This week at St Faith's

25 May 2018

The Spice of Life

‘Variety is the spice of life’, some say, and there is no lack of variety at St Faith’s at this time of the year.  This week, I met a mother and her children as they arrived at school on their bicycles, heavily laden with enough school equipment to fill a small family car.  The mother’s front basket was piled high with an extraordinary array of bags, so much so that she could only just see over the top as she lifted her head momentarily to say ‘good morning’.  She wasn’t the only one arriving at school with a full cargo. Families were coming from all directions, lugging musical instruments, cricket bats, tennis rackets, art projects and bags heaving with books and Games kit.  I suppose that’s the thing about an all-round education – we need lots of stuff.

The Creative Arts

This week’s all-round education included a ‘Celebration of the Arts’; two evenings which showcased the creative talents of our top year pupils. The café style setting of the hall provided a relaxed atmosphere for families to mingle, view the impressive art exhibition, enjoy a glass of wine, admire the table flower arrangements (made by the Year 8s) and listen to our musicians before being propelled in to the Year 8 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This was a drama production with a difference. Much of the choreography of the scenes and the composition of the music had been designed by the pupils themselves. The dynamic nature of the production, the strong acting, the modern twist to many of the sub-plots and the clever use of scenery, lighting and sound made for a most entertaining performance which kept the audience enthralled. It was great to see the Year 8s deliver such a compelling performance of this challenging Shakespeare play. Collaboration has been the key. The pupils have worked well over the past few months, under the expert guidance of Miss Kennerley and Ms Allen, and in many ways the process of putting together this production has been as valuable as performing the end product.  Both evenings were indeed a wonderful celebration of the talents of our Year 8s and a fitting finalé to their achievements in the creative arts during their time at St Faith’s.


Last weekend it was the turn of our trampolinists to showcase their talent, when they competed in the National Championships in South London.  Three teams (U9 girls, U9 boys and U13 boys) and two individuals (Hannah W and Will S) won national titles, by far our best results in this competition. Many congratulations to our talented pupils and, of course, to their coaches, Mr and Mrs North.

On Saturday, Mollie (our Jack Russell and unofficial school mascot) and I joined Mr Rusted to cheer on the St Faith’s golf team at the Cambridge Lakes course. In a tight competition on a beautiful afternoon, St Faith’s finished a very close 2nd (out of 6 schools).  Further details can be viewed here.


Check out this film, made by Dr Hoyle, using a drone, at the IAPS National Sailing Championships in Weymouth last week.

Goblins Racing Team

Also last weekend, the St Faith’s cars were in action for the opening races of the season, in Luton.  For the first time we entered three cars – Rapid Rockets, Antiwaste Wasps and the newest model, Speedy Gonzales.  Several awards were won, including first and third places in the Drag Race, and the whole day proved to be a great success.  In true motor racing tradition style, our drivers pushed the cars to the limit, which resulted in a couple of memorable collisions (with no injuries other than to the cars). Thank you to Mrs Oxborough and Mr Hasell for managing the teams and to the many supportive parents who kindly helped on the day (this was noticed by the organisers who wrote a letter of thanks to us afterwards). A more detailed report of the event can be read here.

Foundation Assembly

As an extension to this term’s topic on ‘Our Wonderful World’, Class FCB presented two enchanting stories in Wednesday’s Pre Prep assembly. The first, Going on a Bear Hunt involved finding their way, in search of a bear, through snow, mud and a river and then safely returning home again.  The second was about A Very Brave Mouse, who was brave until he met an owl on the prowl, a cat, and a trap that went snap.  The children recited all the words and movements for each story perfectly and should be very proud of their amazing performances. Their parents were certainly delighted as you can see from the paparazzi photo shoot afterwards!


First thing on Tuesday morning, as I delivered a birthday card to Millie in 2RB, I captured this lovely image of the children gazing in to the butterfly net. There was a real sense of awe and wonder amongst the children, as the caterpillars have, over the past few days, changed in to jewel-like chrysalides before emerging as spectacular Painted Lady butterflies.

I wish you and your family a wonderful half-term break and look forward to seeing you again on Monday 4th June. If you are planning to go to the Hay Festival, do call in to see Mrs White (Deputy Head Academic).  She will be speaking on the subject of ‘What constitutes a good education?’ Details of the event can be read here

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell