Relationships and health education

You may have read, heard or seen in the news this week the grand proclamation that “children under 9 are to be banned from receiving sex education”, including plans to prohibit any pupils being taught about gender identity.  In truth, sex education is not typically taught in most primary schools until Year 6, when the children are aged 10 or 11, and is delivered at an age-appropriate and introductory level centred on pregnancy and child birth.  Further and appropriate sex education follows at secondary school age, and parents and carers always have the right to withdraw their children of any age from sex and relationships education (but not the biological aspect of reproduction that appears in the science national curriculum). 

It is also worth noting that in primary schools, what is meant by ‘relationships’ education involves teaching children what makes a good friend, who are trusted adults, how to sort out arguments, and how make up after disagreements.  Throughout primary school, children are taught about healthy, respectful relationships, focusing on family and friendships – including online and social media.  This primary school content at St Peter’s is all age appropriate and does not venture into what some of the mainstream media may have you believe is radical teaching on adult relationships, gender identity and sexual orientation. 

Furthermore, children are taught at the right age and stage about some of the physical changes that will happen to them during their later childhood and early adolescence as part of the curriculum about maintaining their own personal health and wellbeing.  You will be reassured to know that St Peter’s relationships and health education curriculum is taken from a Diocesan approved programme of study called ‘Life to the Full’ , prepared and resourced by a Catholic company called Ten:Ten.  This is a programme underpinned by a Christian faith understanding that our deepest identity is as a child of God – created, chosen and loved by God.  Furthermore, St Peter’s Relationships and Sex Education policy is publicly available on our school website, giving further reassurance to parents, carers and families of how our school approaches these sensitive topics in the most suitable way for the pupils in our care.  At all times, we respect the role of parents and carers as the first educators of their children. 

I am always available to host any conversations that parents, carers or families, having the policies and curriculum above, may still wish to have regarding relationships and health education at St Peter’s.  I would also advise caution when reading about this topic in the media, encouraging individuals to conduct their own research as to just how representative headline grabbing stories may be of the reality in the vast majority of our schools.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Sports and games

As well as regular timetabled lessons of whole class PE, and a range of extra-curricular sporting activities, many children at St Peter’s get the opportunity to take part in sports taster sessions organised at local secondary schools and colleges. 

So far in 2024, different groups of children from across the year groups have taken part in racquet skills sessions, tri-golf, dodgeball, netball and tag rugby tournaments.  In school, meanwhile regular inter-house sports tournaments are organised to pit our different houses, named after St Oscar Romero, St John Paull II, St Teresa of Calcutta and St Mary Elizabeth, against one another over the course of the academic year. 

After indoor athletics and football so far this year, the next inter-house tournament will be tennis, in keeping with the hopefully sunny and hot summer term.  There is always a lot of sport going on at St Peter’s, and we will be building up to the Paris Olympic Games and the Euro 2024 tournament with further events in June and July.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Outdoor Anglo-Saxons

Year 4 pupils recently experienced learning in the great outdoors to have an Anglo-Saxon day. Their first task was to make an amazing stew, chopping vegetables carefully before placing them into the bubbling water.

The second activity of the day was coloured weaving, with pupils picking two colours and transforming them into lovely spirals. The children then made friendship bracelets out of thread which they got to wear and take home.

After lunch, the pupils made Anglo-Saxon dens (homes) out of dried grass and bendy sticks. The last thing activity of the day was making fire! The children made the fire using flint rocks with a specific type of metal to ignite cotton wool or dried grass.

Thanks as always go to our St Peter’s staff for bringing external experts into school to enrich and deepen the school curriculum for the pupils.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Tag Rugby Triumph!

Congratulations to our two Tag Rugby teams who took part in an area schools tournament hosted by Oaklands this week. Well done to all the players who have taken up Tag Rugby with Mr Crozier this year, and to those pupils who were part of the tournament winning team!

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Charity begins at home … and school

The pupils at St Peter’s continue to think of those less fortunate than themselves.  As well as a curriculum which educates children on the circumstances and challenges of people around the world, each week at whole school worship prayers written by pupils are read out asking for help and fortitude for those in need.  Furthermore, the pupils are always keen to take part in fundraising events to offer financial support to charities where they can.  Already in 2024 the Year 5 pupils raised over £1200 for Simon Says, the children’s bereavement counselling service, by doing a sponsored swim at the end of their series of swimming lessons in school.  During Lent the whole school took part in 10 days of daily mile walking as part of CAFOD’s Big Lent Walk 2024 campaign, both walking in solidarity with children living in the developing world, and raising much needed funds for international aid.  Looking further back, Year R and Year 1 raised £120 for Sophie’s Legacy, a charity supporting families with children in hospital, but selling programmes for their Nativity plays.  It is great to know that the children and young people in our schools have charity and benevolence at the heart of so much that they do, and we would that you continue to remember them and the school communities of which they are a part in your regular prayers.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Happy Easter!

The staff and pupils at St Peter’s Catholic Primary School wish you all a Happy Easter.

Eggs Galore!

Once again this year the pupils and families of St Peter’s have rallied to donate Easter Eggs to Stella Maris to pass onto international seafarers who will be in Portsmouth and Southampton at Easter. 

Pictured here behind well over 250 chocolate eggs are Mr Cunningham, Headteacher, Annabelle, Noah and Blossom, and Patrick Binks.  Patrick visits ships in Portsmouth through his work for Stella Maris, and will be one of several people who will deliver these seasonal treats along with faith materials to seafarers who themselves are far from home and family this Easter. 

Thank to everyone who donated Easter Eggs, and who trusted me to keep them all untouched in my office until they were collected!

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

World Book Day 2024

Well done to all of the staff (pictured above) and pupils at St Peter’s for joining in with World Book Day on Thursday 7th March 2024. We are proud to be a school that continues to promote reading, with weekly library lessons, regular opportunities for pupils to borrow books to read at home, and daily class novel readings by teachers.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Forest School Fun

The 60 children in our two Reception Classes had a great day of outdoor learning this week thanks to Portsmouth Forest School.  Using our large school field, different learning stations were set up for the children to experience an alternative curriculum.  

The girls and boys made pine cone bird feeders using lard and seeds, wooden necklaces and nature art, and even toasted marshmallows on a real camp fire.  To add to the outdoors feel, all the recent rain meant that the field was really pretty muddy and squelchy in places, so wellies were definitely the order of the day for the children.  Thankfully the rain held off, and a great learning time was had by all.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher

Excellent attendance

Well done to all the pupils at St Peter’s on their excellent attendance between September ands December 2023. Not only are we in the top 10% of English Primary Schools for attendance in the autumn term, but at 96.4% attendance, St Peter’s is currently 1.8% above the national average attendance rate for the school year to date.

Thank you to all parents and carers for your commitment to the school and to your children’s education, progress and development at St Peter’s.

Mr R Cunningham
Headteacher