Head’s blog

After The Break…

Michaelmas - Week 8

It has been wonderful to see the children back after the two-week half term. I’ve been hearing about all of the adventures: Florida to Turkey, Greece and lots of surfing trips to Cornwall. It seems many were struck down by ghastly flu but we are all now fighting fit and raring to go in the run up to Christmas.

The Nursery Show and Share assembly was extremely special this week with parents and children joining in with the days of the week song and the months of the year song. The new FAMLY software that we are using means that parents receive regular updates about their child in the Early years as well what the class has been up to. No longer will these little ones be able to answer the question ‘What did you get up to at school today?’ with ‘Nothing!’. It is quite clear from looking at FAMLY that the children went to the Beach, they toasted ‘marshmallows’ at forest school, they counted conkers and they made fireworks. I love this picture of the small world bonfire night scene that was created for the children by our amazing staff who provide such stimulating and enriching learning environments.

Our Year 2s enjoyed their first ‘matches’ in Netball and Rugby this week. They were extremely excited and it was lovely to hear the quality of the coaching going on and the (as ever) positive reception to the Match Teas for the parents! A real part of prep school life. And finally a quick mention to poor Isla in Year 8 who broke her leg on Tuesday. We wish her well and a speedy recovery.

Charlotte Johnston, Head

The Half Term Harvest

Michaelmas - Week 7

And so we break for half term!

Harvest Festival was super today with so much food – thank you for all of your support. I know that the Food Bank in Exmouth will be enormously grateful. My featured image is A little snap here of one who found it all a bit much at the end of a busy half term!

This week I’ve dropped into as many lessons as possible over the last couple of days and thought I would share with you some of my observations. Even just 10 minutes here and there means I can really get a good grasp of the learning happening across the school.

I’ve seen some amazing reflective practice in art in Year 4, some mindfulness ‘strong silence’ and focused breathing in year 3 with children really listening in to their bodies, some outstanding Google Docs collaborative work in History in Year 4 and the Learning Lines in Year 2 on the Victorians are incredible. Year 1 were studying the weather and did the most wonderful ‘weather reports’ for me: their groups each had a child designated as the leader and I loved seeing the leadership skills shown in such young children.

Some children have been to see me to be awarded into the Academic Book of Excellence. Independent writing from Lucy and Ben in Reception, really tricky Maths from Ted in Year 1 and then some astonishing Flood proof house designs from Nancy, Sophie, Isla and Luca in Year 8. The engineering and design were seriously impressive as were their thoughtful explanations. What a treat to be a Head on a day like today! We break for half term and I am sure you join me in thanking the wonderful teachers here at St Peter’s who make learning so engaging as well as the operations staff who keep things running. Enjoy the break with your families.

Charlotte Johnston, Head



Michaelmas - Week 6

Thursday saw a whole school focus on Mental Health with the National #HelloYellow day. St Peter’s was a sea of sunshine shades and the whole community started the day with a mindful, reflective assembly all about the importance of mental health. The children listened to stories told by young people who had suffered from mental health difficulties and how the charity Young Minds had helped them through their tough times.

Mrs Hughes then led a fantastic ‘Whole School Sit’- promoting how mindfulness can be used as a strategy to help children cope if they are feeling low or sad. It was wonderful to see the entire school engage with this national event, sitting for 5 whole minutes!

Children showed confidence in their knowledge of who they could talk to in an out of school if they were at any time feeling they needed some support.

Mrs Colwill finished the assembly with ‘Optimistic October’, a calendar of daily events that promotes positivity. We wonder how many children will achieve the daily challenges set.

Participating in such an event as #HelloYellow is paramount to the education of mental health difficulties amongst our children. Over £200 was raised for this wonderful charity, Young Minds, and a vital issue was highlighted.

Claire Wellington-Smith, Assistant Head

Naturally Thriving

Michaelmas - Week 5

We had Devon Wildlife Trust join us for an assembly on Friday. I was delighted to welcome Paul Martin, who is their Education Officer. He met our Eco Warriors after the assembly.

Our focus on wildlife has got off to a tremendous start with real excitement from the children in their nature theme classrooms. 5RC are gleefully tracking grey squirrels and Reception are coming up with fox-theme facts to bring into school to go with their fox masks! We have newly dug beds outside the Lower School for some planting and I enjoy updating everyone with my ‘Nature News’!

On Monday there was a hedgehog snuffling around as I came back from my choir rehearsal. I saw three beautiful deer in the field next to Abram Block as I walked Benji at 7.30am. I wish I had had my camera at the ready but they looked just like the featured image! As we go to sleep we hear the tawny owls calling to each other.

The school is in such a wonderful location and we are lucky to embrace nature on our doorstep. We launch our photography competition after half term and will be delighted to welcome Emma Solley to talk to us all about her photography work.