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
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
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
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
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.
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
Tuesday 23rd March 2021 this week saw pupils and staff at St Peter’s pause as part of their daily worship to reflect on the past year in the context of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Monday 23rd March 2020 was the first day of enforced partial school closure – 26 pupils attended school on site that day. Since then, so much has changed, and been learnt by all, in the world of education, but the relentless march forward was paused to take time to reflect on the human cost of the last 12 months. Using a range of age-appropriate resources, and still in classes and year bubbles as group social distancing still applies in school, teachers drew the pupils together to reflect, pray and remember. A key feature was the strength that comes from communities in times of challenge, expressed in the following prayer that was shared with the children in their reflection:
You place us in families and communities, and we give you thanks for all those around us who serve us and help us in so many ways. Give wisdom to community leaders, to our schools, hospitals, care homes and other agencies who make a difference to our lives. Help each of us to have the courage to reach out with thanks and kindness to those around us and to speak words of faith as we share the good news of your love.
Mr R Cunningham
There is a definite feeling of spring in the air at St Peter’s. The glorious yellow daffodils which have burst open in the school grounds have clearly provided inside inspiration for our wall displays.
Year 1 have used a watering can to ‘Pour out the prayers’ (James 5) and a bag of seed to ‘Feed on God’s word’ (2 Timothy 2-15) in their wall display to show how they can grow in Christ likes the sunflower and vines either side of the pictures.
In the library, meanwhile, for those days when March seems more wintery than winter and April showers beckon, there are suggested reads for all ages to ‘Spring into a good book’.
Enjoy the sunshine!
Mr R Cunningham
At last, it’s all systems go once again at St Peter’s with a full return to on-site learning for all pupils this week.
I must start, though, with a great vote of thanks and gratitude to all you parents and carers who have made learning possible over these past 8 weeks of term. No two families’ experiences have been the same, but for all of you, whether it was full-time home learning, blended learning of part-school and part-home, or your children attending full time in a very different school atmosphere, “THANK YOU!” To paraphrase a popular saying, “It takes a village to raise a child, but a vineyard to home-school one!”. Thank goodness it’s Friday.
Back to the start of the week, and the children just kept on arriving for the morning drop-off of Monday 8th March, and by 9:00am 430 pupils were settled down to classroom learning with their teachers once again. The curriculum, thanks to teacher planning and remote resourcing, has seamlessly got back underway in school, and here’s a little flavour of what the children have been learning this week. Early Years have been finding out all about the springtime, and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of eggs and an incubator to wait patiently for hatching chicks. Year 1 children are ‘Going on a bear hunt’ for their English topic, whilst Year 2 are setting off to find out about life on the Titanic. Year 3 are building empires through their study on the Romans, with the lives of the gladiators and Roman toilets featuring as early favourite topics, whilst year 4 are doing volcanoes and the human digestive system at the same time – I wonder which will make more rumblings? Year 5 are concluding studies in 2 subjects, space for science and crime and punishment through the ages for History, whilst Year 6 are trekking out to Nepal and the Himalayas for Geography, combined with a study of Buddhism for their multi-cultural topic.
Please don’t forget the need to keep your distance from one another on the school site during drop-off times and especially at end of the day pick-up times whilst waiting to access both playgrounds. And a real plea for all adults accessing the school site to wear a face covering, for the sake of other adults and our staff, as we do in shops and on public transport.
And finally, even with the children back in school, we are still producing two collective worship videos a week for use in class during Lent. This coming week, with the kind hosting of Fr Daniel Agber, we are broadcasting from the parish of St Edmund’s in Horndean.
Mr R Cunningham