This week, we have been visited by a team of Inspectors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). They have enjoyed meeting pupils and staff and seeing our school in action. I am most grateful to all our St Faith’s families for their responses to the Inspection questionnaire – your engagement with this important aspect of the ISI Inspection process is greatly appreciated. In addition, I would like to thank all members of the St Faith’s staff for their preparedness and our whole community for welcoming the ISI inspectors so warmly. Today is the final day that the Inspectors are with us and the report will be published by ISI in a few weeks’ time, and shared with you as soon as it is available.
On Wednesday morning Mrs Clarke’s Year 1 class began the Pre Prep assemblies for the year with their first live broadcast from Ashburton Hall. This enabled parents to tune in remotely, while their fellow pupils in Pre Prep formed a supportive and appreciative audience in the hall. Form 1JC took the opportunity to talk and sing about the importance of ‘Being Our Best Selves’, a significant focus throughout St Faith’s. From pop songs such as ‘You Can Count on Me’ by Bruno Mars to Toy Story favourite, ‘You Got a Friend in Me’, 1JC really emphasised how important it is to be a good friend, to be kind and to work hard.
Of particular importance was the message to ‘be brave’, and bravery was very much on display from the children who confidently and clearly delivered their lines to everyone in Ashburton Hall and watching on line. Many thanks 1JC, and very well done!
Pupils in Pre Prep have been very busy in their after school activity, ‘Come Dine With Me’, with Mrs Bates this term. So far the children have cooked up a delicious array of treats including pizza, fruit kebabs, chocolate cookies and even Scotch pancakes. From the photos Mrs Bates shared, it looks as if everyone has thoroughly enjoyed this very popular activity!
Year 2 Science
Year 2 have continued their scientific skill development, this time focusing on asking questions for investigation. They took a basic paper helicopter and hypothesised about ‘What would happen if…’ – thinking about ways the helicopter could be changed. They added weight, made changes such as lengthening, shortening and widening the blades, added folds and even created some unusual shaped blades. The children then utilised their observation skills to test their hypotheses by studying the fall and rotation of the modified paper helicopter compared to their original control model, recording their results in a table.
Year 2 enjoyed a wonderful afternoon on the ‘launch pad’, evaluating the impact of their design modifications, and began to think about why these results occurred. The children demonstrated some mature focus and really impressive collaboration.
On a learning walk around the school this week, it was my pleasure to join Year 8 pupils in some of their lessons. In History, the 1832 Representation of the People Act – also known as the Great Reform Act, was under discussion, whilst in English, the use of literary devices in the prologue of ‘The Snow Goose’ by Paul Gallico was being explored. Meanwhile in Year 5 English lessons, pupils were learning about adjectives and modal verbs, and also learning how to undertake peer review of the work of others. I was also impressed to see Year 4 pupils increasing their confidence with preparing PowerPoint presentations in the ICT lessons, by designing slides to communicate facts about themselves.
Last Friday and Saturday our U11 and U13 boys were in action on the football pitches of Bishop’s Stortford College in the regional IAPS competition. Both teams performed well and thoroughly enjoyed their experiences. A full and colourful commentary of both days is available in the side bar.
The girls have been competing in a variety of inter-school hockey matches, including Year 4 who took part in their first competitive away event against St John’s on Thursday, whilst older pupils travelled to Ipswich on Wednesday for fixtures there. Meanwhile, I am delighted to report that the U11s emerged victorious from their County Cup event, beating the Perse in the final keenly contested match. As I write, our U13 girls are competing at Ipswich in the IAPS regional rounds; I wish them all the very best of luck.
House sports got off to a flying start this week with Year 3, 4 and 5 boys competing in House Football matches. Meantime on the rugby pitches, boys in Years 7 and 8 kicked off their House competitions on our Latham Road pitches. In addition, Year 6, 7 and 8 boys were in action against Felsted on Thursday, both at home and away.
Details of all fixtures and results are available in the side bar.
Our Parent-Teacher evenings got underway this week with Year 8 consultations taking place virtually on Thursday evening due to ongoing Covid restrictions. We are grateful that parents are able to consult with staff, even if they cannot be physically present at school. Next week, and after half term, parents in further Year groups will have the opportunity to discuss their children’s progress to date with their teachers.
Next week will culminate in the first Year 3-8 Academic Enrichment Day of the year. These highly anticipated days allow pupils to immerse themselves in a range of themed cross-curricular activities, outside their usual timetables. Information for parents about what their children will need for this day can be found in the side-bar of the newsletter.
Please also note that our half-term break commences on Thursday 21st October, immediately after school. School will be closed for half-term on Friday 22nd October and will re-open on Tuesday 2nd November.
At the end of the very busy and important week, may I wish you all a very restful weekend.
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn