There have been some beautiful frosty early mornings at school this week and our Lent term is now well underway. I have also enjoyed the first meetings of 2022 with our St Faith’s Parents’ Association and our Old Fidelians Committee. Please find a separate communication from the SFPA Chair on the following link:
In Lessons This Week
It has been a busy week in lessons. In Year 3, I called in on a Maths lesson where pupils were practising their skills of multiplication and division. I also joined some Year 3 pupils in a Geography lesson, where they were studying the concepts of humidity, precipitation and atmospheric pressure. In their creative pursuits, Year 5 have been making clay pumpkins in Art, as well as practising Drama improvisation, whilst Year 7 have been developing their creative writing in English, inspired by the stories of JRR Tolkien. Our most senior pupils, in Year 8, have been enjoying some outdoor Science lessons, studying echoes and making calculations about the speed of sound. I also look forward to hearing the results of the Year 8 lesson in which pupils were composing a 12-part blues-inspired harmony for the steel drums.
Our Foundation pupils have begun to learn Spanish with Mrs O’Reilly this term. They are learning to greet people and to count up to 5. The children have particularly enjoyed practising making new sounds and working on their Spanish pronunciations.
Year 2 ‘StarDome’ Planetarium Visit
This week our Year 2 pupils were treated to a visit from the ‘StarDome’ experience. The ‘StarDome’ is a 6-metre mobile indoor ‘pop-up’ planetarium, which was set up for the children here in Ashburton Hall. Andrew Green, an astronomy expert and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, talked the pupils through some of the mysteries of outer space. The children were completely enthralled by their ‘spin’ through the night sky, and were fascinated to learn more about the Solar System. Our young astronomers were in ‘awe’ when they passed around a real meteorite rock which everyone noted was very heavy and smelled like coins! It is clear the pupils were truly inspired and we certainly have some budding astronomers in our midst.
Years 7 & 8 House Netball Matches
On Wednesday Year 7 and 8 girls took part in the first inter-house competition of 2022. For the Lent term the main girls’ Games focus has switched to Netball, and this was an excellent opportunity for our pupils to gain some full-court match practice early in the season. It was a chilly but sunny afternoon, and the spectators were rewarded with some exciting matches and excellent performances, with the girls showing outstanding teamwork.
On Sunday, several Year 5 to 8 pupils travelled to St Neots to compete in the Cambridgeshire Cross-Country Championships. St Faith’s girls and boys won a number of individual and first place team medals across various age groups and distances, with the Under-11’s being particularly successful. In addition the performance of one member of our Under-13 girls team has secured a place in the National Championships next month.
As well as the accompanying school staff, thank you to all the parents who helped out on the day with transport, warm ups, photography, supporting the races and cleaning very muddy trainers!
Year 8 Scholars
This week, some of our Year 8 pupils have been taking Scholarship assessments. The Sports scholars have been put through their paces in a range of events, and our STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) scholars have also been undertaking their assessments. All our Scholars are to be congratulated for their outstanding efforts in pursuing this challenging and prestigious route to their Senior Schools.
There was an exciting array of after-school activities on offer this week – alongside origami and chess, pupils also had the opportunity to study ‘maths-in-motion’ – performing calculations to work out how virtual racing cars could complete a circuit as quickly as possible. Pupils in our Library Club focussed on mindful colouring, whilst the Curiosity Club went on a personalised journey through the Siege of Troy, solving various challenges along the way.
Thank you to all our parents who continue to prioritise road safety during busy collection and drop-off times at school. Conditions can be particularly challenging when dark or icy, so I would like to take this opportunity to share some brief reminders. These are very important for the safety of our whole school community as well as other road and cycle-lane users, and local residents.
- The informal one-way system (arrival via Bentley Road and departure back onto Trumpington Road via Newton Road) is subject to a 20mph speed limit. Please also be certain to observe the areas where parking is prohibited.
- If you have parked and are waiting to collect a child, please do not leave your engine idling, in order to preserve the air quality around our school.
- When utilising the bus lane on Trumpington Road for collection or drop-off, please ensure that you avoid U-turns and only use this lane when travelling south (towards Trumpington, in the same direction as the traffic). Please also take extra care when opening car doors, being mindful of the cycle lane running very close by.
Thank you very much indeed for your support with these measures.
As mentioned last week, the Drama rehearsals for Sister Act Jr. are well underway for this exciting production to be staged by the senior pupils. We have even had a peek at progress so far – as you will see from this rehearsal video!
Whether you are enjoying some ‘StarDome’ inspired stargazing or some bracing winter walks, I hope you have a happy and relaxing weekend.
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn