Thursday, 18 August 2022

KS5 Results day, August 2022

 Congratulations to our St Peter’s Year 13 students on their excellent results. This cohort has shown remarkable resilience over the last few years and, for most, these examinations were the first external ones they have taken following the cancellation of GCSE exams in 2020.

We are delighted that our students are progressing to a wide range of destinations of their choice, with many progressing to prestigious Russell Group universities.

Several students attained all grades at A/A* at A-level or Distinction* in vocational courses:

Patrick achieved all grades at A* in Maths, Further Maths and Physics and will be studying Engineering at the University of Cambridge.

Amelia achieved A* in Maths, A* in Further Maths and A in Biology and is going on to study Computing, IT and Maths with the Open University.

Finn achieved A* in History, A in Politics and A in Psychology and will study International Relations and Politics at Cardiff University.

Freya attained all grades at Distinction * in all three vocational courses: Health and Social Care, Psychology and Sports Studies. She will study Criminology at Exeter University.       

Solomon achieved A in Biology, A in Chemistry and A in Maths and is studying Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Sheffield.

Daniel achieved grade A in both Geography and Sociology and a Distinction * in Creative iMedia and will study Esports at the University of Staffordshire. Oliver is also progressing to the University of Staffordshire and will study Games Art.

Katie attained all A grades in Economics, Geography and Sociology; she will be studying Law with Psychology at the University of Southampton.

Sean achieved an A in Further Maths (in addition to last year’s A* in Maths and A in French) and plans to study Mathematics at Lancaster University.

Callum achieved A* in History, A in Psychology and B in Computer Science. He will study Psychology at Coventry University.

Steve achieved a grade A in French plus Distinctions in vocational Sports Studies and Vocational Business. He is going on to study Accounting and Finance at Nottingham Trent.

Josh attained A in Economics, B in Maths and Distinction * in Vocational Business. He will study Accounting and Finance at the University of Liverpool.

Ellis achieved A* in Sociology, A in Psychology and B in Philosophy and Ethics and will study Psychology at the University of York.

Ellie achieved grade As in Geography and Sociology, grade B in Economics and grade A in the Extended Project Qualification which is worth half an A-level. She is going on to study Criminology at Plymouth University.

We are equally proud of students who have secured apprenticeships including those who chose this route rather than going to university.

The last two years have been extremely testing for all these students, with long periods of remote education and many students having to self-isolate at various times during the previous academic year. Our Year 13 students are well-rounded young people who exemplify our St Peter’s values of respect, optimism, community and kindness. We are proud of their achievements and wish them all the very best for the next stage of their education or employment.


Photographs by Vincent Brown.

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Summer holidays 2022

Chaplaincy news

It was wonderful to once again celebrate our Patron’s Mass for the feast of St Peter and St Paul together on 29th June. It was a truly joyous occasion! During the Mass celebrated by our Chair of Governors, Monsignor Liam, we had the first unveiling of our St Peter’s Beacon. The Beacon, skilfully made by Mr Green and Mr Lyne from the DT department, reminded us that we have an important legacy, a flame of faith passed to us from Jesus to St Peter and throughout our long history from our tiny beginnings in 1835.

The beacon was lit by candles which were presented at the Offertory. Each candle represented the people who contribute to our ethos: our year saints, our current and past members of staff and students, our families and our Diocesan family.

We have learned through the challenges of the last couple of years to truly ‘sing it in the valleys and shout it from the mountain tops!’

Altar Servers

Well done to our new altar servers who served for the first time at our Patron’s Mass. They truly started at the top! They really mastered their special ministry in the Mass and we look forward to them going from strength to strength and inspiring new students to joining the group.

Help Madina

In June we welcomed Dr Veronica Sawicki, a local GP who co-founded the Help Madina charity in Sierra Leone. Dr Veronica spoke to several of the students in their RE lessons about the rich culture of Sierra Leone and shared the valuable work of the charity in providing medical care and support for the children and adults in the town of Madina. One of the recent projects was providing water wells and toilets – something we can often take for granted but which are vital for good health. Our students presented Dr Veronica with a cheque for £1000 that we raised through selling ice pops in school. You can find out more about the work of this wonderful charity at

Adventureman was here!

We were delighted to welcome back former student, Pride of Britain winner, and World Record holder ‘Adventureman,’ Jamie McDonald.

Jamie was invited to share his inspiring story and amazing adventures of resilience which have raised more than £1 million for charity and continues giving back helping other sick children in need through his Superhero Charity Foundation. Jamie spoke to students and staff, sharing inspiring, moving and humorous stories of his multiple fund-raising marathons around the world.

Jamie is motivated by his desire to give back to hospital staff who cared for him when he was young. For the first nine years of Jamie’s life, he was in and out of hospital with a rare spinal condition called syringomyelia. Combined with a very weak immune system, epilepsy and problems with his legs; Jamie’s family feared he’d end up in a wheelchair and would never walk again. However, with their amazing encouragement and determination, Jamie developed a never give up mentality which has become his mantra.

Jamie’s adventures which took him through war zones, perilous weather and uncomfortable closeness to bears in Canada were also inspiring because of the kindness of strangers who tended his wounds after a nasty bicycle accident en route, to paying for food and a hotel room and even a Canadian ‘Mama bear group’ of 30 women who ensured his safety from town to town across blizzard conditions in the Rocky Mountains.

Our students really enjoyed the opportunity to meet and hear Jamie who is ‘one of our own.’ Students commented ‘I felt really inspired by Jamie, especially his message that you can do more than you realise. It will encourage me next year as I start Key Stage 4.’

Another student said ‘It is really special hearing from someone who came to our school and has achieved amazing things and helped others.’


Thank you to Ms Baker for organising Jamie’s visit.

Music Department News

Mass & Awards Ceremony 2022

Having missed out on the previous two Feast Days, it was fantastic to be able to celebrate in style this year! St Peter’s musicians were out in force, providing some beautiful music for the Mass, including a worship song composed by Year 11 student, Rahimme Grant.

The Jazz Band welcomed in the audience for the Awards Ceremony, finishing with a rousing rendition of ‘Sweet Caroline’! Two of our younger students provided incredible musical interludes during the ceremony: Isaac Hill in Year 9 performed his own arrangement of ‘The Entertainer’ which was fused with a blues improvisation; Luca Barsellotti in Year 7 wowed the crowd with an incredibly accomplished rendition of ‘Space Man’.

We are extremely proud of our two Music Award winners, Sebastian Rowe in Year 13 and Isaac Hill in Year 9. 

Junior Concert

On Wednesday 22 June, we were treated to a fantastic showcase of musical talent from Years 7, 8 & 9. Over 40 students took part. In addition to solos and duets, we also had fantastic performances from the Percussion Group and the newly formed Ensemble. It was wonderful to see some students performing in public for the first time and inspirational to witness our more experienced musicians performing so confidently to a full audience – the future of St Peter’s Music is bright!

Whole School Musical Production in October 2022

We are excited to announce that our next whole school production will be Made in Dagenham! 

To keep up with all the latest news and announcements, please follow us on Twitter ‘@musicstpeters’ and Instagram ‘music_stpeters’. Please also subscribe to our YouTube channel and like our videos.

English department news

Year 7 visit to ‘Wicked'

The whole of year 7 were offered the opportunity to attend a production of Wicked in London. 7RIMS went on 13th July and thoroughly enjoyed the performance which plays with the characters in The Wizard of Oz. Our students were thrilled by the whole experience, including excellent seats! As I write, 7LACE are travelling to London to see it also.

A huge thank you to Ms Farrell for all the organisation of the trip.


Crime Scene

Year 10 recently investigated a live crime scene in English. A mysterious tent appeared on the field (police had already removed the dead body!) and students closely explored all of the clues to solve the crime. They used this to consider character, setting, plot and describing a brief moment of action. It was a great exercise for the imagination. Thanks to Mrs Cawley.


Year 5 Mathematics Competition

On Thursday 30th June, St Peter’s hosted the ‘Year 5 Mathematics Team Challenge’. St Joseph’s, The Rosary and St Mary’s Primary Schools each arrived with a team of 4 eager students. The pupils competed in 6 gruelling rounds, including a challenging mathematical crossword and a maths relay race towards the end of the day. All groups showed excellent collaboration within their teams, with the lead changing hands repeatedly.  

At the end of the day St Mary’s were triumphant with a superb overall performance. Staff and students involved thoroughly enjoyed their day completing engaging tasks based around such an insightful and exciting subject. Thanks to Miss Sarson and Mrs Lee for organising this event and Mrs Layhe for presenting the certificates and trophy.

Junior Maths Challenge awards breakfast

On 8th July, the participants in the Junior Maths Challenge (listed in the previous blogpost) gathered in a special event to mark their success.  In addition to receiving their certificates from Mrs Layhe and Mrs Lee, they also enjoyed some pastries. 

The students gave a big round of applause to Mrs Adams in thanks for her work in organising this. 

Certificates were also presented to the three Year 8 students who had attended the Royal Institution of Mathematics Masterclass sessions at The University of Bath. Well done to all these students!

New Head Students

Congratulations to our newly appointed Head Students:

·         Katy Lloyd

       Goodness and Mercy Ogunleye

·         Daniel Sortirova

·         Bethany Smart


Duke of Edinburgh awards

Duke of Edinburgh – Bronze

We had a mixture of Year 9, 10 and some ‘leftover’ Year 11s on our Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expeditions this year. The Year 11s joined the younger cohort for the first expedition, as Covid had interrupted their original assessed expedition. They set a great example and all passed. Most seemed keen to carry on with Gold next year, so watch this space.

Y9 and Y10 did both expeditions just a few weeks apart, exploring the countryside of Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. They navigated on and around The Ridgeway, ventured into ancient hill forts and did some amazing expedition projects. The students are working hard towards the other sections of the qualification, so we should have a good crop of certificate holders very soon!

Thanks to Mr McAteer, Ms McAteer, Ms Deacon and Mr Newman for all their work with  our Duke of Edinburgh students. 

Duke of Edinburgh - Gold expedition

Recently several St Peter’s sixth formers undertook their Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition down the Wye. In a St Peter’s first, they did it by canoe!

For four days they spent at least six hours a day on the water, carrying all their food and kit, and paddling to each campsite. The summer heat certainly added to the challenge, as did a couple of capsizes and very low water levels. Nevertheless, they remained cheerful, determined and did themselves and the school proud.

Very well done to Ben, Anna and Harry and thank you to Ms McAteer for giving up her time to support the group!

Update from the Green Team

We are a group of like-minded young people who see the importance of learning about our planet and taking actions to protect our environment.

BUT we need to your help to do more!

So far we have planted new trees in the school grounds, conducted a sponsored walk to raise money, held a no printing day, learnt about COP26, launched a campaign to turn off the lights (Timmy the Turtle became our mascot for this!), created a termly newsletter to share our knowledge and achievements with the school community (check out our previous editions on the school website), we have created a wildlife pond with one of our members who secured a bursary for this task, we have installed bird boxes and hedgehog boxes around the school site, created display boards in science, as well as lots of other fun activities.

However, we also want to make more of a difference to our local environment. We want to continue our work in our wildlife garden, make connections with local primary schools, work towards reducing single use plastic and increase awareness in our school community.

We need your help to achieve this and to continue to spread our message of THINK GLOBAL, ACT LOCAL!

Come and join us in September. We meet as a team every Tuesday in SCX and we would love to see you there!

Judaism projects in R.E.

During this half term, students in KS3 have been learning about other world faiths as it 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.”

Year 7 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, media videos, paintings, posters, textile work, PPT presentations and a quite a number of delicious cakes and other foods, all of which were connected with the religion of Judaism. It has been our pleasure to see the creative nature of our children come to life and see the fruits of their work. Below are some images of what has been produced, but they really are just a small sample of what our students created.

We thank every pupil for their dedication and effort in making this independent study such a wonderful success.

The Return of Geography Fieldwork

Summer 2022 has seen the return of a full complement of fieldwork provided by the Geography department.

It started in June with two days of fieldwork for our Year 10 GCSE Geography students, who spent a day in the Forest of Dean examining the changing nature of river meanders at Blackpool Brook near Blakeney.  The weather was fair and students enjoyed getting into the river to collect primary data about width, depth and velocity of the river.  The following day, the students travelled to Gloucester Quays to investigate the regeneration of the dock area, and to collect human primary data, which included questionnaires for the public as well as measuring the environmental quality. The Year 10 students represented the school wonderfully and really took the opportunity to develop key fieldwork skills that are required for their unit 3 exam in Year 11.

The following week, 240 year 7 students descended on Westonbirt Arboretum for our annual trip (the first since 2019). The year 7 students were split into two separate groups and one half were taken around the old arboretum to collect information about the quality of environment in relation to Westonbirt as a tourism destination. This experience introduced the students to the basic concepts of fieldwork, and allowed them to develop their knowledge and understanding about tourist attractions which is part of their Year 7 Geography curriculum. The other half were taken to the Silk Wood where they took part in an orienteering experience, where they had to put their map reading skills to the test and find a range of locations within the woods. Students enjoyed both experiences, and it was a fabulous experience for all of them, and simply wonderful to be able to get the students out into the field after the disruptions due to the pandemic.

Finally, our Year 12 students took part in four days of fieldwork experience, both locally and further afield. Students collected data along a transect across the Gloucester Quays, collecting a range of data such as air quality, environmental quality and noise pollution.  Students investigated a range of sampling techniques, and put this into action when collecting the data during busy times of the day. Year 12 also were able to travel outside of Gloucestershire, firstly to the Quantock Hills to investigate the differing rates of infiltration on a hill slope in an upland area, and then to the Brecon Beacons to investigate the glacial landforms left behind after the last ice age.  Students really valued this experience of getting to areas that are not local. 

Our final day of fieldwork took us to the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham to work with the outreach team to help students with their NEA project. Our A-Level Geography students were privileged to be able to experience a lecture from Professor Kenny Lynch about the skills involved in finding relevant literature for their NEA, as well as a lecture on using GIS (Geographical Information Systems) with Dr Lucy Clarke. The day then finished with a tour of the FCH campus in Cheltenham, before a Q&A with current students.  It was a wonderful experience for all involved.

Thank you to Mr Williams and all the geography staff for this year's field trips.


Staff leaving St Peter's

Mrs Dadge (geography after 33 years), Mrs Debenham (Finance team after 22 years). Mrs Tyler (science), Mrs Williams (art technician) and Mrs Lee (Head of Maths) are all retiring at the end of term. We thank them for their enormous contribution to the school and wish them all the very best in the future.        

We wish the following members of staff who are leaving to pursue new posts or challenges our very best for the future:

Mr Clifford, teacher of science and head of year 13
Mr Waring, teacher of film and media
Mrs Newman, assistant SENDCo and teacher of P.E.
Mrs Harrisson, teacher of maths
Mr Crowther, teacher of maths
Mrs Abel, Principal's P.A.
Ms Nutt, teacher of languages
Mr Haythornthwaite, teacher of maths
Mr Channon, teacher of maths,
Mrs Whitlock, sixth form administrator

Autumn term 2022

Monday 5th September - staff inset day
Tuesday 6th September - staff inset day
Wednesday 7th September - Year 7 and 12 students only
Thursday 8th September - all year groups back in school

Please check the website for uniform, hairstyle and jewellery guidelines for our school.

Thank you as always for your support. I hope students, staff, their families and friends enjoy the summer break and we look forward to seeing them in September.