Summer Fete

Clare and Steve Ridler and their team of parents had decided a few weeks ago to hold the Summer Fete on the fields this year. Although this meant more work in moving all the equipment down from the school and depended on good luck weather wise we were all for it and ready to go.

Saturday came, the weather was ideal and with a willing army of parents and staff and the help of Steve’s truck we started the process of moving everything down to the field at 9.30. Two to three loads later all was done and well before 12.00 the fields were looking great. All the usual “fun of the fair” stalls were set up with flags flying and food and drink aplenty with hot dogs, hamburgers and delicious cakes and buns together with the more healthy options.

Again the infectious St john’s family spirit came to the fore and the next three hours became a great social occasion, either under the shade of the trees or out in the sun with the children playing happily and without anyone realising that they were making over £2000 for the school.
3 o’clock came, the truck appeared along with the army of helpers and within the hour the field had been cleared and everything was back at school. My idea of a perfect family day in the sunshine.

A week full of music at St John’s!

On Monday the youngest singers and musicians in our school performed their hearts out at our end of year concert for parents and carers. The Smarties Choir performed a number of songs, showing how much they have learned whilst attending their weekly after school club.

We were also treated to a number or instrumental solos on the piano and violin, celebrating the dedication of pupils who have lessons in and outside of school. It was a truly wonderful celebration, and one that Ms Marsh and I were proud to be part of.


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We continued our musical celebrations with a truly magnificent KS2 concert at the Ship Theatre on Wednesday. Over 100 children performed, whether singing or playing an instrument. We were treated to pieces played by our orchestra, solos, duets and trios on brass, string and piano, and all of year 3 playing their recorders. The theatre was packed to bursting, not an empty seat in the house, yet the children performed like professionals.

This year has been our biggest and best yet for the number of children learning an instrument, and I believe our strongest choir. Ms Marsh, you are incredible to have inspired and encouraged so many budding musicians and singers at St John’s.

Mrs Temp



Key Stage 1 and Reception Music and Dance afternoon

This afternoon was a great afternoon of entertainment organised by Sarah Marsh our music teacher.
First was the turn of the children in Key Stage 1 (aged 6 and 7). The 30 strong choir started off the proceedings with a song about penguins, not only singing well but there were some impressive penguin movements. Sarah then gave us a master class in how she teaches the children in this age group, followed by five piano solos, two violin solos and three more songs from the choir, one with part singing, another with dance movements and the third with solo performances. The 60 strong audience enjoyed every minute and it was difficult to realise the children were so young.

Next off to Knole Academy with Reception (22 five year olds) to see them performing with five other schools in the Academy’s primary school Step Together show. Stunningly dressed in yellow costumes with pink leggings they performed a vey fast and complicated African dance routine with great success. The concentration shown by children of this age was so impressive and with their happy smiling faces it was a joy to watch.

Summer Music Concert

We are all part of a huge cultural evolution of music at St John’s in such a short time. The success of this is not only down to Sarah Marsh, who leads it all with real inspiration and a great gift in teaching, but the entire staff and pupils having this in their mindset, and realising very quickly not only how enjoyable it is but how much it does for their self-confidence and the general improvement in all aspects of their education.

Now we have 100 pupils learning instruments, a KS1 and KS2 Choir all of whom have been so well taught as a team, an orchestra, a brass band and a recorder group. On Wednesday our first ever summer music concert took place with solos in Piano, Recorder, Violin and Brass and performances from the Choir, Orchestra and Recorder group in front of an audience of over 150 people at the Ship Theatre. The concentration of the children to perform well was the most impressive part of all, and the team work in the group performances was outstanding.

All who were there realised they were seeing something very special in the evolution of this outstanding school.

Sports Day

If there is such a thing as a perfect sports day then this was it. – sun all day but not too hot and a slight breeze.  All the school paraded around the Olympic track behind the five pupils carrying the torch in their red, yellow, blue and green ringed t-shirts.  Dave must be thanked for producing such a fantastic area not only for the races but it was also  the perfect picnic spot for 250 people.  The children all sat under  a gazebo decorated with flags of different countries all made by the pupils in their houses and Sally welcomed everyone.  There were a variety of races – bean bag, egg and spoon, skipping, obstacle, tunnel, sack and sprints as well as a triathlon of cycling, running and the swimming part completed yesterday.  The morning events finished with  a parents’ sack race and a teachers’ sprint.

The children gave of their all as did the parents with their encouragement and after a busy morning lunch was a welcome break.  Parents had spent the morning making hot dogs and hamburgers in the BBQ tent and after a relaxing hour Sally woke us up for the start of the Key Stage 1 (8minute) and Key Stage 2 (12 minute) long distance run.

Sally thanked all those who had made the day such a success and then the trophies were presented to the winners on a specially made podium painted gold, silver and bronze just as in the Olympics.  The sun shining on the  podiums made for a great team and family photo.

The noise that was produced all day was on a par with the noise that will be made by the Welsh supporters when Wales play Portugal in the semi-finals of the Euros tonight.  The children gave of their best and the true St John’s spirit was there at the end when the field was cleared in no time at all.  A memorable day.

Transition days

Tuesday 28th June saw our 30 new Reception children arrive with their mums, some dads and a few grandparents to spend the afternoon at the school. They spent time in their new classroom with Sally Quirk, Sophie Allen and her assistants. The children were soon occupied and loving their surroundings so the parents disappeared to enjoy a cup of coffee in the hall with Jane Smith, Fr Robin and myself when we discussed parenting and the role of St Johns’ both inside and outside the classroom and how important teamwork is between parents and teachers in the development of each child. With this partnership the children gain so much in self confidence, so bringing out the best in themselves and each other not forgetting how much sport, music, drama and the many clubs organised at St John’s help in developing all their different strengths and abilities.

3 o’clock came far too quickly for the children when they were reunited with their parents and by the look on their faces I am sure they are already looking forward to being back to spend another day at the school next week.

Transition afternoons information

We are looking forward to meeting and welcoming our new pupils to Reception on our transition afternoons.

The table below outlines how our transitions for all pupils will be managed this year. Our Year 5s will be starting their important role as buddies to our new intake so that, as the oldest children in the school, they can be familiar faces and friends in September.

Tues 28th June
New IntakeMiss Allen, Mrs Baker
15 Year 5s (Group A)
Reception’s classroom
Current ReceptionMrs Temp, Mrs Thompson
15 Year 5s (Group B)
Year 1 classroom
Current Year 1Mrs Ottway, Miss SlaughterPE
Fri 1st July
9.00am -12.00pm
Current Yr 5Mr Still Mrs Gillhouley Mrs Baillache Mrs BarnettYear 6 classroom
Current Yr 6Year 5 classroom
Thurs 7th July 1.30-3.00pmNew Intake Miss Allen, Mrs Carpenter Mrs Ottway
15 Year 5s (Group B)
Reception’s Classroom
Current ReceptionMrs Temp, Mrs Thompson
15 Year 5s (Group A)
Yr 1’s classroom
Current Year 1Miss Prendergast Mrs TrumanYr 2’s classroom
Current Yr 2Mrs Clark and Mrs Turner Mrs Inns3P’s classroom
Current Yr 3PMrs Casewell Mrs WilliamsYr 4’s classroom
Current Yr 3GMiss Parfett Miss Howe3G’s classroom
Current Yr 4Mrs Grimble Mrs NeilsonYr 5’sclassroom
Current Yr 515 to Reception 15 to Yr 1
Current Yr 6Transition day in Secondary schools



We’re off to Wimbledon!

We are very fortunate to have been given tickets for Year 6 to have a special day at Wimbledon.
I am so grateful to my friends Marilyn and Stuart Smith for providing this splendid opportunity. Not only are we invited to watch tennis on the Centre Court but also play tennis in the kids zone and have a really privileged guided tour of the media centre.