This week at St Faith's

16 June 2017

‘Variety is the spice of life’, some say, and there is no lack of variety at St Faith’s, particularly at this busy time of the year. Since I wrote to you last week, there has been a SFPA Summer Party, a science fair, a ‘play in a day’, Music exams, a trip to Hedingham Castle, Sports Day, an ice cream sale, a School Council and Eco Committee barbecue, two regional athletics events, a school tennis tournament, and oodles of house and school matches – all in addition to the normal school timetable. We also managed to squeeze in competitions in cricket, gymnastics, and athletics, for 4, 5 and 29 schools respectively, which our teachers organised and hosted here at St Faith’s. The commitment of our staff, which never ceases to amaze me, enables the school to provide this rich and varied programme for the children, which becomes so evident at this time of the year.

SFPA Summer Party

The commitment of the SFPA was clearly evident on Saturday, when over 200 parents enjoyed a fabulous evening of socialising, punting and dancing, in the most splendid river setting. The weather was kind to us, the atmosphere was informal and the conversation flowed well in to the balmy night. Thank you so much to the SFPA Committee for organising this perfect party which I know was much appreciated by the people who attended. Many thanks particularly to Aldo Marino and Lucy Jones, the party organisers, and the Chair of the SFPA, Monique Carew, whose attention to detail enabled the evening to run so smoothly.


Year 8 Science Fair

Which take-away coffee cup retains heat most effectively, and why? What is the best liquid to remove rust? How does the PH of water affect the longevity of flowers in a vase? Do supermarket eggs have more or less calcium carbonate than home-reared eggs? These are just a few of the many questions that were answered at the Year 8 Science Fair on Monday. The Ashburton Hall was fizzing with excitement as our Year 8 scientists showcased their interactive investigations to their parents, teachers and our special guest, Frederik Van Loock, a research scientist at Cambridge University. Dr Van Loock seemed genuinely enthused by the Science Fair and made a point of saying how fortunate our pupils are to be conducting such exciting and interesting practical experiments at such a young age. Our Year 8s certainly rose to this challenge, each one selecting their question to investigate, designing the experiments and producing their own exhibition display. For the first time, all the investigations have been entered for the national CREST bronze award. I am grateful to Mrs Price, Head of Science, and her excellent departmental team of Mr Milward, Mrs Parker, Miss Gamble and Mrs Huckle, for organising this superb event. As one parent emailed, ‘It was a superb showcase for the high level of Science studied by St Faith’s pupils.’ Just in case you are wondering, the results of the investigations in to the questions posed at the beginning of this paragraph are: McDonalds (better design for insulation), lime juice, PH between 3.5 and 5 is best, and less calcium carbonate in supermarket eggs.

The Little Mermaid

The Year 3s certainly rose to the challenge when they produced a play in a day on Tuesday. Every single one of the 61 children took part in a cleverly scripted musical, ‘The Little Mermaid’, a classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. The singing was beautiful, the children remembered their lines and the whole production kept the audience of parents and staff entertained. Well done to the Year 3s for successfully completing this challenge and thank you to the Music and Drama staff for making this possible.

Year 1 & 2 Trip

This term the Pre Prep children have been studying castles, kings and queens and on Wednesday, Year 1 and 2 visited Hedingham Castle to extend and enrich their work in class. Here are some lovely photos of this highly successful excursion with more available on the VLE via this link.

The athletes are on fine form, as we shall see at Sports Day today. Thanks to their outstanding performances at Bedford last week, 23 of our pupils have qualified for the National Prep Schools’ Finals in Birmingham later this term.

Finally, I will leave you with two photos that I took this week, which capture the spirit of St Faith’s. Given the glorious weather, several academic lessons have taken place outdoors. On Tuesday I observed a Year 8 English class reading and acting ‘The Importance of being Ernest’ in Tom’s Garden as well as Year 4 Science lesson, pictured here. The second photo is of some of the Support Staff celebrating Mr Diggens’ (4th from the right on the back row) birthday on Tuesday. Poor Mr Diggens; he thought he was coming to the office to fix a shelf but instead he was hit with a raucous rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’!


With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell