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June 14, 2024

Sport and the Arts Help Resilience and Confidence
As we begin to move Saint Felix towards a more innovative sporting model, it was a real pleasure to visit Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre on Monday to see our Year 5 and 6 students develop their understanding of a range of different sporting options outside of the traditional norm. They have been canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding and perhaps more importantly, learning some vital life skills about safety and water whilst having genuine fun. Having parked up and wandered across to the main entrance, not being quite sure where to go, I just followed the joyous noise that I could hear in the distance of students enjoying what they were doing, working together, and experiencing new sports. Along the way, they have learnt about how to best manage the element of wind as well as developing greater resilience and confidence. The leaders commented on how much they had grown in these two areas over the course of just a few weeks, and the beaming smiles as they all jumped into the lake were a joy to behold.

Two of our finest athletes have also shown these important qualities over the last week, with Cody H and Megan C both winning the East of England Regional Final at the Bedford International Stadium. Cody H, in Year 6, kicked off the day with an outstanding win in the U12 Boys 1500m. Megan C, in Year 7, followed with a spectacular performance, securing Gold in the U13 Girls 800m. Both Cody and Megan have now qualified to represent both Saint Felix and the East Region at the National Schools Finals in Birmingham next month. We could not be prouder of their incredible achievements, and we wish them both the very best for the Nationals!
It isn’t just sport though that can develop these fine attributes; time and time again this year, we have seen students perform on stage across Bronte, Clough, and the Senior Department. Many have taken their love of the arts beyond the school gates as well and it is always wonderful to hear about the way in which they have stretched themselves and attempted to improve on their raw ability in so many different areas. It requires real bravery and fortitude to do so and most recently, both Charles S and Leon G were performing at The Empire in Yarmouth. I am highly committed to continuing to strengthen and broaden our Arts programme and we have some exciting plans and initiatives for the upcoming academic year to provide even more opportunities for our students.

I hope that you have all had a chance to read the letter that you received on Wednesday and that this has been reassuring. It does highlight the benefits bestowed upon Saint Felix due to being part of a larger group (ILG). The economies of scale that this allows, coupled with the expert planning that they have undertaken over the last two years in preparation for the potential of VAT on fees, means that we are in a stronger position than many schools to incorporate a significant proportion of the burden if the proposed policy comes to fruition as outlined in the Labour Party Manifesto. I am sure that you will understand that exact figures cannot be given at this stage as so much of the detail of the policy is currently lacking. As the letter outlines, once any legislation is passed, we will pass on more specific details on how ILG and Saint Felix will work with you to alleviate the cost whilst also ensuring that the educational provision goes from strength to strength.

Please do sign up for the Pre-Parents’ Day event at Southwold Golf Club on Friday 5th July. From September 1st, we will be formally partnering with them to create a pathway in this sport for the benefit of students (and parents). Please Click Here to book your place.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Oakman