This week at St Faith's

26 April 2019

Welcome Back

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter and enjoyed the glorious weather last weekend. The Summer Term is, for many, the best time of the year when we can make the most of our open green site, as the children have been doing this week. It is also a time when there are lots of special events, including concerts, drama productions and sports days, so please do keep a close eye on the calendar as we really appreciate it when you take the time to support these occasions.  We save the biggest event to last – Speech Day and Prize Giving on the morning of Friday 5th July (10.30am-12 noon), a celebration of the year and a formal farewell to our Year 8s, to which all parents are invited.  This year, Alistair Bruce-Ball, BBC Sports Commentator and Old Fidelian, will be our Guest of Honour.


The first assembly of the term focused on how we, both individually and collectively, serve the community.  We looked at several recent examples of how our pupils and staff have gone out of their way to help others and provide significant benefit to the wider community. As I said to the children on Wednesday, we want them to get the most out of school and do their best individually but at the same time learn to become good citizens who understand and appreciate their responsibilities in the world. I was even able to explain that St Faith’s won the TES Prep School of the Year award not just for the children’s achievements but also for the way the School and its staff have helped others and made a significant contribution to the wider community. This concept of ‘service’ has been, and will continue to be, a focus as we prepare the children for their futures beyond St Faith’s.

Future Schools Fair

On Wednesday evening, 27 schools from Cambridge and further afield, participated in our biennial Future Schools Fair in Ashburton Hall. ‘Rather like speed-dating for schools’ as one parent described the event, the evening gave parents of pupils in Years 4-7 an opportunity to meet admissions staff, and in many cases Heads or Deputy Heads, from schools such as The Leys, Harrow, Uppingham, Bedford and The Perse. Future schools planning is something we take very seriously and we are delighted that so many parents were able to attend as they begin the journey to select the best senior school for their child. On my way around the ‘stalls’ I met two Old Fidelians – the Headmaster of Haileybury and a teacher of English at Rugby!

New World Board Games

Ashburton Hall was the centre of the New World according to Columbus on Thursday afternoon as Year 6 pupils showed off their ingenious and uniquely designed board games. Having spent several weeks studying Columbus’ discovery of the New World, pupils were tasked with designing and creating a board game based around the expeditions of Columbus. From adapting classic board games such as Snakes and Ladders and Monopoly to devising totally new formulae, the pupils showed off a wonderful range of creativity and ingenuity as well as some impressive artistic and design skills. What a wonderful way of learning about this aspect of history.

Nativity Musical to be dedicated to St Faith’s

We received this lovely letter from Stephen Mannings, the composer of ‘Hurry to Bethlehem’, which was performed by Years 3 and 4 at the ‘Carols around the Christmas Tree’ in the Michaelmas Term. Stephen has decided to dedicate his next children’s nativity to St Faith’s.

Golf Tournament

Twenty pupils participated in a Texas Scramble golf competition on Easter Monday at Royal Worlington Golf Club. For those less well acquainted with the game, Texas Scramble is played in teams of 3 or 4. One of the drives of the team is chosen to be used for the next shot and all members of the team place their balls where the chosen drive ended. All the team then play a second shot from this spot. This process continues until the ball ends up in the hole. The team then record their score for the hole and the lowest overall score wins.

Five teams took part in the competition and the standard was very high. Two shots separated four of the teams but there was one clear wining team consisting of Evie H, Harry H, Ian V and Ed S.

There were five pairs of siblings taking part which made for a real family feel to the day.  All pupils represented the school in exemplary fashion. Many thanks to all who helped make the day run smoothly, particularly Mr Mutucumarana who organised the event. Players, spectators and members of staff alike all enjoyed the sunshine and a competitive round of golf.


On Tuesday, 11 pupils joined Mr Welch and Dr Hoyle for a sailing training session at Hunts Sailing Club, St Ives. The training began with a focus on rigging and launching followed by practices on tacking, gybing and general boat manoeuvres. A shore based session then explained the RYA Racing Rules, safety and support systems and causes of possible rule infringements, all critical aspects of taking part in sailing races. Back on the water the focus of training shifted to starts, practising mark roundings and sailing with different crew combinations.  St John’s College School were able to join us and this provided our boats with some healthy competition in the practice races.

While fun, the main purpose of the day was to establish a selection of pupils to represent St Faith’s in the upcoming IAPS Sailing Regatta in Weymouth this coming May. Mr Welch and Dr Hoyle were once again delighted with the level of skill on display and with the way the children conducted themselves. I very much look forward to seeing how the teams fair on the water at Weymouth. Videos of the pupils in action available on our Sports Twitter feed.


During the holidays we received the results of the IAPS National Swimming Heats.  The great news is that 12 pupils have qualified for the National Finals on 8th June at the Aquatics Centre in London; 5 relay teams and 6 individuals – this is the first time we have had relays teams qualify from 3 different age groups and 12 is the highest number of qualifiers overall we’ve ever achieved. Many congratulations and good luck in the National Finals!  The 12 pupils are Mateo VN, Reuben C, Polina F, Ania K, Emily H, Nadine A, Niall G, Jeremy P, Daisy H, Ava B, Phoebe B and Amelia S.

Old Fidelian News

If you haven’t already seen this, here is an article about Larkin Sayer, an Old Fidelian who was a member of this year’s Cambridge Crew that won the Women’s Varsity Boat Race. Many congratulations to Larkin!

Some of you may have noticed that former pupil, Alex Goode, has been nominated as one of the five short-listed rugby players for European Player of the Year. You can vote for him via this link.


As I called in to the Pre Prep yesterday, I saw many faces gazing in to the recently installed duck egg incubator, looking for the slightest twitch in any of the eggs.  During my time with the children, we did see one move!  According to Mrs Bates, there should be exciting news to report in next week’s newsletter!


With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell