This week at St Faith's

17 January 2020

Well, the Christmas break is now a distant memory, school routines are re-established and term is well on the way.  For me the beginning of each term brings a flurry of planning meetings.  On Monday evening, Mr Brent (Bursar) and I joined the thriving SFPA Committee to review last term’s events and plan future social occasions for the school community. On Tuesday evening, Dr Pangalos (Marketing Manager) and I participated in a lively meeting of the Old Fidelian Committee, including several new members, who are all committed to keeping the spirit of the St Faith’s alive for former pupils.  We discussed the many forthcoming OF events including the golf day at Royal Worlington, tennis events at school and the annual BBQ reunion.  Further details of all SFPA and OF events will be shared with you in due course, when plans are finalised.

As usual, the meeting which produced the most ideas was with the School Council representatives on Monday lunchtime.  Following extensive consultation with the pupil body, the reps provided a long list of suggestions for improving the school, including more nature clubs, less plastic use and more equipment for the Year 3 and 4 digging area.  We managed to steer clear of the usual topic of food (they have separate meetings with the Catering Manager) and as always, the reps provided some excellent ideas which I can take forward.

Sir Michael Marshall Memorial

On the theme of the Old Fidelian community, yesterday Jane and I had the honour of representing St Faith’s at the Memorial Service in Ely Cathedral for Old Fidelian and businessman, Sir Michael Marshall.  Over the years, Sir Michael was a highly supportive friend of St Faith’s.  In 2012 he officially opened our Year 1 classrooms and in 2018 he attended the opening of The Hub.  Sir Michael and his colleagues at Marshall Group were particularly generous with their time and advice when we consulted them on the introduction of Engineering.  The service in the packed Cathedral included a fitting tribute by Professor Lord Mair (also an Old Fidelian) which exemplified Sir Michael’s genial personality, zest for life and wide-ranging achievements.  He will be fondly remembered and much missed, both here at St Faith’s and in the wider community.



On Tuesday, Foundation and Year 1 children relished in some hands-on creativity as they combined the joys of clay art with storytelling, thanks to the help of a visit from an external company, ‘ClayTime’.  Foundation children helped create a story about a dinosaur and his friends who headed off on a three-seater bicycle to play, only to have their plans dashed by an erupting volcano!  Meanwhile Year 1 went on a journey to the ‘Land Where Everyone Forgets’ to meet Queen Aiforgot and her cat, Kitkit.  Throughout the day, imaginations were stretched in all directions and brought to life through clay modelling in a most compelling way which the children clearly loved.

Speaking of creativity, on Tuesday, I witnessed an ingenious introductory activity in a Year 2 lesson – Musical Time Connections – a sort of pass the parcel but with pieces of card showing time connectives, such as ‘eventually’, ‘next’ and ‘as time went’.  When the music stopped, the child holding the card was asked to say a sentence using the time connective.  This proved to be great fun, and a lovely activity before the class went on to integrate this skill in to their creative writing.


In Science last term, Year 6 learnt about specialised cells.  They were then tasked with applying their knowledge of cell structure, function and adaptation to design and construct a model of their cell of choice.  An impressive range of models are now displayed in the Science laboratories.  Well done to the pupils, and thank you to Year 6 parents for your patience and support during this project!

The Science Department has also been keeping our Year 5s busy.  Taking the 2020 British Science Week theme of ‘Our Diverse Planet’, pupils were tasked with producing posters over the Christmas holiday.  Their finished products included posters on biodiversity, the different ways our towns and cities are built and what makes our planet different to the other planets in our solar system.  A range of the outstanding posters are now on display in The Hub, and some will be submitted to the British Science Association Poster Competition later this term.  If you have the opportunity, do pop in to The Hub to see the pupils’ excellent work, examples of which are shown below.


Last Saturday Barney, Benedict, Rory and Jack from Years 7 and 8 travelled with Mr Clayton-Smith to Eastbourne College for the IAPS Badminton Nationals.  After weeks of practice at lunchtimes and before school Barney and Benedict finished 7th out of a very challenging group and qualified for the Bowl final which they ultimately won.  Meanwhile, after finishing 3rd in their group, Rory and Jack  narrowly lost to Bedford, the reigning champions, and finished 3rd overall.  Well done to the boys and their coaches for going the extra mile in training and thank you to them all for being great ambassadors for St Faith’s on the day.

This coming weekend 15 boys will be representing the school at the ISGA National Four-Piece Gymnastics competition in Guilford, Surrey.  I am sure our gym coaches, Mr and Mrs North and Miss Butler have the boys well prepared; I wish all our competitors a most enjoyable competition.

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell