New Arrivals in Pre Prep
What a joy for the children in Pre Prep as they were able to welcome a family of newly hatched ducklings. It all started with nine eggs in incubation in one of the Foundation classrooms and they have been hatching over the course of the week. The eggs arrived in Pre Prep after Easter, having started their incubation at Mrs Bates’ farm (duckling eggs take approximately twenty-eight days to hatch). The ducklings will eventually return to the farm and where, based on previous experience, the are expected to have great fun swimming on the pond and digging holes in the lawn!
As this newsletter ‘goes to press’ we now have a 100% success rate as all nine eggs have hatched. The children will have a chance to name the new arrivals next week and Foundation pupils will also have the opportunity to see the ducklings take their first swim on Tuesday. We hope to share that with you in next week’s newsletter.
Independent Science Investigations
To celebrate British Science Week, pupils in Years 5-8 were set the challenge of investigating a hypothesis of their choice, or to construct a working model demonstrating a scientific principle. The range and quality of the designs submitted was highly impressive, as was the exceptional standard of presentations submitted. Pupils explained their projects to their peers, who were appreciative of both the ingenuity and clarity of scientific explanations.
We are also grateful to parents for their support and patience at home and for allowing many kitchens to be turned into laboratories. We hope you enjoy a selection of the projects below.
Introduction to Tudor England
Year 6 Humanities classes were treated to a fascinating lecture this week from Dr Hyde-Dunn, all about Henry VII! They listened attentively and asked some perceptive questions. What a great start to their studies of Tudor England.
Year 7 Local Area Walk
This week saw Year 7 exploring Cambridge and learning more about its fascinating history. Mrs Critchley took pupils and staff on a very informative, whistle-stop tour from Medieval times and the Reformation to the Industrial Revolution and the relocation of Addenbrooke’s Hospital. This consolidated knowledge and understanding gained through their local area studies.
Latham Lollipop Challenge
Latham House have been selling lollipops this week in order to raise funds for their chosen charity, Tom’s Trust. Pupils were challenged to use their skill and judgment to win a prize for throwing a hula hoop over a Latham Lollipop. In next week’s newsletter we will be able to share how much money was raised.
Clear Your Plate on this Date
We are proud to share with our school community the successful initiative by the Eco Committee to reduce plate waste among Years 3-8. On Wednesday, we held ‘no food waste day’ and pupils were rewarded with a token for achieving zero plate waste. The tokens were posted into their respective House boxes, where they were tallied to win points for their Houses and the all-important opportunity to select the pudding for next week. It is going to be chocolate fudge brownie.
Newton was crowned the winner, with eighty-seven pupils clearing their plates! This was an impressive accomplishment that demonstrated our students’ commitment to reducing waste. Overall, plate waste was down to 13kg on Wednesday, compared to an average of 24kg for the previous week.
In addition to the token system, Year 5 pupils played an essential role on Wednesday to explore the issue of plate waste. They have been learning about the importance of a balanced diet and sharing their knowledge with other pupils. Our Year 5 pupils conducted a survey to explore the reasons for plate waste and to find out favourite foods. This information will be valuable to the kitchen team for planning menus that cater to everyone’s preferences while reducing waste.
We are very pleased to commend the Eco Committee and Year 5 pupils for their commitment to reducing plate waste and for promoting sustainable practices at school. Their efforts have made a highly positive impact on our environment, and we look forward to seeing more successful initiatives in the future.
A Balanced Diet
Continuing this theme, in PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) this term Year 5 are looking at wellbeing. They have been discussing aspects of life that help keep us well balanced and healthy, including a balanced diet.
In the Classrooms
It has been a busy and industrious week in the classrooms and I have greatly enjoyed visiting a range of classes this week. Starting in the Pre Prep, Foundation pupils were learning about ‘-teen’ numbers in Maths whilst Year 2 were exploring fractions, including halves and quarters.
I also joined some Year 2 pupils in their English lesson, in which they were reading ‘The Bad-tempered Ladybird’ by Eric Carle. The children were planning an alternate ending: thinking about how to keep the readers interest by adding something unexpected, explaining how the problem in the story is resolved, how the main character has learnt something or has changed and finally, referring back to the opening, just as Eric Carle did in his version. The Year 2 pupils were also preparing for their activity later in the week, which involved writing in narrative form and using separate paragraphs to sequence and organise their ideas.
Meanwhile Year 3 have been expanding their vocabulary in Spanish with those all-important words for their favourite breakfast foods, and I joined Year 5 in the Science laboratories learning about germination. Year 6 have been learning about the English impressionist landscape artist William Heaton Cooper and developing their skills with watercolours, whilst Year 7 have been studying literature and identifying literary devices, such as personification, in novels.
