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. 

Fishkeeper Fry Project Week 2

This week, we collected living plants to place in the aquarium and we learnt how to test the water so that the fish will be happy. We discovered that fish do not like water that is too acidic nor too alkaline. So, each child tested the waterwith our speciall testing strips to see whether the levels were suitable for the fish.

Chlorine is definitely disliked by fish and we were delighted to see that water conditioner we put in last week did its job and managed to remove it. Our new fish will be pleased.

Our fishkeeper of the week this time was Lawrence  as he waited patiently for his turn to test the water and recalled what we had learnt about aquariums from the previous week.

Well done Fishkeeper Club!  Exciting news! We collect our first fish on Monday. I wonder what type and how many there will be?



Fishkeeper Fry Project : Week 1

At last, our long-awaited fishtank has arrived accompanied by an enormous bag of kit which will have had fun exploring. Children in Class 4, who are lucky enough to have the tank in their classroom, have been beside themselves with excitement and await the arrival of fish shortly.

Year 2 and 3 were invited to attend Fishkeeping Club and they are responsible for the installation, maintenance and recording that we will need to do for the “Fishkeeper Fry” project. Every week, we will  post an update of our progress.

This week, we learnt how to set up an aquarium and what conditions fish need in order to survive. We filled the tank with gravel, positioned a thermostat to keep the water warm (tropical fish prefer 24- 26 degrees) and we added conditioner to remove the chlorine and nasty chemicals.

We also designed our own aquariums which are shown below:


Fishkeeper for Week 1 was Max B.


Healthy Environment Healthy Me Club Term 2

This continues to be an exciting, eclectic club held after school incorporating many STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) aspects. The children have been surprised by the variety of activities we do and report LOVING IT!!!

This term, we have used the sycamore seeds and acorns collected, artistically: making cards and cute characters.


Last week, we created our own oaty breakfast bars. Even though we used dark chocolate( a special treat), we thought it would still be much healthier than bought options that have lots of added sugar. We included dried fruits, oats, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds and then took them home to share with our families.

Next week, we will be making something fruity.

Thank you to the children who attend the club for your enthusiasm and commitment to improving the environment and health of children at St John’s. I am delighted that you have enjoyed this new club so much!

Healthy Environment Healthy Me Club Term 1

This is an exciting, eclectic club held after school incorporating many STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) aspects. During initial sessions, we began to create a new trail (with the help of Gordon our volunteer) about endangered species. This is ongoing and we use miserable weather days to type up the information we have found out to printed for the trail stations.

Aiming to improve health, we have investigated sugar content in popular drinks, snacks and cereals the children eat and compared these with the recommended daily allowances. Making a poster, which is displayed in the hall, the children hope to raise awareness of the hidden sugars in many foods.

One week, we decided to work outdoors and did some weeding, planting and refilled our bird feeding stations. Additionally, we checked on the pond and discovered that even though it is late in the season, we have tiny frogs and tadpoles. There is an abundance of pond life at the moment.

We have also recycled plastic bottles and made hanging planters, bottle terrariums and self-watering planters that were planted up and taken home.

See the source image

In preparation for next term, we have collected acorns and sycamore seeds for a small art project and have planned to do some healthy cooking.  Thank you to the children who attend the club for your enthusiasm and commitment to improving the environment and health of children at St John’s.