This week at St Faith's

04 May 2018

Young Arrivals

What do you get when you put eleven ducklings in a box? A box of quackers! Well, this week, in the Pre Prep, we had our own box of quackers and, at the time of writing this newsletter, all eleven fluffy ducklings are looking very chirpy indeed. Tuesday morning saw the first one emerge (at the quack of dawn?) and under the attentive eye of Mrs Bates, ten more little cuties arrived, to the delight of every child, teacher and parent who gazed adoringly in to the incubating boxes this week. Today was the final day at school for our ducklings and they finished with a flourish as Mrs Bates held the first ever duck launch at St Faith’s. Miraculously, after just a few days in the world and with no swimming lessons from Miss Kennerley or Mrs Critchley, the ducklings took to the water with confidence. As you would expect, the duck launch caused great excitement amongst the Foundation children.  Of course, the ducklings will never grow up – they will grow down. I’ll stop there before it drives you quackers!




On the subject of our two legged-friends, many keen nature observers noticed that two mallards have taken residence on the Jubilee Pond this week.  Perhaps Elizabeth and Philip have returned after a fleeting visit to the pond last Spring?  In any case, Mrs Bates’  ducklings might not be the only young additions to the St Faith’s community this term, so we will be keeping a watchful eye on the Pond in the weeks to come.

The Summer Term

When I walk around school at this time of the year, I see great contrasts.  Assessments and examinations loom large for many pupils; several year groups have or will have their heads down, studiously working their way through the test papers.  At the same time, there continues to be great excitement across a wide range of co-curricular activities, both in and out of the classrooms.  Mathematicians are preparing for the Year 6 Cambridgeshire Maths Challenge (hosted at St Faith’s), the chess teams are planning their manoeuvres for the final league matches of the season, athletes are limbering up for the two Sports Days, gymnasts are training for more national finals, musicians are practising for the summer concerts and our budding young actors are deep in final rehearsals for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. There is much to look forward to in the coming weeks.


Eighty three St Faith’s pupils competed in the Midlands Gymnastics Championships at Stamford School last weekend. It is wonderful that so many of our boys and girls are enjoying the thrill in taking part in this sport and participating in events such as this. At Stamford, they were awarded so many trophies that we needed Mrs North’s washing basket to carry them all in to assembly on Monday. Our gymnasts won an impressive 8 team titles and 8 individual championships, dominating the two-day competition. Details of the results are in the index of this newsletter, but I must mention Alex R who at the tender age of 13, won the individual U18 girls’ competition! Special mention must also be given to Mrs and Mrs North and Miss Butler who gave up their weekend to coach and manage our teams.

The gymnasts were not the only pupils in action last weekend.  For the first time, we entered the IAPS Table Tennis Championships at Edge Grove School, Hertfordshire. Ethan and Will represented St Faith’s in the U11 section and William and Harry in the U13s.  The boys performed admirably and Will achieved the commendable results of qualifying from his group and reaching the last 16.  Many thanks to Mr Welch who entered St Faith’s for this competition and accompanied the players on the day.


Foundation Assembly

Despite the gloomy weather, Wednesday started brightly with the first of three Foundation Class assemblies. The Pre Prep children and staff, together with the parents of Class FVH, were treated to a delightful performance of ‘The Gruffalo’, with lots of fun and colour and, to the amusement of the audience, some wonderfully unpredictable moments. These are occasions to treasure – for staff and parents. Thank you to Mrs Harmsworth, Mrs Robson and the children of FVH;  I sensed a tangible rise in spirits and a spring in everyone’s steps as we left the Hall at the end of the assembly.

Parent Liftshare Initiative

It is good to see that over thirty parents have registered for the new Liftshare initiative, with lifts being offered from a range of areas including Saffron Walden, Waterbeach, Girton/Histon, Newmarket and St Ives. Details of how to register are in the index of this newsletter.

Summer Party

Over 130 tickets have been sold since tickets for the SFPA Summer Party went on sale last Friday.  If you are planning to join us, I recommend that you purchase tickets soon, as there is a maximum number of people we are permitted to have at this event. Details of the Party and a booking form are available here.


There was much excitement around the sushi tasting table this lunchtime. Each person was invited to sample a piece of sushi and I have to say that my piece of smoked salmon with ginger was delicious!


This week, I caught the St Faith’s gardeners in action, tending the tomato plants, basil and a variety of summer bedding plants in the greenhouse, under the expert guidance of Mrs Price. They started making ‘grass caterpillars’ (shown in photo) and will be making wind chimes and decorating pots in future sessions.

Whether you will be gardening or not, I wish you a most enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend with plenty of sunshine and warm weather.

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell