This week started with a special event made possible by the generosity of the Friends of St Peter’s. I was lucky enough to be joined by our guest of honour Mrs Daley, a grandparent helper who has been listening to children read at St Peter’s for over 15 years, and Mrs Woolhead representing the Friends of St Peter’s, for the official opening of St Peter’s Secret Garden. The refurbishment of what was The Mary Garden was half funded by the Friends of St Peter’s, and we now have an exciting and vibrant outdoor learning space. The children of Year 1 joined us to cheer the official opening party as the ribbon was cut, and then were keen for us all to clear out of the way so that they could get stuck into the learning activities prepared for them by Mrs Osborne and Miss Shaw. The new garden also shows the importance of supporting the Friends of St Peter’s in their school fundraising projects; please see the September newsletter for urgent information on keeping this valuable body going over this school year.
What, then, of the Mary Garden, you may ask? I have decided that I want our outdoor places of spirituality and reflection to be positioned in the very heart of the school, representing how the St Peter’s community holds their faith in Christ at the centre of all that we do. To that end, over the winter plans will be drawn up to devote spaces in the central courtyard garden to areas for prayer, worship, reflection and spiritual teaching. More news on that project as it develops and then takes shape in the spring and summer.
As a younger man in my student days I back-packed around America, trekked in the Nepalese Himalaya and scrambled all over the French Alps. In my teaching career, I have taken part in and led trips to Berlin, Santander, Paris, the Loire and Iceland, helping teenagers to discover the joy of travel and the fun of adventurous pursuits. It was only with this pedigree, therefore, that I felt brave enough to take on the greatest challenge thus far: 2 nights away with Year 5 at Runways End! What a superb adventurous training facility Hampshire County Council has, and our Year 5 children were so lucky to be able to experiment with new outdoor pursuits and take on new challenges to push themselves to the limit (mine being caving, which took some courage for me to take part in!). So once again, massive thanks go to all the staff who stayed away from home, arranged the trip paperwork and provided the transport for the Year 5 trip.
With my very best wishes for a restful weekend (with Europe retaining the Ryder Cup if you are a golf fan),
Mr R Cunningham
As I write this blog, the children are enjoying as much outside time as possible in this wonderful, crisp and clear late summer sunshine. Please be sure to keep a check on outdoor clothing the children may have so that they are well prepared for any turn in the weather that may be around the corner!
Surely the greatest beneficiaries of this wonderful weather have been our Year 6 adventurers who have spent the week at Stubbington Outdoor Centre. I was lucky enough to join them on Tuesday evening where, upon my arrival, I found them all working hard on their journals! We all had a nature talk from a friend of the Outdoor Centre who showed slides of his own animal photographs taken over many years, and then after supper we crept into hides to watch foxes and badgers feeding at very close quarters! Aside of this, the children have completed activity courses, built animal hotels and visited the beach, all making for a fantastic week away. Watch out for exciting updates on the Year 6 Blog. Great thanks goes to all the colleagues who have put amazing work into organising and running the trip; more than most they deserve a restful weekend!
At the other end of the age spectrum, we hosted our first of three Open Mornings for prospective Year R families looking to start with us in September 2017. Details of the next two Open Mornings in October and November are on the school website home page, and we are also making plans for an Open Evening to welcome families who cannot get out of work commitments to visit the school during the teaching day. If you know of any families who would like to visit, do please pass on the details.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend
Mr R Cunningham
Welcome back to the new term! It’s amazing to think that we are already half way through September, especially when the wonderful weather for the start of term has made it feel more like July … in sunny Spain!
I have been amazed by just how much the great children of St Peter’s are able to cram into their school days. So far, in just the first 8 days of term, we have had whole school worship and a whole school Mass celebrated by a very lively Fr Kevin, two Golden Leaf assemblies where Summer Reading Challenges and Show Stopper pieces of writing were also celebrated, and the first of six assemblies to remind the children of the importance of our 6 C’s – this week led by Mrs Knight who focused on courtesy. Amazingly, these very special gatherings are all completed by 9.30am, and then the pupils go to class to start a busy day of hard work, super learning and fantastic progress.
During the first ‘full’ week of the school term, we have welcomed into our community some very smart, very curious and very excited Reception children. Their part-time induction carries on for another week before spending full school days with us from Monday 26th September onwards. Meanwhile, both Year 3 classes have visited Butser Ancient Farm, and thanks must go to Mr Austin, Miss Honeywell, the support staff and the parent volunteers who have enabled such exciting off-site learning to take place.
Here’s hoping that summer lasts just a little longer.
Mr R Cunningham