This week at St Faith's

20th January 2023

As we reach the end of the first complete week of term, we have enjoyed some beautiful blue skies, despite the chilly weather. It is equally inspiring to see the children fully engaged in all their studies and activities – with their characteristic enthusiasm and positivity.

Hola amigos!

The Foundation classes have begun their weekly Spanish lessons, and thanks to the strong foundations laid by Miss Sanchez and Mrs Niedbalski in the Michaelmas term, the children have already impressed Mrs O’Reilly. The pupils’ love of learning is very apparent, and it is wonderful to see every child joining in and working hard to pronounce all the new words in Spanish. Learning is brought to life by practising  Spanish when taking the class register and also when going to lunch. The children also like to interact with our catering team, many of whom speak Spanish and practise saying “hola”, “gracias”, “zanahoria”, “pepino” and “adiós”.

¡Hasta pronto amigos!

The Big Garden Bird Watch

This week, members of the Eco Committee have been busy preparing for next weekend’s RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) Big Garden Bird Watch. Our Year 7 and 8 members of the Eco Committee will be running an information session for the younger children next Tuesday, encouraging everyone to look out for as many different bird species as possible. Whether you have your own garden or balcony, or prefer to visit a local park, the data will be very valuable in helping the RSPB understand the changes in bird populations in the UK. In preparation, families can visit the RSPB website to test their recognition of birdsong with lots of examples, as well as finding out about the types of food that will attract garden birds.

School Council

The first meeting of the School Council took place this week. Members are elected from Years 7 & 8 and together they represent the ‘pupil voice’, whereby any pupil can bring forward a new initiative or idea to enhance the life of the school community.  As a result, we are pleased to present the first ‘meeting vlog’, in which pupils have filmed a summary of the highlights from the week’s meeting.

School Council Vlog

First Lego League

We had some wonderful news this week when we learned about the success of one of our Year 6 pupils in the regional round of the First Lego League Challenge. You can read more about this in the sidebar of the newsletter.

In the Classrooms

With the Year 6 Aladdin performance later this term, rehearsals have continued in earnest. Inspired by the ‘Magic Carpet’ in the story, Year 6 have been creating their own rug designs in Art.

Meanwhile our Year 7 engineers have been performing the calculations and groundwork to build rockets that will launch with compressed air. They have also been developing their computing skills by learning more about binary and denary numbers. Year 5 have been undertaking calculations too – adding and subtracting improper fractions, as well as studying harmful microbes in Science.

Year 3 pupils have been enjoying their PE lessons in our sports hall, and have been honing their short tennis skills. Although unfortunately some of our recent sports fixtures have succumbed to the icy weather and frozen ground, pupils have still enjoyed a range of hockey fixtures against Culford School this week.

Green Goblins

Mrs Oxborough, Mrs Price and Mr Hasell were delighted to welcome the new Year 5 Goblins and the returning Year 6 Goblins back to the workshop on Thursday. We hope the children have enjoyed their first session of Goblins. Once a team photo had been taken, the Goblins were spilt into four new teams. The teachers were impressed with how quickly the children bonded and focused upon the task of deciding a team name and designing new bodywork for their car. There is much to accomplish this term: the children have to finish designing the bodywork and then actually make the bodywork for all four cars. To help facilitate this our Year 6 pupils have to begin the process of transferring all of their Goblin know-how to Year 5. There are busy and exciting months ahead but Mrs Oxborough is 100% confident that the teams will be ready for the races in the Summer.

Assessment Week

As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, there have been assessments and scholarship interviews for The Leys taking place throughout this week. On Monday, many of our Year 6 pupils took The Leys Preliminary Assessment (PA), for Year 9 entry to The Leys in 2025. On Tuesday, we welcomed Mr Priestley, Headmaster of The Leys, to interview a number of our Year 8 pupils applying for the full range of scholarships spanning the curriculum. These awards now include the recently instituted Paul Crosfield choral scholarship and we look forward to hearing the results of the assessments in the next few weeks.

We have also been welcoming external candidates to school this week for assessments to join St Faith’s in September this year. These offers will be made by early February. I am most grateful to the invigilators and the admissions team for the smooth running of such a large number of assessments.

Old Fidelian (OF) Committee

On Tuesday evening, I was delighted to meet once again with the Old Fidelian (OF) Committee. The OF Committee is a team of former pupils (some of whom are also current parents), who meet once a term with the aim of planning events to engage the OF community on a regular basis. The agenda on this occasion included planning for events such as 5-a-side football and netball, with cricket, golf and tennis to follow in the summer term. To enable us to benefit from the warmer and lighter evenings, the ever popular OF BBQ will move to the summer term, instead of early September. Please save the date of Friday, 19th May in your diaries, and more information will follow in due course.

New OF members are always welcome and every year we invite our Year 8 leavers to join the mailing list, so that they are kept up to date with forthcoming events. We are particularly keen to have more members on the Committee sharing their ideas and promoting membership of the OF society. If you are interested in joining the mailing list or the Committee, please email in the first instance.

And Finally

Our whole school assembly at the start of the week encouraged us all to be grateful for our many blessings. Wishing you and your families a happy and relaxing weekend.

With all best wishes,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn