey Finals finished 3rd in a very tight group resulting in a qualifying for the plate competition. They unfortunately lost 2-1 but learnt an awful lot through the qualifying tournament and finals. There will be much more to come from this group!
U13 Boys’ IAPS National Hockey Finals are being played today and at the time of writing the team had won 1 game, drawn 2 and lost 1, in a tight group.
Year 4 Pantomimes
As reported last Friday, our Year 4 pupils presented a wonderful set of pantomime sketches from Jack and the Beanstalk, Captain Hook, Dick Whittington and Snow White. It was a highly enjoyable afternoon and the video of the performance is now available on My School Portal (link below) for parents to enjoy.
Year 5 Parent Forum
It was a pleasure to welcome parents of Year 5 pupils to a Parent Forum this week, where they were able to hear about the learning journey of pupils at St Faith’s from Year 5 onwards, as a prelude to a Senior Schools information evening next term. A video recording of the forum is available to Year 5 parents on the link below.
SFPA Coffee Morning
This week, I was delighted to be able to welcome Year 8 parents to our first SFPA coffee morning, which took place in Tom’s Garden with hot tea and coffee and pastries. Almost two years since the start of the lockdown, it was a very special moment to be able to gather in person with members of our parent community. Further coffee mornings for parents of Year 3 and Foundation children will take place this term, with parents from other Year groups being invited during the summer term.
Today, pupils from Years 3-8 enjoyed an off-timetable Academic Enrichment Day with a programme which designed to embrace a broad spectrum of activities which would not normally be covered in daily lessons.
Year 3 had a splendiferous day celebrating all things Roald Dahl! Children dressed as their favourite character, shared fact sheets and met Lewis Barnshaw, the resident director of Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge Theatre in London. The children asked him a range of questions and he was extremely impressed with their wonderful costumes! Children then enjoyed a carousel of activities which included writing a recipe for Frobscottle (The BFG’s favourite drink), sketching in the style of Quentin Blake and chocolate tasting as if they were Charlie Bucket. The day was thoroughly gloryiumptious and great fun was had by all.
Year 4 have been exploring Sikhism, from looking at special religious artefacts They also created brilliant performances retelling the story Guru Nanak and how he became the first Guru of Sikhism.
Year 5 have been exploring the theme of the circus on their AcE Day. They have been working creatively in the art rooms to create wire acrobats in the style of Alexander Calder and ‘paper cut outs’ in the style of Henri Matisse. In the Sports Hall, they have been working collaboratively on acrobatic gymnastic displays. They have been using hoops and ribbons, practising partner/group balances, and have been encouraged to use artistic and gymnastics skills to work on creating and developing their own circus-themed group sequence.
Year 6 have been busy rehearsing for their upcoming production of Matilda Junior. Ms Allen says that the children are being ‘thoroughly revolting’ in true Roald Dhal style! Everyone is really enjoying being part of the ensemble and we are looing forward to welcoming parents back on site for this exciting event.
Meanwhile Year 7 spent a busy morning completing a traffic survey on Trumpington Road and then going on a guided history walk around the centre of Cambridge visiting colleges, historic buildings and several other notable treasures they have studied in their Humanities lessons over the course of this year. This complements the Local Area Study module the children have been covering on the history and geography of Cambridge. This afternoon, pupils have tested their mathematical problem solving skills, as they engaged in complex logic puzzles and geometrical patterns, which began with simple 2D polygons and turned into some impressive works of art. They enjoyed the varied activities, and teachers were impressed by their pupils’ ability to work collaboratively, explain their thinking, and develop creativity through Maths.
Our most senior pupils in Year 8 have been practising their public speaking skills and engaging in debates. In preparation for producing their own speeches, they have watched and been inspired by some famous great public speakers such as Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King. Pupils also considered what makes these speeches successful by looking at techniques such as repetition, references and conciseness.
Good luck to the 6 St Faith’s staff who will be running the Cambridge half marathon on Sunday. If you are watching the race, they would welcome a friendly wave and a cheer to encourage them! Some of them are running to raise money for specific charities and details of their fundraising can be found in the index of this newsletter.
As the second half of term progresses I greatly look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at our various events and before then, may I wish you a restful and peaceful weekend,
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn