St Faith's School
St Faith’s is a co-educational day school on the south side of Cambridge, approximately one mile from the city centre. There are currently 525 children (4 – 13) and 48 teaching staff as well as sundry peripatetic music teachers.
Part of The Leys and St Faith’s Foundation, the school operates autonomously with its own staff, its own headteacher, its own budget and its own individual identity. St Faith’s is very highly regarded in Cambridge. It is valued for the breadth of its curriculum, for the attractiveness of its surroundings, for the warmth of its family feeling and for the commitment of its staff.
Its more recent developments include a large assembly hall, several classrooms, two science laboratories and a drama studio. The Keynes Building, a major new facility for Design & Technology and for Music, was opened in June 2006.
Through a tutorial system the teachers provide a structure for pastoral and academic care and the development of social skills. An optional ‘Early Start’ is offered and a ‘Late Stay Programme’ runs until 6pm. The health of the school is supervised by qualified nurses in the surgery.
Children are encouraged to develop their talents by following a curriculum which is broadly based and rigorous in its requirement. Classes are small. Teaching in the early years is principally form based; from Year 5, pupils start to work with specialist subject teachers.
St Faith’s has an excellent sporting tradition with rugby, netball, hockey, cricket, tennis, rounders, football and athletics the main outdoor games. Basketball, cross-country running and other games are also organised, but on a less formal basis. Our sports programme involves inter-house competitions and a strong fixture list with numerous matches against other schools.
Specialist P.E. staff make use of our own facilities as well as the Sports Hall, astroturf and swimming pool at The Leys, which is nearby. A new Astroturf will be constructed this year.
Full use is made of the Art Studios and Design and Technology Centre. There are facilities for painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, modelling and pottery. Design and Technology offers an exciting and rewarding area of study, and creative skills are enhanced by the wide variety of facilities and materials available.
The school has a flourishing music department with full-time staff and visiting instrumental teachers. Emphasis is placed upon enjoyment as well as good performance. Pupils participate in class concerts. Instrumental groups, choirs and the school band perform regularly. A highlight of the year is the Summer Concert at which all sorts of things happen and large numbers of children sing and play to a packed house.
Drama is timetabled for all forms and there are performances of plays or musicals by each year group throughout the year. The Director of Drama is assisted by a team of teachers and the standard of performance is high.
Extra-curricular activities are important at St Faith’s. These range from chess, reading, art and model making to the more energetic pursuits such as badminton, gymnastics and judo. All full-time teachers run at least one afternoon activity each week. Some boys and girls have the opportunity to go skiing each year while others stay at an outdoor centre where activities such as canoeing and orienteering are undertaken.
Visits to Europe are arranged for senior pupils. Activities are organised by staff during the main holidays - a Rugby football team went to South Africa in 2004 and a cricket/netball tour took place in 2009, there is an annual adventure holiday to the Ardeche and an annual skiing trip.
The teaching week at St Faith's is from Monday to Friday.
Recent alumni include Robert Huff, the motor-racing driver; Alex Goode, the young rugby player; and Georgie Stoop the tennis-player.
St Faith's operates its own salary scale which is somewhat more generous than the main scale for teachers in the maintained sector.
NEW APPOINTMENTS and NQT induction
Because we are a large school there are quite frequent opportunities to appoint new staff, and we value the input of those who join us from other schools or who have just completed their teacher training. Two senior colleagues supervise the induction of NQTs and helps them in their preparation for Qualified Teacher Status. These arrangements are precisely analogous to arrangements in the maintained sector and teachers who do their NQT induction at St Faith's are fully qualified when they successfully reach the end of the induction period.
They are able thereafter to work in either sector of education.
Private Health membership is part of the package available to full-time teachers. Conditions of work are excellent with a large number of people providing support for the work of the teaching staff, lunch available with the children, sandwiches and sticky cakes in the staff-room at tea-time - and a few parties.
St Faith's was founded in 1884 by a somewhat crusty looking man called Ralph Goodchild; he named the school after his daughter Faith ... He built what we call our School House in about 1892. Early alumni included two little boys called Keynes (Lord Maynard Keynes and Sir Geoffrey Keynes). Geoffrey Keynes married Margaret Darwin, whose brother Charles Darwin was also at the school (they were grandchildren of the naturalist - the younger Charles was an academic who became Master of Christ's College in Cambridge in 1936). Subsequent purchases just before and after the Second World War added another three houses (and their gardens); since then much has been built, most recently a large development for Music and Design and Technology and an Astroturf. Plans for a new Sports Hall are afoot.