This week at St Faith's

14 June 2019

In a week when much of our communication has informed you of cancelled sports matches, this newsletter should be a little more uplifting.  As usual at St Faith’s, there is much to celebrate and I trust that the following articles provide you with a glimpse of the children’s work and activities over the past seven days.  Do spare a thought for our caterers who spend hours planning the weekly menus in advance and for this week chose the theme of ‘The Great British Summer’!  We all ignored the wind and rain beating against the dining room windows as we devoured the delights of whitebait with garlic mayonnaise, summer berries with ice cream, cream teas and home-made lemonade. Absolutely delicious they were.

Junior Concert

On Thursday afternoon, a packed Ashburton Hall of parents and grandparents had the joy of seeing the annual Year 3 and 4 Junior Concert. The afternoon began with a flurry of impressive ensembles – Junior Strings, String Quartet and Junior ‘Cellos, followed by a lovely piece by the Junior Voices.  Then followed the most exquisite mini-musical drama production, ‘The Button Box’, providing us with a musical journey around the World as the cast explored the stories behind each unique button in Grandma’s Button Box.  The children’s passionate singing raised the roof and brought many smiles and even the odd tear or two to the faces of the audience. This was certainly one of those occasions in the children’s development that many of us there will remember for a very long time.  Very well done to all the Year 3 and 4 pupils and, of course to their teachers who choreographed the whole event so skilfully.

A reminder that all St Faith’s families are welcome to attend the Summer Concert (for our senior musicians) at the Cambridge University Concert Hall, West Road, on Monday 17th June at 18:30.

all photos for current parents

Trip to Hedingham Castle

Year 1 and Year 2 were transported back to the 1300s when they visited Hedingham Castle on Wednesday. England was at war with the French and the plague threatened the lives of Londoners.  In the Earl of Oxford’s absence, whilst he was visiting the King, Lady Phillippa hosted the children from St Faith’s.  Men of arms, archers, servants, minstrels, monks and all the inhabitants of the castle taught them first-hand what life was like in a Norman castle.  Although the heavens opened at lunchtime, this didn’t dampen the spirits of the would-be squires as they jousted their way to victory.  The children represented the school proudly and had a wonderful time.  Thank you to the parents who assisted the staff on this very enjoyable and worthwhile trip.

Summer Snack Sale

On Wednesday, Year 3 and 4 organised and ran a healthy snack sale during break time to raise money for the Mathieson Music School.  Year 4 advertised the sale by putting into practice their persuasive writing skills on which they have been focusing in recent English lessons.  Clearly their advertising worked; bags of popcorn flew off the shelves as pupils donated 50p for their treats.  Well done to Year 3 and 4 who collectively raised over £60 for this very worthwhile cause.

Pre Prep Fun Day

While Years 3 to 8 were racing around the track at Wilberforce Road today, Pre Prep enjoyed having the school to themselves for an Art Attack Fun Day.  Activities included turning wooden discs into animal faces, creating a large Mondrian inspired art wall in chalk, making pipe cleaner people and weaving bright fabrics into the fence lining the decking in Southfield.  As you can see from the photos, the children had a wonderfully creative day!

The Times

You may recall that in the previous newsletter, I mentioned that there had been a reference to St Faith’s in The Times last week. Well, this week there have been two!  On Saturday, Nicola Woolcock, Education Correspondent, reported on Engineering in the St Faith’s curriculum.  Yesterday, there was an Obituary for Old Fidelian Professor David Thouless, Physicist and Nobel Prize winner.  I had the great pleasure of meeting Professor Thouless when he visited St Faith’s with his family last year. When he left St Faith’s in the late 1940s, his parents donated to the school the Thouless Cup which is still presented on Speech Day each year.

Read the obituary here

Sports Round-up

Unaffected by the weather last Saturday, 12 of our swimmers attended the IAPS National Swimming Finals at the Olympic Pool in London. From a starting point of 4,600 competitors from 285 schools, the fastest prep school swimmers in the UK came together for a day of races at the London Aquatics Centre. In total 6 new St Faith’s school records were set, but by far the best performance was a new school record for our U13 girls’ relay team which swam the first sub-one minute 4x25m relay and finished 8th in the country. The whole day was a great experience for our swimmers; one boy was thrilled to tell me that he was there to see the London Olympic swimming events back in 2012 and now he had competed in the same pool.

After a very wet day at the East Area Athletics last Friday, eleven pupils qualified for the National Athletics Finals in Birmingham later this term. Although the relays were cancelled on the day, two of our teams have subsequently qualified for the Finals as a result of their previously recorded times. Full details can be found in the Index of this newsletter.

Today I have been at Sports Day at the Cambridge University athletics ground on Wilberforce Road.  Luckily the weather was kinder than it has been for most of the week and Sports Day didn’t turn in to a swimming gala!

And Finally…

I am delighted to introduce the new Head Boy and Girl at The Leys, Walter W and Joanna S, who spoke at the Year 5 Parents’ Introduction to The Leys evening this week. Both are former St Faith’s pupils, having started in Foundation at the age of four.  It is heart-warming to see pupils progress through The Leys and St Faith’s Foundation and become such inspiring ambassadors for both schools. Year 5 pupils who attended the event were invited by Mr Priestley, Headmaster of The Leys, to ask questions about his school.  One pupil asked ‘Is The Leys an Eco school?’ and another, ‘Do you have fundraising?’.  The question that raised more than a ripple of laughter amongst parents was posed by one Year 5 boy, ‘Were you jealous when St Faith’s won Prep School of the Year?!’  As you would expect, Mr Priestley gave a polished and diplomatic answer.

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell