This week at St Faith's

19th May 2023

Year 8 Reading Competition

It has been another busy and enriching week for our pupils. On Monday, all of Year 8 assembled in Ashburton Hall for the formal judging of our annual Reading Competition. The first rounds take place in each group’s English lessons when every child has to choose from a selection of poems and is assessed by their peers as well as the teacher. Qualities which are sought after include enunciation, projection, pace and expression. The top four or five pupils from each class then go forward to the finals in which they need to read a poem from the finalists’ selection and a prose passage of their own choice. Our judge for the session was Mrs Anna Divito, Head of English at The Leys.

This year, poems included The Road not Taken by Robert Frost, The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Composed on Westminster Bridge by Wordsworth and Digging by Seamus Heaney. Prose extracts came from authors as diverse as Sophie Kinsella and Charles Dickens!

Islanders Exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum

On Tuesday afternoon the Year 8 Art & Design Group visited the ‘Islanders’ Exhibition at Fitzwilliam Museum. The trip provided the pupils with the opportunity to see a variety of extraordinary antiquities. The exhibition took the pupils on a 4,000-year journey from life in the ancient Mediterranean to today: many of the more than two-hundred objects from three of the largest Mediterranean islands, Cyprus, Crete, and Sardinia were on display for the first time. The exhibition enabled our Year 8 pupils to understand how these island cultures helped to shape the larger Mediterranean world with the migrations and movement of peoples and the exhibition also revealed how ‘islanders’ lived centuries ago. Before heading back to school, the pupils took the opportunity to view and appreciate the range of portraiture on display in the Fitzwilliam Museum, which linked to their work on portraiture from the Michaelmas term.

Junior Maths Challenge Results

We are delighted to announce the results of the Junior Maths Challenge 2023. Our pupils achieved superb results and to do so, they demonstrated their ability to reason and problem-solve at a high level. The Junior Maths Challenge encourages precision of thought and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems. The problems presented in the question paper are designed to encourage students to think laterally. This year, 27 pupils received a Gold Award; 33, a Silver Award; and 29 gained a Bronze Award.

Further congratulations go to 17 pupils who have been selected for the next round, the Junior Kangaroo, and the 3 pupils invited to the highest level, the Junior Olympiad. Nationally, around 10,000 pupils take part in the Junior Kangaroo and around 1,200 of the very highest performers are invited to take part in the Junior Maths Olympiad paper. We wish these pupils the very best of luck for the next stages.

Rotary Young Writer’s Competition

This week we have also received some highly celebratory news this from the Rotary Young Writers’ Competition. One of our pupils came first in the regional Intermediate age group and were subsequently entered into the East Anglia final, in which they were placed second.

Further success was enjoyed by St Faith’s pupils in both the regional Junior and regional Intermediate competitions, with pupils being placed second and third in both competitions and we look forward to the pupils receiving their certificates after half-term.

Welcome to the Performing Arts Department

On Thursday afternoon, we welcomed our Year 1 & 2 parents to a ‘drop-in’ after school in the Drama Studio where Pre Prep and Performing Arts staff were on hand to speak to parents and children, providing information and answering questions about the Performing Arts curriculum at St Faith’s. Parents were then invited to move between various rehearsal spaces to see and hear Year 3 to 8 ensembles preparing music for the Summer Music Concert.

In the Classrooms this Week

On Thursday morning, Ms Smith’s Year 7 English class enjoyed a visit from her own former English teacher, Mr Wallace. Pupils discussed what is so exciting about the study of literature and considered the evolving nature of the English language and its complicated punctuation. Mr Wallace also gave his feedback on some of the fifty-word stories which the class has written this year, which include the tale of ‘The Cursed Horse’! It is hoped that Mr Wallace will return to St Faith’s next year to meet the pupils again at the end of their Year 8 studies, to reflect upon and celebrate their learning.

Year 7 Pythagoras’ Theorem

This week in Maths, Year 7 pupils have been proving and investigating Pythagoras’ Theorem. On Monday, pupils were selecting appropriate equipment to measure the sides of tennis courts, table tennis tables and notice boards around school, and then applying their knowledge to find missing sides or diagonals. They worked collaboratively and demonstrated an impressively secure understanding of this topic. Other tasks have included investigating Pythagorean Triples and the application of Pythagoras’ Theorem in 3D shapes.

War with Troy

Year 6 have been working on their ‘War with Troy’ projects in English. They enjoyed an inspiring session in the ICT suite producing project book covers with images based on the Greek myth stories they have been studying. From Achilles to the mysterious golden apple, Year 6 have enjoyed their immersion into the Ancient world of scheming Gods and Goddesses.

Liquids, Solids and Gases and Life Processes

As part of the Science curriculum, Year 4 have been studying Solids, Liquids & Gases. The children have enjoyed all the investigations involved in this unit, which included how to separate a mixture of solids. The children were asked to separate a mixture of small rocks, paper clips, sand and rice using a variety of equipment. They concluded that they only needed a sieve and their fingers but enjoyed using magnets, funnels and tweezers during their investigation.


Meanwhile as part of their Life Processes unit in Science, some Year 5 pupils made storyboards to summarise the lifecycle of a flowering plant. Here are some of their wonderful pieces of work.




Wider curricular activities

Class 1JC had an energetic and interactive session this Friday afternoon using the balance bikes and road signs. Each child took great care to make their own road sign. The children in charge of the road signs then ensured that the cyclists moved safely around the school grounds, avoiding obstacles in their way. Children carefully cycled around roundabouts and took care to notice the colour of the traffic lights and the stop and go signs. This has been an exciting part of our transport topic!

Cookery Club

Each week, our school Cooking Club meets in the servery to enjoy adding to their culinary skills with our chef, Jimi. This time the pupils were preparing apples to make apple turnovers.  Motivation was high, not least because each young chef was able to taste their own warm, freshly baked apple and cinnamon turnovers. Indeed it took all Mrs Switsur’s resolve not to tuck into these delicious puff pastry treats as they came out of the oven! They looked and smelt most tempting! 

£5 Charity Challenge

50 Year 8 pupils have chosen to take part in this year’s £5 Charity Challenge to raise money for the charity Farms for City Children. They have been given a £5 loan from school to start a small business, either on their own or in a group, with the aim of raising as much money as possible in four weeks. On Thursday, Ashburton courtyard was transformed into a bustling marketplace as the children ran stalls to sell brownies, smoothies, cookies, popcorn and bracelets, all accompanied by busking from a guitarist, cellist and piper. The Year 8 pupils carefully planned and meticulously stocked their stalls in good advance of the event and so when breaktime came, they were delighted to have had so many happy customers. There will be another opportunity for them to run a stall at school after half term before they repay their loans and return all the profit to be donated to charity.

Year 7 & 8 Cricket Masterclass 

On Monday Carla Rudd (Director of Sport at The Leys and ex professional cricketer) and Richard Kaufman (Head of Cricket at The Leys) came to Latham Road to work with some of our Year 7 & 8 aspiring cricketers for their Games lesson & activity. The session focused on fielding and wicket keeping with Miss Rudd, picking up line and length and shot selection when batting with Mr Kaufman and targeting good areas when bowling with Mr Welch. To have 3 staff with such a wealth of playing and coaching experience was a real privilege and those involved took a great deal away from the afternoon. Thank you to Miss Rudd & Mr Kaufman for their time and expertise and we hope to run another session in the near future. 

National IAPS Trampolining Finals 

Last Saturday, 21 St Faith’s boys and girls went to the National IAPS Trampolining finals at Royal Russell School CroydonThe day started with our U9 Boys claiming the team Silver medal and one of our pupils achieving an individual 4th place medal. The U13 Girls and U11 Boys were next and the boys won a team Silver place, as well as another individual 4th place. The U13 Girls went one better though and reclaimed the national title. Individual pupils were placed 4th, 5th and 6th. Our U13 Girls’ B team also won the Plate trophy as the best B team. Rounding off the day was our U13 Boys’ team and they also reclaimed the national title There were individual successes with a Silver medal, one 4th and one 6th place. Well done indeed to everyone who took part.  

Cambridgeshire AA Track and Field Championships for Years 6, 7 & 8 

Congratulations to all of our athletes that competed in the County Athletics Championships at Peterborough last weekend. This is a notably prestigious event and St Faith’s achieved an impressive tally of medals 4 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze medals, and many personal bests all round You will find the full results included in the sidebar. 

Looking Ahead to Pre Prep Open Morning 7th June

There has already been a very good response to our forthcoming Pre Prep Open Morning on Wednesday, 7th June and it promises to be a highly popular event. We will shortly be closing registrations, so if you would like to attend, please register here and please do let friends and colleagues know about the event, if they would be interested to learn more about what a St Faith’s education can offer.

And Finally… 

Looking ahead today our U11 Girls’ and U13 Boys’ cricket teams are travelling to Framlingham College in Suffolk to compete in an IAPS Cricket Festival for the girls and the IAPS National Cricket Cup for the boys.

Over the weekend, our gymnasts will be taking part in the MISGA gymnastics competition at Stamford Junior School, the IAPS Triathlon competition at Monkton Prep School and the IAPS Fencing competition at Millfield School. We wish all the pupils taking part the very best of luck.

With the forecast for some early summer sunshine, may I wish you all a happy weekend,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn