Music director Daniel’s prestigious new Australian role
July 18, 2023
Students unite at their first Walsingham conference
July 21, 2023
Show all

Momentous first year for new Peterborough school

The newest Catholic school in the country – in Peterborough – has just completed its first year. Mark Cooper, headteacher of St John Henry Newman VA Catholic Primary School, reflects on a momentous ten months.

This week, we have marked the end of our very first year of being open and over the last few days I have been reflecting on the journey we have been on. When we opened our doors on September 5 to Reception, Year 1, and Year 2, we had just 38 children in school on that first day. Today we have 122 children in school.

The growth of our school has far exceeded our expectations and I expect the school to continue to grow quickly over the coming years. Looking ahead to next year, we will be welcoming well over 100 new children and their families as well as eight new members of staff.

We have worked hard so that our school community has had access to all key school events, and these have brought moments of immense pride. Standing and seeing our children lead events such as our Welcome Ceremony, Advent Service, Stations of the Cross, Nativities, Sports Day and most recently Mass have been incredibly special. 

This year has also brought about some challenges, notably with a major leak we suffered that destroyed our Reception and KS1 (Key Stage 1) classrooms. The way that the children, staff, and families adapted to this was amazing and at no point was the learning offer impacted by the event. 

In our Gospel assembly on Monday, the children were also reflecting on our school year and used the parable of the growing seed which explored what a seed needs to grow well. I asked the children why they thought our school had grown well this year. The children’s responses were amazing:

“The teachers and adults have been so welcoming” – Year 2 child. 

“Because we can say prayers together” – Year 4 child. 

“All of the children have been so kind and caring to each other especially when a new child has joined” – Year 2 child. 

I would like to say a huge thank-you to our staff and families for their support throughout this year. This year has been my proudest year as a headteacher, and I am so excited to see what the next year at St John Henry Newman Catholic Primary School will bring.

Read our previous story on this topic.

Pictured above are the pupils at St John Henry Newman in July and, below, the pupils back in September.