This week at St Faith's

09 March 2018

Little Miss Inventor

Allow me to introduce you to Little Miss Inventor, who was ‘born’ on 8th March 2018, in fine health, with luxuriant green hair, a shiny new spanner and plenty of imagination! She is the latest character in the ‘Little Miss’ books, written by Adam Hargreaves (son of Roger, the author of the first set of Mr Men and Little Miss books) and published yesterday. Our own female ‘inventor’ and Head of Engineering, Dr Hoyle, celebrated the launch of this new book by designing a special engineering day for all Year 2 pupils. And what a treat they had. To begin the day, three members of staff invited the children to invent solutions to their problems. Mr Brent wanted school recycling bins to be more attractive and exciting, Ms Overman asked for a robot or contraption to help her with daily tasks and I challenged them to design something which would make my bicycle noisier (rather than just a bell) as a warning for pedestrians.  As you might expect, the children were not short of ideas and approached the challenges, with great enthusiasm and ingenuity, thanks to valuable support from our Year 7 engineers. In the afternoon, they learnt how to make giant bubbles using hoola-hoops, design parachutes which would prevent Easter eggs breaking when dropped and create circuit bugs with wired LED lights. Little Miss Inventor would have been proud of our pupils’ efforts and creations. Thank you to Dr Hoyle and her team for designing such an original day.

House Music Competition

I was very proud of our pupils’ efforts and performance at the House Music Competition on Monday. An impressive 45 soloists were brave enough to step on stage and perform.  I congratulate each and every one of you for playing a solo in front of your peers, parents and teachers. Our guest adjudicator, Simon Kirk, Director of Music at SJCS, commented particularly on the impressive overall standard in all three competitions and applauded the children on their self-confidence and stage presence. It was a richly rewarding event and one which was a great credit to the talents of the pupils and our music teachers. Very well done to everyone who performed and particularly to the winners: Ryan (Juniors), Luciana and Mateo (Intermediates) and Adam (Seniors). Further details are in the index.

There’s a Sunflower in my Supper!

Confidence also flowed across the stage in the Year 1 production of ‘There’s a Sunflower in my Supper!’ on Wednesday. The children sang and danced their way from one scene to the next, with great joy and self-assurance. It was a beautifully produced show – slick, neat and hugely entertaining with, crucially, all the children playing an important part. As I glanced around the audience half way through the show and saw rows of proud smiling parents and grandparents, I knew I was not the only one who had been touched by the enchanting performances.  Many congratulations to each and every Year 1 child and of course, to the talented Year 1 teaching team who produced this show with skill and precision.


As the end of the winter sports season approaches, county, regional and national sports finals arrive like London buses – on a good day.  On Wednesday, the U11 netball team was placed 4th in the regional competition and are, together with the U12s, competing in the National Netball Finals in Basildon today. Our girl gymnasts are also in action today and tomorrow, competing in the IAPS national finals, and our U11 boys’ hockey side are in training for their National Finals at Tonbridge School on 21st March. It would be good to win one of these competitions, but it really is the taking part that matters. They provide the perfect opportunity for our pupils to test their skills and team work against the very best prep school teams in the country. I trust that our players will enjoy every moment.

Chaucer ‘Chuck Out’

This week marked the beginning of Chaucer ‘Chuck Out’, a two-week collection of unwanted clothes, shoes and textiles. A good time, perhaps, to have a ‘spring clean’ of your wardrobes at home and post any donations, in bags, in the collection bins on the chequered mat by the Sports Hall?  Monies raised will be sent to Tom’s Trust, a wonderful charity which funds specialist support for children with brain tumours.

Inter-House Geography Quiz

I am now off to do my Jeremy Paxman impression as I host the keenly contested annual Inter-House Geography Quiz.  Fingers will be on the buzzers as Miss Dow’s cleverly designed interactive questions challenge the pupils’ knowledge of the world.


Here is the delicious option that many children chose for lunch today – pan fried loin of pork with smoked cauliflower puree, roast shallots, apple and duchess potato.

I will be conspicuous by my absence in the middle of next week (Tuesday to Thursday), as I will be inspecting another school, something which I do annually, if possible. The newsletter will, therefore, be in the capable hands of Dr Pangalos, our Marketing Manager.

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell