A message from Mr Oatley

As you are approaching a week’s break after the longest ever term in the History of Education (5 months) I just want again to pay my great respects to you all for all you are doing for the children and parents of St John’s. They have certainly played their part but you have totally succeeded in bringing the school alive On Line. Seeing that no one had ever thought of that before and to manage to get it right in no time at all is to me an outstanding achievement. This has given the children confidence to engage with it all and so they have not only made real progress academically but socially with each other and with you. So in this Lockdown mentality you have given them the ability to reach out and talk with each other.
As always you are all just so inspirational.
Try to recharge whatever batteries you have left and enjoy the weather.

Around the Town

It is difficult to know where to start when one sees all that is happening at St John’s with the school gates shut.  It has now been five weeks of a life which no one has ever experienced or could have planned for.

However as I cycle and walk around Sevenoaks I have been lucky enough to meet St John’s parents and their children and can see that the St John’s positive spirit is very much there.  I am certainly missing seeing everyone at school but as a spectator on the Blog site I see a whole school world is there each day.  It is now the highlight of my day to take time to read and see all the fun the children are having and the help they are getting.  Still being a novice in technology it has really been an eye opener for me to see you throwing loo rolls at each other, and I will want to see this performance in real life at school!

I am enjoying for the first time since childhood having books read to me and I know from speaking to families that the on-line teaching is going well and that the hard work that Sally and the staff are putting in to this is much appreciated, not only in the academic work but also the social side.

I would like to end by just saying how much in awe I am of the St John’s team.  Don’t forget as I said at the start no one could have been prepared for this virus to take over our lives in such an extreme way yet at the start of the two week Easter holiday you all spent hours preparing to have St John’s up and running for a whole new school structure by the start of term. The fact that this was achieved is amazing but not a surprise.  With term well and truly underway this is the new St John’s way of life with everyone making the very best of a difficult situation.  For you it is hard work, the concentration needed is immense, the day is full on with no down time to chat with colleagues over coffee and the preparation for each day takes a great deal of time.  Into the bargain you all have your own families at home with their needs, worries and workloads yet each morning you are there with a smile on your face for the children, how lucky they are.

Let me assure you that when I clap for the NHS on a Thursday evening I am also clapping for our St John’s heroes.


Year 6 Spanish Assembly Monday March 16th

Earlier this term Year 6 went on a 4 day visit to Seville. To their great credit St John’s teaches Spanish at this level and during the assembly their role play performances in buying and eating ice cream and shopping in the market were all in Spanish. Photos were then shown as they went over all aspects of their trip. The pupils explained everything so well as they talked about their lessons on Flamenco Dancing, the views from the top of the Cathedral, the Spanish food especially tapas and paella and the friendly staff, delicious food and comfortable beds at their hotel.

It had been a great experience for all of them and not only had they enjoyed it but Mrs Quirk then thanked them and the staff who went for taking full advantage of every experience on offer and for being such a tight knit family group.

The parents, who were there, went home thankful for the complete all round education their children have at St Johns.

With all professional football now off what better way of getting your”football fix” than watching the footballers of the future entertain us and that goes for the excellent netball matches that were on offer as well. St John’s put up a great show in both sports. With only 10 mins matches all games were close and the St John’s spirit had to be full on the whole time. In the first rounds the Netball team lost to Anthony Roper 0-3, beat Churchill 4-1 and drew with the All Stars 1-1.  This meant that there was a play off against Edenbridge for second place. At the same time the football team narrowly lost to St Katherines 2-3, beat Anthony Roper 2-0 and drew with St Thomas 2-2.  This meant that they played Kemsing in the plate semi-final and won 1-0 and so were now playing Chevening in the final.  The finals for me were pure agony, having spend all season ( as a season ticket holder ) watching Watford not hitting the target game after game and being the superior team in most of their matches here I was watching these 2 impressive St John’s teams playing really well and with great passion BUT doing  “a  Watford” The Netball team drew 1-1 and in the replay lost 5-2 with the football team losing 1-0.
Fabulous support from the parents, great morning‘s sport all round and as they say “it’s only a game.”
Frustrated and emotionally drained fan.

By Mr E Oatley

Netball and Water Polo!

Two days of enjoyable sport with St John’s this week.

On Tuesday the Netball team played in their usual sporting way but were well beaten by two faster, inter-passing teams and lost 9-1 to Anthony Roper and 7-1 to Amherst.  In the third very close match against Otford the team played well but only had themselves to blame for scoring only 4 goals out of the 21 shots they had, so losing 5-4.

The Team: Ollie, Tilly, Mia, Tia, Carrie, Eloise, Mikayla and Amelia.

On Wednesday we had the challenge of our first ever Water Polo competition at Sevenoaks School.  Five 10 minute games over 90 minutes certainly made sure all the children were tired by the end.  All the swimmers took part in such a sporting manner considering they were taking part in a new sport and they picked it up so quickly.  Well done to Anna, Erin, Eloise, Alexander, Torben and Adam who did the school proud.

Football Match 11th February 2020

Key Stage 2 Football Team

Another great afternoon of sport. St John’s put on a really great team display in all 3 matches to remain unbeaten. They had fine support from their parents who braved the cold late afternoon for the one and a half hours. So thanks to Alexander, Bailey, Dante, Dylan, Harrison, Harry J, Harry M and Oliver who made up this very talented team. They were well in control in beating Seal 2-1 and St Katherine 4-0 and in a tight match v Kemsing let in 2 late goals to draw 3-3.



Wall displays..

Wall displays in schools are almost taken for granted and yet the amount of expertise, time and effort that goes into these presentations is immense and the importance of their educational value to the children can be overlooked. I have always been so impressed with all the displays to be seen at St John’s and enjoy spending time studying them and gaining knowledge from them. Today I decided to give all the wall displays my full attention.
Every classroom has all the academic work in English and Maths that the children are doing at any given time displayed in abundance; these displays will be changed not only by the staff but by the pupils themselves as the topics progress. Each display also shows book reviews, the “School Vision”, British values and World Maps accompanied by appropriate books. Year 3 has displays on Rocks and Soil, Sikhism and Volcanoes; Year 4 on the Digestive System and Romans; Year 5 on the Tudors and Life in Antarctica and Year 6 on Ancient Greece and preparing for their Seville trip with Spanish vocabulary.
The walls in the school corridors are all so interesting. At presents there are two extensive displays on the books some forms are reading including the Wolf Brothers by Michelle Pave, being read by Year 6, and they have spent a morning in the woods experiencing to some extent the life of Stone Age Man. There are art displays on Dye Techniques and the Galaxy along with a simple display explaining Great Britain’s democratic system along with one on the importance of the Use of Words.
Year 5 has written to various firms on the theme of “Our Planet Pledge” with special reference to plastics and their letters and the replies are on display. Another wall shows a display of the book “Mouse Bird Snake Wolf” by Dave McKean.
Three large areas are given over to a huge World Map, the Planets and 10 Clocks representing 10 Capital Cities giving the different times at 13.00 Greenwich Mean Time.
Also the School Council and the Science Ambassadors for years 3-6 have noticeboards. Science is one of the huge strengths of St John’s thanks to Bev Casewell. She has 2 Science Ambassadors in each form who work with her and help the Junior forms as well as preparing and putting away all the equipment for the different experiments. They also help with the Science Club and putting up the wall displays.
So there we are, what a wealth of information, so well presented, so pleasing to the eye, easy to read and such a valuable teaching resource.

I always enjoyed watching St John’s sporting events and being inspired by the way they never give up and always want to learn from their efforts.

At this level with children growing all the time then the height of the individual at this sport does make a difference. We had just about everything apart from ‘height!’ and we did well to claim 6th place out of the 10 teams. Most of the teams we played scored a few more goals than we did, but we were always within sight of success in all the matches.
So many congratulations to Chiamaka,Isabella,James B,Oli M,Elone,Harry M and Oscar for all their efforts.

Volunteers Thank You Tea

St John’s make this a really special occasion for the whole school.

All the pupils come into assembly to pay tribute in different ways and to thank the volunteers for their great contribution to their education. Over half of the 45+ volunteers were there to listen to a hands on talk with Liddy Clark and to appreciate the impressive singing of the school and Choir.

The children then give a Xmas Present to each volunteer with a stunning personalised card for each individual. Tea and Sally’s home made cakes complete the enjoyable afternoon.

Life at St John’s

Life at St John’s

This week the school took part in two sporting events.

The girls Netball team of Chiamaka, Tia, Eloise, Carrie, Scarlet, Mia and Amelia went to Knole Academy on Wednesday to play in two matches.  The first was an even exciting game against Sevenoaks County Primary which resulted in a 2-2 draw. The game against Lady Boswell impressed me especially because, although we were playing an excellent team and lost 0-13, the girls played their hearts out to the end and after the match we talked about how much they had learnt from the opposition.  This was just such a positive attitude and a great example to everyone.

On Thursday 400 children descended on Radnor House for the Primary Schools Cross Country competition.  The following 22 pupils took part from St Johns:

Max BSadieAdamLouisAnna
Max PEmilyAndrewBayleySarah


There were four races:  Year 3/4 Girls; Year 5/6 Girls; Year 3/4 Boys; Year 5/6 Boys

St John’s raced their hearts out and Lauren and Max P were outstanding, Lauren coming 2nd in the 3/4 Girls race and Max P 3rd in the Boys 3/4 race.

I am now looking forward to Friday night’s Quiz when the hall will be full, with teams of staff and parents testing their General Knowledge against one another.  This is always a great school event and a really enjoyable evening.