We began the week with an assembly inspired by our Eco Committee and the recent COP26 summit, reminding ourselves of a range of ways in which we can reduce the amounts of energy we use. We considered some of the common ways in which energy is wasted, as well as reminding ourselves of some practical strategies to reduce our own negative impacts on the planet.
There has also been a distinct festive spirit in the air at school this week, with the uplifting sounds of Christmas music emanating from the Music Department, and rehearsals well underway for the Foundation Nativity performance. With the season of Advent almost upon us, next week we look forward to welcoming Reverend Dr Mandy Maxwell and Curate Stephen Dove from the parish of St Mary and St Michael, Trumpington, for a special Advent service on Monday.
Primary Maths Challenge Results
Pupils in Year 6 recently took part in the Primary Maths Challenge, an engaging and stretching mathematical challenge for pupils aged 9-11. Mrs Rainsford, our Head of Maths, was delighted to report that six pupils gained a Gold award (over 80%), while a further ten gained Silver (over 65%) and 15 earned Bronze (over 60%). Please see below a number of award winners celebrating their successes!
Continuing with the Maths theme, I enjoyed a Year 1 Maths lesson this week in which the pupils were learning about different 3D shapes. Year 5 were also hard at work on assessments in their Maths lessons, evaluating their knowledge and understanding of this term’s topics.
Meanwhile Year 7 have also been undertaking practice assessments too – in English comprehension. They have been practising working under timed conditions and refining their skills in answering detailed questions on ‘unseen’ pieces of text.
Spanish in Action
This term in their Modern Languages lessons, Year 6 pupils have been learning how to describe where they live in Spanish. To assist this process they have been utilising a number of creative ways to learn new vocabulary. For example Mr Day’s class were given the opportunity to choose how to submit a piece of homework describing their town, using a medium of their choice. This piece by Toby and Luca (who both only started learning Spanish last year) is a fine example of the high level of vocabulary and detail St Faith’s teachers see in their pupils’ work, not to mention the cross-curricular use of technology and languages. Well done boys!
St Cecilia’s Day Recital
On Monday evening over 30 of our musicians from Years 3-8 relished the opportunity to perform to one each other in Ashburton Hall as well as to a virtual audience. From trumpets to trombones, violin to cellos, clarinets to flutes, as well as piano and even the French horn, there was plenty of talent on display. Congratulations to all involved for some outstanding performances. We enjoyed a wide musical repertoire, with composers ranging from Mozart to Elton John. The children also clearly relished the opportunity to perform to a small audience of their peers. Those pupils preparing for examinations and scholarship assessments will also have a valuable opportunity to critique their own performances when they re-watch the recordings that were made during the live stream.
As you may recall, last Friday visiting Speech and Drama teacher, Miss Tucker, hosted an after school recital for many of her pupils in preparation of their upcoming exams. The performances included mime, poetry recital, acting in pairs and persuasive speeches. If you missed them, they are available to current parents to view here.
I was also able to observe the Year 8 pupils in rehearsals for their upcoming production of ‘Faust and Furious’ – which looks like it is going to provide an excellent evening’s entertainment.
We were delighted this week when sporting magazine, The Cricketer, placed us once again in its prestigious list of the Top 50 Prep Schools. Following an exhaustive process which saw a huge number of entries, schools were judged on a broad set of criteria. This year the judges also took into account how schools were able to keep the game alive during the pandemic. The criteria included a compelling commitment to cricket in the curriculum, specialist facilities, external fixture programmes and high quality coaching. We are delighted that our Sports Department, and the enthusiastic cricket skills of St Faith’s pupils, have been recognised in this way.
Continuing with the sporting theme, all Year groups have been in action again on the fields and astros this week. This has included competing in House events, fixtures against other schools, as well as some pupils participating in regional finals. A full breakdown of the results of the week as well as those from the weekend can be found in the side bar.
Meanwhile, in PE lessons this week, our Year 5 pupils were put through their paces on the tennis courts on Wednesday morning. Focusing on speed and agility, the children took part in a number of individual and team based timed challenges. The beaming smiles were a good indication of how much the children were enjoying their exercise.
Earlier this week, I joined some Year 7 pupils in the library as they were preparing book reviews on the books they have been reading recently. The pupils were considering the genre of writing, the characterisation in the story, and the story arc itself in determining whether they would recommend the book to others.
Staying on the topic of books, when I visited our Year 3 pupils, they were using a book in the ‘Little People, Big Dreams’ series to learn about the life and legacy of Rosa Parks. We talked about the way in which courage is required to create a more fair society, and the children engaged in some excellent discussions.
Farewell to Kevin
Pupils across the school bade a fond farewell to outgoing Head Chef, Kevin, today. Children from Pre-prep to Year 4 decorated paper plates with messages of thanks and images of Kevin and his delicious meals. These were then used to make bunting to decorate Ashburton Courtyard. Kevin was lured out of the kitchen briefly just before lunch to find the decorated courtyard, as well as hearing Years 5 and 6 in Ashburton Hall singing a modified version of the ‘Harvest Samba’, a joyful song all about food. A very special thank you to Miss Kennerly for organising such a wholesome farewell for Kevin.
An impressive 30 pupils are travelling to St Bede’s school tomorrow for the next fixture in the Cambridge Chess League. This is the first time we have been able to field five teams and is testament to the popularity of Chess here at St Faith’s. Our pupils will be competing against 11 other teams from across the region and we wish all players the very best of luck.
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn