I hope that you are all well and keeping safe. I would just like to say a huge well done to all of our school community for the tremendous effort that has taken place in order to sustain our school life, education and ethos, during these incredible challenging and unpredictable times.
The co-work of teachers and parents in the remote education of our pupils has been phenomenal – we feel so proud of all of the families, children and staff who have demonstrated exceptional levels of resilience and commitment over the course of the last few months. We would like to thank everyone for their kindness, patience and understanding during recent weeks, which has really helped our school community to flourish regardless of distancing measures, remote learning and other significant changes to our everyday routines.
In light of this, I would like to share a short reflection with you all…
Lately, our school patronal feast day took place on Sunday 28th June. In the same way as St. Peter, we have considered how we can continue to follow God’s calling by ‘using the gifts God gave us to make our world a better place’. In particular, the children have demonstrated their awareness of the sacrifices made by St. Peter and the loyalty he had demonstrated as a follower of Jesus. Please take a look at the following Art and Religious Education activities that some of our pupils have completed as part of their home learning.
What a fantastic selection of our school logo, stained glass window paintings and models of the keys to Heaven! We hope that you all have a peaceful and restful summer holidays, with opportunities for moments of prayer, calm and quiet reflection. We send all of our prayers to those who have been affected by the Coronavirus around the world, may we continue show our support and appreciation to all key workers and those on the NHS front line who are working so hard to tackle the virus and nurse those who are suffering back to good health. I would like to end this month’s blog post with a short prayer:
We entrust to your unfailing
and tender care this night
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold us safe.
Comfort and heal them,
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Please continue to access the Sunday Liturgy resources that are posted each week on the Headteacher’s blog. We look forward to seeing you all in September and hope that you have a safe and enjoyable summer holidays and feel ready and refreshed for the new term.
I hope that you are all well and staying safe.
What a strange time we have found ourselves in – one thing that has become very clear, however, is the strength of our school community and the way in which it has continued to thrive regardless of the restrictions presented by UK lock down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each day, we have been fortunate enough to open our school doors and welcome students – albeit a much smaller group size! – to join together for the calm of Whole School worship and excitement of classroom learning. In addition, we are incredibly proud of the community spirit that has been demonstrated by our staff and pupils. For instance, the teachers of St. Peter’s have worked together to create a series of food bank collections to support those in the wider community at this difficult time. Furthermore, our staff have very gratefully received kind messages of gratitude from parents and their children, for the commitment that has been demonstrated towards securing the delivery of a rich, engaging and varied curriculum for all of the students at St. Peter’s Catholic Primary school.
Of course, despite many of our families responsibly following government guidelines to stay at home, this has not hindered the connection between school and home. For example, teachers have successfully been able to make regular phone calls home to children to ensure that they remain aware of always being the key foundation to our Catholic community. It has been lovely to hear how the children have been celebrating Easter at home with their families recently and remaining in contact with their peers through online applications including WhatsApp, FaceTime and Skype. In addition, class emails have been set up to enable the children to share work completed from home that they are proud of. Take a look at these wonderful Year Four examples of an Easter Egg design that includes symbols for New Life (left), and a mosaic card that celebrates the love Jesus has for everyone in our world (right)…
Undoubtedly, learning for Religious Education has been delivered through alternative means during the current crisis. For instance, students from all year groups have been given access to a selection of RE tasks through posts on the class blogs that include activities for Holy Week, Easter and Other Faiths (as part of our work on diversity fortnight, which was scheduled – prior to the outbreak – to take place recently). It has also been wonderful to see the children equally engaged in their ART RE home learning, which has been set by Mrs Pearson. Take a look at the examples of an Easter stained glass window, a Gurdwara model, a station of the cross, as well as a calm prayer station for daily reflection…
Please do keep an eye on class blogs over the next few weeks, as more home learning tasks for Religious Education shall be set for Pentecost. Also, I would like to remind you all that Ten Ten school worships are available to you through a link to Daily Prayers, on the Headteacher’s school blog.
Finally, I would like to end this month’s RE blog post with the following prayer from CAFOD…
Almighty and merciful Father, who shows love to all of Your creation,
We come before You asking for support as we work to control the Coronavirus currently ravaging our world.
Hear graciously the prayers we make for those affected by the virus in various parts of the world.
Grant healing to the sick, eternal life to those who have passed away and consolation to all bereaved families.
We pray that an effective medicine to combat the sickness may soon be found.
We pray for the governments and health authorities, that they take appropriate steps for the good of all people.
Look upon us in Your mercy and forgive us our failings.
With very best wishes to you all,
I hope that you have all been having a relaxing and enjoyable half term break.
As part of their RE Curriculum learning during the Spring Term, our students began to learn about the Revelation of Christ through the miracles that He performed to help others. Through these miracles and the work of Jesus, Christians believe that God had revealed His presence to those on Earth. Our children have celebrated this message through their study and exploration of key Bible stories including the Transfiguration and Baptism of Jesus, amongst other Luminous Mysteries. Another way in which this theme was celebrated was through our Year 3 and 4 Mass which took place on Tuesday 28th January 2020. This service was led by Father Jeremy and Father Agber, and was a wonderful opportunity for our school community to join together in prayer and worship. We would like to send many thanks to all parents and parishioners who were able to attend our Mass, as well as to S. Keogh (Oaklands Catholic School Chaplain) and St. Peter’s staff for their hard work when preparing and resourcing the service.
Last half term, lots of exciting school events took place at St. Peters. For example, the Year R liturgy on Tuesday 21st January 2020 was well attended by family members and the children behaved beautifully and were fantastic role models and representatives of our school. Another key update from last term includes the introduction of S. Keogh’s pupil chaplain team at St. Peter’s Catholic school – the GIFT team (Growing In Faith Together) shall encourage the development of student voice, responsibility and involvement with regards to the Catholic life of our school and the events and celebrations that take place in our school community throughout the Liturgical Year. Next term, we look forward to celebrating our ‘Lenten Day of reflection’ on 31st March 2020. We are proud to announce that our pupil GIFT team shall play a large role in the organisation and delivery of this special day. Another school event which our team shall participate and collaborate on includes the St. Peter and St. Paul feast day Mass – this will take place on Tuesday 30th June 2020.
Upon our return to school on Monday 24th February 2020, we look forward to beginning our learning for Lent as we start preparations as a community that enable us to reflect on our faith, pray to Jesus and give to others who are less fortunate than ourselves as we continue following in God’s footsteps to make our world a better place. In particular, on Wednesday 26th February 2020, Years 2-6 shall join together for an Ash Wednesday service to begin our Lenten preparations at St. Peter’s.
May I leave you all with a prayer for strength, hope and guidance as we begin our spiritual journeys through Lent. As part of our participation across The Year of the God Who Speaks, we continuously reflect upon our deepening relationship with God through the scriptures we study and commandments we live by as God’s stewards…
you walk alongside us and
speak to us throughout the Scriptures.
Your Son, Jesus Christ,
listens to our hopes and fears
and shows us how to live for one another.
Send us the Holy Spirit
to open our hearts and minds
so that we may be your witnesses
throughout the world.
This is the Official Prayer for the Year of the God who speaks:
With very best wishes to you all,
I hope that you are all well and that you have had a wonderful start to December, as we begin the countdown to Christmas.
To begin, I would like to congratulate one of our Y3 students, Caitlin, for winning Hampshire County Council’s 2020 Interfaith Calendar competition, this November. Her work on the parable of the Lost Sheep shall be published for the month of July. We look forward to seeing your creative illustration, well done Caitlin! Other school events that have taken place include the Y1 Liturgy on Tuesday 12th November 2019, as well as whole school collections for the Apostleship of the Sea charity.
December is always a busy yet exciting time of year. During Advent, however, we also take time to reflect, pray and consider how we may prepare for the coming of Jesus at Christmas time. At St. Peter’s, the children have enjoyed taking part in calm meditation sessions, to reflect upon the choices they have made towards others and how, in some cases, these choices may be improved to enable us to prepare our hearts for the second coming of Christ. Please see a copy of the Advent Calendar provided by Mr. Cunningham during our Whole School worship, which has now been sent home with all children, that shall encourage our students to take part in prayers and activities that shall enable them to put others first, this Advent. Another way in which we have prepared for Christmas has been during our Whole School Advent service at Sacred Heart Church on Tuesday 3rd December 2019. The service was a truly delightful opportunity for our whole school community to join together and reflect upon the birth of Jesus and the events which took place on the journey to Bethlehem. Well done to all of the readers and choir singers and a huge thank you to S. Keogh (Oaklands School Chaplain) and the teaching staff for organising such a beautiful service. I would like to also say thank you to our parent volunteers, who all took time from their busy schedules to accompany the children on a safe walk to and from the church. Please see the photo below from our Advent Service…
I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Year R team and Reception children for all of their hard work when rehearsing for their class Nativity play, which took place this week. All of the staff, parents and friends of St. Peter’s feel extremely proud of the children for their courage and teamwork during their dress rehearsal and final performance. Well done everybody! I would also like to wish Y1 and Y2 the best of luck for their upcoming Nativity play – our school shall look forward to supporting you and watching your performance at tomorrow’s dress rehearsal.
Please note that our Whole School Carol Service shall take place at Sacred Heart Church (Waterlooville) on Tuesday 10th December 2019, from 6.30 – 7.30 pm. We very much look forward to seeing you all there!
I would like to complete this month’s blog post with a short prayer, as we prepare for the celebration of the birth of the Lord at Christmas…
In this season of expectation, we prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, the Messiah, into the bustle of our lives and the hard to find moments of solitude. We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, the Messiah, into our homes and situations along with families and friends. May we not forget the true meaning of Christmas, but instead welcome the joy of Christ in our hearts as we continue His work on earth.
With very best wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year,
I hope that you are all well and that you are enjoying a peaceful, safe and relaxing half term.
St. Peter’s have continued to partake in numerous events this term, which have taken place as part of the Catholic Life of our school. For example, on Tuesday 15th October 2019, Year 3 and Year 4 took part in a walk to Sacred Heart Church. At Mass, we celebrated the Extraordinary Month of Mission and how we as Christians can live out our school Mission Statement in order to help make our world a better place. As part of the offertory, the children produced a postcard for the Missio Charity and described how they would use their special qualities and talents in order to serve the people of God’s world. We would like to say a huge thank you to Mrs Keogh (Oaklands chaplain) for organizing the music and resources, as well as to all teaching staff for distributing readings to children and all parent volunteers for their kindness and generosity when assisting the children on the walk to church. Thank you!
As well as being a month on Mission, we have also celebrated the Month of Mary during October. As part of our celebrations, each year group took part in a special mission set by the Pope: for one million children around the world to join together and pray the rosary, with a particular focus upon spreading peace and unity across the world. The children were reflective and respectful during each session, successfully using the beads of the rosary as a guide in supporting them to pray ‘a decade of the rosary’. Please see the photos below…
In class, we have continued to consider the significance of St. Peter’s Mission Statement in our everyday lives. As part of our God Matters RE curriculum, we have completed our learning on Creation and have started our new unit as a school on Prayers, Saints and Feasts. In this unit, we shall focus upon the key figures in the History of the people of God, as well as on the importance of prayer and how this may take place in different settings. We have particularly enjoyed exploring the Other Faiths elements within each unit, for instance Year Four have been studying Judaism and have been learning about the Torah and the symbols used in Jewish prayer before studying the Shema prayer (Hear, O Israel) and creating their own version.
To complete this month’s RE blog post, I would like to leave you all with a prayer as we reflect upon the month of Mission and how we may welcome, encourage and support others in our everyday lives.
We pray for the Church: that it may be a place where everyone is welcome and inspire a change in the lives of all those who hear its message. Lord in your mercy…
We pray for our brothers and sisters in every country: that they may have their fair share of the good things God has given for all. Lord in your mercy…
We pray for our parish, family and friends: that through God’s help we may make changes so that all people may live together in peace. Lord in your mercy…
Welcoming Lord, come and stay with us. Fill our hearts with your love. Help us to show kindness and mercy to everyone we meet. Amen
With very best wishes to you all,
I hope that you have all had an enjoyable and relaxing summer holidays. It is a pleasure to welcome you all back to St. Peter’s Catholic Primary School for the start of the Autumn term.
I would like to begin by sharing some wonderful news. Last week, our school achieved the first level of a national programme called The Romero Award. This award focuses upon Catholic Social Teaching (CST), as well as how CST may be put into action to ensure schools are promoting these values and using them to support their local community. I would like to both thank and congratulate Mrs Conlon and Mr Land for their hard work, all of which has enabled our school to receive ‘Participator Level’ status of the 3 year programme. A fantastic start to the year!
As part of their RE Curriculum learning, the children of St. Peter’s enjoyed taking part in two Mission Statement lessons per year group, to reflect upon the following words of our (updated) Mission Statement and how they and others (charities, saints, Church communities) ‘live out’ the values of our Mission – “Walking hand in hand with God, to make our world a better place”. It was excellent to see examples of role play, creative tasks and Catholic Social Teaching across each of the year groups. We now look forward to beginning our first God Matters unit this week, on Creation, whereby the children learn about the Creation story from Genesis and how we are all made in God’s image and so should respect and love one another as stewards who care for God’s world. Please see the Creation display at the school office for examples of pupil’s work so far.
This morning, we have welcomed all students, staff and governors during our Whole School Mass. We began the service with a gathering of our 60 new Reception pupils and our school council representatives from Y1-6, who joined together to attend a service of prayers and blessings for our new Unity Building. Meanwhile, Years 1-6 participated in Mass with Father Jeremy, in the school assembly hall. Towards the end of the Mass, our school council representatives joined Father Jeremy in the prayer garden for a separate blessing and prayer (which was linked via microphone to the school hall so that our entire school community could join in response to the prayers at the garden). I would like to thank the Oaklands school chaplain (S. Keogh), Father Jeremy and all staff, governors and pupils, for their hard work towards the preparation and delivery of today’s services. Please see the photos below…
Coming up, we look forward to the following worship events that are taking place in and around school:
- Tuesday 15th October 2019 – Sacred Heart and St Peter the Apostle Church – Y3 and 4 Mass (10.30am)
- Tuesday 22nd October 2019 – St. Peter’s Catholic Primary School – Y2 Liturgy (10.30am)
Families are more than welcome to attend these events, it would be wonderful to see you all there!
We remember that this week’s reading comes the Gospel according to Luke (Luke 15:1-32). In this Bible passage, Jesus teaches us that God is our shepherd who guides the way to goodness, whilst we are the sheep who follow Him in His footsteps…
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent”.
I would like to end this month’s blog post with a short prayer, as part of a reflection on our Gospel reading…
God of lost sheep, coins and all people, help us to remember you are with us in love and forgiveness every day.
Guide us to share your love with others through all that we do.
Wishing you all the best for the new school year,
I hope that you are all well and that you have been enjoying the recent summer sunshine!
This week at St. Peter’s, the children have all been learning about St. Peter and St. Paul’s apostleship, as part of their RE learning. Each year group has been taught about the lives of both saints, their unique callings from God as well as the personal commitment of each disciple to the Christian faith. In particular, we look forward to taking part in our Whole School Mass to celebrate the Feast Day of St. Peter and St. Paul – where we remember the sacrifices made by both saints and their subsequent ascension to Heaven following their deaths – on Tuesday 2nd July 2019. Please see the photos below for an example of children’s work from Year Three. Each student discovered the collaboration of both saints as they continued God’s work on earth, through the video link below, then created a ‘twin statue’ to represent their partnership in the process of continuing their Mission. Pupils also included symbols to decorate their Feast Day statues, e.g. a pair of crossed keys for St. Peter (who was believed to have been given the keys to the gates of Heaven) and a sword for St. Paul (who had transformed from a persecutor named Saul, to a promoter of Christianity as the disciple, Paul).
Prior to whole school preparations for the Feast Day of St. Peter and Paul, the children at St. Peter’s completed their unit of learning on Pentecost and Mission. Once more, the children explored the way in which the Holy Spirit had changed the lives of the twelve apostles, who had been bestowed the ‘fruits’ of knowledge, courage and wisdom that had enabled them to spread the Word of God around the world in multiple languages. The children enjoyed learning about the symbols of Pentecost, before making booklets to teach others about the importance of the Holy Spirit and how it changes our lives today. Please refer to the examples of Year 3 work shown below…
Next week, we look forward to starting our learning on Sacraments, which forms part of our final unit of study before the end of the academic year. Other events that have been taking place recently at St. Peter’s Catholic primary school include the Year 2 Liturgy with Miss S. Keogh (Oaklands school chaplain) and the celebration of the Annual School’s Mass at the Cathedral – this had involved 10 pupils, who had each represented our school and its values beautifully at the celebration.
As we embark on the last few weeks of a busy school term, I would like to leave you all with a prayer, so that we may reflect upon the strength and courage of St. Peter…
May our hearts be filled with joy as we honour Simon Peter, our leader and rock in the Christian faith.
May we also pray for our Church leaders and all who serve, especially those who are rarely seen or valued but have their equal part to play: help them to find strength in God as they continue God’s work on earth.
We ask that our parish, family and friends may also be inspired by St. Peter’s faith and service. May we all be given the courage, by the Holy Spirit, to speak up for what we believe and reach out to all those in need.
With very best wishes to you all,
I hope that you have all been having a peaceful and relaxing holiday so far.
What a busy half term it has been! I would like to begin by thanking all those who attended the Year R Liturgy on 12th February 2019. In addition, I would like to congratulate all of the children and staff who represented the St. Peter’s choir at church on Sunday 17th March 2019. At St. Peter’s, we continued our Worship during our Whole School Ash Wednesday service on 6th February 2019 – this was a beautiful service that enabled the children to ask God’s forgiveness of their sins as they embarked upon their spiritual journey to become close to God during Lent. The children were beautifully behaved and represented our school exceptionally. Well done to KS1 and KS2! Across the Spring term, pupils at St. Peters were able to demonstrate their participation in the challenges set by Mr Cunningham from their Lenten passport, attached below.
As we progressed through a reflective and prayerful 40 days of Lent, the children were given opportunities in their RE Curriculum learning to consider ways in which they could pray, fast and give to others as this stage during the Liturgical calendar. We were particularly impressed by the honesty of the children’s responses when setting their own personal goals and targets during Collective Worship. During w.b. 1st April 2019, each year group was invited to attend a bespoke Stations of the Cross reflection with the chaplain of Oaklands Catholic School chapel, in order to learn about Jesus’ journey to the cross and appreciate His love for all of Creation. The children were very respectful and were enthusiastic when partaking in the Q&A sessions at the end of each worship – the range and depth of questions asked by the children reflected the high level of critical thinking skills from each class. Please refer to the photos below.
Next term, we look forward to many more exciting developments in the Catholic Life of the school. For instance, in our prayer garden the pergola has already been installed and plans for future planting and growing have already taken place. Furthermore, following the meetings and discussions between members of St. Peter’s school council, our representatives have decided upon and agreed the following name for our new school building: The Unity Building – St. John Paul II. It has been wonderful to see the children responsibly taking part in the decision making process and for them to see their choices making an impact on the school – the building name perfectly encapsulates our school ethos and we cannot wait for the opportunities it shall give our pupils for demonstrating God’s gospel values and our school Mission Statement, across their curriculum learning.
Today is Good Friday, when we remember the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not an easy story to hear, but we are reminded that Christ’s death was not without purpose. He died for us and for our Salvation.
“On Him lies a punishment that brings us peace, and through His wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
As we near the end of our Lenten journey and reflect upon the death and Resurrection of our Lord, let us join together in prayer:
God of mercy, forgive us our sins.
For the times we have closed our eyes to injustice: Lord, have mercy.
For the times we have closed our ears to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor: Christ, have mercy.
For the times we have closed our hearts to our sisters and brothers in need: Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.
I wish you all a joyful and pleasant Easter. We look forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday 23rd April 2019.
This is my first blog post as the RE Curriculum lead of St. Peter’s, and I very much look forward to using this blog as a means of updating you on St. Peter’s spiritual and religious journey across the course of the academic year.
Upon reflection, as a Catholic School, we had thoroughly enjoyed and immersed ourselves within the religious celebrations and festivities that took place during Autumn term 2, towards the end of 2018. The generosity and gratitude demonstrated throughout our entire school community was heart-warming to experience. I would like to congratulate all of the children and staff who took part in the KS2 Carol concert at Sacred Heart church. The festive spirit was certainly spread to all members of the congregation, who particularly enjoyed the children’s musical performances. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those who had generously purchased cards at the church – all donations shall support the continual development of the St. Peter’s prayer garden. Furthermore, it was clear to see how the communal spirit had continued throughout the school’s Christmas dinner day. The children had a fantastic time with their friends, and their behaviour and manners were exceptional. Above all, I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the kitchen staff, parent volunteers and governor helpers who had enabled the Christmas dinner sittings for KS1 and KS2 to operate so efficiently.
St. Peter’s has had an excellent start to the academic year 2018-19. Our strong results from the previous Section 48 Validation has enabled the school to stand in good stead as it makes continual progress as a religious establishment. Recent changes surrounding the assessment of Religious Education by the local Diocese has enabled St. Peter’s to develop further connections between religious scripture and how the Word of God influences the lives of modern day Christians. Pupils have enjoyed the opportunities for discussion and debate that this has opened up – in the context of each RE unit of study, children are now regularly given an opportunity to think critically and theologically about various choices, actions and events that may take place in the world around them. After half term, we look forward to continuing our Other Faiths unit, before moving on to Lent – so far, students have particularly enjoyed exploring a variety of different religions and places of worship. We are proud of our students for the respect they have demonstrated when learning about the practices and beliefs of various religious groups.
Finally, I would like to inform you of an exciting update for 2019. We have been delighted to see the breaking of ground as the project of our new school building begins! Already, meetings have taken place between our school council representatives, in order to select a name for the building that strongly reflects our school’s Mission Statement, religious values and spiritual ethos. We appreciate the co-operation of all students and staff throughout the completion of this project, and look forward to providing further updates soon.
I wish you all a peaceful and restful half term,
I can not believe how quickly this year has gone! I will be handing over the job of writing the RE blog as this is my last week at St. Peter’s. I have enjoyed keeping you all up to date (when I am not having technical issues!). I have had so many lovely comments about my blog which has made it a really rewarding way to communicate all (well many) things RE to you.
We have completed a two year long whole school project which has now made it to its final destination. Mr. Cunningham asked me to give him a list of fourteen of Jesus’s life events which would summarise His life. Mr. Cunningham then enlisted the help of an ex colleague from the secondary sector – an art teacher who then created large drawings of the fourteen events. Each picture was then cut into enough squares for every child and adult in the school to paint – led by Mrs. Pearson in art lessons. They then reassembled the pictures which I think you will agree are absolutely stunning! Our hall has been transformed by the beautiful, whole community art work.
As always we began this week with whole school worship. A prayer sums up this weeks message;
Help me to trust that you will walk with me on every step of my journey through life.
Jesus sent out the apostles with instructions to take no more than sandals and a staff. When Jesus’s friends trust in God he looks after them. What do you take on your journeys through life? Mr Cunningham takes his Rupert the Bear, a special framed quote and a coffee mug! But he explained that the most important thing to journey with is your faith. With faith you can achieve anything. Where will your faith lead you?
My faith is leading me to an exciting new start leading worship in a school in Portsmouth and some risk taking as I set up my own business! I wish you all the very best in your journeys and know I will see many of you around.
With the very best of wishes,