I’ve been very remiss with my blogging but I doubt that’s caused any upset!
Today there are 96 pupils in school and the cheerful noise level has gone up a notch. Children are strictly in pods of fewer than 15 and are accessing outdoor spaces regularly but without pupils from other pods. Just our two Year 6 groups are able to be on the field at the same time with a central divide.
I must thank the many of you who sent words of encouragement and appreciation of what we have been trying to achieve for the children of St. John’s, the emails and posts were lovely, thank you so much. We’re not giving up hope so continue to read your parent mails and we will try to offer some schooling for all before the end of term for those who would welcome it.
So many of us are enjoying our daily exercise in the form of a walk. I hear from so many St John’s children that they are walking or cycling in Knole Park. How fortunate to have this glorious outdoor space almost on our doorstep.
I hope I’m not transgressing copyright by advertising another local walk that I’m sure you would enjoy if you haven’t tried it already. Perhaps you’ll feel motivated to buy the 30 Walks in Kent pack as a result!
Year 5s might enjoy a glimpse of Ightham Mote now that they are so knowledgeable about the Tudor period.
If only the Chaser were open, I’ve known it make the perfect watering hole after the 5.7km walk. Of course there’s much more flexibility with a decent picnic taken at a half way mark.
The weather is due to become warmer and drier at the weekend after the much needed rain last weekend. Happy walking and cycling, wherever it takes you!
I’ve done it again, I’ve missed a blog!
I think it may be time to reduce my blogging in line with the teachers, perhaps I’ll start and finish each week.
I’ve just read the blogs the class teachers have put up and looked through the class galleries. The work some of you are producing is really wonderful. I’m pleased to hear from some parents that many of you are settled into a good routine now and managing to work so efficiently that you can have plenty of free time to play or read, watch television or amuse yourselves.
So after all that hot and sunny weather we’ve hit a chillier spell. Certainly at school today it was colder especially as we’re being conscientious about keeping windows and doors open.
I’m excited this weekend to see my grown up children at distance in our garden and my 4 month old grandson, Raffie. I hope St John’s families are going to be able to enjoy some socialising under new lockdown easements and that you children enjoy a break from studying. Fingers crossed for the rain we need and some good puddle jumping opportunities!
Day 2 of Term 6 and the weather is changing. All our doors and windows remained open all day and much learning took place outside. We feel a very small school and while our pods work in isolation it must feel even smaller to those children.
Isn’t it strange though, how quickly we accept a new ‘normal’. Each pod has created their own identity with the youngest Dragon Pod happily working at their designated ‘nests’ or desks and guarding their imaginary eggs as they move about. The Lions and Tigers have decorated their places with images and colour as have the older Wolves and Eagles. For the next few weeks this is our normal and everyone is getting on with it!
Acceptance and heartfelt appreciation came naturally on our walk tonight, how could one not marvel at such beauty at every turn and feel grateful to be able to enjoy England in the spring.
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.
I hope you have had a good half term and found some time to enjoy at least some relaxation and fun in the sunshine.
It’s been a lovely week and a busy one getting things ready for our phased return. There’s been plenty of debate nationally and locally about the schools opening and lockdown being eased. We certainly have to take things carefully and sensibly at school and at home.
I hope you have managed to watch the rerun to school video showing changes to the environment and changes to our behaviour in school (and shared again below). I’ve been told I look tired by some, as though I’ve just got out of bed by others and adopting a natural look by others (that means no make up and shaggy hair, I think!)
Most importantly though I hope the video gave comfort and confidence to those returning to school. We’re looking forward to seeing 53 of you tomorrow.
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!
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.
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!
Through this time we are all managing days where we feel ok and days when we don’t. This picture from the wonderful book by Charlie Mackesy has a message worth grasping.
As I wrestle with planning for the possible partial opening of St John’s, maybe at the start of June, I most definitely need to be brave and seek help. The amazing thing about St John’s though is that I find I rarely need to ask because people are there and offering their support so willingly and thoughtfully.
I hope you all have people who are able to support you but if you find yourself feeling alone with worries, please ask. We’re a big team and there are so many people offering their help in so many ways, just get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org