I hope you and your family enjoyed a great half-term break and that your children have settled back in to school this week. The second half of the summer term is always packed with fun and sun and this year is no exception, despite the restrictions with which we are continuing to work. I am delighted to say that there are plenty of unusual and exciting events to look forward to over the coming weeks. This week alone has seen a Pre Prep Sports Day, Music Concert and virtual gym competition.
I thought Tuesday was going to be a ‘normal’ day, whatever that means at St Faith’s, but as I walked back down the drive after my daily meet and greet at Gate 2, I was stunned by the sight of hundreds of individual birthday cards, strung up as bunting along the path to School House. The Year 8 girls then burst in to a very loud, rendition of Feliz Cumpleanos and birthday wishes flooded in from all sides. As we laughed and joked, I looked more closely at the bunting and realised that every pupil had written an individual card, many of them with carefully constructed messages and pictures, often humorous and always generous in spirit. They were a perfect birthday gift. Thank you to Miss Kennerley and everyone who helped the children to make these cards and for the many messages of good wishes and gifts during the day. The day will serve as a long lasting memory of the warm, positive and collegiate atmosphere at St Faith’s, which I have valued and cherished so much during my time here.
Pre Prep Sports Day
Later on Tuesday, the sun shone brightly on School House Field for Pre Prep Sports Day. Competing one year group at a time, the children enjoyed a variety of races from sprints and egg and spoon to hurdles and 200m. Despite a few tumbles, dropped eggs and the odd shoe coming lose, the races went smoothly under the efficient management of Mrs North. Coinciding with the lunch breaks of some of the older pupils, the Pre Prep relished the opportunity to compete in front of an audience and basked in the overall atmosphere of the day.
Year 8 Concert
Yesterday evening we were treated to a wonderful concert, showcasing our talented Year 8 soloists. We heard ‘Flower of Scotland’ on the bagpipes, ‘Bourbon Street Stomp’ on the trumpet and ‘Vivace’ in G Minor on the piano, as well many delightful vocalists and other impressive instrumental pieces. It was a great pleasure to hear our musicians and see them perform with so much confidence. Parents too were able to enjoy the concert, via our live streaming service. A recording of the event can be seen here.
Staying on a musical theme, the Year 8 percussion ensemble used their creative abilities to devise a piece of music using a single drum and four chairs. The addition of lighted sticks brought this project to life and has given the percussion piece a whole new visual dimension. Mr Aldous who oversaw the project commented, “The musical ideas are entirely the pupils. The ensemble has worked really hard on putting this together in a short number of sessions, and this piece is a real testament to their skill and imagination.” I totally agree. The percussion piece can be viewed here.
Despite the frivolities of birthdays, sports days and music recitals, the academic work continues apace. This week Year 7 pupils have been exploring linear equations and plotting quadratic equations. The pupils drew lots of different parabolas and explored some that exist in the real world. The pupils even went into the courtyard and used the block paving grids to plot y=x2.
Arts Award Results
Ms Allen was delighted to inform me this week that the 20 Year 8 students who were entered for the Bronze Arts Award all passed. A moderator from Trinity College, London, visited during half term to study the portfolios and wrote, “Congratulations on a successful moderation! Your young people were clearly fully engaged with the award and gained a great deal from their experiences. Well done!”. Owing to lockdown, it took a little longer than usual to complete the Art Award activities. Nevertheless, all students in the year group completed every section. The Creative Arts staff were extremely impressed with the overall standards.
Big Bang 2021
We heard this week that James in Year 8 is a finalist in the Big Bang 2021 competition, having carried out his own research into the anti-bacterial properties of various off-the-shelf mouthwash brands. The depth and focus of James’ work, combined with methodical and well-thought through tabulation of his results, ensured his selection on the shortlist. He will now be interviewed on his project and the winner of this national event will be announced later in June. We wish James all the very best.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that Hermione in Year 8 had won the local Young Environmentalist competition with her assessment of the impact of hybrid vehicles compared to pedal power. Today, representatives of the Rotary Club popped in to school to personally deliver her award. Once again, well done Hermione.
Chartwells Litter Pickers
On the topic of the environment, I was impressed to hear that during half term week, members of the catering and housekeeping teams combined a team building exercise with giving back to the community by picking up litter in the local area, including Grantchester Meadows. Under the warm half-term sun, it was clearly a win-win situation for all.
Senior School Move Ups
Over the coming weeks, many of our Year 8 pupils will be visiting their future senior schools to meet their new classmates and tutors and to begin to familiarise themselves with their future environments. To begin the process, today, Year 8 met members of the Lower Sixth at The Leys who shared their experiences and offered advice. The discussion was lively and good-humoured. We thank The Leys pupils for taking the time to do this.
I wish all our gymnasts who are competing in the virtual gym competition, the very best of luck. Despite the lack of spectators, I am sure our pupils will rise to the occasion and enjoy the experience of inter-school competition.
Whatever you plan for the coming days, I wish you a very pleasant weekend.
With all good wishes,