Eco Committee News
This weekend is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2024, the world’s largest garden wildlife survey. With the encouragement of our school Eco committee, many of our pupils are looking forward to taking part. In preparation for this, on Thursday, The Hub and Ashburton Courtyard were a hive of activity as pupils across the whole school (from Foundation to Year 8) got involved with making bird feeders, from apple hedgehogs to suet balls. As a rehearsal for the RSPB event this weekend, there was also the opportunity to take part in the QR bird hunt to try and count as many different species as possible.
StarDome Planetarium Visit
This week our Year 2 pupils were treated to a visit from the StarDome experience to support their current topic on Space. The StarDome is a large mobile indoor pop-up planetarium, which was set up for the children here in Ashburton Hall. Such is the size of the planetarium that the children were even able to lie down and spread out inside, enabling them to gain the best possible view of the dark sky. Andy Green, an astronomy expert and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, talked the pupils through some of the mysteries of outer space. The children were completely enthralled by their ‘spin’ through the night sky and were fascinated to learn more about the Solar System. The children had many questions and really enjoyed sharing their new knowledge.
Year 4 Maths Challenge
On Thursday, St Faith’s hosted the Year 4 Maths Challenge in Ashburton Hall. We were delighted to welcome a total of 25 local schools, with around a hundred pupils in attendance. In pairs, the pupils worked collaboratively to solve puzzles and apply their logical reasoning skills. It was a vibrant atmosphere with pupils moving between desks for different challenges, while being supported by Year 6 St Faith’s pupils who were marking each round, and then collating and entering the scores. Amongst our own Year 4 St Faith’s mathematicians, all pairs scored highly, and worked superbly all afternoon. Congratulations to all pupils involved and thank you to the Year 6 pupils who assisted.
Year 8 Visit Castle Fine Art Gallery
On Tuesday afternoon, 11 Year 8 pupils visited the Castle Fine Art Gallery in The Grand Arcade to participate in their Young Fine Artist competition for 2024. The children were given a tour of the gallery and information about the various contemporary artists whose work was on display such as Robert Oxley – a painter and passionate conservationist. Pupils also saw original Mondo Scripto lyrics and drawings by Bob Dylan, as well as original work by Billy Connelly and the painter Paul Caufield. On their return, two of the Year 8 pupils created an iMovie report about the trip to showcase some of their favourite pieces of artwork on display.
Following their visit, the pupils were set the task of creating their own artwork in response to the work of an artist, or theme, which had inspired them in the gallery. The pupils will now be working on this creative response as an extended project in lessons. They will return to Castle Fine Art Gallery in March to present their artwork and to discuss their projects with the gallery manager. The winner of the competition will have their artwork framed and displayed alongside the other artists in the gallery for everyone to see!
Year 8 English
Some of our Year 8 pupils are studying the novel, ‘Private Peaceful’ by Michael Morpurgo, who was our Guest Speaker at Prizegiving last year. In this book, the main character, Tommo, reflects on his mother whilst serving in The First World War. Tommo uses sentences, phrases, lists and tenses randomly as his affections pour out. Our young writers were challenged to mimic this writing style, crafting their own sentiments into treasured dedications, echoing Tommo’s love, respect and affection, and capturing their own sentiments. Examples of the pupils’ work can be found on the button below.
This week in the Collage Club after-school activity, pupils have been making Picasso inspired collages and they have really enjoyed this project. Next week, the children will scale up the size of the collages and we look forward to seeing their work and how their project progresses.
In honour of the great bard, Robert Burns, many families with Scottish connections would have been celebrating Burns Night yesterday. In school, two of the Pre Prep pupils read a Burns Night poem to our Scottish chef at breakfast and our catering team provided a wonderful lunch of haggis, neeps and tatties (head over to @StFaithsKitchen on X for the photographic evidence).
House Captains’ Lunch
In the Michaelmas term, I had the pleasure of presenting the 8 House captains with their badges. These roles carry significant leadership responsibilities for those individuals, and also require the ongoing support of the pupils in their Houses. On Thursday, the House captains were invited to lunch on the Project Deck with the respective Heads of House and enjoyed the opportunity to plan for the next two terms as well as reflect on last term’s successes.
U13 Boys’ IAPS Hockey Regionals
Today the Year 8 boys have travelled to Ipswich School to take part in the IAPS U13 Hockey regional qualifying event, hoping to gain a place in the final in March. We look forward to hearing the results on their return.
Paediatric First Aid Training
At St Faith’s professional first aid training for our staff is a high priority. On Thursday, staff in the Early Years’ team attended paediatric first aid training delivered by Claire of Tigerlily Paediatric First Aid Trainers, and enjoyed a very useful and practical session.
Visit From MSO Web Agency
On Wednesday two representatives from the mso web agency visited St Faith’s. After a process of tender, this agency has been selected to develop our new St Faith’s school website. They spent the day in conversation with pupils, teachers, support staff and parents, getting to know and understand all that is special about the St Faith’s community. We look forward to working with them to develop our website, and the St Faith’s Marketing team is extremely grateful for the ongoing input from staff, pupils and parents alike.
On Sunday, St Faith’s pupils will be taking part in Cambridgeshire Chess League Features at The Perse School and we wish them the very best of luck. Next week on Monday, there will be an informal lunchtime Music recital in Ashburton Hall at 12:50 in which a small group of pupils will perform solos on piano and cello. Parents are very welcome to attend the concert which will last around 25 minutes. These informal concerts are a valuable opportunity for our young musicians to gain confidence and experience of performing in front of an audience. We very much look forward to welcoming you if you are able to join us.
Good luck with your bird spotting if you are taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this and that everyone can have some time this weekend to appreciate the beauty of the natural world around us.
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn