Wednesday, 20 July 2016

End of the year

We have come to the end of another school year;  please allow me to thank the whole school community of teachers, technicians, admin and site staff, canteen staff and all support staff and all of you, parents and families, for your support of the school.

At the St Peter’s Mass and presentation afternoon, we celebrated all sorts of achievement and it was lovely to see not only the attentiveness and prayerfulness of all students during the Mass, but also the genuine pleasure students took in applauding the success of others, maturely and genuinely.

We have been very pleased by this year’s ‘faculty fortnights’ which celebrated the breadth of the subjects taught at the school.  From talks by BBC Wildlife cameramen in the geography fortnight, to visiting lecturers and poets, to Bake-Off competitions and Sports Day, to Science Shows and mathematical puzzles, to music and drama performances of the highest standard, we have been encouraged to see that all subjects deserve and reward study and that every faculty has something distinctive to offer the school.  I am extremely grateful to staff and students for the work they have put into this venture.

This week I have also been very pleased by the excellence of the work of our key stage 3 historians whose presentation evening was such a success, by the extremely positive feedback from staff and students who went on the residential trip to the Ardeche and by the success of the school’s junior Duke of Edinburgh Award group.

I am delighted too with the number of students who were invited to go on ‘rewards trips’ such as the RE trip to Harvington Hall, trips which provide an opportunity to thank and reward students who are doing their best.

We have just said farewell to a number of staff who are moving on or retiring.  Mrs Russell-Smith, Mr Glover, Mrs McHale and Mr Richards are retiring;  Mr Martin, Miss Olney, Mr Mains, Mr and Mrs Roberts, Mrs Hopkins, Mr Barnard and Mrs Cameron are all moving on to new challenges and opportunities.  We have been able to thank them all this afternoon and wish them the best.

Buses have been an issue for me (and for you!) in the last month.  Please keep an eye on the webpage ( > Parents and Community > Buses)   for updates and further information as the holidays progress.

IMPORTANT  If you wish to avail yourselves of any of the services offered by John Dix Travel, please reply by the end of July at the latest.  Mr Dix will have to make decisions about the precise services he will offer, after that date.

I have tried to provide families with end-of-year reports which give statements about students’ progress and a comment from form tutors.  What I am trying to do hear is balance the need to provide parents and carers with proper and good information about students without burdening teachers with toil.  (Even at 2 minutes per subjects report, which is probably far less than it really takes, my calculations are that we are using seven and half weeks’ work to write these reports, albeit spread over all the teachers.  I need to be sure, somehow, that this work is worthwhile.)  I have had some useful feedback emails about this year’s process and I should be grateful to read more.

There will be a letter to all families later in the summer, by way of beginning the new year.  This will be emailed to those whose emails we have and posted to those where we don’t have email addresses.  It would be good to have all your emails addresses!

Finally, I have been asked to pass on to you the services of a former pupil.  Simeon Whitter is a former pupil of St. Peter’s.

He is an Estate Planning Consultant for a national company called The Will Associates. His company specialises in protecting people through a range of services including Wills, Probate and Lasting Power of Attorneys etc. You can contact Simeon by telephone (t: 01452 203135
m: 07872 940315).

All being well, when we return in September the school will have a new electronic gate system to enhance safeguarding and the safety of the site.  It is odd that a school named after St Peter should take so long to get a set of gates which only the good can enter, but here we are.  Visitors will have to speak through an intercom to reception if they visit the school during school hours.  I am sure we shall quickly get used to the system!

I wish you all the best for the holidays.

Philip Rush