This week at St Faith's

27 April 2018

Dream Big

‘Dream big’ was a message from Chris Silverwood, St Faith’s parent and England cricket coach, when he spoke in whole-school assembly on Monday.  Following his successful cricket career for Yorkshire, Middlesex and England, Chris moved over to coaching and in 2016, in his first year as Head Coach, led Essex to the 2nd Division Championship.  A year later, with a team that most cricket experts expected to be relegated, Essex enjoyed an unbeaten season and won the 1st Division Championship by a record margin. Chris is, therefore, well placed to comment on the value of ‘dreaming big’!  As the pupils hung on his every word in the assembly, Chris explained his coaching ethos at Essex, instilling a strong culture of respect, attitude, effort and teamwork throughout the club.  He talked about the players being their best selves on and off the pitch and highlighted Michael Jordan’s quote, ‘talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.’  As Chris said himself, these messages dovetail neatly with the values and ethos of St Faith’s (which is why he chose the school for his boys) and were therefore powerful words for our pupils to hear. We are very grateful to Chris Silverwood for taking time away from his England commitments to speak to our pupils and staff. His assembly will be long remembered.

Old Fidelians’ Visit

On Thursday we had a visit from Old Fidelian, Professor David Thouless and his former classmate John Crawley who returned for the first time since they left in 1947. They were delighted to see their names, side by side, on the scholarship board in the dining room; David was a awarded an academic scholarship to Winchester and John to Rugby.  Both went on to lead highly successful careers; John in the Inland Revenue and David in academia.  Professor Thouless was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2016.  It was a great pleasure to welcome them and members of their family back to St Faith’s for what was an emotional trip down memory lane. John showed me a school photograph taken in 1944, and could recall the names of every teacher! He has kept in touch with the school through his nephews, Sam and Jude, who attended St Faith’s recently.

IAPS Visit

On Tuesday, I showed Katherine Lapworth, the Communications Manager for the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS), around the school.  Katherine told me that she had recently been appointed to this post and when she asked her boss, the Chief Executive of IAPS, which of the 650 IAPS schools she should visit first, he recommended St Faith’s.  It was very good to meet Katherine and hear more about the valuable work of IAPS.

SFPA Summer Party

At the SFPA Committee meeting on Monday evening, final preparations were being made for the Summer Party at the Doubletree by Hilton on the evening of Saturday 9th June. Do join us for what promises to be a beautiful evening of music, delicious food and chauffeured punting, at arguably, the most idyllic summer  setting in Cambridge. This is a wonderful way to connect with the St Faith’s community.  Tickets can be purchased here.


The long list of sports on offer at St Faith’s continues to expand.  This week we took a team to compete in an Aquathlon in Surrey on Monday, a race which involved competitors from dozens of schools swimming 400m, then running 2km. Our children enjoyed it immensely and found it to be good preparation for the IAPS Triathlon later this term. This weekend, for the first time, we will be taking a team to the IAPS Table Tennis Championships at Edge Grove School, Hertfordshire.  Sadly, the inaugural IAPS girls’ football tournament in Taunton has, once again, been cancelled owing to the inclement weather. Good luck to our table tennis players and thank you to our sports staff who give of their time so generously and continue to develop the breadth of our sports programme.

At the beginning of term, we heard that eight of our swimmers have qualified for the National Swimming Finals.  Mateo VN, Reuben C (both Year 5), Nadine A, Ania K (both Year 7), Amelia S and Chris H (both Year 8) together with the Year 7 relay team of Ania, Nadine, Amelia S and Emily H will all be competing in the National Finals in London in June.  It should be great experience for them.

Over the past few weeks, it has been great to see so many pupils competing in the school tennis tournaments.  Many thanks to Mr North for organising these and congratulations to the winners – the overall standard has been most impressive.

The house cross country races have all taken place over the past week and as far as I know everyone finished with their bodies intact.


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Good luck to the gymnasts who are competing in the Midlands Championships at Stamford School this weekend.


It was lovely to see the Year 6s fully absorbed in their Art lesson on Wednesday, as they carefully studied and sketched the architecture of the school buildings.

The Year 7s were also completely focussed in Science this week, when they experienced dissecting pigs’ hearts.  As you can see from the photos they could hardly look as Mrs Price demonstrated the first dissection!

It has also been great to see the excitement caused by Mrs Bates’ duck eggs which proudly sit in the Pre Prep reception area.  Barely a child passes without gazing into the incubator, longing to see the slightest crack and first signs of life.  As the excitement builds, there is an increasing focus on the ‘countdown’ chart, with next Wednesday highlighted as the probable big day.  Roll on next week!

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell