This week at St Faith's

20th May 2022

I have greatly enjoyed my visits to the Pre Prep this week, as well as having the opportunity to meet Year 2 parents at an SFPA coffee morning. In Year 2, the children have been practising their creative writing, on the topic of mini-beasts, and demonstrating some excellent descriptive skills. The Year 1 pupils have been very keen to tell me all about the writing they have been doing, describing the imaginative features they would like to have fitted to their bicycles. These ranged from safety features to time-saving devices, and notably many suggestions had a distinctive food theme. On a similar note, as we lined up for another delicious lunch, the Foundation pupils took the opportunity to sharing new words in their Spanish vocabulary with me, and it is clear they are really enjoying stretching their language skills. 

Elizabeth’s Arrival

There are also two further exciting reasons for visiting the Pre Prep this week – as announced in the newsletter, the safe hatching of baby duckling, ‘Platinum’ has been a real highlight for the pupils. In the past few days, duckling ‘Elizabeth’ has joined the family. Both ducklings are doing very well and we are grateful for the expert care that they and the eggs, are receiving. 

Familiarisation Visits

This week has seen the new Foundation children for September 2022 visiting the Pre Prep with their families. It has been the first of what will be three visits for the children, culminating in their ‘Meet the Class’ afternoon during the last week of term.  

The children literally skipped into their play sessions and they seem to have taken to the Pre Prep in the same enthusiastic way that we hope Platinum and Elizabeth will take to water. 

We look forward to giving the families a warm St Faith’s welcome when they arrive with us in September, and I am very grateful to all those involved in allowing our new pupils to experience a ‘taster’ of life in the Pre Prep in advance of their arrival.  

Staying Safe on the Roads

The children in Year One have enjoyed learning about Traffic and Road safety. They made their own traffic signs and put them to good use directing and managing traffic around the school, as you can see from the photos below.

 Scientific Exploration

In Science this week, Year 7 have been continuing with their topic of ‘Heating and Cooling’ and when I visited the laboratory, the class were trying to find out whether liquids and gases are good conductors of heat. In their experiments, when they put a match mounted on a pin, in the centre of a roaring flame they found that the match did not light. A pocket of air around the match prevents the heat from the outer cone being conducted to the match. They also investigated the conduction properties of water by analysing what happens to ice when the water above it is heated to boiling point. Our younger scientists, in Year 3, have been continuing their studies of light and shade by undertaking measurements of shadows at different times of day.  

Turning to the biological Sciences, having learnt the different parts of a flower last lesson, Year 5 pupils have been dissecting a tulip to see those different parts in more detail. They also enjoyed using microscopes to look at celery and see how water is transported in xylem vessels in the stem. 

Finally, in Engineering, Year 6 are continuing with their work to design and build kites which I am really looking forward to seeing in action! 

Hockney’s Eye Exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum

On Tuesday, the Year 8 Art group had the opportunity to visit the David Hockney exhibition, currently running across the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Heong Gallery, Downing College. Widely acclaimed as one of the most influential artists of our time, the pupils described the exhibition as follows: 

“fascinating, extremely interesting and enjoyable. The Hockney’s Eye Exhibition is unique. All of his artwork is very eye-catching and somewhat modern. One of the things we found most interesting was that Hockney used the camera obscura to spy on people, to paint his stunning, detailed portraits. We also enjoyed his perspective painting, made out of 6 different canvases.  In addition, it was compelling to find out about Hockney’s perspective about perspective itself, saying, ‘it is not the way you usually see a landscape; you are always moving through it. If you put a vanishing point anywhere, it means you’ve stopped. In a way, you’re hardly there.’’  

Junior Maths Challenge Success

We are delighted to announce the results of the Junior Maths Challenge this year – congratulations to all our pupils who took part. The Junior Maths Challenge encourages reasoning, precision of thought, and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve unique and interesting problems. The problems presented in the paper are designed to make students think deeply and laterally. This year, our pupils achieved a record number of awards: 41 pupils received a Gold Award; 25, a Silver Award; and 41 gained a Bronze Award.  

Further congratulations are offered to those pupils who have been selected for the next rounds including the Kangaroo and the Olympiad. Nationally, around 1,200 of the very highest performers are invited to take part in the Junior Maths Olympiad paper, and three of our pupils have been selected. We wish these pupils the best of luck for the next stages. 

Scholarship Awards for 2022

As our Year 8 pupils reach the pinnacle of their time at St Faith’s, we are very proud of all their efforts and achievements across the curriculum. Amongst these achievements, as reported in last week’s newsletter, 37 awards have been achieved from senior schools, representing a new school record. Further details of the awards can be seen here.  

The Year 8 pupils have been very busy this week with a range of projects and lessons, including their finance project: pupils have an imaginary £12,000 to spend on their share portfolio. Each week, pupils use Excel to track the performance of their shares, and then create graphs to show how each of their shares have performed. This also aligns well with their mathematics studies in which, by special request, Year 8 pupils have been exploring further the graphical ways in which data may be displayed. They have been discovering the wonders of linear graphs, parabola and cubic curves. Pupils have also been a graphing website on their computers to investigate, and then to solve simultaneous equations graphically. 

National IAPS Trampolining

Last weekend was a remarkable weekend for all our trampolinists as The Royal Russell School, Croydon hosted the U9-U13 Boys’ and Girls’ National IAPS Trampolining Finals. There were some excellent performances, both in the Team and Individual events. Following outstanding performances from all our trampolinists, the U13 and U11 Boys teams, the U13A Girls team and one individual pupil, Max B, finished their day as national champions. 


Cambridgeshire County Athletics Championships

Last Saturday sixteen St Faith’s athletes from Years 6 to 8 competed in the Cambridgeshire County Track and Field Championships at Wilberforce Road. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the event and ended the day with an impressive medal tally of eleven golds, three silvers and two bronzes.  

It proved to be a fantastic day with several children becoming County Champions, being placed in the top three or achieving new personal best performances. This included one St Faith’s pupil who achieved the remarkable feat of becoming County Champion in Hurdles, Shot Put and Discus! In addition, as this was an event for adults and children alike, it was exciting for pupils to see the senior age groups compete too. St Faith’s results can be found here.

Gresham’s Eight School Athletics Meeting

Continuing with the athletics theme, last Friday, the annual Eight School Athletics Meeting took place at Gresham’s School in Norfolk. As always, we are very grateful to the staff at Gresham’s School for hosting such a wonderful event for the children. Two new school records were achieved in Discus and Shot Put and I am delighted to report that St Faith’s won the overall competition.  

Old Fidelian Success

Sebastian Clatworthy (OF 2014), who is currently studying at Princeton University has enjoyed success in the Ivy League. Princeton were overall winners and Sebi got bronze in the high jump. He has now been selected for GB U20s. Well done to him and congratulations from everyone at St Faith’s! 

Year 8 performance ‘Sister Act JR.’

Our Year 8 pupils will soon be presenting their musical theatre performance “Sister Act JR.”, which will take place on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th May (19:00 start on each evening). 

The musical is inspired by the hit film of a similar name, and Sister Act JR. features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater. The original show opened in the West End in 2009, and a revised adaptation opened on Broadway in 2011 which received multiple Tony nominations, including “Best Musical.”  Our pupils and staff have been working exceptionally hard in rehearsals and I am sure we will be treated to an exciting and highly enjoyable show. 

Please book your tickets here,

And Finally ….. 

This weekend sees pupils participating in a wide variety of events and activities including Chess, Gymnastics, Fencing and Tennis. We also look forward to our Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Friday 27th May – and who knows, perhaps I will also be reporting on the arrival of a third Pre Prep jubilee duckling to complete the hat-trick.

Wishing you a happy and relaxing weekend, 

With all best wishes,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn