Flight delay

Parents, don’t worry too much about us. We can cope easily with colouring, UNO, great company and out EUR 4.50 food compensation..

Who needs electronic devices? Not St. John’s children on a 3 hour delay!

Brilliant children and brilliant staff.



Seville Day 3

25 children showed excellent participation and proficiency at flamenco dancing yesterday. Ice creams helped to refresh everyone before the show that followed our lesson.
This year the show was rated even better than last year,  by St. John’s staff. All our lovely pupils were suitably impressed by the extreme skill of the professional dancers and only 3 succumbed to the overwhelming need to rest their eyes for a few minutes!

After a swift change of clothes and a rousing game on our veranda,  we made the gorgeous walk to our restaurant, winding through narrow cobbled orange tree-lined streets In the warm evening sunshine.
Seafood or vegetarian paella met with mixed responses. All ‘had a go’ and the heartiest eater managing 3 helpings (after a starter, 2 bread rolls and fizzy drink!)
Violet and Amelia L volunteered to act as our guides to take us back to our hostel and their mistake fortunately led us to the cathedral square where we stumbled upon a magical moment. A woodwind quartet were just setting up and we were entertained to Pachelbel’s  canon – just beautiful. Lexie was then recruited by our two guides and we sailed home!
Face, hands and teeth and a 10 minute read was offered but some couldn’t even stay the course for that. The previous short night suffered by Bailey with such energy suddenly proved too much and he tried bed fully clothed!

Day 3
A full and glorious night! Everyone needed waking at 7.20am.
Fully rehearsed in the breakfast routine we had eaten and prepared for the day by 8.50am so settled for a good session of great games. Who would ever have guessed Carrie could waggle her little toe at right angles and that Dylan wants to be wise when he grows up!

Then at 10.30am we were off to La Plaza de Toros for a fascinating tour and some chilling facts and figures.

We’re sitting and regrouping now, drinking tea, pleasing ourselves and bracing ourselves for the climb up the cathedral tower.

Sally Quirk

Churros Day 2 Seville

Seville: Day 2

Either yesterday ended very late or today started very early. At 2:15am I was woken by noise that I put down as youth returning from a night out in Seville. Alas, it was St John’s boys up, dressed and playing Uno. Their defence…the cathedral bell struck 6. No it didn’t, that was the quarter to 2 chime! In their enthusiasm to draw the curtains, one had come away in their hands.

Firm words saw them hop into bed and sleep until the wake up call at 7:20am.

After a huge and delicious breakfast with ad lib pastries we planned out shopping and  made our way across the Triana bridge to the market. Every child used their Spanish brilliantly.  The market stall holders were so accommodating

They encouraged and praised our efforts.  Every teacher was impressed with the children in their group. Seniors Hayes should feel suitably pleased with the teaching she’s led at St. John’s.

Our walk back to the hostel was broken with the long awaited trip to the Churreria. Photos show how well this measured up to expectations. And another first for St John’s  …NOBODY spilt any chocolate!


So, now I sit on our veranda supervising souvenir shopping after a truly delicious buffet lunch of all our great purchases. The souvenir shop owner loves us, it’s official! Impeccably well behaved children have been in and out over the last hour making considered choices and parting with hundreds of euros.


But now, now we’re off to a flamenco lesson and professional show! Update to follow.



Sally Quirk


Seville:Day 1

Everyone assembled in the school hall with impeccable timing by 6am, a best ever for this trip.
After handing in medication and wash bags the 25 children donned their tour hoodies – what a glorious sight and what high spirits then filled the hall! Farewells were completed quickly and we all piled on the coach to Gatwick.
On arriving Carrie realised she’d mislaid her purse. A call to Mrs Shrubb and her further call to the coach company and the money was located. Carrie is to be subbed for spending while here but now has to work hard to avoid the “Most Forgetful Award” Never fear Carrie, there are many other contenders in the running!
Our flight was smooth and easy. St. John’s children were praised over the tannoy for their splendid behaviour. Macushla and Tia were selected to assist with the in flight charity collection – all very flattering.
The temperature was 22° on our arrival. The sky a piercing, bright blue and the sun gorgeously hot which forced all hoodies to be discarded. After the short walk to the hostel we arranged our rooms and familiarised ourselves with our home for the next few days.
Then, some of us feeling pretty weary, we were off to enjoy our first real feel of this beautiful city. Your children really showed their appreciation of scenery and culture as we walked smartly to the ice cream shop for what we hoped was the first of many visits.
Finding the cathedral unusually closed today we headed to Plaza España then on to the park to cool our feet in the beautifully tiled shallow pool. “Can we walk about in the water” they asked. Why not thought the teachers. 10 minutes later 24 decidedly wet and thoroughly delighted pupils wound our way back to our hostel home. (Alexis could tell it would end that way and opted to stand and watch the mayhem)
A record number of showers took place, hair was washed and PJs worn with hoodies for a blow-out, delicious take away pizza supper on our veranda.
This really is a perfect base, we feel so lucky to have discovered it and to be treated as old friends by the management. The floodlit view of the cathedral has delighted one room of girls who believe it should be rated a 4star hotel!
With a busy day tomorrow we felt it sense to turn in and read or simply turn out our bedside lights and sleep. I’m currently sitting in the boys’ room on the unused bottom bunk. It’s been a struggle to sort those duvet covers – for all that is except well-trained Harry who has even coached his friends in the art. Don’t expect proficiency yet though, some of us remain baffled! I suppose the temptation to chat will eventually die down before I fall asleep.
Market day tomorrow and flamenco dancing. Who will be our flamenco king and queen we wonder?


Sally Quirk

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.



A Fun Week

This week, the final one before half term, has certainly been full-on.

Monday saw the second Open Morning for prospective new families.  Approximately 20 families were taken round the school by Year 6 pupils to meet all the staff and experience the atmosphere of St John’s. Once again the children were the stars, impressing everyone with their PR skills.

On Wednesday evening there was a social evening for staff and governors to discuss their roles in the school.  Governors of a school obviously have important responsibilities, but I know all the St John’s governors will agree with me when I say how privileged we feel to work with such outstanding and talented professionals, teaching at the top of their game.  For me, I just so enjoy seeing how the children are developing on all fronts; the staff are so determined and enthusiastic in all they do, with the parents embracing the teamwork that makes the school so successful.

Thursday proved how adaptable the staff can be.  With the weather forecast predicting rain in the afternoon, after a short discussion it was decided to bring forward the House Games Competition to the morning, so in sunshine and blue skies Years 3-6 took part in Rugby, Football, Table Tennis, Basketball, Hockey and Cup Stacking.  Half an hour after the final results were declared the rain came down.  Year 3 who had come dressed up to take part in a Stone Age History Day had time to change into their PE kit and then back again!  All great fun in the usual sporting atmosphere.

It is worth mentioning that today I read in the Sevenoaks Chronicle that Jean Hart had died aged 83.  She taught at St John’s from 1968-1982 and was Deputy Head during her final years.  None of us here at school now remember her but those 14 years are worth remembering and paying tribute to.