Thursday, 19 July 2018

End of Term

Mass for Saints Peter and Paul and Awards Assembly
The Mass and awards assembly on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul went extremely well. A huge number of people contributed to its success but particular thanks go to the music department and, of course, to our chaplain, Mandy Baker, and to Monsignor Liam Slattery.

Natasha Burch, year 12, performed her A Level composition at both the Mass and the year 6 welcome liturgy. Sofia Hensley and Bethan Brito, year 7, sang ‘A Million Dreams’ from 'The Greatest Showman' in the awards ceremony. The year 9 band (Seb Rowe, David Copestake, Cyril Carvajal, Keyan Littleton, Josh Riches) performed ‘Some Might Say’ by Oasis during the awards ceremony. The music department collaborated with the PE Department to perform Stormzy’s ‘Blinded by your Grace’ featuring soloist Harry Matthews, rappers Hansen Castaneda and Pearse O’Neill alongside Mrs Donovan’s gymnasts during the awards ceremony.

All students in Year 8 spent 6 weeks designing and creating banners for the Mass and awards assembly. Each class made one banner using a quotation from the parable of the Sheep and the Goats.

This year’s banners were colourful and spread the message of God’s love into our community.

Other Chaplaincy News
The Year 7 Emmaus First Communion Group celebrated their First Holy Communion with Mgr Liam at St Peter’s Church.

Students having been walking a mile supporting the 'Share the Journey' CAFOD campaign, highlighting the experiences of refugees.

We have had Liturgies for Year 11 and Year 6 as they both prepare for the next stage of their future.

Year 9 shared their annual retreat days together with the theme ‘Stronger Together'.

At Sports Day the CAFOD group sold refreshments and raised £300 for the Help Madina charity in Sierra Leone.

We are preparing for our next IGNITE evening with 5 time world record holding football freestyler Daniel Cutting on Friday Sept 28th at 6.30pm in the school hall. Tickets: £2.

The St Peter’s High School Jazz Band played at the Tuffley Festival - Saturday 7th July 2018.
David Copestake – Year 9 Student and Jazz Band Bass Guitarist - writes:
Tuffley Festival took place at Tuffley Rovers F.C. on Saturday 7th July 2018. Families came to enjoy the sun whilst watching a dog show, browsing pop up stalls and enjoying performances from dance troops, primary school choirs, scouts and guides and, of course, the St Peter’s High School Jazz Band.

The band features a range of amazing saxophonists, a fabulous trumpeter, a great pianist, some noisy electric guitarists, two incredible bass guitarists and a loud drummer! With our very important conductor, Mrs Perfect, we performed some jazzy tunes along with some popular songs like Havana, sung by year 11 student Avygayle Smith. Band members range from students in year 8, all the way up to year 13. We also have teachers in our band. It’s great to have so much musical talent packed into a band and we have a lot of fun doing what we do.

Even though we all missed the first five minutes of the football, it was a fabulous event with a lovely audience cheering us on.


ABRSM Exam Results
Congratulations to year 13 student Hannah Soares for achieving Grade 8 Singing with Distinction this term. This follows a Distinction on Grade 8 Piano in the previous term! This completes another year of a 100% pass rate in our ABRSM Music exams for students in all years groups. Other notable results: Jessica Smith (year 13) and Robyn Marment (year 13) both achieved Grade 8 singing with merit.

Art Show
The end of year art show was a great success, showcasing the excellent work of students from year 7 to year 13.  Parents, guardians, governors, staff and students seized the opportunity to come and have a look at the work on display and were impressed by the skill, creativity and hard work of students this year.  The KS3 Best in show 2018 was won by Zuzanna Watorska for her detailed study of Francoise Nielly’s work.

The Schools Award in the Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Awards
We are delighted that St Peter’s won the Schools Award in the recent Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Awards. This is due to the hard work of our careers officer, Sarah Beeton, and her assistant Georgina Blackburn.

KS5 Educational visits

The Year 12 Politics trip to Westminster was a great success. The students were excellent and visited the Supreme Court as well as the Houses of Parliament. They also took part in an elections workshop in parliament which proved to be good fun for all.

The technology department took students to the New Designers Show in London.

The geography department took 22 A-Level Geographers to Snowdonia and the Quantock Hills to complete their physical geography fieldwork.  Students studied glacial landforms, compared glacial and fluvial sediments and tested the infiltration rates of the soil surrounding a river.  The students worked exceptionally hard, and members of the public commented that they were a credit to the school.  A-Level geography students are required to undertake 4 days of fieldwork; they also visit the suburbs of Gloucester and Brockenhurst in the New Forest for their human geography fieldwork.

The Duke of Edinburgh award scheme
The Silver DofE groups made a fantastic effort on their qualifying expedition in the Brecons, despite very hot weather and insect attacks. They showed great resilience and teamwork. We were delighted that their assessor said they were one of the most impressive groups he had assessed.

The Gold group completed their practice expedition in style at the same time and are well-prepared for the qualifying expedition, which they will do in Snowdonia next summer, when they return to school as Year 12 students. As always, a huge thank you to the staff who give up their weekends for the expeditions.

Summer schools
Well done to a number of our Year 12 students who have successfully secured prestigious university summer schools and other placements which will be of enormous value in themselves and also in applying to universities next year:

Megan Cameron will attend a summer school at Cambridge University and at John Locke summer school in France;
Orla Sheehan will attend summer school at Cambridge University;
Sam Harte will attend a summer school at Bristol University with the Sutton Trust;
Jordan Topping Allsopp will attend a STEM course with Liverpool University;
George Greaves has secured a week's placement in the UK parliament;
Paul Pellissery will be attending an UNIQ course with Oxford University.

Several students have also received invitations to a medical skills event at Cheltenham General Hospital.

The Brilliant Club
Last week saw twelve of our year 8 pupils graduate from the Scholars Programme in the Wills Memorial Hall at the University of Bristol. They each produced a university style essay on literary theories and all achieved a 2:1 or a first! They have worked above their academic level and have shown tremendous resilience and commitment. They have also discovered what university entails and been inspired by the experience.

The Institute of Physics
We are delighted that Mr Jones-Parry has been seconded by the Institute of Physics to conduct training which will benefit students from St Peter's as well as in other schools.

KS3 Elite History awards evening
Once again, students from across Key Stage Three amazed the history department with their incredible projects this summer. The selected students were given a local history project, investigating in Year 7 ‘The Death of Edward II’, in Year 8 the ‘Treatment of Heretics in Early Modern Gloucester’ and in Year 9 the ‘Involvement of Gloucester Soldiers in the First and Second World War.’ 
The work was showcased on Monday 16th July, with the following students selected as winners:

Elite historian of year 7- Fergus O’Grady
Elite Historian for Year 8- Bethany Smart
Elite historian for year 9- Mary McAteer.

Overall winner of the Elite History project for Key Stage three- Benjamin Robinson-Baber.

Run to Wales
Year 9 students took part in a sponsored Run to Wales, raising funds for CAFOD. They were joined by former student, George Lloyd, who plays for Cheltenham Town. The students ran 126.6km, the equivalent to running from Gloucester to Swansea and raised £1, 500 for CAFOD. The whole event was a great team effort.

National success in tennis
The boys' tennis team again made the national finals in Nottingham and came 11th in the country. Thank you to Keiran Montagu and the other coaches for all their work with our tennis teams.

Sports Day

Sports Day on Monday was a great success. Thank you to 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.

Year 10 news
Congratulations to the sixteen year 7 mentors who have been appointed and who helped our new year 7 students on their induction day.

After rigorous interview 5 students were chosen to participate in an accredited  STEM work placement.

The whole year group also participated in a STEM day. The students were guided by professionals within leading Science, Technology, Engineering and Math vocations as to how they might best access employment within these areas of work.

On Tuesday 10th July 2018, the EAL COPE class planted a tree as part of their environment module of their qualification. They have been working on a variety of topics within the module and this week moved on to look at trees. Mrs Lange kindly donated the cherry tree to the class. The group had a lot of fun digging the hole and planting the tree into the ground. They have set up a rota between themselves and have been watering it daily. 

You can securely access your son or daughter's assessments, attendance, achievements, behaviour and other information, including exam timetables, updated in real time, through the web service Insight.  If you do not already have an account, email 

Summer CampsThe annual Clifton Diocese Summer Camps have launched for 2018 and bookings are now being taken. This year, the camps have moved to a new location in Viney Hill in the Forest of Dean and are being held between 13-17 August (ages 7-11) and 20-24 August (ages 12-16). The camps promise to be weeks full of fun, faith and friendship. If you are interested in finding out more, or to book a place for your child, please visit or email

The following members of staff are retiring at the end of term:

Mrs Eileen Lewis (maths)
Mrs Helen Stenson (data manager)
Mrs Mary Lally (maths)
Mr Jonathan Soar (teaching assistant)
Mrs Foster (teaching assistant)
Mr Gibbons (mental health nurse)

The following members of staff are leaving at the end of term:

Mrs Fernandez (MFL)
Mr Dill (P.E.)
Mr Rouffet (science)
Mrs George (MFL / ICT)
Mrs Larkin-Lawton (technology)
Ms Fearn (politics)
Ms Main (MFL)
Mrs O'Donnell (English)
Ms Brookes (science)
Mr Lawless (MFL).

We thank all staff who are leaving for their hard work at St Peter's and wish them well in the future.

Homework and assessment points next academic year
Thank you to those parents who completed the online survey on homework and assessment. Next year students in years 7, 8 and 9 will have an overview of homework stuck in to their planners to help them to manage their time. Further details of how each subject is setting homework can also be seen via a link on this page of the school website:  

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 assessments completed in class in test conditions, attitude to learning and whether or not students are making expected progress. The system will continue to use the new numerical GCSE system with final gradings 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.

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, socks should be black and at least ankle length (not trainer socks) 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.  We have again experienced problems with some parents blocking driveways of local residents so I ask all parents and guardians to be sensitive to our neighbours.

We have had an extremely positive and challenging year and I am sure you would like to echo my thanks to all the staff for their hard work and commitment to your children. Thank you also for your support. We hope your sons and daughters enjoy the summer break and look forward to seeing them again in September.

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