This week at St Faith's

07 February 2020

Spontaneous rounds of applause are always good to hear but when coming from children, they somehow bring an extra touch of warmth and joy.  I say that because last Monday, I witnessed several unprompted moments of clapping at the House Geography Quiz, when contestants provided impressively accurate answers to the taxing questions.  Last summer, what temperature in the Cambridge Botanic Gardens was the highest ever recorded in the UK? As the quiz master, I had been instructed by Miss Dow to allow a degree each way, but there was absolutely no need to do that when Eloise was first on the buzzer, to give the precise figure of 38.7 Celsius.  That prompted the initial spontaneous applause from fellow contestants, parents and staff.  The next one came from Henry’s correct answer to, ‘Put these seas in order from north to south: Mediterranean, Black, East Siberian, Arabian.’ And so it went on.  The questions came quick and fast and with the exception of, ‘Name one of the French beaches on which allied troops landed on D Day’, pretty much all the questions were answered correctly.  The beautifully constructed quiz was put together by Miss Dow (Head of Humanities).  Whilst Latham took the honours (by quite a distance), I congratulate all the 4 houses for a really inspiring hour which highlighted just how much our pupils know.  I am already looking forward to next year’s event.

Castle Fine Art Gallery

For those Year 8 pupils not involved in rehearsals for the upcoming production of High School Musical, our Art Department arranged an artistic challenge with the Castle Fine Art Gallery, in the Grand Arcade.  On Tuesday, the group visited the gallery and were shown around by an Old Fidelian who now works there.  The pupils and staff discussed art techniques, background and inspiration for the displays, the prices of different pieces and the process of printing, as well as the concept of limited editions.  Each pupil then selected a particular style or artist and will now spend time in lessons creating their own works which they will submit for judging.  The winning art work will be framed and displayed in the gallery later in the year.

Year 2 Art

Speaking of art, Year 2 pupils have recently been studying the famous painting, The Great Wave, by Japanese artist, Katsushika Hokusai.  The original art work, published in the early 19th Century, is one of the most recognisable works of Japanese art in the world, and depicts an enormous wave threatening three fishing boats, with Mount Fuji in the background.  Year 2 have been trying to recreate the piece, with some outstanding results, including Bethy’s amazing depiction shown here.

Year 4 Drama

Slap-stick comedy and perfectly delivered one-liners were the name of the game on Thursday afternoon when all Year 4 pupils performed a hugely entertaining series of pantomime sketches from Ali Baba, Captain Hook, Cinderella and The Pied Piper of Hamlin.  The children delivered a feast of entertainment.  The quality of acting, slick stage craft and great humour were a testament to the talent of the pupils and expertise of our Drama teacher, Ms Allen.  As one parent emailed to Ms Allen afterwards, My daughter really enjoyed preparing the play, and today I saw her so radiant and confident. It meant a lot to me. It’s lovely to see all the children growing and having a good time performing in front of an audience.’

Clearly everyone took great pleasure and pride in their involvement in these mini-productions and had lots of fun along the way.  Oh yes they did!

Video and photos for current parents

Foundation Service

Yesterday, governors, staff, families and pupils of The Leys and St Faith’s gathered in The Leys Chapel for the biennial Foundation Service.  A celebration of the close links between the two schools, the service, in the impressive surrounds of The Leys Chapel, included beautiful choral performances from the St Faith’s Senior Choir and The Leys Chapel Choir, including John Ireland’s Ex Ore Innocentium, George Dyson’s Magnificat in C minor and John Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth.  My sincere thanks to Mr Gorick and Mr Kenworthy (Director of Music at The Leys), for coordinating such a lovely Foundation occasion.

Year 4 Maths Challenge

Last week, you may recall, we hosted the Year 4 Maths Challenge, an event which included 126 pupils from 32 schools. I am delighted to say that not only did the St Faith’s team win, but Arabella and Jake finished first overall. A wonderful result, of which everyone should be very proud indeed.


As usual, it has been a busy week for sport.  Year 3 enjoyed their first taste of competitive netball yesterday afternoon.  Twelve teams from St Faith’s, King’s College School and St Mary’s played in a rally organised by Mrs Melville, our Head of Netball.  This was the first event in the U8 calendar and a great way to introduce the girls to the competitive aspects of the sport in a friendly and familiar environment.

Last Sunday nine gym teams, comprising 34 pupils attended the Milano Team Trio Regionals at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Elstree, a qualifying event for the National Finals which will take place in March.  Three teams qualified for the Nationals, the U11 Boys, U11 Mixed and U13 Mixed – very well done to them.

Our chess teams were in action last weekend, playing matches against other schools in the Cambridgeshire Chess League, hosted here at St Faith’s.  It always gives me great pleasure to see so many children pitting their wits against other in this friendly and competitive competition.

And finally…

What better way to finish than with a photo of the Year 3s on School House Field, in glorious sunshine, testing their weather vanes this week.

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell