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Head’s blog

Week 9 – Michaelmas 2020

Michaelmas - Week 9

It has been a super week, culminating with Children in Need today which included a fun assembly (in bubbles) led by our Heads of School, Max and Megan.
The highlight for the week, however, was the beautiful and poignant Remembrance Service led by Dr Evans. We stood in our bubbles and the children had all made poppies. It was the first time in a long time that we were able to be together, standing as one community, and it was very special, particularly when a CTCRM helicopter flew low over us at 11:00. We aren’t sure if they did it on purpose having seen us line up earlier, but it really was extraordinary.  Congratulations to Bertie on playing the Last Post so well.

Rehearsals are going well for the Nativities this week and activities have started with a bang. Thank you to your patience with us, as we bed this in logistically. I know how thrilled the children are to be having their Friday and after school activities and it does feel like St Peter’s is getting back to normal life …. slightly!
We have had a new company come and take individual photos of the children this year. They were a very impressive outfit and spent more time with the children creating some really fantastic shots, both individually and with siblings. Do make sure to look for the card your child came home with on Monday, which will give you the unique code for the website.  We can help if it has been lost! Click on the image and it will bring up all the options.  There are some tremendous ones – thumbs up, cheeky hands in pockets, siblings grinning standing back to back. We are thrilled and I am sure they will make tremendous Christmas
presents.

Our thoughts are turning towards preparing for Christmas here at school. We are happy to advertise any goods, gifts or services in a special ‘Christmas Fair Newsletter’ which will have discounts for St Peter’s families. If you are interested, please let us know via hmoffice@stpetersprepschool.co.uk. Due to the lockdown, the PTA is not able to run the Lands End to John O’Groats, but will launch a fitness challenge in the New Year.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Charlotte Johnston
Head

Week 8 – Michaelmas 2020

Michaelmas - Week 8

Well, off we go again into another national lockdown. Thank goodness we can keep school open. There is much evidence to show nationally from the previous lockdown that children simply do not make the same progress when working from home. It showed the importance of the teacher in the classroom, the importance of the children being with each other and the importance of social development, which of course we all knew! In this new lockdown, we do have new regulations around face covering wearing for Years 7, 8 and staff, which I have communicated separately. As you know, we are following strict policies and procedures and thank you to all parents for their support of the staff team.

St Peter’s has been a hub of activity this week. We have welcomed three new pupils and three new staff. We have all enjoyed some new food, with the herby ciabatta crumbed chicken, bonfire chilli and toffee apple crumble being particularly enjoyed by everyone, staff and pupils alike! Thank you to Mrs Richards and
her team for working so hard. You will notice gradual changes over the next few weeks.

Friday activities have started this week and the PTA funded Home Economics Room has been used by Year 6 to make some banana muffins. Plans are in place for Christmas biscuits too. I am so happy to see how excited the children have been.  We have had to cancel any prospective tours for new families due t o the new lockdown. However, I have enjoyed videoing a virtual tour of the grounds, which we are able t o send on to families enquiring about St Peter’s. Year 5 had a wonderful day themed around WWII, thanks to Mrs Colwill and Mrs Evans who organised such fantastic learning opportunities. I popped in to see a Morse Code workshop and some seeds being planted in a ‘Dig for Victory’ session. The first Student Council meeting was undertaken in one of the Marine tents (socially distanced).

I’m delighted to share some staffing news: Mrs Stoyles has had a little girl! Phoebe Rose (pictured right) was born on Sunday 1 November, weighing 7lb 7oz. All are doing well. This half term, we are delighted to welcome two further new staff to St Peter’s. Mrs Jane North will be working as a Teaching Assistant in Reception to cover Mrs Stoyles’ maternity leave and Keith Barnard is our new PCV Driver, taking over from Mike Chalmers when he leaves us next week. I know you will make them feel welcome. Mrs Nic Lingard leaves us this week following 15 years at the school on the catering team. We wish her and Mike well in their retirement.

Do take a look at the activity programme which starts next week be tween 16:00 and 17:00 for children to take part in new adventures and opportunities. Well done to Mr Budgett and all the staff team for getting this off the ground.

Charlotte Johnston
Head

Week 7 – Michaelmas 2020

Michaelmas - Week 9

What a frighteningly good day we had for Lake House and Halloween Fun Friday! Well done to everyone for getting into the spirit of things. You all looked fantastic in your costumes and fancy dress! Lots of fun Halloween activities took place throughout the day and a huge thanks goes to Year 8 for setting up and decorating a haunted trail around the ‘Wild Woods’. Congratulations to 3AH for winning ‘Guess the Number of Sweets in the Cauldron’, guessing 138 when there were 145, and to every class for showing their best spooky dance moves in a whole school dance routine to Thriller.

Have a great half term, everyone!

Week 6 – Michaelmas 2020

Michaelmas - Week 6

Dear Parents,

With one week left until half-term, I write with information about the changes to the routine following our
well-earned break! Thank you for all of your support this week and well done to the staff team. We have
been recruiting and interviewing for maternity covers and for a new Librarian, and I am delighted with the
new appointments – watch this space. I have been running many future schools’ advice meetings with
parents on Zoom and continue to tour (socially-distanced) prospective parents. It certainly is not quiet here
at St Peter’s and, to top the week off, we greeted you with banana costumes…..! Thank you on behalf of
Young Minds for raising over £900. A great start. I can’t wait to see what we can do with the PTA Land’s
End to John O’Groats family challenge. We can do this!

We are getting increasing interest, from parents based in Exeter, in particular, for a regular bus run every
day, bookable on a term’s basis: We are looking at extending our transport offering to be able to facilitate
this for more families. Please let Mrs Morrison know by email (emma.morrison@stpetersprepschool.co.uk) if
you are interested in this. We would engage a Dartline bus and it would be a service payable upfront for the
term. If not used, we would not be able to refund on a day by day basis. This is common practice at most
schools.

This week we say farewell to Margaret Whitlock, who leaves us to support her family through a difficult
time. Margaret was instrumental in turning the former School Office into a Library and making it a real hub
of reading, at the heart of St Peter’s. I would like to thank her for her ‘can do’ attitude and outstanding
organisation and display making! We will miss you Margaret – good luck!
Changes after half-term

Because of the darker days and colder weather soon facing us, we are going to streamline and speed up
drop-off and pick-up. It will be busy at first, as we get used to the new timings, but I feel confident that it
will be an improved system and mean less waiting outside for pupils and staff. The most important changes
are the start and end of day timings for Years 1 and 2, which bring them in line with the usual school day.
We are also extending our curriculum offering on our timetable. Further details in our newsletter.

Have a super weekend.