This week at St Faith's

15 September 2017

The Beginning of Term

‘Happy New Year!’ a cheerful mother said to me as she breezed in to breakfast this week. It has indeed been a very happy start to the new academic year. The children are fresh and eager, routines are becoming established and there is a real sense of energy and expectation around school.  Even for our seasoned campaigners, it has felt like a new start, and with that an opportunity to reflect on previous achievements, take stock and set new aims. After a poor showing at break time today, one of my aims is to improve my table tennis skills.  I was given the run-around when I had an impromptu game with some Year 7 pupils but in true St Faith’s style, the onlookers were kind and encouraging. I’ll be back for more as the weeks go by and hopefully will do better with practice!

The beginning of the school year is also a good time to remind the children about the kindness and respect we should show each other when living and working together in a large community such as St Faith’s.  The whole-school assembly at the beginning of term focussed on the importance of working together.  We discovered on our trip to South Africa this summer, that the motto of Makukhanye Primary School is ‘working together’, as shown (in Xhosa) in the photo, so this formed part of my message in the assembly. This week, Mr Davenport’s assembly followed on nicely, looking at the development of good learning habits, a whole-school focus this year.

Introduction to the Year Evenings

Thank you to everyone who came to the ‘Introduction to the Year’ evenings and for the most encouraging feedback about these events.  There was an impressive turn-out, even from our most experienced parents in Years 7 and 8, and many commented on how useful it was to receive information specific to their child’s year group and have the opportunity to touch base with the tutors at the beginning of the academic year.

New Prefects

The Year 8 pupils will, of course, be important role-models for the younger children and in the first assembly this term, I presented them with Prefect ties and badges and outlined their responsibilities for the year ahead.  They are excited about being at the top of the School and looking forward to carrying out their Prefect duties and buddy roles with the younger children. These additional responsibilities, which children at the top of a prep school enjoy, play a significant role in building confidence and developing leadership skills.

Roald Dahl Lunch

Tuesday’s lunch of green pea soup, fresh mudburgers, wormy spaghetti, snozzcumbers and Bruce Bogtrotter’s cake was delicious and a great way to mark the anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth. Many thanks to the catering team for making the lunch so special. Speaking of lunch, this week I received an email from a mother who remarked that her son regularly waxes lyrical about the school lunches, and on one evening last week declared his lunch to have been ‘restaurant quality’!  High praise indeed.


This year’s Tatler Schools Guide was published this week; the report of St Faith’s can be read here.

Head Prefect

Old Fidelian, Madeleine Lea has been appointed Head Prefect (Head Girl) of Repton for this academic year, following in her brother, Dominic’s, footsteps who was also appointed Head Prefect (Head Boy) of Repton in 2015. Repton School’s Director of Admissions, Tim Collins, commented, ‘it is a rare achievement for siblings to serve as Head Prefects .  It was a privilege to welcome them both from St Faith’s and to see them develop and prosper at Repton. St Faith’s pupils are clearly of a high calibre and we look forward to meeting more of them in the future.’

Forthcoming Events

This evening we are expecting almost 100 former pupils for the annual Old Fidelian barbecue (6-8pm in the Head’s garden/house).  This will be preceded by a netball match between last year’s U13 team and the team which left two years’ ago.

On Sunday, Mrs North will be leading a finely-tuned team of twelve athletic staff around the colleges in the annual Chariots of Fire relay race.  The race begins at 9.30am and should end by approximately 11am.  The St Faith’s staff and supporters will congregate on Silver Street Bridge; all families are most welcome to come and cheer along our runners.

On Saturday 23rd September, the annual SFPA ‘Scavenger Hunt’ for the new Foundation children and their families will take place here at school. This is always a lovely occasion when our new arrivals have the opportunity to explore the school grounds and parents can chat and mingle in an informal setting.


It never ceases to amaze me how many ways the children find to use the bark play pit outside School House.  Intricate towers using the wooden bricks are popular, as are deep tunnels and ingeniously designed bridges.  As I stepped out of my office this week, a group of girls rushed up, to proudly show me their perfectly layered bark cake, inspired, I suspect, by the Great British Bake off.  I am relieved to say that nobody felt the need to taste it.

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell