This week at St Faith's

06 March 2020

On Tuesday I woke with a new resolution – no more handshakes.  Easier said than done I thought to myself as I reached out habitually to meet and greet families as they arrived at school.  So at the parent-teacher meetings on Tuesday evening I decided to take a different tack and attempted my first ever ‘elbow bump’.  It may have been a rather clumsy way of greeting people but it did create a great deal of amusement and showed a level of humour in what otherwise is a serious situation.  Before the next parent-teacher meetings on Wednesday evening I will endeavour to refine my ‘elbow bump’ technique.  So you have been warned if you see me approaching!

Surprise Visitor from The Voice

Pupils in Years 3 to 8 were thrilled by the arrival of a surprise visitor to a combined House Assembly this morning. Claudillia Holloway, who recently stunned judges on The Voice with her operatic talents, dropped in to Ashburton Hall to perform and talk to the children about her singing career.  She will be performing again on The Voice (on ITV, Saturday evening) and is hoping to make it through to the finals. After today’s inspiring performance, many of our pupils will be rooting for her.

D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read!)

The joy and excitement of reading was celebrated during World Book Day on Thursday.  Every child in the school was given a £1.00 book token and invited to the library to select a book from a specially published range.  World Book Day activities were also on offer in the library, which included story sharing, creating bookmarks and making posters of favourite books.  As ever I am grateful to our librarians, Ms Johnson and Mrs Warren, for all their efforts to make reading at St Faith’s such a joyful experience.

Chaucer Choose-Day

The school looked decidedly different on Tuesday when pupils and staff came to school in clothes of their own choosing.  From hoodies to hats and dresses to dungarees there was certainly no shortage in variety of style or colour.  All those participating donated a minimum of £2 to the Arthur Rank Hospice, the chosen charity of Chaucer House.  The funds raised will allow us to rededicate the silver leaf on the hospice memory tree, in memory of former tutor and language teacher, Kate Allanson, whom the hospice took such wonderful care of during her time there.  Miss Kennerley, Head of Chaucer House, who organised the event was thrilled with the generosity of the whole school as she proudly announced that over £1000 was raised – a record, we believe for a House Charity event!  Well done everyone and thank you for taking part.

Year 8 Michaelhouse Exhibition

Mrs Bowes accompanied the Year 8 Art and Design group to The Michaelhouse Exhibition on Tuesday afternoon where an inspiring array of art work from Sixth Formers at The Leys is currently on display. Creative responses to the beauty of botany and physical manifestations of rage have been expressed through a variety of media including etching, painting, screen printing, textile design and metalwork. Our Year 8s returned to school with plenty of ideas to fuel their own creations.  More details of the exhibition can be seen here.

Save The Bees!

‘Save the Bees’ was the message from 2JC in their assembly on Wednesday morning. Using a cleverly performed story about a family being pestered by bees during a picnic, the children questioned and explained the importance of bees for our environment and food chain. I was particularly taken aback to learn that it takes over 20,000 bees to make just one pot of honey! The children explained that bees are endangered due to the varroa mite, the reduction in wild flowers and the increasing use of insecticides. 2JC’s assembly ended with a delightful poem, written by the children, highlighting the importance of bees. I thought you might like to see this so I have included it in the side bar of this newsletter.

Sports Round-Up

Last Friday our U13 Boys’ Hockey team were undefeated at the IAPS Eastern Region qualifier, winning all their matches and thereby qualifying for the National Finals.  As I type the boys are battling for national glory at Cheltenham College.  Keep an eye on the St Faith’s Sports Twitter feed should you wish to see the results as they come in.

This week our U9 girls enjoyed playing in a Netball festival at New Hall School.  Despite the cold and wet weather, the team performed well and finished in 2nd place after 8 games.  It is certainly a very busy time of the year for sports. In the coming weeks we have a number of National Finals to look forward to in both Hockey and Netball across several year groups.  We wish all the players lots of enjoyment in these exciting events.

41 of our top swimmers competed at Stamford in the IAPS national qualifiers this week.  Mrs Critchley was delighted with their performances and we will wait time hear how many have qualified for national finals which will be held in the Olympic pool in London.


As I showed prospective parents around the school on Thursday, I saw these beautiful weaving creations by Year 3 – so I thought I would take a photo and show you!

Clearly the appearance of a reality tv celebrity was the highlight of the week for many and Claudia’s performance certainly impressed everyone present.

And Finally…

In a week when freezing morning temperatures have given no indication of the arrival of spring it seems slightly bizarre to remind you that there are just three more weeks of winter uniform remaining. On return from the Easter holidays, on 22nd April, all pupils will be expected to wear summer uniform (the full list can be found at this link).  You will no doubt be delighted to learn that there are no changes to the uniform list for any year groups this year!

I wish you all a wonderful weekend.

Nigel Helliwell