This week at St Faith's

29th September 2023

Elections Of Eco Committee & School Council Members

At the beginning of the week, in our assembly on Monday, new pupil members of the Eco Committee and the School Council introduced themselves to the school. Having stood for election and written their own persuasive campaign speeches, we warmly congratulated the pupils as they stepped forward to receive their badges and begin their new roles.

Both the Eco Committee and the School Council promote the “pupil voice” and empower our pupils to be active in helping to shape the future of our school community. A new initiative this year will be the award of Eco Award Certificates (available at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels) to those individuals who champion sustainability. The pupil representatives spoke passionately about some of the projects that they would like to focus on this year, including waste awareness, energy saving, supporting activities that promote good mental health and ensuring that St Faith’s is a biodiverse environment. As mentioned in the school newsletter of 8th September, we have recently been awarded the Eco-Schools 2023 Green Flag award with Distinction, so we will continue to work hard over the course of this academic year to pursue these important environmental initiatives.

Nurturing a Love For Reading

On Monday and Tuesday this week, there was eager anticipation among those Year 7 pupils who had put themselves forward to be considered for the role of Pupil Librarian. Interviews for this position were held in the library. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all who applied and many congratulations to those pupils who will now become our school librarians. With every class timetabled to have a weekly library lesson, and many pupils also enjoying the library at breaktimes, we aim to foster a real love for reading across our school. Our newly appointed librarians will have an important part to play as they promote this message and share their love of books and reading with others.

Foundation Play Sessions

On Wednesday, we welcomed two groups of prospective pupils for Foundation 2024. They spent some time with the Early Years team, enjoying a variety of activities, whilst their families joined us for refreshments in Tom’s Garden. Next week we have two further play sessions to complete the current round of assessments.

History Off The Page: The Great Fire Of London

What was life really like for people in London 1666? What factors contributed to the Fire of London getting out of hand? How did people manage to stop the Great Fire that raged for four and half days? Just how was London rebuilt following the devastation and did any good come in the aftermath of the fire?

These, among many more, were the questions answered on Thursday when Year 2 were transported back in time to Stuart England and the city of London. ‘History Off the Page’ created a truly immersive experience through a workshop format where the children were transported to the bustling streets of 1666 London and the bakery in Pudding Lane where the fire started. Learning to be apprentices in a number of jobs from weaving to embroidery, pottery to ink making, leather work to metal work, and even making potions as apothecaries, the children gained experiences of what life was like in the 17th century city of London. This hands-on learning experience clearly delighted the children and it was made possible by the generous help and participation throughout the day by parent volunteers.

Science Starts With a Bang!

In their Science lessons, pupils are enjoying many practical lessons in their first topics of the year and examples of this are shared below: 

  • Year 5 are learning how to use various key pieces of scientific equipment, and they all have successfully been awarded their Bunsen Burner licence;
  • Year 6 have undertaken a range of experiments to separate various mixtures, including distilling ink to obtain pure water and separating different colours of inks by chromatography;
  • Year 7 are learning about Diet and Digestion, incorporating tests for the presence of various food groups and undertaking practicals to observe the role of enzymes in the digestion of food;
  • Year 8 have undertaken a wide range of chemistry experiments on the reactivity of metals

Meanwhile in other lessons, pupils in Year 3 have been identifying different species of trees around our school grounds as part of their Science studies. Pupils in Year 5 have been thinking about nouns ending in ‘y’ and ‘ies’ in English, while our youngest pupils in Foundation have been thinking about words starting with an ‘s’ sound in their Phonics lessons. 

Exploring The Political History Of The British Isles

In Humanities, Year 7 have been learning about the geomorphological and political history of the British Isles in their Geography lessons. Our Head of Science Mrs Price, shared her experiences of growing up near Belfast during The Troubles. From their studies as well as hearing this first-hand account, the Year 7 pupils are growing in their understanding of a complicated and significant period in our recent past. 

Year 7 Poetry Recital: Celebrating Creative Expression

Turning to English, it is evident that Year 7 pupils have been diligently learning and rehearsing their poetry recitals in readiness for the English department’s annual poetry event this afternoon. It promises to be a very enjoyable occasion, both for the pupils and their parents. I look forward to seeing many of you there. 

Diet and Digestion

Year 7 have had a visit today from a nutritionist from Chartwell’s. Their presentation extended their current topic on Diet and Digestion to consider allergies from foods.

National Teaching Assistants’ Day

At St Faith’s we are extremely lucky to have an excellent team of teaching assistants who work tirelessly to support the education of the children. There are over 20 members of staff involved in this work, some working across Year groups and some specific to a subject such as Engineering or Science. Today we celebrate their work as it is National Teaching Assistants’  Day. The children signed postcards of appreciation which were given to all of the TAs this morning.

Pentathlon Success

There have been plenty of team sporting successes this week in hockey and rugby. Turning to an exceptional individual performance, one of our pupils has recently competed in the Pentathlon event of the Eastern Athletic Association Under 13 Championships incorporating Cambridgeshire County Championships and enjoyed tremendous success. You can read more in the report in the sidebar of this newsletter.

SFPA Scavenger Hunt: Family Adventure Awaits

Calling all Foundation children and their parents! I would like to remind you that the St Faith’s Parents’ Association (SFPA) Scavenger Hunt will take place tomorrow. This is the time when the youngest children in the school, who have been with us just a few weeks, have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of their new school to their families. Please come prepared to explore our beautiful campus with entry to the event via the Pre-prep gate (Gate 4) on Trumpington Road and registration from 10:00.

2024 Application Deadline

Please note the deadline for applications for Years 1-7 for September 2024 is 30 November 2023 and the entry assessments will take place in January 2024. We are holding a Prep Open Morning on Wednesday, 1st November 11:00-13:00. As the event is now almost full, if you wish to attend, we would recommend registration as soon as possible to avoid disappointment

Next Week

Looking ahead to next week, on Monday afternoon we will be delighted to welcome Major Martin Cordner from The Salvation Army to lead our Harvest Festival Service. All staff and pupils will be taking part and The Salvation Army is greatly appreciative for all the donations that are received, as they will make a real difference to those in need in our locality. Please remind your children to bring their food items to school on Monday morning and thank you in advance for your generous support of this excellent cause.

On Monday evening, there will be the Early Years presentation for all Foundation parents. Then on Tuesday individual pupil photos will be taking place, so it is particularly important on that day that your children come into school looking their best smart selves.

Over the coming week there will be a number of sporting competitions involving our pupils, including IAPS Football tournaments for the Year 6 and Year 8 boys, and the Hockey County Cup for the Year 8 girls. Year 5 boys will be taking part in a Rugby festival at Oundle School on Wednesday. We wish all our teams the very best of luck.

And Finally….

Looking forward to this weekend – we are hoping for fine weather for our Scavenger Hunt, and similarly for the Open Morning at The Leys School that is being attended by many of our families. Whether you are attending one of these events, relaxing at home, or enjoying the great autumnal outdoors, I wish you a happy weekend,

With all best wishes,

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn



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