This week at St Faith's

17 May 2019

Year 8 Reading Competition

Eighteen pupils from across all the Year 8 English sets were selected as finalists in this year’s reading competition, judged by Mr Hancock from The Leys English Department.  Each contestant recited a poem and read an excerpt from a book of their choice.  The breadth of material chosen was in itself interesting, ranging from Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo, to The Railway Children by E Nesbit and George Orwell’s 1984.  Mr Hancock commended our readers on their clarity of speech, emotion and expression, and commented on the importance of being able to stand up in front of an audience and read confidently.  Our pupils certainly did themselves proud.  Ultimately, the winner was Alex who read from The Witches by Roald Dahl.  In runner-up spot was Connie with a wonderful reading from Invisible Friend by Alan Ayckbourn and a delightful reading of RJ Palacio’s Wonder by Charlie saw him gain 3rd place.  Mrs Greaves, Head of English, was delighted with the performances of all those who took part.

FCB Class Assembly

Having successfully hatched and raised five ducklings it was only fitting that Mrs Bates’ Foundation class based their first ever assembly on the theme of ducks.  After pondering on the types of animals that could emerge from an egg (from flies and fish to Komodo dragons!) the children told the story of The Ugly Duckling. In their story, Mummy duck laid eleven eggs, ten of which eggs hatched to reveal little ducklings. Mummy duck taught her off-spring to sing in Spanish and we were entertained with an impressive Spanish counting song!  When the eleventh hatched, the little ducklings chirped, “You’re not like us! Go away!” Eventually of course the ugly duckling discovered he was in fact a ‘beautiful swan’ and everyone learnt a valuable lesson about looking at how beautiful we are on the inside and not how we appear on the outside. Many congratulations to the children, Mrs Bates and Mrs O’Hanlon for putting on such a heart-warming assembly for us all to enjoy on Wednesday morning.

Year 2 Little Inventor Day

Year 2 became Little Inventors for the day on Wednesday in recognition of the anniversary of the launch of Little Miss Inventor by Roger Hargreaves. In support of Year 2’s current topic of ‘Kings and Queens’, the children were tasked with designing and building defence systems out of recycled materials. Working in teams, the Year 2s, with a little support from Year 7 and 8 pupils, constructed some ingenious prototypes for protecting their Kings and Queens from attack by invading marshmallows! Their creations were as imaginative as their proposed attackers – including flame throwers to melt the invading candies and maple syrup launchers to liquidise them. Clearly the creative imagination of Years 2, 7 and 8 were very well stimulated by the challenge! After lunch the children were challenged (in teams again) with constructing the strongest possible structure to hold a crown, using newspaper only.  Finally, as an individual challenge the children constructed their own royal carriages and experimented with carriage designs to see how weight and aerodynamics affected their speed. Dr Hoyle, Head of Engineering who ran the day, was delighted with the ingenuity and skill shown by our young engineers and clearly the experience was much enjoyed by all in Year 2.

Year 4 Trip to St Ives and Houghton

Yesterday our Year 4 pupils visited Houghton and St Ives as an extension to their Geography Settlements project.  The children were tasked with finding evidence to prove that St Ives is a town and Houghton is a village.  They spent their day gathering data through surveys of shops and services, pedestrians and traffic as well as finding out what brought members of the public into the town or village yesterday and how far they had travelled to get there. Safely back on home soil after the trip, Year 4 will now be busy analysing their data and presenting it in charts and graphs.

Biodiversity Survey

The glorious summer sunshine brought our Environmental Area (in and around the Jubilee Pond) alive this week and our Year 5 pupils spent a Science lesson catching and identifying an array of insects in different habitats.  Led by a scientist from the University of Cambridge Department of Zoology, Year 5 learned about the importance of biodiversity and were shown a range of sampling techniques.  Using sweep nets and tree beating nets, pupils caught and identified a staggering range of insects, including three different species of ladybird alone.  Comparing the diversity of species in the Environmental Area, which includes areas of long grass, wild flowers, trees and of course, the pond itself, highlighted our recent success in attracting wildlife to the St Faith’s site.  Further surveys will be undertaken later in the term by our pupils and the Department of Zoology.

Sports Round-up

On Tuesday our U13 Girls’ Football Team travelled to Alleyn’s in Dulwich for the Independent Schools Football Association South East Regional Qualifier.  Our girls played very well, particularly in their final match when they beat Radnor House 5-0.  Clearly the experience was a positive one for the team and their coaches and we look forward to further competitions in this new sport for St Faith’s.

Our athletes did themselves proud on Saturday at the Cambridge AA Track and Field Championships.  Twelve St Faith’s pupils were crowned County Champions, four were runners-up and eight gained third place positions.  These are terrific results.  Details are in the ‘index’ of this newsletter. As a result of their performances at this event, six of our pupils – Connie, Alex, George, Fran, Freddie and Tommy – have been selected to represent Cambridgeshire at Peterborough on 8th June.

As I write this newsletter, 54 pupils from Years 3-8 are competing in the Gresham’s Eight Schools Athletics Meeting.  We wish all our competitors the very best and look forward to seeing the results as they come in.

This coming weekend will once again be a busy one for our Sports Department. Two pupils are competing at the National IAPS Épée and Foil Fencing Championships at Millfield School.  Forty five of our trampolinists will be at the National IAPS Trampolining Finals in Croydon and six golfers from Years 5-8 will be participating in the Cambridge Schools Golf Tournament at the Cambridge Lakes golf course.  Very best of luck to everyone taking part in this wonderful variety of sports events.


I am delighted to report that Old Fidelian and Saracens full back, Alex Goode, was crowned European Rugby Player of the Year at the weekend, on the same day that he assisted Saracens to win the European Champions Cup with a 20-10 win over Leinster. Our sincere congratulations to Alex on this double triumph!

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell