This week at St Faith's

18th November 2022

This week at school we have been marking ‘Anti-Bullying Week’ – a nationwide campaign, which this year has the focus ‘Reach Out’. This is to remind everyone, whether at school or at home, and whether part of the face-to-face community or on-line, that we should reach out and support for one other. As part of this important national campaign, on Monday we invited all pupils, from Foundation to Year 8 to wear odd socks to school on Monday. This helped to remind all of us to think about and recognise what makes us unique. We also held special assemblies across the age groups to initiate discussion about accepting and celebrating differences. There were some impressive responses as our pupils reflected on the topic, and considered the types of kind and positive actions that we can all undertake to reach out and support others.

This week has also been ‘Road Safety Week’. This national annual campaign is organised by Brake, the Road Safety Charity. Here at St Faith’s, we have been focusing on the safety of journeys to and from school for all of our community, including pupils, parents, staff and neighbours. At the school gates at drop off in the morning, you may have seen pupils from our School Council and the Eco-Committee handing out bike lights, torches, snap bands and fluorescent key rings. This is to remind us to be appropriately equipped for whatever journey we are making. Another important event of Road Safety Week was a safer cycling demonstration, which took place on-site today. The children have also been undertaking some research, carrying out an ‘Our Journey to School’ survey, and I look forward to sharing the results in a future newsletter.



COP 27

Following on from the recent COP 27 climate summit, children in Foundation have been thinking about ways to look after our planet. Pupils then went out equipped with litter pickers to see what rubbish they could clear to assist in keeping our school environment smart and tidy.

1HB Class Assembly

On Wednesday, Class 1HB were excited to be able to demonstrate their knowledge and talents during their class Assembly, which was performed in front of parents. The Assembly was based on poetry and songs, and this helped the children to develop their St Faith’s Learning Habits, including creativity and collaboration, as well as their skills of communication. The children had practised diligently for several weeks and their efforts certainly paid off and were enjoyed by their parents. Well done 1HB!

Street Dancing

On Monday afternoon our Year 1 and 2 Street Dancers impressed and wowed families as they performed their newly acquired skills, tricks and moves. As they danced in time to musical medleys from the films ‘Trolls’ and ‘Encanto’, the smiles on everyone’s faces were testament to the sense of enjoyment and pride that filled Ashburton Hall.

Academic Extension Day (AcE Day)

As part of our Academic Extension Day on Tuesday, pupils in Year 3 thoroughly enjoyed exploring the story of ‘Mrs Armitage on Wheels’ by Quentin Blake. The children designed their own bicycles, wrote poetry, designed a picnic lunch for Mrs Armitage, and even her dog – which was recreated with plasticine. Turning to Engineering, the pupils also learnt how gears operate by working through some practical challenges in small groups. The children are already eagerly awaiting our Roald Dahl Enrichment Day later in the year!

Meanwhile, during their AcE day, Year 4 really enjoyed learning how to make the famous Latin American Arepas. We were very lucky to welcome Catalina and Nelson from ‘La Latina’ in Cambridge, who taught the children how to make these special cornmeal cakes. Overall, our Year 4 pupils learned a tremendous amount about food in Spanish. They had fun acting out the key verb ‘to cook’ and sang a wonderful song about fruits. Catalina and Nelson also very generously gave the pupils some of their delicious plantain chips to take home, although it was observed that some of the children couldn’t resist munching on them immediately after school. Everyone also went home with a decorated chef’s hat, as well as some of our favourite recipes, both in Spanish and English. There were happy faces all round!

During their AcE activities, Year 5 enjoyed being ‘Goblins’ for a day. The IET ‘Formula Goblin’ project aims to inspire children ages 9–11 years old to take an interest in Engineering in a fun and innovative way. The project is for children to build, maintain and compete in their own functioning and drivable electric car. This introductory AcE day involved pupils being able to discover what it was like to drive an electric car, to design new body work for the vehicle and to consider what it takes to become part of a successful team. They experienced the thrills and spills of a drag race which required even greater concentration than normal, given the very wet conditions on Tuesday. The children were also challenged to think of a team name and then to design bodywork which was both efficient and reflected the character of their team. In the team work session, the children considered what their own strengths were and also discussed the strengths of others in their teams. The children were very interested to discover that they found it easier to compliment and recognise the talents of others rather than themselves. Overall, this was a positive learning experience for all.

Year 7 pupils spent the morning learning a new skill and planning a lesson to teach one of their peers. Pupils were able to choose to teach how to do an oil pastel etching, to give a yoga lesson, or to give an instrumental lesson. The day proved to be a great success with the children taking time and thought to plan their sessions, thinking carefully about how to inspire and motivate their students. Due to numbers in the groups, two children ended up teaching a member of staff, with Mia teaching Mr Gillick to play the cello, and Billie teaching Miss Kennerley to play the harp! The feedback from both the young teachers and students was encouraging and positive, giving them a chance to reflect on the joy of learning a new skill, as well as gaining a new perspective on teaching.

Independent Schools Gymnastics Association (ISGA) Championships

St Catherine’s, Bramley was the venue last weekend for our U9 and U11 boys’ and girls’ teams to compete in a National Team event. In what is known as ‘2 Piece’ Nationals, participants only do set floor and voluntary vault events, and all of our pupils performed with distinction.

Amongst the 5 boys competing in the individual U9 boys’ competition, one of our pupils became National Champion which is a truly remarkable achievement, closely followed by two other pupils winning 2nd and 4th places.

In the U9 Premier girls, our team of five pupils came 3rd in the Premier Division.

In the U11 boys’ individual competition, the five team members were awarded joint 2nd  and 4th places, and 6th place. Further to those highly impressive results, our pupils also won the team competition in that category.

The four pupils who made up the U11 girls’ team came 5th in their Challenge division, and one of our pupils gained an individual medal by finishing in 3rd place.

For all the pupils it was a superb achievement to have competed with such confidence and maturity at national level and to have demonstrated their skills across disciplines. The medal tally from all the teams showed how well they had prepared for the competition. Staff also reported that throughout the competition, the children were unfailingly polite and respectful and were excellent company. Thank you to all the staff who accompanied the children, as well as the parents who travelled to Surrey and supported this event.

Continuing with the sporting theme, this weekend, our gymnasts will be taking part in the National IAPS competition, hosted by Kent College, Pembury. Our U9, U11, U13 boys’ and girls’ teams, plus U10 girls will take part. I wish them every success.

Chef Appreciation Week

In 2013, Chef Appreciation Week was established in the United States to honour and recognise all those serving in the culinary industry for their dedication, love of food and willingness to serve their community. This event is now celebrated globally in more than 30 countries and so this week we took the opportunity to thank our own Chartwells team for all the exceptional care they take in providing our catering. Each week they cheerfully produce and serve a wide variety of nutritionally rich meals and refreshments. We are very fortunate to enjoy catering of such a high standard, and we greatly appreciate Chartwells’ vital contribution to our community.

Old Fidelian Football

The Old Fidelians took on the current Parents team in the latest five-a-side football match, that was held at the sports hall last Friday evening. Mr Clayton-Smith joined the Old Fidelian team to balance the numbers to make it six a side. The match was reportedly evenly poised for several minutes before the floodgates opened, with the Parents taking control of the game with a number of well-crafted goals. The Parents avenged their defeat to the Old Fidelians at the previous event earlier in the year, winning by a comfortable margin. The final score was approximately 8-1 to the Parents (we lost count!). It was a very enjoyable evening with refreshments provided by the school after the event.

Any Old Fidelians interested in playing at the next event can email Johnny Goodman

Olympus Challenge

From team successes to a notable individual pupil achievement, one of our younger pupils has recently been awarded the Olympus Challenge certificate by ‘Classics for All’. To receive this accolade, James (Year 3) submitted a range of work undertaken of his own volition, and this included Greek and Latin assessments, a project on Gladiators and another project which involved building an accurate Roman fort in the computer game Minecraft. Even more impressive is that James’ entry was assessed alongside entries from much older candidates, up to Year 9.

Commenting on this achievement, the Modern & Classical Languages Department would like to pass on their warmest congratulations to James on winning this prestigious award, observing: “He has shown a superb understanding of how fascinating ancient languages and cultures are. We look forward to continuing to develop his appreciation of this subject”.

And Finally

Next Thursday, we are very much looking forward to the Autumn Music Concert. This gives the opportunity for our ensembles from Year 5-8 to perform in front of an adult audience and I do hope very many of you will be able to join us for this event, which promises to be a wonderful occasion.

I wish you and your families a happy and restful weekend,

With all best wishes,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn