Author Archive: headteacher

A glowing report

On Tuesday this week we received the final report of our Section 48 Validation, a process by which faith schools are assessed on the quality of their RE teaching and the spiritual and moral ethos of the school.

The opening line of the report sets the tone for the whole document,

St Peter’s is a school where the whole community explicitly strive to “walk hand in hand with God”.  The mission statement, which is known and understood by all in the school community, plays a central part in the life of the school.

I must thank and praise all of the school staff who work so hard each day in educating the children in school. The full report can be read via the link below, and is worthy of sharing with friends and family to spread the word of what St Peter’s is all about.

https://www.stpeterswaterlooville.co.uk/index.php/key-information/reports/1656-section-48-validation-report/file

Needless to say, I am exceptionally proud of the St Peter’s pupils, who are the greatest ambassadors of good behaviour and positive learning that a school could hope to have.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

 

 

Lots to celebrate

A scorching hot week has come to a wonderful end at St Peter’s. The children behaved impeccably in welcoming Fr Daniel Agber from St Edmund’s parish in Horndean to celebrate his first mass at the school. What better occasion for this than in celebration of the feast of Saints Peter and Paul? Fr Daniel enthused the pupils with a rousing homily, and all of this was done beneath 14 wonderful mosaics on the life of Christ that the pupils have produced over the course of the school year. The children most certainly deserved their ice cream treat at the end of mass.

During the week, the pupils were exceptional ambassadors for the St Peter’s community during our Section 48 Validation, and when the final report is released I will share that with families in a range of media.

As I write this, the tireless volunteers of the Friends of St Peter’s are setting up for what will no doubt be another wonderful St Peter’s Fest. This annual fund raiser is a great event, and helps to provide the school with the financial bonuses it needs to go the extra mile for our pupils.

And finally, the estate agent Fry and Kent’s Waterlooville branch is bursting at the seams with model houses made by our pupils. These models are on display for several weeks, so do call in to admire the children’s craft skills, and thanks to Mrs Pearson for coordinating this project.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

Annual Schools Mass at the Cathedral

On Thursday I took six pupils from Year 6 to St John’s Cathedral in Portsmouth. Each year there is a Diocesan Schools Mass, an occasion for the Bishop to celebrate Mass with staff and pupils from across the Diocese. It was a joyous occasion, and the special dedication of the Mass was our sister Diocese of Bamenda in Cameroon. Each school was asked to submit a prayer or blessing for the schools of Bamenda, which are currently closed due to domestic civil unrest. Some pupils from St Peter’s composed the following:

Our prayer for the schools in Bamenda

We pray together to God our Father in heaven that every child in Bamenda will be able to go safely to school every day. We pray that all children can learn, play and grow up in safe, happy schools.

Whichever school you go to, you are our brothers and sisters.

Whichever school year you are in, you are our brothers and sisters.

Whichever country you live in, you have a right to go to school.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Amen

All of the prayers and blessings submitted by the Portsmouth Diocese schools will be taken to Bamenda and shared with the schools there when the situation is safe enough to reopen the schools.

Many thanks to all who supported our wonderful Sports Day on Wednesday, and of course our thanks go to Miss Fleming for organising such a great event.

On Wednesday 27th June, a Section 48 Validation will take place at St Peter’s, so I would ask you to keep the pupils and staff of St Peter’s in your prayers over the coming week.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

Order! Order! Anchors aweigh!

A very exciting time for pupils in Years 6 and 4 this week, as both year groups had off site visits which had added real enrichment to their learning.

Year 6 went to Westminster for a visit on Thursday. Having been captivated by the campaign against plastics as part of an English topic, and writing to Mrs May in the process, the pupils suggested a trip to the Houses of Parliament. This led on nicely from the recent visit to school by our local MP Alan Mak, who himself took time to welcome our pupils to his place of work. The pupils took place in a government workshop, and witnessed both the lower and upper Houses of Parliament in session. Many thanks to the Year 6 team of staff who organised this trip.

Year 4 stayed closer to home on Friday, and instead covered a distance over time rather than space. The pupils went to visit the Mary Rose exhibition hall in the Historic Dockyard. This is now a truly awe inspiring visit, one guaranteed to send chills up the spine as you walk amongst the artefacts in the heart of the vessel. The pupils’ workshop was called ‘Henry’s Heroes’, and looked at the different experience of a range of crew members on board the vessel on its ill-fated last voyage. Thank you to the staff and helpers who made this memorable trip possible.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

Nee-naw, nee-naw, nee-naw!

I had a really exciting day today! I got to sit in the front of a real ambulance, and was allowed to switch on the lights and work the sirens. It was the full ‘Blues and Twos’ as we say in the trade. Then I got to go up and down on the ambulance tailgate. It was great, a real dream come true.

Well, okay, the truth behind my fun experience stretches a bit wider. St Peter’s was lucky enough to have a visit from a team of 4 paramedics and first responders, who spoke during assembly about their roles in helping people who find themselves in emergency situations. After a great interactive assembly with the team who are more used to delivering people to QA than taking part in Q&A, children from different year groups got the opportunity to tour four vehicles that were stationed in the north playground, pictured below. The paramedics and response staff gave great demonstrations, and the pupils learnt a lot about the vehicles and their equipment. Thank you to all the staff who helped to make this possible. For those year groups that did not get to visit the medical vehicles, we have a fire engine on site later in the month, and they will get to tour this instead. After I’ve done the lights, sirens and sprayed the fire hose of course!

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

SATs & MPs

Very well done indeed to all 64 pupils in Year 6 who have worked amazingly hard this week on their SATs. They approached each day with calm positivity, and were mature in how they prepared for the challenges the tests brought along. Massive thanks must go to all of the staff who made the SATs week run so smoothly. Obviously, we start with the 4 colleagues in the Year 6 teaching team, but also this week for the assistance given by the learning support staff from across the school and to the kitchen for preparing mountains of toast to welcome the Year 6 pupils in from 8:00am. The hard work is not over for the oldest pupils at St Peter’s just yet, but looking ahead there is a list of dates relevant to Year 6 families, Year 5 families, and the Year 6 show which is open to all families at St Peter’s, even if they don’t have a child in Year 6.

On Friday this week the school hosted Alan Mak, MP for Havant. Mr Mak has visited almost every school in his constituency, so we were delighted to be able to respond to his offer of a visit for the benefit of our pupils. Mr Mak spoke to our Year 6 cohort about the role of an MP and took questions on issues that were important to them. This was a great opportunity for the pupils to prepare for their own visit to Westminster in June, where Mr Mak will play host to our Year 6. Before receiving a guided tour of the school by a small group of pupils, Mr Mak listened to a presentation from our Year 5 Prayer Garden project team, and as a result has committed to making a donation to this pupil led enterprise.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

Dates for your diary

Year 6 & Year 5 Mass at The Church of the Sacred Heart and St Peter the Apostle in Waterlooville, Tuesday 19 June at 10:30am. All families welcome.

Year 6 Performance ‘Annie’ at Oaklands Catholic School auditorium, Wednesday 11 July at 6:30pm. All families welcome, ticket information to follow.

Year 6 Leavers’ Mass at St Peter’s in the school hall, Tuesday 17 July at 1:20pm followed by afternoon tea. Year 6 families welcome

Year 6 Celebration fun day, Wednesday 18 July. Strictly pupils only – because they’ve earned it! (Sorry parents!!)

A full time short week

As usual following a Bank Holiday, we have managed to squeeze 5 days’ work into 4 at St Peter’s.  Whole school worship was moved to Tuesday, and Year 1 hosted a Liturgy in which they expertly re-enacted the entire Easter story.  Coming just before the Feast of the Ascension, it was a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon the Passion and Resurrection of Christ before the Church returns to Ordinary Time.  Thank you to the Year 1 staff for preparing the children, to the families who attended, and to Monsignor Jeremy who joined the children.

Pupils in Year 2 have been working very hard all week their end of Key Stage SATs, which are referred to as ‘quizzes’!  The children have not been fazed at all by these, and the Year 2 staff team have worked wonders in energising and encouraging the pupils so that they show the full extent of their learning and skills.  It is the turn of Year 6 next week to complete their SATs from Monday to Thursday.  They too have worked exceptionally hard for these, and their teachers have prepared them in the best possible way.  My advice for the weekend would be that rest and relaxation is just as important as revision when done in the correct amounts before any tests.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

 

May the Force be with you

I got to bring my toys into school today, even though it wasn’t the last day of term.  The special reason?  Well, today is Star Wars day of course; May 4th be with you!

My assembly took the form of a Star Wars quiz, and I brought in my own Star Wars toys from when I was a primary school child, shown in the picture below.  It was wonderful to see the younger pupils nearest the front of the hall unable to contain their curiosity about toys which are 35 years old and pale in comparison to what is available to them today.

The main message of the assembly was twofold.  Firstly, a film franchise that has lasted over 40 years, employs thousands of people across the globe and grosses billions of pounds in annual profit relies heavily on 2 of our 6C learning behaviours, namely Commitment and Collaboration.  The children were made aware that without these things, nothing is ever achieved in their school work and home life.  Secondly, in revealing my two other childhood obsessions of Lego and Liverpool Football Club, I stressed to the children that they need a balanced range of interests and activities, no matter how much they may like one particular thing.  I told them explicitly that a healthy life involves limiting their time on Fortnite, or coming off Roblox, and doing a range of indoor, outdoor and sociable activities during their free time.  Sound advice, I hope, for a long Bank Holiday weekend.

May the Force be with you

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher (and secret Jedi)

 

Pupil praise

Let’s face it; we all have those weekly tasks that need to be done no matter what else is going on. The laundry, the shopping, cleaning out the cat litter (okay, I buy the cat litter, but the cleaning is sub-contracted to the children!). We tend to think of these tasks as laborious, and would not want to add to them. However, one of the weekly tasks which I did add to my list in January, and which is far from a burden, is signing the praise letters which are sent home each week. Every Wednesday and Thursday, I sign letters to the families of the children who have received the weekly Golden Leaf and Showstopper Writing awards, and once a month the Mathemagician award. It is a wonderful way for me to keep in touch with the pupils’ achievements, be they academic or pastoral, and allows me to raise the award in conversation the next time I see one of the children. I have had great feedback also on children’s excitement of getting a real letter through the post, and it also keeps families informed if children forget at the end of a busy day what they received in assembly 6 hours previously. Well done to all those children who have received awards and letters so far in 2018, and keep checking the post for the rest of this term.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher

Happy Easter season

Welcome back to what has been a beautiful start to the summer term. Monday 16 April saw the first whole school worship of Easter for the St Peter’s community, and there was a sense of joy and praise through song as the pupils welcomed the Gospel reading with a rousing acclamation of Alleluia, Alleluia, Give thanks to the Risen Lord.

Even though we are now well into the liturgical season of Easter, the process of counting up our Lenten fundraising is on-going. Our running total is over £480, and families can still add to that by bringing in any CAFOD collection pyramids full of coins. St Peter’s school hopes that through prayer, and charity via the work of CAFOD, our pupils can benefit the education of children around the world that they will never meet.

Learning this week has been as much outside as inside the classroom, and pupils have used the benefit of the warm weather and the school environment to enhance their lessons. As always, but perhaps a bit earlier in the year than usual, please remember to send your child into school with a hat and a water bottle, and apply sun cream as part of the morning routine of getting ready for school.

Mr R Cunningham

Headteacher