Year 2’s learning is on fire!

During the last few weeks, Year 2 have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Great Fire of London. Their interest was endless, with many children extending their learning by visiting the museum in London during the half term holiday and sharing their extra learning with us in class. The facts and information that the children retained amazed me, as was their enthusiasm to learn more.

A highlight of our topic was to research, design and make a Tudor house over a number of lessons. We thought about reenacting the Great Fire but, after a vote, decided that we would rather keep our models proudly on display in our book corner.

We ended our topic with an exciting, if a little rainy, morning at The Fire Fighting Museum in West Kingsdown. The children had opportunity to climb inside a real fire engine, explore the museum – jammed to the ceiling with fire fighting memorabilia, and to try on a pieces of fire fighting uniform. There was much interest and giggling at the size and weight of the jackets, boots and helmets!










Our current topic is called ‘Land Ahoy!’ and we will be learning about the oceans and continents of the world. We will also be finding out about why Grace Darling became a famous person, continuing and deepening our learning with a visit the The Historic Dockyards at Chatham to find out more about lifeboats.


5,4,3,2,1,Blast Off!

We have hit the ground running this term with our topic, ‘Space and Light’ inspired by the fabulous book Whatever Next by Jill Murphy. In class we have loved retelling the story, and then began thinking about what other adventures baby bear might go on. It was great to hear all the children’s imaginative ideas and now that their writing is improving so much many children were able to write about their adventure ideas as well.

The weather this term has brought with it some wonderful learning opportunities. I have always loved the colours of Autumn and in Reception we are lucky enough to have our outside area, with a range of trees nearby giving us an endless supply of beautiful autumn leaves! We have explored every possibility, counting and sorting leaves, creating autumnal art using leaves we have collected, using charts to categorize leaves and reading autumn poems. Children never cease to amaze me with their creativity!

I hope everyone is looking forward to our Reception bedtime story evening on Wednesday 21st November. I hope it will be a lovely evening for your children as well as a good opportunity for parents and carers to find out a little more about phonics and reading at St.John’s. I look forward to seeing you then.

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.



Term 2 – Power, products, plastic and plenty perseverance!

As we head rapidly towards Christmas, we continue to provide plenty of wonderful learning experiences for the children. Far too many to mention them all but here are a few highlights. In science, we have been learning about electricity and building circuits. We are about to test different materials for their conductivity and insulating properties and then we will apply our knowledge to designing “Christmassy circuits”.

In maths, we have continued our learning journey through multiplication with a strong focus on times tables, finding the product and using factor pairs. Additionally, we have secured written multiplication methods. The children are persevering with TT Rockstars and are determined to better their individual times as well as work as a class to turn our “heatmap” green! Keep practising year 4. We can do it!

Pompous, vain and arrogant are new words we have discovered to describe the idle gods in our text: Mouse Bird Snake Wolf. We have written balanced arguments and proud proclamations. Thank you for your wonderful creature creations in preparation for our creative writing sessions next week. As always, a high standard of work was produced which I am certain will inspire us to write beautifully too!

We have had South East Water in to lead a workshop about the water cycle, water conservation and also engineering. The children were able to work in teams to build pipelines to carry water along a route in a mock town. This was fabulous fun and a great opportunity to use  teamwork as well as develop skills in using co-ordinates in map reading.

Drastic Plastic Day came and went in a flash. During the week, we wrote persuasive letters to Malabar cafe and we were surprised (yet delighted) to receive a letter in response to ours assuring us of steps being taken to reduce plastic in their shops. This topic certainly has enthused our class and they are making changes daily to reduce plastic waste.

The countdown to Christmas continues, with still much learning to be done!









Drastic Plastic Day October 2018

“Plastic is not so fantastic!”. Although plastic is very useful, throughout the day we learnt about the negative impact it is having on our environment, particularly the ocean. The whole school  was involved and children in each class reported back their learning at the end of the day.

Key stage 2 children were set the challenge to design a sculpture entirely made of plastic. The winning design was created by a team of parents, teaching

staff and children and entered into a nationwide competition.

On  “Drastic Plastic  Day” we were lucky enough to have a video sent by a parent (Marine Biologist) attending an international conference on plastic, in which a 9-year old spoke passionately about the problem with plastic waste and what she is doing about it. She urged others to the same. Highly motivating!

Some classes wrote persuasive letters to coffee shops and supermarkets  to encourage them to reduce their use of plastics. Others created persuasive posters to remind us to be mindful of plastic waste. Year 2s made useful pots, recycling plastic bottles and will be continuing their learning next term and looking at this topic in greater depth as a result of today. Year 4s surveyed their plastic waste at home and used the data in class to create graphs.  6M thought about solutions and have challenged the school to ditch single-use plastic bottles and opt for reusable ones promoting aluminium bottles as an even better alternative.

We encourage you all to think about small changes that can be made. Don’t use single use plastics, say no to plastic straws, reuse and recycle plastic containers are some of the small actions that will help.

It is hoped the children  will have come home and spoken about their day. If not please do ask them what they have learnt and have a discussion about small changes you can make as a family. If you have made a swap or taken an action to make a difference to reduce plastic waste,we’d love to hear about it so come and tell us at school.




Year 6 Lego House Build Challenge

This blog was written by Year 6W Science Ambassador, Ben C: 

Recently, Year 6 had a workshop led by Sam from BAE systems. He challenged us to build a Lego house. Sounds easy, does it? Well, we soon discovered that it was much more challenging than we thought, especially as we were given a budget of £200 from which we had to purchase our lego bricks, tiles, windows and doors.

Firstly, we needed to plan our house on a grid creating a 2-D representation and work out how many of each type of brick was needed. We were warned that we could only visit the shop ONCE!!! So we had to check we had enough money and enough supplies.

In teams of 4, we constructed our model houses. We discovered that good planning, teamwork and patience ( a lot of patience) led to greater success. This was a hugely challenging task!

“It was fun, but it was really, really hard!” Ethan.

Working as a team was the hardest part, especially making sure that everyone did equal parts of the job” Ben

The winning team showed that they had all the necessary skills.

Congratulations to the winning team!

How will they do in the final?

Astronights at the Science Museum.

Ten lucky children, accompanied by Mrs Casewell and Mrs Grimble spent Saturday night in the  London Science Museum. What a fantastic (and exhausting) experience it was!!

After setting up camp in one of the galleries, we were quickly whisked off for our safety briefing, followed by a science show ” The Super Cool show” in which we learned more about temperatures and changing states. Did you know you can change the properties of a material by changing its temperature? Have you ever wondered whether you can hammer a nail into wood with a banana? Or whether you can take the bounce out of a bouncy ball? These were some  of the concepts explored using liquid nitrogen. Also, we learned that hot always moves to cold. So, when your teacher or parent says, “Close the door, you are letting the cold air in! ” Technically, they are wrong. You are letting the warm air out!

We then played Chemistry BINGO and watched some “cool” chemical reactions. Our favourite being “Elephant Toothpaste”.

Following  this, we created our own screen printed T-shirt and explored our sense of taste, before watching another demonstration on chemical reactions. It was then time for bed and twelve exhausted (but well – entertained) “astronighters” snuggled in their sleeping bags.

Sunday morning, we woke up bright and early, had breakfast and headed to the IMAX theatre. We donned our special glasses and watched a 3-D film about the Hubble telescope and how astronaughts maintain and service it. We ventured beyond our own galaxy to explore phenomena beyond that which we can see from earth. It was fascinating and awe-inspiring.

No trip to the science museum would be complete without a session in the Wonderlab. Here we had the freedom to explore, investigate, puzzle and experiment in the hands-on gallery.  For many children, this was the highlight of the trip! So much learning and so much fun!

This was a wonderful night.We hope the children who were lucky enough to attend, will tell others  about their experiences and that they will remember their night at the science museum for many years to come.


Welcome to Year 2!

Thank you to everyone who came to my ‘Meet the Teacher’ session on Wednesday afternoon. It was lovely to see you all and have opportunity to talk through some our curriculum and expectations for the year.

We discussed how mental maths and reading can be supported at home, hopefully copies of hand-outs have been found in book bags or taken at the session.

Here they are again for future reference:

Download (DOCX, 21KB)

Mrs Samantha Temp

A flying start to the term!

Welcome back to a new term. We have enjoyed getting to know St John’s first ever 2-form Year 6. Its been a busy few weeks so far; full of learning opportunities, Job roles and responsibilities allocation, and assessments.

The children have been impressing us with their maturity and resilience; when faced with the challenges of assessments. We can all look forward now to setting down to an exciting and jam-packed curriculum this term!

In English, the children have been studying the book ‘Wolf Brother’ by Michelle Paver. Set in a forest, Wolf Brother takes place during the New Stone Age and follows the life of twelve-year-old Torak and his Wolf guide. It is a story centered around a quest and the challenge of Survival!

The children have produced some wonderful writing as the Wolf and in Art, they were given the opportunity to use pencil to create Wolf images. Some of which, have been added to our developing display.

We look forward to extending the children’s experiences of ‘Wolf Brother’ outside the classroom next week; when both classes have the opportunity to attend Forest School. 6M go on Thursday 27th September and 6W go on Friday 28th September.

In Science and RE this term, the two classes are learning about evolution and inheritance.  We could not miss an opportunity to take them to the home of Charles Darwin, Downe house. 6W will be going next week on Tuesday 25th September and 6M on 1st October.

Finally, we enjoyed seeing so many of you at the ‘meet the teacher’ meetings this week. Following on from our talks we attach the link to the hand-out in case anyone missed the meetings.

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