This week at St Faith's

23rd June 2023

Sports Day  

Last Friday, we held our Sports Day for pupils in Years 3-8 at the University of Cambridge athletics track on Wilberforce Road. This event is a highlight of the school year and the occasion was enhanced with some fine and sunny weather. I do hope that you will enjoy browsing through the collection of photos taken on the day.  

If parents should wish to purchase photos taken by DE Photos on Sports Day please follow this link,  which will enable you to engage directly with DE Photos. Please note that the event code is north.  

Pre Prep Fun Day  

Whilst pupils in Years 3-8 were over at Wilberforce Road for Sports Day last Friday, the younger children in the Pre Prep remained on the school site and enjoyed a wide range of fun-filled activities as they took turns to visit and explore the different ‘zones’ of the school. For example Mrs Wakefield was lucky enough to enjoy a visit to the ‘St Faith’s Spa’. A revitalising foot bath, refreshing eye mask and cooling drink, accompanied by relaxing music and excellent service from the children in FCSH.

SFPA Summer Party  

Last Saturday the SFPA Summer Party took place in The Graduate Hotel, Cambridge, an idyllic location with its river frontage, on a wonderful summer’s evening. Many happy memories were made, with friends old and new. Over 200 parents were in attendance with chauffeured punting and refreshing drinks, accompanied by the melodic sounds of the steel pan band trio. The evening continued with a sumptuous spread of buffet food. The entertainment continued with the SFPA prize draw for prizes including 3-month diamond family membership at David Lloyd Cambridge, just before the live six-piece band and popular casino tables opened for the night. Guests tried their hands at poker as well as applying the Fibonacci system in blackjack and roulette. Meanwhile, the band RadioAction kept the dance floor well populated into the night!  

Senior Summer Concert  

Throughout Monday, the University West Road Concert Hall was a hive of activity, as pupils in Years 5 to 8 were conveyed across Cambridge with their instruments, to rehearse for the evening’s Summer Concert. Fifteen of the senior ensembles performed on the night in front of a most appreciative audience, with particular highlights including the combined vocal performances of Chamber Choir & Senior Voices (over sixty pupils) and the joint performance of the Concert Band and String Orchestra as a large orchestra. This is only the second time in ten years that an endeavour on this scale has been possible. The high standard of performance and the confidence with which pupils presented themselves on stage is testament to both to the children’s talent,  the team of professional musicians who are our Visiting Music Teachers, and the staff within the St Faith’s Music Department. It was a truly joyful occasion which demonstrated how Music at St Faith’s is thriving. Evenings like this will no doubt inspire our pupils to even greater musical success. 

Junior Concert  

On Wednesday morning, it was the turn of parents of pupils in Years 3 and 4 to be impressed as their children performed in the Junior Concert. This occasion featured soloists (harp, euphonium, cornet and singing) as well as our junior ensembles, and demonstrated the enormous promise of our junior musicians. The ensembles are fundamental to children’s enjoyment of music making, together with developing important musicianship skills. Junior Strings, (made up from some twenty-five young violinists and cellists), our Recorder Ensemble, (members of whom may become our next clarinetists, oboists, saxophonists, and flautists), and our ‘Tiny Brass’ ensemble, entertained family and friends gathered in Ashburton Hall. The repertoire was wide ranging and entertaining  from Scottish folk songs to John Lennon’s famous ‘Imagine’ song, in this instance performed using signingNext week it will be the turn of Years 1 and 2 to perform at the Pre Prep Summer Concert.  

Year 1 Trip to Hedingham Castle  

On Tuesday the pupils in Year 1 had an exciting day at Hedingham Castle in Essex – one of the best preserved Norman keeps in England. The History came alive for the pupils, and it was an ideal place for our children to investigate the past. The stunning grounds also provided a wonderful area for the children to explore what life would have been like in the castle many years ago.  

Rugby School Poetry Prize 2023 

At St Faith’s we encourage all children in the creative arts, and enable our pupils to immerse themselves in the study of poetry and literature. On this theme,  I am delighted to report that two of our pupils have received ‘Highly Commended’ awards in the Rugby Poetry Prize 2023. As well as receiving their certificates in due course, they have been invited to a celebratory workshop morning at Rugby School in September.  

Matilda’s Poem

Amalie’s Poem

Welcome to Florida 

Staying with literature, the book ‘Hoot’ is a novel, set in Florida, currently being studied by our Year 7 pupils. Among its various themes, the book describes an environmental campaign by a small group of teenage pupils. Whilst tourists to Florida may be attracted by the glamour and the sun filled lifestyle on offer, Year 7 have found out many other interesting facts about the location where the novel is set. You are warmly invited to read the pupils’ brochures – perhaps to whet your appetite for a visit to this fascinating location.  

PSHCE Budgeting Project  

In PSHCE, as part of their economic wellbeing topic, Year 5 have been completing a budgeting project. After spending a lesson in school using computers to research prices of items, pupils completed this task at home, before having the opportunity this week to present their finished project to their tutor group. For the project, they re-designed a bedroom imagining that they had £80 to spend. As well as staying within budget, the pupils needed to follow specific criteria, which included the challenge of trying to track the carbon footprint of one item! Year 5 tutors were most impressed by the pupils’ use of Maths and Computing, as well as showcasing their creativity and independence in their ambitious and imaginative final pieces, some of which can be seen here. 

Visit From Lower Sixth Pupils at The Leys  

On Tuesday, eight Lower Sixth pupils from The Leys visited St Faith’s to speak to St Faith’s pupils in Year 8 about the transition from prep school to senior school. Our visiting students talked about a number of school-related topics. They discussed aspects which the Year 8s are really looking forward to, as well as providing reassurance where they had any concern. We very much enjoyed hosting the Lower Sixth pupils. Seven of them were Old Fidelians who left St Faith’s in 2019 and looked back at their time here with great happiness. 

Newton House Charity Ice Creams  

At breaktimes this week, Newton House has been selling ice creams in aid of the two charities that it is supporting this year, Besom and The Arthur Rank Hospice, Cambridge. The importance of the work of these charitable organisations, and of course the warm summer weather, have had a really positive impact on sales of ice cream and generous sums have been raised.   

U11 Boys’ & U13 Girls’ IAPS National Tennis Finals  

Last Sunday, on the first day at the IAPS National Tennis Finals, the boys started their first match against Caldicott Prep School B team and they achieved a comfortable 3-0 win. Their second opponent Westminster Under School B, had a very strong first player and despite losing one of their singles matches, the boys successfully reached the Quarter finals. They then faced Saint Ronan’s A team, who proved to be a strong opponent and put a halt to the boys’ first-day winning streak.  

On the second day the boys started by playing against another very capable opponent, Gayhurst School. Our pupils played superb tennis but lost narrowly. However, they didn’t lose their fighting spirit and they kept competing. In their final match they won against Westminster Under School A team by 2-1 thereby securing seventh position in the U11 boys’ event.   

Meanwhile on their first day, the girls faced Repton Prep School B team, against whom they had a comfortable win 3-0. Their second match of the day was against Saint Ronan’s, which was a close match, eventually losing 2-0, so unfortunately missing the chance to play in the semi-finals.  

However, the next day the girls came out with even greater determination. After some fabulous tennis against Amesbury school and Repton Prep school C team, they secured fifth place in the U13 girls’ event.  

Congratulations to all our tennis players for such committed performances at this prestigious national event.  

Year 5 Dynamos Cricket 

On Monday, 9 pupils from Year 5 took part in the Dynamos Mixed Cricket regional finals at Caldecote Cricket Club. Since qualifying in the previous round, every pupil clearly displayed that they have made excellent progress. The games were fast paced and full of action – with ‘bazball’ gripping the nation, what better time to engage young cricketers! Sixes, fours, run outs, catches and granting running made for some thrilling games often coming down to the final ball. 

The pupils were fantastic ambassadors for the school behaving impeccably, demonstrating sportsmanship and fair play at all times. Mr Clayton-Smith, Head of Cricket, is looking to watching their progress as they move through the school. Cricket at St Faith’s has a bright future ahead!

Continuing with the sporting theme, I wish the Year 4 and 5 pupils competing today at Wilberforce Road in the East Area Athletics Championships every success and we look forward to hearing the results. I would also like to thank a number of our Year 8 pupils who are assisting the officials with the running the event.  

Move Up and New Pupils’ Morning 

On Thursday morning, pupils had the opportunity to ‘Move Up’ and meet their new tutors for the next academic year. Our staff and pupils also welcomed new members to the St Faith’s community, as we were joined by many of the new children starting in September. Our new parents also had the opportunity to meet tutors and collect their children’s new ties – perhaps ready for some practicing over the summer. 

The ‘Move Up’ morning began with a school assembly in which the pupils were encouraged to think about what they hoped to achieve in the years ahead, and what  their “legacy” might be of their time at St Faith’s. We also took the opportunity to be inspired by all those who have already had a positive impact at St Faith’s and beyond – as well as learning how the kindness of strangers hundreds of miles away led to the naming of our ‘Ashburton Hall’.   

And Finally…

Staying with the travel theme, this weekend pupils in Years 6, 7 and 8 and their accompanying staff, will journey to Shropshire, Spain and Italy respectively. These trips promise to be truly enriching and enjoyable experiences and we wish everyone safe and happy travels. Meanwhile for pupils and staff at school next week, there will be plenty of activity and discoveries closer to home, during our highly anticipated Enrichment Week.  

With all best wishes,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn