School Uniform Mass

It was great to join with pupils from a host of local schools to celebrate Mass on Sunday morning 10th October 2021.

As a belated way of marking Education Sunday, children of the parish of Sacred Heart and St Peter the Apostle, St Edmund’s, and other local parishes, were invited to attend Mass in their school uniform.  This was a great show of strength with perhaps the largest congregation since the pandemic began.

As well as providing pupils and students to read the bidding prayers and scripture readings, pupils from Year 5 at St Peter’s and Key Stage 3 at Oaklands also produced sunflower artwork for the offertory procession.

I must thank Fr Jeremy for hosting us in celebrating this Mass, and the lay Chaplain at Oaklands Miss Jessica Heath for bringing together the artwork, readers and music for the Mass, which we hope will become an annual event each October.

Mr R Cunningham


Harvest Appeal 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

We know that the last 19 months have been tough for everyone during the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.  We also know that for some vulnerable members of our communities, the challenges of the pandemic simply added further to difficult situations that they were already facing.  For many, these struggles and challenges will only get worse in the coming winter months.

One way that St Peter’s would like to offer assistance to our community neighbours who find themselves in these situations is to donate tinned, packet, dried and long-life food to our local foodbank.  We would like this October to have a harvest appeal for donations of as many of the above products as families are able to provide.  It would be greatly appreciated if donations could be brought into school over the first 2 weeks of October so that we can prepare a harvest donation display for our children to see, and to serve as a focal point for assemblies before half term.  We will then pass all donations onto the Waterlooville foodbank for distribution over the coming months.


With great thanks and best wishes to all families

Mr Cunningham and the St Peter’s staff team.

Going back in time…

This week has seen a welcome return to Deep Learning Days with Year 5 experiencing a World War II evacuee day.  Dressed in suitable period costume, pupils learnt bout the experiences of child evacuees during the second war, and had a suitably 1940s lunch (including sprouts!) served to them.

…and even further back in time.

Also this week, the Year 3 classes visited Butser Ancient Farm in Clanfield to learn about the lives of prehistoric people.  It is startling to think that as a result of the pandemic this was the first school trip of any significance that these children have experienced at St Peter’s.

Thanks go to the staff and parent volunteers who were able to make these events and trips happen – and here’s to many more to come.  Please check the year group websites for photos of these wonderful learning experiences.

Mr R Cunningham

Celebrating a new school year

For the first time in 20 months, the school community of St Peter’s from Years 1 to 6 were able to celebrate a live Mass together in person, and this time we did it outdoors.
After much prayer and planning (prayer for good weather, planning for downpours!), 370 children and 35 staff gathered on the school field in the beautiful sunshine of a September morning to worship.  It was wonderful to have the Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils together, with the soundtrack of Reception Year children playing in their outdoor learning as a backdrop that Fr Jeremy mentioned in his homily about what a welcoming and caring school St Peter’s is.  Enormous thanks go to Fr Jeremy for celebrating Mass with us, Miss Heath the Lay Chaplain from Oaklands, Mrs Moore and Mrs Buckingham for preparing our readers, and Oaklands’ IT Support team for proving the PA sound system.  This Mass was such a success that celebrating our school patronal feast day at the end of June next year with all 436 pupils outdoors is a really exciting possibility … weather permitting!
Mr R Cunningham


Settling in well

As you can see from these photos, the Year R pupils who began full days of learning this Thursday have settled in extremely well to the St Peter’s family.

The good weather this week has allowed for lots of outdoor learning, with the children making the very best use of our refurbished garden area.  The climbing frames and outdoor equipment have been very popular, with great sharing of the resources between the children.

A full day at school certainly works up an appetite, with school lunches on ‘fishy Friday’ going down really well today.

These Reception learners, just like the rest of us, have certainly earnt a restful weekend, so that they can do it all again next week!

Mr R Cunningham

Education Sunday – “Thank You, Teachers!”

A message from Bishop Philip, Bishop of Portsmouth.

Next Sunday, 12th September 2021, is Education Sunday in England and Wales. The annual national focus on Catholic education this year will home in on the theme of “Thank You, Teachers!” We give thanks to God for all those who work in Catholic schools, for their hard work and for their dedication over what has been a very challenging 18 months.

To acknowledge the great contribution that our schools have made during the pandemic, the Catholic Education Service has provided a special prayer to say at home:

Dear Lord, Thank you for the gift of Catholic schools.
Thank you for all those who have given their talents to educating our young people.
Through the challenges they encounter each day, lead them to an ever deeper appreciation of the sacred duty to which you have called them.
Thank you for all those who contribute to the efficient running of our schools; support staff, kitchen staff, maintenance staff, governors and chaplains. We thank them for their hard work and dedication.
Thank you for all those who lead our Catholic schools. May they be people of integrity so that they can be witnesses as well as teachers. We pray that the schools they lead will become places where our young people can experience your love in their lives.
Thank you for our pupils. May your love strengthen and nurture them through the influence and example of those who care for them. We pray that through their time at school they will flourish 
and grow to discover who you have called them to be. We make this prayer through your Son, Jesus Christ, our teacher and our Lord,


Mr R Cunningham

Welcome back to a new adventure

How wonderful to open our doors wide and welcome back to St Peter’s all our pupils in Years 1 to 6 on Thursday morning.  As you would expect, the children settled down to learning with their new teachers straight away, with outstanding behaviour and fantastic attitudes to the schoolwork.

On Friday, in socially distanced assemblies comprising just 2 year groups at a time, I used the classic and delightful ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ to explain to pupils how each September is like the outset of a great new adventure. And even though in the story the family race home when they do actually meet a bear (!), just like the St Peter’s family they all stick together through every challenge, triumph and adventure.

Monday’s worship in school, again comprising just 2 year groups at a time in the hall, will centre on the story in Mark’s Gospel (7: 31-37) of Jesus giving speech and hearing to a dumb and deaf man.  Just as we should be open to the word of God and spread Jesus’ message in our words, so too I know that St Peter’s pupils are always open to learn from their teachers and peers, and help one another make progress to greater things during each school day.

Monday 6th September will also see the arrival of our youngest pupils in Year R as they begin their transition into Early Years, the first days of their great adventure with us here at St Peter’s.

Mr R Cunningham

Summer Time

At last we have reached the long awaited summer holiday.

On behalf of all the staff at St Peter’s, thank you for the many kind words, thoughtful cards and generous gifts received this week.  It has been another hectic year, please read the July newsletter for reflections on the past 10 months, but for now, this picture speaks a thousand words:

Mr R Cunningham

Year 6 Leavers’ Mass

It was the end of an era on Tuesday as Year 6 celebrated their last Mass as St Peter’s pupils.  The Mass was celebrated at Sacred Heart and St Peter the Apostle, meaning we had enough space for all of our pupils and family guests.  At the end of Mass, the teachers read out testimonials from the pupils about their memories of their time at school, and then all of the pupils in the year group sang a specially written farewell song which included memories of many highlights from their school life.

Enormous thanks go to the Year 6 staff for organising the Mass, Mrs Farrell the lay chaplain from Oaklands, Fr Jeremey for celebrating Mass, and Mrs Jodie Swaine who attended to present the Governor Awards.

Mr R Cunningham

Special occasions

It was a delight to join 9 St Peter’s pupils at Mass on Saturday 10 July as they made their First Holy Communion.  As you can see, they all looked splendid in their finery to mark such a great occasion.

And this week we returned the favour for Fr Jeremy.  He has spent a lot of time this week in school working with pupils in several year groups, so we treated him to lunch with Year R.  He had to guess the names of his dining companions, was shown a wide array of packed lunch food, and enjoyed his quiche thoroughly.  Can you spot him in this picture?

Mr R Cunningham