This week at St Faith's

10th November 2023

School Remembrance Service

Our school assembly on Monday was a reflective time, befitting the solemnity of this week which culminates in Remembrance Sunday. As well as recognising the sacrifices of all those involved in war and conflict, the school community particularly remembers and honours all Old Fidelians and staff who lost their lives during military service, with the names of each former pupil and teacher being read out by Year 8 pupils. 

The address and prayers were led by our Foundation Chaplain, Reverend Simon Coleman, who reminded us of the symbolic nature of the poppy as an enduring and hopeful flower, which is often the first to spring up again from the most barren and forlorn landscapes destroyed by warfare.  

During our service, the Chamber Choir sang ‘Litany to the Holy Spirit’ by Peter Hurford and the Junior Choir performed ‘We Will Remember’. 

‘The Last Post’ was played by our pupils to signal the beginning of a two-minute silence and ‘Reveille’ at its conclusion, and the trumpet was played again this morning, as we lined up in the playground and respectfully paused for a two-minute silence.  

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them. 

Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

1JB Class Assembly

1JB really enjoyed presenting their assembly, all about autumn and kindness. The children shared some of the signs of autumn and displayed their beautiful seasonal trees which they painted in Art. They performed the song ‘I’m a little hedgehog’ and the poem ‘Misty’ by Shirley Hughes. In the assembly the children stated that to be kind you need to:

  • Look after others and be thoughtful
  • Share and collaborate
  • Care and be helpful
  • Listen and use kind words

The children shared some of the autumn celebrations and expressed what they are thankful for. Everyone joined in to sing a beautiful rendition of ‘Thank you, Lord, for this fine day’ before leaving Ashburton Hall with an extra skip in their step and beaming from ear to ear. It was a truly magnificent way to start the day!

Creative Crafts

Continuing with the Remembrance theme, in paper craft club this week, Pre Prep children have been making poppy pictures to commemorate Remembrance Day. Meanwhile, Year 5 have been enjoying their ceramics project this term, in which they have created clay pumpkins in the style of British potter Kate Malone. Using two clay coil points as a starting point, the pupils have formed and shaped their sculptures with skill and care. They have really enjoyed learning new processes and techniques when working with clay. The sculptures will now be fired and the pupils are looking forward to glazing their artwork in a few weeks’ time. 

Year 3 Shape Poetry 

Here are four examples of shape poetry written by pupils in class 3B. They enjoyed creating poems about their favourite animals and then writing the words around the outline shape of that animal. The work combined their creative writing and imaginative skills, as well as their artistic ones, all with very impressive results.

Year 4 Science

Year 4 have started a new topic in Science, ‘Electricity and Circuits’. Working collaboratively in pairs, the children were very keen to begin making their first circuits. They focused on active listening during the lesson so that they could follow complex instructions. Next week Year 4 will continue to build and learn about circuits, focusing on insulators and conductors of electricity. 

Elsewhere in lessons, our Year 5 children have been learning about the column method for multiplication in Maths and enjoying David Walliams’ World’s Worst Teachers in Drama.  

They have also been testing their knowledge of ‘forces’ in Physics, whilst our Year 7 scientists have been learning all about ‘Matter’. In English classes, Year 7 have been studying Shakespeare’s famous play Macbeth, whilst Year 6 are reading the novel ‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar. 

Cut Your Carbon Campaign

The Eco Committee met on Thursday this week and members have decided to challenge each pupil with the Cut Your Carbon Campaign, a national initiative taking place this month. Pupils have been given 9 challenges to complete during November and they are also being encouraged to donate books to the second hand book sale. The SFPA Jumper Swap is a great way to help and more details of this initiative can be found in the index of this newsletter. 

Year 7 Parent-Teacher Meetings

Once again it was a pleasure to meet so many families, this time of pupils in Year 7, at our Parent-Teacher meeting. The evenings are an opportunity for our parents to meet their children’s teachers and to discuss their children’s progress and Learning Habits. These events are an important part of the ongoing partnership between home and I do hope that they were informative and helpful. The final parent meeting of this term will be for Year 5 parents on Monday, 20th November. 

Years 7 & 8 Junior Boys’ and Girls’ English Schools Cross Country 

Last Friday, St Faith’s School witnessed a remarkable display of teamwork, determination, and resilience as our Year 7 & 8 students took on the English Schools’ Cross Country first round. Under the guidance of Mr North and Ms Westwood, 11 pupils, comprising one boys’ and one girls’ team, proudly represented our school. 

The event saw participation from 12 schools hailing from across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, and Northamptonshire. This wasn’t just an individual challenge; it was a true test of our teams’ collective strength, as the first four highest places counted towards the overall team score. Our pupils rose to the occasion, working seamlessly together, and demonstrating unwavering determination and grit. The results were nothing short of outstanding. The boys’ team secured a brilliant 3rd place overall, while the girls’ team showcased their prowess, finishing an impressive 2nd. In a field of 69 competitors in each race, our students stood out with some remarkable individual performances to complement the strong team showings. These achievements have earned our teams the honour of progressing to the regional finals which took place today.  

Congratulations to all the pupils who participated and we wish them the very best of luck in the next stage of the competition. 

Year 7 & 8 Indoor Rowing Regatta v St John’s

On Wednesday 14 of our Y7 and 8 rowers took part in an indoor rowing regatta against St John’s. The children have been working hard to develop their basic technique on the rowing machines and to improve their sprint speed and stamina. They took part in individual races over 125m and 500m as well as a timed race of 30 seconds to see how many metres they could cover. The highlight of the afternoon was the relay competition which involved 4 people from each school working as a team to cover 500m – the changeovers were slick and well-practised! St Faith’s came out on top in all the events and all pupils showed great team spirit, encouraging each other and our opposition. For those of you who are keen rowers, can you row 125m in under 26.2 seconds, 500m in under 2 minutes 12 seconds, or row more than 133m in 30 seconds to beat our top athletes?

Parent Website Focus Groups

One of projects currently underway by our school Marketing team is planning for the design of a new school website for St Faith’s, which we hope to launch next academic year. We very much value parents’ input in this process and we are continuing to hold parent focus groups to understand in more detail the ways in which our website can help St Faith’s families. If you would like to take part, please register your interest at by 15th  November. Each parent focus group session takes around 45 minutes and can be timed to fit in with you (e.g. after drop-off, before pick-up), with several planned before the end of this term.   

SFPA Fireworks

Last Friday evening, over 900 members of the St Faith’s community enjoyed a wonderful display of fireworks at the annual sell-out SFPA event. We are delighted to share a gallery of photos with you from the evening.

And finally… 

Having enjoyed a truly spectacular SFPA Fireworks event last Friday, autumn is well and truly upon us, with our Autumn Concert scheduled on 23rd November. Thereafter school events will be taking a distinctly festive turn as December approaches. Meanwhile, as we continue to enjoy the beautiful autumn colours, I wish you a peaceful and relaxing weekend. 

With all best wishes,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn