This week at St Faith's

24 May 2024

World Day for Cultural Diversity  

On Tuesday it was the World Day for Cultural Diversity and this was the theme of Monday’s assembly. Through the medium of the story of ‘The Smeds and the Smoos’ by Julia Donaldson, the children considered how despite coming from two different sides of ‘the divide’, two young aliens were able to find love for one another. This helped them to overcome the prejudice and distrust of members of their respective communities, and brought their communities together.  We greatly appreciate the diversity of our community at St Faith’s, and continuing this theme, today we enjoyed our second SFPA International Day in Ashburton Hall – about which you can read more details later in this newsletter.

Returning to Tuesday’s assembly, we congratulated the 36 gold certificate winners of the Junior Maths Challenge.  I also thanked all of the Year 7 pupils for their very mature approach to their recent exams. Well done to all in Year 7!

We Will Rock You Young@Part

In their final drama production here at St Faith’s, Year 8 brought to life an iconic musical set to the timeless music of Queen.  Mrs McGregor writes:

“We Will Rock You Young@Part” is a celebration of individuality, rebellion, and the power of rock ‘n’ roll. First and foremost, the show is about the importance of staying true to yourself, even in the face of conformity and adversity. In a world where young people can be expected to fit into a predetermined mould, our characters defy expectations and embrace their unique identities. They remind us that it is OK to be different, to stand out, and to march to the beat of our own drum.
At its core, this musical is a celebration of the music of Queen and through our performances, we aim to honour Queen’s legacy while bringing our own interpretation and youthful energy to the stage.”

That joy and energy shone through and the show culminated in a very poignant second encore as photographs of the pupils, taken when they were in Pre Prep, were projected onto the main screen to a moving rendition of ‘’We are the Champions”.

A video of each performance will be available on My School Portal shortly – we do hope you enjoy watching these videos with family and friends.

Year 1 and Frida Kahlo

Year 1 have been working in the style of different artists this term. This week the children looked at Frida Kahlo and independently twisted, twirled, cut and folded paper to create a flower inspired picture, following on from their trip to the Botanic Garden.

During their transport topic the children have been learning about different types of vehicles and sustainability. This week they have particularly enjoyed riding bikes around the school site and observing the road signs.

International Day

The SFPA was delighted today to host their second International Day Event, building upon the success of last year. The event aims to celebrate and showcase the international diversity of the school and our community, promising a sensory experience with an opportunity to learn about and experience the cultures from a vibrant mix of countries including India, Mexico, China, South Africa and more. For our pupils it was inspiring to see how they are growing up as global citizens. Did you know for example that 24 different languages are spoken at home as first languages by our pupils?

I am most grateful to our parents and staff members who have dedicated so much of their time to the organisation of this happy occasion, and to our Year 8 pupils who supported the event by running some of the activities – including a quiz, an interactive mapping exercise and a language-based challenge.

Foundation Sports Day 

It was with great disappointment on Tuesday that we had to postpone our Sports Day and picnic for our Year 1 and 2 children, due to wet weather. The event has been rescheduled to Wednesday, 5th June 10:45-11:45, when we hope for drier conditions and sunnier skies!

The Foundation Sports Day events went ahead in the Sports Hall as five teams competed in the running, egg and spoon and hoop races – all to the background of encouraging whoops, claps and cheers. Tension was mounting to know the final scores. However, Mrs North left us in suspense as all points will need to be totted up after the Year 1 and 2s races next Wednesday. Only then, will we be able to declare one team the overall winner of the 2024 Pre Prep Sports Day!

New arrivals in Pre Prep!  

There was great joy for the children in Pre Prep as they were able to welcome a family of newly hatched ducklings this week. The eggs spent the whole 28 days in Foundation, hatching 2 days early! We started with 8 eggs and 6 have hatched into strong happy ducklings, which have loved being held by all the children in Foundation (duckling eggs take approximately twenty-eight days to hatch). On Thursday, they took their first swim. The ducklings will eventually return to Mrs Bates’ farm and where, based on previous experience, they are expected to have great fun swimming on the pond and digging holes in the lawn!

Year 5 Poetry Writing Competition  

Each year, our Year 5 pupils are invited to enter a poetry writing competition hosted by Rugby School. The theme this year was ‘Self-Portraits’ and within that theme there was a choice of tasks. One task invited the entrants to write a poem about a specific part of a loved one and another task invited entrants to describe a famous self-portrait. Below are two entries that were sent off to Rugby School.

Poem 1

POem 2

Year 5 have also been exploring words with silent letters this week. Writing with three pens and trying to spell words with their eyes closed gave rise to much mirth, interspersed with some serious discussions about ‘b/d/g/ w’ and that elusive silent ‘e.’ It was a really valuable exercise for the pupils to help one another learn to spell some challenging words correctly.

Year 8 Art & Design Group’s Architecture & Art Tour of Cambridge

On Monday, the Year 8 Art & Design group enjoyed an inspiring day trip in which they explored and learnt more about some of the art and architecture of the city. In the morning, they visited the People’s Portraits exhibition at Girton College and used the collection to generate debate and some carefully observed drawings. After a picnic lunch, they visited The Round Church, The Corpus Clock, The Mathematical Bridge and learnt a great deal about the architecture of various colleges on a guided punting tour of ‘The Backs’ before walking back to school.

