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June 21, 2024

The Sun Shines and One More Week To Go!
What a glorious week it has been with the sun shining and all sorts of activities and trips taking place where our students have had the opportunity to learn in different ways outside of the normal classroom environment. Whilst academic study remains and always will be the core of any school, it is these kinds of moments that will teach them about resilience and independence, whilst also perhaps giving them some interests and passions that will stay with them beyond the school gates. I will use my final weekly newsletter and the end of year letter to highlight some of what has taken place.

On Saturday, it was a pleasure to visit the Longshed Gallery in Woodbridge to see so many students from our Prep Department having their works of art exhibited in public. Ten works had been chosen and were displayed beautifully as part of the Young East Anglia Art Competition. Four students gained a highly commended and Alana E won 2nd prize in the Years 3 & 4 category whilst Mille C won 1st prize in the Years 5 & 6 age group. Well done to all those who submitted pieces and to those who had their works hung, what an amazing start to your artistic journey. The performing and creative arts are such a central part of life at Saint Felix and on Sunday, it was an absolute joy to listen to Archie L sing “New York, New York” at a special service at St Edmund’s Church to mark Creativity and Service. Two days later, and as part of the Southwold Arts Festival, many of our students performed a range of pieces to a captivated audience in a Young Musicians’ Showcase. What a joy to see their confidence, talent and exuberance. We also had Charles S performing as part of the Lowestoft Lights Festival; the strength in this area is really coming to the fore.

Not to be left out, the Science Department has been especially busy with Years 10 and 12 undertaking the AMGEN Biotech Experience (ABE) programme, exploring the steps involved in creating biotechnology analysis and therapies, and Years 7 and 8 enjoying a two-day Science Fair. Being part of the ABE programme allows the school to borrow highly specialist equipment from the UEA; the Year 10s were introduced to gel electrophoresis as a separation technique for biological materials; the Year 12s used PCR and gel electrophoresis analysis to transform bacteria with a recombinant plasmid, with both year groups enjoying this opportunity to develop their scientific knowledge and practices in a real-world application. The Science Fair was packed with activities from each of the Science subjects; the students generated Hydrogen in Chemistry to fuel the rockets made in Physics, and also made fire from methane bubbles. They enjoyed coding mini-robot carts and prepared model blood in Biology, using the exact proportions of the components of blood. The CSI educational workshop day, led by

Diane Ivory from Forensic Minds, a former Metropolitan Police Fingerprint Expert and Crime Scene Examiner, was an excellent insight to aspects forensic science where the students had a fun and immersive experience of several analytical techniques, dressed in full CSI PPE suits! As we move to a faculty approach in September, expect more such days across all four areas to excite and inspire!

Last and by no means least, the opening of our new Reception classroom on Monday was an absolute highlight of the week. What an amazing space for learning, creativity, exploration, and fun! Please do go and have a look if you have not done so already. A huge thanks to Mrs Fox, the works and maintenance team and all those who have made Clough a transformed and enhanced area for the students to thrive in.

With one more week to go, I look forward to celebrating the end of an incredibly successful year with you all on Saturday 6th July.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Oakman