This week at St Faith's

13th May 2022

Looking ahead to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the choral and orchestral sounds of the national anthem have been audible around school, as our musicians complete their rehearsals. Meanwhile pupils in Years 3-8 are also busy preparing class concerts for the week beginning 23rd May, and the final preparations for the Year 8 production of ‘Sister Act’ are also well under way. Based on what I have seen and heard to date, we have some outstanding performances to enjoy before half term.   

Record Number of Scholarship Awards for 2022

We have now received the results of all pupil Scholarship assessments and I am delighted to let you know that this year, 37 awards have been achieved across the curriculum. This remarkable figure represents a new school record. Such success reflects the outstanding quality of teaching and learning which the children have received during their time at St Faith’s, as well as their sustained commitment and keen application to prepare for their assessments. Encouragement from home is also invaluable to enable the children to develop their confidence in their chosen scholarship areas, and we are grateful for all parents do to support the children throughout their education at St Faith’s. 

A full list of curriculum awards and a photo of the successful pupils will be published in next week’s newsletter. 

Little Inventor Day

On Monday, the Year 2 pupils enjoyed a ‘Little Inventor’ day. They spent time in our ‘workshop’, having a taste of what will be in store for them when they start Engineering lessons in Year 3. Problem solving, teamwork and new inventions were all in evidence. As the children have been studying the ‘Secret World of Plants and Insects’, their challenge was to invent a brand new plant. They could choose what type of environment it would grow in and how it might protect itself from being eaten. They even considered how their plants might encourage pollinating animals and insects to visit them. A highlight of the activity for the Year 2 children was being joined by Year 6 and Year 8 pupils, to work alongside with them in their teams to help them realise their inventions.  

The second challenge for the pupils was to imagine they had been shrunk down to the size of a ‘Lego’ figure and that they must live alongside the small insects in our undergrowth. To meet this challenge, they had to design and build a suitable habitat together with a method of transportation. In this highly creative activity, they were ably assisted by a class of our Year 5 children. The imagination and the variety of designs on display was superb. They really were excellent Little Inventors! 

Year 8 ‘Rebecca’ Exhibition

During the Lent Term, some of our Year 8 pupils have been undertaking a book study in which they have been encouraged to create a portfolio of cross-curricular tasks, inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s novel Rebecca 

In response to this remit, as well as the insightful analysis of different characters, themes and symbolism, pupils elected to research and create botanical guides to the ‘Manderley’ estate, as well as create their own crosswords based on the novel. Pupils also researched the food and clothing of the 1930s and they created their own Top Trumps for characters, as well as making illustrations and craft items relevant to the book. I greatly enjoyed my visit to view the impressive range of high quality presentations in our annual ‘Rebecca Exhibition’, which parents also came to see. I had some interesting speculative discussions with the Year 8 pupils about the possible name of the narrator in the novel.  

Reading Competition 

This week saw a resumption of one of our annual Year 8 Summer Term competitions, aimed at developing pupils’ independence and confidence as they move on to their senior schools. For this competition, all pupils prepare to read a poem from a selection provided and then audition in their classes. Following peer and teacher assessment, pupils are put forward to represent their class. These pupils then practise another poem from the selection and they also have the opportunity to introduce a passage of prose of their own choosing.   

Shakespeare Event – Macbeth

On Thursday afternoon Year 7 and 8 experienced Shakespeare’s mesmerising story of ambition, guilt and revenge in a fast-moving, fully-costumed interactive production of ‘Macbeth’. It was performed by four Young Shakespeare Company actors. They involved the audience in creating such dramatic scenes as the meeting between Macbeth and the witches, and the tricky ‘I think we ought to kill King Duncan’ conversation between Lady Macbeth and her husband. The show was exciting and riveting and our pupils were drawn in by the energy, focus and storytelling abilities that transformed Ashburton Hall.

Happy Arrivals in Pre Prep

Tuesday evening saw the arrival of a much-anticipated addition to the Pre Prep family. Welcome to baby duckling Platinum! The anticipation does not end there as there are two further eggs which we are still hoping to see hatch. We look forward to sharing some further updates next week.  

 

Miss Hendry’s class enjoyed performing their assembly to their parents and the rest of the children in the Pre Prep. They told us funny jokes such as ‘Why did the egg go to the doctor? Because it needed an eggstra plaster’ and ‘Why wouldn’t the crab share his sweets? Because he was a little shell fish’. They also acted out the story of Handa’s Surprise, where Handa is going to take fruit to her friend, but on the way various creatures steal it before Handa and her friend get a big surprise at the end.

Newton House Supports Mental Health Awareness Week

The Newton House Charity event this week was in support of The Mental Health Foundation, and Mental Health Awareness Week, highlighting loneliness as a theme. Across the school the children in Years 3-8 have considered ways to combat loneliness, with a special focus on acts of kindness. Each pupil has been asked to think about and carry out at least one act of kindness and then to record this in a Kindness Book. As a further reminder of kindness, the pupils have also been tying lengths of House-coloured ribbon to the spindles of the outdoor classroom of Tom’s Garden. 

Personal Statement Writing

With their exams now completed, this week one of the tasks for our Year 7 pupils was to begin to write their personal statements for senior school applications. The pupils are really embracing this opportunity and they will be able to refine their statements over the next two to three weeks before the final submission deadline of Thursday 23rd June. 

IAPS Triathlon

On Sunday, triathletes from across Years 5 – 8 competed at the IAPS triathlon held at Monkton Prep School in Bath. There was a strong field of competitors, in swimming, cycling and running, complete with swift transitions between each discipline before crossing the finishing line.  

After just a few weeks of triathlon training for some in the team, the children performed very well indeed. Each child was noted for their excellence on at least one aspect of the course and four of our school triathletes finished in the top ten of their age category.  

The cycle course was challenging in its complex layout, but also demanding with its impressive inclines and descents, while the running course involved a range of different terrains too! The children met these challenges skilfully and with great dexterity. They were delighted with the experience that they had and, most importantly, came away with a love of triathlon.  

IAPS Triathlon Report

This weekend, there is a plethora of sports events taking place. We wish all our pupils who are competing in the Gresham’s Eight School Athletics Meeting, The Cambridgeshire AA Track and Field Championships or the IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) National Trampolining finals, the very best of luck. 

Old Fidelian Society (OF) Golf Day

On Monday, Old Fidelians met to celebrate their 36th annual golf day. It was held, as always, at Royal Worlington Golf Club, Bury St Edmunds. The playing conditions could not have been better. The morning singles Stableford competition saw Charlie Kidman claim the January Cup with a superb 39 points. Ed Dodson and Richard Devoy (both scoring 34 points) shared second and third prizes.  

There are many OFs amongst our parent body and you will always be given a warm welcome at any of our events. Please email marketing@stfaiths.co.uk if you wish to attend. The list of forthcoming OF events this term can be found here. 

St Faith’s Home to School Transport Questionnaire

Thank you to all of the parents who have already responded to the Home to School Transport Questionnaire, which was sent out on Tuesday. The closing date for the survey is Monday, 16th May, so we would be very grateful to receive further responses by then.  

SCHOOL TRANSPORT QUESTIONNAIRE

The questionnaire will help shape our long-term transport strategy in light of the increasing challenges that families face travelling to and from school. 

And Finally …..

Next week we welcome our September 2022 Foundation pupils to school for visits to the Pre Prep throughout the week. After a thoroughly enjoyable Year 1 parents’ coffee morning on Thursday, we look forward to our SFPA coffee morning for Year 2 parents next Thursday.  I can’t promise that ‘Platinum’ the Pre Prep duckling will have been joined by any siblings at that stage, but for the Year 2 parents and the coffee morning, I can assure you of plenty of hot tea and coffee, delicious pastries and thoroughly engaging conversations.  

Wishing you a happy and relaxing weekend, 

With all best wishes,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn