Head’s blog

And we’re back…

Lent - Week 1

Welcome back to all, and the warmest of welcomes to our new families. It is great to have you here with us at St Peter’s.

Did that alarm used to go off so early?
Where on earth did I store the Games kit over Christmas? How did we all make it into school for 08:35 registration?

January can be a bit of a shock to the system, but there has been no ‘dilly dally’ for us, as you will see from this week’s newsletter. We are well and truly back, ready and prepared for the Lent term’s antics. Thanks to the staff who worked throughout the holiday period, keeping everything moving forward and thanks to the staff who have been preparing fabulous learning experiences for your children over the next ten weeks. We are going to be busy! Your child is going to have a wonderful and innovative time this spring.

Pupils have been setting targets, analysing Michaelmas term scores and results and settling themselves back into positive learning behaviours. The atmosphere has been electric around the school site. I spoke in-depth to the children in our Friday assembly about just how proud they can be about themselves. This first week has seen children who are well mannered, positive and well-rested, who are interested, engaged and in control of their own learning journey. There were plenty of smiles and warm greetings for friends across all year groups.

A plea to all parents: please keep your calendar close and read the weekly information letter so you can transfer dates to your own busy calendars. Pop your seatbelts on, please!

Hoping you have all had a lovely Christmas holiday and Happy New Year to the whole St Peter’s Prep School community.

Lucy Ball, Deputy Head

What a performance!

Michaelmas - Week 12

Christmas has certainly arrived here at St Peter’s.

The PTA ran a hugely successful Christmas Fair. Thank you to all who attended and everyone who helped out. I think that Father Christmas has only just recovered, ten days later.

This week was Nativities week! One of my favourite days of the year features the Nativities rehearsals, performed to the whole school. The older children just love remembering their own productions.

The lights are dimmed and a drum roll heralds the first of two shows…

Miss Paver had created a nativities ‘trailer’ featuring rehearsal footage and using real ‘green screen’ technology. Mrs Bruce-Jones wrote the script for the early years and we saw the children really delivering some cracking and topical one-liners. The singing, acting and quality of the productions was superb. Thank you so much to all of the team for their hard work. Following the dress rehearsals, the children performed their shows on the following Thursday and Friday.

They have all done so brilliantly. Thank you for your attendance and support. Thanks also to Tom Hurley for taking some really beautiful pictures of the children; a few of which you can see here alongside this article.

The boys’ Y13 rugby team had a truly brilliant day on Wednesday, winning the U13 Mount Kelly rugby festival. A further match report features in the most recent newsletter but enough to say that I am hugely proud of them, their spirit, determination and great teamwork. Well done boys.

One of our Year 8 girls have been awarded a Music Scholarship to Wells Cathedral School. An incredible achievement that we are very proud of. Wells is one of the top Music specialist schools in the country, if not the world and we congratulate both our student and her music teachers on her achievement.

Charlotte Johnston, Head

Fundraising and Festivals

Michaelmas - Week 10

Children in Need was a super day and my enormous thanks go to Mrs. Evans and the School Council who ran the many fundraising activities. The cake sale and break time activities were enjoyed by all and I enjoyed having lots of hugs with the children and the enormous teddy bear! Since the last newsletter, we have counted the total money raised: £641.59!

In Mrs. Wellington-Smith’s absence, I have been covering her Drama lessons with Year 3 on a Monday and Tuesday afternoon. The 09:00 Monday lesson is certainly easier than the last lesson of the day on a Tuesday! It has been wonderful to see the children progress with their presentation skills and enjoy their lessons ‘shoes off’ in the Performing Arts room.

Tuesday also brings on ‘Dog Walking Club’ with the Pre-prep. Now, I must confess, my puppy Benji has been appalling at ‘Dog Walking Club’, refusing to walk anywhere. The last time it was attempted I had to carry him (and he is quite big now) around the Abram field followed by a gaggle of six-year-olds. I joined Mrs. Glanvill in the Wild Woods where the children can find and throw sticks for Benji. We have moved all the ‘mud kitchen’ resources and placed them in the middle of the wild woods. The older children are now able to get creative in their Woods play. Gosh, what fun we had: mixing, pouring, making ‘hot chocolate’, experimenting! It was cold, but no one noticed as it was such great fun.

On Thursday, we welcomed Mr. Bart Wielenga as part of our ‘Meet the Head, parent seminar sessions’ and it was really well attended. Mr. Wielenga spoke about teenagers, the importance of developing their independence and for us parents to let them go a bit. He spoke about the concept of ‘we just want them to be happy’ when actually life is not always happy. There are tough times, too, and he wants his pupils at Blundell’s to be engaged in what they do and for them to have found meaning in their work and life. Next term, we welcome Mr. Eugene du Toit, the new Headmaster at Wellington School, to speak to our parents. The date will be confirmed in next term’s calendar.

Plans are afoot for the St Peter’s Festival next Summer, now officially named as ‘Harefields’ (I think ‘Creamfields’ was the inspiration and I like it!). Please put the 27 June 2020 into your diaries. It will be a midday Saturday to midday Sunday family event with camping, live music, family activities, deckchairs and festival food.

Charlotte Johnston, Head

Remembrance and Rugby

Michaelmas - Week 9

This week was Remembrance. Dr. Evans led a very special service for the whole school community to remember those who died for us. I read the list of servicemen from St Peter’s who lost their lives and we sang and prayed together. Everyone from the three-year-olds in Nursery to our office staff stood together. Bertie played the Last Post. A big deal for a young lad and he did it with aplomb.

It was the big match on Wednesday. The U13s against Blundell’s and I went over to watch along with great support from the parents. My, my it was a wet and slippery ordeal with the boys caked in mud. They kept their determination and focus for the whole match and were overjoyed with the resounding victory of 6 tries to 1. I saw some exceptional tries and was so proud of the whole team. While there I popped in to see the Head, Bart Wielenga who confirmed that three of our Year 8s will be receiving sports scholarships from Blundells following their assessments earlier in the term. Well done to Archie, Taylor and Will. A tremendous achievement against stiff competition.

Charlotte Johnston, Head