As the academic year reaches an exciting crescendo, we have been treated to a range of musical concerts this week. More than 350 pupils across Years 1 to 8 have performed on stage, with hundreds of appreciative friends and family members in attendance.
Summer Music Concerts
The first of our concerts was a musical masterpiece from our senior pupils, with a very welcome return to West Road Concert Hall on Monday evening, including plenty of opportunity for audience participation. This was followed by Years 1 & 2 on Tuesday and the Junior Summer Concert on Wednesday. The three concerts coincided with #WorldMusicDay and marked the official start of summer. The months of rehearsal this year, as well as all the online music lessons and practice that took place in lockdown, certainly paid off.
The mantra shared with the pupils throughout the concert series was ‘It’s not just about the music, it’s about how you left them feeling when you stopped playing.’ We were reminded this week of the gift of live music, and the many ways in which music helps us to connect with our emotions. It was truly exciting to see the range of talent within our school community, with magnificent performances from younger and older pupils. It was also a real pleasure to welcome back some of our most recent ‘Old Fidelians’ to the stage.
The Music Department were thrilled to be able to work with so many children on their concert performances, and to see them shining after a prolonged absence from the concert platform.
Year 1 and 2 Summer Concert
Elements of Music
Year 1 and 2 classes have been learning about the ‘Elements of Music’ throughout the year. Their Summer Concert was an opportunity for pupils to showcase their learning and give families a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ experience of a Music lesson. Families also enjoyed the opportunity to put into practice all they had learned during the afternoon; rehearsing and then performing ‘Happy’. I am told that the adults may wish to continue working on pulse and rhythm!
FCAH Class Assembly
Foundation pupils have been learning about where they are in the world and, more recently, about some of the United Nation Global Goals to end poverty and protect the planet. FCAH confidently presented their assembly, including drama and songs, informing us how to look after planet Earth.
In sunny conditions and under blue skies last Friday at Wilberforce Road, our children, staff, and parents all helped to make our Sports Day a most memorable and happy occasion. We do hope that you enjoy our gallery of images from the day.
There were three new school records set – in the U13 Boys’ 75m hurdles, U14 Boys’ 80m hurdles and U12 Girls’ discus. In addition, as this is the first year that these events were held, new school records were also established in the 4 x 100m circular relays for Years 3 and 4 in each House.
Thank you to all the staff and parents for helping the children achieve their best.
Best. Day. Ever!
While Years 3-8 were at Wilberforce Road last Friday for Sports Day, Pre Prep made use of the whole school site for their ‘Outdoor’ themed Fun Day. Enjoying the June sunshine, the pupils engaged in a wide range of activities and challenges. These included forest school sessions in The Wild Place, tree climbing, African drumming, obstacle courses, strategy games, ‘the beach’ and water play.
Learning through play is such an important part of a young child’s development and whilst the focus was on enjoyment, children learned many valuable skills linked to our learning habits such as collaboration, curiosity, independence and resilience. Ice lollies were a welcome treat at the end of a fun-filled day, which one pupil described as ‘the best day of my life’!
Move-Up and New Pupil Morning
On Thursday, the school was buzzing with excitement and activity when the children had the opportunity to meet their new teachers for the next academic year. We started the day with a special assembly, in which we considered the Quaker sayings of ‘Live adventurously’ and ‘Let your life speak’ as inspiration for the year ahead. Move up morning was also an opportunity for new pupils joining us in September to meet their new classmates and experience a snapshot of the busy and happy daily life of St Faith’s pupils. Afterwards, the new pupils left with their goody bags in hand, including their house ties to practise tying over the summer. Meanwhile some of our Year 8 pupils also took the opportunity this week to pay a visit to the senior schools they are joining in September.
On Thursday afternoon, some members of the Lower Sixth at The Leys came to St Faith’s to speak to our Year 8s about their transition to senior schools in September. The Leys pupils talked through a range of topics, gave their best advice about how our pupils should approach Year 9 and answered lots of questions. It was lovely to see the pupils who were all Old Fidelians. They thoroughly enjoyed returning to the school and meeting with our Year 8s and former teachers.
Goblins Race at Scottow
After a two year break our St Faith’s ‘Goblins’ returned to Norfolk, to compete in the Greenpower Scottow Enterprise Park Goblins 2022 race. We last raced our electrically powered cars here in June 2019 and it was great to be back at the familiar track. This is the first time we have raced all four cars and we had our biggest team yet, with 25 Goblins taking part in the race day. Our cars ‘Brilliant Bugs’, ‘Popping Popcorn’, ‘Speedy Snails’ and ‘Net-Zero Heroes’ were transported in one of our smart new minibuses with our distinguished trailer on the back, fortunately the hurdles from Sports Day had been removed!
The day started by the cars being scrutineered, all our cars were deemed ready to race. Each Goblin had the opportunity to drive in two events, a drag and slalom; once these events had been completed each team could have one attempt at the Sprint race. The Goblins were competing against 21 other cars from schools based primarily in Norfolk. Not only were St Faith’s Goblins busy driving their cars, but the Goblins’ parents also were busy helping to run the event, by helping with car parking, time keeping, flag waving and scrutineering. The Goblins enjoyed having their supporters right in the middle of the action or in one case having a parent actually competing against a rival car!
A great day was had by all, and the children were a credit to St Faith’s. They were cheerful, polite, organised and they helped to support one another. Brilliant Bugs had a particularly successful day wining best Presented Team, 2nd in Drag and 3rd in the Sprint. Popping Popcorn were awarded 2nd in the Sprint. St Faith’s also received a Special ‘Greenpower’ award presented to one of our parents for being a brilliant volunteer and adding to the day by getting involved in the spirit of Greenpower. Our Goblins are certainly a team and none of these performances would have been possible without the whole St Faith’s team effort. In the words of another famous racing team, McLaren, ‘we race as one’ and our success is a reflection of everyone’s hard work and willingness to support one other.
Many thanks to everyone who supported the Goblins, not just the staff there on the day, but also the maintenance, bursary and catering staff who help us in the background. Thank you to our superb Goblin parents who are always willing to step up and volunteer and make sure their children are ready in the right kit, at the right time for the right race and with a packed lunch!
It was a fantastic day and our teams say they can’t wait to do it all again at Goodwood on Sunday 10th July, although they will be packing some even stronger sun cream!
Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition
On Wednesday, two of our Year 8 pupils attended the Finalists exhibition of ‘The Big Bang’ UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition at the NEC in Birmingham. Their unique invention, ElectroPi, was among the 52 projects to make it to the final of the competition. ElectroPi is a remote-controlled seed planting robot controlled by an iPad that is also programmed to water the planted seeds based on its reading of soil moisture levels. The project took on both the programming side of the robot and the mechanical engineering in the construction and working assembly of the robot, and all its programmable moving parts.
The inspiration for the idea came from the pupils’ involvement in the Eco Committee’s seed-planting initiative, which they felt could be made efficient with a robot and in turn provide assistance to more elderly members of the community. Together, our two Year 8 pupils forged an invention that impressed the judges and won them the prestigious UK Junior Engineering Award. This outstanding achievement also resulted in the pupils being interviewed on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and Cambridge 105 this week. We are very proud indeed of their hard work and success – congratulations to them both. This achievement is a superb reflection on the expert and inspiring STEM teaching at St Faith’s and is hugely inspiring for our younger pupils.
After a break of a couple of years, the book fair has made a welcome comeback to St Faith’s. This week, every year group has had the opportunity to visit the book fair in the school library and to purchase books. I visited the book fair myself and was most impressed with the range of books on display – the vibrant ‘Hundred-mile-an-hour dog’ books particularly caught my attention. Looking ahead to the summer break, I hope all the St Faith’s pupils will enjoy reading for pleasure and I look forward to hearing about their favourite books when they return to school in September.
£5 Charity Challenge
As reported in last week’s news, the many events in which the children participated in this challenge to raise money, including projects as diverse as dog-walking and baking, drew to a close this week. The total amount of money raised for our chosen charity, Meseret for Women is £4,994.51. This is a remarkable fundraising achievement by the pupils, and in the process, they have also demonstrated impressive initiative, imagination and collaborative working.
SFPA Summer Party
Thank you to everyone who attended the SFPA Summer Party last Friday and special thanks to the Party Organising Committee for arranging such a splendid event. The grounds of the Graduate Hotel certainly made a beautiful setting in the late evening sunlight, with the relaxing sounds from the jazz trio and chauffeured punts giving a glimpse of the more tranquil side of Cambridge.
There were more than 240 parents in attendance and it was a lovely opportunity to meet and mingle in a relaxed setting. I am most grateful for the many hours of planning and care that went into organising every detail of the evening. From the delicious food to the themed red, black and white paper lanterns in the trees, it was a really special occasion, clearly enjoyed by all.
And Finally ……
On Sunday our Year 8 pupils will depart for their well-deserved and eagerly anticipated residential trip to Kinver, whilst our other pupils will be embarking on a variety of exciting Enrichment Week activities. Next week is also our school Reading Week, and I am hoping to catch up with the exploits of The Hundred-Mile-an-hour dog, adventures which have come highly recommended by our younger children…
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn