The challenge has been a great success and although it has been tough at times that’s what challenges are all about.

It has been an enormous privilege to have been able to take part in this event and an even bigger privilege to have done it for the pupils, staff, governors and parents that make up St. John’s school community. Thank you to all the pupils for their encouragement through their cycling and to everyone for the sponsorship for our new school bus.

Today we made it to Angkor Wat which is enormous and has a 35Km circumference. Pictures are of me and the group there at the finish. I have also included pictures of our 4 hour  journey across the Tonya Sap lake, the largest inland lake in SE Asia. There we are on top of the boat, or on the side, travelling at 44Km an hour—you don’t get that sense of freedom and common sense in GB !! Now happy to have a rest from Chinese, Vietnam, Cambodian Food and a decent cup of coffee would be great.

So lots to tell you next Monday but meanwhile continue to have a restful half term. I will be off to the town (Siem Reap ) this evening to have a celebration meal and then tomorrow will go round the shops in the morning before we fly home in the afternoon. No more cycling just Tuk Tuk’s at 3 Dollers a journey.

Almost there..

Almost there.Traffic held us up to the start yesterday and so we were running behind time to reach hotel by nightfall 75 Km away. It’s now 35 degrees and humid, rough hard sandy roads but we did it with 10 mins to spare.

Today we have a 4 hour river crossing across the largest lake in SE Asia and then a 40 Km cycle to Siam Reap with Angkor Wat close by.


News from Edward..

You will all have started half term just as I am finishing Friday’s cycling.

I have now completed 340Km with 130 to go. I have seen a tremendous way of life that the people live as I have travelled through Vietnam and as we have entered Cambodia today the weather is much more humid.

I am so grateful for all the money that has been raised and more than grateful to all of the pupils who have also been cycling, because some of this cycling has been hard and when it has become ‘mind over matter’ I have been inspired by all that you are doing.

Have a great half term and I will send you a few photos of life on the road..


A message from Edward..

We have now completed 225 Km and hope the school are keeping up with me.

Because we have only 14 in the group we have to keep together  – but you will not be surprised that I am flying the flag of St. John’s very much in last place!

It is certainly very testing and feel I am earning any money raised. I’m so privileged to be seeing how life is here. It’s very much a family life with parents, children and grandchildren all together. Family are buried in the garden.

Primary school children go to school from 7 to 11 in the morning and then the secondary children go from 1 to 5 in the afternoon. (No school lunches!).

There are very few cars here (much to expensive) everyone rides mopeds. Also, there are no traffic lights – so traffic is crossing over from left to right, or straight on with pedestrians walking in between. This would be crazy in Sevenoaks, but is totally safe in Vietnam and I have achieved it safely.  We are going to the Killing fields tomorrow and then to the border with Cambodia, another 100 Km.

Chinese food for breakfast lunch and supper is very testing and I am not coping with the breakfast and lunch (so pinch as much bread as I can for lunch!).

Thinking of all of you is keeping my spirits up. Just finished supper, a quick walk around the town and then off to bed.

Safer Internet Day

Tuesday 6th February marked Safer Internet Day across the world, and the pupils, parents and staff of St John’s were fortunate to have Gareth Cort of Connected Minds spend the day in school talking about how to use the internet safely. There was a fantastic turnout for the parents’ session in the morning – so much so that additional chairs had to be found at the last minute – which was a testament to the importance of the subject, and perhaps also parents’ desire for advice on how to keep their children safe in what can feel like an alien and potentially threatening environment to those of us over 30!

Gareth was rightly keen to remind us of all the positives and opportunities presented to children by the internet, and indeed that we are fooling ourselves if we think there is an option of simply not engaging with the online world for today’s children and young people. He gave parents a wealth of practical advice in an hour’s talk, and a handy information sheet with top tips and places to look for more information. He spent the rest of the day in school talking to the children, right from Reception up to Year 6, about how to keep themselves – and others – safe online, and finished the day with the teachers.

If you’re interested in knowing more about St John’s approach to online safety, take a look at our Safeguarding and Online Safety policies at

Edward’s cycling challenge!

Only 36 hours to go until I will be on the plane with 13 other cyclists ready to tackle the challenge in Vietnam and Cambodia.  I go inspired by all of you and will have plenty to talk about with my fellow travellers on what makes for a truly successful and thriving community school.

I came into Assembly on Tuesday and there before me was an amazing mural of the trip I am about to embark on with pictures of the two countries including bikes drawn by the children (we must teach them how to draw comfortable cycle seats!!).  Next in came the static bike, knowing that the children and staff will be cycling the same distance as me during the week will certainly keep me going in the 35 degree heat; there is no way I can fail this challenge with the whole school behind me.  Then I hear that some parents and pupils will be going to the Gravesend Cycle Park on my return to take part in their own challenge (I will be there with you).  With Geography and History lessons taking place as well I can only thank all of you for giving me the inspiration to enjoy the 11 days knowing that you are all participating in the experience as well.  A great example of staff, pupils, parents and Governors coming together as a team to support.

You will all be on half term when I come back so I look forward to seeing you on the Monday you return to school.

Last Day of Term

Everyone was enjoying being at school for the last day of term.

The previous day I had enjoyed being with Form 6 for an hour or so discussing the National Health Service, Facebook, emails, the tax system in this country, retirement age (including the age at which Josh Still would retire!), looking after the elderly with the coming evolution of people living to 100, the importance of understanding money and saving it when possible.  The children were full of ideas, showing a mature interest in all we discussed and willing to listen and learn.

Today Key stage 1 went to the pantomime at The Stag Theatre at 9.30 whilst the rest of the school took part in an inter House games competition.  Four Houses; Red, Yellow, Green and Blue with six different activities: Football and Hockey on the field, Maths skills, Cup Stacking, Netball in the school playground and Dodgeball in the hall.  Every child took part.  It was certainly competitive but with good sportsmanship on show and all so much fun in the true St John’s spirit.  I had to leave 20 minutes before the end so do not know which House won but what a great way in which to spend the last day of term.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

Carol Service

The end of term is always very special with Key stage 1 Nativity plays and the Carol Service.  Two full houses watched the performances of the Nativity which again proved what an exceptional team we have at St Johns.  The acting, singing and dancing of the pupils was outstanding (remember they are only aged 4 – 7), all of them smiling and putting real meaning into their words as well as keeping to the rhythm of the music.  Add the costumes, thanks to the parents, and the dedication of the teachers and you have the perfect result.

The Key stage 2 Carol Service at a  packed St. John’s Church was just what Christmas is all about.  Mulled wine and mince pies greeted the congregation and then the choir and orchestra wowed us with their singing and music.  There were readings from Penny Boshoff, member of staff; Jo Maxim, Governor; Grace Anderson, former pupil; George, Yr 6 pupil; David Stringer, parent and Gordon Fisher, volunteer.  Fr Robin brought the service to an end by explaining in simple terms the rather complicated last reading and so ended another memorable Carol Service.