Edward Oatley’s Post

 

As you are approaching a weeks 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.

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.

Football Match 11th February 2020

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:

LaurenLeonardoKaitlinMiaGeorgia
Max BSadieAdamLouisAnna
Max PEmilyAndrewBayleySarah
GraysonPennyBenJoaquimJames
TallulahTia

 

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.

Primary School Rugby Festival

A great afternoon of rugby, well organised by Sevenoaks Rugby Club and played in an impressive sporting atmosphere by all the schools.

Oscar, Andrew, Katy, Oliver, Adam, Ben, Isabella and Chiamaka represented St John’s and all their four matches were end-to-end games which were really hard fought with the results being so close.  In any one match the ability to remove the tags from the opposition in tight situations can be the decider. This was probably the reason for us losing three very close matches to Seal (1-2), Shoreham (4-6) and Otford (7-8) with our one success being against Anthony Roper which we won 4-3.  As usual the St Johns’ spirit was always there, the children were willing to learn and there were smiles all round.

I would like, on behalf of all the Governors and I am sure the parents, to congratulate the school on the School Games Mark Platinum Award.  This is a top award for a school’s commitment to develop its pupils to be the best they can be in competitive and non-competitive sport and this is surely the DNA of St John’s.  St John’s is all about the development of each individual child, making sure they are happy in their own skin and therefore self-confident and this is the mind set of the whole school.  The Governors are so proud and privileged to be involved in such a successful school, well done to you all.

 

Primary School Rugby Training

A few of St John’s Key Stage 2 pupils took part in a rugby training session organised by Sevenoaks Rugby Club yesterday afternoon on their ground. 50 pupils from a variety of local primary schools were there. They were split into 4 groups and then had 4 20 min training sessions with each of the 4 trained team coaches on different aspects of the game. This will go on for the next 3 weeks leading up to the Primary School Rugby Festival towards the end of the Rugby World Cup, which starts tomorrow.

The pupils had certainly been put through their paces and were all the fitter for it . Sevenoaks Rugby Club took the lead many years ago in going into the schools and St John’s takes full advantage of all they do. However it is not only the Rugby Club that helps at St John’s and we take full advantage of all the training that the Athletics, Hockey, Football, Boxing and Tennis clubs do at the school. Danielle Parfett leads a strong group of St John’s sports teachers and they work closely with the clubs to make sure not only that all the children have a lasting love of the sport, but those that do want to push themselves make the necessary progress at school and with the clubs.

We all know that taking part in sport is vital for our health, our general well being and gives us so much more self confidence and we can all feel proud of the way the schools and clubs work together in this area to make this so successful .