This week at St Faith's

10 November 2017


Remembrance Service at St Faith’s is always a poignant occasion and this year was no exception. Pupils and staff  in Years 3 to 8 were joined by Reverend Meharry, the School’s Chaplain, who spoke to the children about the importance of reflecting and remembering.  Four of our Prefects, Grace Granger, Martha Flind, Archie Spencer and Beth Matthews, laid a wreath for the Old Fidelians and Masters who have lost their lives in war; the names of those people were read out by one of our Governors, Mr Mitchell. Isabella Bevens and Jasmine Heslop  gave an excellent reading, Mr Brent (Bursar), James Hansen and Josh Wheatley said prayers, Nicholas Hames and Dominic O’Loughlin played ‘The Last Post’ and ‘The Reveille’ (very well indeed), the Senior Choir sang beautifully and we all joined in some heart-warming congregational singing, including a rousing rendition of the National Anthem.  For the first time, we had a period of silence at the beginning as well as in the middle of the service and we were joined by three members of The Leys Combined Cadet Force (two of whom are former pupils of St Faith’s), dressed immaculately in their military uniforms.  It proved to be a very special and memorable event.

SFPA Fireworks

A rather contrasting school event was held last Friday when over 900 members of our community gathered for the annual fireworks display. Once the children had devoured the hot dogs and candyfloss, and parents had relished the mulled wine, we congregated on the field for the display itself.  There were lots of oohs and aaghs as the fireworks soared into the night sky, shattered into a thousand dazzling sparks and tumbled in multi-coloured glittering waterfalls.  What a great way to end the week. Thanks to fine weather, efficient organisation by the SFPA, particularly Sarah Mackay  and Simona Morecroft (coordinators of the event), Monique Carew (Chair of the SFPA) and Mr Brent and his team, the whole event ran smoothly and everyone went home happy and safe. The next SFPA event is the Christmas Fair in the Ashburton Hall and STEAM Hub from 3pm to 5.30pm on Friday 24th 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 even call in.

Ace Day

The STEAM Hub was in good use during Ace (Academic Extension) day this week. When I popped in on Thursday morning, Year 5 pupils were trialling the latest electric go-kart and designing the art work for the chassis.  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 learnt in Art, Music or Drama recently.  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, exam techniques and general 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 a whole day on their ‘Budding Scientist’ topic, 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 enrichment and extension activities.

Art Portraiture Workshop

On Tuesday, artist Ceri Ann Littlechild ran an Art workshop with the Year 8 Enrichment group.  The workshop was divided into three sessions.  In session one, the children produced a detailed technical drawing of a still life.  Session two focused on complementary colours to produce a portrait using watercolours and ink, and in session three, the children learnt how to add features such as hair and other finer details to their high contrast oil portraits.  The results of their creative talents can be seen below.


Congratulations to the U11 A team rugby players who continued their unbeaten season by winning a twelve-school rugby festival in Colchester this week. Rugby wasn’t the only game to feature this week.  At lunch time, the children had the opportunity to enjoy venison (Tuesday), pheasant (Wednesday), rabbit (Thursday) and game pie (Friday), all as part of ‘Game Week’, skilfully created by our Head Chef, Kevin Johnson (pictured here with our Catering Manager, Peter Burt).  Those of you who have breakfast may have noticed a new face in the kitchen; he is Paul Evison our new sous chef, who has made a great start.

Future Events

I am now off to the first tea-time concert of the year where our musicians will have the opportunity to perform to a small audience in a relatively informal setting. I am sure it will be a lovely way to end another busy week. The Autumn Concert, next Thursday evening, will be a rather larger event featuring many of the senior ensembles.  I look forward to seeing many of you there for what promises to be a most entertaining evening.

I advise you to keep a close eye on the school calendar over the coming weeks as special events come thick and fast in the lead up to Christmas. In addition to the Autumn Concert, next week will see the Book Fair, the U13 National Hockey Finals, a Year 5 Drama workshop ‘production’, a Year 1 class assembly and Year 2 visits to the Scott Polar Museum. This weekend, many of our gymnasts and chess players will be in action, so lots of good luck to them.

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell