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
Headteacher

 

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
Headteacher

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,
Amen.

 

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

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
Headteacher

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
Headteacher

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
Headteacher

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
Headteacher

 

 

The Road to Wimbledon

Take a look at how St Peter’s is continuing this sporting summer.

The ‘Road to Wimbledon’ starts here with tennis coaching for Years R, 1 and 2 from Mr Land on Monday 12th July, with some typical lawn tennis refreshments as well in the form of Robinson’s Barley water (not Pimms!).

Thanks to all the staff who organised the day, and to the Co-Op in Denmead for donating the squash and the squirty cream for our strawberries!

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Flying the flag in school

Enjoy the weekend everyone, and whatever joy or despair the football may bring.

Looking forward to seeing all the children at the usual time for school on Monday morning.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Year 1 Liturgy – St Joseph

It was a joy to welcome Fr Daniel Agber from St Edmund’s parish in Horndean to celebrate a liturgy with the pupils in Year 1.

In this Year of St Joseph, the children told us all about the qualities and strengths of Joseph, billing him quite rightly as a ‘superhero’ in the life of Jesus.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher