This week at St Faith's

10 February 2017

Reading is at the very heart of a good education and a joy of reading is something we hope all our children develop, so it warmed my heart to see the buzz of enthusiasm for Book Week.

Book Week

It was certainly the main topic of conversation amongst the pupils with whom I had lunch this week. Robin Stevens caused great excitement when she spoke to the Year 6 and 7 pupils about her ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ mysteries, including her most recent book which is set in Cambridge. When I called in to her talk, she was teaching the pupils how do devise their own murder plots! Helen Moss was also a big hit, describing how she put together the ‘Adventure Island Mysteries’, as was the visit of Chris Priestley, a former political cartoonist, and Tracey Corderoy, a picture book writer whose books the Pre Prep children simply adore. Book Week culminated today, with a Pre Prep book character dress-up day (during which the staff performed ‘Snow White’ to the children!), a book quiz in the Library, a great big book swap after school and the launch of the ‘Extreme Reading’ competition, details of which are in the index of this newsletter. It really has been a fabulous feast of literary events, beautifully put together by our brilliant librarian, Miss Johnson and her assistant Mrs Pyke. As Alan Bennett once remarked, ‘a book is a device to ignite the imagination’. Our pupils’ imagination will certainly have been ignited by what they saw, heard and read this week.

Year 6 Spanish Visit to Foundation

On Tuesday afternoon, the Foundation children enjoyed a special visit from some of our very own young authors. Our Year 6s have spent time in Spanish lessons writing and illustrating their own children’s stories (in Spanish of course) and then took great pleasure in reading them to our youngest pupils, who, as you see from the photos, were enthralled.

Pet Club

Speaking of visits, Mollie, our Jack Russell, made a guest appearance at Pet Club (otherwise known as Animal Adventures) this week. I am delighted to say that Mollie was her best self throughout the question and answer session and did not, in any way, let the family down. At the end of the interrogation she was delighted to receive a delicious bag of doggie treats as a thank you from the children.

Milton Road Visit

This week we welcomed visitors from Milton Road Primary School, who enjoyed an Engineering lesson with Dr Hoyle. For almost a year we have been delivering one-off academic ‘masterclasses’ to their gifted pupils (at Milton Road’s request). Our visiting pupils were thrilled to be designing, making and launching model cars when I called in to see the lesson in action.

Foundation Concert

This morning, my email inbox is awash with glowing messages from parents after last night’s Foundation Concert, an event designed to showcase the musical talent at St Faith’s and The Leys. ‘From start to finish it was pure magical joy’, one mother wrote, while another remarked, ‘it was such a great opportunity for the children to sing (Rutter’s) Gloria in a big choir and it was spine tingling.’ My sentiments entirely after hearing the outstanding performances of the St Faith’s bands, The Leys Choir and the mass choir finalé in which pupils and staff from both schools joined our adult choir, the St Faith’s Singers. Thank you to the Music staff of both schools for such an entertaining evening, particularly the two Directors of Music, James Gorick and Max Kenworthy who, so skilfully, put the whole show together and gave us all a night to remember.

Gymnastic Teams

Once again, the gym teams were on fine form last weekend, with no less than seven teams winning the regional competition and in doing so, qualifying for the nationals. Max B became our first tumbling medallist, finishing second in the U11 Boys’ Sports Acrobatics Competition; an impressive achievement considering Max is in Year 3!

Finally, whatever you are doing over the next week, and whether postbags of Valentines cards arrive at your doorstep or not, I wish you an enjoyable half-term and look forward to seeing you when term resumes on Monday 20th February.

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell