Friday, 12 June 2015

June 2015

Staff changes • Exams • Junior concert and junior drama • Building work (including phones) • PFA  Family Fun Day • Sixth form study and dress code • SCITT Ofsted • End of Year Mass

You will know I think that there will be some senior staff changes this term and Mr Coughlan and Mr Johns are retiring, and Mr Lester moving on to a senior position in a Cumbrian academy.  We have appointed Mr Lax to take over from Mr Coughlan as head of key stage 4, and Mr Copestake to take over from Mr Johns in charge of professional development and training in the school.  Mr Blackshaw will be joining us as our new business manager.

Mrs Haywood has been appointed to a new position, to be in charge of pupil progress, especially in years 10 and 11.  Her brief is to ensure that students do their best, even when they need extra help or encouragement.  She will co-ordinate all the extra provision the school offers.  Mrs Brindley has been appointed head of year 7.
The governors and I are extremely confident about the quality of these appointments and expect the transitions in every case are smooth and effective.

The governors will be interviewing for the deputy headship shortly (an internal appointment) and I shall keep you informed.

We are approaching the end of the summer public exams.  This is always a difficult period, not only for students and families whose lives can be dominated by the exam timetable, but for the examinations staff at school.  There is always the odd hiccup with all the administration of papers, room changes, invigilators, and so on, but this year I am delighted by the smoothness of the operation and I have nothing but thanks and admiration not only for the exam team led by Mrs Shipton but also for Mrs Smith in the kitchen who provided (free!) breakfasts for year 11 students each morning.  We have to hope now that the results in August will reflect all the hard work put in by the students.  Arrangements for the collection of results in the summer will be on the website.

The summer term sees plenty of activities, including sports fixtures, especially athletics fixtures, and these are all going well.  It has been particularly nice to see a group of year 10 students visiting local tourist attractions as part of the English ‘travel writing’ work and to see several groups of students going to Oxford university for introductory ‘taster days’.  Particularly successful have been the junior music and drama evenings:  this week’s junior concert was a splendid and talented affair which came together really well after hard work and rehearsals.  Also good to see our students present the school so well at the cathedral, as part of the Gloucester City G15 celebration of schools.
Our big building project is under way.  Although the outcome will be a much smarter school and a much better suite of rooms for design technology lessons, we have to go through a bit of pain first and you will notice some disruption.  In the first instance, we have had to move the main admin office and one effect of this will be that we have cut the number of phones available.  Please be extra tolerant if you find it difficult to call in, and remember that emails to the school will not be disrupted and may be easier for all.  Thank you.

Our PFA Family Fun Day is planned for Saturday 4th July (1 till 4).  This is an updated version of the school fete and will include sports activities for year 5 and year 6 pupils attending the Catholic primary schools.  Free entry!

The PFA would love you to come but would also like to request your help!  Do you have any unwanted (but good, clean condition) school uniform?  Would you consider donating it to the school so it can be sold to raise funds?  Please send it in to reception.

Bottle stall – always a popular stall, and a great fundraiser – could you donate a bottle for our stall?  Please send any donations in to reception.

Do you wish to have a stall?  If so, please contact Jane Ryan at school for full details. Perhaps you would consider baking a cake for our cake stall?  Cakes can be brought into school the morning of the fun day.
We really hope that you will be able to attend the event, and thank you in advance for your on-going support of the Parents and Friends Association.  Please remember that with your support the PFA is able to fund extras to enhance your child’s education, such as school minibuses and technical equipment in different departments, and we are very grateful for any support you can give.  Additionally, if you feel you can give some of your time to support us in a practical way, please get in touch.

It’s been lovely to see year 12 back, and taking over the mantle of year 13.  We want to improve the study facilities in the sixth-form and Mr Barnard will be making some changes to the arrangements there so that we can accommodate more students and provide opportunities for different kinds of study.  Sometimes it is important to be able to work silently on your own;  sometimes it is pleasant to be able to talk through work while enjoying a drink.  He is also keen that the sixth-form dress code is fully followed; when the students look smart, they present such an excellent image and set such a good example to younger students.

We have just concluded an OfSTED inspection of the GITEP teacher training scheme, for which St Peter’s is the lead school and the outcome – which won’t be official until next term – is excellent, with very positive feedback from the inspectors and lots of recognition of the high quality of work done by the scheme’s leaders.  A big thank you at St Peter’s for the work of Mrs McHale.

Finally, all parents and carers are welcome at our end of year Mass and presentation ceremony on June 26th.  Mass in the morning – starting at about 9.45 – and the presentations in the afternoon – about 1pm.  We plan to end that day with early buses at 2.30.  All these timings will be confirmed on the website in the next few days.


Philip Rush