It has been a pleasure to welcome back the pupils after the half term break. In lessons, on the sports pitches and around school, the children have been full of energy, focus and commitment to being their best selves.
With the ongoing high profile COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference currently taking place in Glasgow, we all have the opportunity to consider how we can commit to lowering our environmental impact, as individuals and as a community. We are proud of our Green Flag status as an Eco-School and we are grateful for the expert guidance and enthusiasm of our Eco Committee. As we look ahead to our future, the climate agenda, sustainability and responsible citizenship will remain central in our planning.
The Year 5 pupils in particular have been watching the events of the ongoing COP26 meeting very closely. In lessons they have been considering their role as global citizens as they learn about a range of topics, such as ‘fast fashion’ and food production, that are being discussed at COP26.
Fire of London
The History topic of the Great Fire of London was the focus for pupils in Year 2, as they enjoyed a truly immersive history experience with the arrival at school of ‘History Off the Page’. In this workshop, the children were transported to the bustling streets of 1666 London, a city comprising of tightly packed wooden buildings and poor sanitation. In the bakery, in Pudding Lane, a fire starts to burn. Learning to be apprentices in a number of jobs from the period, from weaving to embroidery, pottery to ink making, leather work to metal work, and even making potions as apothecaries, the children gained experiences of what life was like in the city. Suddenly the fire in the bakery burns out of control and they have to take action to save the city and themselves, by pulling down buildings to slow the spread and forming human chains to throw water on the flames. This hands on learning experience clearly delighted the children who took part and they have been sharing their accounts of the workshop with keen enthusiasm.
After putting out the raging fires in London, pupils in Year 2 will no doubt have worked up an appetite. They therefore will have been delighted to receive their ‘How to Make a Sandwich’ written guidance from Year 1, who in turn have recently been working on instructional text. In fact Year 1 have had a wonderful week writing out their instructions, before making, and most importantly, eating their sandwiches. What a tasty way to learn!
As well as learning lessons by ‘doing’, it is also important to learn lessons by ‘listening’ and this week Year 8 did just that when they were treated to an inspiring Teams seminar, beamed into their tutor rooms all the way from South Africa. In “Lessons from a Warder and his Prisoner”, Christo Brand described to the pupils the incredible story of his time as a prison guard on Robben Island. Whilst working in the prison, he met and became friends with Nelson Mandela. His account gave pupils a valuable insight into what life was like in apartheid South Africa, and the extraordinary character and perseverance of Nelson Mandela. Christo shared the many lessons he had learned from Nelson Mandela about the value of education, and he challenged our pupils to make the most of their opportunities. You can find out more about Christo’s inspirational story by going to the following link – https://christobrand.co.za
After a brief lull over the half term break, our school sports pitches have seen plenty of action this week, as pupils committed to their training and took part in a number of fixtures. Year 4 boys enjoyed another competitive outing, this time to St John’s for a rugby match, while older year groups enjoyed matches against King’s College School on our Latham Road pitches. The girls too have been in action on the Astro-turfs this week against King’s. Yesterday our U-11 Boys’ A team also took part in the IAPS Rugby Festival at Brentwood Prep. Match results can be found in the side bar.
This week our Sports Department have been using their imagination to inspire the pupils, even when the weather has turned inclement outdoors. They have identified a novel way of utilising the sports hall for fitness and fun, thanks to a little disco music and some hockey stick props.
As you will be aware, the decision was taken some while in advance to cancel this year’s Fireworks Night event. Now, in line with most recent guidance received from the Cambridgeshire County Council, I am sorry to share the news that it has also been necessary to cancel the school Christmas Fayre, scheduled for early December.
Given the elevated numbers of Covid in Cambridgeshire, hosting such a large gathering of pupils and adults has been deemed to present too great a Covid risk to our school community. However, I am very pleased to report that the St Faith’s Parents’ Association (SFPA) are planning a virtual seasonal celebration and we very much look forward to sharing with you details of this event in the near future.
For the pupils here at school, from youngest to oldest, there will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate the season of Advent and Christmas and we also look forward to streaming to families various forthcoming performances.
It promises to be very busy and enjoyable second half of term!
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn