End of term celebration and awards July 2023
24th July 2023
End of year celebration letter
It is important to end this busy year with a short reflection on the school’s successes and achievements. There is always something going on at our school, and we are always looking for ways to improve. Here is a short summary of our proudest moments, and a link to our End of Year Achievement awards service – slides – photos.
Value and character
Our values of respect for ourselves, each other and the environment really shone through in many ways. I was a very proud headteacher leading our lovely year 6s on our London residential, where they demonstrated so many of the characteristics we’ve been working towards over many years together. I will miss them greatly – we’ve been on an amazing journey together! The spirit of the school was also so nicely encapsulated on our sports day, where we valued everyone being able to contribute, but also have a competitive, but sportsmanlike, spirit too. And I have been so proud of the courage our pupils demonstrated when either championing good causes for charity, carrying out important eco-work, or showing leadership skills as a year 6 leader or year 5 buddy. It’s no coincidence that everywhere we take our pupils we get such good feedback about their manners, conduct and behaviour.
We are an oversubscribed school – which is an achievement in itself with falling birthrates and many other schools struggling with numbers. Whenever I show new families around, we visit classrooms and ask them to impress visitors with the things that they have learned. And they are always very impressed! We have a strong curriculum in place across the school, and I was particularly impressed with the achievements in the KS2 SATs in reading and writing by our year 6s. Across the school I was also pleased that pupils are catching up after the pandemic. There is still a way to go, but we are working on it despite a lack of support from the central government. Thanks to Mrs Walshaw for leading and organising our curriculum so brilliantly.
Sports continue to be a strong part of our school. I am pleased to say that we have achieved the prestigious ‘GOLD’ award for PE/Sports for the second year in a row! Well done Mrs Broad and Mr Murray. I see most classes out running with their teacher every day, and this has translated into some amazing wins for our cross country teams and Junior Park Runners. We’ve seen a resurgence of all football at the school, but with the stand-out girls football club run by Bushy the most successful. Many of our pupils have also achieved County and National standard, which is also a proud achievement.
Music has continued to be another strong feature of our school. The children can receive tuition in almost any instrument. The choir has been re-invigorated this year, and so has the singing in worship (thanks Mrs Rogers!). Highlights have included our Christmas service, Spring Concert, support from the Music Festival for our staff (including the purchase of glockenspiels) and access to some of their events for our pupils.
Residentials and trips
I have already extolled to you the virtues of the year 6 London trip – which is just incredible – but we also managed a year 4 trip to Escot and a year 3 sleepover. We have done fewer trips than usual because of the cost of transport, but pupils in year 5 and 6 had a wonderful experience on the beach days. These events are even more crucial post-pandemic where we want more pupils to be socialising and pushing outside their comfort zone.
We have continued to support and work in conjunction with our community this year too. Highlights include linking with the Community Food Larder and Wesley’s cafe; providing charity, financial support and advice to families in need; visiting the care homes; starting a youth club for year 5 and 6; working with the Lions on our beach cleans; trips to St Peter’s church; visiting Mill Water special school and performing at the theatre with them; working with Element Karbon to design leggings…..and much more! It is essential that we continue to contribute and belong to our amazing community. They are so supportive of us – giving their time and lots of money to keep us going!
Once again, Ms Moore and the Eco Champions have provided the school with lots of opportunities to learn about how to reduce, reuse and recycle, and stop climate change. We’ve had lots of visitors into the school, and the group has also encouraged us to all be a bit more green. Inspiring efforts.
Clubs and other things!
We do offer a wide range of clubs at the school. The year 6s have done a great job of running some of these at lunchtimes. We are aso still so lucky to keep our swimming pool – one of only five left in the county. And I am so pleased we got our chickens! Thanks to all the volunteers who keep this running, but especially to Mrs Evan and Mrs Jones for running this. Mrs Cawthera has been in very high demand this year, and does significant work supporting children and parents/carers. There are more and more social demands put on schools at the moment, so we are lucky to have her. She also ran four ‘Happy Children’ workshops for parents/carers that we will continue to build on next year.
PTA and governors
A big thank you to the PTA (in particular Becky, Thomas, Zoe, Ben, Jacqui, Laura G, Jo, Laura C, Bronwen, Fiona, Gayle, Glenn, Emily and Michaela). We’ve had two fab fayres, a chocolate bingo, film night, TWO kids discos and an adult one (we love a disco), quiz night and much more. We are very lucky, because as well as being fun, it has also kept the school going with the fundraising. We need more committee members next year – so please get involved!
The school governors quietly navigate the school in the background, and we are in times of very choppy waters. Special thanks this year to Sue Stubbings, Penny Hargraves and Jane Spree , who have served the school so admirably and will be leaving us. We will miss them!
You don’t get a happy, settled, positive and focussed school without great staff, so a big thank you to them all – from cleaner and caretaker, to admin and kitchen staff, teachers and our underpaid teaching assistants – you are all wonderful! A special thank you to my leadership team, and especially to Mrs Broad (deputy) and Mrs Barahona (SENDCo) who are in new roles this year and have been superb. This year Miss Sullivan, Mrs Robson and Mrs Hayman are leaving us for pastures new – and we will them the best of luck.
And lastly – thanks to parents/carers. It is no easy job raising children – sometimes it can be plain sailing and at other times you want to pull your hair out! Please keep putting the foundations in place for your children – which are:
- Listening and attention skills (play games)
- Good sleep, exercise and diet
- Adult modelled self-regulation and social skills
- Preventing children from seeing harm/trauma/inappropriate TV or games
- Practice staying safe, including online
Have a lovely Summer,
Steve and the St Peter’s team