Celebrations return

It was a true delight to be able to celebrate Mass at school for the first time in 2021 this week.

Pupils in Year 5 gathered, sadly without being able to be joined by families, and welcomed Fr Mark Whiting from the Hayling Island parish of St Patrick’s.  Making use of the Unity Building, as you will see below, we were able to be together as a year group in a really friendly and unified setting for worship.  The theme of the Mass remained on the recent feast of Pentecost, and how children can go forth to spread the word of God thorough the way that they live their lives every day at home, in school and throughout the community.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Our Heroes

Pupils at St Peter’s have been taking part in the Royal Mail “Heroes” stamp design competition during their recent art lessons.  A sample of their work has been displayed in the hall and is pictured here.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

A return to year group liturgies

These past 2 weeks at St Peter’s have seen the welcome return of year group liturgies.  Sadly, we are not yet able to host families to join in with our worships and celebrations, but we have been delighted to welcome our parish priests into school once again.  The Year 3 liturgy centred on Jesus’ commandment to love one another as He loves us. Pupils reflected on the importance of looking out for their friends, and how they can all be friends of Jesus, showing love for children near and far in God’s world.  Fr Jeremey brought the wonders of the world to life in his homily by showing children a collection of textiles and a multi-coloured stole made in different countries, and shared his favourite vestment which pictures children from every corner of the globe.

Year 2 meanwhile celebrated their liturgy with the theme of Pentecost, marking it as the birthday of the Church.  And, as with any birthday celebration, there were balloons, banners and party games during the liturgy, in this case pass the parcel.  As each layer was unwrapped, a different gift of the Holy Spirit was revealed and shared with the children.

What a joy to have this type of worship and celebration back in school once again, and we can’t wait for the day when we can host family guests to give praise with us.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

Diversity and multi-cultural learning

Recently, pupils of all ages in St Peter’s undertook a deep-learning week with a focus on Diversity.  As part of their multi-cultural learning, pupils’ art lessons gave opportunities to show their understanding of a range of world faiths.  Our youngest children in Year R learnt about the Hindu festival of Holi and performed their own dance with coloured paint.  Year 1 pupils designed Islamic prayer mats, Year 2 their own Hindu Rangoli patterns, and Year 3 created stained glass windows designs using symbols from the Jewish faith.  Year 4 made dioramas (small models) to show Sikh Gurdwaras, whilst children in Year 5 created stunning art contrasting darkness and light to represent the power and significance of Good Friday.  Year 6 pupils learnt about the significance of the word Shalom in the Jewish faith and created art to symbolise its importance.  The results of their work are show in these 2 incredible displays in school.

Thank you to Miss Honeywell for leading the Diversity Week, and to Mrs Pearson for yet more astounding art work with the pupils.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Opportunities and awareness

Even within our year group bubbles, we are seeing a return to normal and taking every chance to share important information with our pupils for their personal and social development.  In the past week, pupils from Years 4, 5 and 6 had separate socially distanced (no mosh-pit as you will see below!) mini-concerts and a promotional presentation from staff who work for Hampshire Music Service.  Information has been sent home to the relevant year groups giving details of opportunities for pupils to learn musical instruments in bands from next September.

At the same time, we have also made use of Lee Haywood, our cyber-safety adviser, to speak to pupils in Key Stages 1 and 2 about the potential risks and useful safety steps that can be taken when gaming on-line.  Lee is a wealth of knowledge who, as he runs his own local cyber-safety company, is able to stay up to date with the latest developments and get that message to schools in our district very quickly indeed.  He also keeps an eye on local on-line trends, as what is popular in some places does not necessarily pose a risk in other areas depending on what young app users and gamers get into.  Lee led his year group discussions without the use of a PowerPoint or any devices, enabling him to be really responsive to what the children were telling him they were using for on-line gamin and entertaining.  He also gave his presentation outside as our 2 hall spaces were being used for concerts and assemblies, meaning he could speak to groups at a distance in the fresh air and keep it all Covid secure.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Easter learning in RE

The learning schedule for RE at St Peter’s follows the Liturgical Calendar as closely as possible, meaning that before the Easter holiday the focus was squarely on the Lenten journey and the events of Holy Week.  This also means that the Easter season is taken up with the study unit of Easter, even though we may be thinking of Easter Sunday as fading into the background as summer approaches.  This week, therefore, Year 5 pupils have had a strong learning focus on the symbolism of items found within the Easter Triduum.  This ranges from the empty tabernacle and the covered statues to Easter Vigil and the Paschal candle.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

The Big Ask

The Big Ask is a survey for children and young people aged 4–17 in England, launched by the Children’s Commissioner for England Dame Rachel de Souza. The survey is split into different age groups, so the pupils in school will fill in a version appropriate for their age, with support provided for our youngest children. The Big Ask survey won’t ask for a child’s name, phone number or email, and will keep the individual survey answers safe and private – they won’t be shared with anyone else. Children don’t have to answer any question if they don’t want to.

The Big Ask is children’s chance to have their say on the things that matter to them, expressing what their life is like, what they want in the future, and anything they think is holding them back.  The outcomes of the survey will be used to inform local and national government decisions that affect the lives of children and young people.

The pupil survey can be found here The Big Ask and is open until 19th May.

There is also a version of the survey for completion by those aged 18+ and are a care leaver, a parent, or who work with children to share their views here Adults .  I would encourage as many of you linked with the St peter’s community as possible to take part in this national survey, the biggest of its kind ever to be carried out in England.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

 

 

Happy St George’s Day

The summer term starts here!

Welcome back to St Peter’s for the summer term 2021.

The gradual return to something approaching normality continued this week with pupils at St Peter’s returning to Year Group assemblies.  Indeed, for our youngest children in the Reception Year, Monday was their first experience of an assembly, led by Assistant Headteacher Mrs Knight.  The theme for the Year R assembly, aligning both Laudato Si (May 2015) and Earth Day (22 April), was care for our natural environment, concluding with the following prayer:

Dear God, thank you for this beautiful planet.  

Bless it and keep it safe from harm.  

We pray for the protection of the animals, the soil, the air and the water.  

May we care for all you have made.  

Help us to love the Earth just like you love us.  

We pray in Jesus’ name.  

Amen. 

Children in Years 1 to 3 had their assemblies on Friday 23 April, so naturally inspiration was drawn from St George’s Day.  Even though legends surrounding St George vary considerably, the common theme of the assembly was one of selfless service and helping others, which of course wove in the example of the late Duke of Edinburgh.  Next week, assemblies will return for pupils in Years 4 and 5, where the theme will be music.  These will include a mini-concert from the Hampshire Music Service, as we look to involve more children in learning to play musical instruments.  Pupils in Year 6 will have a Friday assembly on the importance of consequences from actions, as they begin their last term as pupils at St Peter’s before moving on to secondary school in September.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Happy Easter from the staff at St Peter’s