This week at St Faith's

7th June 2024

Whole School Assembly

It was a great pleasure in Assembly on Monday to hand out three Diamond Certificates of Merit. These special accolades are awarded to pupils who have achieved over 160 green (positive) entries for exemplary behaviour, for displaying excellent Learning Habits and for being their ‘best selves’.

Our assembly was led by our Lead Nurse, Mrs Petkov, and her talk gave us all the opportunity to learn more about allergies, including our responsibilities in keeping one another safe. Mrs Petkov gave the children a very thought-provoking talk about what it means to be ‘allergy smart’, including understanding who within the school community, may be susceptible to allergies. The children listened intently to the explanation of the difference between food intolerances (non-life-threatening) and severe anaphylactic allergies (life-threatening). They also showed impressive knowledge of what to do if they suspected that someone was unwell and might be suffering an allergic reaction.

We are very grateful for parents helping us to reinforce the message about allergy awareness at home, particularly when children are bringing in their own cakes for special celebrations such as birthdays. Thank you for your support and understanding of our policy that cakes and snacks may only be distributed with the permission of the tutor/class teacher.

International Day

On Friday 24th May, the SFPA hosted St Faith’s second International Day Event, celebrating the cultural diversity of our school community. Parents generously gave of their time to host stalls of countries to which they have a connection or affiliation. Pupils and parents thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to sample food from around the world and to learn about a host of cultural traditions. Welsh scones were on offer at the ‘Great Britain’ table, and those visiting ‘South Africa’ had the opportunity to sample biltong. Many of the visitors to ‘India’ enjoyed the experience of henna art, while those visiting ‘China’ tried their best to play a tune on the guzheng (a string instrument). Throughout the event there was a real buzz in the Ashburton Hall as our community came together to learn about different backgrounds and influences. We are extremely grateful to parent stall holders, the SPFA and our Year 8 assistants for their hard work in hosting this popular event.

Quiz Winner of the German Stall

Years 1 and 2 Sports Day

Following the postponement of our Year 1 and 2 sports day due to rainy weather before half term, we enjoyed some sunnier skies this week, which allowed our events to go ahead. It was a very joyful occasion for pupils, parents and staff alike. Hurdles, running races, jumping through hoops and the culmination of the morning – the relay race. Supporting one’s teammates was the order of the day and the learning habit of collaboration was very much in evidence as the children cheered each other on with great enthusiasm.

The Green team emerged as eventual winners with the Yellow and Red teams taking 2nd and 3rd places respectively.

Year 2 Trip to Wicken Fen

On Tuesday, Year 2 had an exciting day at Wicken Fen, immersing themselves in nature. The children engaged their senses through pond dipping and enjoyed an exciting minibeast hunt using sweep nets and log rolling. The children impressed all the accompanying staff with their curiosity, enthusiasm, and knowledge.

Year 4 Parent Forum and Tours

On Tuesday evening we welcomed parents of Year 4 pupils to an information evening about the transition from Year 4 into Year 5. Our excellent Year 8 tour guides showed families around the buildings in the central part of the school, so that parents could see the classrooms in which their children will be taught when they move up to Year 5 in September. The tours were followed by a staff presentation in Ashburton Hall which covered academic and pastoral matters. We hope our Year 4 parents found this event informative and helpful ahead of next academic year.

Year 5 Twisted Fairytales

In English Mrs Switsur’s Year 5 class has been writing ‘twisted fairytales’ for the Year 3 children to read. We hope that they enjoyed them and here is a selection for you to read at home. We hope that you enjoy reading them too!

Twisted Fairytale 1



Year 5 Tropical Rainforest Project

In Mrs Hames’ Year 5 Humanities lessons, pupils have been learning about Tropical Rainforests. The children have drawn very detailed pictures and labelled key aspects of the rainforest. Pictures were then taken of each child’s drawing and a very impressive virtual floating gallery was created, including each child’s voice recording explaining their picture.

Rainforest Project 

Year 7 Local Area Walks

Just before half term, Year 7 spent a very happy couple of hours exploring the medieval heart and architecture of our beautiful city. The urban landscape offers many clues to the city’s rich history –  the influences of education, scientific endeavour, trade, religion and tourism were clearly observed. Expertly guided by Mrs Davies, pupils were able to experience first-hand what they have been learning in their Humanities lessons.

Year 8 Crossnumber Challenge at The Leys

On Monday, a number of our Year 8 mathematicians went to The Leys to take part in the Crossnumber Challenge with Year 8 pupils at The Leys. It was an engaging competition in which teams of 4 competed against each other and a good example of one of the many joint events that take place within The Leys and St Faith’s Schools Foundation.

Year 8 Charity Challenge

As reported in last week’s newsletter, the Year 8 pupils who are taking part in this year’s Charity Challenge, continue their entrepreneurial drive to generate a profit for their team businesses. On Tuesday, the fundraising was very popular, with throngs of pupils in Ashburton Courtyard buying and selling around the many and varied stalls. We look forward to announcing the winning endeavour soon and the final sum of money raised for the chosen charities.

Summer Book Fair

Next week we welcome the return of our Summer Book Fair to the Library. The librarians have been talking to pupils about the Book Fair during their library visits this week, and there is great excitement in the air. Please refer to the poster in the sidebar which gives details of the days when each Year group can visit. Our Pre Prep pupils are also very welcome to visit the Summer Book Fair, and they may visit after school, accompanied by a parent/guardian. Please note that pupils in Years 3-8 will need permission from a parent to add the cost of buying books to their school bill.

School Council and Eco Committee BBQ

On Thursday afternoon members of both School Council and the Eco Committee were treated to a tasty BBQ by the catering team. Miss Gamble and Mrs Hudson thanked the children for all their hard work on the projects that they had put forward during the year, such as Sustainability Day, Design a Christmas Jumper competition, Road Safety Week and Plate Waste Day. The impact of this important work is evident around the school and we greatly appreciate the creativity and commitment to their roles by all Council and Committee members.

Year 6 Girls’ Cricket IAPS Festival

On the Friday before half-term the Year 6 Girls’ cricket team travelled to Framlingham for the IAPS Cricket Festival. Please read Mr Clayton-Smith’s full report in the sidebar.

Year 5-8 Boys’ and Girls’ Swimming Gala v Bedford

Out swimmers enjoyed a highly competitive swimming gala against Bedford School on Tuesday. Mrs Critchley witnessed possibly the strongest display of swimming she had ever seen, and an astonishing 9 school records were broken, some going back to 2004. This was the perfect end to a fantastic year of swimming at St Faith’s, for Years 7 and 8, this being their last gala this year. Many of our Year 8 swimmers have competed in over 20 swimming competitions since they were in Year 4, and for the U13 mixed medley and freestyle relay teams to convincingly break both school records from 2010, was a lovely way to sign off their swimming careers here……. except for the Swimming National Finals tomorrow in London, watch this space!

Final Score: St Faith’s 153

Bedford: 127

U12 – U14 Boys’ and Girls’ East Area Athletics

Today some of our athletes have travelled to Bedford International Athletics Stadium for the East Area Athletics competition. We wished them the very best of luck as they set off and look forward to hearing how they got on.

Matches and Events this Weekend

On Saturday our boys’ and girls’ swimming teams will travel to the London Aquatics Centre for the U10-U13 National IAPS Swimming Finals and on Sunday some of our chess players take part in the Cambridge Chess Megafinal, hosted at Perse Upper School. Also on Sunday our annual ‘S’ Club Gymnastics Competition is taking place at St Faith’s. This is for our girl gymnasts and is a friendly competition between 4 schools that all have the starting initial of ‘S’, and which ran before the pandemic for a number of years. The schools attending alongside St Faith’s are St Mary’s Hampstead, Stamford and Stormont. In addition, we will be holding a special smaller competition for some of our Under-7 and Under-8 Gymnasts, who will compete against pupils in these age groups from Stamford.

We Will Rock You Young@Part

Recordings of both Year 8 production performances are now available on My School Portal via this link.

And Finally….

Staying on a sporting theme, with Sports Day for Years 3 to 8 now just a week away, the pupils are practising their track and field events with great commitment and determination. We look forward to as many of you as possible joining us at the University of Cambridge Sports ground on Wilberforce Road next Friday 14th June, where our pupil competitors will be hoping to deliver some peak performances. For our supporting spectators as well as those taking part, we hope that we will also be treated to some fine summer weather – but if it is a particularly warm day, please do remember your hat, sunscreen and water bottle!

With all best wishes,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn