Head’s blog

Running Into The Summer

Trinity - Week 2

Our school values are Opportunity, Community, Endeavour, Achievement and Nurture. Out of all the school events we do, the Harefield Run has got to be the one where all of those values are on view at the same time!

The sun shone and the children were tremendously excited. At other schools the mention of the cross country is met with such doom and gloom. Such a fearful reaction that often it has to be ‘sprung’ on the school as a surprise and not included in the calendar; Matron’s door being bolted and no excuses allowed. At St.Peter’s that is not the case at all! The excitement was tangible.

Friday was also our founders day and my thanks goes to Rev Cambridge for leading us in prayers with a reflective assembly about St. Peter with our favourite stirring hymns – ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘I Vow to Thee My Country’’.

With ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ pumping out of the stereo the runners lined up – so colourful and proud in their house shirts and it was wonderful to see such parent support. The whooping and cheering for all the children winners and those bringing up the rear was a real testament to this wonderful school. Thank you to Mr Hyde and Mr Reynolds for such organisation and thank you to Mr Hurley for some wonderful pictures. A triumph!

Other highlights of the week have been a very well attended school in action day. I have spent some time in Nursery where a real pirate ship and gang plank are up in Miss Paver’s room! But maybe the best bit was when Molly asked me to read her a story when I visited Reception and all the children gathered around listening as I sat on the floor. A moment of peace in a busy week.

Easter Bonnets and Blessings

Lent - Week 10

Easter is upon us and the snow has melted. We welcome Spring to St Peter’s finally! With a thought provoking Easter service led by Dr Evans, as well as a Pre-prep Easter service, it has been a super end of term. Dr Evans spoke of three words to remind us of Easter, ‘Love’, ‘forgiveness’ and ‘promise’ with some little tokens to remind us all. Listening to the whole school singing together is always special. Thank you to Mrs Hurley in particular for her work with the Junior Choir who performed brilliantly, as well as our individual readers: Natalie, Nancy and Ellie. Well done everyone.

At break time on Friday, there was an Easter Bonnet parade and miniature garden competition. Thank you so much to all of the parents who had helped in the ‘creations!’ And that afternoon we couldn’t wait for the PTA Eggstravaganza with real, yes real, baby lambs! The children have been so lucky to have such a wonderful end to the Lent term. Thank you so much to all of the PTA involvement. Hugely appreciated by all of us and again, another event with the staff working alongside the parents. You should all have had your Trinity term calendar now. If not, please do look in your child’s book bag. Plans for the Summer Barn Dance continue apace for 7 July and is definitely one for the diaries. With two live bands, a caller, hog roast, bar by Oddfellows AND a bucking bronco, it is certainly a recipe for a great night!

This week we said goodbye to Mrs Sydenham. She has worked at St Peter’s for a long time and, we worked out today, was working here before any of the current children at St Peter’s were even born! We will all miss her hugely and wish her luck in her retirement in France. Do come back and visit us soon! This just leaves me to wish you all a very Happy Easter with your families. We look forward to welcoming you all back in the Trinity term.

Charlotte Johnston, Head

Stages of Success

Lent - Week 10

A triumph! That is how I would describe this week. With performing arts at the centre of the week many children performed in music and drama, taking part in some wonderful opportunities here at St. Peter’s. I apologise if they are a little tired – the staff certainly are! One highlight was certainly when I read Peter and the Wolf in front of a full orchestra of Blundell’s, Exeter Cathedral School and St. Peter’s Prep playing the wonderful Prokofiev score. As I looked out onto the audience of around two hundred at the Blundell’s charity gala held at Exeter University’s Great Hall on Wednesday night last week I did feel a little nervous, but I certainly enjoyed taking part in reading the narration with the other Heads. I was so proud of our children who took part singing and playing with such enthusiasm. I don’t think I have ever heard the Chamber Choir, with new members in the ranks, sing so beautifully. Thank you to the staff who took them and our parent helpers. All of Year 5 have taken their ESB’s this week. An external examiner joins us and the children perform their poetry and readings for a formal qualification. The examiner commented on the lovely children and how impressed she was with the incredibly high level of achievement. Well done Year 5. And then on to Thursday night where a small band of brothers – St. Peter’s Players led us a merry tale at the BXX theatre in Exmouth. The cast were outstanding with some real stand out performances from some of our pupils – Bertie, Summer and William in particular and a special mention to Edward as Detective ‘Bobby’ or ‘Booby’ for real stage presence. It was an evening of joy and achievement – my thanks indeed to Mrs Colwill and Mr Hoban for all of that hard work behind the scenes.

We enjoyed a successful Open Day on Saturday, March 10. Thank you to all the parents who recommend St. Peter’s for their children. So many of our new recruits come to us through word of mouth from current parents and it is all great marketing – thank you!

Today I also write with some staffing news as we look towards the Trinity Term. We are currently in the process of interviewing and appointing a replacement for Mrs White. We are also hoping to split the current Year 2 class into two year 3 classes from September depending on numbers and are currently recruiting for a new teacher to start in September. Recruitment also continues for an IT technician and a member of the housekeeping team. Please do let anyone interested know that details are here on our website.

And I finish with a quote from Eeyore which I have shared with the children. And isn’t it true….

Out of the Snow and into the Summer

Lent - Week 9

Alas, World Book day had to be cancelled last week because of the weather. I was keen for it not to go unrecognised and have purchased two copies of this beautiful book ‘The Lost Words’ by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. Robert describes himself amongst other things as a ‘word collector’. The poems are all acronyms and the illustrations which are simply beautiful show nature and our world at its best. I have bought one copy of the book for the library and the other will do a tour around the classrooms next week. The authors are part of a campaign to have one copy in every school and we have therefore helped them in their quest!

One of the joys of my week is seeing the children. One of the ways I make sure to see all children is to invite a select group to juice and biscuits in my office. Here you can see us all enjoying a good chat about the best bits of Year 5 and some of the things I need to be working on! I also had 9 children visiting me with their work that has been awarded the ‘gold sticker.’ (is there nothing better?). This was for a piece of really remarkable, excellent work. Lots of science from year 6 and year 7 this week but also for one child’s 100 club success as he has ‘passed Fractions!’.

We are looking towards the Summer calendar at the moment. There will be lots of girls cricket (around 50/50 of their matches), a royal wedding tea party and the barn dance PTA summer party as well as drama productions, concerts and much more! I look forward to seeing many parents next Tuesday for PTA spring drinks in the learning hub. We will be providing dinner for the children and a film. Next week also sees much in the way of Music and Drama. The children have been rehearsing and we look forward to seeing many parents at the Blundells Gala at Exeter Great Hall on Wednesday where our children will perform with those from Blundell’s prep and Exeter Cathedral School. It will be a mighty thing! On Thursday I look forward to our elite Drama group – ‘St Peter’s Players’ performance at the Blackmore. The opportunities and experiences the children have here alongside their work in the classroom is exceptional. Our tremendous scholarship haul is now pretty much in and we will share the results with you at the end of term. Thank you for all of the support as we head towards Easter.


Charlotte Johnston, Head