Happy New Year! I hope that you have enjoyed a restful break over the Christmas season.
It has been a great pleasure to welcome our families back for the start of the Lent term. In particular, I would like to welcome our new St Faith’s families, joining us for the first time on Wednesday. I do hope that you already feel at home within our community.
Start of Term Assembly
We began the term with a school assembly for pupils from Pre-Prep through to Year 8 in the Ashburton Hall. We considered the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, as well as the theme of ‘willpower’, especially exploring the ways in which we might be able to build our willpower in the year ahead.
A short story of ‘Frog and Toad’, by Arnold Lobel, encouraged us to appreciate the ways in which making plans and seeing them through can help us in so many aspects of life. We closed our assembly with a prayer for the year ahead, inspired by Psalm 121.
The term has begun with great energy, and this morning 12 of our Year 7 pupils have been visiting Cambridge University Sports Centre to take part in an event organised by Power2Inspire. The mission of Power2Inspire is to embed inclusive sport in the sporting, education and community landscapes. This organisation was established in 2013 by John Willis, who regularly visits St Faith’s to talk to the pupils about inclusion in sport. John, a passionate sportsman, was born without fully formed arms and legs and he was determined that his experience as a child of being excluded from sports, should not be repeated. He therefore created the PowerHouseGames which offer children opportunities to experience a wide variety of specially adapted and inclusive sports.
On a similarly active theme, although the Michaelmas term ended on 16th December, a range of activities took place at school the week before Christmas. I am most grateful to those staff who ran the three day Multi-activity course as well as the Art and Design workshop for our Year 3-8 pupils. All the activities were greatly enjoyed by the children.
The Leys Preliminary Assessment and Scholarship Interviews
For many of our pupils, January is a time for focusing on entrance exams and scholarship interviews. As well as wishing all our pupils the best of luck in the forthcoming assessments, I would also like to congratulate all the pupils taking assessments for their hard work in preparation. We look forward to hearing the outcomes in due course.
Continuing the theme of assessment, we will be holding our own prospective pupil assessments over the next two weeks for those children hoping to join St Faith’s in September 2023. I greatly appreciate the efforts of all our staff who are supporting the assessments and making prospective pupils feel welcome at our school.
Year 5 started their fractions topic this week and have been solving a fractions jigsaw to consolidate previous work. They were required to combine their knowledge of fractions including equivalent fractions, simplifying fractions, addition and subtraction of simple fractions. The Year 5 pupils have worked very collaboratively and diligently since their return to school.
Home to School Coach Service
In support of the School’s continuing commitment to reduce our carbon footprint and deliver our transport requirements, we are delighted to announce the continuation of the Home to School transport services with all three bus routes running:
- Saffron Walden
- Madingley P&R
We are currently trialling some new technology to aid the boarding and alighting of pupils.
May I also please take this opportunity to remind all parents of the advantages of downloading the St Faith’s HomeRun App. This App can help to facilitate car sharing, as well as enabling families to access all school travel information in one convenient place. We post information on eco and sustainability initiatives for the school community and we are currently trialling the facility to provide updates on school trips and return times from sports fixtures on the App for parents.
We are very fortunate and grateful to have a dedicated team of parent volunteers who assist us with the safe and smooth running of the Drop off and Pick up services. If any other parents or staff wish to assist, please contact the Deputy Bursar, email@example.com.
A particular highlight of this week was being able to present 3 pupils with kindness certificates today. It is always heartwarming to read the citations that accompany these certificates and it was a genuinely inspiring way to begin the term.
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn