End of year celebration letter 2019
Dear parents and carers,
It is a tradition to celebrate some of the achievements of the last school year at St Peter’s. Our motto is “Growing together in mind, body and spirit” which nicely encapsulates the breadth of offer we have at our school.
Academic standards continue to rise across the school. We have an upwards trend in every phase of the school. For the second year in a row, the year 6 SATs were above the national average in every subject, and in some areas well above.
In Key Stage 1 our pupils made excellent progress in reading, writing and maths, and we were above the national average with our phonics score.
In the Foundation Stage we again improved on our previous scores, and were well above the national average (and our own target), at 80% achieving a good level of development.
Whilst these results are really good, and a vindication of many years of hard work by the staff, we are aiming to continue this upwards trend and ensure we have higher than average results for every area. That is our main aim over for the next 3 years.
The most significant change this year has been the exciting changes to our curriculum. We have re-written our curriculum to focus on the development of children’s knowledge. We have worked hard to ensure that the children are working with real purpose and for an audience. I hope you have noticed they are more engaged and talking more about their learning. It is a joy to see and hear!
Our new library opened in September, which kick-started a drive to get children reading more. We have been persistent in encouraging reading every night at home, while Mr Lee has been orchestrating lots of reading challenges to encourage a breadth of reading. We also did some reading events for parents which were well received. We hope that pupils will continue their reading journey during the holidays by completing the ‘Space Chase’ Summer Reading Challenge.
Fundamental to our school is the breadth of provision that we offer to our pupils. Pupils are able to take part in such a broad range of learning, experiences and activities. Music and PE continue to be a strong feature of the school. This year, Mrs Lester has been leading the school with music. We once again visited the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, put on a fantastic Christmas Carol service, and played a wonderful Spring Concert. There is still a broad range of instruments for children to play, or ensembles to join in with: such as big band, strings, ukulele and guitar, recorder and singing.
PE has again thrived this year. We’ve had a range of sports clubs, from gym to running – with so many children competing in our cross country events. Budleigh Blazers running club has continued to grow, and joined in with ‘Park Run’ on Saturday mornings. We enjoyed a wonderful Sports Day this year, with the children enjoying the ‘last man standing’ race in particular. In competitive sport, we did very well again. Our year 3/4 Cross Country team did an incredible job of winning Silver at the Devon Games. The Year 3 athletics team did a fabulous job of winning the Exmouth athletics event – beating all the year 4s! Our tennis team excelled as usual, this time winning bronze at the Devon Games. It was also a pleasure to see the year 5 and 6 football teams take shape; thanks to Andy, Will and Ian. Opportunities have not been limited to just a few pupils, as the school participated in cross country, KS1 festivals and inclusive festivals. It is easy to forget how lucky we are to have a pool, but that continues to be a huge feature of the school. Thank you to Jane Hushon for her support keeping it going and running smoothly.
The spiritual and Christian ethos of the school was well and truly recognised this year with our SIAMs inspection. It is well worth reading if you haven’t already, as you can see how our values permeate throughout the school. I was particularly pleased that the “loving and nurturing environment” of the school was recognised. We invest a lot of time and effort into supporting our pupils and parents with a full range of issues.
Our pupils once again proved how compassionate they are, with another terrific year of fundraising. The Toilet Twinning effort was particularly impressive. However, I was really impressed by how many pupils took it upon themselves to do individual fundraising for a range of good causes.
It is hard to ignore the significant progress we made towards becoming an Eco School. Ms Moore has the children really fired up about this. We are now making much better choices about how we use plastic and what we do with our waste.
We try and celebrate children’s achievements each week in celebration worship – it is great to see how talented they are. The Talent Show was a great way for them to show off their skills too!
And of course, the children get so much out of our residentials – London, Escot, Orcombe Point, and the School Sleepover – there is something for each year group in KS2.
Our community is integral to the running of the school. We’re thankful for the resources we have on our doorstep. We have been on lots of local trips and visits, and received lots of visitors into school this year. I enjoyed the visits from the birds of prey, and our ‘Viking exploration’ of Ting Tong woods in particular. We also exhibited work at the Fairlynch museum, received visitors from the Literary Festival, and took part in the Clinton Estates ‘Kingfisher’ project.
Our wonderful PTA has been a real boon for the school once more – I’m still not sure how they improve the Christmas and Summer fayres each year?! There was the usual range of socials, including the pub quiz and excellent Family Fun Day. I want to say a special thank you to the ‘hardcore’ group of Laura, Debbie, Lorraine, Donna and Nadine for all your effort and energy this year. Thank you to all our volunteers, church groups and clergy, organisations, trusts, and charities that give their time and resources. This includes our governors, who give their time freely and do a lot of work behind the scenes.
And lastly, thank you to you, the parents, for juggling everything you do to get your child to school and ready to learn! Your support is really appreciated.
You will of course know that we lose several dearly loved members of staff, and wish them the best of luck with their new endeavours. We welcome Miss Evans to the team and see Mr D’Souza take up a substantive teaching post. This means that class sizes across the school are mostly at 30 children now.
Pupils will have the opportunity to meet a wide range of authors thanks to the educational outreach work of the Budleigh Literary Festival. New reading challenges will be launched in September. Our Eco Schools project will continue: we have plans to encourage better use of our school grounds, for the benefit of wildlife, but also for the pupils to grow their own food. And the improvements to our outside area for Reception should be completed.
We will also be writing to you in the new term to explain some of the ways we want to make it easier for you to know how your child is doing in school, and to improve access to staff.
As I mentioned earlier, our main aim now is to raise the standards of attainment at the school even further, so we can rank ourselves among the very best in the country. That is the challenge – and with your help and our fantastic community, I can see that we are not far off.
Enjoy your Summer holiday – please come back safe and well on Tuesday 3rd September– and good luck to year 6 at secondary school!
Steve and the St Peter’s team