Good Luck for the Year 7 Exams
The Year 7 pupils have now completed their Spanish assessments, and will continue with their assessments in other subjects next week. We wish them the best of luck and we look forward to seeing the results of their hard work.
IAPS National Table Tennis Championships
On Saturday, Year 6 and Year 8 pupils travelled to Edge Grove School to compete in the IAPS National Table Tennis Championships. St Faith’s entered a record 13 pupils to the tournament and you can read a full report below.
Years 4 – 6 Boys’ & Girls’ Doubles Tennis Tournaments
On Monday evening we held the Years 4-6 tennis doubles’ entry. Despite the unseasonably cold weather and rain, there was a sizeable field with 14 boys’ pairs (28 boys) and 4 girls’ pairs (8 girls). Mr North reported the following: “it was lovely to see so many pupils out there enjoying the games and there were three pools for the boys, so they were guaranteed at least 3 games and one pool for the girls. In the girls’ competition, we had a hard-fought final and one of our Year 8 girls also stepped up to the responsibility of umpiring the final. Congratulations to our 2023 champions. With more players, the boys’ competition was a longer affair and so the final is still to be played. We look forward to finding out who will be crowned 2023 doubles’ champions.
With so many good players in Years 4, 5 and 6, the already high level of tennis will improve further and we are very grateful to the parents for coming along to support their children. It was excellent so see girls and boys enjoying their tennis and we look forward to next week’s Singles competition for Years 4-6 at Latham Road. It will be on Friday, 5th May and matches will begin at 4pm, so please encourage your children to take part.”
Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’
In a two hour recording session on Tuesday, members of the Year 8 cast of Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ began laying down tracks for the production, which will take place later this term. This was an excellent opportunity for pupils to experience the world of music technology, which will be followed up by editing, mixing and production.
One Year 8 pupil commented, “Recording is great fun but seriously hard work! The pressure’s on not to make a mistake so we don’t have to retake a track.” The Year 8 performance later this term is being anticipated with great excitement, at which point we will see and hear the results of all the hard work going into this production.
It is a key part of our support for those who travel to school on two wheels that we offer pupils and staff free and regular maintenance of their bicycles. During the Summer term, when even more people are likely to cycle, it is especially important that bikes are safely maintained. Twice a term a local company called Outspoken Cycles known affectionately to us as ‘Dr Bike’, visits us to service bicycles and we have benefited from two visits this week.
Old Fidelian (OF) News and Summer Events
On Tuesday evening, the termly Old Fidelian committee meeting was held and a new Chairperson was elected. We welcome Claire Sanders into the role. As well as welcoming Claire, I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of our whole school community, to thank Alex Nichols, our retiring Chairman, for steering the committee so expertly over the past few years. We are extremely grateful for all his hard work and for facilitating so many wonderful OF events. New members of the committee are also being sought. If you are interested, please email email@example.com for more information. It really is a wonderful way to meet other OFs and to remain involved in the life of the school.
Looking forward to the Summer term, please do save the following dates if you are interested in any of the forthcoming events:
- Old Fidelian v Staff Golf Evening at the Gog Magog Golf Course – Friday, 26th May
- Old Fidelian Society Golf Day at Royal Worlington Golf Course – Monday, 12th June
- Old Fidelian v Staff v Parent Tennis and Netball Social – Tuesday, 13th June
- Old Fidelian v Staff v Parent Football – Friday, 23rd June
St Faith’s Parents’ Association (SFPA) Coffee Mornings
As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, the warmer weather of the Summer term gives us the opportunity to welcome parents to the ever-popular SFPA coffee mornings once again. This week it has been the turn of Year 3 & 4 and Year 7 & 8 parents to enjoy a coffee and pastry after drop-off and to meet other parents from their year groups and the SFPA committee. Whilst the rather chilly weather at the start of the week precluded an outdoor gathering, we convened in the Ashburton Hall to enjoy one another’s company.
In anticipation of the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday 6th May, we will hold a special coronation assembly next Friday 5th May for the whole school. We will explore some of the traditional aspects of the service that the children can expect to see during the ceremony itself and also offer context for some of the many historical traditions that are part of the pageantry. On this theme, Year 3 have been writing their own coronation anthems for Charles III, based on Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’, which was composed for the Coronation of King George II in 1727.
Year 6 have also considered the forthcoming coronation in the context of their studies on the Tudor period. It was a real pleasure to spend some lesson time with Year 6 discussing the similarities and differences between the coronation of Henry VII and Charles III and the pupils asked some excellent questions. Whilst there is not likely to be any reference to a crown in a hawthorn bush, or a King’s Champion riding into Westminster Hall on horseback as there was for Henry VII, the pupils were fascinated to discover that there will be elements of Charles III’s coronation taking place next weekend, that date back to the 14th century.
With all best wishes,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn