Monday 22nd February

I hope half term proved restful and good for everyone. We are so influenced by the weather at the moment. There has been freezing cold snow, relentless rain and overcast winter days. Then we had a hailstorm of almost biblical nature that was followed by the most beautiful rainbow!


Spring really feels as though it’s on the way now with days like Sunday and that welcome warm sun.

Returning to school today with just our critical worker children, we have been listening keenly to the news and the long awaited information about a road map out of lockdown. It seems we will all be back to school on the 8th of March. Where I’m sure many of you are delighted at this prospect there will be those of you for whom this raises concerns.

As soon as we have finalised our plan we will share it with you. Meanwhile please call me if you want to talk through the coming weeks.


Freezing Weather

These amazing icicles are very near my house, a really spectacular and beautiful sight. This freezing weather can be beautiful and great fun. I’ve seen many clips of dramatic sledging in Knole park and around. Sledging luckily is a perfect pastime during this long lockdown.

Our children at school have been enjoying the snow too, on the field and in the playground. Snow angels can be found almost everywhere!
We would have found it impossible to keep school open for our critical worker children without the amazing “walking team” of staff who have made it in every day.
Our site has been made safe by Edward Oatley who has turned up at 7am armed with his snow shovel, broom, barrow and salt. He really is St. John’s very own snow angel! Thank you Edward.

Back to School … or not 😢

It’s been jolly cold in school while we’ve been preparing for Term 3. Our environmentally friendly site manager always tries to be economical with the heating. Today I got into the boiler room and found the magic switch!

It’s definitely the right decision to keep as many people at home for the time being. The news is really alarming and we must do our part to keep our community safe while supporting our struggling NHS to do their amazing work.

Staff worked together today to adapt their planning to suit remote learning and amended and copied independent packs. What a team they are, St John’s is THE place to work and learn!
At the end of their daily zoom sessions your children will, I hope, welcome a drop of Spanish on Wednesdays and music on Fridays.

So, as the vast majority prepare to embrace another home learning phase, I send love and positive thoughts to you and your children.
We can do this … Together-Apart xx

Almost Christmas

How lucky we’ve been that Mr Shrubb has been so busy with lighting up our school! In a year when we’re all having to be careful and do without many of our special Christmas activities having some sparkle has really helped our mood.
Our KS1 nativity is finished! Last Wednesday the children jumped and out of costumes, sang, danced and delivered their lines beautifully. We filmed inside and out, in freezing temperatures with the feeling “the show must go on” The film was created last weekend and will be made available to you on Google Classroom by Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile KS2 have had their class songs recorded, pupils have read the lessons and we have again filmed this fir you to enjoy at home.
Many thanks to all the staff for all their hard work in producing these lovely memories of St John’s Christmas 2020.
Tomorrow there’s all the fun of Christmas lunch and Class Fairs and films.
We are all quite tired as we’re sure you are too. It really has been the strangest of terms. Thank you parents and carers for your thoughtful support and your kind words of encouragement. We are so grateful to have such a wonderful school community; it makes our job so much easier.
Thanks also the this amazing team. From office to classroom to lunchtimes and whether from home, by zoom or face to face – all of you have done a fantastic job and are just great and are  never more deserving of a break and rest this holiday.

Happy Christmas Everyone. Year 1’s display reminds us of the wonderful Christmas story.

Term 2 Day 1

Welcome back everyone, how lovely it was to see all those smiley children arriving at school this morning.

I have to admit that the Year 5 Tudor day jousting competition doesn’t look a bit like the picture above but the sounds of joy filling the playground would suggest it’s every bit as much fun. Reception have kindly loaned their trikes in the absence of horses and umbrellas are proving to be ideal as jousting lances.

Photographs of the each class’ enrichment days will follow next week, here’s a reminder of the plans for this first week back at school

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 Pyjama Story Day

Year 3 Stone Age Day

Year 4 Bridge Building

Year 5 Tudor Day

Year 6 Wolf Brother Forest


Thank you to all the parents and carers who wore masks and continued to follow strict social distancing at drop off this morning.

Tuesday 2nd June

Baby Canniford is here!

Sophie shared the long awaited news with staff this morning that Ernest Canniford was born late last night. He looks really gorgeous and the news of his arrival certainly was good news we all welcomed as we came to school.

Those who were in today settled into the long morning very happily. Some understandably had a slightly wobbly start but seeing friends taking part in all the learning and activities really seemed to hit the spot!

So, congratulations to Sophie and Will Canniford and welcome to the world Ernest.

Thursday 21st May

Today has been one of those busy days. It’s been full of meetings and business but also of lovely class zooms with bright faced eager children. As I finished the last zoom I took our dogs out into the garden. It’s still so warm and the evening light is almost as beautiful as that early in the morning.
Years ago my parents gave me this horse chestnut tree for my birthday. It was tiny and my small children and I watched and waited with great excitement for it to produce a conker. Look at it now, an absolute beauty!
Fortunate to have been blessed with truly fantastic parents, the gap they left when they died recently seemed huge. It’s odd how close they feel in this tree. Both immensely practical people who’d lived through the Second World War and the hardships of being small tenant dairy farmers, I hear what I believe their sound advice would be in tough times such as these we are living through.

So, ‘best foot forward, one step at a time’  is what I hear as I take in the beauty of this tree.

And that’s the attitude that St John’s community has adopted over the last term. Parents and children have given their absolute best managing home learning alongside so many other demands, staff have given their all in providing the care and education that they can remotely.
As we continue into Term 6 we have dig deep to find the courage and commitment to implement our Government’s drive. I give thanks for the support and love of wonderful parents – my own, those of our pupils and theirs as well.
Well done St John’s!

Wednesday 20th May

It was so lovely to see Year 6 on their zoom meeting today. They all brought the book they’re currently reading to our meeting. It was incredible how the group managed to express themselves while so naturally giving time to others to do the same. Genuinely there was a feeling of recommendation and passion for reading. Year 6 seem to have mastered seeing the  value of honesty in their reading. Some happily expressed the love of rereading an old favourite book while others were happy to try a challenging read. Everyone’s contributions were valued and celebrated. Well read our lovely Year  6!

The scavenger hunt was entertaining. The challenge to find 3 things and be first back in front of camera was taken seriously. This group were certainly fast off the mark!

After a general sharing of our pets it was time to say goodbye all too soon. Thank you for providing a highlight to my day Year 6.

Tuesday 19th May

We’re busy preparing to open school to a limited number of pupils on June the 1st, as directed by the government.
There is so much to consider it’s quite a worry. It’s fortunate that many hands make light work, or should I more correctly say lighter work!
We are reorganising classrooms and planning a very different kind of St John’s for the time being.
Thank you for completing the survey by this evening. We can now proceed to hone our plans with the numbers we expect.
Your decisions for your child to return or to stay home are completely understood. There will be no judgement either way and most importantly no fines.
So tomorrow is due to be even hotter followed by storms on Thursday. There’s never a dull moment with English weather I’m pleased to report!