This week at St Faith's

7th May 2021

As I sheltered under an umbrella and shivered in my winter coat whilst greeting pupils and parents arriving at school this week, I heard more than the odd grumble about the good old British weather. The biting arctic winds have had no respect for the arrival of Spring nor the fact that after many months of lockdown, we are now permitted to enjoy a little more freedom outside.  After a wash-out of a Bank Holiday, the children came to school on Tuesday in the most eclectic attire, some determined to brave the wintry weather in summer uniform, others like me, resorting to the multi-layered approach. Woolly hats being worn with shorts and summer dresses was a popular combination and one which summed up the situation well.  In true British bulldog spirit, we will carry on regardless and dream of warmer climes ahead – it’s only May after all!

Captain Tom 100 Challenge

Archie in Year 4 has certainly been keen to wear a woolly hat or two as he embarks on week 6 of his Bivvy Bag challenge.  His incredible 100 night Bivvy Bag challenge, which I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, has attracted much interest from the media over the past week, including ITV news, BBC Look East and local radio. Having aimed to raise £150, Archie has already secured over £3,200 in sponsorship, a very commendable achievement. We do hope that the weather improves soon so that Archie can perhaps enjoy rather than endure his al-fresco nights.

Last week, Miss Kennerley challenged pupils across the school to take part in the Captain Tom 100 Challenge by completing any self-set 100 activity over the Bank Holiday weekend. She has been delighted with the level of participation across the school, having received lots of emails containing videos or photos of various endeavours, including 100 shots into a netball hoop, 100 laps on in-line skates, 100 cupcakes baked, 100 cricket balls bowled and even a 100 frame stop-gap animation. Thank you and well done to everyone who took part and entered in to the spirit of this challenge.

Academic Life

Academic life continues across the school, with many year groups completing assessments this week and next.  Meanwhile Year 1 have been investigating gravity and friction in Science, specifically the effect the slope of an inclined plane has on how far a toy car travels. By making incremental changes to the angle of the slope, the children measured how far their cars travelled. It certainly looks as though they had fun working out the relationship of angle to distance, although there were a few crashes along the way.

Year 2 have been extending their knowledge of minibeasts, by both traditional reading and writing methods as well as creative activities such as sewing minibeasts and baking delicious edible minibeasts!

New Life

There was great excitement and lots of oohs and aaghs in Foundation this week, when Mrs Bates’ duck eggs, carefully kept in a heated incubator, hatched and 4 cute ducklings sprang in to life.  Naming the 4 ducks was difficult for the class to agree so Mrs Bates chose 4 words of the moment (certainly on Sunday and Wednesday evenings) –  Lateral, Flow, Covid and Test.  As you can see from this short film, Lateral (the first to hatch) looked tired from all the attention when Jane and I called in on Thursday afternoon.  After all the care and affection the ducks received in the classroom today, I am sure they will enjoy the peace and quiet of Mrs Bates’ farm, where they will be going this weekend.


The planning of sports fixtures is much welcomed after such a long period without inter-school matches.  We will soon be hosting a cup cricket match for Year 8 Boys as well as an ISGA ‘virtual’ two-piece gymnastics competition.   After half-term, further fixtures will be held, which the Sports Department are very excited about. Clearly our pupils will be more than ready for a return to inter-school competition given the intensity and passion they are putting into their lessons. This week, it was a pleasure to see so many children revelling in their PE and Games lessons.

Holiday Courses

Another sign of normality returning is the hosting of holiday courses here at St Faith’s in the first part of the summer holiday.  The Summer Holiday Course Programme will be sent to parents next Thursday, so please do bear this in mind if you would like your child to attend one of the many activities on offer.


One of the great pleasures of my job is receiving messages from former pupils. This week, I received this ‘out of the blue’ message and photo from an OF who left St Faith’s 3 years ago: ‘Hello Mr.Helliwell, I hope you’re well. It’s sad to hear you are leaving St Faiths, but I wish you the very best luck on your next journey! Jack M, Jack H, Ruari J and myself completed a 50k walk around the 31 Cambridge colleges on Saturday 3 April, in under 12 hours. So far we have raised £4,100 for Parkinson’s UK. We have all sadly had relatives/close ones who’ve been affected by Parkinson’s and a cure is due to be rolled out in 2024 to help speed this process up as much as possible.  I feel like this highlights that even though we don’t all go to the same school now, St Faith’s definitely enabled us to create long lasting friendships and this is something which we are all grateful for! The link is below if you would like to check it out, thanks again.  Kind regards, Joe

And here is the photo that they had taken outside the school.

Whether you are walking around Cambridge or relaxing at home, I wish you a great weekend.

With all good wishes,

Nigel Helliwell