Key Stage 1 Inter House Sports Afternoon

Danielle Parfett, with the help of all Key Stage 1 staff organised an Inter House Competition this afternoon.  Six sports were the order of the day: football, catching, running over floor ladders, speed bounce, hurdles and skipping.  The stars of the afternoon were Yr 6 who all took part in running the event, with the teachers enjoying watching. Again this is St. John’s at its best as it is such a great way to teach, at ground level, leadership, organisation skills and  sportsmanship.  Also, how to cope with discipline and working under pressure etc.

All the races went smoothly and were on time with the competitors having fun but with a sporting will to win.  I hope the members of Year 6 were pleased with the way in which they ran the show.  It was a very successful and enjoyable afternoon.

The winners were: Football, Red.  Catching, Blue.  Ladders, Red.  Speed Bounce, Blue.  Hurdles, Green.  Skipping, Yellow.

Sport this Week

A great few days of sport this week.  On Thursday Leonardo, Edward, Emily, Sebastian, Madeleine, Grayson, Theodore and Erin (the Key Stage 1 team) represented St John’s in a Rapid Cricket tournament at Knole Academy.  This entailed each member of the team hitting three balls from cones placed the length and breadth of the hall and then running between wickets whilst the opposition retrieved the balls and cones to replace them on their original spots.  The team beat Otford and Sevenoaks CP to reach the final and then triumphed over St Lawrence and Anthony Roper to win the competition.  Tactics won the day handsomely for St John’s.

On Saturday Knole again hosted a Key Stage 2 football and netball competition.  Dante, Madison, Ethan, Ben, Sebastian and Griff represented the school in the football.  With only 10 minutes for each match concentration and an ability to take that one chance are vital.  Although they played well at times, losing to Shoreham 1-0, Chevening 2-0 and then drawing with Sevenoaks CP meant we did not make the finals.

However the netball was a different matter and in the six matches in our group we were unbeaten thanks to a great squad of players: Rebecca, Caitlyn, Isabelle, Laura, Amy, Ben, Przemyslaw,  and Archie who just gave their all and showed such promising talent and potential. They beat St Thomas’ 2-1, St Katherine’s 4-0, St Lawrence 2-0, Halstead 1-0, drawing 1-1 with Lady Boswells and 0-0 with Amherst.  This meant we were in the Plate Final having come second to Amherst in our group, so we played Anthony Roper.  We certainly had the better of the match but, as we know, it is about scoring goals and unfortunately although both teams missed many chances Anthony Roper came out on top scoring just once.  This meant we came fourth overall.

A great week and how proud we all were seeing St John’s leading the way in all aspects of school sport.

I am sure you have all seen the letters sent to the school complimenting the behaviour of the children at Gatwick Airport during their six hour wait before eventually catching their flight to Seville.  Those two members of the public were just so impressed with the way in which the St John’s team, children and adults alike, handled the situation and took it all in their stride that they felt they had to write to express this to the school.

This sums up why St John’s is such an outstanding school where the ethos is about developing the whole child, giving each one self-confidence and a code of conduct where manners, trust, honesty and hard work are in the DNA of everyone connected to the school.

For me it is a real honour and a pleasure to be part of St John’s.

Table Tennis Challenge. Tuesday 29th January

Jane Gillhouley is making huge progress with her Table Tennis club and today we took Finlay,Ethan,Georgia,Mackenzie and Alexander over to the Howard School in Rainham to play in their Table Tennis Hall.

The beauty of this morning from a St. John’s point of view is that our players had plenty of game time in ideal surroundings against better players. I was really proud of the way they approached each game, and showed real determination to get the best possible result they could – never did any heads drop.Some games even went to 3 sets showing that determination, with a few wins.Georgia actually came away with the Under 11 Bronze Medal!


Traffic and air pollution around the school

At a recent PTA meeting the problem of traffic and air pollution around the school was discussed.

Sally arranged for Merilyn Canet, a Sevenoaks District and Town Councillor, to come to school to discuss ways of making our point to the powers that be.  Merilyn has been a councillor for many years, greatly supporting all we are doing and her help in putting forward our concerns is much appreciated.   Three families, the Winkworths, Oxlaids and Annables have kindly taken on board the arranging of meetings in which to put forward a campaign to introduce various schemes to help improve the roads around the school. Such as 20mph limits and pedestrian crossings and with Merilyn’s encouragement the school is now ready to “make a difference”.  So watch this space…

Sevenoaks Schools Football League

A really impressive start to the season because it was so obvious from

the start that the team had taken on board all that they had been taught

by the coaches – real footballing talent with an understanding of what

the game is all about. They kept to their places, their movement was spot

on for the through passes and they have so much potential in their

dribbling and general control of the ball.  They won 1-0 against a

strong St. Katherines side but were always in control of the match.

Against a young Brasted & Sundridge side they played some really

delightful football to win 8-0. All looks good for the following

players- Harry, Dante, Madison, Ethan, Ben, Sebastian, Griff and Finley.

This is another example of real team work with the school, parents and local clubs all working as one. What strikes one immediately is the dedication and keenness to do well from the children, with all the encouragement in the world from the parents as well as from the children who encourage each other before and after each race.

Clare Ridler has been responsible for making sure there is a well-established cross-country club in the school, which she is running with the help of Sevenoaks Athletics Club coaches. The standard has gone from strength to strength.  The school can now hold its own in any competition.

Today we had girls’ and boys’ teams from Years 3/4 and 5/6 competing.  The outstanding performances came from Mackenzie who won the boys’ Years 5/6 race by a country mile and even with no real opposition ran as if his life depended on it, and Lucy who came fifth in the girls’ Year 5/6 race.  To cap it all the girls’ 5/6 team came second and the boys’ 5/6 team third in the team event.

Another very successful day for St John’s.


Years 3/4 Boys: Max, Temwa, Jacob, Harry, Joseph, Andrew, Benjamin.

Years 3/4 Girls:  Lauren, Georgia, Isabella, Eloise, Erin, Emily.

Years 5/6 Boys: Dante, Harry, Bailey, Milo, Mackenzie, Sam, Griff, Watipa.

Years 5/6 Girls:  Tia, Amelia, Lois, Lucy, Amber, Isabelle.

Open Morning for New Parents Mon 15th Oct

So far this term we have had 2 open mornings with not far short of 60 families joining us.
This is when I enjoy so much being here, because you see first hand the success that St John’s has had in developing self confidence in children, enabling them to communicate freely, and feel happy to talk about themselves and their school with others.

So this morning around 50 parents and some grandparents joined us with some of their young ones (who are given plenty of activities to amuse them) and after a coffee/tea Sally then talked to them about the school followed by Sophie Allen, the Reception teacher.
Then at about 10 o’clock half of Year 6 take over, and I mean take, by taking small groups of parents around the school. The Parents soon realise how enthusiastic these children are about St John’s, and see all the wonderful experiences the children have in and out of the classroom – the team spirit; the friends they make; the down to earth staff who they so respect and trust and are such fun. By 11.15 with assembly over, break nearly finished and the kitchen getting ready for lunch some of the parents were still with us talking with the children.
I am sure the new parents will remember all that Sally and Sophie said but for myself – having totally failed to get a word in all morning (except when I had some parents to myself on the school fields) I was just in awe of the way the children and the parents were in deep conversation with each other, and yes they will come, thanks to the children and that, for me, is why it’s the perfect day.

Daily Events

A very enjoyable few days with St John’s.  The Harvest Festival service at the Church was a wonderful occasion with, as usual the whole school taking part and a packed church.  Years 1 and 2 with their “A Song for Harvest” and Year 6 with their “Streets of London” sang beautifully and so clearly.  The service was in aid of the school charity Toybox (changing the world for street children) and Year 5 explained to us in great detail all the charity does.  There were some stirring hymns, another excellent sermon, prayers from Year 3 and the choir inspired us all with “Harvest for the World”.

Janet and I were lucky enough to attend the Duncan Edwards 60th anniversary of his death in the Munich air crash in Dudley on Thursday evening and the family, team and town spirit that came through so strongly when talking about Duncan’s too short life made us both feel so grateful that in a changing world this same atmosphere still prevails at St John’s.

This was also evident when I arrived back on Friday and took part in the House sports afternoon that Danielle Hollands had organised for Years 3-6.  Every child represented their House and the sportsmanship and team spirit that is so much a part of the school made the whole afternoon so enjoyable.

To finish off a great day the parents’ quiz took place in the evening.  This was all organised by the parents, including the setting of the questions and the hall was packed.  14 teams took part, one of them won and one took the wooden spoon, but the success of the evening was the great fun had by all and the sense of togetherness of all being part of St John’s school.

Forest School

I went yesterday with Class 1 to their first day of Forest School at Sevenoaks Prep. The Prep are kindly giving us one of their trained Forest School teachers, Lucy McGilchrist, every Monday afternoon to give all of Classes 1,2 and 3 a really meaningful Forest School experience in rotation by the end of the academic year. If the first lesson is anything to go by then it will be a year to remember. A cross section of Class 1 arrive by school bus, get out and are met by Lucy, someone they have never seen before. She introduces herself, gives them a game to play immediately and then takes them over to the Forest School. From the moment they got out of the bus they were concentrating the entire time, asking interesting questions and taking on all the tasks with real energy and thought.  It was just all so impressive, and to think they are only 5 and yet to get that behaviour at that age just again proves the great teaching strength that St. John’s has, to make sure the children know how to get the best out of themselves and all around them.