This week at St Faith's

28 September 2018

Public Speaking

As I am sure you appreciate, public speaking is a challenge at the best of times.  Reciting a poem in front of an audience of parents and staff is certainly a tall task, particularly at the age of 11, but our brave Year 7s pulled it off in style last Friday afternoon.  The choice of poems was wonderfully diverse, ranging from the serious and thought-provoking to the ridiculously humorous, all of which kept the audience engaged throughout. There was a tangible sense of pride in the room as the children spoke with expression and confidence. As our host Mrs Greaves, Head of English, commented, the benefit of an event such as this is far greater than just an appreciation of poetry, although that in itself is of great value.  It goes further by building confidence in public performance and helps our young people to develop that important life skill of how to speak in front of an audience. Our Year 7s certainly rose to the occasion and I congratulate each and every one of the thirty plus pupils who were bold enough to have a go. At the end, we all left the room richer for the experience.  Thank you to Mrs Greaves and her English Department colleagues for organising such a splendid occasion, including the delicious tea and cakes afterwards.

SFPA Scavenger Hunt

Last Saturday morning at school, the St Faith’s Parents’ Association (SFPA) hosted another splendid occasion when our new Pre Prep families came along to enjoy a leisurely ramble around the school grounds and the opportunity to meet each other in a relaxed setting.  This is a lovely event to welcome our new families to the St Faith’s community and I am always struck by the positive and warm atmosphere. A long-standing St Faith’s parent and SFPA member commented to me mid-way through the morning, as families were mingling under the copper beech tree, “the children and parents are making friends for life”. Absolutely true. I am grateful to the SFPA committee, particularly Pamela Niedbalski, who was responsible for the management of this successful occasion.

Desert Island Survival

Earlier this week, I came across a Year 8 Engineering class that had been ‘stranded on a desert island’ and were challenged by Dr Hoyle to make an overnight shelter, using only newspaper and tape. After an initial planning period, the teams had 20 minutes to construct their shelter in silence,  testing their ability to work quickly as a group, under pressure. As you can see from the photos, several of the groups made a great effort, but most ran out of time and didn’t quite complete the cover, so there was great hilarity when the ‘local shower test’ was performed on each group at the end of the lesson!

School Harvest Festival Service on Monday

As a reminder we will holding our Harvest Festival Service on Monday 1st October for all staff and pupils in Year 1-8. Pre Prep children are invited to bring in non-perishable foodstuffs (tins/pasta etc.) directly to the Harvest Festival Service where it will be collected by prefects as pupils enter Ashburton Hall. Children in Years 3-8 should leave their produce in Crush Hall in Ashburton. Following the service, the gifts are to be collected by the Salvation Army and distributed to those in our community who will benefit most.


The new mobile café, ‘Beanissimo’ was much welcomed by parents and children after school this week.  The café has been here on a trial basis and, depending on sales and feedback from parents, may become a regular feature of St Faith’s life in the future.

Tomorrow, we have an U13 boys’ football team competing in the IAPS National Qualifier at Rokeby School in London.  I wish our players a great day.

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell