Welcome back to school for the second half of the autumn term.
The children have done exceptionally well at making a hard working start after their October break. Distractions like the clocks changing, any Halloween activities or the prospect of firework displays have not put the children off their learning in the classroom, so well done to them all.
As usual, we need to turn our attention to appropriate clothing as autumn takes hold and prepares us for winter. Please make sure that the children all have a named coat to wear to school, with hats or gloves as appropriate when the weather gets colder. Of particular importance is to make sure that children have something bright or reflective on their bag or outdoor clothing for when the school run starts to get darker later in the term.
Finally, don’t stop reading here. Take a look at the class blogs for a taste of what the children have been learning recently, as well as our subject and family liaison blogs. These are a quick and easy way to keep up with all of the educational activities the children are undertaking each week in school.
Mr R Cunningham
Well done to the pupils in Year 5 who this week ventured far away from home for their first school residential experience. Children from Mrs Edge’s and Mrs Turner’s class travelled to Runway’s End in Aldershot for a 2 night stay. The pupils relished the chance to try new outdoor activities such as abseiling and canoeing, and indoor activities such as archery and caving. For many, it was their first experience of staying away from home without family members, so this really was a journey into the unknown in a variety of ways. The children also turned their hands to table setting, plus washing up and drying up after meal times, showing good team spirit and application. I hope all the pupils have a restful weekend, and my thanks go to Mrs Edge, Mrs Turner, Mrs Wibberly, Mrs Pearson and Mrs Knight who all gave up time to stay overnight with the children.
Finally, my assembly this morning was about how to stay safe on-line. As the nights draw in and the weather worsens, children may find themselves having more screen time, so do please take the time to talk to your children about how they can keep themselves safe in the virtual world.
Mr R Cunningham
This week at St Peter’s I have seen education at both ends of the age spectrum.
No sooner have we settled into the new school year, than we are holding open mornings for the next Reception Year intake for September 2018. It is always delightful to see new families visiting the school for the first time, many of them bringing their nursery age children to get a taste of ‘big’ school and what their future holds.
At the other end of the scale, Year 5 received a visit from a great great grandmother of one of the pupils, a lady who has just turned 100 years old. For me, this means that she was born just weeks before the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia (I’m still an historian at heart), but her visit to Year 5 was to regale the pupils with stories of her experiences during the Second World War.
Both of these events show how St Peter’s continues to work to celebrate the diversity of society, and bring to our pupils the full range of life experiences.
Mr R Cunningham
This week has seen as its centre of attention our Ofsted inspection on 27th and 28th September. Every child in the school was a credit to their families, their teachers and the St Peter’s community. The pupils’ behaviour, good manners and engagement with the members of the inspection team were all exemplary over the two days, so well done and thank you to all the children. Furthermore, I must thank every single member of the school staff who showed their usual professional commitment to our learning community before then going that extra mile to prepare for the inspection. The final report from the inspection will take several weeks to produce, so we will be able to publish the outcome towards the end of October.
On Monday, we received new from the Diocese of their intention to suspend the process of converting Catholic schools to become part of a series of Multi Academy Trusts. For us at St Peter’s this simply means carrying on with business as usual, as we were not listed in the current or next round of anticipated conversions. We will continue to work closely both with the Local Authority and our neighbouring Catholic Schools to drive forward school improvement and constantly develop the learning and progress of the children in St Peter’s.
My week ended on a high with a letter from Fr Jeremy expressing his appreciation of the Year 1 liturgy in school this week. He wrote of how well prepared the children were to share the story of God’s creation, which was evidence of pupils’ learning and understanding in their RE lessons.
I hope you all have a restful weekend, as indeed will all of the staff here at St Peter’s!
Mr R Cunningham
Although it by now that we have never been away, and the crispness of September is making the summer holiday a receding memory, we ‘officially’ got the new school year underway on Tuesday with a whole school Mass. Fr Jeremy celebrated Mass with Years 1 to 6, with a homily which focused on the importance of honesty and truthfulness. It was wonderful for us all to gather together in celebration and worship, re-establishing for 2017-2018 that school community spirit that makes St Peter’s such a strong family.
The busiest year group this week has, I think, been Year 6. On Thursday our Year 6 pupils spent the day at Purbrook Park School on a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) day, where teams took part in tasks to either build a rocket or transport tomatoes without damaging them. My thanks go to the Year 6 staff who took the children on the trip, and to the staff and students at Purbrook who hosted the event. Fresh from that day out, many of our Year 6 pupils then hot-footed it to Oaklands for their Open Evening. No sooner have we started this year than we’re looking ahead, and all families with children in Year 6 should have received information about applying to secondary school. We’ve lots to do before then, but it will be on us before we know it!
Mr R Cunningham
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: https://www.rowanshospice.co.uk/events/childrens-starlit-walk-2017/
Mr R Cunningham
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)
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.
Enjoy your summer holidays
Mr R Cunningham
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
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