Yr 4 Orchestra Concert

What a great finale to Sarah Marsh’s career at St Johns.  Together with the peripatetic music team the 55 strong Year 4 orchestra were ready to perform some well known and pretty complicated pieces and this they did with maturity and a real sense of fun and pleasure in front of their families.
Music has come a long way in a short time under the guidance of Sarah and the legacy she leaves is that music is now very much part of the DNA of St John’s.  So many children now learn individual instruments and the school orchestra and choirs are performing to a high standard.  The self confidence this generates in each pupil is of immense value to their future success in life.

Kent Cup Hockey Final

Unfortunately I could not be at Ashford yesterday to see the Teams.

However having seen them all season and been so impressed with their improvement,concentration and just their will to win I was hoping for the best and that”s just what I got.

The senior team are now proud runners-up in Kent having lost to Dover in the Final and the Junior team came fourth. Believe me that is a truly tremendous achievement and puts St John’s right up there with the best.

They  were well supported by their parents and we are all so proud of all of them.Congratulations to Sheralyn and her team at school and to Sevenoaks Hockey Club for their excellent coaching.

Parents Open Afternoon

Parents’ Open Afternoon
This is one of the events in the school diary which defines how successful St Johns is in promoting the importance of the school and parents working together. On the hottest day of the year so far many parents came to school to see and discuss their work with their children. The teachers were in the classroom, where some families chose to stay in the shade, but outside in every corner and spare space in the garden and playground families could be seen talking together. Just such a great afternoon.
It has been a busy week for the 14 hockey players who will be playing in the Kent Cup Final today and excitement is building. There is also the Primary School Sports to look forward to at Knole Academy, starting at 5.00pm.

Fly the Flag Armed Forces Celebration Day

This is always an  important ceremony at the  Sevenoaks Council Offices.  Year 3 walked up to take part arriving just before the start at 10.30a.m.  They joined members of the armed forces, local dignitaries and Church representatives.  The ceremony started with prayers and messages of thanks to the armed forces both here and around the world for their dedicated work.  Following the raising of the flag we went into the public gallery for talks from a war veteran aged 96 who had been awarded the French Legion of Honour decoration along with members of the British Legion and the Armed Forces youth section.  At 11.00am there was a minute’s silence for the Grenfell tower block disaster in Kensington.

After a drink and a biscuit we all walked back to school.  A great experience for the children.

Robo-tastic Assembly!

What a treat! NAO, the humanoid robot visited, along with his “friend” Graeme Lawrie, Head of Science from Sevenoaks School, to entertain and educate the children about robotics, coding and programming. The hall was filled with excitement as the children spotted our special visitor sitting on a table as they entered.  Both staff and children were astounded by what NAO could do. Who would have thought a robot could do Gangnam Style dancing, Tai-chi and could sit when asked! Truly exceptional!

We learned how many hours it takes to program him, and how he has built in sensors around his body and over 50 motors in his joints that enable him to move in a remarkably human-like fashion. Not only that, but he has been programmed to protect himself from falling by putting out his hands when he senses that he is overbalancing. Every move he makes requires a complex set of codes, to not only move the motor, but also to code a counter move to enable him to balance.  Remarkable!

As the children left the hall and throughout the afternoon, they could be heard talking excitedly about the robot and how much they wanted to have one. I am certain they would have come home last night “buzzing”, with much to tell you about the robot at school.

Daniel (Year 5) came up to me immediately and asked, “Mrs Casewell, if I wanted to become a robotics engineer when I am older, what subjects do I need to do?”  I am sure there are many others who have been inspired too.

Year 4, were led in coding workshops in the afternoon and it is hoped that Mr Lawrie will return to work with other classes in the months and years to come. The children now clearly see the link between the coding we do at school, through Scratch and other applications, to the real world of robotic programming.

An enormous thank you to Mr Lawrie and Sevenoaks School! And of course NAO!

K’NEX Challenge 2017

Year 5 and 6 were kept busy in the hall all morning on Tuesday with a K’nex workshop facilitated by Sam from BAE Systems. They were set the challenge to construct a vehicle that would travel the furthest harnessing the power of the wind. In teams of three, the set about designing, building, testing and amending their vehicles until the final test just before lunch. What a vast array of designs there were!

Our winning team, who will be heading off to the final next Tuesday, demonstrated team work, perseverance, resilience and adaptability, being able to construct a vehicle that was stable, travelled the straightest and the furthest! Congratulations!