Friday, 25 September 2015

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you for all the support you have given us in making sure the new school year has got off to a good start.  All the students look smart and ready for work.

I am delighted by the high numbers of students returning to our sixth-form or joining us for the first time in year 12.  High numbers at this stage helps us to offer as wide a range of courses as possible to all students.  They also tell us all that St Peter’s is an attractive school.

We have had some hiccups with the year 12 timetables, partly through coping with such strong recruitment, but chiefly to do with the complications of moving from one set of option blocks to a completely new one in order to deliver the government’s new 2-year model for A levels. Apologies to any year 12 affected;  I hope things have settled down now.  It’s important for all students to do their very best from day one in the sixth form so that we can all be sure that the right options have been chosen.

Year 7 look especially smart and enthusiastic.  They have made a great start to life at St Peter’s.

Our new heads of year are also settling in.  Mrs Brindley is the new head of year 7;  Mrs Natasha-Moore has moved up to year 8.  Many of you will know Mrs Tassinari who has taken over as head of year 9.  She is already showing us the benefits of having a senior member of the pastoral staff available throughout the day.  Miss Bhaiyat has moved with her year group to year 10 and Mr McDermott has taken over the reins of year 11, repeating his work last year.  Mrs Gittins continues to oversee key stage 3 (years 7, 8 and 9) and Mr Lax has taken over from Mr Coughlan overseeing key stage 4.

Attendance at the first series of our information evenings has been excellent, and I thank you all for that.  We are trying to give you a flavour of the targets and issues facing all our students. 

You will know now about our ‘open house’ Wednesdays and this has already proved to offer an opportunity for parents to raise issues with us.  Please contact us if you want to make use of this.

The building programme is on schedule and progress is obvious every day.  The students have been very sensible in adhering to the new access routes and to the health and safety rules we have to follow.

Just a word about buses and transport, please.  Firstly, buses.  Two things.  If your child uses the Bennetts Coaches service through Brockworth, please check the published timetable on the website (  Bennetts have worked very hard with us to make this service work, but the cost is a tight timetable.  Traffic congestion and roadworks can delay this bus and there is little margin for manoeuvre.  However, we know this, and no student will be penalised if this bus happens on occasion to arrive at school a few minutes late.  I am very keen to maintain as many bus routes as possible, and sometimes we have to compromise a little on the arrangements.

Secondly, if your children catch the number 9 bus into the centre, please help us to ensure that they do so safely.  The buses immediately fill up at that stop, and it really needs three buses to cope with the demand.  This means that some students will have to wait.  They generally do so politely and patiently, but I was a little worried to see students running for the bus, without taking (in my opinion) quite enough care in crossing the road.  I am telling them about this at school, but we need to work closely here.

And if you collect your children by car – which many of you do – please do so safely.  The best practice, please, is to drive into the main car park after 4 pm when all the buses have gone.  We are worried about the number of students being collected from the main road outside the school while the buses are still leaving.  None of us wants an accident.

Lastly, congratulations to Joe Williams who has won a national poetry competition for poems responding to Thomas Gray’s ‘Elegy written in a Country Churchyard’;  the ‘Elegy’ was one of the poems Joe studied in his Year 13 A-level English Literature course last year.  He attended the prize-giving last night, which took place at Stoke Poges church where Thomas Gray is buried, and read his poem to the audience there.  He has just begun his studies for a degree in English at Goldsmiths College, University of London.  Well done, Joe!

So, thank you for a great start to the year.  Please let us work together to improve and progress through the new year;  please help us make 4 pm as safe as possible!


Philip Rush

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