This week at St Faith's

31 January 2020

‘Ipsa scientia potestas est’ or ‘knowledge itself is power’ according to English philosopher and statesman Sir Francis Bacon, an alumnus of Trinity College, Cambridge.  Sir Francis would have been impressed by the power in the room at this week’s Quiz Club General Knowledge Area Heat, hosted here at St Faith’s.  Thirteen teams from seven schools answered a wide-range of general knowledge questions posed by the question master from the Quiz Club organisation.  What is the most abundant element in the universe?  Who was the Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1653 to 1658?  Jacinda Adern is the Prime Minister of which country?  It was wonderful to see the children enjoy the thrill of a quiz, played out in a friendly and competitive manner using a clever electronic buzzer and scoring system.  We didn’t win (our two teams came 4th and 5th) but according to the Quiz Club host, our teams scores may be high enough, when compared to others across the country, to qualify for the national final – we shall see.  More importantly, everyone had a great time, including the many parents who came to support the event.  Thank you very much to Miss Dow for arranging the quiz and coordinating our teams so well.

2RB Assembly

There were some powerful and knowledgeable messages in the 2RB assembly this week. The pupils had researched the environmental crisis caused by plastic and were able to clearly state an astonishing and, quite frankly, shocking series of facts and figures about the impact of plastic waste on the environment. They pointed out that if we keep disposing of plastic at current levels, in thirty years’ time (or by the time our Foundation pupils are just 35 years old) there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. In true Pre Prep style they had even found a charming song, ‘3 is the magic number’ to help everyone Reduce Reuse and Recycle their plastic. The confidence and clarity with which 2RB delivered the assembly were notable, as were the important messages it contained. Well done and thank you to the children and their teacher, Mrs Brading.

Science and Food

As an extension to their recent work on microbes in Science, Mr North took his Year 5 class to our kitchens on Tuesday afternoon, to talk to Head Chef, Kevin Johnson, and Catering Manager, Peter Burt about the science behind food preservation.  Kevin demonstrated a number of different preserved food types, including pickling, smoking, dehydration and freezing, and explained the reasoning and science behind these processes.  Clearly the session gave the class much food for thought (pun intended) and they returned to the Science laboratories keen to learn more about microbes.

Year 4 Regional Maths Challenge

This afternoon we hosted 28 schools for the Regional Year 4 Maths Challenge.  The event was another opportunity for pupils from different schools to indulge in some friendly competition, this time involving a range of numerical puzzles and conundrums. I am pleased to say that the St Faith’s team finished first in what was a very enjoyable event for all concerned.

Sports Round-up

Our U13 Boys’ Hockey team continued their dominance this week at the Cambridgeshire County Cup at Wilberforce Road.  The boys convincingly won their games against Stephen Perse Foundation, Wisbech Grammar, King’s College School, Saffron Walden County High School and The Perse.  After a tense final match, which finished 0-0 against St John’s, our boys were just pipped to the post for the overall County Championship, finishing 2nd on goal difference.  While the team were a little deflated at the end, they should be very proud of their performance, and their achievement in qualifying for the East Region Finals in March.

Last Sunday 17 pupils represented the school at the Sports Acro and Tumbling Regional Round in Milton Keynes.  Continuing their recent winning streak, our gymnasts performed very well indeed with 1st place finishes for Max and Harry in the U11 boys, Luciana and Viraj in the U14 mixed and Max in the U11 individual events. There were also some impressive second place finishes for many of our competitors. This weekend, 34 gymnasts will be travelling to Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School for the East Region Sports Acrobatics Competition – good luck to everyone taking part!

Many of our swimmers were on fine form on Tuesday afternoon at a Swimming Gala against Bedford School.  New school records were set by Daisy in the U13 50m butterfly and by the U12 mixed freestyle relay team of Jeremy, Stephanie, Mateo and Reuben.  My congratulations to everyone who took part, and thanks as ever to Mrs Critchley for organising the event and coaching the children so well.

This weekend, the next round of the Cambridge Chess Championships will be taking place in the Ashburton Hall.  The League was founded 6 years ago by Mr Mitchell and is thriving with 30 teams taking part.  Good luck to our 24 chess players who will be representing the school in tomorrow’s matches.

And finally…

The Bentley Brownie Sale was, for many, the highlight of the week as our break-time healthy eating policy was abandoned on Wednesday.  As I greeted families arriving at school, cake tins of all shapes and sizes, emitting yummy chocolate aromas, were being carefully carried past me to their Bentley destinations.  The break-time sale itself was like a busy scene from an Istanbul market, with sweet treats flying off the shelves at break-neck speed and money being handed over at will to obtain a piece of the delicious offerings.  Thank you to everyone who baked and donated Brownies and by doing so, helped to raise £510.05 for Bentley’s chosen charity, Wood Green Animal Shelter.

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell