On Wednesday, Year 3, 4 and 5 had a special treat when Jo Fox from the UK SPACE AGENCY visited to teach us about the use of robotics in space, and in particular, missions to Mars.  We were delighted to be entertained by her NAO robot and even had a go at giving NAO an algorithm to instruct her to perform a sequence of actions. To our astonishment, our demonstration was interrupted by an incoming SKYPE call from the Space Agency needing us to help with their mission to Mars! We used our knowledge of co -ordinates to find a safe spot to land on the planet, negotiated our way through “Marsquakes”  to find evidence of life on Mars, and helped to construct safe housing pods.  Mission complete!

Year 5 were fortunate to be able to attend a further workshop in which they built Mars Rovers, and learned to program them using iPads.

The workshop was so awesome! I  have never made a rover before and we got it to move across the hall floor using coding on the iPads.

This was a real treat with lots of learning, inspiring children to choose careers in the space industry. I am certain that many of the children watching this demonstration will indeed become engineers, programmers, architects and work in this field in future, given their level of enthusiasm and engagement today. An excellent workshop!


WOW! What an amazing week the children have had. Here is a quick summary of some of the week’s learning with a few photos. There are several AMAZING display boards around the school showcasing what we have learnt. Do try to have a look.

Reception focused their learning on the text “Owl Babies” and produced some gorgeous collage artwork.

Year 1 had a busy week, using the text “Some Birds” and explored adjectives and verbs producing both individual and class poems. They made Cheerio bird feeders to help with their counting, used pointillism painting techniques to create colourful birds and made their own bird books.

Year 2 created  extravagant parrots, using their hands to make the tail feathers practising their 5x table along the way and in maths presented data in charts.

Year 3 took their Big School Bird Watch very seriously indeed. Armed with binoculars, blankets and their surveys they headed outdoors to count the birds in our school grounds. Additionally, they made cute  feathered sparrows.

Year 4 and 6 combined to take on “The Battle of the Beaks” in which they investigated  beak adaptations and found out which beak was best suited to which food type.  Year 4 continued their  bird learning through playing Top Trumps, Bird Bingo, doing the RSPB survey, data handling and Tangrams in maths. We were surprised midweek, when Year 1’s visited to “tickle” us with their tickle feathers to see where Year 4’s were” tickliest” as part of their science work on senses. 

Year 5’s investigated bird beaks; created artwork using collage materials based on the images in Some Birds and they wrote poetry to accompany it. 

The Year 6 class, as well as doing the beak investigation, took the book “SHHHH, We Have a Plan” and created their own versions on the iPads.  

Wednesday was a highlight when Alan, from Eagle Heights, visited to show the children his birds of prey. This was a  fabulous experience for the children! The photos will be available early in the new term if you ordered one.

It has been a wonderful week of learning, through which I hope the children will be more aware of the birds and help to care for and protect them. I have absolutely loved all the fun facts the children have shared with me in the corridors as well as the  egg-cellent” jokes and additional homework the children have undertaken. A great week!

Thank you for taking part in the Garden Bird surveys and for being actively involved.





It is not long now before we commence our fun learning during BIRD WEEK. The children will be involved in many cross curricular activities ranging from creating birds in art, doing surveys and producing graphs, writing bird poems, stories and fact files and I am sure the highlight of the week will be the visit from EAGLE HEIGHTS.

Meanwhile, we are working hard to encourage as many birds to visit our school with the our wonderful array of new bird feeders. Thank you to everyone who has made one. I was delighted to see so many entries. The winners will be announced next week.

Thank you also to the families who did the Big Garden Birdwatch survey last weekend. I will be sending your sightings off to the RSPB which will help them with their very important research.  Next week, we will be surveying the birds that visit St Johns too!

Children in Year 4 and 6 were invited to  write fact files about some of the  birds they saw in their gardens. Their work is beautiful and is now on display between in the corridor between Year 4 and 6.  

On a lighter note: next week we would love the children to bring in some of their funniest birdie jokes to add to our ” Egg-cellent yolks wall”. Teachers will be adding their “cracking” jokes too! Egg-stremely funny jokes will  be egg-statically received.


Night at the Science Museum 2017

Ten very lucky children,accompanied by Mrs Grimble and Mrs Casewell, attended the Sleepover at the Science Museum event in London. What an exciting venue to have a sleepover and a fabulous experience for all science lovers!

The evening began with us preparing our beds in our cosy “pod”, followed by workshops. Firstly, we did a treaure trail using ipads. We learned lots about innovation in calculating machines over the decades!

The children were entertained by Zoolab, who brought in different creatures for the children to handle, linking science with maths using the Fibbonaci sequence. Did you know that cockroaches have 2 brains? They can survive almost anything!

We made colour changing night lights which looked spectacular dotted around the gallery whilst children slept.  Finally, 11pm came and we headed to bed exhausted.
After an early wake up call, we headed to breakfast, followed by an IMAX experience and then a session in the hands on exploration zone.

This was my personal favourite! The children learned as they explored different concepts, from light and sound, to forces. We watched as lighting was produced inside and children did some mathematical thinking too (Mrs Grimble even got hands on!)

The children were exceptionally well behaved and a true credit to St Johns. I hope this experience is something they will rememember fondly in years to come and perhaps it will spark in them a desire to learn more, and perhaps be a scientist of the future!






Before the summer holidays, we entered the Sevenoaks in Bloom Wheelbarrow challenge.Many of you may have seen it when dropping off or collecting children.
A wheelbarrow was decorated in school colours and planted by Gardening Club pupils and Class 4C. The theme of ‘plants used in medicine’ reflected our school focus on Science.
On Monday 9th October 2017 , Sevenoaks Mayor, Cllr Maxine Chakowa, presented us with a Certificate of Excellence and trophy (displayed in the main corridor). A huge achievement by all involved.


As part of Year 4’s learning about rivers and the water cycle,a team from South East Water led a workshop teaching the children about where water comes from, how it reaches their homes and the importance of conserving it!

The most exciting part of the workshop was splitting into two teams, and being set the engineering challenge to design a pipe network to transport water around a village. To test the designs, water was let through the pipes whilst Mrs Casewell kept her fingers crossed that Class 4 were excellent engineers. She was not disappointed as both networks worked efficiently and there were no spillages.

One team was awarded the prize for creating the most direct route and also the most cost effective (South East water would be impressed); the other team was  awarded the prize for the most creative network, although not the most efficient!

Class 4 were set the 4 minute challenge in a bid to save water by showering. How many of you have taken up the challenge? Let Mrs Casewell know how well your family is getting on with this.


New Academic Year and plenty of science planned!!

Returning to school to hear the fabulous news that we have been awarded the Gold Primary Science Quality Mark was wonderful as well as inspiring. We have lots planned for the year ahead and know how much it  will benefit our children. I will endeavour to keep you informed of the exciting science happenings through  our “Science Snippets” newsletters and blog.

New this year, is Fizz Pop Bang Science Club, held every Wednesday led by “Hyper” Holly. From what I have heard from the children, it is fabulous fun and they have enjoyed making and taking something home. I was lucky enough this week to see some of the session in which the children explored how we taste things before making fizzy sherbet.Much excitement and great learning too!



Year One’s Autumn Fun

How wonderful to have a bright-eyed, new class of children to get to know! It really has been a pleasure to meet them and get our learning under way. This term we are beginning our topic of Nature Explorer, with the well-known and much loved story character Percy the Park Keeper leading the way. Using his story ‘After the Storm’ we have been learning about weather and oak trees and also what happened nearly thirty years ago during the real Great Storm of 1987.

We thought about different types of weather that Percy may encounter in his park. I then thought we would make weather hats, but one super-thinker had the great idea to turn them into weather belts, a suggestion met with enthusiasm by many!

We have also taken up the  challenge of spending five minutes every day focussing on spelling words correctly. This includes the tricky, exception words that we have to learn to spell correctly by the end of the year, as well as applying our phonics carefully for all other words. We are thinking up imaginative ways to learn and apply our spellings, this week we played a stepping stone game in our socks!

We are half way through the term and still have so many exciting things to learn and do, including our first Forest School experience – I had better find my wellies I think!


School Awarded Primary Science Gold Quality Mark!

We are very proud to announce that we have been awarded a Gold Primary Science Quality Mark, congratulations Mrs Casewell!

The Primary Science Quality Mark is led by the University of Hertfordshire, School of Education in partnership with the Primary Science Teaching Trust. It is supported by the Royal Society for Chemistry, the Ogden Trust and the Association for Science Education.

Jane Turner, PSQM National Director said: “Gaining a Primary Science Quality Award is a significant achievement for a school.  The profile and quality of science teaching and learning in each awarded school is very high. Children are engaging with great science both in and outside the classroom, developing positive attitudes towards science as well as secure science understanding and skills. Science subject leaders, their colleagues, head teachers, children, parents and governors should be very proud.”

To read the full report for St John’s click here

First harvest!

Eco and gardening club were eager to show me what they had grown in the vegetable garden. Wow! What a spread! Carrots, cauliflower, radish, courgettes and beans  were presented beautifully. Well done to Mrs Foss and her green fingered team.