On our return to school for the second half of the Michaelmas term, the pupils have engaged with the curriculum with focus and enthusiasm. In Music rehearsals there are hints of seasonal festivities to come and more immediately there is growing excitement about the return of Fireworks Night.
Another important feature of this time of year is our focus on road safety. With November’s darker evenings now upon us, may I please remind all our St Faith’s families – whether on foot, scooter, cycle or other forms of transport, to be extra vigilant. High visibility clothing is strongly recommended for all pupils travelling on foot or by two wheels, and please remember that functioning bicycle lights are a legal requirement. Please also encourage your children to be very careful on any pavements around Cambridge, where damp fallen leaves can soon become very slippery. Finally, I would like to remind all those travelling by car to continue to be very cautious when picking up their children, especially when pulling into and out of lines of parked cars. I most grateful to everyone for working together to keep our community safe.
Just before half term, 1JC were fascinated by their study of pumpkins of different shapes, sizes and colours. They created amazing observational drawings for their class pumpkin patch, complete with acrostic poems.
Year 1 and 2 Voices
The children in Years 1 and 2 have been really enjoying a large selection of traditional singing playground games. Every child has found their voice and had many opportunities to sing in the group as well as individually.
Year 2 Little Scientists
Year 2 have been ‘Little Scientists’ this week, working on their observation skills. They have been learning new vocabulary and applying this to their observations and investigations, including mixing of various simple substances. For example, they looked at what happens when you pour oil into water, as well as pouring food colouring into water, and putting liquid soap into pepper floating on water. The technical vocabulary they learned included the words float, sink, solid, liquid, gas, expand, rapid, dissolve and disperse. The ‘Mentos in Cola’ eruption was a highlight for all!
Year 5 Science Sleepover
The last Thursday, before the half-term holiday, saw St Faith’s turn into a boarding school for the night. 63 of our Year 5 pupils came back through the gates on Thursday evening, armed with sleeping bags and lots of enthusiasm, to take part in the Science Sleepover. For some, this was their first time staying away from home, but the familiar surroundings provided a safe and secure environment for them, and their behaviour was impeccable. I also appreciate all the hard work from our staff that went into hosting this special event.
A welcome return to our school calendar, the event brought together some of the key elements of this term’s Science curriculum, experienced in a dynamic and exciting way. From trampolining in the Sports Hall, constructing towers in the Engineering workshop to ‘flame testing’ using Bunsen burners in the Science labs, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable event. The evening finished with pizzas and a film before everyone zipped up their sleeping bags and camped in the main school hall.
After a delicious breakfast, Friday morning began with a visit from ‘The Animal Experience’ and from Cambridge Community Circus. Pupils were able to participate in sessions ranging from handling of vertebrates and invertebrates to plate spinning!
It was a delight to have received an email from one of our workshop visitors after the event to say, “we are also always impressed by your pupils – their readiness and enthusiasm to participate, their determination – and their politeness.”
Ellen Ismay Certificate of Excellence
Many of our pupils undertake public examinations in a range of specialist areas including Music, Drama and Mime. We were delighted to hear that one of our Year 8 pupils has won The Ellen Ismay Certificate of Excellence by the New Era Academy, which was recently presented along with a Trophy. This award is given once a year by the Academy to the learner gaining the highest Distinction mark in the Grade 3 Mime examination and is a truly wonderful achievement.
In The Classrooms
This week in English, Year 8 pupils have been undertaking peer reviews of each other’s work, considering the skilful use of literary devices in prose. Year 6 have been creating some wonderful sculptures in Art. They have also enjoyed some quiet reading time in the library. Year 1 have been especially active in the Sports Hall with their dance, while Year 2 have been undertaking subtractions with the help of number lines. Year 7 have also been testing their Maths skills, answering questions on long multiplication, as well as thinking about viscosity in Science. Beyond the classroom, girls and boys have been proudly representing the school with an impressive set of hockey and rugby fixtures.
As part of our wider outreach programme to engage with schools in our local community for mutual benefit, today our Hockey staff welcomed 31 Year 5 and 6 pupils from Park Street Primary School in Cambridge. They joined our children to focus on the core technical skills of the game, followed by the opportunity to play some matches. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all.
Continuing with the sporting theme, may I also wish the very best of luck to our U11 and U13 Badminton teams who are competing tomorrow at the IAPS Badminton Championships at Eastbourne College. We look forward to hearing about the event on their return.
Poppies for Remembrance Day
To commemorate Remembrance Day, poppies have been on sale throughout the school this week and Year 8 prefects have been responsible for distributing them to the pupils. Next week, we will be holding a whole school Remembrance Service on Monday, and pupils will also be observing the national 2-minute silence on Friday, 11th November at 11:00.
Year 3 and 4 Open Morning
On Wednesday, we welcomed Year 3 and 4 families who are considering St Faith’s for their children in September 2023. This marked a return to face-to-face Open Mornings and was a great success. Following presentations in Ashburton Hall, which included a snapshot of life in Year 3 and 4, the families received tours of the school by some of the Year 8 Prefects, who were excellent ambassadors for our school. The morning ended with an opportunity for our visitors to ask questions of members of the teaching staff and the admissions team. Thank you to everyone who took part.
And Finally, SFPA Fireworks…
This evening the sky will light up over St Faith’s as the SFPA hosts the annual Fireworks event. It is expected that up to 900 people will attend this sold-out event, and a range of hot refreshments can be enjoyed before the fireworks begin. The advice from our ever-energetic and hardworking SFPA committee is to wrap up warm and make sure you enjoy some hot food and drink before the ‘main show’ gets underway. I look forward to seeing you there!
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn