SATs & MPs

Very well done indeed to all 64 pupils in Year 6 who have worked amazingly hard this week on their SATs. They approached each day with calm positivity, and were mature in how they prepared for the challenges the tests brought along. Massive thanks must go to all of the staff who made the SATs week run so smoothly. Obviously, we start with the 4 colleagues in the Year 6 teaching team, but also this week for the assistance given by the learning support staff from across the school and to the kitchen for preparing mountains of toast to welcome the Year 6 pupils in from 8:00am. The hard work is not over for the oldest pupils at St Peter’s just yet, but looking ahead there is a list of dates relevant to Year 6 families, Year 5 families, and the Year 6 show which is open to all families at St Peter’s, even if they don’t have a child in Year 6.

On Friday this week the school hosted Alan Mak, MP for Havant. Mr Mak has visited almost every school in his constituency, so we were delighted to be able to respond to his offer of a visit for the benefit of our pupils. Mr Mak spoke to our Year 6 cohort about the role of an MP and took questions on issues that were important to them. This was a great opportunity for the pupils to prepare for their own visit to Westminster in June, where Mr Mak will play host to our Year 6. Before receiving a guided tour of the school by a small group of pupils, Mr Mak listened to a presentation from our Year 5 Prayer Garden project team, and as a result has committed to making a donation to this pupil led enterprise.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

Dates for your diary

Year 6 & Year 5 Mass at The Church of the Sacred Heart and St Peter the Apostle in Waterlooville, Tuesday 19 June at 10:30am. All families welcome.

Year 6 Performance ‘Annie’ at Oaklands Catholic School auditorium, Wednesday 11 July at 6:30pm. All families welcome, ticket information to follow.

Year 6 Leavers’ Mass at St Peter’s in the school hall, Tuesday 17 July at 1:20pm followed by afternoon tea. Year 6 families welcome

Year 6 Celebration fun day, Wednesday 18 July. Strictly pupils only – because they’ve earned it! (Sorry parents!!)

A full time short week

As usual following a Bank Holiday, we have managed to squeeze 5 days’ work into 4 at St Peter’s.  Whole school worship was moved to Tuesday, and Year 1 hosted a Liturgy in which they expertly re-enacted the entire Easter story.  Coming just before the Feast of the Ascension, it was a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon the Passion and Resurrection of Christ before the Church returns to Ordinary Time.  Thank you to the Year 1 staff for preparing the children, to the families who attended, and to Monsignor Jeremy who joined the children.

Pupils in Year 2 have been working very hard all week their end of Key Stage SATs, which are referred to as ‘quizzes’!  The children have not been fazed at all by these, and the Year 2 staff team have worked wonders in energising and encouraging the pupils so that they show the full extent of their learning and skills.  It is the turn of Year 6 next week to complete their SATs from Monday to Thursday.  They too have worked exceptionally hard for these, and their teachers have prepared them in the best possible way.  My advice for the weekend would be that rest and relaxation is just as important as revision when done in the correct amounts before any tests.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

 

May the Force be with you

I got to bring my toys into school today, even though it wasn’t the last day of term.  The special reason?  Well, today is Star Wars day of course; May 4th be with you!

My assembly took the form of a Star Wars quiz, and I brought in my own Star Wars toys from when I was a primary school child, shown in the picture below.  It was wonderful to see the younger pupils nearest the front of the hall unable to contain their curiosity about toys which are 35 years old and pale in comparison to what is available to them today.

The main message of the assembly was twofold.  Firstly, a film franchise that has lasted over 40 years, employs thousands of people across the globe and grosses billions of pounds in annual profit relies heavily on 2 of our 6C learning behaviours, namely Commitment and Collaboration.  The children were made aware that without these things, nothing is ever achieved in their school work and home life.  Secondly, in revealing my two other childhood obsessions of Lego and Liverpool Football Club, I stressed to the children that they need a balanced range of interests and activities, no matter how much they may like one particular thing.  I told them explicitly that a healthy life involves limiting their time on Fortnite, or coming off Roblox, and doing a range of indoor, outdoor and sociable activities during their free time.  Sound advice, I hope, for a long Bank Holiday weekend.

May the Force be with you

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher (and secret Jedi)

 

Pupil praise

Let’s face it; we all have those weekly tasks that need to be done no matter what else is going on. The laundry, the shopping, cleaning out the cat litter (okay, I buy the cat litter, but the cleaning is sub-contracted to the children!). We tend to think of these tasks as laborious, and would not want to add to them. However, one of the weekly tasks which I did add to my list in January, and which is far from a burden, is signing the praise letters which are sent home each week. Every Wednesday and Thursday, I sign letters to the families of the children who have received the weekly Golden Leaf and Showstopper Writing awards, and once a month the Mathemagician award. It is a wonderful way for me to keep in touch with the pupils’ achievements, be they academic or pastoral, and allows me to raise the award in conversation the next time I see one of the children. I have had great feedback also on children’s excitement of getting a real letter through the post, and it also keeps families informed if children forget at the end of a busy day what they received in assembly 6 hours previously. Well done to all those children who have received awards and letters so far in 2018, and keep checking the post for the rest of this term.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

Happy Easter season

Welcome back to what has been a beautiful start to the summer term. Monday 16 April saw the first whole school worship of Easter for the St Peter’s community, and there was a sense of joy and praise through song as the pupils welcomed the Gospel reading with a rousing acclamation of Alleluia, Alleluia, Give thanks to the Risen Lord.

Even though we are now well into the liturgical season of Easter, the process of counting up our Lenten fundraising is on-going. Our running total is over £480, and families can still add to that by bringing in any CAFOD collection pyramids full of coins. St Peter’s school hopes that through prayer, and charity via the work of CAFOD, our pupils can benefit the education of children around the world that they will never meet.

Learning this week has been as much outside as inside the classroom, and pupils have used the benefit of the warm weather and the school environment to enhance their lessons. As always, but perhaps a bit earlier in the year than usual, please remember to send your child into school with a hat and a water bottle, and apply sun cream as part of the morning routine of getting ready for school.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

And the winners are … US!

Very well done to the Year 5 Prayer Garden team.  On Thursday, 12 pupils from Year 5 took part in a Dragons’ Den style competition to bid for a grant to create our new prayer garden.  The plan is to create a space for worship, reflection and religious teaching in the middle of the school, using the L-shaped courtyard, so that our faith can be seen as visibly central to our community.  The high quality presentation secured a £400 grant for our project.

The presenting team was just a selection of the excellent pupil work that has gone into this project in recent months, led by Mrs Turner and Mrs Edge, and comprising a much larger group of children.  The presentation will be made in the summer term to Governors and the Friends of St Peter’s to boost the funds, and we hope to present to parishes at the end of weekend masses in due course.

All the pupils involved in the project were celebrated in front of the whole school during assembly this morning, and we look forward to seeing the project come to fruition.

The Year 5 Prayer Garden Team Presenting

Bishop Phillip providing valuable feedback

The Team, the Bishop and the cheque!

And, as spring starts to appear, some memories of a snowy school from March 2018

 

The courtyard where the Year 5 plan to create our Prayer Garden

The Year R garden

Too snowy for climbing and sliding!

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

 

Younger pupils take the lead

Year 2 provided the spiritual highlight of the week with a calming and reflective liturgy on their Lenten promises. Through Scripture readings and acting, the pupils reminded us of how Jesus resisted the temptations of the Devil before beginning his public ministry. After the children shared some of their Lenten promises, the adults were invited to commit a promise of their own to paper. Amazingly, with over 60 children and about the same number of adults in the room, the Year 2 pupils gave us 25 minutes of prayer, song and worship which served as a peaceful oasis in the midst of a busy week. Well done and thank you to all of the pupils and staff involved.

This week has been especially busy for the younger pupils in our school. Year R trekked off to Staunton Country Park Farm, and managed to come back without any extra animals or too much mud. Extra animals, you ask? Well, the population of Year R grew by 9 this week with the annual hatching of the chicks. A selection of pupils from Year 1 took part in a locally organised racquet skills competition with other primary schools, and lobbed, volleyed and smashed their way to first place. Well done! Year 2 had two great curriculum enrichment visits in the form of guest speakers: Mrs Sumba from Year 3 spoke to the pupils about her experiences in Kenya to help with their ‘Where in the world?’ topic, and the Head of History from Oaklands, Mrs Cunningham, spoke to the pupils about what makes for good historical enquiry and writing when she gave the pupils feedback on their Titanic diaries.

I will sign off, however, by reserving judgement on whether it will be a Happy St Patrick’s Day this weekend until I see how the English rugby team get on at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon!

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

Poetry perfection

Our Lenten journey continued this week as Mrs Knight led Monday Worship focusing on how important it is to stand up for something that is right. Using the Gospel reading of Jesus clearing the traders in the Temple, the children reflected on how to respect what is special and treasured in the world. Even though we may feel that we are only standing up in a small way, combined efforts can lead to big results. This message was followed through in my assembly on Friday when the pupils had a sneak preview of their art work on our murals from the life of Christ. More news to follow on these as the next stage of the project develops.

To take the shock off working a full week this week (where did that snow go?), the whole school spent Friday afternoon enjoying an amazing ‘Off by heart’ poetry competition. Several weeks ago, all pupils were given booklets of poems to learn, and then each class and year group conducted heats to pick the best recitals from amongst their peers. This project culminated in a show in which pupils from every single year group performed in front of the whole school, staff and invited guests. It really was a wonderful show, and speaking as one of the judges, it was exceptionally hard to pick the 3 winners from the different age categories. Well done to all the pupils who took part in the heats, and to those who made it to the final, and special congratulations to the age group winners. Three cheers for the staff who performed their own favourite poems (though not off by heart like the children had to!), and of course massive thanks go to Mr Crozier for organising the event.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

Never dull here!

This week has come to a premature close due to the adverse weather!  We did really well to have a full school learning day on Thursday 1 March, but alas the snow, ice and safety of our community meant that a Friday emergency closure was needed.

However, we did pack a lot into just 4 days.  On Wednesday, the school choir represented St Peter’s at the Mayor of Havant’s Fair Trade coffee morning at the Church of The Sacred Heart and St Peter the Apostle.  It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the talent in our school, and support a worthwhile cause in the local community.  Thanks to Mrs Knight, Mrs Chapman and Mr Chapman for making the event happen.

Thursday saw World Book Day marked in school with a wonderful range of costumes to show everyone favourite book characters.  A reading marathon was arranged between the classes so that there was no stop reading going on from the start of the day to the earlier end of the day!  Thank you to Mrs Domblides and Mr Crozier for organizing our World Book Day events.  Also, a special thank you to Mrs Gray and the catering team for a Witches inspired lunch.

Finally, may I fully encourage the children to make the best of this snowy weather and be prepared to come in on Monday morning 5 March with plenty of tales about their experiences and adventures over this longer wintry weekend.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

 

 

Lent at St Peter’s

With Ash Wednesday falling during the half-term holiday, our usual whole school worship on Monday 19 February also marked for us at St Peter’s the start of the season of Lent. Having re-dressed the altar in purple in keeping with the Liturgical Calendar, the school community then began one of the three tenants of Lent with prayer led by the pupils. I then combined the other two Lenten features of fasting and almsgiving with a chocolate charity challenge. Ask you children about the open tub of 30 Roses chocolates that have been left in full public view on the school prayer table, and give them your encouragement to resist temptation for the benefit of £30 going to CAFOD at the end of Lent.

Year 1 pupils hosted a beautiful Liturgy on Tuesday, where they displayed their learning of parables and how we can take Jesus’ messages from his stories into our everyday lives. Fr Jeremy helped the children to appreciate the value of a good story by conducting a ‘What films did you watch during half-term?’ survey. It was wonderful to see many family members of all ages there, and as ever I stressed that even those people not there in body were there in spirit and were remembered in the children’s prayers.

The week ended with a whole school assembly launching CAFOD’s Lenten campaign. I look forward to hearing of the fund-raising ideas the children will have during this half term to generate a charitable donation. During Lent the children will continue to pray for those less fortunate themselves in all parts of the globe, remembering that poverty is not always simply financial, but can also be spiritual, cultural or ethical.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher