St Peter’s sings through the dark winter

At St Peter’s, on our exposed hill overlooking the Exe Estuary, winter can seem to drag on forever. The wind chill factor on the Harefield site must never be underestimated.  Winter does have a way of making pupils huddle together in freezing winds and seek comfort and warmth from cosy classrooms with a good view.


Tom Allen states that: ‘Winter forms our character and brings out our best.

As we approach the tail end of winter and signs of spring begin to sprout here and there, I think this quote to be true. Most pupils have certainly formed their characters and shown their best this winter. It is not an easy school site to conquer and yet they all have.


At St Peter’s Preparatory School we have been keeping ourselves warm and reconnecting as a whole school community throughout this winter in many ways; and none more so than through singing. No other department has been so hard hit by the global pandemic as the Performing Arts. With singing back on the menu in January 2022 and assemblies now possible – even with parent audiences (“Eeeek, excited kids!!!) – we set about getting the children eager to sing as much as possible. As usual, our thanks must go to the committed Mr Hoban and Mrs Hurley for leading the Faculty with energy and joy at the fore. Not forgetting our delightful team of peripatetic teachers. And of course all the ridiculous sing-songs happening in most subject areas delivered by most teachers – thank you!

One thing we have all learnt from this pandemic is that we really do not know what we have got until it’s gone. And this was absolutely true of assemblies, community events and singing. Who knew we would all miss it as much as we did. Long live the community singing events.


It is worth remembering that the Bible never says, ‘let those who have beautiful voices sing’, as if natural talent were required to praise God. The Bible just says “Sing!” Over and over, dozens of times, we are commanded to sing; sing to the Lord, sing praises, sing joyfully, sing a new song.


I give you St Peter’s singing…


Whole School singing assembly

Thursday morning singing assembly. Wessex Hall. Years 1 to 8. 08:35-08:55am.

The Scottish national holiday celebrates the life and work of Robert Burns, a famous poet who is known all over the world. Burns Night is often celebrated with a Burns supper which usually includes haggis, neeps and tatties. Burns night is celebrated on 25 January every year. The date was chosen to coincide with the poet’s birthday, who was born on 25 January 1759.

What did St Peter’s do on the morning of 25 January2022? The school sang Auld Lang Syne!


Senior Choir Years 5-8 

Friday morning Senior Choir. PA Room. Years 5-8. 08:20 – 09:00.

Performing “Hallelujah”. The song was written and composed by Canadian poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen (1934-2016), who said in interviews that it took at least four years and two notebooks to write an unspecified number of completed verses. Here is the St Peter’s rough draft: this video is of the third time of trying this song. WOW… 


Upper School Music Assembly 

Friday afternoon. Wessex Hall. Years 6, 7 & 8. 14:00-15:00.

Let’s keep singing St Peter’s; you are sounding exquisite.


I will leave you with a tip of the hat for all the heroic men and women from our general assistants, sport department, housekeeping, grounds, maintenance, transport and IT departments. If us ‘pathetic, moany’ teachers in classrooms with heating on think we have had a cold and long winter, then spare a thought for these unsung critical hard workers at our school. They face all weather to keep our school running smoothly. You often hear them singing around the site too!!!! (Or tutting as Mr Hawthorne was when he dropped his whole suitcase of VERY organised screws and drill bits all over the floor! Oooops).


Thanks to all you ‘outdoor based’ workers. Sunshine is on the way!

From the lady in the warm office, watching you all graft in the freezing cold and pouring rain!


Mrs Lucy Ball

Deputy Head Teaching and Learning

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