A celebration of our school
End of year celebration letter 2018
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”, and we have certainly done plenty of that this year!
Most importantly, we are seeing standards rise across the school. The staff have been working hard over the last few years to improve the teaching and learning, and we have seen results rise once again across the school. In the Key Stage 2 SATs we scored above the national average in every subject. In Key Stage 1 and the Foundation Stage we matched the national average, which is an improvement on previous years and represents lots of progress for those pupils.
We have made significant changes to our Early Years. We moved Reception to our new classrooms and have focussed on the prime areas of learning, as well as writing and numbers. We have also met more regularly with parents to help support pupil progress. This means pupils are getting the best start to their educational life at the school.
The children have once again benefitted from a strong curriculum with music and sports. We still have a very high proportion of pupils playing instruments or singing. It was a delight to see an infant and junior brass band develop this year. We have performed at many different venues, from our own concerts, to care homes and the Devon County Show. A large number of our instrumentalists played with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and schools from across the county in a concert to an audience for over 1000 at the Exeter University Great Hall as part of a Devon Music Project. A very memorable experience and terrific opportunity for all those involved. The whole of KS2 had the wonderful opportunity to go and to participate in a BSO Concert: Secrets and Codes at the Exeter University Great Hall. The year 5 and 6 production of Mystery at Magpie Manor was absolutely amazing. It was like watching a professional performance.
In sports, we had significant success, reaching the Devon finals in netball, athletics, cycling, tennis and cross country. That is a lot for a school of our size! We also won area events in rounders and gymnastics, and did very well in hockey and aquathon. This was a significant year for running, seeing the creation of the Budleigh Blazers running group!
We continue to run enjoyable residentials to London and Escot, and a range of trips and visits to enrich the curriculum. I know the pupils remember these events more than their normal lessons!
One of the highlights of this year was seeing the pupils in Rowan class reflecting on the issues of plastic pollution. They have written to the school governors who have agreed to move towards becoming an eco-friendly school.
We have spent a lot of time this year working on the plans for spiritual development, which amount to further developing pupils’ character. We will announce more about this next year.
One activity we have been running all year with the staff is an activity to showcase what’s good about our school through the eyes of different individuals. If you are interested in seeing this, click here (or visit the school website). The most prominent thing for me was the value of ‘looking out for each other’ in our school team. We are really lucky to have a hard-working and positive-minded staff team, who go the extra mile for pupils. This is my chance to say a big thank you to them all for their efforts and dedication this past year. A special well done to our Teaching Assistants, who have been working towards gaining the ‘Higher Level’ teaching assistant status.
Once again, our community has made our school a unique place to be part of. We were able to raise £50,000 to have the old Carousel building refurbished into our new library and intervention spaces. That is some achievement! We also have a lot to thank our PTA for, who not only supported the library fundraising, but they have once again put on some quality events for our enjoyment. The Christmas and Summer Fayres are always a highlight, but we have also seen quiz nights, wild nights out (sleepovers in the woods and socials!) and plenty of other fundraisers that support your children. Congratulations to Laura Chatterton for her excellent leadership of the PTA team this year.
I want to say a big thank you to our volunteers, who give their valuable time to help our pupils. Whether you are our regular volunteers who help in class, or change books, or parents who put on special events for our children – like Kelly Thornber who has done a lot of science with our pupils, or Ruth Cheesman for helping to organise our Careers Fayre. There are too many to mention individually, but a special thanks to Amanda Cox and Sue Tee who finish with us this year.
We have a fantastic set of governors to thank too. They work hard – in their own time – to oversee the smooth running of the school. Thank you to Ian Crook and William Tee who retired this year for all your hard work.
And of course – a huge thank you to parents and carers. We appreciate all the work you do to support your child’s learning, get them to bed on time, and making sure they are ready for school each day. It’s not easy! Remember, we are always here to help, and can call on the services of Mrs Cawthera to help with children’s emotional and social development. She is a huge asset to our school.
Sadly, we do have some staff leaving this year. We will thank them in a separate letter. This does mean there are some changes to the structure for next year. Our leadership team does look slightly different, with Mr Lee taking on the deputy headteacher role full-time. He will also have full responsibility for Key Stage 2. Mrs Broad will be taking on the whole of the Foundation Stage, leaving Mrs Jenkins to focus on developing the Christian ethos of the school. We have also made some changes to the middle leadership of the school, ensuring each teacher has an area of responsibility. Our main aim is for the staff to continually improve themselves, with the support of the school leadership.
We are VERY excited about our new library, and we will use this to re-ignite a passion for reading around the school. We are also VERY pleased that our main toilet block is being refurbished and will be ready for September. In addition, St Peter’s is moving towards becoming a hub of expertise for Speech and Language. This is such an important facet of life, and one that underpins all learning. It is one that is being slowly eroded by screen time and busy family lives.
Well done to our pupil award winners this week. It is fantastic to be able to celebrate excellence and give praise to the progress of individuals. We have celebrated the hard work of all the children this afternoon with a few treats on the field. Now they need a good rest!
Have a lovely Summer break and we’ll see you all back in September (except for Year 6: good luck at Secondary school!)
Steve and the St Peter’s team