If you have already read my introduction to the November newsletter, you will know that I am quite particular on distinguishing Advent and Christmas. I almost enjoy the build up, anticipation and preparation for Christmas as much as the great festival itself. To mark the start of Advent in school, Patrick and Isobel Flynn, our local CAFOD representatives, gave a wonderful assembly on how CAFOD World Gifts make a telling difference to the lives of those in need around the world. The children were able to clearly see how even the smallest of donations can add up to a gift which can improve the lives of the poor, the needy and those seeking refuge from war and persecution. CAFOD World Gift catalogues will be coming home in children’s bags should you wish to make personal purchases as part of your Christmas shopping. Alternatively, the web-link for CAFOD World Gifts is
Children have also been asked, if possible, to bring in just a few pennies each so that class groups can try to raise enough money for a small gift which we will purchase through the school. We are not asking for large sums of money, so please don’t break the bank, but if there is a change jar that the children can tap in to, then all contributions will be gladly received.
I must also thank the many colleagues and parent helpers who have taken children out on trips this week in all types of weather! The support of the St Peter’s community is always valuable in adding to the education we provide for the children.
Mr R Cunningham
My time this week has been dominated by pupil progress meetings. Myself and my senior leadership team have spent time with each class teacher analysing the progress made by children to date and, more significantly, ways in which that progress in learning can continue and accelerate over the remainder of the academic year. This is a valuable exercise which works in complement with the recent parents’ evenings to ensure that each pupil has their school performance carefully monitored. What the meetings have revealed to me is just how well the class teachers know your children, and the depth with which my teaching colleagues understand the strengths and needs of individual children in their class. I felt privileged and humbled to be working alongside such strong professionals who commit each day to the education and well being of our pupils, and am looking forward to the next round of meetings in February 2017.
I will admit, though, that I had to slip out of one such meeting to take part in some ‘hot seating’ with the children in Year 2, an experience which proved to me that in a school there is no such thing as an ordinary day. Having spent 15 minutes being interviewed as George ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’ (a modern classic story book by the simply brilliant Julia Donaldson), I was returning to my office with just one shoe on and my tie undone (now you have to read the book!) when I saw Year 5 pupils in the hall taking part in a PE lesson of fencing! Yes, fencing! This reinforced to me the richness of the education the children at St Peter’s receive, and I must offer thanks to all of my colleagues who go the extra mile for the learning of our pupils, your children.
And so to the weekend; if the England batsmen are still in the game in India when the England rugby players take to the Twickenham turf against Fiji at 2:30 on Saturday, I will be amazed!
Mr R Cunningham
Today, 11th November 2016, marks Armistice Day, and I know that many St Peter’s pupils will be taking part in Remembrance events with parishes, voluntary organisations and clubs on Sunday to complement the Service of Remembrance we held here in school today. Thanks go to Mrs Luter for the organisation of the service and especially to Mrs Knight and a Year 6 pupil who sounded the Last Post, making a great impression upon our pupils. I used my whole school worship at the start of the week to launch our Royal British Legion fundraising in school, and given the amazing demand that led to us running out of all our poppies and related merchandise, I have requested double rations next year! Thank you to all of the pupils who have contributed in any way to the fundraising in support of the Royal British Legion.
In keeping with remembrance, I know that many of you will have been keeping in your prayers this week the family of our Year 6 pupil involved in the traffic accident last Thursday 3rd November. I am please to be able to inform you that the pupil, surrounded by family, cards and gifts, is making a very good recovery through the expert care of the great medical teams at Southampton General Hospital. I have been asked by the parents to thank the St Peter’s community for their support and kindness during such a challenging week, and I was able to inform the family that Bishop Philip, whom I met today, has remembered the family in his prayers this week. Thank you all.
Finally, and sticking with remembering the important messages of life, the children this week all had the opportunity to watch a theatrical presentation called ‘The Power of One’ to reinforce the anti-bullying message that is so important in the successful and harmonious existence of a large community. Teasing and bullying can occur in any organisation, be that an adult workplace as well as a children’s school, so we at St Peter’s will work hard to prevent its occurrence. However, where it may occur, children and families need to be reminded that reporting it to staff promptly is the correct thing to do, and we will work as hard as we can towards reconciliation and education for the benefit of our pupils.
Mr R Cunningham
This week at St Peter’s has been dominated by one event which took just seconds to occur but which had a significant impact for one family in particular, and the whole St Peter’s community. As many of you will be aware, a pupil from Year 6 had a bicycle accident on the way to school on Thursday morning which also involved a car. Swift and caring action by members of the public, an outstanding response from the full emergency services team, and brilliant care by the medical staff in the specialist paediatric unit at Southampton General Hospital all resulted in the pupil receiving the immediate treatment so urgently needed at every stage. However, all of these efforts would have been in vain had the pupil not been wearing a cycle helmet. Without that piece of kit, the outcome to Thursday morning’s event is likely to have been gravely different. I ask you all, please, to reinforce to all of your families and friends who cycle to please wear helmets. They do save lives. One saved the life of our year 6 pupil!
Our prayers are with the pupil and the family, and the St Peter’s community will rally round in the way it does to offer comfort, friendship and support during what will be a long process of recovery. Please keep the family in your prayers this weekend and beyond.
I wish you all an enjoyable weekend, with safe enjoyment of an organised public firework display on Saturday if you can drag yourselves away from Strictly!
Mr R Cunningham