Friday, 24 May 2019

Half term news

We are well into the external exam season and the staff have worked extremely hard with and for our students and I am sure they have too.The half term should not be a holiday for students in year 11 and 13 who need to use their time wisely to ensure they have the best chance of fulfilling their potential. Students in year 10 and 12 also have internal examinations shortly after the break so will need to balance their time next week.

Chaplaincy News

John Pridmore: Life Transformed through Prayer
As part of our Year of Prayer celebrations our Chaplain, Miss Baker, arranged a visit from inspirational speaker and international author John Pridmore. John shared his amazing story ‘From Gangland to Promised Land’ with year 8 and 9 students, explaining how he had been involved in gangs in the east end of London and how his life had been completely transformed through his experience of prayer. John gave each student a Rosary and miraculous medal.
Students and staff were inspired & touched by John’s amazing story, his sharing of faith and the power of prayer. We will be inviting John again - for parents too.

Lent and Easter action
Miss Baker was very privileged to deliver our Lenten Action offerings with some of the Chaplaincy Team & Mrs Donovan. We delivered Easter Egg donations to The Marah Trust & St Rose's School, & our food donations to Gloucester Food bank. We received a great reception at all the venues & learned a lot about the valuable work of the charities. Thank you all for your donations.

Congratulations to the Year 10 CAFOD Young Volunteers who completed their course and received certificates from CAFOD. We thank them for the work they have done to raise funds and awareness for global justice and poverty issues.

Lampedusa Cross Partnership Service
Year 7 and 8 students joined pupils from St Peter’s Primary to welcome the replica Lampedusa cross. We prayerfully reflected together on our journey and the journey of refugees. The original Lampedusa cross was made by Sicilian carpenter Francesco Tuccio from the wreckage of boats carrying refugees which sank off the island of Lampedusa. The crosses were given to the refugees as a symbol of hope

Rucksack appeal
Are you planning to renew your rucksack? We would love to have your old one. Mary's Meals charity are requesting rucksacks that they can fill with food and school equipment for young people. Please bring your unwanted rucksacks to the Chaplaincy.

Maths news
Prior to the Easter break year 8 pupils Ciara Mahon and Bethany Barnes, and year 9 pupils Chris Thomas and Ivy Wang represented the school at the area final of the UKMT Maths team challenge. They spent the day working together on a range of maths problems including a relay race and a cross number where each pair only got half the clues! They were up against stiff competition, acquitted themselves well and represented the school admirably.

Over 100 students from years 9 and 10 also took part in the UKMT intermediate challenge.  This is a competition for individuals who all complete a multiple choice test of 1 hour.  The questions are designed to challenge, fascinate and intrigue students. All our students did well, with some excellent individual performances, resulting in1 student achieving Gold, 8 students achieving Silver and 15 students achieving Bronze.  Particular congratulations go to Chris Thomas, who, in addition to his Gold award and Best in school certificate, also qualified for the Cayley test, the Intermediate Mathematical Olympiad paper for his year group.  Only 500 students nationally qualify for this, so this is a stunning achievement. Chris did exceptionally well in this additional task, achieving a Certificate of Merit.  Well done, Chris!

Congratulations also to the ninety students in year 7 and 8 who took part in the UK Maths Challenge at the end of April.  This test is designed to intrigue and challenge able mathematicians through a range of multiple choice problems.  21 students achieved certificates for their performance.  Particular congratulations go to Liam Murphy, who achieved a gold certificate. Well done Liam!

ROCK award

Congratulations to our year 11 mentors who all received their Community badges last week. The mentor system pairs two year 11 students with each year 7 form at the start of the academic year. The mentors act as a role model, guide, friend and helper to all the new students in year 7 and it has been a very successful and useful resource for many years at St. Peter’s. The current year 11 mentors have been outstanding and are a real credit to themselves, their parents and the school. They have acted with maturity and intelligence in helping the year 7 students settle into school, they have helped resolve friendship issues and they have regularly helped students with reading, current affairs and other tasks. Well done year 11 mentors!

Ten students in 9E received the Kindness badge for outstanding charity work this term. The form ran a raffle with excellent prizes that they manage to secure. They were tireless in selling tickets during their break times and in total raised £285 for charity. This really is the ROCK award in action and it was great to see that two students in the form were receiving their second Kindness badge in two years.
Congratulations again to our year 7 boys, year 8 girls and year 8 boys football teams for getting to the national semi and quarter finals in the football competitions. In recognition of such superb achievement, all players in the teams will receive their Optimism badge which is well deserved for a hard-working set of students.

RE news
This term KS3 students have been learning about other world faiths; this forms an important part of Religious Education at St Peter's. As the Church says, “The love for all men and women is necessarily also a love for their culture. Catholic schools are, by their very vocation, intercultural.”
Years 7, 8 and 9 have spent homework time producing and then presenting an outstanding array of creative, and thought provoking project work. We have seen carefully crafted and detailed models, videos, paintings, posters, textile work, powerpoint presentations and quite a number of delicious cakes and other cultural foods, all of which were connected with the religions of Judaism, Hinduism and Islam. It has been our pleasure to see the creativity of our students and to see the fruits of their work. Below are some images of what has been produced, but this is just a small sample of what our students created.
We thank every pupil (and some parents!) for their dedication and effort in making these research projects such a wonderful success.



Business Studies and Economics
We recently welcomed five local businesswomen to participate in the Economics and Business Studies’ “Women into Business” event. The guests moved between the groups of students, explaining a bit about their lives and career so that the session worked like speed networking. The event was aimed at year 9 but a team of sixth form girls ran an activity and helped to organise the event. They were a credit to the school and one of the guests mentioned Pippa Brogden in particular, commenting on how impressive she was. We hope the event has given our year 9 students a lot to think about in terms of future subject choices and careers in the business sector. The department has developed some excellent links with local businesses and we intend to use them for further events and as a focus for some of their students’ vocational coursework assignments.
The feedback from the year 9 girls was very encouraging and they were engaged by the guests had to say.

Year 9 Geography visit to the Royal Geographical Society, London

Prior to the Easter break year nine geographers enjoyed a visit to the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in London. The day involved a series of sessions with geography undergraduates and the team at the RGS based on a series of different topics within the subject. Many of the topics frequently feature in the news currently such as palm oil, deforestation and climate change. The students also had an opportunity to ask two Cambridge students about their degree, undergraduate application and life at Cambridge university as well as other undergraduates about GCSE’s, A Levels and higher education in general. All the students were fully involved in the activities during the day and represented the school well. Thank you to Mrs Roberts and Miss Bates for organising the visit.

KS3 Languages and history visit to Normandy during October half term 2019
Spaces are available on the biennial KS3 trip to Normandy, a cross-curricular Languages and History trip with a chance to speak French and visit important historical sites.  Details are available from Mrs Beamish:

Music Department News
The annual Choral Society Concert took place in St Peter’s RC Church before Easter.  It was entitled ‘Our Eternal Home’ and was part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the church’s consecration. The Choir was delighted to perform to a full house and are proud to be able to donate £400 to Gloucester Foodbank as a result of the retiring collection

Once again, the Jazz Band represented the school at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival on Sunday 5th May. This is always one of the highlights of our year, playing to a large and appreciative audience at such a high-profile venue. 

Please come and support our younger students at the forthcoming Junior Concert on Tuesday 11 June at 7pm.  This is a free, informal concert in the Main Hall. It is always a lovely occasion listening to the students in Year 7, 8 & 9, some of whom will be performing in public for the first time.

Sporting news

Congratulations to Jessica Duncton in year 8 who has been competing in athletics this year. She has done an amazing job and is the fastest girl in the South West in the U15 in the 200 metres. She is also ranked fifth in the country for the 100m indoor hurdles!

Staff vs Sixth Form charity football match
Members of the staff and sixth form recently  played in their seventh annual charity football match, The Dench Cup in loving memory of  our student Kamil Ciemniewski. Over £550 was raised for the Superhero foundation, supporting the courageous efforts of our own local ‘superhero’ and recent world record holder, former student, Jamie McDonald. The match was played with an air of great community and competition. The match ended with a last minute equaliser for the staff, courtesy of two goals from Mr Figliola, forcing penalties. Mr Williams for the staff became the hero between the posts and saved several penalties to give the staff the victory. The series now stands at 4-3 to the sixth form. Thanks to all who organised the event, played, spectated and contributed to the collection.

I hope you have a good half term break and we look forward to seeing the students in school again on Monday 3rd June with week 1 books and equipment.

Friday, 15 February 2019

February half term 2019

It's been a short but busy term and there is much to report.

Chaplaincy news

FLAME Delegate

We are delighted that Paul, one of Year 13 head students, will represent Clifton Diocese at Flame, the largest gathering of Catholic Youth in the country, at Wembley Arena in March. This is a great honour for our school. Fifty people from St Peter's High School will travel to the event on Saturday 2nd March.

Help Madina Charity
The Year 11 charity group raised funds for the Help Madina Charity in Sierra Leone. They presented Dr Veronica, the founder of the charity, with a cheque for £300. Dr Veronica said, ‘The wonderful young students at St. Peter's school in Gloucester raised an amazing donation for Help Madina which I received today. Your kindness is overwhelming. On behalf of the communities we serve in Sierra Leone, thank you so much. I hope the exams go really well for you all.’

You are invited to come to IGNITE from 6.30 - 8.30 in the main hall on Friday 8th March featuring the amazing Mike Pilavachi. Mike is co-founder of Soul Survivor and travels globally, spreading the Gospel message especially for youth. Entry is by ticket costing only 50p (no admission on the door). Tickets are available from our Chaplain, Ms Baker, on or via school on 01452 520594 or on twitter @ChaplainStPetes More details are available via www.  Buy your tickets as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss out on this special evening with an internationally acclaimed guest.

Engineering Education Scheme
Six of our students have been taking part in the Engineering Education Scheme (EES) run by the Engineering Development Trust. The aim of the EES is to give students a chance to have first-hand experience in an engineering project. Engineers and students meet once a week during term time. This year the students have been partnered with L3TRL Technology based in Tewksbury. The students involved are Josie Poole-Jones, Dominic Thomas, David Charzewski, Paul Kodenkandekath, Joshua Hensley and Kamil Krzyszkowski.

The project brief from L3TRL was to build a device that could count people entering and exiting a doorway and possibly identify individuals. The students spent the Autumn term designing and planning the project. They then presented their work in progress to management at L3TRL at Tewksbury in January. They had a great day and the engineers were impressed. We also had a chance to find out more about the work of  L2TRL.

The students also attended a two day workshop at Bath University in January when they built their device and tested it. The two days went very well as the students productively in a team to build their device. They tested various functions using a model door with some successful and some unsuccessful signals. They are now in the middle of writing up the project report to hand in for the competition aspect of the EES with an awards day to be confirmed near the end of the year. Thank you to Mr Jones-Parry for working with the students on this scheme.

Extended Project Qualification
Congratulations to the eleven Year 13 students who completed their Extended Project Qualification this term. The qualification is highly regarded by universities and is worth half an A-level. The students worked exceptionally hard researching a topic of their choice at university level of challenge. We had an afternoon of presentations where the students each delivered an inspiring presentation to a group of staff and students explaining their research process and their research findings. Topics chosen included using placebos in healthcare, the Partition of India, whether animals have personhood and whether a student could successfully forge a specific painting to name just a few (the forgery - not the original - can be seen below). Students spent over 90 hours conducting their research and have all achieved a great deal throughout their projects. Thanks to Mrs Frampton for her work with these students. 

Music department news
A Level Music student, Harry Matthews has been selected for Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra, the most advanced youth jazz group in the county.

Another Year 12 Music A-level student, Avygayle Smith, represented St Peter’s at the Gloucester Area Morgan Car Owners’ Annual Dinner at Stonehouse Court Hotel.  We received the following lovely feedback after the event: Once again I have to say that a student from St Peter’s has done the school proud.  Not only is she a great singer, but she is also a lovely person who thinks about other people and got as much pleasure from seeing the guests enjoying her music as she got from singing.”

Our first Senior Concert took place on Wednesday 13th February.  Students from Years 10 to 13 (alongside two of our elite pathway musicians in Years 8 & 9) took to the stage to perform a range of excellent solos and ensembles. 

ASE Conference Birmingham

Spicing Up Science Even More enticed members of the science department to Britain’s second city for a major conference. Mrs McNeill, Miss Holliday, Miss Owen and Dr Taylor travelled to Birmingham for the Association of Science Education (ASE) annual conference on a Saturday morning in January. They found out about the latest technology and gadgets that could help students develop a deeper understanding of biology, chemistry and physics.       

From trying virtual reality headsets that allowed the exploration of the stars from a different perspective to investigating the latest circuit components from Japan for the electricity topic in physics, they collected a wealth of ideas to bring back to St Peter’s. Mrs McNeill said: “It was very hands on and keeping up to date with the latest developments for practicals can only improve our approach to teaching science in St Peter’s.”

Miss Holliday particularly enjoyed gaining ideas for Ecoclub, which is a science club that she runs every Tuesday for students. Recent topics have included plastics in oceans and planting trees. “Finding out about how the range of Molymods has been extended has provided some great ideas for our A-level chemistry lessons,” added Miss Owen. Dr Taylor collected some useful information that could be used to support sixth form students considering applying for medicine.

CyberFirst competition
Thirty of our Year 8 girls recently took part in the CyberFirst competition run by the National Cyber Security Centre, a division of GCHQ.  3,389 teams from across the country were competing for a top 10 place in the final.  We didn’t make it to the top 10 (this time around) but our girls put in an excellent challenge.  The level of enthusiasm and commitment was fantastic, and the department has discovered some serious computer science talent for the future.  Well done girls.  Watch this space for news of a forthcoming St Peter’s Cyber-club. Thanks to Mr Drumm for his work with the students.

Art department news
Two year 12 art students have been volunteering at Art Shape each week as part of the sixth form enrichment programme.  Art Shape are a charity that ‘help all people to engage with the arts as equals’ and they recently held a four week exhibition of painting, mixed media, sound works and installations created by artists at the Art Bridge Evolve programme and Art Shape associates.  Our year 12 students, Abi and Hannah Baldwin, submitted two pieces of work and were both successful in having their pieces chosen for the exhibition ‘Odyssey’ which ran until the 12th February at Gloucester Cathedral.  We are really proud of their achievements.

Sporting news

Huge congratulations to the year 7 boys, year 7/8 girls and year 8 boys who have made it to the last 8 of the England Schools Football Cup! It is an amazing achievement to have three teams in the last 8 and we wish them all the best for their next matches which take place in the week or two after half term when the year 7 boys are at home to Queen's College, Watford; the year 7/8 girls are at home to Chesham Grammar School; and the year 8 boys are away to Wright Robinson College. Thank you to the PE staff who have coached them and good luck in your next matches!

International sport
Congratulations to Mary McAteer who represented England U15s in football for a full 90 minutes playing centre midfield against Switzerland at the Park Schaffhausen on Wednesday 13th February. Mary can also sometimes be seen in a red shirt playing for Wales as she recently did when she took over the captain's armband for a match between South Wales and Reading.

Congratulations to the Under 13 gymnasts who came second in the South West BSGA gymnastics competition in Devon.  They now go on to compete in the national finals in March.  Well done in particular to Erin Goldie who was placed third overall.

Cross-Country Success
Congratulations to Esther Rumsey (Year 7), Alex Knight (Year 7) and Fin Hawkins (Year 10). All three students competed at the County Cross-Country Championships on Sunday January 20th. Having all been placed in the top 15, they qualify for the South West Championships and to compete at the National English Schools Championships in Loughborough on Saturday March 23rd. We wish them every success.

School ski trip
Over sixty students from year 7 right through to year 13 are taking part in the annual school ski trip to Austria in February half term.  Students are of varying abilities, and are hoping either to learn, improve or perfect their skills.  The ski trip is a great way to get to know people in other year groups, as well as an opportunity to challenge yourself and to keep active during half term. This is a popular trip and 40 students have already signed up to go in February 2020 so if your son/daughter would like to take part, please contact Mrs Beamish for information.

Whiteout by Gabriel Dylan
On a slightly related note, congratulations to Media and English teacher and assistant head of sixth form Mr Carl Jones whose first book Whiteout has been published to great success under his nom de plume Gabriel Dylan. It is a young adult horror novel suitable for students aged 12 and above and was partly inspired by Mr Jones’s participation in a St Peter's High School ski trip to Austria several years ago. Thankfully, there were no casualties in reality! It is not my usual cup of tea but I read it in one day and thoroughly enjoyed it. The book can be purchased at all good bookshops or online retailers and the school library currently has copies of the book at the reduced price of £5.60. We look forward to the next instalment!

We hope our students have a relaxing and enjoyable half term break and look forward to seeing them again on Monday 25th February (week 2). 

Friday, 21 December 2018

Happy Christmas

As always, it has been a busy and fulfilling (and long) term with lots happening in and out of the classroom. Staff and students are all ready for a rest!

Chaplaincy news
All year groups have participated in a Christmas liturgy led by our chaplain, Mandy Baker. It was lovely to see so many students participating by reading. The theme this year was a reflection on the Christmas story and God's call to trust him as trapeze flyers must trust the catcher. God invites us to place our trust in Him: do not be afraid.

This year we collected 86 Christmas shoeboxes which were delivered to children in Romania.
Thank you to everyone who contributed.

Chaplaincy Team Commissioning The ten students on our Chaplaincy team were commissioned at Clifton Cathedral on Friday 30th November. Each member of the Chaplaincy team is also a member of another Chaplaincy group such as the year 10 and 12 CAFOD teams, altar servers, Eucharistic ministers, year 7 and 8 teams and the Christian Union group.

During this season of Advent, form 12CMD organised a ‘Festive Friday’ raising £107 for CAFOD World Gifts by selling hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows. All money raised went towards buying an emergency shelter that could make a life-saving difference to a family in urgent need. They also bought water for a family. This will provide families with a supply of safe water in their homes for drinking and cooking. Finally, they raised enough money to buy a goat to provide a family with milk which they can drink or sell; it will also produce free fertiliser that can be used to help grow crops. Many thanks to all who supported this event! 

Music department news
On 28th November Year 10 GCSE Music students Josh (drums) and David (bass guitar), accompanied 200 primary school children in the Junior Voices Project held in Gloucester Cathedral.

Llanthony Priory
A-level Music students performed a lunchtime concert on 7 December at the newly restored Llanthony Secunda Priory.  This included both a choral and instrumental re-working of the 13th century Llanthony Carol, Edi Beo Thu Hevene Quene.  We then sang the carol at various points around the city, including the Quays, Eastgate Shopping Centre, the Cross and the Cathedral.


The day after Llanthony Priory saw the Chamber Choir performing with former St Peter’s student and Chinese X Factor winner, Mary-Jess Leaverland on her winter tour.


Carols by Candlelight
Our main event of the term, Carols by Candlelight, took place at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Stroud on Friday 14 December.  Students from all year groups took part and we were delighted once again to sing to a large and enthusiastic audience.  Through their generosity, we were able to support the church and make a significant donation to this year’s chosen charity, Young Minds.

To finish the term in festive style, the music department have been bringing Christmas cheer to one and all by busking around the site with carol singers on Thursday and Jazz Band on Friday!
A huge thank you to members of the music department and especially to Mrs Perfect for all their excellent extra-curricular work.
Oxbridge applications
Well done to the following students who applied for and have been interviewed for places at the following Oxford colleges:
Megan Cameron to study History at Christ Church College
Paul Pellissery to study History at St Benet’s Hall
Sam Harte to study Philosophy & Theology at Regent’s Park College
George Greaves to study PPE at Brasenose College
Finlay Stephens to study Engineering Science at St Edmund Hall

Maths news
Congratulations to the KS5 students who participated in the UK Senior Maths Challenge in November.  This national competition consists of challenging questions that encourage mathematical reasoning and precision of thought in addition to sound mathematical knowledge.  The following students were amongst the highest scoring nationally and so achieved awards as follows:
Silver:  Fran Smith
Bronze:  Max Stephenson, Ted Reece, Joshua Hensley and Lily Magri.
Well done to them all.

Careers advice and guidance
Recently thirty students from a range of year groups attended a presentation on Careers in Medicine as part of our Futures Programme. The speaker, Dr Giovanna Sheiybani, a Gastroenterology Registrar at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, talked to students about her medical training and career pathway which has included a variety of  teaching roles as well as being the Junior Doctor Forum Chair and the Local Negotiating Committee Junior Doctor rep for her Trust.
Giovanna, who is also a mentor to  medical students also conducted mock Interviews for those sixth form students who have applied to study medicine at university. We hope Giovanna’s presentation has helped to inspire our students to become the  doctors of the future.

Sporting news
Basketball success
Last week St Peter’s participated in the Gloucester Schools District basketball tournaments and hosted three of the events (Year 8, 10 and 11). The St Peter’s played brilliantly throughout the week and the work the pupils put into attending Monday morning sessions, lunch-time and after-school practices since the first week of term one really paid off with some excellent team performances. The overall results were as follows:
Year 7 - 3rd Place
Year 8 - 1st Place
Year 9 – 1st Place (the year 9 team have qualified for the county finals in January when the winner progresses to the national rounds).
Year 10 – 1st Place
Year 11 – 2nd Place (lost final by 1 point)
Congratulations to the teams and thank you to the P.E. staff and, in particular, Mr Staynings for his work with them.
Football success
The year 7 boys progressed to the 6th round (last 32 in the country) and have an away tie in Plymouth during the first week of the new term. The boys have been excellent, beating Gordano school 5-4 in the last round in a very exciting game.
The year 8 boys have progressed to the 6th round (last 32 in the country) after a comprehensive 6-0 home victory against Bradley Stoke and they now await another home game against Sandwell academy in the next game.
The year 7 and 8 girls team have progressed to the 6th round (last 16 in the country) after a fabulous 4-1 away win in the 5th round. This is an amazing achievement for the girls as they have progressed further than any other team in the school’s history. They await the draw for the next round on January 14th.


Visit to Normandy, half term 2019

The Modern Languages department has launched their cross-curricular KS3 trip to Normandy in October half term 2019. Any year 7 or 8 students who are interested should speak to their MFL teacher for further details.  This is a great opportunity to visit the Normandy Landing Beaches and the Bayeux Tapestry, as to well as to sample local French delicacies.
Staffing news
Two members of staff are leaving us at the end of term:
Mr Dan Edwards is leaving us to take up a post as head of economics and business studies. We thank him for all his hard work in maths, economics & business and, in particular, for the enormous amount of his own time he has devoted to our students participating in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
Mrs  Barker (modern foreign languages) is taking up a post producing training materials in an aeronautical company. She has contributed greatly to the languages department as well as to the progress team where she has organised the Scholar’s programme for several cohorts of our students.
Mrs Deborah Harrisson has been appointed to the maths and business & economics department.
Mrs Suzanne Lord has been appointed to the languages department.

A reminder that term starts on Monday 7th January 2019 which is week 2.
We wish everyone a peaceful and a happy Christmas.



Friday, 19 October 2018

End of half term

After the long summer holiday our students quickly settled back into school routines and, as usual, there has been plenty happening in and out of the classroom. Here are some of the highlights.
Chaplaincy news
The first half term has been very busy for Chaplaincy. Year 12 students participated in their retreat days at the start of the term when they explored the theme ‘Journeying Together.’ Year 7 retreats took place last week with students sharing the theme ‘You are God’s work of art’. Both year groups participated in workshops exploring our ethos as a Catholic school whilst building community in their year group. We were delighted to welcome Monsignor Liam Slattery to celebrate our beginning of year Masses at which we eagerly anticipated the canonisation of St Oscar Romero, the new Year 13 patron saint.

A new C.U. (Christian Union) group was launched at the end of half term supported by Gloucestershire Youth for Christ Group; the first meeting was well attended and we look forward to hearing how it continues to grow.
In September we had another successful IGNITE evening with special guest Daniel Cutting. Daniel demonstrated his world record holding football freestyling skills and shared what his Christian faith means to him. If you haven’t yet experienced IGNITE, do come along to the next one on Friday March 8th with Mike Pilavachi the founder of Soul Survivor! 
Students in years 10 and 12 are about to start their CAFOD Volunteer and Leadership Programmes; the response from both year groups was fantastic. It is good to see young people who are keen to learn about justice issues in our world and who want to make a difference

Gloucestershire 'We Are One' Young Upstander award winner
Congratulations to Sulaiman Hasan who has won a Young Upstander award at the Gloucestershire 'We Are One' awards ceremony. Sulaiman and his family arrived in Gloucester as refugees from Al Hasakah, Syria, and he has made every effort to succeed.  Sulaiman has been unafraid to stand up to others and to speak out when he has seen that an injustice has been done. Well done Sulaiman pictured here receiving his award!

Visit to the Cheltenham Literature Festival to see Sir David Attenborough

This month, Year 12 and 13 Biology students embarked on a project sponsored by the Gloucester Aspirations Project (GAP) called ‘Life on Earth’. The students visited the University of Gloucestershire, participated in lectures on biodiversity and entered a competition with Professor Adam Hart. On Saturday 6th October 2018 the students attended the Cheltenham Literature Festival interview with Sir David Attenborough which was a thoroughly inspiring event. Each of our students received a signed copy of ‘Life on Earth’ which Sir David considers to be the greatest achievement of his professional life.

Sir David spoke with great enthusiasm about all of his experiences from selling newts to the local university, to winning a scholarship to study geology and zoology at the University of Cambridge to becoming director of television on BBC 2 and making ‘Life on Earth’ and ‘Blue Planet’. He also shared some of his personal history, describing with great emotion how his mother cared for refugee children during the Second World War and eventually took two Jewish girls into their family permanently. They became David’s sisters, and while as a child he did not fully understand the gravity of this decision, he repeated his mother’s words “They need us more than you do”. The plight of refugees is a cause that remains very close to his heart.

Furthermore, he shared his expertise on climate change, plastic pollution and the impact of over-population, emphasising the importance of international agreements such as the Kyoto protocol, a global agreement reached in 1997 which provided a mandate for industrialised countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The interviewer, Emma Freud, asked a few questions that were submitted prior to the interview and we were delighted with the quality of questions that were submitted by tutor groups at St. Peter’s. Highlights of the question and answer session included the revelations that the species which best demonstrates the beauty and brilliance of natural selection are birds. His most memorable interaction with animals took place with gorillas in the Ugandan rainforest and if he could come back as a species of animal he would be a dolphin as they are so sociable and inquisitive. Overall, it was an unforgettable afternoon and we are extremely grateful to GAP for making it possible. 

Year 10 and year 11 visit the Gloucester History Festival
Forty students from years 10 and 11 attended the fantastic Gloucester History festival to hear a talk delivered by Helen Castor, television personality and lecturer at Cambridge University. The talk was about the insecurities of Elizabeth I's reign, giving students access to a passionate talk on one of the key components of their GCSE. Members of the public complimented the school for taking part in the event, and Helen Castor was kind enough to wish our GCSE and other students well in their students through her recent publication Elizabeth: (Penguin Monarch Series) a study in insecurity:

IT Services have completed computer upgrades in IT4, one of  our primary A-Level and GCSE teaching rooms for computer science. This upgrade means that our computer science students have access to the best equipment possible enabling them to do well in their studies. Thank you to IT Service for completing this project early and under budget. Further upgrades to other IT rooms are planned for later this year. The old computers were cleaned up, serviced and shipped out to the charity 'IT Schools For Africa' allowing children in developing countries to have access to IT resources.

MFL news
This half term 51 students are visiting Malaga to practise their Spanish, to experience Spanish food and culture, and to visit famous landmarks such as the Alhambra in Cordoba.
The very popular annual school ski trip to Austria in the February half term in 2020 has been announced.  All students of all or no skiing ability are welcome. See Mrs Beamish for further details.

Debating clubs: a battle of ideas

St Peter’s claims not one, but two debating clubs: one for sixth form and one for KS4.  This week the year 11 students challenged their seniors to a debate and were accepted. The inaugural debate-off took place on Wednesday lunchtime around the motion “This house believes that all cultures are not equal”. A packed debating chamber heard well-prepared and articulate speeches from the proposers of each side and in the end the motion was defeated by a small majority.  The debate was a chance for some talented speakers and thinkers to practise their ideas and a chance for anyone to take the floor and make their point. It was an impressive spectacle and the two groups now hope to build on this by arranging a second debate for next term on the topic of gun ownership. Very well done to all the speakers and supporters, especially for the high level of respect and dignity you all showed towards your opponents. Thank you to Miss Farrell and Mrs Eakin for their work with the debating groups.

Art department – The Big Draw
A large number of pupils from all years joined in the annual Big Draw art event this Wednesday, along with hundreds of schools nationally! This year’s theme was PLAY. Pupils were able to draw in their favourite art style on a large banner to be displayed in the school.

Over the course of the day drawings were added to the banner including manga style characters, mandala patterns and song lyrics. One pupil said “It is so cool to just be able to express what we like.” and another commented “It was so much fun! ” Thank you very much to all the pupils involved and to the art staff.

The Wizard of Oz

This half term culminated in the whole school production of The Wizard of Oz.  It was delightful to see so many talented students working together to entertain audiences of families and friends. A huge thank you to Mrs Perfect, Mrs Skyrme and Mr Waring and to all the staff and students who performed, played or helped in any way.

We hope all our students have a good half term break and look forward to seeing them again on Monday 29th October (week 2).