This week at St Faith's

17 May 2024

FAD Class Assembly

This morning, one of our Foundation classes presented their assembly to their families and the rest of the pupils in Pre Prep. The children had worked hard practising their lines, singing songs and reciting poems. The message was ‘look after our world and be kind to one another’. Everyone went away with smiles on their faces, and an array of fascinating facts about wonderful creatures that live in our oceans.

Junior Maths Challenge

We are delighted to announce the results of the Junior Maths Challenge 2024, in which St Faith’s pupils achieved a remarkable total of 114 certificates across Years 6 to 8. The Junior Maths Challenge encourages precision of thought and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems. Pupils demonstrated their ability to reason and problem-solve at a high level, including problems that required them to ‘think outside the box.’ This year, our pupils achieved superb results: 36 pupils received a Gold Award; 41, a Silver Award; and 37 gained a Bronze Award.

Year 3 Flint Knapping

Year 3 have been studying the Stone Age period in their Humanities lessons this term. As part of their learning, the pupils were given a bar of soap (instead of a piece of flint!) to carve into a tool or arrowhead, using a method known as ‘knapping’. They really enjoyed transforming their classrooms into a Stone Age camp and were very proud of their amazing creations!

Incredible Homework!

Last week we reported on the excellent pieces of homework that Year 3 had produced when they had independently chosen their own topics to research. Helping pupils learn to make their own choices and find their own interests is an important part of ‘tailored education’ at St Faith’s and we are delighted to share some of the examples of this work with you this week.

Learning about coral

Year 8 Art and Design Workshop

On Tuesday afternoon, the Year 8 Art & Design Group thoroughly enjoyed an Art workshop led by professional artist Sheefali Asija. Ms Asija is a visual artist who is inspired by the world that science has revealed, and what technology has provided for us. Our visitor spoke to the pupils about her career and life as an artist, and in a thought-provoking presentation, Ms Asija discussed her inspiration and commissions. Following this, the pupils were encouraged to be curious, and they asked some very thoughtful questions about Ms Asija’s art. Pupils were then asked to think of something which has been an inspiration to them, or has significance to them personally, and to represent this in their own way in the form of a large-scale drawing.

School Council and Eco Committee Cookie Sale

The School Council and Eco-Committee invited Years 5-8 to a mouthwatering cookie sale in Tom’s Garden on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Cookies cost £1 each and all the proceedings will be used to fund future school projects chosen by the pupils. Thank you to everyone for their support.

Flying Frogs – Part 2!

First you read the book, then you watch the film…. Regular readers of the weekly newsletter may remember that Year 4 have been writing collaborative news transcripts linked to the text ‘Tuesday’ by David Wiesner. They have also been recording their transcripts and using iMovie to edit and add effects, turning their transcripts into a real news broadcast. We promised to show you some examples and we hope you enjoy watching them as much as the children enjoyed making them….

Please go to My School Portal for examples of the iMovies – St Faith’s School (myschoolportal.co.uk).

Music Teatime Recital

On Tuesday the Music Department hosted a Singing Recital for several pupils who are developing their singing skills with individual lessons. Mr Symons compèred the event, which showcased the talents of a number of pupils, many of whom were performing solos for the first time. The audience were treated to varied repertoire, ranging from Sondheim’s musical fantasy ‘Into the Woods’ to Pasek & Paul’s ‘The Greatest Showman.’ The pupils sang with great confidence which showed the impressive progress they have made as singers, and they were supported by the wonderful encouragement of pupils in the audience. Congratulations to all who took part.

Year 8 Charity Challenge

As reported last week, all the participants in our Year 8 ‘Charity Challenge’ have now received their £5 start-up funding from the school and their new ‘businesses’ will trade for five weeks. On Tuesday, the Year 8 pupils did an admirable and energetic job of running stalls at morning break, to sell homemade cakes, cookies, brownies, keyrings, cards and other goods. Children in Years 3-8 were able to purchase items from the stalls, and they were enthusiastic shoppers. All the profits will be donated to our two chosen charities, Meseret for Women and Power2Inspire.Thank you again for generously supporting our young entrepreneurs!

