We have watched the devastating news unfolding this week in Turkey and Syria, as a result of Monday’s earthquake. As well as the tragic loss of life, the resulting lack of shelter and facilities for survivors has led to a worldwide appeal for humanitarian aid. The children have been very keen to find ways to help and raise funds to support the millions of people whose lives have been impacted by this natural disaster. As a school community, we have agreed that any collections made after school performances during the second half of term will be donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal. Our pupil School Council will also use its disaster fund to make a donation.
In the meantime, donations can be made at Home | Disasters Emergency Committee (dec.org.uk).
Year 6, 7 & 8 Charity Tuck Shops
It is not surprising that children have been seeking to help with the response to the tragic events in Syria and Turkey this week. Selecting and supporting charities, and understanding the important work that they do in the world is an integral part of the children’s education. Our pupils recognise that there are many children across the world less fortunate than themselves, and in a pre-planned event, this week the catering staff hosted very popular Charity tuck shops in the dining hall in aid of Farms for City Children.
As we approached the half-term holiday, pupils enjoyed an Academic Enrichment (AcE) Day on Wednesday. Year 3 spent the day learning more about sport, healthy lifestyles and the connection with science. Amongst a variety of activities, the children enjoyed practising yoga breathing techniques. Meanwhile in Year 4, the theme of the day was STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths), as the children observed the aerodynamics of the carefully crafted parachutes they released from the Science classroom balcony. They also tried to estimate the weight that each of the towers that they constructed would hold.
As part of a ‘Middle Eastern Day’, Year 5 visited the Cambridge Central Mosque on Mill Road and they decorated beautiful mosaic tiles, similar to those that might be found inside a mosque.
Year 6 spent their AcE day immersed in their forthcoming production of ‘Aladdin’ from a wide range of angles – including rehearsing on stage and thinking in more detail about the costumes that will be needed.
The Year 7 pupils enjoyed the first part of their AcE day off-site, undertaking a Geography fieldtrip to complete a traffic analysis of Trumpington Road compared to Hills Road. Having collected data, the second part of the day was spent honing their analytical and presentation skills. We hope that you enjoy looking at what the children produced.
Finally, in Year 8 the pupils had the opportunity to hear from some parents and Old Fidelians about their career paths, what inspired them to follow their chosen careers and how they have made those decisions. The children also took part in an online questionnaire to learn more about their own personalities and the types of careers that might inspire them. The day concluded with a debating competition, which included some very articulate presentations with topics such as ‘Is the Internet the worst thing that has happened over the last ten years?’ and ‘Should children be treated more like adults?’ being discussed.
Book Week Foundation to Year 8
This week has also been designated as Book Week in which every one of the children has been involved in activities around a common theme: in this case the joy of losing oneself in a good book.
On Monday and Tuesday, Years 5-8 were visited by author Julian Sedgwick, who spoke very eloquently about his book, Tsunami Girl, and signed copies for the children. Mr Sedgwick based his talk on his research for the book, as well as the occasionally challenging twists and turns of his own life, describing the themes in his writing as hope, empathy and connection. Mr Sedgwick kindly signed copies of his book for the children as well.
Joining us over the course of these two days were almost 250 pupils from local schools – including Shirley Community Primary School, Harston and Newton Community Primary School and Park Street Church of England Primary School. The feedback was universally positive and I am sure the children will treasure their signed copies for many years to come.
Other book-themed events included author talks and book signings by Sam Sedgman and Steve Antony. Sam Sedgman writes mystery and adventure stories for children, as well as non-fiction works. His six-book series Adventures on Trains has been inspired, by a love of the train as a means of transport. Mr Sedgman says that his aim is “to bring an infectious enthusiasm for trains, books and writing” to each school that he visits. He certainly achieved that on Tuesday!
Steve Antony is both a writer and illustrator and he often works with other authors to bring their words to life by means of his illustrations. He is probably best known for the ongoing Mr Panda series, a special favourite amongst our younger pupils. Following his visit to Pre Prep, all the children have been inspired to produce Panda themed artwork for a display in Southfield.
Pre Prep Book Character Dress Up Day
Of course Book Week would not be complete without the opportunity to dress up as a favourite book character, which was relished by the Pre Prep. I hope you enjoy our photo montage of the day. In addition to the fun of dressing up, children across the school took part in the Big Book Quiz.
Pre Prep Parent-Teacher Meetings
Continuing on the Pre Prep theme, it was wonderful to welcome our Pre Prep families to their Parent-Teacher meetings this week. I hope that parents found this to be a useful touchpoint for their child’s progress at this stage, half-way through the academic year. It also provides a valuable opportunity for parents to see a selection of work the children have produced ‘in hard copy’ at school, as well as digitally via the Seesaw platform.
U13 IAPS Netball Regional Finals
It has been a memorable week for our senior netball team and our U12 boys’ hockey team. As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, our U13 girls’ netball team were at Ipswich School for the IAPS National Qualifiers. They emerged as overall champions after an incredibly tense second half of play in the final. At the end of the first half the St Faith’s team were trailing by 4 goals, but they wouldn’t be beaten and played an outstanding second half to level everything off. The match went to extra time and that is when the girls displayed their true resilience and determination to clinch a truly magnificent victory and in doing so become regional champions.
We will be keeping our fingers crossed for the girls in March when they go to the National Finals.
Year 4 Girls’ Netball Festival
On Thursday, the Year 4 girls’ teams played host to teams from The Perse, King’s College School, and St John’s College School for a Festival of Netball. The competition was played with great energy and enthusiasm and enjoyed by many of our families. There was lots of creative passing, ambitious shooting and flying interceptions. Well done to all the Year 4 girls who participated, it was super to see plenty of netball games being played and pupils enjoying the game.
Year 6 Girls’ House Netball Matches
This afternoon, the Year 6 girls embarked on their netball House match tournament. The girls played each of the other Houses in a 5 v 5 format and there was some excellent play throughout. To find out which House was victorious and also who was nominated for a performance award, please read the report below.
U12 Boys’ Hockey Cambridgeshire County Cup
On Thursday morning, the U12 boys’ hockey team travelled to Wilberforce Road to take part in the County Cup. The U12s started their journey against a robust Kimbolton side. Playing some excellent quick passing hockey, St Faith’s managed to score an early goal to settle the nerves. This moment proved to be a decisive element of the game as the early goal resulted in confidence building through the team and some excellent play in the second half meaning they came out 3-0 winners.
The second game was against a strong Stephen Perse side. St Faith’s settled quickly playing some brilliant two touch, pass and move hockey, resulting in a couple of fantastic team goals. St Faith’s eventually won the game 3-0 and put themselves into a strong position going into the final game.
St Faith’s started strongly against a competitive Perse side, and after dominating possession for the opening 5 minutes, they managed to score a deserved goal. The Perse grew in to the game and had an excellent chance to equalise at the end of the half, but a fantastic double save meant it remained 1-0. A very mature performance in the second half allowed St Faith’s to secure the win and resulted in the team being crowned County Champions- well done on a superb achievement.
Mindful of our ongoing efforts to reduce the St Faith’s carbon footprint and our continuing adoption of more sustainable products for the school, our catering team have been trialling a new hand soap product called Soap 2O. The trial has gone very well and dispensers are now in use throughout the school, helping us to reduce our consumption of single use plastic.
Home to School Bus Service
On a similar eco-theme, we are also seeking to reduce the carbon footprint of our community by encouraging alternatives to single car transport to and from school. We have been operating a home to school bus service since the beginning of the Michaelmas term and have been delighted with the growing momentum amongst our parents to use this. Siblings at other schools are also able to use the services, as long as they are responsible for getting themselves to their respective schools.
Passenger numbers on the Royston route are consistently good, however we still have places available so please enquire if you are interested.
We have spent a lot of time refining the Saffron Walden route, which is doing very well on the morning run and passenger numbers are increasing. After half-term we will welcome a new operator on this route and will also roll out the use of the electronic fobs by pupils, just as we have on the Royston route. These fobs help us to provide accurate information to parents about bus timings.
Finally, our ‘morning only’ route from Madingley Park & Ride has very low numbers at present. We would therefore like to reach out to all parents whose geographical location would allow them to consider using this service. At this stage, we are relatively flexible and can add another stop if this would make the route more attractive. Similarly if there are other routes which may be of interest, or any travel suggestions, please do contact our Deputy Bursar, Mr Ferreira on: email@example.com.
As we approach half-term and look forward to time spent with friends and family, our prayers and thoughts remain with all those who have lost their loved ones and homes this week. Please do consider donating to the DEC appeal if you are able, and I wish you all a peaceful and relaxing half-term break.
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn