Author Archive: headteacher

Bright and bold!

Things went a little bit technicolour this week at St Peter’s.  On Monday 16th November, as part of a national anti-bullying initiative, pupils and staff took part in the annual national ‘odd socks day’.  This launched a two-week period in which teaching and learning at St Peter’s stresses even more than usual the fact that bullying has not place in our school, our communities or our lives.  Inclusion and equality are key elements in all that we do at the school, and pupils are regularly made aware that diversity makes us stronger together, rather than setting us apart from one another.

The following day, pupils in Year 4 had their ‘Heads Up for Guide Dogs’ day.  This was a deep learning day on the training and work of assistance dogs for those with restricted or no sight, and to mark the even children wore bright head gear or even (temporarily!) coloured their hair in return for a financial donation.  The year group managed to raise over £40:00 to fund the training of a guide dog in the future.  Well done to all of the pupils who took part in these initiatives, and thank you to the staff for organising and taking part.  My personal thanks also goes to Kiwi Parade Gloss for the shine on my shoes!

Mr R Cunningham

Another new type of normal

During their RE lessons recently, pupils in Year 3 have been thinking about what they would take with them were Jesus to appear before them and ask them to follow Him.  One pupil decided they would pick up their house keys so that they could always return home if they wanted.  However, the child did then go on to explain to me how those who followed Jesus when He was here on earth left everything in order to take up His path, realising that they needed nothing to answer the call of the Lord.  This week Year 1 celebrated their autumn Liturgy in ever more peculiar circumstances, as under the latest lockdown rules the school is sealed off even to parish priests and lay chaplains.  The pupils led a beautiful liturgy on November and the month of Holy Souls, presenting their views of heaven which included clouds, rainbows and an awful lot of pets and animals.  We held in our prayers all those loved ones who, whilst not in heaven, still feel far away from us during this latest period of Covid-induced separation.

Meanwhile, all pupils in the school observed a 2 minute silence at 11:00am on 11th November in honour of the fallen.

Year 2 marked the remembrance event in the prayer garden at the centre of the school.

Please don’t forget to share our promotional video with any families you know who may be looking for a school place in Reception Year in September 2020:   Families of children aged 5 and above are also welcome to contact the school on 023 9226 2599 should they wish to join our waiting list for additional school places when they arise.

Mr R Cunningham

For the fallen

Pupils in Year 5 this week have been able to make a contribution to the local community in the form of a window display for the annual season of remembrance.  Following a request from Co-Operative Funeral Care in Cowplain, Mrs Pearson arranged for the children in Year 5 to use their art lesson to produces images on the theme of remembrance.  A selection of their work now forms the window display for the Co-Operative Funeral Care in Cowplain, and we thank them for the poppy pin badges that were given to each Year 5 pupil.  An equivalent display is also on show in the windows of the Unity Building here at St Peter’s, which you will be able to see when you access the school site.  This Sunday will see a very different format of the annual acts of remembrance across the country and the world, and in school on Wednesday 11th November we will hold a two-minute silence in honour of the fallen.  The following prayer will be used with the pupils:

We entrust to you, eternal God,
those times when we can see only shadows
and lose sight of the hope to come;
the times when suffering seems so senseless,
life so fragile, war so unstoppable and death so permanent.
Bless us with the assurance that you are in all things,
the tragic and the beautiful,
the nightmare and the dream,
the light and the darkness.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ
the peace of the world, today, tomorrow and forever.

Mr R Cunningham

Have a safe half-term break

Hampshire County Council has asked us to share the following important public health message with you all:

Coronavirus infections are continuing to rise, and Hampshire is on ‘Medium’ COVID alert level.

We need your help to stop the spread of the virus, so please continue following national public health guidance this half term.

Remember ‘hands, face, space’ and the Rule of 6: which means no large gatherings indoors or outdoors.

Let’s all work together to Keep Hampshire Safe.

Mr R Cunningham



Festive fundraising – already!

Thank you to all families who have been able to order Christmas items from their child’s drawings this week.  The Friends of St Peter’s usually does so much to help raise extra funds for the school, and next week would normally have seen the Monster Ball parties for children on the Friday before the half-term break.  Alas, that and our children’s Christmas parties will need to be cancelled, but the Friends of St Peter’s continue with their efforts through the Christmas picture orders.  There is also a growing stock of nearly new uniform for sale at very accessible prices – information and contact details are available on the website via

Thanks must also go to our Art teacher Mrs Pearson who taught the lessons in which the festive images were produced, and who has coordinated the project in school.

Congratulations to former St Peter’s pupil Mason Mount, who scored for England last Sunday night.  Mason was at St Peter’s between 2003 and 2010, and is now a regular starter for Chelsea.  His winning goal at Wembley Stadium in the UEFA Nations League secured a 2-1 win over the top ranked team in world football, Belgium.

Mr R Cunningham

Learning and living RE

Over the two weekends of 3rd and 10th October, a selection of pupils from St Peter’s made their First Holy Communion.  Please keep in your prayers Aimee, Kieron, Connie, Teddy, Harriet, Thomas, Luca, Brayden, Jonah, Sophie, Georgia, Sophia, Lola, William, Edie, George and Harrison.  They were joined by children from other schools for whom we also pray.  It was a delight to share Mass with these children and celebrate with their families; the young ladies looking simply splendid and the chaps looking very smart indeed.

In school during the month of September, RE lessons for pupils have had two themes.  Firstly, the children discussed what they could do to live out the school mission statement of ‘Walking hand in hand with God to make our world a better place’.  Next, pupils have studied the creation story, ranging from ordering the days of creation by the youngest children to pupils in Year 6 considering how they can be responsible stewards of God’s creation in the twenty first century.

Thank you to St Peter’s colleagues who raised £107.73 for Macmillan nurses on Friday 2nd October in donations for cakes during the inset day.

If you know of any families who are looking for a school place for Reception in September 2020, please direct them to contact the admission secretary Mrs Pope  to provide their own contact details to join our mailing list for updates on the application process via 02392 262599 or

Mr R Cunningham

One month done!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is September done!  It has been quite an undertaking, yet thoroughly successful, so I am delighted to have the first month of the school year under our belt.  It is also great to report that whole school average attendance for the month of September was 98%, which compares incredibly well to other attendance figures for attendance (national 91%, Hampshire 94.4% and Havant & Waterlooville 95.1% in September 2020).

Over the course of this week, the Senior Leadership Team has met with every class teacher to discuss class and pupil priorities that have been identified over the first four weeks of term.  Each colleague has a clear action plan in place for the children they teach to support any catch-up needed as a result of school closure, and also strategies to embed and drive forward the learning for this school year.  During the Inset day on Friday 2nd October, colleagues will be looking at whole school outcome targets, and developing lesson planning and resourcing to work towards the successful achievement of these for your children.

Thank you all for the support given as we have navigated our way through September.  We know that different ways of doing things still lie ahead of us in this term, and we will continue to look for ways to refine and improve our practice to make the school day ever more efficient for pupils and families alike.

Mr R Cunningham

September is fast disappearing!

A busy week this week which saw the school operating at full capacity, with pupils in all years groups from Year R through to Year 6 attending full time.  We certainly do have a confident cohort of Early Years children this year, keen to dive right into everything on offer in the Reception classrooms and outdoor learning areas.  Indeed, they fit the bill of being perfect newcomers to school life as they are only ever quiet on 2 occasions during the school day – story time and lunch time!

We have been able to make use of all our outdoor areas this week for break and lunch time play, giving pupils valuable opportunities in their year group bubbles to socialise and exercise in the fresh air.  It is something of a miracle that we were able to dodge the downpours that beset us in the middle of the week.

Average attendance over the first 3 weeks of term sits at just over 96%.  This is above the Government expectation of good attendance (measured at 95%) but short of our school minimum expectation of 97% over the course of the full school year.  Information from the NHS and Public Health England has been shared by the school to help families distinguish between common seasonal ailments and Covid-19 symptoms, and as we get used to learning together in a school community again I look forward to our attendance figures rising over the coming weeks.

Don’t forget that Friday 2nd October is a staff Inset day and the school will be closed to pupils.  They will be able to enjoy a 4 day week and, I am sure, a much needed long weekend to get over the hectic start to a busy autumn term.

Mr R Cunningham

We’re well underway

It’s great to be back at St Peter’s, and back with a full house across the age groups.  Children in Years 1 to 6 started this second week of term in fine fettle and raring to go.  From Monday, they were joined by our new entrants in the Reception Year, who were gradually building up their school days before going full time next week.  Staggered drop-off and collection times have been streamlined to benefit families and make the school learning day even more efficient, and we are in a position now to move to year group ‘bubbles’ to help with learning support and interventions.  Each year group bubble will continue with different break and lunch times, and designated outdoor spaces in which to play.  All of the pupils have been superb in seamlessly adapting to the new way of doing things in school – they are a credit to their families and the staff at St Peter’s.  And in a great sign of a return towards our usual customs and practices, pupils in Year 4 celebrated our first Liturgy of the academic year with Fr Jeremy and Miss Keogh, Oaklands’ lay chaplain, in attendance.  The beautiful display material used by the children is pictured below.  Sadly, for the moment, we cannot invite families into school to share in these year group worships, but they were remembered in our prayers.

Mr R Cunningham

All present and correct

It was just fantastic to open our doors and welcome back the children from Years 1 to 6 this week.  Attendance was excellent at 99%, and we are braced for more next week as the Year R pupils begin their half day taster sessions.

The pupils have settled into lessons and school life exceptionally well, all hungry to learn and work hard for their new teachers.

Perhaps the greatest excitement was in Year 1 with the opening of a new outdoor learning area for Mrs Layton’s Puffer Fish class to complement the Secret Garden outdoor learning area used by Mrs Jonas’ and Mrs Knight’s Turtle class.  Now each Year 1 class has their own area to continue with discovery led learning outdoors and make the transition from the Early Years to Key Stage 1 seamless and successful.  Enormous thanks go to the Friends of St Peter’s for their fundraising efforts which went a very long way to financing this project.  I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as the children are enjoying their outdoor learning.

Mr R Cunningham