Head’s blog

Trinity Term 2021 – Week 7

Trinity - Week 7

It has been a fantastic first week back after half term, with the new Sea Swimming sessions for the older children a resounding success. Some brave souls deciding to go without wetsuits too! The new Edge Watersports venue on the waterfront in Exmouth has been brilliant and we have made the most of the facilities with changing rooms and hot showers being particularly welcome! Junior and Syncapeters Choirs (our Pre-prep choir) have sung together for the first time in 14 months. It was really quite an emotional experience to hear them sing again and we had our first Music Assembly with Lower School. Wonderful stuff!

We continue with frustrating delays onsite with the swimming pool and I apologise wholeheartedly for this.  Progress, albeit slowly, is being made. We will let you know when we are ready for the big splash and I have promised the grounds team that, when it is done, I will jump in fully clothed with joy. We are also planning to keep the pool open in the Autumn term with swimming for all, as well as some fun with the new Water Polo set in the first half term. Years 1 and 2 will recommence with their offsite swimming lessons in the next academic year
as well.

Next week, we start our transition meetings for parents. These have been brought forward to allow for ‘Expedition’ week, commencing on the 21 June, which is why they feel a little early. We will send details of the Google Meet to join and confirmation of timings. These will all be recorded for those who are not able to attend. At these transition meetings, you will find out the form teachers for next year. The form lists (which class your child is actually in) are still being worked on. These will be sent out to parents, as usual, on Transition Day on Monday 5 July.

There have been some questions with regards to pick-up and drop-off for September. We will be moving towards the following:

Morning Drop-off
Remains as it is currently as a very efficient ‘Drive by’. No parking on-site unless for a pre arranged appointment.

Afternoon Pick-up
15:30-15:55 Pre-prep only. Optional park and pick up at classrooms (Nursery up to Year 2).
16:15-16:30 Whole school drive-by pick-up for Nursery up to Year 8 for those not staying for Prep or activities.
17:00 Park and pick-up for all parents at Pre-prep classrooms or flagpole.
17:10-18:00 Late stayers park and pick-up from Harefield main house.

A note on events for the end of term. We are planning to go full steam ahead, as previously shared, unless there is a serious change to guidance from the Government on Monday 14 June. We wait, as you do, for further information and will communicate as necessary. All fingers and toes are crossed.

Please do read Mrs Ball’s blog detailing our latest standardised data for the school, showing quite exceptional progress and achievement over the year, despite the pandemic and lockdown. Congratulations to all.

Mrs Charlotte Johnston

Trinity Term 2021 – Week 6

Trinity - Week 6

Our Summer fȇte and Eco Fashion Show took place today. It was a day of incredible St Peter’s fun and joy.  Well done to the team.

The sun is finally shining and we have had a lovely couple of days with lots of cricket and fun outside.   More to be had next half term. We are delighted to introduce some time at the beach for the children, with sea-swimming with a qualified Sea Swimming Instructor for Year 3 up to Year 8 and some dates for Beach School for Reception. Please make a note of the ‘St Peter’s at the Beach’ event planned for Saturday
26 June, to the right of the lifeboat station, on Exmouth beach, from 13:00. Bring a picnic and the family!

Mrs Ball and Mr Hoban write this week about music back on after half term. Please click here to read it.

I am delighted to let you know that we have appointed Miss Katie Tibbott to run the Nursery from September, while Miss Paver completes her iPGCE in Reception. I know that you will join me in congratulating her. She has lots of wonderful ideas and we are really excited to be able to appoint someone internal who knows how the Nursery runs already!

I can also inform you that Mrs Murray (Year 1 teacher) is expecting a baby due in November. She wanted to let the Year 1 parents she had parents’ evening with last night know that was the reason she was munching biscuits throughout the whole half an hour!

Just a note on uniform for after half-term please, as it gets warmer. The girls should wear white socks with their summer dresses or shorts. Boys, if in shorts, should wear the school striped sock rather than plain grey ankle socks. Thank you for your understanding.

We have some wonderful pictures back from our photoshoot last week for the prospectus. A couple here for your enjoyment. Any real crackers we will send to individual parents as there are some lovely individual portraits. More to come!

Have a fabulous half-term.

Mrs Charlotte Johnston

Trinity Term 2021 – Week 5

Trinity - Week 5

A very exciting week! Firstly, THE CHICKS HAVE HATCHED, THE CHICKS HAVE HATCHED!!! Year 1 has been beside themselves with excitement as the eggs,
which have been incubating in their classroom, started to hatch this week. A crack was on one egg on Monday morning and, by break time, we had one chick.  Now, we have 10. The children are like proud parents and I have heard stories of children waking at five, fully dressed by six, eager to get into school to the chicks! Apologies to those parents.  Pictured is me cuddling a TINY chick.

Emma Solley has been with us taking some photos for our new prospectus and website, which will be launched for September. We need a revamp, as it has been four years since the last one and September will mark my fifth year as Head. It has flown by! We made a little trip down to Exmouth beach with Reception and Budleigh beach with some Year 6s. We were lucky with some sunshine between the rain. I will let you know when the pics come in and send on any individually, if they are particularly good.

We have had parents back on-site for the first time since last March and it has been wonderful to welcome them back for coffee mornings and afternoon teas throughout the week. Some of the new parents had never met each other and there were some lovely moments, with lockdown baby siblings meeting each other for the first time as well. Do take note of the coffee mornings/teas for parents of Years 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 taking place next week for your diaries.

The first matches took place this week and the bus took Years 6, 7 and 8 off to Mount Kelly Foundation in Tavistock. There was great excitement all round. Well done to the pupils. The weather looks great for the second half of next week and into half term. We hope to see some more proper Summer sunshine then!

Huge congratulations to some of our artists who entered the Leach Pottery competition. We were delighted to have won a prize. Miss McCormick has got the children working on some quite exceptional, innovative art and pottery this term, as well as teaching Home Economics to Years 7 and 8, who have loved using the
new cookery space.

It is Mrs Katie Richardson’s last day today. We wish her well for the future ahead and thank her for her teaching in the Learning Success department, and with smaller groups, over the years.

Years 1 to 5 have parents’ evenings next week. Please do read all the necessary details, which were sent out at the beginning of the week. We have recently had the Standardised assessments’ results back and are delighted with the progress and achievements made across the board despite the restrictions of lockdown;
this is all down to our amazing team. More to follow on this.

Please also make note of the details for the Eco Fashion Show on Friday – we can’t wait!

Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Charlotte Johnston

Pupil caring for flowers

Week 4 – Trinity term 2021

Trinity - Week 4

We are very much looking forward to things opening up that little bit more on Monday.  Please see below some key points from my letter sent earlier this week below.

Super Bubbles
Covid cases, both nationally and locally, have thankfully dropped considerably and we are all happy to unlock further. I am therefore writing to let you know that, from Monday 17 May, we will be moving to ‘super bubbles’ for Pre-prep, Lower School and Upper School, but still remaining within the Covid-19 safety guidelines. This will provide further opportunities and more ‘normal’ school life for the children. Following 21 June, when we anticipate that all
restrictions are removed, we will move to a one school bubble.

Mask wearing will no longer be needed for staff at school unless social distancing cannot be maintained. All visitors will still need to wear masks and thank you for taking a test before coming on site. Pupils no longer will wear masks in school.

Speech Day
If all goes as planned, following 21 June, then we will alter our plans for Speech Day so that we can revert to just one Year 3 to 8 event in the marquee at the end of term as we usually do, rather than splitting it into two. We would follow sensible safety measures, as expected. At the moment we are planning for both scenarios but very much hope to hold the one St Peter’s School Speech Day. I will let you know nearer the time but have all fingers and toes crossed.

We have had it confirmed that residentials for Years 3 to 8 will be able take place (a huge ‘hurrah’ is heard from all children at St Peter’s). Letters with further information will be with you shortly.

Sport and Fixtures
As you know, we made a decision before the Easter holidays that we wouldn’t be able to offer fixtures this term.  The rules for schools can be seen to be ambiguous and interpreted in different ways and our focus on safety for the children, which has resulted in no whole year group bubbles being sent home, has been a priority for us. I feel very strongly, and certainly did in March when we had to make the decisions about fixtures, that it is more important for children to be at school than to be able to play in matches. We felt that mixing bubbles with other schools would result in opening up risk to those children playing but also to the whole school and, therefore, the decision to not put on matches was made in good faith alongside many of the other local schools. Pupils are all playing internal matches against each other here at St Peter’s but, as opening up continues to happen, we are delighted to be able to confirm three cricket fixtures with other schools for our older pupils (boys and girls) as follows:

● Mount Kelly (away) for Years 6, 7 and 8 on Wednesday 19 May
● Exeter School (home and away) for Years 5 and 6 on Wednesday 26 May
● Taunton School (away) for Years 7 and 8 on Wednesday 16 June

Lower School will also have matches internally, details of which we will send parents in the information letter, if they wish to attend.

We are already looking ahead to the Autumn term calendar where a full fixture list for all is being planned.  Update on cricket whites: Parents did not need to buy cricket whites for this term due to the uncertainty around fixtures and, therefore, school cricket whites have not been purchased by some for over two years. We realise some pupils will have whites due to playing out of school, however not everyone. We have, therefore, informed other schools that we will be playing that we will be in our usual school games kit.

Update on parents attending matches: Updated guidance has led schools to adjust their plans with regards to this. St Peter’s parents are only able to attend home matches at the moment. Please refer to the match information included at the end of the newsletter.

Mrs Charlotte Johnston