Looking Forward: Giving Back
We aim to help our pupils to grow as global citizens, developing self-awareness and compassion. Character education is central to the school’s all-round education. We aim to help our pupils understand and appreciate their privileged education, develop a sense of social responsibility and learn the importance of making a positive difference to the communities in which they live now and will belong as adults.
We currently have partnerships with a number of local state maintained primary schools.
Author Visits: we recently provided free transport to Park Street Primary and Babraham Primary Schools to enable their pupils to attend a visit by children’s author, Andy Shepherd.
Integrated Arts Project: in February we once again partnered with two local special needs schools, Granta & Castle. This two-day drama workshop was an ideal forum for our Year 7 pupils to connect with other pupils and to learn from each other to create a confident group performance.
STEM Day: Year 6 pupils from Harston & Newton Primary School enjoyed a STEM day in February including lessons and practical sessions in our state-of-the-art science laboratories and engineering workshops.
Pupil Community Service
Encouraging our pupils to be exemplary global citizens is a key focus. We encourage them to participate in community service within school and in the wider community.
Local Alms Houses: Our pupils are regular visitors to the local Alms Houses on Brooklands Avenue, where they provide musical entertainment and companionship for the residents.
Prefects and Buddies: Every Year 8 pupil is appointed as a prefect. They act as role models to the younger pupils and have specific responsibilities and duties to undertake. They lead Buddy sessions with the younger children and can be invited to take on mentoring roles.
Charity Challenge: Year 8 pupils participate in the annual Charity Challenge; as individuals or in groups they are challenged to raise funds through projects of their own choosing (from cake sales to car washes etc) with an initial injection of seed money.
School Community Service
Our staff provide a range of support and training to other schools.
Computing – our Head of Computing has thus far supported over 25 schools (maintained, independent, primary and senior) in their development of Computing.
Engineering – to date we have trained in excess of 100 schools in how to introduce and run Engineering as a curriculum subject. In February 2020 we launched our first Schemes of Work for Engineering in Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7, which are freely available to IAPS member schools and state maintained schools nationally at this link.
Sustainability – our Bursar provides mentoring to a number of schools in East Anglia on how to be more sustainable, following our win of the Ashden prize in 2014.
Maths – our Maths department coordinate and host a number of Regional Maths Challenges frequently involving in excess of 30 schools per event.
Chess – we established in 2012 and continue to organise and host all the Cambridgeshire Chess League for over 30 local schools.
Throughout the academic year we participate in a number of charitable activities.
In recent years fund raising events have included sock swaps, cake sales, home clothes events, Christmas jumper days etc. During the 2019/20 school year we raised an impressive £10,609 for a variety of charities.
Charities supported recently include:
- Jeans for Genes
- Blue Smile
- Age UK
- Mathieson Music School (India)
- Royal British Legion
- Salvation Army
- Tom’s Trust
- Arthur Rank Hospice
- Makukhanye School (South Africa)
During the first national lockdown in 2020, the St Faith’s community came together to support those in need in the neighbourhood. As well as delivering groceries, staff delivered delicious meals made by Headchef, Kevin, to the local Royal Albert Alms Houses (senior residents). Additionally, pupils wrote letters and created artwork to bring joy to residents who had to self-isolate at the time.
During the last week of Michaelmas term, Head of Outreach, Miss Kennerley, personally delivered toys, gifts, food and cards donated by pupils to five different charities in Cambridge.
Makukhanye School, South Africa
Our long-standing partnership with Makukhanye School, South Africa brings tremendous rewards to children of both schools.
Since 2003 St Faith’s has supported Makukhanye Township School in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa. This mutually beneficial relationship grew from simple beginnings from the planning of a rugby tour to the region. As part of our first visit in 2003 we were able to raise enough funds through internal activities at St Faith’s to build a school hall. Since then we have held many fund raising activities including an annual day at St Faith’s dedicated to learning more about life in a township in South Africa.
This has generated funds to provide a hot food program which has been so successful that the Eastern Cape Department of Education has rolled out similar programs across the township schools in the region. We have also funded the paving of outside areas to reduce muddiness and installed a tarmac area for hard court sports. Recent funds from St Faith’s have been used to refurbish and better equip classrooms and to provide weekday hot food for all pupils and weekend food for the considerable number of orphans at the school.
In July 2019 35 pupils, six staff and many parents enjoyed a 12 day tour of South Africa. As well as visiting six schools to play sport and music, travelling the length of the ‘Garden Route’, enjoying a safari, visiting Nelson Mandela’s former cell on Robben Island and spotting penguins in their natural habitat, the highlight of the tour was a two-day visit to Makukhanye. This was the school’s fifth visit since our relationship began in 2003.
This year we witnessed at Makukhanye, for the first time, significant improvements, in part thanks to the donations we have made over the past 16 years. The school had a full complement of teachers, classrooms were in good repair, every child had a chair to sit on, pupils looked smarter (and healthier) and there was a distinct upbeat feel across the whole Makukhanye community. We were able to take more provisions with us than ever before (old St Faith’s tracksuits, polo tops, white shirts) and, whilst we were there, we bought 200 pairs of school shoes from a South African supplier.
The Head, Nono, was overwhelmed, and she and her pupils gave us a welcome that we will forever cherish in our memories. More recently Nono sent photos of the Makukhanye pupils proudly wearing the St Faith’s tracksuits for one of their recent sports fixtures against a local school.
Clearly the impact of our partnership on Makukhanye school is significant and much welcomed. The benefits to St Faith’s are also numerous and speak volumes to our school culture and our aim of growing our pupils into global citizens who understand their privileged place in the world and responsibility to help others. We want our pupils to receive not only an excellent all-round education but to also develop an awareness of the world beyond Cambridge, and to develop early in life a mind-set of charity and philanthropy. Participation in a trip of such geographical reach and ambition is a tremendous character and confidence builder for children of just 12-13 years and stands them in very good stead for their progression to senior school. As you may read below the impact of such an experience is profound.
We are very proud of our unique partnership with Makukhanye, of the significant benefits that our relationship gives them, and of the impact that it has on our own pupils.