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