Home Sweet Home

I am pleased to say that my new class of eager Year 2’s are settling in well and already impressing me with their manners, hard work and learning. During our first few days together we discussed how we would like our class to be and all agreed that we wanted it to be fair and for us all to feel happy, as well as be able to learn well. We wrote a class charter and all promised to try our best to stick to it. It would have been helpful for it to be a bit shorter and therefore easier to remember but the children insisted that every point was important!

We have jumped straight into our first term’s topic about homes and the materials.

Spotting materials around school helped us to think about what different materials are good at and why different materials are used for particular jobs.

Once we knew a bit more about materials, we learnt about collage and how to make street scene pictures, choosing patterned papers that would look good as different parts of buildings. It was really exciting to see how far our collage street would stretch once joined together – some had to be put on the display boards in our cloakroom too!

Soon we will be starting our project about The Great Fire of London and designing and making models of Tudor houses. Thank you to all parents who hunted through kitchen cupboards to empty out suitably sized cardboard boxes. We now have a small mountain of cardboard that the children will enjoy sorting through to select their chosen building shape – no more to be sent in now, please!

We have one more swimming lesson next week, Tuesday 1st October, after that the children will be doing PE in school. Please make sure that kits are returned to school at the beginning of each week.

I am really proud of how the children have risen to the challenge of learning their weekly spellings, returning completed homework on time and reading regularly at home. Your support is hugely appreciated and undoubtedly benefits your child’s learning.

Mrs Temp

Year 2 are egg-cited!

Last week we were incredibly excited to have a visit from Mrs Quirk. She brought with her a dozen eggs and a feathered friend! Our eggs are now nestled safe and warm in the incubator and also under Clara in her nest.

Clara has already decided that she had too many eggs to look after and has rolled one out from the nest and broken another. Hopefully the other four will stay snug and warm. Each day, we have taken it in turns to check on Clara and her eggs – feeding her, changing her water, scooping out her poo and quietly chatting to her. She seems very happy in her house by the pond.

In the classroom, we have been patiently crossing off the days – now only seven more to go until hatch day! We did a special test last week called ‘candling’ using a bright light, a blue tac nest and a cardboard box. It looked like three of our eggs had chicks growing inside them, we could hardly contain our excitement!

These two pictures show one of our eggs with no chick growing inside (the darker orange area is the yolk) and the other one has an air sack at the bottom indicating that a chick is growing in the darker area above. We are learning to to be great chicken experts!

Time to Shine

Habitats – all round us there are creatures living in all sorts of places and that is what Year 2 have been discovering this term. We began with a wonderful book called ‘The Bog Baby’ and even after reading the book, many of us are undecided whether we actually might find one if we look hard enough and in the right places! We took our very own squishy, blue bog babies around school to see whether we had any suitable habitats for them, damp and shady we decided were the best conditions for them to thrive.

The book and its beguiling characters inspired some fabulous instruction and story writing. It gave the children opportunity to show off all their writing skills that they have been developing this year – adjectives, adverbs, commas in a list and for possession, past and present tenses as well as their beautifully joined handwriting.


The arrival of Term 5 in Year 2 is much anticipated (by Year 2 teachers anyway!). It is when the children have the opportunity to show off their learning in what we have called our ‘Time to Shine’ work, more widely known as SATs. The children are naturally unaware of the importance of these statutory assessments, but none the less they rose to the challenge and impressed me immensely. They showed kindness and respect towards each other: working quietly and without disruption. Their positive attitude towards every challenge showed the level of their resilience and determination to show what they could achieve. I could not be more proud of them.

We celebrated the completion of our assessments with a ‘Gruffalo Day’. We banned working in silence and on our own, preferring to have a hands on type of learning day. Story-telling and role-play of this much-loved story culminated in a whole class presentation, with character voices and much laughter. Additionally, we made ‘deep dark woods’ dioramas and watched the BBC animation of the story too.

We have almost reached the end of this (surprisingly short) term but have squeezed so much into it. I look forward to term 6 with mixed feelings, excitement for warmer weather, sports day and our summer production, but a little sadness that our time together is coming to a close. Let’s make it a term to remember!

Year 2 are growing!

This term began with a special treat for all the children in Classes R, 1 and 2 and followed on from our learning about animals last term. The Amazing Animals Workshop brought their rescue animals for us to meet and learn about. It was fabulous to see the children totally hands-on and involved, handling each animal with care and interest. We met familiar animals as well as some new ones… a pair of skinny-pigs, a temrec, a python, bearded dragons and a chameleon who liked to sit on our head! The children’s behaviour was impressive during such an exciting, and occasionally daunting, experience.

Living and Growing was the theme of our learning this term, and gave us opportunity to turn our classroom into rather a green house of growing. Our tomatoes, radishes, lettuce and broad beans germinated well and under the expert care of Miss Reynolds have continued to flourish into seedlings. The children were vigilant each day, letting us know when they needed watering or turning towards the light. Our experiment to find out what plants need in order to thrive had surprising results, the cress seeds outside in the cold barely germinated, however the cress seeds in the dark grew tall and pale, much to the children’s amazement!

We did all sorts of measuring over the past few weeks, learning about grams, kilograms, mililitres, litres, centimetres, metres and degrees celcius. The children’s favourite activity was undoubtably making magic potions. Our final potion had to measure exactly 500m… with one last splash of ‘fizz whizz’ completing the mixture, we were delighted to discover that magic really could happen! Ask someone in Year 2 to tell you what appeared!


Sumdog competition – Get playing!

Welcome Maths Enthusiasts. I have entered the whole school into a Sumdog competition against other schools.

All you need to do is log onto Sumdog with your usual username and password then enter the school code sjs3 to help us gain as many points as possible. The competition started today and ends next Friday 14th February at 8am.

How do you earn St John’s some points? Simply play! The more you play the more we earn.


Good Luck children!


Mrs Gillhouley

Wild Things

One of class came back to school with some very exciting news, a new baby sister! It could not have been better timing as our learning this term is about all about animals – including us, We are finding out how animals grow, have young and survive. We had so many questions to ask Shea and his mummy, learning many new things. Lots of children were fascinated to know that newborn babies’ eyes are just dark and their eye colour develops. Other children were surprised to learn that young babies cannot hold up their own head or see further than the distance from them to their mummy’s face when being held in her arms. Thank you for coming to visit us!


Our learning has continued by finding out the basic things that all animals need to survive. After a lengthy discussion about whether they really did need a TV or sweets to stay alive, we thought about what responsible owners should provide for their pets. We turned ourselves into pets for the afternoon and wrote messages to our owners about what we needed.

Using our learning from last term about the oceans and continents of the world, we have been researching about animals which are not have their basic needs met and so are endangered. Astonishingly, we discovered that in Asia there is a leopard called the Amur Leopard that is so endangered that there may only be about 60 left in the wild. The children decided that they would like to work as a class to earn enough money to sponsor a leopard through the WWF. So, Year 2, keep doing those jobs at home to earn your 10p and 20p coins, please!


Year 2’s learning is on fire!

During the last few weeks, Year 2 have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Great Fire of London. Their interest was endless, with many children extending their learning by visiting the museum in London during the half term holiday and sharing their extra learning with us in class. The facts and information that the children retained amazed me, as was their enthusiasm to learn more.

A highlight of our topic was to research, design and make a Tudor house over a number of lessons. We thought about reenacting the Great Fire but, after a vote, decided that we would rather keep our models proudly on display in our book corner.

We ended our topic with an exciting, if a little rainy, morning at The Fire Fighting Museum in West Kingsdown. The children had opportunity to climb inside a real fire engine, explore the museum – jammed to the ceiling with fire fighting memorabilia, and to try on a pieces of fire fighting uniform. There was much interest and giggling at the size and weight of the jackets, boots and helmets!










Our current topic is called ‘Land Ahoy!’ and we will be learning about the oceans and continents of the world. We will also be finding out about why Grace Darling became a famous person, continuing and deepening our learning with a visit the The Historic Dockyards at Chatham to find out more about lifeboats.


Welcome to Year 2!

Thank you to everyone who came to my ‘Meet the Teacher’ session on Wednesday afternoon. It was lovely to see you all and have opportunity to talk through some our curriculum and expectations for the year.

We discussed how mental maths and reading can be supported at home, hopefully copies of hand-outs have been found in book bags or taken at the session.

Here they are again for future reference:

Download (DOCX, 21KB)

Mrs Samantha Temp

Nearly half term!

First and foremost, I’d like to say a huge well done to all of Class Two. They have worked particularly hard on their SATS this term and all of the children have performed well and  should be incredibly proud of themselves!

I’d also like to thank you, the parents and carers, for helping with homework and for your on-going support and cooperation as always.

Thankfully, as well as SATS, we have enjoyed growing some more plants and learning about our local area. At the start of the term we planted out spinach seeds and have spent the last few weeks watching them grow in different conditions. Class Two have since established the perfect growing conditions for plants and many have told me they cant wait to do some gardening at home. Also we managed to plant some cress which everyone is keen to taste when it has grown a little more.

Indoor CressOutdoor cress

We also had one more very important visitor come in and see us on Wednesday and she bought her little baby in. Everyone in Class Two were so excited to see Miss Prendergast and baby Isla.

I know everyone is Class Two is eager to find out all about the end of year production when we return after half term!