Thursday 30th April

Today is the 100th birthday of this remarkable man. I’ve just watched the recording of Captain (or Colonel) Tom watching the RAF fly past in his honour. Do try to watch if you can and I would be surprised if you’re not moved to tears by the effort and humility of the man and the praise and love of a nation.

When being congratulated on his phenomenal achievement of raising 31 million pounds for the NHS this fine gentleman said the following:

“Reaching 100 is quite something. Reaching it with such interest in me and huge generosity from the public is overwhelming.
People keep saying what I’ve done is remarkable however it’s actually what you have done for me that’s remarkable.
Please always remember, tomorrow will be a good day.”

Happy hundredth birthday and thank you  CaptainTom Moore for being a true inspiration to us all.

Monday 27th April

It was so lovely seeing so many of you, at strict social distance, this morning when you came to stock up on exercise books.
We were humbled by conversations about life under lockdown. People spoke of very early morning walks at sunrise before starting office and schoolwork, the lure of the allotment or Knole park after completing tasks, grandparents assisting with homework on skype, dog walks, cycling, reading, art in the garden, baking, Lego building, reading and family games and meals together. Life most definitely is tough and we appreciate the strains of work load, the worries people have over relatives in isolation.

The staff thought the children might enjoy watching the video below. They sent a 15 second clip at the weekend to our very own tech wizard Mrs Hollands who produced this overnight. Thank you Danielle. Some of our older children might be able to recognise all the contributors…maybe!

Friday 24th April

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blogs and that you’ve been looking at our lovely new class galleries. Wow, what great work St John’s!

So it’s been another glorious spring day and it looks as though it’s going to last through the weekend too. I’m picturing paddling pools and sprinklers in some gardens.

I’m sharing something an ex-parent posted online that I found interesting. See how many of the points feel right for you. Happiness is something people sometimes chase after when it’s right there and we perhaps just need to relax, smile and embrace some of these ordinary things.

I hope you have a good weekend and look forward to seeing some of you, a distance, if you come to collect a new exercise book on Monday between 9.30 and 11am


Thursday 23rd April

It’s a special Shakespeare day.  Born in April 1564, he died this day in 1616. I’ve been looking for an uplifting quote from the Bard. I was finding it impossible, I then found this, not uplifting but thought provoking,

“Men of few words are the best men.”

It’s from Henry V and the character in the play continues to talk for quite some time after promising to be brief. There’s definitely a lesson there!

It’s also a special day for England, St George’s Day. St George is the patron saint of England. He is reputed to have slain a dragon and rescued a princess as shown in this beautiful painting by Uccello.

So that’s all for today.
Less is more!

Wednesday 22nd April

Earth Day

Thank you to Mrs Casewell and her team for directing you to so many great ideas to celebrate this special day. I look forward to seeing your responses and creations to mark the anniversary.
Last autumn Piers and I had a wonderful trip to Boston, USA. We visited old friends and had a really great holiday. Encouraged by Piers’ old school friend we visited the home of Franklin D Roosevelt, Springwood. I have to admit  I thought this sounded quite demanding! However the day proved inspiring. FDR, as he was known, was a truly great man. I learnt so much and was humbled and motivated to know more about such a great man and leader.
So, for Earth Day I’d like to share a quote from FDR

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”

How true! Having spoken to St John’s staff today and shared our feelings about this last few weeks,  a common theme emerged; our delight in our environment, the weather and the shared open spaces we can enjoy.
Let’s do all we can, in our small way, to value and protect our world this Earth Day and all the days to come.


Tuesday 21st April

Today is the Queen’s 94th birthday. She declined the usual fly past performed by the RAF, given the current situation.
Our ducklings have had their first waddle past this morning, taking their first look at the big wide world. I can count 14 ducklings which is a pretty large brood.

I hope that by today all you children have received your letter from me.  I must give credit to Mrs Temp, Mrs Gibson-Quirk and Mrs Parfett for the Creative, Well-Being and PE choice boards that I included. I hope they’re proving enjoyable.


Friday 17th April

It seems, when editing a blog yesterday I managed to delete the whole thing. Not quite the  tech guru I thought I was after all!

I’ve been hearing from teachers and some families that the back to school routine hasn’t been too hard. I’m pleased that people seem to have established their own ways of managing such difficult times.

The work children are showing is fantastic. What a lot of industrious and creative children and parents there are at St. John’s!
So here we are at Friday afternoon again. Put away those study overviews and get on with weekend activities.

I hope all you children are lending a hand with jobs at home and most importantly amusing yourselves sometimes to let your parents get on with their working from home.

Wednesday 1st April

The strangest last day of term we’ve ever experienced but today does mark the end of term 4. The teachers all refer, in their blogs, to the fact that the children and you can pack away the home study packs and begin the Easter break. I’m well aware that for many of you this will not be a break from work and worries but I hope you will be able to have some relaxation too.
Today I received the last of your feedback on home study. Thank you to the many of you who took time to give us your valuable perceptions. The overriding message of this final batch is that the children are missing seeing and hearing their teachers. The feeling is genuinely mutual. We have plans to address this and as we start term 5 all class teachers will be seen and heard by their children – something to look forward to!

I will blog during the break from time to time rather than daily.
Please may I remind you that as we finished at school Fr Robin and Jane Smith offered their support over the phone. If any of you feel that they or I can help you in any way please feel you can contact me on by email. I read them twice a day, every day.

Stay at home St John’s community and stay safe.

[email protected]

Happy Easter to you all from me and Alf and Woody Quirk



Friday 27th March

  • I’ve just spent a happy time reading all the class blogs. Thank you to the teachers for their reflections, instructions and kind words. We had a Zoom meeting this afternoon and we all agreed we’re missing seeing all you children terribly! It’s lovely to see snippets of what you’re doing with your families and to hear how the home learning is going. I hope I’ve managed to upload a video I took of the sheep with the most jumpy of lambs. What a cheering sight in the gorgeous evening sunshine.
    I hope everyone has a good weekend. No school work, just plenty of time to enjoy the sunshine and our gardens and some family time.
    Happy Sheep

Thursday 26th March

Dear All,

I had to check the date then, the days aren’t exactly zipping by, it’s still Thursday!

I hope you are all well and are continuing to manage everything that isolation and this situation demands of you. This glorious weather is certainly helping us feel more cheerful. I picture St John’s families all sticking to the rules set out by Boris Johnson and taking their exercise as householders in the sunshine keeping distance from other people. Our pupils will be in no doubt when estimating a distance of 2 metres in the future.

In my parent mail I mentioned the fact that the teachers and I are keen to get feedback from as many as possible regarding the home study work. As we come to the end of the first week there are bound to be things we could do to improve as well as hearing what has worked well for you and your children, We are conscious of the fact that accessing internet has been difficult particularly at certain points in the day. Please give your views to your class reps who will pass that to me. Thank you

Class blogs will appear on the website by 4.30pm tomorrow as planned. In addition please check other blogs and if you feel motivated make a comment, I know staff would love to hear from you too.

  • Spanish – every Wednesday Senora Hayes will add some simple Spanish tasks for you to try at home
  • Maths – NEW weekly challenges for the whole school. Challenges open on Fridays and close the following Wednesday. These challenges are optional
  • Music – lovely choir and school songs with melody and lyrics for you to sing along to at any time
  • Science and Online Safety – Mrs Casewell and Ms Barrow update this blog regularly
  • Parent support – Monday morning words from Jane Smith to start our week

Times are hard but the commitment from all staff is exceptional. Communication between teachers and between teaching assistants is regular and reassuring. The office, too, is working remotely and superbly efficiently managing many of the usual as well as the extraordinary jobs. My thanks to them all.

Finally I’ve used those sunny early evenings to do as I said, my potatoes, broad beans and peas are all planted. This weekend I’m moving on to more root vegetables; try and guess what they’ll be, children.