In these extraordinary times, you won’t be surprised to hear that it has continued to be very much ‘all hands on deck’ at school this week. Sports coaches have worked as class teachers, front office and bursary staff have generously assisted with break and lunch time supervision, the groundsman, caretaker and registrar have helped with the drop-off and collection of children, caterers have cleaned and our brilliant Housekeeping Team have scrubbed the school like never before. All this, together with the relentless efforts of staff in running the Home-Learning programme, and you can see why I am so proud of the extraordinary efforts and team work of the staff. I know from your kind comments and feedback how much you have appreciated this too.
My small part in this team work is supervising the key worker children group at break times. To say that this period of my day has been filled with fun and surprises would be an understatement. On Monday, the children asked me if I would like to play hide and seek with them. Why not I thought. A minute later, after counting with my eyes shut, every single child had disappeared to the nether regions of the school grounds! I spent the rest of the break rounding the children up from behind hedges and trees, their incessant giggling made them easy to find! On Tuesday, they came up with the idea of playing socially-distanced football and on Wednesday we played a form of chase. And so it went on, each day bringing a newly designed game. The key worker children, as with all the pupils in school this week, have certainly made the most of their time here.
As professional sports fixtures start to get underway again around the world, this week I was delighted to walk down the path to find two Year 6 groups enjoying a socially distanced PE lesson in the sunshine. Who knows when our own competitive fixtures will recommence, but for now it is simply a pleasure to see our sports grounds being put to good use and the children enjoying their lessons so much.
Art for Blue Smile Charity
You may recall that at the beginning of term I showed you some of the amazing animal art work that Louisa in Year 8 has been producing to raise funds for the Blue Smile charity. She initially aimed to raise an ambitious £500 for this very worthy charity which provides art materials to disadvantaged children both in and out of school.
After 11 weeks and over 40 pastel pet portraits created, Louisa has raised more than £1000, a truly staggering sum of money. Louisa is now embarking on a large scale portrait of her family (no pets!), which will no doubt occupy her for some time. Needless to say we are all very proud indeed of this incredible philanthropic effort; well done indeed Louisa!
With summer upon us it seems that children are growing literally in front of our eyes. It was certainly quite a surprise to see how much our Foundation, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils had sprung up during the 10 weeks they were away from school. As such, many of you may soon find yourselves in need of new school uniform. Current parents may purchase school uniform via the online uniform shop; at this point it is not possible to provide a second-hand uniform service. New parents may arrange on-site uniform fittings from 6th July 2020 – appointments are available for new pupils and parents, taking around 30 minutes for a full fitting. To make an appointment please ring Mrs Catherine Quinn at The Leys on 01223 508929 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As Mrs Davies said in her letter to you this week, we are pleased with the results of the parents’ survey regarding the Home-Learning provision. As promised from the outset we continue to make incremental improvements to the programme, in line with feedback and experience. This week a number of new ‘live’ sessions were introduced across the school including Pre Prep story times, reading and science sessions in Years 3 and 4, and additional lessons across a number of subjects for Years 5, 7 and 8. Once again I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to our teaching staff who are working around the clock to bring the St Faith’s learning experience into your homes. Thank you also to all the families who are supporting their children as best they can in these very challenging times.
Last term our Year 8 pupils undertook their individual research projects for the annual STEM Fair. The depth and breadth of research into a whole range of STEM related topics was, as always, inspiring. While the Year 8s were denied their opportunity to present to their teachers and peers at a real-time Fair in the Hub, they have instead been sharing their presentations with their classes in ‘live’ Science lessons. In talking to a number of high ranking scientists within our parent body, I gather this style of data sharing is now de rigeur in the science community as conferences are cancelled across the world in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The variety of topics covered by our Year 8s is impressive. I was particularly interested in understanding collision theory to determine the best water temperature for dissolving bath bombs, thanks to Rosie, and I’m sure many time-strapped parents will be keen to see Mya’s design for an automatic cereal dispenser. These, and other wonderful original projects are available to view here.
This week’s podcast is now live and features Sir Tom Jones, an interview with Mrs Critchley, a favourite Julia Donaldson story (What the Ladybird Heard), Hip Hop songs from the Year 6 lessons, and a tricky darts conundrum in case your brains haven’t been stretched enough all week.
Last week Year 3 were set the challenge of using the Engineering Design Process to create a sandwich for their lunch! They had to design and make a sandwich, using each stage of the Design Process – Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create and Review. The children were asked to be as creative as possible BUT they had to eat the final result. Everyone produced highly creative and well thought through plates of food. This sandwich was made by Mark, which he named ‘Kevin’. Below are further examples of the children’s creative designs.
With all good wishes,