This week at St Faith's

15th January 2021

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.’

Recently, I came across this quote and thought it fitting for the situation we all find ourselves in.  Metaphorically speaking, we are all now on a difficult road, hoping that this bumpy and uncertain journey will not last for much longer and the beautiful destination of normal life is not too far away.

In the meantime, we will continue to make the most of the journey and I have to say that I am hugely impressed with how the St Faith’s community has tackled the first two weeks of term.  Lessons have been learnt from our first lockdown voyage last spring and pupils, staff and parents have shown a renewed determination to press ahead and adapt to the many challenges that we face.  A difficult situation it may be, but the journey thus far, has been safely navigated and our most important passengers – the children – are certainly making the most of the new environment.  The ‘Pastoral Spotlight’ message in the side bar of the newsletter, written by Miss Kennerley, explains in more detail, how a positive approach can help us through these difficult times.

Up-beat messages of thanks from parents have continued to arrive this week, praising the excellent work of our staff.  In these times of isolation, when we don’t have the usual day to day interaction, these messages mean a great deal to us.  We, too, are grateful for the support of parents and the resilience of pupils, and are very clear that to steer a steady course, we will continue to need the strength and cohesiveness of our whole school community.


One need look no further than the Sports Faculty to see how a positive attitude can reap dividends. In the depths of winter, it can be hard to motivate oneself to exercise, but our creative sports staff are continually finding new ways to keep our pupils active and focussed at home.

If you have a moment, take a look at these innovative Netball Challenges set by Mrs Melville and Miss Wacey – or perhaps even have a go yourself!

Mr and Mrs Thompson have continued to provide regular hockey lessons on the VLE and Mr Thompson, who clearly should have been called up for Strictly Come Dancing, has been using musical videos to guide the children through physical warm ups.  His ‘Bee Gees warm-up’ is well worth a look.

Old Fidelians, Katie C (England U18s) and Charlie H (England Saxons U18s), have also been involved in coaching by setting our pupils competitive challenges.  Next week, the challenge will be set by OF, Tess Howard, who now plays for the full GB Team.

The PE Department has also made a series of Circuit Training videos, thanks to some willing critical worker pupils in school.

The sports teachers really enjoy seeing the efforts of the pupils, please do encourage your child to have a go at some of the challenges and send in videos.  Hopefully, we will be able to share some with you in next week’s newsletter.

Pre Prep

Pre Prep also recognise that an active start to the day is a great way to wake up minds and bodies and prepare for quality teaching and learning. It is essential that everybody takes frequent screen breaks (grown-ups too!) and especially so for our Pre Prep children. Year 2 children have been enjoying moving in unison, whether at home or at school this past week. Their motto – ‘keeeeeeeeeeeep dancing’!

6C Get Creative

6C were asked to show to their tutor group something they had created over the past week.  They were treated to an impressive array of creations from jewellery making and drawing (both on paper and iPad apps), to baked goods such as cake pops and waffles.  Along with a football made from intricate Lego pieces, they saw a couple of STEM projects with a colour-changing crystal made from a kit at home and a paper aeroplane launcher!  Here are two projects, one from Ellen who created these special pictures using leaves which she had found whilst out walking, and another creation from Lauren who used her origami skills to make finger puppets of cats and pigs – she has promised to teach 6C Origami in a future tutor time.

Covid-19 Testing

On a more sombre note, this is the week when part of our Sports Hall was transformed in to Covid-19 testing unit and lateral flow tests were administered for staff and Year 7 and 8 pupils.  I can’t begin to tell you how much work has gone on behind the scenes to set up this testing unit, particularly by Mrs Moore (Operations Manager), Mr Critchley (Director of Pastoral Care), the Office and Health Centre Teams.  Fortunately, all 92 tests this week were negative.


Whilst on break time duty the Year 5 girls invited me to join their hilarious game of trying to recognise people’s voices whilst being blindfolded.  I soon discovered that whatever voice I attempted to imitate (mainly farmyard animals), the child whose turn it was to be blindfolded, always knew it was me. I’ll keep practising ready for next week’s game. It was great fun and another example of the children making the most of this unusual period in our lives.

Have a good weekend.

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell