It will come as no surprise to read that this week at St Faith’s we have been celebrating the joys of Christmas.
On Monday, our ‘Senior Voices’ gave their first performance of the year, singing ‘Carols for Ukraine’ at Great St Mary’s Church in the centre of Cambridge. The concert was organised by the Rotary Club of Cambridge and funds raised from the evening will be used for the purchase of an ambulance for Ukraine. Our pupils represented the school superbly, with the confidence and musicality of their performance being warmly commended. We are hopeful that the pupils may be included in the radio highlights on Cambridge 105 Radio, which will be broadcast after the King’s Speech at 3pm on Christmas Day.
On Tuesday, the uplifting musical performances continued when members of our Chamber Choir were able to share in a truly memorable Cambridge Christmas experience – an iconic ‘Carols at King’s’ Service. This opportunity was granted through the generosity of The Provost and Fellows of King’s College, with a special Carol Service for secondary school pupils taking place in the beautiful surroundings of King’s College Chapel. The service featured a mixture of readings and carols, similar to the internationally renowned Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols that take place each Christmas Eve, broadcast to the world. During the congregational carols in the service, all of the pupils were encouraged to sing – and they certainly enjoyed the fine acoustic of the Chapel.
It is the very first Christmas night in Bethlehem and a group of census-takers are carrying out Caesar’s urgent decree that everyone in his empire should be counted. They count the people of Bethlehem, they nearly fall asleep counting sheep with the shepherds and then end up following the wise men and their camels to a special place.
On Wednesday, the story of Christmas was beautifully recreated by the Foundation pupils with singing, dancing and a confident delivery of all of their lines. It bore testimony to the hard work that had gone into the rehearsals for this special occasion in front of a very appreciative audience. Congratulations to all of the children.
‘Ned’s Christmas Discovery’
The second Pre Prep Christmas performance also took place on Wednesday. This time it was the turn of the Year 2 pupils, who shared their journey with Ned the donkey, to discover what lies at the heart of Christmas.
After being asked to help at Christmas, Ned becomes inquisitive to discover the true meaning of Christmas. His search takes him on an entertaining road of discovery through the hustle and bustle of a busy kitchen preparing Christmas dinner, a visit to a toy shop and an encounter with Santa and his reindeer. His search eventually leads him to a church where a nativity play is being rehearsed. As the timeless story of Christ’s birth unfolds through the play, Ned’s questions are answered, for now he has discovered the reason for the Christmas season: baby Jesus.
I am very grateful to all those members of staff who have supported the Pre Prep productions and also all the families behind the scenes who supported their children with costumes and learning their lines – as well as joining us for these festive performances.
Arboles de Navidad
¡Navidad, Navidad, dulce Navidad
La alegría de este día hay que celebrar!
In Spanish, the Foundation children have been practising festive vocabulary, colours and songs as they made ‘árboles de navidad’.
On Monday, 29 of our pupils took their The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) examinations, and next week 31 pupils will take their New Era Speech & Drama Examinations. It is impressive to see so many pupils committed to these extra-curricular opportunities in the creative arts. It is clear from recent performances that all the pupils rehearsing for these examinations work very hard with their teachers and at home to ensure they are as well prepared as possible, and we look forward to hearing the results next term.
The Witches’ Brew
Year 7 have been studying Shakespeare’s Macbeth this term. This has included a concoction of very descriptive spells to harm Macbeth for the 3 weird sisters to use. After deciding what the individual ingredients could symbolise, the pupils added in sensory details and vile details to make their audience squirm. The young playwriters then had fun dramatising their potions around a cauldron. Several pupils used an iPad to film the presentations and then one pupil ‘airplayed’ the videos taken for everyone to watch their performances on the big screen. This was a fantastic collaborative project where technology and drama were used to enhance an English lesson, brilliantly.
Who thought studying Macbeth could be so much fun!
U12 Girls’ IAPS National Hockey Finals
Last Friday the girls’ hockey season came to an end with our U12 team playing in the IAPS National Finals at Clifton College. The season thus far had been very successful, so expectations were high. The team performed admirably, finishing in the top 8 teams nationally. Having progressed impressively through the pool stage we met Downsend – the eventual winners – in a tightly fought quarter final.
This has been an outstanding season for the team, having played 28, won 26, drawn 1 and lost 1. They have scored 153 goals and conceded only 7, which really is an incredible achievement and we look forward to their progress continuing next year.
Year 7 Lunchtime Leagues
Over the past six weeks around 20 pupils from Year 7 have been taking part in a new sports initiative – Lunchtime Leagues. The aim of the programme has been to provide pupils with a fun, regular, and on-going sports competition that develops their experience in a range of different sports.
Weekly league results and team positions have been posted via the school newsletter, and this week saw the conclusion of the competition for the Michaelmas term 2022. Please click on the link button to read the final report of the term and find out who has been crowned as our inaugural Lunchtime Leagues Champions! It is hoped that the Lunchtime Leagues competition will run again next term.
Eco Committee & School Council – Second Hand Book & 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 breaks and lunchtimes. Maybe some of those purchases might even 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.
SFPA Annual Christmas Fair
Today, we welcomed our families to what, for many, has become a well-timed opportunity to complete (or perhaps begin) their Christmas shopping. Stalls are snapped up by many varied local small businesses, making this very much a community event. The children have also been involved in running their own stalls. For example, this is the first time that The Goblins have run a stall at the St Faith’s SFPA Christmas Fair. They have been busy making Christmas decorations and gifts to sell and their aim is to raise funds to contribute to the costs of our ‘Formula Goblin’ racing activity. The children will also be running a ‘guess the number of balloons in the Goblin car’ competition.
The Good Schools Guide
“St Faith’s is one of the gems in Cambridge’s academic crown”.
This was the conclusion of the review that we have just received from ‘The Good Schools Guide’ following their visit to St Faith’s in October. It is an extremely positive report, testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff, and we do hope that you will enjoy reading it.
New School Video
This week at school, teachers and pupils across all Year groups have welcomed the camera skills of Oggi Tomic into their classrooms. Oggi is a BAFTA-winning filmmaker who has produced multiple videos for St Faith’s and is well-known to many of the staff. The Marketing department are working with Oggi to produce a new video to showcase our school, which will be published both on the school’s website and social media channels in the New Year.
There are still many festive highlights to anticipate in the final week of term, including the Pre Prep Christmas Service, ‘Carols around the Christmas Tree’ for Years 3 & 4, our Carol Services for Years 5 & 6 and 7 & 8, and of course, ‘Last House Standing’, our annual festive House singing competition. It is a real pleasure to be able to celebrate this special season with our whole community this year.
And for those of us still standing after all these seasonal events I will look forward to being able to wish you all a very ‘Happy Christmas’ on the final day of term next Friday.
In the meantime, I wish you and your families a very happy weekend.
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn