The Autumn Term has been packed full with exciting experiences and enriching learning opportunities in the Primary Phase. Our new Reception children have settled into school life wonderfully and have blossomed in confidence. As part of their ‘Fantastic Food’ topic, the children made their own bread as well as some delicious fruit skewers. More recently, a visit from the Tooth Fairy caused great excitement. The children brushed their teeth, put on their pyjamas and laid down on their pillows in anticipation. The Tooth Fairy was so impressed with their learning, that she left them a treat each and a letter thanking them for their hard work to promote good tooth-care!
Our Year 1 children have made the transition from the Early Years Foundation Stage to Key Stage 1 very successfully and have been so excited by their Curriculum themes. During their ‘Superheroes’ topic, they created their own superhero, designed a superhero costume, and turned an everyday vegetable into a ‘Vegetable Villain’ that might be their nemesis. The imagination and creativity that went into their work was fantastic. As part of their ‘Africa’ topic, the children have been re-telling a traditional African tale all about a boastful leopard and his magnificent drum. They have each made a Paper Mache Djembe drum and enjoyed a visit from Noah Messomo who told them some different traditional African tales and led a wonderful drumming workshop.
Year 2 have absolutely loved learning about Grace Darling’s dramatic rescue of the survivors in the SS Forfarshire disaster. As part of this topic they enjoyed a visit from the RNLI, built their own life rafts, and made illuminating model lighthouses. They also used our i-pads and the i-motion app to create animations of the rescue! Our Year 2 children have since become experts in Meerkats, reading the story ‘Meerkat Mail’ by Emily Gravett and researching facts about different types of mongoose. Their recent trip to Marwell Zoo was the perfect finish to this topic as they were able to carry out close observations of Meerkat behaviours.
It is very difficult to believe that we opened our doors to our current Year 3 children three years ago now. They certainly look very smart and grown-up in their new blouses, shirts and ties. There have been many highlights for Year 3 this term, including arriving back at school to their newly refurbished classrooms! We owe a huge vote of thanks to the builders who worked tirelessly throughout August to ensure that we were up and running for the start of the new school year. Matt, Neil and the entire Bournemouth Council team have done a fantastic job and we are absolutely delighted with the results.
The children feel very lucky indeed. They have certainly put their wonderful learning environment to good use this term, producing some amazing information texts all about ‘Wolves’ following their visit to The New Forest Wildlife Park, where they were able to see wolves in a natural habitat. More recently, Year 3 turned their classrooms and the spaces outside into a tin forest, inspired by their shared text (‘The Tin Forest’ by Helen Ward). This is a story about a lonely man who lives in a world of discarded tin-waste and it has led the children to think carefully about how we can protect our planet in small ways such as recycling. The children have built a ‘junk orchestra,’ amongst other things, and have used their instruments to play ‘Pompeii’ by Bastille!
The children continue to develop and live-out their faith at school. We are very grateful to Father Kevin, from Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, who joined us to say Mass for the start of the new school year as well as two class Masses this term. 2M prepared a beautiful liturgy around the theme of ‘Friends as gifts’ and 2P chose their focus to be ‘People who are special to us.’ Both classes selected the music for their Mass, prepared readings, wrote prayers, acted out the Gospel, and created special gifts which they brought forward during the Offertory. Father Kevin always gives a wonderful interactive Homily, filled with visual images or items to help the children understand an important message about living their lives as friends of Jesus. Each occasion has been a very special experience of the Catholic Mass.
Our children and their families have supported many important, charitable works over the past few months. Our Harvest Festival Celebration, in addition to being a spiritual feast of Harvest poems, songs and prayers, saw the Southbourne Foodbank collect two full car-loads of contributions.
We have sent over 100 shoe boxes, filled with Christmas presents, to children across the world and raised in excess of £200 for the Royal British Legion through the Poppy Appeal. It is so powerful for the children to see that, together, we are able to make a difference to the lives of people in need.
I am delighted to share the news that the Primary Phase now have a school choir. More than forty of our Year 2 and Year 3 children have committed to weekly rehearsals in their lunchtimes and have already represented the school at several events. They have performed in the St Peter’s Community Concert, St Peter’s Advent Service, and at the Primary Christmas Fair. On every occasion they have sung beautifully and have been an absolute credit to our school. We are very proud of them!
Sports at St Peter’s Primary Phase continues to go from strength to strength. We now have an increasing range of after school activities and clubs on offer, including badminton, tennis, basketball, running, dance and football. Some of our Year 3 children entered their first competitive event this term, taking part in the Schools Tumbling Competition. Our teams faced a very strong field but performed their tumbles beautifully and should be very proud of their gymnastic skills! The Government have set a challenge for primary schools to ensure that children are active for thirty minutes each day. With this in mind, we have introduced the ‘Daily Mile’ initiative. Every day we all run, jog, or skip around our wonderful field with the goal of completing the mile course that has been marked out. Everyone has embraced this challenge, staff and children alike! It has been a pleasure to see the huge sense of achievement that completing the distance brings.
As we approach the Christmas holidays, we have much to look forward to. Our whole-school trip to the pantomime continues to be a highlight as well as our own Christmas Nativities. Rehearsals for our Reception and Year 1 Nativity, ‘A King is Born,’ and our Year 2 and 3 children’s production, ‘A Midwife Crisis,’ are going very well. We hope to perform to packed audiences and contribute some spiritual enrichment to the start of everyone’s Christmas season.
Liz Wogan, Acting Head of Primary Phase