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February 16, 2024

Bugsy Mania

In what has been an incredibly busy week with so many different activities having taken place, the highlight was the superb production of Bugsy Malone. Starting with a matinee for local Primary Schools on Wednesday afternoon, the cast and crew have worked incredibly hard to present what was a joyous and exuberant series of performances over three days; the songs were catchy and beautifully crafted; the acting was slick, witty, and crisp; the staging, costumes, choreography, lighting, and props were first rate. It was quite simply a fantastic evening of entertainment with the cast clearly enjoying working together and collaborating. Their sense of fun and energy came across loud and clear to the audience. No production can happen without the incredibly hard work of the backstage crew (and they certainly had a lot to do), and the staff that took the lead. Mrs Boyd, Mr Boyd, Ms Wong, Ms Harlock, Ms Lupton, Mrs Sanchez and Mrs Stock all worked their magic and gave us a performance to remember. We ae already eagerly anticipating what they will decide on for next year!

As part of our drive to harness the beauty of our natural environment, this week has seen every student and member of staff planting a tree around the Sunk Garden. I hope that this will begin the restoration of this beautiful part of our grounds to its former glory. It is so important to create a harmonious landscape that enables the students to see and feel nature around them and for us to preserve this for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. When they visit Saint Felix as Old Felicians in years to come, they will be able to see their own tree fully formed and enhancing the landscape which we all cherish.

The visit of Dr Therese Coffey provided another highlight in a packed week; she addressed the assembled audience about her journey to parliament and her time in government. It really was a fascinating insight into the inner workings of democracy, and she went on to answer several questions that the students had submitted in real depth and detail; she has though developed the art of the politician in not quite answering the question that has actually been asked! She has kindly offered to host a visit of students to Westminster later in the year; that will provide an amazing opportunity and we will certainly be taking her up on the invite.

After a series of heats in January, the annual Spellathon took place in a packed Gardiner Hall on Wednesday. A febrile audience gathered in anticipation to enjoy the school’s finest spellers being tested to their limits. After two intense rounds winners emerged in each category:

Years 11-13 – Imogen W
Years 9-10 – Axel K and Grace R
Years 7-8 – Harley C

As always, the finalists showed that they had prepared well with several near-perfect scores. After the applause, it should be remembered that this fun activity has a serious purpose, to encourage students to take spelling seriously and to develop their own strategies for improvement. Most of us can, with a concentrated effort, become proficient spellers. Congratulations go to all the winners and commiserations to the beaten finalists, who showed great courage to perform in public, educating and entertaining the school.

In other academic news, we are thrilled that both Dominica J and Casper B have gained scholarships for the Summer Immerse Educational programme where they can extend their learning above and beyond the A Level syllabus content. I would encourage more students to try and find ways of using the holiday periods to broaden their horizons and begin to build their brand. With university entrance and work opportunities becoming even more competitive than ever, it is these kind of experiences that can make a difference.

It was a pleasure to welcome back Finley and Harry Barbrook who have now been signed by Ipswich Town FC to Saint Felix last week. They begun the series of talks where we are encouraging students to look beyond the horizon as they begin to contemplate their future career aspirations. They also took a coaching session with our students in Clough who thoroughly enjoyed the experience. As Careers Week looms large at the start of March, we are looking to broaden the themes for these talks and Mr Grigg has written to all parents looking for volunteers to participate in a speed networking event for our students; your help would be hugely appreciated.

One of the highlights of the academic year took place on Tuesday; the annual Pancake Race on the Bronte Lawn was a wonderful event with the four houses competing with great aplomb to take the crown. In a tightly fought contest and with some houses running more than flipping, Edmond lifted the trophy. VAR is still checking certain elements of the race and despite a lengthy steward’s enquiry, it is highly likely that the result will stand.

With the Clough students having visited Beccles Rugby Club for an intense session of drills and games, and two discos with a Valentine’s theme taking place this afternoon, the opportunities for our young learners to socialise, collaborate and broaden their opportunities continues to grow. As we look to implement a new and revamped co-curricular programme within the timetable from September, there will be much more to come!

We are also delighted to announce the launch of Camp Felix, our brand-new day camp providing enriching childcare from 8.30am to 5.30pm every school holiday at Saint Felix School. Starting in Easter, the service will be made available to children from Saint Felix School and within the local area, giving campers the opportunity to meet new friends each day. We will be working with several different activity and experience providers throughout the year, providing regular opportunities to experience something new. For more information including timetables, prices and how to book, please head to We look forward to welcoming you to Camp Felix very soon!

After a long and incredibly busy first half of term, I hope that all of our students are able to get some much-deserved rest and relaxation.

Happy half-term.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Oakman