Thank you to everyone who joined us for the St Faith’s Fireworks last Friday evening, a huge family event which brings our community together. All 900 tickets were sold and judging from the very positive feedback, a great time was had by all. It was good to see so many parents socialising over a glass of mulled wine and then hear the oohs and aaghs from the children as the fireworks soared into the night sky. The display itself was spectacular and much appreciated by everyone, except of course, our Jack Russell, Mollie, who is relieved that it is all over for another year!
My sincere thanks to the St Faith’s Parents’ Association for the considerable organisation that goes in to staging this event, particularly Carl Rowland and Tash Lygoe (coordinators of the event), Emma Gervasio (Chair of the SFPA Committee), Mr Brent (Bursar) and his support team. After an event such as this, there is always a sense of elation as well as relief that everyone went home happy and safe. The next SFPA event is the Christmas Fair in the Ashburton Hall and Hub from 15:00 to 18:00 on Friday 23rd November; we hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a feast of festive fun! We have been reliably informed that if the children are good, Santa Claus may make an appearance. The SFPA is looking for help to organise some of the stalls, so if you are willing to give a hand, please respond to the request shown in the ‘index’ of this newsletter.
On Monday, we had a very different kind of community event. Our staff and pupils in Years 3 to 8 gathered together for the traditional St Faith’s Remembrance Service in Ashburton Hall. We were joined by Reverend Meharry, the School’s Chaplain, who spoke to the children about the effect the World Wars had on all people. The House Captains – Evie H, Toby G, Charlie J, Juliette B, Gabriel H, Annabelle S, Tomás VN and Amelia S – played a prominent role in the service by laying wreaths and leading prayers. Mr Brent read out the names of Old Fidelians who lost their lives in battle. Jacob C played ‘The Last Post’ and ‘The Reveille’ (most skilfully), we all observed a period of silence. The Senior Choir sang superbly and everyone united for the congregational singing, including a rousing rendition of the National Anthem accompanied by the assembly orchestra.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this truly memorable and moving occasion, including the two members of The Leys Combined Cadet Force, Victoria and George who joined us for the service, dressed immaculately in their military uniforms. As a follow-on to this service, Miss Kennerley has made and displayed around the school, 54 poppies, one for each of the Old Fidelians who lost their lives in war. We encourage you to look out for them.
The Hub was in good use during AcE (Academic Enrichment) day this week. When I popped in on Tuesday morning, pupils were putting on their racing overalls before going outside to trial the latest electric go-karts. Every Year 5 had the opportunity to drive one of the cars during the day.
At the same time, all Year 7 pupils were beginning the first stage of their Bronze Art Award, an accreditation which they will be working towards this year. This requires pupils to focus on four areas of the arts: participation, exploring the arts as an audience member, inspiration and arts skill share. It was the latter of these that formed the basis of AcE Day for Year 7 this week. Each pupil planned and delivered a lesson to another pupil, teaching them a skill they had recently learnt in Art, Music or Drama. The plan and feedback from the lesson was written up and presented in their Arts Award books which will be added to as the year progresses.
AcE Day also provided a perfect opportunity for Years 6 and 8 to spend more time on study skills, research techniques, problem-solving, and general exam preparation for their forthcoming senior school entrance tests. With Year 3 enjoying an in-depth cross-curricular study of Quentin Blake’s ‘Mrs Armitage on Wheels’ and Year 4 spending the day at ‘Spy Mission’, AcE Day proved to be an exciting and hugely worthwhile event. So much more was achieved than would have been possible in a normal school day. Many thanks to the staff who, once again, went the extra mile in designing, planning and delivering these extension activities and particularly Mrs Yates, our Enrichment Coordinator.
Congratulations to the sports teams which played so well against Gresham’s and Bishop’s Stortford College this week. It was great to see the fields full of girls and boys enjoying sport for all its worth. Rugby and hockey were not the only ‘games’ to feature this week. At lunch time, the children had the opportunity to enjoy venison (Wednesday), pheasant (Thursday), and game pie (next week), all as part of ‘Game Week’, skilfully created by our Head Chef, Kevin Johnson.
Speaking of food, take a look at this giant pumpkin, grown by AJ (Year 4). Last year, Mr Nye talked to the children about seeds and gave two pumpkin seeds to every child, challenging them to grow a pumpkin. You won’t be surprised to hear that AJ’s pumpkin was the biggest, weighing 27kg! This week, AJ presented his pumpkin to Kevin, who plans to turn it in to pumpkin soup for everyone to enjoy.
Good luck to our chess players who are competing in the next round of the Cambridgeshire League in Ashburton Hall tomorrow morning, and to the gym teams who are taking part in a national qualifying event at Stamford.
I thought I would finish with a picture of the glorious maple tree in Ashburton courtyard. A tree which, even on dark and wet autumn days – and we had a few of those this week – radiates vitality and positivity, two characteristics of a typical St Faith’s pupil.
With all good wishes.