Lauren St John visits St John’s

As you may recall, during our Drastic Plastic Week earlier in the year, a small team of children (supported by adult helpers) created the spectacularly colourful bird that later went on to win the competition. We welcomed Lauren St John to the our school on Monday and gratefully received our prize of 50 new books for our class libraries.

We were delighted that Lauren St John, author of The White Giraffe, Dolphin Song, Operation Rhino and The Last Leopard spoke in assembly about her life growing up in Zimbabwe, how her interest in conservation developed, her career as a journalist and now an author who is involved in the Born Free Foundation and Authors for Oceans. Her talk was inspiring and something we, at St John’s, will will building upon, particularly with respect to plastic waste. She very kindly led a writing workshop too.

She was astounded by the children’s enthusiasm and commitment to making a difference to the planet and reiterated that St John’s was a deserving winner. Let’s continue to work hard to reduce waste and help to make a difference in protecting our wonderful creatures on our beautiful planet.


Science Club news

This week, Science club members were surprised to see Mrs Mackleworth in the lab to lead their science session. The children explored spaghetti and marshmallow structures, trying to create the sturdiest and tallest towers. They discovered that triangular shapes were sturdier and the found out that a winder base allowed you to create a taller tower. The children developed not only their science skills, but ability to work in a team.

It was super fun! Thank you Mrs Mackleworth.



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!


Great news! We would like to congratulate our four winners who attended the Primary Engineer Awards Ceremony on Monday to receive their trophies and certificates. Additionally, we congratulate the runner up winners who were awarded “high commended” by the judges and were invited to attend the exhibition where they were able to see all their entries displayed.  Here are a few photos of the ceremony and the winning entries.

Well done St John’s. We are fantastic inventors, scientists and engineers!!



St John’s has its own nursery!!

Super news!! Over the Easter holiday, we welcomed two new babies! The Mickey Mouse Blues have increased their number by two as two new baby fish have been born. Both are growing rapidly and seem happy and healthy swimming around in their new home.

Congratulations Fishkeeper Fry Club! We must have done a good job creating the perfect environment for the fish to be breeding. Here is a photo of one of the tiny babies!

This term we welcome the year 1 children whose responsibility it is to feed the fish at the end of every day! They have loved this responsibility!


Thanks to this project, we now know how to set up a fishtank and maintain it (including Mrs Casewell). We have learned a lot about different types of fish and where they come from in the wild. We all have our favourites but personally mine is our new tiny Bristlenose Catfish who sticks to the glass eating all the algae. He is very cute!

Fishkeeper Club has been great fun and a fantastic way to learn too. The children who attended have been awarded their fish keeping certificates and they have been given discount vouchers to spend on equipment for their tanks at home and/or to purchase a new tank for their home.


I hope the children will continue to enjoy keeping fish and look forward to hearing all about their fish at home.

Fishkeeper Fry Project Week 6

This week, we collected two new fish: catfish. These fish live on the bottom of the tank  and help to keep the tank clean.

We tested the water, cleaned the filter and did a water change. We learned about the algae and how fish eat and digest their food.

Next week, we collect our very last fish.


Fishkeeper Fry Project Week 5

Today, we had a lot of work to do in Fishkeeper Club as we needed to get the fishtank ready for the half term holiday. This meant a full water change, temperature and chemical check.  We were taught why the water needed changing. We learned that amounts of nitrate build up over time and the water gets a bit smelly therefore needing changing. A bit like humans in a stuffy room needing fresh air, fish need fresh water.  This new water was specially treated through reverse osmosis which means it is especially kind to the fish.

We set about practising how to use the gravel “hoover” syphon so that we could syphon out the water without sucking up or injuring the fish. Josef was amazing at this as he keeps fish at home. As for the rest of us (myself included), we took a bit more time to master the skill.

After testing the water, we added a feeding block so that the fish have enough food over the holidays and plugged the lights into a timer. AND….. we welcomed the arrival of new fish – six Copper Harlequin Rasboras from the Singapore area.


Fishkeeper of Week 5 was Emily 

Our little collection of colourful fish is growing. Can you remember what each type is called and where they originate from? We have 3 different types and 16 in total.

Remember : Fishkeeper Club has moved to Thursday lunchtimes at 1pm.  Which fish will be added to our collection next?





Fishkeeper Fry Project Week 4

Another exciting week, as we collected four new fish to add to our tank. We were also given many other jobs to do in the session. Before we could release the fish, we needed to test the water. So far, we have successfully kept all the levels within acceptable limits. However, we did notice that we had a different reading for ammonia and nitrites. Why was that? The children remembered that the fish can’t leave to go to the toilet and that was why there were higher levels than in the weeks when the tank was empty.

The filter needed to be cleaned too as this is where the bacteria like to live.Tomas and Max set about cleaning this using some water from the tank (fish don’t like tap water). After this, Kieran and Emily helped to refill the tank with water specially treated with water conditioner. Lawrence and Blake helped check the water levels and added more booster so that the new fish have a lovely environment to swim in.

After letting the fish( 4 new Blue Mickey Mouse Platys) acclimatise to the water temperature they were released. Swimming happily about, ducking and diving in between the plants, it was easy to tell which was the male and which were the three females as there was one who definitely liked to play a game of tag. He was chasing the poor girls all over the tank.

If you visit Class 4, I wonder if you can spot why these new fish are called Blue Mickey Mouse Platys.

Fishkeeper of week 4 was Kieran, who brought in another poster to remind children to be quiet and to not tap the glass. Well done, Kieran.

Fishkeeper Fry Project Week 3

At last !!! We now have our fish. Today, we had to make sure that the water was safe for the fish so we tested for Nitrites and ammonia. The water temperature and quality is just right. We carefully placed the bag of fish in the water so that the fish could get used to the temperature. After half an hour, we excitedly but quietly, let the fish out of their bag. We now have six Zebra Danios, which originate from India, that seem relaxed and content in their new tank. We now have to make sure we check the water regularly and feed the fish too!

Fishkeeper of the week was Josef.