Wednesday, 14 October 2015

October 2015

October 2015

Firstly, may I thank you all for your support of our ‘building fund’ appeal which was included in the summer letter to all parents and carers.  We have been able to raise several thousand pounds, which is extremely helpful to us as we cope with the incidental expenditure associated with the building project.  (It is hard to put a precise figure on the outcome here, as some families send in cash donations and others signed up for direct debit arrangements:  many thanks to you all.)

Also on the subject of money, but in a different way, I am concerned about the security of bikes on site.  We are going to look at the bike shed security and improve it, but it is never going to be perfect and students with expensive bikes should consider proper insurance, I think.  This week, attempts have been made with bolt cutters to steal expensive bikes.  One was taken, and the thieves seem to have left the others with their security chains half cut through.  I had thought that with all the builders around, it would have been harder to access the bikes;  however, other staff suggest that the building work may have made it easier to come on site with bolt cutters and not look too out of place.  Either way, we need to work together to guard against such thefts.

A more positive note now.  Open week has passed very successfully this year.  I thank Mrs Gittins for all her work in managing the business and I thank all the staff, parents and students who have gone out of their way to make the daily visits and the open evening successful for the school and its visitors.  I think the school looked especially good on the open evening itself, with crowds of families attending – with an unfortunate knock-on effect regarding parking! - and what I judged to be a good atmosphere.  It was nice, too, to see England rugby player Charlie Sharples in that day, working with Keiran Montagu and our primary schools.

I have heard lots of positive feedback from parents and visitors and I hope that you agree with me, if you were one of those shown around, that a good impression was given of the school.

Lots of our visitors are keen on sport – and not just on rugby – and it was splendid to be able to report to them in my open evening speech that the girls' hockey team has qualified to attend the national championships, an event dominated, it has to be said, by teams from independent schools.  Many congratulations to them!  The Under 15 Boys tennis team beat Whitchurch School from Cardiff 6-0 to reach the last 16 schools in the country. Ella Mora reached the 2nd round of a Women's British Tour Event in Swansea - this is an amazing achievement!  Congratulations all round!

Mrs Gittins and Mrs Layhe are concerned that some girls are wearing their skirts too short – what is acceptable on the hockey field or the tennis court is not really acceptable in lessons!  We are beginning to look at different styles of skirt so that this uniform rule can be more easily enforced in future.  However, it will take us time to evaluate options and to consult with students, parents and governors, so in the meantime can we ask you to do your best to ensure that your girls do not wear their skirts too short, and that they look smart and presentable in their uniforms.  Thank you.

Many thanks for all your support of the school.  As I made clear when I spoke to parents during open week, the school relies on the cooperation between staff, parents and students to be what it is.  Every student at St Peter's has asked to come here – no-one has been sent here – so we need to build on that to guarantee that all students are helped to do their best.

And don’t forget to get your tickets for ‘Singin’ in the Rain’!  The box office is open each day.


Philip Rush