Be A Star Award

The whole school community is immensely proud of our chefs Jimmy and Malcolm, who last week won the Compass Group ‘Be A Star’ awards in the ‘Supporting Communities’ category. The organisers said, “Malcolm and Jimmy’s contribution to your team, along with their hard work and efforts, have not gone unnoticed. You should feel rightfully proud that they are valued and appreciated by their teammates, our customers, clients and the wider Compass family.” Many congratulations to them both.

Lessons This Week

In lessons this week, Year 7 have been enjoying a range of topics now that their exams for this term are complete. They have been making tree sculptures out of wire in their Art lessons, playing the steel drums in Music and having a focus on ‘realism’ in their Drama lessons. Meanwhile our Year 5 and 6 Green Goblins have been preparing for scrutineering in an upcoming event by replacing recycled body work and working on the chassis of their cars. In other lessons, Year 5 pupils have been revising the life cycle of plants in Science, and reminding themselves of the important features of photosynthesis. On a similar plant-based theme, Year 3 were expanding their Spanish vocabulary of fruits and vegetables, whilst Year 2 were researching and writing about extinct plants and animals in their ICT lesson, with plenty of focus and concentration in evidence.

Foundation 2025 Play Sessions

Despite the fact that our new Foundation 2024 pupils have not yet joined the school, the admissions for new pupils for Foundation 2025 has already begun. It was a real pleasure to welcome the children to join the Early Years team for a gentle assessment play session, whilst families stayed to enjoy refreshments with us. We will be making offers for September 2025 on Tuesday, 28th May, and there will be an additional follow-up play session on Tuesday, 11th June for those unable to attend in May.

News from the Marketing Team

You may well have seen the large banner bus stop adverts on Trumpington Road and Hills Road featuring St Faith’s. It is one of three campaigns that the marketing team are running over the summer period, as we continue to recruit pupils for 2025 and beyond. We are also very grateful to pupils and families who do such an effective job of promoting St Faith’s to their friends and colleagues, as we appreciate the value and importance word of mouth recommendation. Thank you!

Swimming v King’s Ely

The U10, U11 and U13 swim teams enjoyed their annual trip to King’s Ely last Monday to their outdoor pool – it’s always a challenge for the backstrokers when they only having the sky to follow! Our boys seemed to have the upper hand in most of the races whilst the girls’ competition was more evenly matched. Nevertheless, we saw a wonderful display of competitive swimming, with many children swimming in events in which they would not ordinarily compete. The final score was very close, but St Faith’s just got the upper hand in the end, winning by 199 points to 185. Well done to everyone involved.

Year 5 House Cricket Finals

From Year 3 onwards, when pupils join their Houses, they become part of a large team, instilling in them a sense of loyalty and belonging. They strive to do the best for their House collectively and there are ample opportunities for that in lots of different areas of school life. On Tuesday, it was the turn of cricket as all of Year 5 took part in a closely contested House final. Please read Mr Clayton-Smith’s report to find out who won.

HOUSE CRICKET MATCH REPORT

Continuing the sports theme, today our athletics teams travelled to Gresham’s for the long-standing, annual Gresham’s Eight School Athletics Meeting. Then over the weekend, our gymnasts will be competing in the MISGA Gymnastics at Stamford School, and the IAPS Triathlon Championships is taking place at Monkton Prep School in Bath. We wish all of those taking part the very best of luck and we greatly appreciate the unstinting efforts of the staff and parents who are supporting these events.

And Finally….

Judging by the rehearsals for ‘We Will Rock You – Young@Part’, the actual show next week will be truly breathtaking. I do hope that you have your tickets already and I look forward to seeing many of you on Wednesday or Thursday evening, or perhaps both! This is very much the pinnacle and finale performance for our Year 8 pupils and I am sure it will be a fitting tribute to all their hard work and dedication.

With all best wishes,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn