This week at St Faith's

28th January 2022

Dear All

Despite some rather chilly weather, I was transported to warmer climes on my walk around school earlier this week as I heard the pupils practising their skills on the steel drums.

It has been another productive week with our pupils in Years 3 to 5 working particularly hard for their assessments in Maths and English. In Monday’s assembly, we learned about the new ‘James Webb’ telescope. In particular, we considered the development and launch of this successor to the remarkable ‘Hubble’ telescope in the context of two of our eight St Faith’s ‘Learning Habits’ – collaboration and curiosity. This provided us all with a really inspiring and informative start to the week.

In the Classrooms

I enjoyed seeing and hearing a Year 6 Music lesson in action this week, with the pupils exploring 1940’s English music and using notes to understand coded messages. Meanwhile, Year 5 pupils were focussed on a comprehension exercise from CS Lewis’ famous Narnia Chronicle – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Year 5 were exploring their creative side by studying the works of Piet Mondrian, a Dutch pioneer of abstract art. In a fascinating Engineering lesson, the Year 6 pupils were learning about and constructing gears, whilst our Year 7 scientists have been applying their knowledge of different elements to make up clues for a chemistry word search.  Some Year 6 pupils have also been preparing to take part in the Primary Maths Challenge Bonus Round next week.

‘Virtual’ Dentist Visit

Last Friday, 6E Science were treated to a Teams talk from Dr Williams, one of our St Faith’s parents. Dr Williams is a dentist so was the perfect person to answer the questions about teeth from our curious scientists, and he also shared many interesting facts and anecdotes with the pupils. Amongst these, we heard why it is so important to always wear your gum shield, which teeth need the most cleaning (Answer: the ones you want to keep), when you should use mouthwash and how long is a molar tooth. The children were also keen to learn when might be the best time, from your teeth’s perspective, to eat chocolate or other sugary foods. Thank you very much to Dr Williams for giving up his time to provide such an enriching and fascinating experience.

Year 2 Production of ‘Stable Boy’

This week we also enjoyed the Year 2 production of ‘Stable Boy’ – postponed from just before Christmas due to Covid. The story follows James, who dreams of a glamorous life as a fisherman on the great Sea of Galilee, but in reality his days are spent tending to the assorted livestock in the stable behind a small inn in Bethlehem. The arrival of lots of visitors (and donkeys) to the town one day, means that poor James has to work even harder, with no thanks from the grumpy innkeeper and his wife! However, as the events of that special night unfold, James realises that the future is brighter than thought, and that dreams can indeed come true!

The children have worked extremely hard on learning lines, actions, songs and choreography, and they delivered a really excellent performance. The experience of being part of a large scale production has created palpable excitement and the performance offered many practical opportunities to develop collaboration, creativity, listening and patience. Thank you to the many volunteers who helped.


Sports Report

On Thursday, our Under-13 netball team travelled to Ipswich School to participate in the regional round of the IAPS Netball Tournament.  After tough competition with 14 other schools, our team was pronounced IAPS Regional Champions.  Many congratulations to the girls who will now move on to the National Finals taking place in March.

As well as practice sessions for different sports ranging from netball to short tennis, our girls and boys have also tested their sporting skills in a schedule of home and away fixtures this week, against the Perse Prep, Perse Upper and St John’s College School.  To learn more about these performances, please see the results and reports in the side-bar of this newsletter.

ISGA Boys’ Gymnastics Nationals

Last Sunday, 14 St Faith’s boys took part in the ISGA National Gymnastics competition, virtually.  Teams competed from their own school setting while judges watched the gymnastics via a video link.  After a tightly fought competition, I am delighted to report that St Faith’s retained all 3 team trophies, and Ollie (Year 6) and Max (Year 8) were crowned individual champions in the U11 and U14 age groups.  Many congratulations to the boys and their coaches.


Art Update

Much is happening in the Art Department at the moment.  Year 3 pupils continue to work on colour theory and have experimented with oil pastels to create depth of colour and shape in a landscape.  Year 5 completed their term’s project studying the work of ceramicist Kate Malone by producing their own glazed pumpkin pots.  Year 7 have been introduced to their new project, lino print, and have been working on sketching fish using different media.  Year 8 have explored organic forms and designed their own clay sculptures.  They have also used various art techniques to produce some amazing pencil drawings.

Victorian Themed Lunch

Pupils and staff were treated to a special Victorian themed lunch on Tuesday with some traditional winter warming dishes on the menu. These included Mulligatawny soup, Lancashire Hot Pot, Kedgeree, Victorian Gingerbread Cake and Spotted Dick with Custard. The Kedgeree proved exceptionally popular, as did the delicious ‘Coburg’ loaf, which accompanied the soup.

And finally …

Good luck to all those involved in the Cambridgeshire Chess league fixtures which will be taking place tomorrow at St Bede’s school.  Last year was a virtual event, but excitingly, this year’s event is once again ‘over-the-board’! Remarkably St Faith’s have over 30 pupils taking part – testament to the popularity of this tactical and absorbing activity at our school.

With all best wishes,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn