Author Archive: headteacher

Inspiring visitors

At St Peter’s this week we were lucky enough to host special guests who brought new experiences to our pupils.  On Tuesday, a touring theatre company performed the musical ‘Oliver!’ for our Year 2 and 3 classes.  The company of just 4 performers used sound, light, creative staging and a huge amount of energy to bring the classic Dickens tale to life.  Then on Wednesday and Thursday we had a visit from Miss Gemma Carden, who works as a fundraiser for Rowans Hospice.  Speaking to children in Key Stage 1 on Wednesday, then Key Stage 2 on Thursday, Gemma gave a sensitive presentation on the work that the hospice does for those with life-limited conditions.  The children were in awe of the care and facilities that the hospice provides, and amazed that it costs £5.8 million a year to run.  Gemma encouraged the children to think about taking part in the Rowans’ fundraising walk over October half term as a way of giving their help to those in need within our local area.  Details can be found here:

Mr R Cunningham


Back to school

Welcome back to St Peter’s for the 2017/2018 school year, and an especially warm welcome to all those pupils who will be joining the St Peter’s community this month.  I hope that the summer break provided everyone with a chance to relax, spend time with family and friends, and generally recharge batteries ready for another busy term.

It is fair to say that the pupils have provided the sole ray of sunshine this week, as autumn seems to have arrived early this year.  It was wonderful to see the pupils from Years 1 to 6 gathered together for worship on Tuesday morning, and the school is ready to begin the induction process for the new Year R children from Monday 11th September.

All of the pupils have had homework diaries issued this week.  Please take 15 minutes to sit down with your child to look at the information in the front few and final few pages, which includes information about our Catholic tradition, a reminder of the 6Cs, a copy of the times tables and the school term dates on the back cover.

As a reminder, the school term dates for this year are posted below.

Mr R Cunningham



St Peter’s Catholic Primary School  Term dates 2017 – 2018

Autumn Term  Friday 1st September 2017 to Thursday 21st December 2017

Half term holiday Monday 23rd October to Friday 27th October

Inset days this term (school closed to pupils): Friday 1st September 2017, Monday 4th September 2017, Friday 22nd September 2017, Thursday 21st December 2017

Spring term  Thursday 4th January 2018 to Thursday 29th March 2018

Half term holiday Monday 12th February to Friday 16th February 2018

 Summer Term  Monday 16th April 2018 to Friday 20th July 2018

Half term holiday Monday 28 May to Friday 1st June 2018

Inset day this term (school closed to pupils): Friday 20th July 2018

Please note: Bank Holiday school closures

Friday 30th March 2018 (Good Friday)

Monday 7th May 2018 (Early May Bank Holiday)

The end of a successful year

Thank you to all parents, carers and families who have done so much to contribute to the St Peter’s community in any way this year.  After a very busy and highly successful 11 months, it is now time for us all to take a well-earned summer break.  We bid farewell and wish good luck to our Year 6 pupils as they go on to secondary school, and say well done to all the pupils in St Peter’s for their hard work and great progress this year.

My last function of the academic year is to congratulate the pupils who won our annual awards, which were presented on the last day of the summer term.


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Enjoy your summer holidays

Mr R Cunningham


All change

The past week has seen all of the pupils at St Peter’s get ready for next year.  Children in Years R to 5 have met their new teachers, and have spent a total of two full days in their new classrooms.  As I have walked around the school, I have seen a great deal of introduction and transition work successfully taking place, which means that all the classes will be able to make a running start with immediate learning from Tuesday 5th September when we return after the summer break.  This week has also seen transition work at each end of the age range at St Peter’s, as future Year R pupils have completed their ‘stay and play’ sessions, whilst Year 6 pupils have visited their future secondary schools.  All this goes to show, therefore, that the only constant is change!

With just over a week to go, there remains lots of work still to be done, but we will of course turn our attention to marking the end of the school year with celebrations and public recognition of achievements.

And finally, thank you for all of the good wishes and prayers that came my way whilst I was recovering from a burst appendix.  Normal service is, gradually, being resumed.

Mr R Cunningham


It’s hot, hot, hot!

What a fabulous week of sun we have enjoyed! Thank you to all the parents who have provided sun hats, sun cream and water bottles. The children have managed brilliantly in the warm weather, making the most of shady spots outside and teachers have ensured regular opportunities to rehydrate throughout the day.

In spite of the heat, the hard work and learning continues this week with a variety of valuable opportunities. Year 5 and 6 enjoyed a reflective and prayerful mass at the Sacred Heart Church. It is always very special coming together to worship and this was no exception. In addition, Year R visited Tuppenny Barn in Southbourne as part of their ‘Growing’ topic. Whilst there, they were able to think about how plants grow, make their own eco-friendly plant pots and then cook food that had already grown. One of our Year 5 classes went to Staunton Country Park and Farm to help develop a better understanding of habitats and life cycles. The other Year 5 class are very excited to be going this coming Monday. Thank you to all the staff and helpers who were involved in providing the children with such valuable, hands-on learning opportunities.

To finish our week, we were all inspired to ‘never give up’, ‘encourage others’ and ‘do our best’ (NED), through an exciting assembly that really helped us to reflect on what helps us to be ‘champion learners’.

“I really enjoyed it! It will help me to encourage others to keep going!” (Kaitlyn, Year 5)

“It definitely told us the message and inspired me to never give up and do my best in all my work.” (Oscar, Year 5)

We are really looking forward to bringing NED into our learning inside and outside of the classroom.

Mr Cunningham is at home recovering well from his recent operation. Our prayers and best wishes remain with him and we look forward to his return in the coming weeks.

Mrs Knight and Mrs Pfeiffer

Another busy week…

As you are may be aware, Mr Cunningham underwent an operation last week to remove his appendix. He is currently recovering from this and cards and best wishes from the children have been gratefully received.
We would ask that all members of our school and parish community remember Mr Cunningham in our prayers while he recuperates.
In the meantime, the hard work and commitment continues in school, and last Friday we celebrated a wonderful St Peter’s Fest. Great fun was had by all! The children all enjoyed performing on the stage and taking part in fun activities organised by the Friends of St Peter’s. We would like to say a huge thank you to all those who contributed to such a successful evening.
This week we have also had children from our school choir take part in the Waterlooville Music Festival at St George’s Church in Waterlooville. The children performed with confidence and commitment and were a real credit to the school.
We are delighted to welcome the summer weather this week; the children have been enjoying the field at lunchtimes. Please can we take this opportunity to remind you all to wear hats, sun cream and a water bottle to keep hydrated.
Thank you for your continued support.
Mrs Pfeiffer and Mrs Knight

A burst of colour

Thank you to all of the children (and families behind the scenes!) for coming to school today in such bright and varied outfits.  Having reflected prayerfully this week on the pain and emotion of the events at the Manchester Arena on Monday night, this morning’s assembly was a celebration of life, colour and diversity.  All the colours of the rainbow, and more, were on display both in my assembly presentation and in the children’s clothing, and the Year 3 recorder group played a piece of music which demonstrated how unity and cooperation can make every individual feel braver in the face of a challenge.

Once again, we used the following prayer in class worship this week; you may find this helpful if your children want to continue to offer spiritual support to those affected by the Manchester attack.

Let us pray…
For the people who died in Manchester on Monday
For the people who were hurt in Manchester
For the friends and families of all of the victims
For the brave people who helped at the scene
For the loving people who are caring for the victims
For peace in our lives, our country and our world
We make this prayer together in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Please also see a link to the BBC about how to address matters with children, which you may find useful.

And finally, please follow a link from Tuesday’s Diocesan e-newsletter to read Bishop Philip’s letter to the Bishop of Salford, Bishop John Arnold.

Wishing you all a restful and peaceful half term holiday

Mr R Cunningham


Great memories

This week at St Peter’s has been full of memorable moments that make up school life.

The week ended with one of those memory making moments when class photographs were taken.  Everyone says that your school years are the best of your life, and whilst those pupils who have taken tests recently may temporarily disagree with this, the photos taken today will allow the children to look back on their teachers and classmates with fond recollections.  Photo proofs and order details will follow in due course.

Year 1 pupils had their first major trip of the year with an adventure at Marwell zoo.  The chance to explore the park with classmates, to take part in a ‘Fur, feathers and fins’ workshop, and to get more enjoyment out of a 30 minute coach ride than would seem reasonable, all made for a great day of off-site learning.  Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who made this possible.

Not to be left out, the Friends of St Peter’s hosted a great Karaoke evening last Friday night, and are gearing up for their main fundraiser of the year with a Wild West themed St Peter’s Fest.  The event takes place from 5:30pm to 8:00pm on Friday 9th June, with a special guest appearance from ‘Taylor Swift’ to add some country music flavour to the evening.  Next Friday, 26th May, is a non-uniform day for the children, with the request that each brings in a bottle for the tombola as a means of raising plenty for school funds.

And finally, congratulations to our colleague Mrs Stewart and her husband, who had the memorable experience of the arrival of their first child, a daughter named Caitlin May, last Friday night.

Mr R Cunningham


Summer peeks through

At last, it may, just possibly, finally be appearing.  This week the children at St Peter’s have, both in their free time and lessons, been able to enjoy better weather for their outdoor play and learning.  Of course, those in the teaching profession always know exactly when summer will arrive – at the very time in the school year when many pupils are stuck indoors revising and sitting tests.  So well done to our Year 6 pupils who conducted themselves in an exemplary and mature manner through their SATs this week.  These pupils more than most should enjoy any good weather and generous family treats (hint hint parents) that may come along this weekend.

The work is not over, though, as Year 6 will continue to produce, review, edit and hone their written work to submit for moderation in mid-June, and Year 2 pupils will have more SATs during the coming week, so do please keep all of these pupils in your prayers.

Well done to six pupils from Years 4, 5 and 6 who took part in Crookhorn School’s Press Gang challenge on Friday 5 May.  They performed exceptionally well to research stories and produce new articles under strict time pressures in competition with other local primary schools, and the certificates with which they were presented will be handed out in an up-coming assembly.

Mr R Cunningham


Testing times

The time has inevitably come upon us, as it does in every academic year, for national tests and exams to take place for pupils across the country.  The rights and wrongs, and the means and methods, of the tests are a matter of constant debate amongst teaching professionals, families and politicians.  It is a debate that is so well fuelled that thankfully I feel neither the need nor the desire to add to it here, you’ll be glad to know!

Instead, it is time to reflect upon the hard work of our pupils in Years 2 and 6 over the whole school year.  A focus upon the children’s commitment to learning and the rates of personal progress that each child has made will lead us to the real value of their academic education at St Peter’s.  Add to this the depth and richness of the education at St Peter’s that simply cannot be measured in a test paper, such as the spiritual, social and moral formation that the children receive, and we are coming closer to appreciating the true worth of their experience in these most precious school years.  Furthermore, the dedication and professionalism of the staff at the school is worthy of praise.  I am always impressed with the imagination, enthusiasm and attention to pupils’ individual needs that marks out the St Peter’s staff as a cut above the rest.

So, at the end of a short week, where in truth we all just squeeze five days’ work into four days, our Year 6 pupils have a final weekend before their SATs.  My message, as it always has been to pupils preparing for tests, is that meaningful rest and relaxation is just as important as hard work and revision, as long as both are done in sensible and beneficial amounts.  Take some time to revise and focus on areas that may still give cause for concern, but also spend time at leisure with family and friends, as they will be around long after any SATs exam has faded into distant memory.

Mr R Cunningham