Year 8 Reading Competition  

Last week the finals for the Year 8 Reading Competition took place and 15 finalists took to the stage to read poetry and prose. In front of our judge, the local performance poet and author Charlie Bown, the pupils entertained us with writing by Shelley, Wordsworth, Rowling and Dahl. Our winner captured the essence of Jane Austen’s satirical writing in Pride and Prejudice, and there were many other commendable performances, including a powerful piece entitled ‘Stammering is Me’.
You can view some of the performances on My School Portal

Green Goblins 

After half-term, there will be an excited countdown to the 10th June when the Green Goblins will have their outing to compete at Scottow in Norfolk, in an event sponsored by Greenpower. Mrs Oxborough writes, “We are busy preparing the cars, the bodywork has been designed and is now being created. One car is making use of the sacks in which the bark was delivered for the Year 3 and 4 play area. One car is currently having maintenance work – the Goblins have been fitting new parts supplied by Greenpower to increase the strength of the chassis. We are all looking forward to our race in June.”

IAPS Clay Pigeon Shooting

Mr Gillick writes:
“On 10th May, three of our pupils ventured to West London, to soak up the sunshine and walk the beautiful grounds of West London Shooting School for St Faith’s maiden representation at the IAPS U13 Clay Pigeon Shooting Competition.  These young men demonstrated an impressive show of skill, patience, and willingness to learn. With every shot, they demonstrated remarkable talent and dedication – the Gold Medal victory a testament to their hard work and camaraderie.
It was an incredibly wholesome day, witnessing the connection between parents and their children, enjoying the experience and passion for the removal of aerial ceramic discs.”

This is a sport which the boys have dedicated their time to outside of school and it is testimony to their enthusiasm and love of the sport that they are competing at a national level. Well done to all of them!”

MIGSA (Midlands Independent Schools Gymnastics Championships) Gymnastics   

Mrs North writes, “On Saturday and Sunday 18th and 19th May 65 children from St Faith’s represented the school at the Midlands Independent Schools Gymnastics competition which was held in Stamford. Everyone acquitted themselves admirably with many medals and trophies being brought home as a result of the children’s efforts. Mrs North and Miss Butler were exceedingly proud of the efforts of all gymnasts and felt that everyone seemed happy, relaxed and self-assured.”

IAPS Triathlon Championships

Last Sunday a group of St Faith’s triathletes competed at Monkton Prep School in the IAPS triathlon.  There were fantastic first performances at this event for many pupils, and those returning showed an impressive improvement in times from last year. The team of children and parents were wonderfully supportive and all of our triathletes delivered performances of which they can be really proud.  Top performances came from two of our Year 8 pupils, finishing 4th and 8th respectively. The Year 7 boys took 20th, 23rd and 26th place. Finally, the first teams out on the day finished in 34th and 38th respectively.

U9 – U13 Boys’ and Girls’ National IAPS Trampolining Finals  

Mrs North writes, “The National IAPS Trampolining Nationals took place on Saturday 11th May at Royal Russell School in Croydon. St Faith’s was represented by 28 children in 5 age categories. Our Under 9 boys won the competition with our top scoring competitor finishing in 3rd individual position. Our Under 9 girls finished a creditable 6th place in a very strong field. Our Under 11 boys took the silver medals with two team members making podium places. In the Under 13 girls’ competition we finished 4th and our three Under 13 boys’ teams finished 1st in the A team competition and 1st and 2nd in the ‘B’ team competition. Our top scoring bouncers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
I would like to thank Mr North for the time he put into coaching the participants and I would like to thank Mr Mageean and Mr Johnson for their invaluable help on the day.”

 

Foundation 2025 Play Sessions

The summer term is an extremely busy time for the admissions and the Early Years teams, as they welcome the new Foundation 2024 children and their families to several Familiarisation visits, where the children will meet their future classmates and start to feel at ease in their new surroundings.
In parallel, it is also a real pleasure to invite potential Foundation 2025 pupils for their gentle assessment play sessions, whilst families stay to enjoy refreshments with us. Following these assessments, we will be making offers for September 2025 on Tuesday, 28th May. There will be an additional follow-up play session on Tuesday, 11th June for those unable to attend in May.

And Finally….

During the half term week, parents will be able to contact the school via the School Office, either via email (office@stfaiths.co.uk) or telephone (01223 352073).  Office hours will be 08:00-16:00.  However, please be aware that the school office will be closed over the bank holiday on Monday 27th May 2024. Please also note that teaching staff will not be checking their school email accounts routinely during the half term week, as they are encouraged to enjoy a restorative break. We kindly request that parents support a reduction in school email communication during the holiday period: whenever possible, we ask that parents please avoid emailing teaching staff directly with non-urgent matters.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our families a very restful and happy half-term, so that they can return refreshed and re-charged for the second half of term – with concerts, Sports Day, residential trips, the SFPA summer event, and Prizegiving yet to come!

With all best wishes,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn