St Peter's School
Hello everybody and welcome to the first assembly of term. Firstly very well done for a smooth start which is especially impressive as you have all been adapting so quickly to new ways of working.
We had a meeting of the Housemasters and Housemistresses on Monday morning and it was really great to hear from them feedback from the various morning meetings and it reminded me in a remote way of what it feels like to stand outside chapel on the first morning of term listening to the happy hubbub of noise and chatter as the school re-gathers and enjoys connecting together after the absence of the holiday.
Whilst some elements of the learning you are doing is very familiar, I know that many of your teachers are being incredibly creative in the way they are setting work and I hope that you are enjoying some fresh approaches to study.
We have a lot to look forward to this term including an increasingly busy co-curricular program as well as House events. It has been great to hear how well the Isolation Olympics has started with plenty of evidence of House spirit and sense of friendly competition.
I have been asked to set a 10 Question Quiz for next Tuesday morning so I am having fun thinking up some Peterite themed questions to test your knowledge.
While the term is still young, there are already some news of success to report on.
Many congratulations to Olly Tomalin who has been selected in a Twitter poll for the National Schools’ Rugby Dream Team for 2019-20 to go alongside his success in real life. A great accolade and very well done Olly.
Congratulations to Ellie Miles-Kingston for winning the Geography Easter Baking Challenge. She fought off strong competition from some hot cross buns to win with her delicious looking Cinnamon Rolls from Sweden and Denmark.
Congratulations also to the Eco-Council who have secured the Eco-Schools Bronze Award for St Peter’s. This has been achieved in a very short space of time after their excellent environmental audit of the school and the launching of several initiatives such as reducing single use plastic, the park-and-ride scheme and increased amounts of recycling. I am really proud of all that they have achieved and especially that this is another great example of a pupil led initiative at St Peter’s supported by staff. Timely also in that yesterday was World Earth Day and the reduction of travel by car and plane alongside the increase of people cycling, running and taking other forms of exercise has been very noticeable and hopefully a benefit which may carry on to some extent after things return to normal.
There is still time to enter the Eco-Council competition to design a poster for our Eco-Code. The poster can be in any style but must include the text 'Brown is good but green is better'. Get creative at home and send entries to Mrs Hall by the end of next week. Prizes will be announced in May.
The iFawkes sports page continues to be updated with various challenges and programmes that can help keep you fit and healthy during lockdown. Tennis players may well have had a go at the Federer Wall Challenge, Cricketers have had some special workouts for bowlers along with some batting drills suitable for doing at home and there also lots of conditioning challenges and ideas to help you maintain your fitness across a range of sports. Girls Body Con had a live Zoom session yesterday afternoon – an interactive online workout that saw many getting involved.
Yesterday the Debating Society had an online “Teams” debate on the motion that “This lockdown is doing more than harm than good”. I look forward to hearing the outcome.
Working remotely with the theatre group, Company Three, and groups from all over the world, we will be creating a cumulative video time capsule, recording the experience of 13-18 year olds during Coronavirus. Each week has a different theme and we are encouraged to edit and upload our material on a Friday. The St Peter’s Group will meet every Wednesday at 2pm to plan, discuss and share. The reflections can be video, song, poetry, animation, dance, monologue - whatever medium you would like to explore. We are therefore looking for PERFORMERS AND NON PERFORMERS! For example, are you a tech whizz and fancy editing/filming/animating? For more information or to confirm that you’re interested, please contact Ms Veasey via email.
Radio 627 is doing something on a similar theme and Mr Bembridge is looking to put together a podcast time capsule and voxpops about how remote learning is affecting us as a school. Please check the iFawkes co-curricular section for further details and those currently not doing Radio 627 can contact Mr Bembridge if interested in finding out more.
Various music ensembles are taking place online too with the Boys and Girls Barbershop rehearsing as a group, and also chapel and chamber choirs continuing to rehearse along with the swing band. As ever, more details are available from Mr Miles-Kingston.
Mrs Wong has created a new book group which meets online at 4pm each Wednesday via Teams. If you are interested in joining this please get in touch with her via email. The group will be sharing good reads and bad, and will watch some of the many author reads available at the moment. This will be pupil led, with your choices and conversation at the forefront.
And finally, happy St George’s Day to you all. St George is of course the patron saint of England although he was actually of Greek / Turkish origin and is also the patron saint of Ethiopia, Georgia, Catalonia and several other nation states. It is impossible not to be aware of how interconnected we are as a global community at this time. There are of course challenges caused by that, in how a virus can spread but also a heart-warming reminder of the benefits of international communication and cooperation. As a small example, an old friend and colleague of mine is now Headmaster of a school in Hong Kong which had been put in lockdown and carrying out remote learning for several weeks before that became necessary in the UK. We were very fortunate that we were able to start planning for continuity of education some weeks before the end of last term and benefitted greatly from his school’s experience and generous sharing of all that they were doing and had learned. While the great majority of you will be seeing this in close proximity to the school, a number of you will be no doubt be watching this in a different time zone and I hope you feel just as connected now as you would do if we were all gathered onsite.
Well done to you all on a good start. Go well, stay safe and crack on.