There was a definite sense of seasonal anticipation in the Pre Prep this week. The Foundation children performed their ‘Wriggly Nativity’ and they captivated their audience from the very first moment with a lively opening wriggle dance. The children had memorised their lines as well as a plethora of songs and skilful choreography on stage. There was a full cast of camels, sheep, shepherds, angels, wise men and Mary and Joseph in a stable. At the heart of the performance was the Christmas message of the birth of Jesus and joy to the world. With guidance and support from their teachers and encouragement from home, the Foundation children have worked extremely hard to deliver such a confident and accomplished performance. They were clearly delighted by the smiling faces and rapturous applause from their audience.
Christmas with the Aliens
Next it was the turn of Year 2 to entertain us with the story of Christmas with the Aliens. In this story, stranded on Earth with their broken spaceship, a group of aliens far from home meet some school children about to rehearse their Christmas play. Invited to watch, the aliens soon discover an amazing story of the birth of the Christ child and they want the whole universe to hear. However, will the aliens be able to mend their spaceship and travel back to outer space? In this stellar production there were many impressively choreographed dances, including the Crash Landing Dance and the Hilltop Dance, as well as memorable songs to get everyone’s feet tapping, such as Well, I Never, When the Angels Come and We Three Kings. Under the expert guidance of their teachers, the Year 2 pupils provided a truly superb performance and the audience left Ashburton Hall full of Christmas goodwill, as well as some delicious mince pies, courtesy of the catering team.
The children in Key Stage 1 are counting down the days to the end of term with a Bookvent (similar to an advent calendar). Each child was asked to bring in a favourite story which was then wrapped up and displayed in the classroom. Then everyday a book has been opened to great excitement and shared with the class. Favourites have included The Pine Tree by Julia Donaldson, The Littlest Yak: The New Arrival by Lu Fraser, Fitz and Will: The Cambridge Cats Christmas Adventure by Laura Robson Brown and Katherine Mann, The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan Ahlberg and singing along to The Twelve Days of Christmas book. We can’t wait to see what stories next week brings!
The puzzle crew finally conquered this week’s Discovery Zone jigsaw challenge! The pupils were delighted with their achievement at completing such a difficult jigsaw.
Lord of the Flies Audition
On Monday, there was much excitement amongst pupils and members of the Drama department when an associate from Nina Gold Casting Agency, having learned about St Faith’s from our Instagram account, paid us a visit. This purpose of this was to audition 57 hopeful pupils for a part in a forthcoming television production of Lord of the Flies. All the boys did brilliantly, and this was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. We now wait with bated breath!
Speech and Drama Tea Time Recital
Last Friday, we were treated to an evening of New Era examination work as pupils across different Year groups prepared for their Speech and Drama examinations. They were all highly accomplished performances, which spanned a wide variety of topics, ranging from a speech about a trip on a high-speed train to a captivating rendition of Roald Dahl’s Grand High Witch. A wonderful hour of entertainment and thank you to Miss Tucker for preparing the pupils for their assessments.
On Monday, 20 pupils took their Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) examinations. It is impressive to see so many pupils committed to the extra-curricular opportunities afforded by learning a musical instrument. It is very evident from recent performances that all the pupils have been working very hard with their teachers and at home, to ensure they are as well prepared as possible.
Year 7 and Macbeth Studies
Turning to English, pupils in Year 7 turned their hand to writing a letter from Macbeth to his wife, in which he conveys his dislike for the three witches. The pupils also expressed Macbeth’s growing excitement at the prediction of becoming king and all that it promises for the couple. The pupils then read the letters pretending to be Lady Macbeth receiving the news.
Eco Committee and School Council – Second Hand Book and Puzzle Sales
The St Faith’s Hub has been even more of a hive of activity this week than usual. Pupils from every Year group have had the opportunity to visit the second-hand book and puzzle stalls at morning break and lunchtimes. Maybe some of those purchases might find their way into Christmas stockings this year! Congratulations to members of the Eco Committee and the School Council for working collaboratively on this fund-raising activity. The money raised will be invested in the projects that the children have chosen to work on this year.
Once again, this year we are supporting our local branch of Age UK. The children are making Christmas cards which will be distributed to those people who Age UK is supporting to ensure they are not left isolated or lonely. This short advert highlights why Age UK’s work is so important, especially at this time of year: Age UK. Know what to do. Isolation 30 | Age UK – YouTube. Earlier today, pupils in Years 4-8 visited the Cambridgeshire Care Home in Great Shelford. They delivered gifts and sang carols, as they shared some joyful Christmas spirit with the residents and staff, which was greatly appreciated.
U10 & U11 Swim Gala v Bishop’s Stortford
Very well done to all pupils who took part in the Swim Gala against Bishop’s Stortford on Monday, many competing for the first time. Bishop’s Stortford are a strong team, so our swimmers knew it was not going to be an easy match. Both age groups swam brilliantly and although St Faith’s was in the lead for most of the gala, there was nothing in it going into the final two races. In the end, St Faith’s was just defeated by 238 points to 229. Well done to everybody for representing our school so beautifully and for making Bishop’s Stortford work really hard for their win!
Year 7 Girls’ IAPS Hockey National Finals
On Thursday last week the U12 girls set off for Bristol in the hope that the National Finals being held at Clifton College would go ahead the following day. The ground staff at the college did an amazing job, with the tournament commencing at the scheduled time, and despite the cold weather there was some fantastic hockey displayed. The St Faith’s team sailed through the pool stages scoring 10 and conceding 3, where they met Hurstpierpoint College in the quarter final. A confident performance and a 3-0 win meant St Faith’s would face Bishop’s Stortford College in the semi-finals. An incredibly tough game saw the game go to penalties with Bishop’s Stortford eventually winning. The St Faith’s girls were remarkably resilient and remained very upbeat to win the playoff game 4-1 against a strong Cheam side. Third in the country, what an incredible achievement, but even more rewarding was the way the girls responded to challenge. Life lessons learnt that will put them in good stead for the future.
Year 7 East Region Girls’ Hockey Finals
On Monday at the East Regional Finals in Ipswich, once again some amazing hockey was played. The St Faith’s team made it to the semi-final where the girls lost on penalties. However, they rallied with a great response to take the third spot. They should celebrate their great achievement and also take motivation from the experience for next year.
Year 7 & 8 Boys’ and Girls’ District Schools Cross-Country Championships
We are thrilled to share the remarkable success of our talented young athletes who participated in the District Cross Country Championships held at Netherhall School on Thursday. A total of six girls and ten boys from Years 7 and 8 showcased their dedication and athleticism, running with great commitment on a challenging course of just over 3km, featuring varying terrains. The atmosphere was electric, and the performances were nothing short of fantastic.
We are pleased to announce that several of our students have earned the honour of progressing to the next round to represent the county in January. A list of results is available in the sidebar. These students, along with the top 16 from each race, have earned the privilege of representing our county in the upcoming competition. It is worth noting that each race included approximately 120 students from schools across Cambridgeshire, making their achievements all the more commendable. We extend our warm congratulations to all the participants for their outstanding performances and wish those selected all the best as they move on to represent the county in the next round.
For the first time at St Faith’s, Girls’ Football has been introduced as part of the Games programme in the Michaelmas term. In Years 3, 4 & 5 the girls have had a 4-week block of training, introducing them to all the fundamentals of the game culminating in some fixtures against The Perse Prep at Year 4 & 5 level and tournament play with Year 3s.
The advancement of the girls’ skills and understanding of the game has been highly impressive and they have transferred their knowledge of shape, space and movement from hockey, admirably. The girls have thoroughly enjoyed their experience of football and we will be looking to cement this pilot scheme into the future programme, expanding on what we have put in place this term. It would be great to hear if any girls have decided to take up football outside of school, so please do contact Mr Welch if this is the case. For those who are interested in doing so, but you are not quite sure where to start, please contact Mr Welch (email@example.com) who would be happy to help.
St Faith’s Parents’ Association Annual Christmas Fair
Finally at the time of writing, we are looking forward to the annual SFPA Christmas Fair – a real highlight of our school calendar. We welcome our families to what for many, has become a well-timed opportunity to complete (or indeed perhaps begin) their Christmas shopping. Stalls are snapped up by many local businesses, making this very much a community event. The children have also been involved in running their own stalls. I hope to see you at our Christmas Fair, where if we are being especially good, there might also be an early appearance of Santa…
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn