Parents Volunteering to Support the Curriculum
I would like to start this week’s newsletter by thanking all those parents who have responded to our request for volunteers to talk about their career paths and wider interests with our Year 8 pupils. The partnership between home and school is of tremendous importance to all of us at St Faith’s and we are fortunate to enjoy the support of all parents here at school – whether that is through organisation of SFPA events, attendance at performances and fixtures or involvement in school activities such as the Great British Nature day. We recently contacted parents asking for volunteers to share their careers and interest with our pupils, and we have been absolutely delighted by the response. The 68 replies to date cover a wide range of specialisms, including careers in STEM, law, academia, medicine and wellbeing, as well as interests such as design, aeronautics, wildlife and dance. We are most grateful to all our volunteers and look forward to the opportunities that the children will have to engage with such a broad variety of themes.
SFPA Easter Community Day
Continuing with the theme of appreciation of parent volunteers, on Saturday the St Faith’s Parents’ Association partnered with Cultivating Change and the St Faith’s Eco Committee to deliver a thoroughly enjoyable sell-out event for the whole family. The day was a collaboration between the traditional Easter Egg Hunt Day and Cultivating Change wellbeing and growing events.
Activities included seedling planting sessions, stone painting, welly boot planters and Milk Bottle Herb Planters. Members of Cultivating Change were on hand with information about the charity and how families can get involved. Thank you to everyone who participated with such enthusiasm – we hope that you enjoy our collection of photos from the day.
On Tuesday, Chaucer House ran the Chaucer ‘Choose-Day’, an opportunity for all pupils from Foundation to Year 8 to enjoy a home-clothes day. The purpose of the day was to raise money for Chaucer’s chosen charity, Arthur Rank Hospice. Thank you for your generous support of this event, which raised over £1,000. Every penny raised will help the hospice to continue its important work.
Following on from this excellent fundraising effort, pupils in Years 3 to 8 will learn about the work of the Arthur Rank Hospice charity in Tutor Time and assemblies next week. We will also be re-dedicating a leaf on the Hospice’s ‘Memory Tree’ to Ms Allanson, a fondly remembered teacher of Spanish at St Faith’s, in recognition of the support and care that she and her family received from the Hospice.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
In English this term, Year 5 are studying C.S. Lewis’ fantasy novel, ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’. Recently, some pupils drew maps of Narnia, including tourist attractions that they would like to visit in their version of Narnia, such as ice hotels, bakeries, climbing caves and even a spa! They also wrote poems about snow – which fitted in perfectly with our recent snowy weather.
This Week in Humanities…
Two Year 7 classes have been learning about various aspects of Hindu worship this week. They learned about Hindu shrines in the home and at the Mandir, and in their homework, they explored the symbolism of different aspects of Hindu shrines.
St Faith’s STEM Feature in Cambridge Edition
We are very pleased to report that this month, St Faith’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) curriculum has featured in the monthly ‘Cambridge Edition’, as part of an education feature ‘Here comes the Science!’ Mrs Rainsford, Head of Maths, articulated how at St Faith’s “we support pupils in building transferable skills for life and encourage them to question ‘why’ to foster their enquiring minds”. I hope you enjoy reading the full article here.
Library Competition for Years 5 & 6
There is still one week to go until the deadline of the Creative Writing competition for Years 5 & 6. If your son or daughter is in Year 5 or 6 and wants to take part, they will need to submit their entry by Friday 24th March. Prizes on offer include £50 of books for the winning pupil and £150 of books for their school.
Year 8 Parent-Teacher Meetings
This week it was the turn of Year 8 parents to join us for their Parent-Teacher meetings. As our most senior pupils, our Year 8 children are about to embark on their final term at St Faith’s before moving to their chosen senior schools. This parents’ evening allowed parents the opportunity to discuss their children’s progress with teachers, helping to ensure they enjoy a productive and successful final term and senior school transition. It was a great pleasure to talk with Year 8 parents – many of whom commented how quickly their child’s time at St Faith’s had passed!
Judging by what has been going on in the dress and technical rehearsals for Aladdin, those of you who are going to see the production next week are in for an absolute treat. Both performances on Wednesday and Thursday evenings are sold out and I greatly look forward to seeing many of our families there. In anticipation of the event, we thought that you would enjoy a preview selection of photos taken ‘behind-the-scenes’.
Foundation 2024 Play Sessions
During this week we have welcomed more of the prospective families who have applied for Foundation 2024 places. The children have attended a short play session with members of the Early Years team and now the visits are completed, the admissions team will be making offers by the end of March.
Today, we also hosted another ‘Friday Foundation Breakfast’ for our new Foundation 2023 families. Thanks to the warm welcome received, these breakfasts have proved to be very popular, and the invitation to our new families will be extended into next term.
Appointment of a New Registrar
As well as prospective 2024 St Faith’s families, another new face at St Faith’s this week is our new Admissions Registrar. We are delighted to welcome Claire Anderson to the St Faith’s Admissions team. Claire joins us with a wealth of experience as Admissions Manager at Hills Road Sixth Form College and we wish her a very happy start in her new role.
U13 Girls’ IAPS National Netball Finals
On Sunday the U13A netball team travelled down to Dorset ahead of the U13 Netball IAPS Nationals at Bryanston School on Monday. The team enjoyed their overnight stay, developing their independence and talking team tactics whilst bonding as a team during the evening.
The tournament saw the top 20 IAPS schools play in the national finals on Monday. The St Faith’s team started off the day playing some great netball – whilst adapting to very windy conditions. In the group stages they finished 3rd in the group with one win, two draws and one loss, progressing to the plate competition. In the quarter finals of the plate, the pupils played some of their best netball of the day, giving this game their all, showing excellent team spirit and true determination. The team finished a 12th overall – a highly commendable position in the finals at national level.
The girls should be very proud of themselves for playing with such commitment and giving every last bit of energy they had until the very end. They gained interceptions and worked for each other to keep spirits high, scoring lots of goals and enjoying every game.
The sports staff report that this U13 team have been an outstanding group to coach in their final year of netball at St Faith’s and should be proud of themselves for the encouragement, support, positivity and love for netball they bring to one another on court. Achieving a place in the national finals was truly well deserved and is testament to how well the girls have developed as a team this netball season. Many congratulations to all of the team members.
U12 Girls’ IAPS National Netball Finals
On Thursday the U12A netball team travelled to Ipswich School Sports Centre for the IAPS Netball National Finals.
The day started with the girls playing some great netball, combining well as a team, gaining flying interceptions and shooting lots of goals, and achieving four wins in a row. The last two group games were more competitive against strong teams and, although the pupils continued to challenge with great determination, and did not stop working as a team to win the ball back, unfortunately we lost those two games. This meant that we qualified for the plate in third place in our group.
The quarter final had moments of brilliance and some excellent netball continued being played by our girls. We won this game taking us through to the the semi-finals. Unfortunately, we were unlucky not to continue our winning streak and finished 12th overall at the national finals out of a total of 26 schools.
The staff were very proud of how the girls played and all individually worked hard for each other and came together as a team. Each player had moments of brilliance throughout the day for the team and should be proud of how they have progressed this netball season. Well done to all of the pupils for their performance at the national finals and throughout the season as a team.
Thank you to all of the family supporters who travelled to both Dorset and Ipswich. It was great to have so many supporting and enjoying watching the high standard of netball being played!
U12 Boys’ Hockey East Regional Finals
On Thursday our U12 Boys’ Hockey team competed in the East Regional Finals, having won the County Cup. The boys played some outstanding hockey winning plaudits from parents and opposition coaches. Whilst dominating every game, ultimately a lack of ruthlessness in front of goals kept each game closer than it should have been, and unfortunately this came back to haunt us in the semi-final. We lost on penalties to Culford School. Disappointed but extremely resilient, our boys went on to beat Chigwell School for third place, which was a wonderful achievement and salutary lessons were learnt for their National Final competition being held at Taunton School next week.
U11 Boys’ IAPS National Hockey Finals
On Wednesday, our U11 boys went to Repton in Derbyshire to compete in the National IAPS competition. Qualifying for the finals was an incredible achievement, but we, as a group, set the target of trying to get out of our Pool which would put us in the top eight schools in the country.
The first game was against Dean Close, and despite losing 1-0, a fantastic performance set the tone for the rest of the day. The team’s performance continued to improve throughout the pool matches, playing some lovely hockey finishing second and therefore achieving the target of being in the top eight schools. A quarter final against Repton school awaited us. An incredible game of end-to-end hockey saw honours even after normal time and 5 minutes of golden goal. Penalties would then decide it. We eventually won in sudden death and a semi-final spot guaranteed a top 4 finish.
The semi-final against Solihull School saw St Faith’s produce our finest performance, winning comfortably 2-0. The final of the IAPS National competition was against Perse Prep.
A slow start conceding two goals early put us on the back foot in the first half. However, the players rallied together, competing much better in the second half. Although we lost the match to very worthy winners, it was nevertheless an incredible achievement to come second in the country! Well done to all of the boys.
U11 Boys’ & U11 Mixed Team Milano Trio National Gymnastics Finals
On Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March St Faith’s visited Stoke on Trent for the National Trio Team Finals.
Our U13 Boys and U13 Mixed teams competed on Friday and our 11 Boys and two U11 Mixed teams on Saturday. Mr North reported that it was a superb weekend of gymnastics and the competition involved floor routines, voluntary vaults and also a group sequence where competitors have 5 skills plus two team balances. Our U13 Boys’ team had an excellent competition, winning the event, which has made them National Champions. Our U13 Mixed team finished a commendation 7th out of 12 teams.
On Saturday it was the turn of the U11 teams, and the U11 boys gave a very good account of themselves and performed impressively on all pieces. They eventually missed out on the medals by just 0.4marks, finishing 5th out of 9 teams. Our second team also performed admirably, and they were placed 8th out of 9 teams. The U11 Mixed team faced a tough competition on the day with 15 teams represented. Their routines all went well, and vaults were strong, and they finished 12th out of 15. Our second team also performed highly commendably, and they can be very proud of their achievement of being placed 13th. Further details can be found in the sidebar of this newsletter.
Year 7 Inter-house Badminton
Badminton is an integral part of our PE curriculum offer, and this sport has become increasingly popular amongst St Faith’s pupils. To enhance further our pupils’ experience of playing full-court badminton matches, we are again running an inter-house competition. We are very much looking forward to seeing our Year 7s in action this evening and as always, please look out for the results @StFaithsSports. The full report will be included in next week’s newsletter. Last week’s Year 8 results can be found in the sidebar of today’s edition.
I look forward to enjoying a ‘whole new world’ of musical entertainment with many of you next week, and in the meantime, I wish you a very happy weekend.
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn