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.
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.
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!