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Celebrations and Traditions at St. Peter’s School


The School calendar is full of celebrations, large and small, strengthening the connections between students and creating indelible memories. Families and friends are always welcome at these events. A few of these are:

Intramural sports at St. Peter’s pits the Garnets against the Greys. First Graders and new students are cheered as they receive their team color in a ceremony attended by the entire school. When younger siblings are old enough to compete as a Garnet or Grey, they are awarded their color by their older sibling.

Students in Preschool, Prekindergarten and Kindergarten celebrate the holidays with a special mid-December musical performance. The Celebration of Light is held the evening of the last school day before winter vacation. Students from First through Eighth Grades celebrate the holiday season with traditional songs and readings.

On the first school day of May, the School welcomes the beginning of spring. Children hold hands and process through the School to the West Lawn singing the “May Day Carol.” The Seventh Graders present the faculty with lilac branches for their classrooms.

In the afternoon of the first Friday of May, all St. Peter’s students, the boys in white and the girls in colorful spring dresses, perform traditional folk dances for an audience of families, friends and alumni. Following the dance around the Maypole, all gather for a School-wide picnic.

This is the final sporting event of the school year. Children in First through Eighth Grades participate in a spirited competition of tug-of-war, carry-the-colors, sprints and relays. Individual and team scores are tallied to determine whether the Garnets or the Greys will be awarded the coveted silver bowl at Graduation. In the following week’s sports classes, students receive individual event awards.

All children in Lower and Upper Schools attend Graduation, as the ceremony not only marks the Eighth Graders progression onto secondary schools, but also celebrates the First through Seventh Graders as they move to their next year.

Every month, beginning in First Grade, St. Peter’s students choose and memorize a poem. All recite for their class, and some are selected to recite before an audience including students, teachers and parents. This is the cherished tradition of Declamation. In Lower School Declamation, the students receive approbation and guidance from the teachers after their presentations. Upper School Declamation introduces a competitive aspect, as one student each month is named “most mentioned.” An award is given at Graduation to the most outstanding declaimer. Declamation cultivates a love and understanding of poetry and trains children in the art of memorization, but its particular gift is the development of poise, confidence and the ability to speak comfortably before an audience.