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!

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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.

Monday 18th January

A cold frosty morning feels just right for January and more invigorating than the series of dull drizzly days we’ve been having.
Today I felt the strain some of you are experiencing with home learning. I spoke to a number of people. Some I tried to reassure that their children really didn’t have to complete every piece of work, while others I directed to the maths challenges for extra work. It really is so hard to get it right for everyone!
It was so good to see so many of you collecting work packs, sensibly distanced, on Friday. So many pupils spoke positively about the activities they’re enjoying at home while managing lockdown. Families are being very creative in keeping entertainment as varied as possible while sticking to restrictions.
So as we start Week 3 I wonder if people are getting in training for the weekly PE challenges?

Wednesday 6th January

The children working in school were thrilled to see some snow today as I’m sure were our home learners. Very small snowmen appeared after break times along with cries of “We want more snow!”

Our zoom lessons are going well despite hideous technical issues early in the morning. Miss DeVille and Mrs Temp coped incredibly well, adapting on the spot and accepting that their best laid plans were obsolete!

Our zoom lessons have to be spaced through the day, in order that all families can access their children’s learning. Sharing devises between siblings means that running concurrent zooms would compromise many learners.
Thank you for the positive words and appreciation for all we are doing for our school and home based learners.

 

Monday 4th January

Thank you to everyone who, keeping distance,  came to collect their work packs this afternoon in the most miserable weather.
There was much talk of ‘Here we go again’ and ‘We can do this’ as well as ‘This wasn’t the news I wanted to hear’. One boy couldn’t bring himself to accompany his mum to collect his pack as he knew he wouldn’t be allowed in his school.
It’s definitely difficult times for everyone but I hope our improvements to remote learning make the whole business slightly easier for all of you juggling your roles at home while supporting your child’s learning.
Be kind to yourselves, do what you can and please do not worry if you miss a zoom or don’t get creative with the topic web every day. If in doubt, share a book together or model good reading by reading your own book!

What could be more cheering than the sight, today, of a first brave snowdrop?

 

 

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.

Houses

Voting for House figureheads is taking place this week in classes 2-6.The result will be announced at the end of the week.

 

 

Reception arrangements for next week

What a lovely class our new Reception children make! They have had a very successful and happy transition to school and managed the daunting necessity to enter class without support of their parents amazingly well. Well done parents and our accomplished Reception staff. We are looking forward to welcoming the children all day from Monday. Please note the following arrangements.

  • 9.00am Drop Off at meadow gate as usual. (Those with KS1 siblings may drop at 8.45am)
  • 3.00pm Collection from car park double wooden gates. Staff will bring your child (and KS1 siblings) to you.

Please enter through car park and leave swiftly by the footpath adjacent to the meadow

  • Zippy Wallets – These will come home on Thursdays with 2 reading books and your child’s sharing book. Please only bring back to school on Tuesdays
  • Water – All children should have a named water bottle in class. If your child brings their own packed lunch this will need to contain another drink.