End of Term 3

Today the school is full of book characters and plenty of excitement! In all my years of teaching and the many book character days, never have I been so impressed with the effort and ingenuity in costumes. This surely correlates with the passion for reading we have here at St John’s.

We have had a morning of awards and celebration. As well as recognising the two winning pupils in each class, we also awarded every child with a book as prize for their efforts with our “Book in a Week” challenge. The standard of writing and effort invested was remarkable. Sevenoaks Bookshop have been most generous to us donating 250 books and we are hugely grateful to them. We have also recognised the Reader of the Term in each class and the teacher nomination for the class Excellence Award. It is characteristic of the pupils here that, at break, I overheard so many class mates congratulating their class winner. Our winners are displayed in the school corridors.

Now, many children are counting down the minutes until the school discos after school while teachers continue to ensure some valuable last day learning continues in class.

When we return on Monday 20th both Year 4 classes will be pleased to have new, bump and squeak-free floors and shiny new carpets. Thank you to the team of volunteers who responded to Mr Brand’s request for help emptying these rooms this evening.

Happy half term everyone – rest, enjoy and please try and return bug-free for term 4!

 

Happy New Year

Welcome back everyone after our lovely Christmas break. We are rested and ready to embrace the learning and life of school again.

Straight after registration this morning we gathered in the hall to hear about this morning’s whole school SCIENCE INVESTIGATION.

As I write every child is working with a 30cm square piece of tin foil and aiming to design the boat that holds the greatest number of 1p coins. The buzz in the school is wonderful – the tension is mounting as we near finding our winning designs.

Thank you Mrs Casewell for leading science at St John’s so well and inspiring us to think like scientists.

Watch our website to see exactly what we learnt and see our class boat winners.

Happy Christmas

We have had such a splendid end of term filled with wonderful entertainment. Our excellent Nativity and carol service were the result of huge dedication and hard work on the part of the children and their teachers. Thank you to all of you at home for the great support you’ve been giving to the learning of lines and song words.

I was horrified when I realised, at the end of the carols, that I’d failed to thank Fiona Henry for her magnificent singing. Her rendition of O Holy Night accompanied by Sarah Marsh was breath taking and reduced a good number of us to tears. I have since spoken to Fiona and thanked her. I am delighted that she and Sarah are hatching a plan for a musical soiree in the spring.

So, as I write, KS1 are at the Stag watching the panto while KS2 enjoy Christmas fun in their classrooms. What a lovely week it’s been! I wish you all a happy Christmas, a restful holiday with plenty of special family fun, I look forward to seeing everyone rested and ready for Term 3 on Tuesday January 3rd.

Remembrance

I was so very impressed with every child’s attitude this morning as our whole school community gathered to remember our nation’s war dead. 98 years after the first remembrance we were moved again to follow the tradition at St John’s.

Standing around the edge of our playground Year 4C filled the centre spot with their poppies while we watched in silence. Freya and Lucas read to us beautifully and reminded us of the words that are so familiar to so many. We stood in silence for 2 minutes at 11 o’clock, knowing that we were doing as so many others across our country.

A time of sad reflection, a time to remember bravery and sacrifice. Also a time of hope that we may live to see more peaceful tolerance between human beings in our world.

Christmas is coming!

The weather has turned, it was frosty and cold but still bright this morning at playtime. There are still children without coats! Please make sure your child has their school coat with them every day as they definitely need it for playtimes.

Carols and Christmas songs have filled our corridor today as Ms Marsh and team have been practising singing and playing our favourite tunes and some lovely new ones too. I am so impressed with the musical progress being made by Year 4 brass and strings groups, what a talented bunch!

Our entrance hall is beginning to fill with Christmas boxes full of presents for children in crisis. Thank you to all who are engaging in this project . If you haven’t filled a box yet, there’s still time, we won’t be delivering to the collection point until 16th November. For thoise wishing to make a difference in an alternative way, we will be holding collections at the Christmas Nativities and Carols for Save the Children Fund.

 

Assessment and Feedback

I have to admit to being a very poor blogger recently, and that is really so bad when every class teacher is so diligent with their Friday blogging!

It’s been busy with our inspection and the work that brings before and after the visit. I hope the report actually makes it to the Ofsted site today. I was assured by Ofsted Administration that it would be published today. I’ve spoken to Ofsted in the last half hour and they assure me it is ‘in the process of being uploaded’

Despite us all being really disappointed that the inspector felt unable to recommend us for a second day’s inspection and the possibility of being judged outstanding, there is certainly cause to celebrate given all the positive feedback.

So, with one week left we look forward to pupils being able to show how they have progressed with their learning this term when they sit next week’s assessments. Having administered Year 4s writing assessment this morning I must say I am very impressed with the standard of their writing and their excellent attitude to the task. It’s clear Year 4 are a group of competent stylish writers in the making!

 

A New School Year

Reading all the class blogs I am really so pleased to be a part of this wonderful school. I had reason to come to school on many occasions over the summer holidays and only once found myself alone. A St John’s teacher is a special breed! Their hard work and dedication to the cause of the education of your children is exemplary.

So, well prepared and excited by a new academic year, they have already been providing the best of school experiences for their classes as you can see from this week’s blogs.

The children have returned to school taller, shinier and wiser! Holiday homework has been completed so well by so many, it’s been lovely to share experiences and enjoy friendships again.

What a lovely week. We’re all ready for the weekend though –  in 6 weeks one forgets the exhaustion of a full first week!

Thank you, KS2 parents for sending in fruit in named containers. The children tell me they prefer having their favourite fruit from home and I’m pleased it seems most are remembering to bring fruit or vegetables. It’s a long morning otherwise, without any sustenance!

Almost the End of the Year

Last week over 100 pupils entertained packed audiences with their musical talents at the KS1 and KS2 summer music concerts. Every child at St John’s is given exceptional music opportunities through class lessons and a full range of clubs. Music is lead by the amazing Sarah Marsh who is supported by her talented team. To see so many young musicians brave enough to play so competently in front of a crowd was very impressive.

The sun shone all day for a perfect summer fair on our sports field on Saturday. What a brilliant event Claire planned and how well supported she was by the PTA! It looks as though over £2,000 has been raised by this event as well as it being an excellent day out and a great social occasion. Special mention to Steve Ridler, who does just as he’s asked…and he’s certainly asked a great deal! Also thanks to our governor Edward Oatley who provided support from before 9am through until the end of clear up at 4.45pm – outstanding!

As I write KS2 children are gathering in their costumes for the final rehearsal of The Rainbow Road. KS1 are bubbling with excitement as they’ve been invited to watch this morning. This afternoon KS2 will have the chance to watch Out of Africa. Tomorrow the doors are open to the parents – ENJOY!