Term 2 – From the past to the present.

With Christmas on the horizon, we continue to enjoy lots of different learning experiences throughout the curriculum. Here are a few of our highlights in year 5. We continue to learn about the Tudors during our history lessons and this week we investigated the reign of Edward VI. After much discussion about this boy-king, we wrote a diary account as Edward expressing how we felt about his illness and his inability to reign as a true king. Please see one the diary accounts below.

The Viewer by Shaun Tan and Gary Crew has been the focus of our English lessons. This is a dark tale of a young boy who discovers ‘a viewer’ which transports him to a world of fascination and dread. As the ending of this book is fairly open-ended, we have written some of our own endings which have been very inventive. Look at the vocabulary we have gained from this book.

In science, we have completed our topic on forces. We thoroughly enjoyed Drastic Plastic day when we wrote persuasive letters to Tesco in Riverhead asking them to reduce their use of plastics. We are still hoping for a reply.  Now, we are learning about the properties and changes of materials. This week we undertook a very important experiment – to discover which type of material kept a cup of tea warmer for longer. Please ask your child to tell you what they discovered during their investigation.

We then took the results that we had recorded during the experiment and used these to draw line graphs and write our conclusions. This was a cross-curricular skill as we have been learning about line graphs in statistics in our maths lessons.


Building on our forces knowledge, Mr Grobel will be undertaking a DT glider project with the children on Fridays until Christmas. I hope to be able to show you the results in our next blog.

Congratulations Table Tennis Squad!

On Wednesday 14th November, the St. John’s tables tennis squad competed in the Kent School Games. We entered two teams and each team played with the usual St. John’s balance of gritty determination and keen sportsmanship. Despite valiant efforts in the group round, the B team played magnificently coming away with a draw and a loss. The A team managed to win all their games in the group stage and went on to the final against Amherst. In the end, Amherst were too strong for St. John’s claiming an 8:0 victory giving us silver medal position. The competition gave the squad an opportunity to play at a higher level and compete against other schools from across Kent. They tell me they have learnt a lot from the experience which is so good to hear. We were complimented several times on our positivity and attitude to sport. Thank you to Georgia who supported us and helped with scoring.

Well done to all. I hope you are inspired to play more table tennis and even consider playing for a club outside school. If you would like to know more details about how to do this, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Jane Gillhouley

Welcome to Year 5.

Thank you very much to everyone who attended the ‘Meet the Teacher’ on Wednesday afternoon, it was lovely to meet you all and place a child to a parent! At the bottom of this blog is a link for you to click on to get a copy of the information I gave out (hopefully you will already have received a copy in your child’s book bag).

Our history topic this term is the Tudors and we  are combining this with our literacy too. So far we have learnt all about the battle of Bosworth and the reign of Henry VII. Look at our amazing newspaper reports of the battle.


On Monday we will be visiting Knole House to dress up in period costume and discover more facts about this period in our history through artefacts and paintings.

In maths we have begun our place value learning journey and have even learnt Roman numerals. Perhaps you could ask your child to show you the date written in Roman numerals!

Forces is our science topic which we have commenced by looking at air resistance and in RE we are asking the question ‘What does it mean if God is holy and loving?’

Please try to ensure that your child reads for 15-20 minutes each day and if possible that you also read to them, even reading and discussing an article in the newspaper is a very valuable exercise in vocabulary, grammar and comprehension.

The link:

Download (DOCX, 17KB)

More cricket!

Congratulations to the children who represented St. John’s at the cricket tournament on Friday 8th June at Sevenoaks School.

After our promotion last season, we faced some stiff opposition in the form of Amherst, who were the eventual runners up, and Sevenoaks Primary School.

We played well and made significant improvements throughout the matches. Despite not coming away with a win, the children played with determination, a positive attitude and commitment. It was great to hear their encouraging comments to each other and their enthusiasm for the game.

Thanks go again to Mr Edward Oatley who supported, coached and encouraged the children throughout. Thank you too to the parents, relatives and friends who came to support the team. It was wonderful to see such support for our pupils. We hope to play again in this tournament when the current pupils will be Year 6 and a year older with more experience, ready to play their best and do battle on the pitch!

I hope that this little taster will inspire all of the children who have had limited exposure to cricket, to pick up a bat and ball and play more of this wonderful game!


Well done to you all.

Anyone for a spot of cricket?

St. John’s were certainly up for a little bit of cricket today! With the sun shining down on us and with not a cloud in the sky – yes very hot actually- we gathered at Otford to play in the annual Sevenoaks cricket festival.

Twelve keen cricketers supported each other throughout the whole competition, encouraging team mates and playing to the best of their ability. The competition was tough and we certainly had some challenging matches. Despite not coming away with a win, we were victorious in our spirit, enthusiasm and approach to the game. I am so truly proud of our fabulous Year 5s. I can honestly say that I have never seen such a lovely group of resilient pupils who persevered and remained positive to the very end. Well done to all.

Thank you too to Mr Oatley who supported us, giving the children coaching tips and encouragement throughout. Also to Mrs Loftin who brought along the choc ices – so very needed – and to all our amazing parents, brothers and sisters (and new puppy) who came to support us all.

We really are a great school with such a wonderful community. Thank you again.

More cricket this Friday!



Day 2 at PGL

Another fantastic day in the sunshine at PGL!  Today the children have really bonded in their groups, supporting one another to reach heady heights on the zip wire and abseiling, and working together to make some rather impressive rafts.

The children loved the aero-ball, working in pairs in competitive and non-competitive games.

We saw such bravery on the abseiling, with children really pushing themselves and being so glad and proud that they did!

We rounded the day off with a cosy campfire, eating marshmallows and singing songs.

See you all tomorrow!

The Year 5 Team


PGL – here we come!

What a fantastic first day at PGL. The sun shone and the children have had a go at raft building, archery, zip wire, giant swing and aeroball. It has been lovely to see them working together and encouraging each other to try the different activities.


Raft building was wet and wild!




Hair-raising ride on the giant swing!


Bulls-eyes all round!


Reaching for the stars on the zip wire!


A super day was had by all especially our birthday boy!

The Year 5 Team.


Sky Songs and Dream Snatchers

On Thursday, we were lucky enough to attend the Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival, and to listen to the brilliant Abi Elphinstone, author of Sky Song and the Dreamsnatcher trilogy.  She told us about the places and objects that have inspired her to write, and most importantly, her mottos for life – ‘never be afraid to fail’ and ‘live life full of adventure.’  What a fantastic message to give the children!  To that end, we’re really looking forward to our PGL trip next week, and experiencing new and exciting activities together.


We’re nearing the end of our Decimal Journey, and we are so proud of how fluent the children have become in converting between fractions, decimals and percentages.  How far we’ve come!

In English we’ve started our new class text, Holes by Louis Sachar.  So far we’ve learnt about the characters of the story, but we don’t yet know how the main character, Stanley Yelnats, found himself sent to Camp Green Lake.  His punishment is to dig a hole 5ft wide by 5ft deep every day, in the baking heat.


The Year 5 Team

Year 5 – the latest news…

What a lovely start to term 5. The sun is shining (at last), and on Wednesday the whole school was very fortunate to walk up to the Vine to celebrate the return of our local double Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold.  After her historic win in Pyeonchang, the skeleton racer brought the gold home to Sevenoaks on an open-top bus tour and we were there to meet her and wave our flags! Make sure you look at our photos in the Sevenoaks Chronicle.



This term we have began working on fairy tales in advance of today’s meeting with KS2 to discuss the Summer Production. Both Year 5 classes will be writing a fairy tale as their part in the Production and everyone will have input into the design of the fairy tale and the subsequent script. A very exciting time for us all.

Our fractions maths journey has finished and we have begun working with decimals and looking at their relation to fractions. As you are aware, each class chooses a vehicle for each different maths journey and this time 5J have chosen skeleton bob in honour of Lizzie Yarnold and 5S a mobility scooter! The reasoning for the scooter being that we all need a little help to get to the end of our journey.

Our geography topic is the UK and we will be looking at the counties and more of the UK in detail. Science has us exploring forces and we are very much looking forward to investigating forces such as gravity and air resistance. In R.E. we take a look at Judaism and with art we are exploring British landscapes.

We look forward to seeing the children’s presentations for the reading circle over the coming weeks and perhaps we will see many of you at the 11+ meeting on Tuesday 1st May.

The Year 5 team.

There’s K-no-le Hike like a St. John’s hike!

This term we have contended with extreme weather conditions, fractions, The Highway Man poem, visits to St. John’s Church and a 7 km hike to Knole Park in aid of Sports Relief.

Here are some of our experiences in pictures.

Snow Globes and snowflakes:


Our visit to St. John’s Church to find out more about Holy Communion with Father Matthew:

Our epic hike!

We would like to thank all the children for their hard work this term and all the parents for their continued support. It was lovely to see you at parent consultations.


Next term we will be thinking about writing our part in the summer production, reading a new book (shh, it’s still a secret) and embarking on our PGL residential. Yeah!


Mhairi Mackelworth and Jane Gillhouley