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Michaelmas 2020 – Week 10

Thank you to all the parents for their feedback in the survey I sent out last week.  We are responding to this, particularly with regards to providing plainer choices
alongside our new menu. Some parents have asked about whether St Peter’s will be purchasing our own COVID-19 testing kits. At the moment, the answer is ‘no’. The problems we were experiencing at the start of the term with parents unable to book tests has now been solved and it is possible to now book a test immediately. Our experience is that results are coming back much more quickly, usually within 24 hours, which is much more manageable. The other problem with ‘bought in’ tests is that they would not be valid from an insurance point of view, meaning that tests would have to run alongside those done by the NHS anyway. Therefore, we will continue to follow the government guidance and ask those with COVID symptoms to book an NHS test.

Well, it has been ALL ABOUT the nativities, this week.  A highlight every year, the Early Years and the Pre-prep nativities are a showpiece of thoughtful tableau, wit, sparkle, Christmas magic and heaps of fun. We would normally have warm mince pies and mulled wine, a full lighting rig and programmes. It is a very special St Peter’s event. And this year, in a global pandemic, do we cancel it?? NO WE DO NOT.

The nativities are still happening, combined into one, all credit to the amazing team and all happening virtually. We have a green screen set up in the Wessex Hall, a new video camera and a creative and innovative script written by Mrs Bruce-Jones. We still have a stable and we still have the story of the Nativity. At St Peter’s, we will not let ANYTHING stop our Christmas traditions! The children are all working incredibly hard. On a recent walk round, I came upon some examples of outstanding technology being used to support learning. In Year 5, self-directed learning in a WW2 History lesson saw children conducting and sharing individual research; A Maths ratio lesson in Year 8 on recipes saw the children moving seamlessly from Chromebook guidance to written examples. Year 4 have filmed their Heroes presentations and Mrs Hurley has put them on a website for the parents and staff to view. I read Reception a story over Zoom using an interactive story book, which they have then been able to reread over the week. Technology is embedded in so much of what we do now and there are benefits in terms of learning and experience.

 

This week, we launch Atom Learning: a new online learning platform, which Mrs Ball makes reference to in her blog this week. The really exciting thing about this, and new technology coming into the education sector, is that it is ‘adaptive’. This means, if a child keeps getting the answer right, they will be automatically moved onto more difficult questions and, if they don’t, they will be given easier ones until these building blocks are secure. Each child works at their own pace. A truly individual approach which will see accelerated individual progress.

Have a lovely weekend.

Charlotte Johnston
Head