The Platinum Jubilee Celebration
I hope that all our families enjoyed the extended weekend of Platinum Jubilee celebrations, whether you were attending a street party, watching the lighting of a beacon, or relaxing with friends and family.
As reported in the last newsletter, there were plenty of Jubilee events taking place at the end of last half term. During the whole school assembly focused upon the Jubilee, pupils were recorded singing the National Anthem as part of the ‘Choir For The Queen’ initiative. We have been told that a commemorative book and video compilation have been sent to the Queen, who will watch it in the coming days.
Following this special assembly and singing of the National Anthem, staff and pupils all gathered on the school back field to form a huge ‘70’, an image which was photographed by a drone flown overhead. The pupils then enjoyed a festive array of Jubilee fete activities, including Tug O’ War and ‘Pin the Crown on the Queen’ competitions. Thank you to all the staff and members of the SFPA for making the day so memorable for the whole school community. We do hope that you will enjoy these photos and some of the drone footage taken on the day.
A further highlight for the school community was to see two Old Fidelians, who are now both choristers at St Paul’s Cathedral School, singing at The National Service of Thanksgiving.
Sister Act Jr. – The Final Word
In our last newsletter, I was delighted to be able to write about the stage musical performance from our Year 8 pupils, their curtain call before they move to their various senior schools in the Autumn. It was also the final production directed by Ms Kaye Allen, our retiring Head of Drama, who writes the following:
“I couldn’t be more proud of the cast of the Year 8 ‘Sister Act Jr.’ What a super talented, warm and amazing group of young people. On their final performance, as they left the hall ringing with the message of love and friendship, I could not ask for a better way to say goodbye to directing shows at St Faith’s.
As the cast go on to new adventures, so I look forward to my retirement.”
‘All things being even, here’s what I believe in: nothing matters more than love. Friendship and affection, real connection, it’s a gift from above.’
There will be an opportunity at our Speech Day event on the last day of term to thank Ms Allen for her most generous contribution to the school community at St Faith’s.
Wild Place Forest School
This week, Foundation thoroughly enjoyed their last ‘Wild Place’ Forest School sessions and were especially excited to have their parents invited to join them and to enjoy a lovely picnic lunch afterwards.
It has been noticeable how the children have grown in confidence over their sessions in the ‘Wild Place’ and how they have developed many of our school Learning Habits in this environment. The children have demonstrated independence in safely using tools. They have collaborated – working together to build dens and make mud pies. They have shown creativity in making tree spirits and engaging in imaginative role play in the mud kitchen. They have challenged themselves when tree climbing in an appropriately controlled and safe way, and in doing so they showed ambition and resilience. They also enjoyed many games of “1,2,3 Where are you?” which encourages listening skills and is quite clearly one of their favourite woodland games. Each session ends with the children seated with a warm drink, providing time to come together and reflect on the learning that has taken place.
Foundation Art Inspired By Nature
This week the Foundation children have also been making art inspired by the artist Andy Goldsworthy, an English sculptor, photographer, and environmentalist who produces site-specific sculptures and land art. This gave another opportunity to the children to experience the learning habits of collaboration and creativity .
Minibeasts and Wooden Bug Hotels
Continuing the theme of the natural world, Year 2 are coming towards the end of their Minibeasts topic and as the weather moves into the season of summer, they have been able to experience first-hand the wonders of the life cycle of nature. Year 2 have created their own wooden bug hotels to attract wildlife to our gardens, watched the metamorphosis of caterpillar into butterfly and planted sunflower seeds which we hope to see bloom in the summer. The children have thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on learning and excitement was particularly high on the butterfly ‘release’ day.
Hasta luego amigos!
Meanwhile, in their Spanish lessons, pupils in Year 1 have been enjoying learning a wide variety of songs to match the topics they have studied.
On top of the kinaesthetic Spanish lessons which happen twice a week, the children are using Rockalingua to enhance their learning and they are loving bringing the language to life with a variety of catchy songs.
Here are a few of our favourites. You are most welcome to have a go at singing along yourself by visiting www.rockalingua.com (the username and password are on the VLE).
At St Faith’s we have long maintained a tradition of our older children looking out for the younger children. It facilitates vertical integration between year groups and promotes that ‘family feeling’, which is so important to the whole school community. This week Year 7 have been buddied with the Year 2 children to help prepare them for the transition from the Pre Prep into Year 3 and across the school. The younger children have really enjoyed sharing their work and speaking to the older children. In turn the older children have begun to help the Year 2s learn how to tie their school tie.
Living Things and their Habitats
This half term, Year 4 are learning about Living Things and their Habitats. As part of the topic, they explored the school grounds looking for varied habitats and the animals that live there. The children were amazed by the abundance of wildlife in the school including ants, beetles, slugs, centipedes, birds, Damselflies and the beautiful Cinnabar moth.
School Council and Eco Committee BBQ
It was a pleasure to celebrate the hard work of the School Council and the Eco Committee and to thank the children for their initiatives and contributions throughout the year. Generously supported and encouraged by Mrs Parker and Ms Gamble respectively, these two pupil groups engage with important issues ranging from local to global. Their work helps to enhance our school community and they are excellent champions of the pupil voice. Yesterday’s BBQ for the children proved to be a very popular and happy event and I do hope that I didn’t burn too many burgers during my stint as cook!
Year 6 Cambridgeshire Schools Maths Challenge
On Tuesday afternoon, St Faith’s was delighted to host its annual Year 6 Maths Challenge. Pupils from 27 local schools attended and Ashburton Hall was buzzing with mathematical activity and friendly competition all afternoon.
Working in pairs, pupils took part in a variety of mathematical challenges, with three rounds of questions and a final puzzle at the end. Their task was to solve a variety of problems for a points tally. Bonus marks were awarded for completion of all the questions in a particular round. Over 50 teams competed in the challenge, with four teams coming from St Faith’s. All our teams performed impressively well, with two pupils topping the St Faith’s leader board and coming in 5th place overall with an impressive 290 points. Thank you to our Head of Maths, Mrs Rainsford for organising our hosting of the competition, and staff of the Maths department for supporting the pupils.
Soloists’ Music Festival for Seniors
Yesterday, musicians from Year 6, 7 and 8 took part in the Soloists’ Music Festival. Notably this was a Festival rather than a competition, where our musicians were able to perform in front of an appreciative and supportive audience. Adjudicating the Festival, we were delighted to welcome Mr Wingfield, Director of Music at The Perse School, Cambridge. The children gave recitals across a range of instruments and drew upon an impressively expansive and diverse musical repertoire, spanning early modern, through to contemporary music. Mr Wingfield commended the pupils not only upon their accomplished musical skills, but also their understanding and warm communication of the pieces they played. Well done to all our participants – it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
Year 4 Parent Forum and Tours
On Tuesday, parents of Year 4 pupils were invited to a Forum to learn about the transition from Year 4 to Year 5. Ahead of a presentation from staff, Year 8 House Captains showed parents around the parts of the school in which their children would be taught from Year 5, and answered questions on the way. With their unfailing politeness and assured approach to their task as school guides, our House Captains were perfect advocates for a St Faith’s education.
Year 7 and 8 Singles Tennis Tournaments
The Year 7 and 8 girls and boys took to the courts at Latham Road on Monday for their singles tournaments. It was a lovely evening of tennis, played out with great support from parents and pupils alike. Details of the results can be found in the sidebar of this newsletter. Years 5 and 6 will get their chance to compete at a similar event next Monday.
Continuing on a sporting theme, this Saturday sees the National IAPS Swimming Finals at the London Aquatics Centre and on Sunday the Novice Girls’ Gymnastics Competition in Kent. We wish all taking part the very best of luck.
SFPA Coffee Mornings
Yesterday, it was the turn of Year 5 parents to attend our SFPA Coffee Morning – the final year group of this academic year. The outdoor parent coffee mornings were an initiative launched last term as a way of being able to bring parents together at school at a time when Covid restrictions made this more challenging. The coffee mornings have been a tremendous success in all year groups and therefore we will run them again in the Michaelmas term.
And Finally …..
With mid-summer and the longest day now approaching, I am really looking forward to joining parents at the SFPA Summer Party on Friday 17th June, at which I hope we will be able to enjoy a beautiful warm Cambridge summer evening. This event takes place following our school Sports Day – at which we also hope the weather will be kind to us – it promises to be quite a day!
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn