Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Happy Easter

Chaplaincy news

The recent Ignite evening was an occasion to ‘live, love, laugh and believe!’ We were amazed by the wonderful tricks and inspired by the testimony of our special guest, magician Tom Elliott, and we shared prayer and worship together.

We heard from Joanna Fajkowska and Fred Ma’a about the latest fundraiser to come from Year 9: the hour long ‘Run to Wales’.
The next IGNITE evening is on Friday 6th July.

Lenten reconciliation services: once again we had a tremendous response from our students at our reconciliation services where we reflected on the theme ‘Be Opened’ to God’s love and forgiveness. Thank you to the priests of Gloucester and Stroud Deaneries for their care and support.

Easter liturgies during Holy Week: all students have attended Easter Liturgies during Holy Week this week; these have brought together the mission of Jesus in the dance of salvation through his death and resurrection. Students shared how they are serving others following in the footsteps of the Servant King.

Year 10 CAFOD DAY: Year 10 CAFOD leaders spent a day at St Joseph’s Catholic College, Swindon, with other schools in the diocese as part of their CAFOD Young Volunteers course. They shared all the wonderful things they have been doing to raise awareness and funds for CAFOD.

Easter Eggs for Gloucester Feed the Hungry project: we were delighted with the response to this appeal. 201 Easter Eeggs and 2 Easter bunnies were collected and distributed to the children at Milestones school.

Links with the Catholic primary schools: our chaplain, Mandy Baker, led the students at St Peter’s Catholic Primary School in preparation for their reconciliation service. They reflected on the commandment of Jesus to ‘Love one another, as I have loved you’.

Thank you to our chaplain, Mandy Baker, for all her work on the above events.

Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts
This year the St Peter's Choral Society joined with a professional big band, tap dancers and two soprano soloists, one of whom was our own former student, Willow Burden, to perform Sacred Concert by Duke Ellington at Blackfriars, Gloucester, and at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Stroud. Nearly fifty students and several members of staff and former members of staff were involved in these fabulous concerts. The choir were directed by head of music, Catherine Perfect, and our thanks go to all the students and staff who participated to make these evenings such memorable occasions.

RE News
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'. 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, media videos, paintings, posters, textile work, powerpoint presentations and quite a number of delicious cakes and other foods, all of which were connected with the religions of Judaism, Hinduism and Islam. 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 research project such a wonderful success.

The Brilliant Club

Last Thursday saw the launch of the Brilliant Club for a selected number of year 8 pupils. They began their Brilliant Club experience with a visit to the University of Cardiff where they met their PhD tutor and set out to study literary theories. They will complete a series of assignments leading to a final piece of 1,500 words. All pupils were outstanding on their launch trip and have made a great start to what promises to be a wonderful journey for them.

The Duke of Edinburgh award
Congratulations to Luke Fullard, Mariella Rosato, Ava Bunce, Hannah Dawkins, Lena Thomas, Nathaniel Baruela, Maria Pieszko and Grace Adams who have recently completed their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh awards. There are currently 50 students in year 9 looking forward to their Bronze expeditions to the Cotswolds and 14 students across years 11, 12 and 13 looking forward to their Silver expeditions in the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons. Thank you to Mr Edwards, Mr McAteer and to the other staff who enable so many students to take part in this highly acclaimed scheme.

The English Speaking Union
Well done to Charlotte Ellis and Debbie Watkins from year 8 who made it to the South West regional finals of the ESU Shakespeare competition with their performance as Helena and Hermia from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ This was our first entry to the competition and the girls performed with great professionalism on the night. Sadly, we didn’t make the London final this time but we hope to enter again next year.

Group Maths Challenge
Congratulations to Amelia King, Mary McAteer, Chris Thomas and Benji Witherington who came 7th out of 24 schools in the recent Group Maths Challenge They were beaten by Pates, Cheltenham Ladies College, Katherine Lady Berkeley, Monmouth Boys School, Monmouth Girls School and John Masefield School.

The International Food Party 2018 
The International Food Party is now in its 14th year and has become an annually anticipated event, hosted by the EAL students and teachers in the department, with delicious dishes to tempt  tastebuds  from far and wide across the globe.  Dishes from Vietnam, China, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iran, Spain , India, Gujarat, Poland, Bulgaria, Myanmar and Syria adorned the tables in the Pavilion last week. 

The students organise the event as part of a module for their ASDAN course and as a way of joining the community together to say thank you to teachers and other professionals involved in their lives for  their time, care and effort.  This year we catered for around 100 people,  with the additional dishes from Lyn Smith from the school's catering team, which was very much appreciated.  Sainsbury’s supported the students by giving £30.00 towards ingredients as a charitable donation. A further £30.00 was raised for GARAS who support the students outside school. It was lovely to see so many students from previous years continuing to support the school and bringing food to share. It  was also great to have the families of students at the event. Thank you to the EAL department and to all who cooked, set up the room and cleared at the end.


Business Studies news
Well done to the business studies students who made profits during the 'tenner challenge'. The winners - o made £160 profit - were Kayone Weir-Roberts, Zidiane Watson and Kynan Murchison.

The department also have a team through to the final round of the BASE game, a national business and accounting challenge. An accountant from a local firm will be coming in to work with the group on the final pitch which they will deliver by video link. The group are led by Lewis Vanstone and include Daiyaan Janodien, Joe Langbridge, Rohan Parry, Justin Varney and Monika Panyotova.

Geography news
During the recent Geography and Business Faculty Focus week 60 students from Year 9 were invited to take part in an earthquake science seminar. During the seminar, students learned about the impacts of the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand and witnessed CCTV footage of buildings collapsing and some miraculous stories of survival.  The students were then tasked with creating their own earthquake building, made from straws, sticky tape and blu-tac.  In small groups, students had to design, build and eventually test their buildings' structure on the specially made shaker table.  Of the 14 different models, only 4 managed to survive 20 seconds of shaking, most crumbling or toppling over.  All students who took part were a credit to Year 9 and the school and through great communication and teamwork managed to create some exceptional designs.

Sports news

Congratulations to Charleigh Garrot in year 7 who goes on to represent the South West in    gymnastics after she won gold at a recent event.

Congratulations to former student, Grace Riglar, who has been selected for the English colleges FA national squad.

Congratulations to Mary McAteer who played for Wales in an international football tournament last weekend.

Congratulations to the Year 9 netball team who won the recent Wycliffe School tournament:

Congratulations to the gymnastics team who came 17th in the country at the recent British Schools Gymnastics Milano Team National Finals in Stoke-on-Trent. They also contributed to the South West region coming 10th overall.
Football news

The year 7 girls football team won the County tournament and will now progress on to the South West stage. 

Our year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 teams all won the Gloucester Schools District cup football finals this week - an amazing achievement. The students played extremely well and were a credit to the school. Well done to them and to their coaches!

Under the leadership of Adam Scott in Year 12 the sixth form boys’ basketball team have done extremely well in the county league. They have won most of their fixtures and finished as runners up overall. The success of the team is the result of the effort of sixth form students, with a minimum of support from teaching staff.  Practices and fitness training have been  organised by the boys themselves. They are an excellent example to others.

Exam classes and revision
Staff have been extremely generous with their time and have put on lots of extra revision sessions. There are also several revision sessions taking place during the holidays for which staff have volunteered their own time. All of this needs to be supported by students' private revision. Students in exam years should spend a good proportion of the Easter break revising but will need to balance this with regular breaks for relaxation and exercise. It is a good idea for them to check that they have all the necessary notes and materials and to work backwards from their exam timetable to ensure all topics will be covered. A quiet indoor space without distraction, including music, is important too.

Research has found that 'spaced learning' (when students revise one subject for a period of time followed by a completely different subject and then a third etc) helps rather than hinders the recall of information. Ebbinghaus's 'Curve of Forgetting' is also interesting as it shows that we need to revise things several times before information is fully retained. He found that memory decays the most rapidly in the first hour after learning and then continues to decline until it levels off after one month. Therefore, through regular revision, forgetting will decline and more information will be retained.

Staffing updates

Mrs Wintle is leaving St Peter’s after many years of teaching English here. She is looking forward to the challenge of working with a different age group as she is joining Warden Hill Primary School in Cheltenham.

Mrs Lovett joined the maths department in September and is leaving to run the cafĂ© attached to her daughter’s beauty salon in Shurdington.
Mrs Piva joined us as a teaching assistant in September. She qualified as a teacher in Italy and wishes to qualify to teach languages in the UK next academic year.

We wish all three members of staff every success in the future and thank them for all they have done at St Peter's. Mrs Baker, head of art, commences her maternity leave after Easter and we wish her well also. She was spoilt by her form this morning who very thoughtfully organised beautiful gifts and cards.

We look forward to seeing the students back in school on Monday 16th April. Students will be wearing their summer uniform of polo shirts but will need jumpers and coats also! Year 9 students will not wear blazers after Easter and have been asked to donate them to second hand uniform.

We hope you and your families have a happy and holy Easter.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Approaching Easter

Diocesan report and ethos
You should have received an email with a link to the recent diocesan inspection report. It can also be found via a link on the home page of the school website:

The Catholic life of the school and the teaching of RE were found to be Good and the report contains many positive comments on the school and on the students. We will of course work on the areas identified as targets.

Students in all year groups have attended Lenten reconciliation services led by our chaplain, Miss Baker. We are grateful to the priests from local parishes who have supported these services. As usual the students themselves have been extremely respectful and have participated well.

Ignite evening
Ignite was postponed because of the snow and will now take place on Friday 16th March. Doors will open at 6:30pm and the evening will start at 7pm. We are delighted that Tom Elliott will be appearing. Tom is an entertainer, comedian and magician. Among plenty of laughs, tricks, silly props and audience participation, he will share a positive and life-affirming message and give testimony to his Christian faith. Tickets are available from reception.

The Brilliant Club – year 10 
A group of 12 high ability year 10 students was selected to take part in the Scholars’ Programme organised by the Brilliant Club. The launch was at Warwick University. It is a unique chance for them to work with a PhD tutor on some university style scientific research. Pupils are exploring the evolution of species with the help of technology to help their PhD tutor answer the question “what would Charles Darwin do with a computer?” Pupils have now almost completed their work which will be graded with university style marks (first class, 2:1, 2:2) prior to attending a graduation event at another university. Thank you to Mrs Barker for her work with the Brilliant Club.

The Science department trip to Geneva and CERN
The science department trip to Geneva and CERN went well although the weather conditions were very challenging with daytime temperatures falling as low as -9C. The students conducted themselves excellently throughout. Prior to the visit to CERN, Mr Jones Parry gave a well-received lecture to students on the work at the site and the physics behind the concepts. Staff were pleased by the challenging questions from the students. The visit to CERN was extremely interesting and students from all year groups again asked lots of valid questions. The group passed into France via a CERN coach to visit the cryogenic facility, the AMS experiment and the control centre. This followed a one-hour lecture and film on the history, current work and future plans for the site. Students and staff also visited two permanent exhibitions - Microcosm (about the setting up of the LHC) and the Globe (about the universe). Afterwards the group went into the old town which was followed by a quiz from Mr Parry Jones on CERN, Switzerland as well as on some general knowledge. The trip also included a visit to the botanical gardens which was shorter than previously because of the cold weather and instead more time was spent inside at the science museum. A visit to the Red Cross Museum ended the science trip to Geneva and CERN. Thank you to Dr Taylor, Mr Jones Parry, Miss Holliday and Mr De Young for taking the students on this excellent educational visit.

February half term ski trip
48 students accompanied by six staff took part in the annual school ski trip to Austria during the February half term.  After a long (25 hour) journey by coach. The party again went to St Michael im Lungau, stayed again in the delightful family-owned hotel Zum Weissen Stein. Students skied with their instructors according to their ability, and the superb snow conditions meant that most rose to the challenge of making two levels of progress during the week. Several students even enjoyed skiing with their teachers at the end of the day. Evening entertainment involved a trip to the Therme Amade indoor water park but extreme weather conditions meant that the planned bowling trip at Oberlungau had to be abandoned. The best evening was the awards evening when staff and students were joined by the ski instructors who awarded medals and trophies to students who had completed the slalom race earlier that day.  Our students displayed their ROCK values all week, and proof of this came from very favourable comments from the two coach drivers who were delighted with how tidy the coach was after the long journey, and also the ski school head instructor, who said that we were the most polite and respectful school they had worked with all winter! Thanks to Mrs Beamish for organising the trip and to Miss Beachus, Mr Figliola, Mr Potter, Mr Rumsey and Mr Versaci who also went.

Will it make the boat go faster?

Next Tuesday 20th March at 18:00 we will be joined by ex-Olympic gold medallist and author Ben Hunt-Davis. Part of the Redgrave, Cracknell and Pincent era, Ben won gold in the men’s eight in Sydney 2000. Team GB had not 'medalled' since 1912 in this event. Ben and his peers broke this 88 year old record when they not only got on the podium, but won gold.
Ben has since shared his story in a bestselling book he co-wrote, Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Among other things, Ben has become a world class business consultant and keynote speaker.

Students and parents are invited to this special evening. Tickets are £5 per head and can be purchased in reception. Thank you to Mr Pinnell for organising this event. Profits will be split between Prostate Cancer and the rugby tour to Canada.

Rome visit at Easter
A reminder to parents of students going to Rome at Easter that there is an information evening on March 14th at 6.30pm. Please bring your child’s passport and EHIC card.













Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Christmas 2017

What a busy term it’s been and there is plenty of good news to share.

All year groups have participated in a Christmas liturgy led by our chaplain, Mandy Baker, and year 10 students celebrated the feast of their year saint, St Francis Xavier.

The ROCK award
This academic year we launched our ROCK award based on the values of Respect, Optimism, Community and Kindness. Students have really risen to the challenge and I am delighted that our first badges have been awarded for Kindness to Amber Cavanagh. Phoebe Chick, Gabriela Kojder, Nikitha Joby, Sophie McInroy, Leanne Rogers, Catherine Stainer, Erin White and Victoria Witherington. We look forward to lots more students gaining badges in 2018!

Mathematics Masterclasses
Well done to the five year 8 students who have been accepted for the Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses, 2018, which take place at Bath University in February and March. The following students will attend six classes which will enhance their work in maths and inspire them further: Dominik Brown, Laura Davis, Phoebe Jones, Ivy Wang and Benji Witherington.

Gold CREST award
Huge congratulations to Norbert Wegrzynowski who has received the prestigious Gold CREST Award for his participation in the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project.

Oxbridge candidates
Well done to Hannah Soares, Cosimo Marchetti, Charlotte Davis and Ashling Williams who applied to and have been interviewed for Oxbridge places.

The Duke of Edinburgh award scheme
Congratulations to Ella Derrick and Anna Barnes who have recently received their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards. We currently have 95 students working towards their bronze award; 15 working towards the silver award and two students (now at university) working towards gold. A big thank you to all the staff - led by Mr Edwards - who put so much time into this excellent scheme.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Thank you to all the students who took part in Twas the Night Before Christmas which was thoroughly entertaining and enjoyed by pupils from local Catholic primary schools at matinee performances as well as by family and friends in the evening. Thank you to Mrs Skyrme who directed the play and who enjoys covering members of the audience in snow!

Music news
Congratulations to Harry Matthews who was selected for the prestigious National Youth Choir. Harry and lots of other students took part in Carols by Candlelight at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Stroud, last Friday which was as beautiful an occasion as always. It was lovely to hear former students sing with our current students. A huge thank you to the music department led by Catherine Perfect, to the students and staff and to parents and friends for being such a supportive congregation.  £200 was raised for the church and £200 was donated to the British Heart Foundation. On Sunday the girls’ choir also supported former student Mary-Jess Leaverland at a concert at St George’s Church, Tuffley.

Science news
The science department has set up ‘Lab Rats’ club for students in year 9 and 10 who are particularly enthusiastic about science or very able.  The first session started with a brief talk on the history of anatomy and dissection followed by dissection when students learned about respiratory and digestive systems. They developed skills from how to set up an animal for dissection to using scalpels and the careful disinfecting of work areas. Focus and concentration were needed due to the nature of the equipment being used and the complexity of the task. The practical work was guided by biology teacher Dr Piercy and supported by Mrs McNeill, Miss Brookes, Mr Brookin and Dr Taylor. Two further sessions are planned: a planetarium will be set up in school and students will dabble in the world of pharmaceuticals by making aspirin.

Parliament week
Parliament week took place in November. Thank you to Miss Fearn, head of politics, who organised visits from two local MPs – David Drew and Richard Graham - as well as a school-wide referendum, a parliament quiz and a workshop for lower school students who signed some parliamentary petitions.

Gymnastics success
In the recent Gloucester schools gymnastics competition St Peter's won three of the five categories and were comfortable overall winners. Thank you to Miss Hadley for all her work with our gymnasts.
Football success
Well done to the year 8 football team who have progressed to the sixth round of the under-13 national schools cup and await a home tie in the next round. This means the team is one of the last 32 schools in the country which is a fabulous achievement for the boys and their coach.

House sport
The most recent round of house sport means that Wye are leading on 1939 points:


Staffing news

Congratulations to Mrs Eakin from the RE department who has gained a distinction in her MA in Catholic school leadership from St Mary's university.

Five members of staff are leaving us at the end of term:  cleaners Julie Brown and Zoysa Bucha are retiring; Mrs Akester who is an administrative assistant in our Student Support centre is leaving to pursue her jewellery business full time; Mrs Green who has taught drama and English here is leaving to teach dance and Zumba; and Miss Hadley who teaches PE and has done excellent work with our gymnasts is leaving to teach gymnastics outside school.

A reminder that we return to school on Thursday 4th January (the planners say Friday 5th but were published before term dates were finalised).

We hope that you have a peaceful and holy Christmas.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

October 2017


Retreat Days
Year 7 and Year 12 students participated in their annual retreats this month. Year 7 focused on 'You Are God's Work Of Art' and Year 12’s theme was ‘Get Connected'. It was very moving to hear students sharing their stories through objects that are special to them, finding peace in our reflection meditations, enjoying making new friends, and growing closer to God through spontaneous prayer together. Each student was anointed with special oil to strengthen them on their journey through school. These days are so important for our school community to reflect on and continue to build our Catholic ethos.

Our Year 10 charity group ran fund raising events for the charity ‘Help Madina’ in Sierra Leone and met the charity’s founder Dr Veronica Sawicki to present her with a cheque for £737.05. The group have now joined the Young CAFOD Volunteers programme run by the Diocese of Clifton and CAFOD.  

Gloucester Foodbank
As part of our harvest thanksgiving students made a collection for Gloucester Food bank, supporting its wonderful work for the people of our city. Thank you for all the donations.

Bronze Duke of Edinburgh awards
Congratulations to the following students who have successfully completed their Bronze awards: 

Daniel Taylor
Callum Milne
Xander Wickham
Martha Soares
Archie Evans
Susie Nash
Laura Slinger
Elizabeth Ssenabuyla
Amelia Skipp
Breffni Williams
Darcy Woods-Broady
Carmel Taylor

Student Investor Challenge
Four year 9 students have taken part in the practice game for the student investor challenge (Share game). This took place over 3 weeks and involved 954 other school teams from around the country. Congratulations to Finn Walsh, Kyle Murray, Harry Allen, Ellis Parry who came in first place. They will now be able to take part in the real game which will take place from October 23rd until mid-November.

Faculty focus: Modern Foreign Languages
The last week of the half term was Faculty Focus week in Modern Languages with Spanish tapas tasting, songs and quizzes, as well as talks on the benefits of continuing with a language to GCSE and beyond.  In addition, 81 Key Stage 3 students went to Normandy on the last day of the half term to take part in a cross-curricular venture, taking in the historical sites of Normandy including the Bayeux Tapestry and the WW2 landing beaches, as well as trying out the French they are learning in school. They also managed to bump into former head teacher Mr Rush with his wife Caroline!


Black History Month events and celebration evening
During Black History Month we welcomed several visitors to school to work with a range of students in different fields: Dr Nira Chamberlain returned to school and spoke to maths students about black heroes in mathematics; naturalist Gillian Burke gave a talk to geography students; BREIS performed for and worked with English students; Paige Reid (England netball player) delivered a netball masterclass to a group of key stage three and four students as well as to the sixth form netball team: 

Adebanji Alade, member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, worked with year 10 GCSE art students on portrait painting:

The events culminated in the very well attended Black History Month evening which was a terrific celebration and showcase of food, music, song and speech. A huge thank you to Mrs Roberts-Moore who organised the evening and liaised with departments about the visiting speakers.

Ten Tears On
At the end of the half term the music department created an anniversary celebration of the last ten musicals performed at St Peter's. Students performed songs from previous shows including Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story and Pirates of Penzance, to name just a few.
Former students Christopher Slemensek and Willow Burden returned to perform songs and the evenings were a great success. Thanks to all the students who sang or were in the band, to the music department, to Mr Waring and to all those who contributed to making the performances such a success.

to Mary McAteer who represented Wales in the Under 15 women's football team against Scotland and England during the half term break. 

News of former students
During the summer holidays Gabriel Dunphy (who was in last year’s year 11) took part in the Rotary Club Youth Leadership Award.  Gabriel did really well on the course and was a real credit to St Peter’s. He gave a report to the Rotary club members and did it with conviction. His mother tells us that he was delighted that he had been given this opportunity and that it has really helped with his confidence.

There will be further opportunities this year for one of our students to take part in the Youth Leadership Award.  The Rotary Club also offer schools opportunities to take part in the following competitions:
·         Young Chef
·         Young Musician
·         Young Photographer
·         Young Writer
·         Technology Tournament 

Coming up 

Masses for the feast of All Saints take place on Wednesday 1st November at 9.30 and 11.30 and all are welcome to join us. These take place in the sports barn so you will need to dress warmly.

The next PFA (Parents and Friends Association) meeting is at 6 pm on Monday 6th November in the training block at the bottom of the school. New members are always welcome. 

Our Sixth Form Open Evening is on Wednesday 29th November from 6.30 pm when students and parents can find out about Key Stage 5 courses, visit departments and talk to staff.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Start of Term

The students returned for the new school year looking delightfully smart in their uniforms. Our year 12 students look really professional and ready for work in the new crested black blazers. The year has started really well with a lovely calm atmosphere around the school and new staff and new students are already part of the school community.

Our Masses for the start of the academic year were held on Friday 222nd September and were celebrated by Monsignor Liam Slattery of St Peter’s parish, Gloucester. The behaviour of our students at both Masses was excellent and a really respectful and prayerful atmosphere was created. The music was of the usual high standard and we finished both Masses with the customary ‘Sing it in the valleys.’ Last Friday was Ignite, an evening of faith, praise sharing and fun, a very successful evening organised by our chaplain Mandy Baker.

We have held Information Evenings for year 8 to 12 (the year 7 one was in July) and the year 13 one is on 16th October at 7pm in the main hall. At the information evenings we have emphasised the importance of attendance, working hard by getting fully involved in lessons, keeping up private reading and having a positive attitude. We also talked about the importance of extra-curricular activities and getting a good night’s sleep by turning phones off at night and not keeping them in bedrooms.

We are again using Show my Homework. Students and parents have individual log in details and can also download the free app but anyone can also access the system via the home page of the school website. I also encouraged parents to download the new school app which contains key dates and news. Further details of the app and how to get it can be found here:

Open House Wednesdays continue. If you have a query or concern, you can come to discuss it with members of the leadership team from 4pm to 6.30pm on Wednesdays. We are based at the top of the Rosemary Steele block at the very bottom of the site and just ask that you let reception know that you attending by emailing by midday on the day you plan to attend and by giving us an idea of your concern.
We are celebrating Black History Month and so far have welcomed Dr Nira Chamberlain, a regular visitor to the school, who spoke to a group of maths students about black heroes in mathematics; Gillian Burke, naturalist, who spoke to geography students and helped them to build a bug ‘hotel’; and Adebanji Alade who worked with year 10 art students and really inspired them.  Our celebration evening is next Wednesday 11th October from 6.30pm and all are welcome. Our thanks to Mrs Roberts-Moore who has co-ordinated these events.

Congratulations to the U18 hockey team who won the National Schools plate and have qualified for the finals of the National Schools Hockey tournament, a great achievement. 

Today is the last day of open ‘week’ and last night was open evening when the school was packed with prospective students and their parents. A huge thank you to all the sixth form students who have represented us so well by taking visitors on tours of the school and to all the students who helped at open evening this year.



Friday, 21 July 2017

End of the academic year, July 2017

The last half term of the academic year has been long and extremely positive. 

Year 9 retreats were very successful.  Thanks to the tutors, Miss Baker and to Fr. Kevin for their energy and commitment to these important days.

Sports Day yesterday was a great success despite the later start because of the rain and I thank students, staff and parents for their support.  There was a lovely atmosphere and it was delightful to see so many young people participating and displaying their talents. A big thank you to the PE department for all this work.  Last week was also house week and the house totals for the year which include positive SIMS, points during house weeks and sports day are:







National tennis success
Our senior girls and senior boys tennis teams made it to the national finals in Nottingham in July.  We were the only comprehensive school to have both a boys and girls team competing at this level which is an amazing achievement.  The girls came 12th in the country and the boys came 11th.  This is a huge achievement for them and for the school and reflects the quality of coaching from Kieran Montagu, Mrs Kat Donovan, Mr Nick Dill and the other coaches. 

In addition, one of the girls who competed at the national finals, Anna Barnes in year 9, played in the Road to Wimbledon county finals on Sunday 16th July. She won and will therefore get to play at Wimbledon in the National Finals during the summer holidays 14th – 19th August.  Well done to both teams and to their coaches!

Resurfacing of the All Weather Pitch and fund raising to kick start a 3G Pitch
Our existing all weather pitch is being resurfaced with work starting on Tuesday 25th July.  The pitch will be ready for September and bookings are being taken now.  

As you know, we are trying to raise £20,000 to kick start the financing of a brand new 3G pitch.  Thank you to those who have already donated and to those who have shown support on social media.  Can we ask once more that if you haven’t yet donated and are able to, to contribute as soon as possible.  £20 from 1000 families means we would reach our goal.  Sponsorship packages are also available on request.  

Provisional bookings for the 3G pitch can also be made via Mrs Tanya Kerslake ( #stpeterspitchin

Clarification about the building fund
In my last blogpost requesting contributions to the Just Giving page for the 3G pitch, I mentioned that the school had not sent home building fund envelopes recently.  However, many parents contribute to that fund through a standing order and I would like to reassure you that the money is kept separate from other funds and is used when appropriate to improve facilities for students.

Music news
The newly-formed Girls’ Choir progressed to the regional finals of the National Music for Youth Festival in Birmingham Town Hall. Their programme included Year 12 student, Hannah Soares’ AS composition ‘Irish Blessing’ which was met with huge enthusiasm by the audience and adjudicators alike.

Four students (Natasha Burch, Lydia Ravenhill, Amelia Skipp & Martha Soares) have passed Grade 5 Theory, the benchmark qualification which allows students to progress to the higher practical grades.  Alisha Perkins achieved Distinction for Grade 8 Singing.  This completed a set of highly impressive results for the Year 13 Music set this year:  Grade 8 Distinctions for Willow Burden (Singing), Will Busuttil (Trumpet) and Grade 7 Piano (Distinction) for Christopher Slemensek.

Former student, Hannah Mahon received a 2:1 music degree from Cardiff University and plans to train as a Music Teacher.

Elite History Homework
We have been really impressed by the exceptional quality of the elite history homework completed by KS3 students this half term and the fact that many of the pieces are going to be displayed in Gloucester Life Museum, Westgate Street, until 12th September.  Do try to pop in to see some of the students' excellent work.

Art news

Workshop with artist David Brindley

Art students have been developing their soft pastel skills during the Art and Design Technology Faculty Fortnight. Local artist David Brindley worked with students to produce a still life piece inspired by one of his own greetings card ‘A little bruised but otherwise ok!’   Students worked hard and have produced some excellent pieces of work.

Gloucester Museum Art exhibition
 A group of talented year 10 GCSE students’ work is being exhibited at Gloucester Museum from 15th July to 23rd September.  The Unit 1 still life work was inspired by the style of artists such as Paul Cezanne, Giorgio Morandi and Carolee Clark.  Do try to pop in and admire the work of our talented students.

The Duke of Edinburgh scheme has been really successful this year.  36 students in years 9 and 10 successfully completed the expedition section of their Bronze Award. They completed a challenging two day expedition in the Cotswolds which was then followed by producing excellent presentations to their parents about their expedition on Monday this week.  25 students from years 9 to 13 completed the whole Bronze Award.  

Two former students, Amy Walker and Ffion Ingram, completed their Gold Awards which they will receive at St James’s Palace.  One student will complete their Silver Award over the summer once they have done their expedition. Thanks to the staff who give up so much of their time at weekends to ensure that the scheme runs and benefits so many students.

Lottery Funding for Black History Month events
Mrs Roberts-Moore applied for and was successful in receiving £5150 from the National Lottery for cross curricular events to celebrate Black History Month in the Autumn.  This will involve students in several departments working with visiting artists and musicians and will culminate in our celebration of Black History Month on Wednesday   11th October – a date for your diaries.

The following members of staff are leaving at the end of term.  We thank them for their hard work at St Peter's and wish them well in the future:

Mrs Hannah Davy (history), Mr Martin Peake (computing), Mrs Nicola Thompson (maths), Mrs Emma Hilliam (English), Mrs Anna Misselbrook (English), Miss Grace Anderton (art), Mr Andrew Holloway (maths), Mrs Mary Stephen (science & psychology), Mr Peter Morrison (maths), Mrs Nicola Garner (science), Mrs Maria Szoke (maths), Mr Liam Gittins (teaching assistant), Mr Saul Bateman (teaching assistant) and Mr James Dart (maternity cover in English).  Ms Judy Vertannes (MFL and EAL) and Mrs Alison George (MFL and computing) have been granted a year’s sabbatical by the governors.

Mr Jim Stenson
Today we say goodbye and a huge thank you to Jim Stenson who has been Chair of Governors for eleven years.  Jim has devoted hours and hours of his time - completely unpaid - and has been a true servant of Catholic education and of St Peter's High School.  We hope he enjoys his retirement from governing body duties and thank him for his advice and guidance over many years.

The following members of staff will be joining us in September: 

Miss Alice Brookes (science), Mrs Tryphosa Bennett (English), Miss Vicky Langham (science), Mr Elishma Lawless (MFL), Mr Dave Fredrickson (English), Mr Jason Chambers (R.E.),  Mr Philip Brookin (science), Mrs Jane Smalley (maths), Mrs Wendy Lovett (maths), Miss Melanie Moss (art), Mrs Catriona Nicklin (Business Studies maternity cover), Mrs Allyson Mountain (English maternity cover), Mr Scott McSwayde (teaching assistant), Mrs Donna Jackson (teaching assistant), Mrs Emanuela Piva (teaching assistant), Mrs Chricellaine Goodenough (teaching assistant) and Mrs Georgina Blackburn (careers adviser).

Parents and Friends Association
The PFA raise additional funds for the school and meet at the start of each half term on a Monday evening.  Several long standing members left at the end of term when their children (or grandchildren!) left the school and it would be great to see more parents becoming involved.  We are in particular need of a PFA treasurer.  This involves checking the bank statement, advising the PFA of the current funds, organising floats with the finance office and banking money.  The current treasurer says that it involves just over an hour’s time a month and is not an onerous responsibility.  Please let me or Mrs Haywood know if you are interested in joining the PFA and / or becoming treasurer.  You can also see and like the PFA’s St Peter’s RC High School Facebook page which publicises events.

Assessment points next academic year
We have made some changes to our assessment system for next year but assessment letters will still be sent home three times a year and will reflect homework, assessments in class, attitude to learning and whether or not students are making expected progress. The system allows a degree of flexibility as the new numerical GCSE system becomes embedded with final gradings changing from A* - U grades to letters from 9 (high) to 1 (low).  Staff will be assessing whether students have the age appropriate skills to progress to the GCSE grade range suggested by their KS2 results.  The target grade range is based on performance at primary school and is used to suggest the potential GCSE grade your son or daughter may attain.  We will be able to discuss this in more details at the September information evenings and will include more information with the first assessment letters in November.  

Please let us know if you have any comments on assessments, reporting to parents and carers (we have moved to three assessment letters a year instead of one final report) and Insight by emailing with the subject heading comments on assessments.

Important reminders for the new term

Cashless catering will be truly cashless
As you should know from my previous blog and emails (and which students know from the posters around the school and the frequent tannoy reminders), students will not be able to top up their catering account in school from September.  All details of how to top up online or via a card in local shops can be found on the school website. Email if you need further help.

Uniform and hair styles
Please check the school website before allowing your sons or daughters to dye their hair, have tramlines cut in or extremely short hair and before purchasing new items of uniform.  In particular, trousers must not be skinny or clingy and we have a specific school skirt which can be purchased at the uniform shops. 

May I remind you not to try to enter the bus bay at the end of school until 4pm after which there is no problem at all.  Earlier in the year we also had problems with some parents blocking driveways of local residents so I ask all parents and guardians to be sensitive to our neighbours.

See you in September

Thank you for all your support throughout the year.  I hope that your sons and daughters enjoy the summer break and we look forward to seeing them again in September.