Foundation Finding their Feet
This week in the Pre Prep the youngest members of our St Faith’s community have been finding their feet, quite literally in their brightly coloured wellington boots, as they settle into their new surroundings and routines. Recognising the first few days days of school are particularly important for building children’s confidence and sense of security, our Foundation pupils began with a staggered start to their St Faith’s education, enabling them to ease into their new routine with confidence. From Wednesday onwards our Foundation children have spent full days at school, which has included enjoying their first tastes of our delicious school lunches. On Wednesday afternoon the children spent some time listening to a story about The Little Princess who didn’t like washing her hands. Our Foundation children learned why it is important to keep our hands clean, before practising their own handwashing techniques. Meanwhile, in their classrooms Foundation pupils have been getting to know one other and their teachers. They have engaged with some teacher-led activities such as beginning their reading journeys, as well as enjoying a number of pupil-led activities and games. Our Foundation children have also been practising how to line up quietly and to sit still while listening carefully to their teachers. These are all essential skills which will help them well on their way to developing excellent St Faith’s Learning Habits, so they can make the most of the exciting educational opportunities which await.
Citius, Altius, Fortius – Communiter
On the theme of Learning Habits, Mrs Davies, Deputy Head Academic, led our assembly on Monday afternoon and used the inspiration of the recent Olympic and Paralympic games in Tokyo to draw close comparisons with the Learning Habits we promote at St Faith’s. The Olympic values, Citius, Altius, Fortius – Communiter (Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together) reflect very well our school ethos and our Learning Habits, which have been updated for the start of the school year for all pupils across the school. Mrs Davies highlighted a number of the outstanding and truly inspirational moments and achievements from Tokyo this summer, including the impressive sportsmanship shown in the ‘sharing’ of the Gold medal in the Mens’ high jump, the perseverance and determination of paralympic sprinter and cyclist Kadeena Cox, and the resilience of Britain’s youngest medalist, 13 year old Sky Brown, who in her final round produced a performance which earned her a Bronze medal. Mrs Davies linked these inspirational stories back to our Learning Habits and specifically how pupils can progress their own learning, using some of the Habits shown below as a guide:
Ambition – challenge yourself and do the best that you can – focus on targets that you can control such as using key words in your written work, improving your handwriting, learning times tables.
Collaboration – contribute what you can and support those around you.
Creativity – think differently, be innovative, be prepared to think for yourself.
Resilience – learning new things is not always comfortable, keep going and approach challenge positively.
For current parents, full details of our eight Learning Habits and their relevance to individual year groups can be found on My School Portal.
This week we received news of two Old Fidelians (OFs) and former Newton House Captains, Samuel and William, who left in 2012 for places at The Leys and Eton respectively. Three years ago they were reunited at St John’s College Oxford and last Saturday they attended a graduation ceremony, both having achieved First Class degrees. Many congratulations indeed to Samuel and William, and we look forward to hearing news of other OFs as they continue their educational journeys.
OF Committee Meeting
The connection with our Old Fidelian community continued on Tuesday evening when I joined my first meeting, albeit virtually, of the OF Committee, chaired by OF and current parent Alex Nichols. I was delighted to meet a number of OFs, who between them organise and host events which bring together the school alumni. In this way, the friendships at St Faith’s continue to be shared and enjoyed, long after a pupil leaves the school and hangs up their distinctive striped school blazer. On Tuesday we discussed a number of possible OF events, which Covid permitting, are being planned to take place over the coming academic year, with details to be shared in due course.
SFPA Committee meeting
This week I also enjoyed my first, virtual, meeting of the St Faith’s Parents’ Association. Agenda items included the upcoming Pre Prep ‘Scavenger Hunt’ on Saturday 25th September, as well as a range of other events throughout the year – once again Covid permitting. We are very fortunate to have such a committed and energetic Parents’ Association at St Faith’s and I greatly look forward to working with the SFPA.
U11 Football Match
On Wednesday afternoon we achieved a significant milestone, when our U11 Footballers walked the short distance up the road to The Perse for the first competitive sports match of the school year. All boys in Year 6 were involved in the match which saw four St Faith’s teams take part in 7-a-side events. I am delighted to report that all four teams excelled themselves, with Bears winning 7-4; Gorillas 7-0, Barn Owls 7-2 and Tigers 3-1. Well done to all the boys who took part and to their coaches for getting them match fit so soon into term.
‘Learning makes for enquiring young people who develop tremendous resilience and little fear of failure’. I am delighted to report that for the fifth consecutive year St Faith’s has been recognised by the Tatler Schools Guide with a report highlighting the future-focused education for which we are nationally renowned. While we provide Tatler with a broad fact file, the commentary written is at Tatler’s discretion, so it is extremely heartening to read of the high esteem in which our school is held.
As we come to the close of another busy school week, may I wish you all a happy weekend.
With all good wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn