SJCS Highlights 2023

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Front Cover: Sports Day 2022 ~ Inside Front Cover: Tea Party and celebrations for King Charles III’s Coronation ~ Back Cover: Form 2 with their younger buddies at Byron House

Highlights 2023 Head’s Introduction


E4L & Sensory Skills




Play-based Learning


Intrinsic Motivation

Learning Dispositions








Humanities Competitions


Maths & Science Competitions 23

Naples Classics Trip


Latin Play

Design Technology




Arts Award


Parents’ Association




Power2Inspire Games



St John’s College Choir




Child-initiated Learning


Debating & Short Stories 20

Book Week



Digitally Enhanced Learning 26







St John’s Got Talent



Pupil Forum


Enrichment Afternoons


Co-Curricular Clubs





Scholarships & Leavers’ Destinations


© St John’s College School 2023 • 63-75 Grange Road, Cambridge CB3 9AB • •

Mr Gareth McComb at Pre Prep Sports Day


Head’s Introduction “When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.”

Dalai Lama

Educating the hearts of our pupils lies at the very core of what we do at St John’s. From the strong foundations of our Emotions for Learning programme which starts with the very youngest in Kindergarten, through our My Mind programme involving mindfulness, critical thinking, compassion and philosophy lessons, a St John’s education puts the children and their well-being at the very centre of what we do, giving them the confidence to explore, experiment, investigate and take risks. We firmly believe this enables them to discover their individual strengths and interests, learn the skills they need to adapt to an ever-changing world, find reward and motivation from within themselves, discover the joy of contributing to their community and ultimately help them to become their best selves. Our Highlights publication serves to demonstrate the many ways this ethos is put into practice, as well as celebrate all the many successes and achievements at St John’s over the past academic year. Whether you are new to the school, or already well acquainted with us, in the pages which follow you will see some examples of the key elements which help to make St John’s such a special place. Be it through the many activities the children have undertaken to raise funds for charity, their compassionate outreach work or workshops such as ‘Power House Games’ designed to help them learn about inclusion through sport, it is clear that the strength of community and care for others is something which runs through all that we do. I have also been reminded how the community forged at St John’s continues well beyond the school gate. I have been very touched by the outpouring of the hundreds of messages from current and former pupils, parents and staff following the untimely and sudden death of our much-loved Director of Sport, Gareth McComb in June. He inspired and touched the lives of many children over the years, be it on the sports field or as their tutor and will be remembered with great fondness. The year has also brought many opportunities to celebrate and as the school which educates the boy and girl choristers of the world-renowned St John’s College Choir, we were particularly proud to watch Andrew Nethsingha, former Director of Music at the College and now Organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey, directing the music at the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. I continue to be very proud of the achievements of our Form 6 who leave for a variety of senior schools at the end of the academic year. As you will see on the inside of the back cover, they have not only been successful in gaining places to extremely competitive schools but many have also been awarded a wide variety of scholarships. We look forward with optimism to the new academic year and all the opportunities it will bring.

Neil Chippington 3

Emotions for Learning (E4L) Emotions for Learning (E4L) is a curriculum and an approach to learning and relating at school that has been developed uniquely at St John’s. We have created an entire social and emotional curriculum for our youngest children based on research and evidence about how children’s minds and brains develop. It is designed to encourage children to express their opinions and feelings and give them the knowledge, skills and understanding they will need to be able to think creatively and problem solve effectively in all areas of their lives. One of the core principles in E4L is that a strong positive connection between a child and their teacher allows them to feel secure, take risks, explore the world around them and develop confidence in their own abilities. This year, in addition to various outreach activities with local state schools, such as Barrington CofE Primary School, we have again hosted our E4L Morning for parents, offering the chance to participate and watch E4L lessons in their child’s class. 4

To learn more about E4L, scan the QR code below:

‘Action Story’ is peer to peer massage which teaches children about their body-self and how to become sensitive to the body-self of others. Our teachers have observed children showing more empathy and concern for each other, plus a deeper and growing understanding of the importance of consent. After an Action Story, the classroom calms and concentration and motivation improves and, as a result, the children can learn more effectively. There are now termly Action Story ‘drop-in’ sessions for parents and their children to learn the practice together.

“The parent Action Story session was so helpful and we now have a dedicated time at home for this.” (Current Parent)

Sensory Skills

This page: Action Story ‘Drop-ins’ for Byron House parents Opposite: Form 2 & KG Buddy reading time

As well as teaching children a social and emotional curriculum in E4L, we have recognised the rising need in today’s world for better development of the sensory system and have been developing an approach to improving children’s sensory development. It is increasingly clear from research that sensory integration is fundamental to emotional regulation and to learning. All children need support to develop their sensory skills and an increasing number of children in today’s screen-driven, post-Covid world have delayed development or challenges to their sensory processing. These might include the need for development of proprioception (knowing where your body is in space), vestibular processes (balance and movement), tactile systems (touch), auditory development, visual processing, olfactory and gustatory development (taste and smell) and interoception (awareness of what is going on inside the body, such as hunger). When any of these are not fully developed, or if there are processing difficulties in any of them, it can lead to a child feeling disorientated, ungrounded, anxious, over or under-stimulated, hyperactive, lacking in focus or fearful and unable to regulate themselves. A lead practitioner experienced in the impact of sensory development has been put in place and is overseeing training and support for our children. This includes whole-class approaches such as sensory breaks and learning about sensory systems; small group activities such as ‘sensory circuits’ in the morning aimed at developing sensory processing and grounding the children; individual work such as assessments and programmes of support for individual children. As adults, many of us have learnt to find our own strategies to support our sensory needs, such as fiddling, doodling or taking a walking break. By discussing openly with young children the sensory supports they need, we are enabling them to improve their readiness to learn and their understanding of themselves from a young age. 5

Creativity Questions about the role and purpose of education have abounded with the advent of ChatGPT and further advances in Artificial Intelligence. What is clear is that developing ‘Creativity’ as a skill is ever more important. Creativity, at St John’s, is the skills of imagination, curiosity, perseverance, rigour and collaboration. We aim to nurture individuals who are able to look at things from different angles, to take the initiative, to problem-solve, to work with a range of different learners and learning styles with appreciation of the varied skills each brings and to express themselves freely. In addition to embedding previous developments, such as play-based learning, ‘Self-Organised’ learning, Child-Initiated Topics and Independent Research projects, each year we explore new ways of nurturing creativity. This year, we have looked in particular at extending Child-Initiated Learning into Form 3 and extending the work we are doing in Computing. The way in which we teach Creativity is also exemplified in our specific approach to projects or learning we have been involved with for some time for example, the Form 6 Latin Play.

This page, left: Diwali dance workshop; top: creating constellations from mini marshmallows & sticks; bottom: exploring shades of green Opposite page: coloured sweets Science exploration


Play-Based Learning In the Pre-prep at St John’s, a play-based approach to learning is used to provide an educational environment that reflects and supports the way children of this age learn. We aim to foster skills of independence, collaboration, problem-solving, creativity and communication, create high levels of engagement and improve learning attainment. This approach has been underpinned by the latest research on learning for young children which demonstrated that children learning through play show improved attainment, well-being and learning dispositions such as creativity. It offers a risk-free environment where children can explore ideas and deepen learning through application and collaboration. It gives children a range of experiences that build connections in the brain, helping them develop physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. Importantly, this involves a balance between child-led discovery time, adult-initiated activities and adult-led activities. An important element of play-based learning is ‘Sharing’. Sharing time is an opportunity for children to be inspired by what others in their class have chosen to do. In a typical sharing time, a child will confidently talk in front of the class about what they have done, how they did it, what was challenging or problematic about it and what their ‘next step’ would be to improve it. Others have been heard to respond, ‘That’s my next step too!’, or, ‘I was inspired to make a kite by my friend.’ Though seemingly simple, this ability to reflect on learning in our youngest children is a key skill for learning, with children developing their meta-cognitive thinking skills of reflection, evaluation of learning and goal-setting. 7

“The redesigned Sports Day was a welcome change that we all thought worked perfectly as it gave the children more autonomy.”

Intrinsic Motivation Redesigned Speech & Sports Day and Prize-Giving At St John’s we believe that emotional and social well-being, self-awareness and confidence are inextricably linked with academic progress. One aspect of creating an environment in which these can flourish is a better understanding of the role of traditional forms of motivation and reward. Over the past four years we have conducted research, both internally (through surveys of children, parents and staff) and externally (through literature), to investigate what kinds of motivation leads to the highest levels of achievement and well-being and how to encourage this motivation. We have found an overwhelming body of evidence, led by the discussions of our own children, to show that the more intrinsic the motivation is, that is to say, based on a personal sense of achievement on the attainment of external, physical rewards, the more motivated the children will be to achieve higher and deeper academic attainment. Autonomy-supportive teaching, which nurtures intrinsic motivation, has also been shown to lead to greater engagement in learning, greater independence, better risk-taking, more creative learners, higher self-esteem, better self-regulation, less anxiety, greater perseverance, better collaboration and higher achievement. Learning is also longer lasting when children are intrinsically motivated and involved in decisionmaking about their learning. One significant area where we have put these findings into practice has been in the redesign of our traditional Speech & Sports Day. It had been the dream of the late Gareth McComb, Director of Sport, to develop a Sports Day in which more children could participate, more find the joy in sport, in which children could collaborate together in their Houses to build up team spirit and to bring the school together as a community. Gareth and his team extended the duration of the day and redesigned the programme and schedule of events to create an opportunity for a whole day devoted to sports, filling it with a range of different events to suit many different skills and encourage a sense of fun and teamwork.

Parents, staff and pupils commented afterwards on the warm community atmosphere, the inclusive approach, the team spirit and the increase in event participation. Whilst winners still win and are awarded medals, the children are above all encouraged to work together to gain House points and to recognise and celebrate the different skills each one of them brings. In advance of the day, rather than the traditional method of staff allocating pupils to competitions, the children themselves worked in groups to decide who in their House was best suited to compete in the different events, stepping up to fill-in if a fellow team member was ill or injured. We have also given much attention to carefully redesign Speech Day, separating it from Sports Day to respect the different objectives and particular atmosphere of both events. In surveys and group discussions, the children themselves were clear that the act of receiving a prize was not something that motivated them in their learning and they instead saw it as an opportunity to celebrate collectively those in their peer group who had excelled in a particular discipline or made significant progress. Consequently, Speech Day is now a space in which to reflect and celebrate the achievements, gifts and personalities amongst each of our Form 6 Leavers. Cups and trophies have been replaced by a personalised commentary, written by their teachers and read out by the Head, and presented in writing in the children’s own choice of book. Each child’s contribution to the school community is celebrated and recorded as a memento. Children from Form 1 up are also in attendance, to have the chance to be inspired by the journey of those who have gone before them.

“We had more ownership of who did which races as we decided as a House, rather than being put into a certain race by a teacher. This worked well.”

“Speech Day was lovely; we all listened to personalised comments which celebrated each and every one of us.” 9

Child-initiated Learning Our research into ways of nurturing children’s intrinsic motivation has found that two of the keys to achieving self-motivated learning are autonomy and purpose. These are both natural features of the child-initiated learning style which is a core part of the curriculum at St John’s. The children have ownership of their learning and how they are learning it. In Forms 1 and 2, topics are chosen and directed by the children so they can immediately see the purpose, leading to higher levels of motivation, engagement and involvement. A topic chosen will evolve depending on where the children’s interests take them. For example, an Ocean topic prompted interest in the Titanic and also tsunamis, while a topic on Space encompassed life on the International Space Station and aliens. This ability to choose topics is a natural progression from the curriculum in the Pre-Prep which centres around independent, play-based learning, with children having free-flow access through to the outside area and, in T1 and KG, across both classrooms in the year group. Our teachers arrange resources to be accessible, introduce learning points or stimuli, offer challenges and play alongside the children to direct, scaffold, engage and lead the children on to a deeper level of understanding. The skills-based curriculum enables teachers to respond to and plan around the children’s ideas while ensuring progression across the skills levels in the different curriculum areas. Subjects chosen by the children in Forms 1 and 2 have included Animals, Cities of the World, Oceans, Spain and Space.

“The knowledge that they have autonomy over their learning fuels the children’s interest and Child-led independent work has now been extended into enthusiasm.” Form 3 but, unlike the younger children voting on one class topic, the older children work in small groups on topics of their choice and learn new research techniques.


“When we jiggled a Jelly Baby up and down at one end of the machine a movement, or disturbance, travelled away from that end to the other. This is a wave – a disturbance that moves through a material or space.”

Top left: 2D flamenco dancing workshop; top right: 2K’s trip to Hunstanton Sealife Centre; bottom left: T2 & 2H trip to National Science Centre bottom right: 2K creating a wave machine tsunami & opposite page: 1k trip to the Museum of Zoology in Cambridge


Learning Dispositions At St John’s we believe that when children have a metacognitive understanding of learning, analysing the process of learning and categorising this into discrete learning dispositions, they become more flexible learners. ‘Learning how to learn’ gives them a strong foundation so that they are better able to initiate tasks, take risks, persevere and be creative and rigorous. It enables them to move beyond merely aiming to ‘get the right answer’ to developing an understanding of how to harness the dispositions which will allow them to flourish in new situations where there might not be a ‘right answer’.

Mindsets for Learning (M4L) An important part of the curriculum is our ‘Mindsets for Learning’ (M4L) which focuses on 12 dispositions that are needed to be a good learner. M4L is fully embedded across the school, with age-appropriate terminology so that even the youngest learners can identify the dispositions they are or could be employing. The 12 characteristics that we feel underpin such effective learning (focus, collaboration, curiosity, risktaking, flexibility, reflection, linking, perseverance, compassion, imagination, rigour and enjoyment) are part of the language of every classroom and are incorporated into all areas of teaching and learning. These dispositions help support the development of a ‘growth mindset’: the belief that, with effort, a person can develop their abilities, become a more successful learner and therefore achieve more. Someone with a growth mindset believes that intelligence is cultivated through persistent learning. Children are encouraged to identify those dispositions which they feel are a strength and those they feel they need to work on and, together with their teachers, look for ways to develop and improve these. 12

Executive Functions At Senior House, ‘Executive Functions’ builds on M4L to look at learning dispositions in the context of the process and time line of the development of the brain. These skills underlie the capacity to plan ahead and prioritise, remain focused despite distractions and be able to follow multiple-step directions even when interrupted. Executive functions are a family of top-down mental processes that make possible: mentally playing with ideas; approaching unanticipated challenges with flexibility; taking the time to think before acting; resisting temptations and staying focused. Executive functions are interrelated, and depend on a neural circuit in which the pre-frontal cortex at the front of the brain plays a prominent role. They help us to filter distractions, prioritise tasks, set goals and control impulses. They include working memory, emotional control, time management and metacognition. We are not born with all of these skills, rather they develop over time and on average reach full maturity when we are in our mid-twenties. Executive Functions lessons are being trialled with Forms 3 and 4 before being incorporated into the My Mind curriculum for all of Senior House.

“Executive functions are interrelated, and they depend on a neural circuit in which the pre-frontal cortex at the front of the brain plays a prominent role.” “Learning about Executive functions in school helps children develop skills of teamwork, leadership, decision-making, working toward goals, critical thinking, adaptability, and being aware of our own emotions as well as those of others.”


Mindfulness Mindfulness continues to be used across the school as a way of slowing thinking down, bringing attention to the present moment and reducing stress. The School’s teaching of Mindfulness is based on the Mindfulness in Schools Programme (MiSP) and includes ‘dots’ lessons for our T1 children (short, 15 minute lessons) with the addition this year of yoga elements, ‘Paws b’ for Form 2, ‘.breathe’ for Form 4, which then pre-empts the ‘.b’ sessions for Form 6. Each course is designed with the age group in mind and a focus on bringing a greater curiosity to what we are experiencing. This year we have also run a successful .b Foundations Mindfulness course for parents. Mindfulness practice is rooted in paying attention, non-judgementally, to thoughts and feelings in the present moment. Regular practice of this technique allows us to respond skilfully to thoughts and emotions and supports attention and focus. Practitioners of Mindfulness see significant improvement in concentration levels and an ability to focus and direct attention at will. In addition to starting lessons with a mindful moment, mindfulness activities may also be used at different points in lessons or events, such as in preparing for a drama production, or finding flow in a musical performance or sports match. We use different mindfulness exercises to help children bring attention to the present moment, including focusing mindfully on breathing (using different taught breathing exercises), the body (using a body scan), an object, a piece of music, or our thoughts themselves. Mindfulness helps train attention to be more aware of what is actually happening, rather than worrying about what has happened or might happen.

“With mindfulness, we learn to bring greater curiosity to whatever it is we are experiencing.” “Mindfulness practice is rooted in paying attention, nonjudgementally, to thought and feelings in the present moment.” “When I am feeling anxious, I try and remember my finger breathing and it does help to calm me.” T1s enjoying a mindfulness ‘finger breathing’ session in the Forest Garden


Philosophy Philosophical thinking is invaluable in an age of information and social media as it teaches the children to evaluate what they hear, giving them the tools to be active, thoughtful members of society. It also equips them with the skills to form illuminated opinions and critique the opinions of others. Philosophy teaches children how to pose meaningful questions, inspect and scrutinise their often deeply-held beliefs, and work out their own ideas with care and rigour. Most importantly, it underpins all of their critical thinking across the curriculum. Our Philosophy curriculum starts as a discrete subject from the age of 8 but the children are encouraged to think logically, critically, reflect and question throughout Byron House. This is encouraged as early as the Pre-Prep through play-based learning. The aim is to support the children to reflect on their own thought processes and to question the world around them, to think flexibly and to examine their own reasons for thinking what they do, with the intention that they can understand and therefore explain their viewpoints and understand the viewpoints of others. These skills are learned through a range of topics and stimuli, utilising many different branches of philosophy, including aesthetics, logic, ethics, metaphysics and epistemology. Children transfer skills learned in philosophy lessons into critical and analytic writing in many other areas of the curriculum, learning how to support arguments with evidence and to consider opinions before reaching a conclusion. In Forms 5 and 6, Philosophy and Ethics becomes part of the Religious Studies curriculum. This year, discussions have included: What is thinking? Is seeing believing? (Form 2), Can I think of nothing? (Form 3), Ethical Dilemmas and What is Art? (Form 4), How should we punish people? What is good leadership? (Form 5), What is a Just War? What makes life valuable? Can we prove the existence of God? (Form 6). 15

International Outreach St John’s College School, Nanjing St John’s is continuing to work with the school in Nanjing through weekly meetings which support the E4L curriculum and the development of the St John’s ethos. The School has also offered training for staff members in sensory needs for the very young. We are also about to provide Drama support for their new Drama teacher. The E4L lessons in the new format for the Autumn term have all been delivered from Nursery through to T1 and we are delighted that two of our staff members will go to China next year to work at the Nursery.

“E4L helps me to know more about the children and our relationships. Children show their empathy and are kinder and more thoughtful towards each other. E4L makes happiness more lasting.” “I can clearly feel the increase in the attachment between the children and teachers, which helps to establish a stronger relationship.. All the children feel a strong sense of security in the classroom. This means their emotions are in a positive and stable state.” 16

Form 6 Compassionate, Arts & Sports Outreach All of Form 6 take part in outreach projects towards the end of their journey at St John’s in the Summer term. This allows our oldest pupils to take real ownership of projects, whether individually or as part of a group, and to make important decisions as to how their project will be planned, carried out and what might be the benefits for those involved. This level of responsibility encourages the children to learn to face challenges head-on, as well as nurturing their problem-solving skills. The sports outreach involves small groups taking responsibility for planning and teaching warm-ups, skills sessions and games to younger children in the school. Form 6 base their project on a particular sport they have enjoyed playing themselves at St John’s and part of this will involve them considering how best to impart not only skills but also their love of sport to children at Byron House.

“I loved being taught games skills by the Form 6 children as they were so kind and helpful and they had lots of patience too.”

Those taking part in compassionate outreach have developed an understanding of compassion through writing poetry describing pensioners. The children thought of karaoke and different board games when planning potential visits to Care Homes. They have also put together scrapbooks of their lives in school for the Care Homes residents and have had online conversations and activities with the partner school in The Gambia. The arts outreach is based on the children learning to utilise their time efficiently to work on their Bronze Arts Awards or, for those who are not doing an Arts Award, focusing their work on an artist who inspires them. The children also benefited from a trip to Kettle’s Yard house and gallery, in Cambridge.


E4L Outreach The E4L pilot at Barrington Primary School continues with staff being trained at regular intervals in the E4L approach as a pilot to gain data on the efficacy of the E4L programme as a stand-alone offer and also the effectiveness of the new materials we have developed. At the end of the summer term an impact report will be written and if the project is successful a next phase will bring E4L to a wider audience. Barrington teachers have also visited St John’s to see our E4L in action.

Drama Outreach In addition to sharing our E4L programme with other schools, our outreach programme to provide specialist support in the teaching of Drama lessons has continued this year. We have worked with St Luke’s CofE Primary, Barrington Primary and Gislingham CofE School in Suffolk supporting their Drama lessons and productions such as The Hairy Toe; an abridged A Midsummer Night’s Dream (working towards a performance at the 2024 Shakespeare Schools Festival); the Roald Dahl poem Cinderella; The Bumble Snouts Save the World and a comic take on Macbeth.

Drama outreach at Gislingham CofE School: A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Computing Outreach The outreach partnership between St John’s and Mansa-Colley Bojang School in The Gambia continues to be developed. Head of Computing, Mr Graham Hastings, has continued teaching live, online computing lessons to students at the school and is providing across-the-board support with lesson planning, software and hardware and meeting with government bodies and the Raspberry Pi group to secure ongoing funding and WiFi network support.

“The pupils at Mansa-Colley Bojang will gain access to the fantastic learning resources available on the internet and will be able to carry out and manage their online learning work as our SJCS pupils do.” (Head of Computing, Mr Graham Hastings)

To improve communications links between St John’s and MansaColley Bojang School, a Star Link dish was set up, making MansaColley Bojang the first school in The Gambia’s history to be provided with internet access. The target is to replicate this in seven other schools throughout the country by this time next year. To test the new systems, we have run live group meetings involving children in our Charities Committee and a group of Grade 9 pupils in The Gambia. Now that we have enabled communication between the two schools, we will be encouraging pupils to work in partnership to develop some inter-school educational projects. Pupils in The Gambia have sent short videos to our Form 6 pupils and have written pen pal letters as a way of introducing themselves.

Pupils at Mansa-Colley Bojang School, our outreach partnership school in The Gambia, demonstrating the autonomous registration system they have coded for the school


Debating Debating is now an established and exceptionally popular part of the English curriculum. At Senior House, pupils in all years are invited to join Debating Club, which runs throughout the year. The skills the children develop in debating cannot be underestimated: it builds confidence, trains logical thought progression and promotes the use of rhetoric to persuade.

“Debating helps children develop essential, necessary thinking skills, which allows them to reason and think through arguments. It also creates the ability to question the evidence behind a particular statement or stance.” “We debated the notion of ‘Should we abolish the teaching of History in schools?’”

Creative Writing All Senior House children took part in our 500 word Short Story competition with 3 winners in each year group, as well as an overall winner in the 9-11 year old category and the 11-13 year old category.

Tudor Dynasty I was doing my homework but then a shrill cry echoed in the mist as the air turned dead black around my dusty room. As the filth dispersed away it left behind a diary. I picked the diary up and the words evaporated. When I realised it was useless I stuck my hand through it and I wasn’t in my room, I was in The Tudor Dynasty. Extract by Raffi Sarno (aged 9) One of three Form 3 winners


Moaner I stare down from my gilded cage at the wide eyed, open-mouthed people. Don’t they know it’s rude to stare? A man to my left pulls out his phone. Raising it, he sends a flash into my eyes. Nerve! There are black spots dancing in my vision, and I feel the beginnings of a migraine. These people think they can just stomp in here, stare at us, shoot white flashes at us and then leave! Don’t they know who I am? I’m internationally famous! Anyone who’s anyone knows me! I’m Mona Lisa! The way these tourists treat me, you’d think I was some child’s finger painting, stuck on a fridge. Huh. Just because I’m a painting, doesn’t mean that I lack feelings. Extract by Vita Rainey (aged 12) Overall 11-13 years category winner

Book Week Book Week was, again, a highlight of the year. The children enjoyed visits from authors and illustrators, including: Matty Long and Ellie Sandall for Pre Prep and Hannah Gold, M.G. Leonard, Serena Patel, Anthony McGowan and Christopher Edge for Forms 1 to 6. The ever-popular Byron House ‘Book at Bedtime’ and whole school ‘Dress as a Book Character Day’ were firm favourite events, as was the Book Fair where the children perused a wealth of fiction and non-fiction books. £1,076 was raised for the British Red Cross Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal from ‘Dress as a Book Character Day’.

“I loved our Dress as a Book Character Day. I dressed up as a teacher because that is who I am going to be in the play. I really want to be a teacher when I grow up so I can help people with their reading and writing.” “When I got home after M.G. Leonard’s talk, all I wanted to do was go and lie in the grass and look for birds.” Top left & bottom right: Dress as a Book Character Day; top right: M.G. Leonard’s author talk; middle left: Extreme Reading Competition; middle: Matty Long’s author talk; middle right: book character stones & bottom left: Ellie Sandall’s author talk


The Winton Cup Competition A group of six Form 4 pupils took part in the Prep School Humanities Competition, The Winton Cup, at Stowe School. An element of competition is introduced to encourage active participation by all pupils and the contest is named in honour of Old Stoic, Sir Nicholas Winton MBE. With the Covid after-effects, further economic woes, a war in Europe and climate change, there has never been so much emphasis on mental well-being and how we can live the good life, or at least a better, more fulfilling life. The group spent the day discovering how different societies entertained and enjoyed themselves in the past and got the chance to create their own conceptual art works as well as a host of other activities.

“We were challenged with answering the question ‘how can we create a happier society?’”

Townsend Warner History Prize 1,000 candidates from schools all over the UK and from a few schools from abroad participate each year. The Prize encourages students to enjoy the study of history and its variety and challenges, and to use their knowledge at a national competitive level. This year over 70 schools took part in Paper 1 which has 100 questions demanding one-word, or one-sentence, answers from world history, but with a strong emphasis on British history. Two pupils got through to the last 250 pupils for Paper 2, which is in the form of essay questions, allowing pupils a very wide choice so that they can write on what they know, as well as showing their analytical skill and historical imagination. Form 4 pupils participating in The Winton Cup Humanities Competition at Stowe School


National Science Quiz National Maths Challenges Three Science Quiz teams competed in the Semi-Finals of the Quiz Club National Inter-School Science Championships. As ever, the questions were beyond the knowledge of the National Curriculum but the children took the challenge in their stride, with Team 1 qualifying for the Finals after coming 6th. With more than 400,000 pupils taking part, the Quiz is the largest inter-school competition in the country. It is an exciting and challenging way to broaden our children’s scientific knowledge and is also offers a platform for our most able young scientists to showcase their abilities as part of a team representing St John’s.

The Primary Maths Challenge is a national competition for pupils in Forms 3 and 4. Pupils enjoy preparing in teams or small groups and use diagrams, number lines, pictures and charts to help solve a wide variety of interesting questions, encouraging them to use higher order thinking skills and to think creatively in order to find solutions. 7 children were awarded gold certificates in Form 3 and 20 in Form 4. 22 silver and bronze awards were issued to Form 3 and 20 to Form 4. Seven pupils performed exceptionally well in the first round and were invited to attend the bonus round. Out of these, four children received silver and bronze awards. The Junior Mathematical Challenge is a 60-minute, multiple-choice challenge for Forms 5 and 6. It encourages mathematical reasoning, precision of thought, and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems. A record of 37 certificates were awarded to Form 6, with Form 5 also receiving 31 certificates. We invited a handful of children from Form 3 and Form 4 to enter and they all achieved either gold or silver certificates. One Form 3 pupil, two Form 5 pupils and 8 Form 6 pupils qualified for the Junior Kangaroo and one Form 6 pupil qualified for the Junior Olympiad.


Inaugural Bay of Naples Trip During the Easter break, a group of Forms 5 and 6 had the opportunity to explore the beautiful region of the Bay of Naples in Italy and learn about its rich history and culture. The trip focused on the many classical sights in the area – with the added bonus of Italian food, sunshine, and the beautiful surroundings of the Amalfi Coast. The itinerary included, among other activities: a walk up Mount Vesuvius, visits to Pompeii, the island of Capri and the temples and the museum at Paestum, as well as a Naples Underground tour and a pizza-making workshop.

“I was so glad I went on the Naples trip as it was an amazing experience to be a part of. My favourite part was going to Pompeii. It was incredible walking round the old streets and looking round the big forum, just below Mount Vesuvius.” 24

“We tasted Sorrento lemons at an orchard, made our own Italian pizzas and tasted authentic ice-cream! It was such a memorable, fun but also an educational trip.”

Latin Play A group of Form 6 classicists took part in the annual ‘Ludi Scaenici’ Latin Drama Competition at The Perse Upper School with their play, Lucia, I am your Father. A number of schools performed, each entering their own speciallycreated play, written and performed in Latin. The pupils involved are in the fourth year of learning Latin and the plays are crafted from language and situations that they have encountered while studying Cambridge Latin Course Book 1. When a dastardly Caecilius is blessed with twins, he chooses to keep his baby boy but hands over the girl to be killed. Metella is left devastated and unaware of how her daughter died. Lucia not only survives but is raised and educated so, on discovering the truth, she is fully prepared to take the ultimate revenge. 25

Form 5 using Google Suite to record their pulse rate in a Science lesson

Digitally Enhanced Learning Over many years the School has invested in implementing a suite of online tools and applications to enhance the children’s learning. The Google suite for education is fully embedded across Forms 1 to 6 not as an adjunct to traditional resources but as an online working environment fully integrated into the daily lives of the pupils and staff, with lessons and homework all recorded online and the ability to communicate with teachers and peers effortlessly. In addition to Google, the wide range of tools at the children’s disposal allows them to develop appropriate mindsets for studying Computing, work collaboratively, apply research and critical thinking skills and present their ideas in exciting new ways. Applications such as Quizlet, School Shape, Mathletics and Brainpop have also helped children to consolidate their learning, gamifying the content and increasing engagement across the wider curriculum.

“There are so many advantages to using Google Classroom as your work gets saved automatically, teachers can comment on your piece as you are typing and you can work collaboratively too. Using Quizlet reinforces our topic knowledge in Science and it is such a fun way to learn!” 26

Computing The aim for computing in Pre Prep is to develop computing competencies and confidence by using a range of different devices and applications. Form 1 and 2 Computing lessons are hands-on. The children are taught how to apply logical reasoning to problems and learn how to create algorithms to plan their solutions. In their programming, Form 1 children learn how to sequence, select and use repetition in programs, later on adding variables and various forms of input and output. To ensure they understand how computers are used to build the Internet of Things and for control, all of the Form 1 children have carried out some physical computing, learning how to program a set of traffic lights. As part of Form 2’s STEM Lighthouse project this year, the children were given the task of programming a Raspberry Pi computer to control systems involving inputs from electronic sensors. Computing lessons have been extended to Form 5 this year. The children have been following a computer science course which is enabling them to develop the foundations they will need should they opt to follow the subject at GCSE at their senior schools. New resources have been added to our extensive collection this year, including: the Raspberry Pi Pico for teaching control technology and robotics; a 3D printer which allows the children to make bespoke parts for use in a wide range of physical computing projects; a laser cutter for project work to teach the children about CAD and CAM and learn how to manufacture bespoke items for use in computing and STEM projects.

“We used the coding app ‘Logo’ to make short Science films where we were able to edit video and audio applications and improve our file handling skills.”

The Computing curriculum continues to evolve to keep pace with the rapid developments in the fields of AI and machine learning, such as ChatGPT. We are working with external organisations to develop comprehensible and engaging resources to allow us to add this topic to our Computing.


Design Technology In Design Technology, the children learn a huge array of skills and develop their capabilities in critical thinking, as well as the skills of construction using a wide range of materials. Our aim is for our children to be designers, investigating problems, creating solutions and engineering the three-dimensional world. The wide range of projects have included: catapults (looking at trajectory and triangulation structures), dizzy dowels (fun pulley systems), Coronation hats, shadow puppets (linkages), fairground rides (movement principles), ball mazes (computer aided design and materials), clock faces (2D design with manufacture) pencil holders (plastics and use of advanced machinery), vehicle racers (engineering), bags (textiles technology), repurposing plastics and incorporating electronics to make a desk lamp, a myriad of projects in DT clubs across both sites and open-ended personal choice projects (using a theme to create and make solutions to problems) and use of our 3D printer and laser cutter.


Top left: laser cutter; top right: Form 5 astromech droids (adapted project inspired by Brian Russell, Beecroft School in Leeds); bottom left: Form 3 DT/Engineering day at Oundle School; bottom middle: Form 3 vehicle racers & bottom right: T2 home for a teddy

STEM Our Form 2 classes benefit from a whole afternoon of STEM every week throughout each of the three terms. The children are able to use the extensive facilities on offer in our two Senior House Science labs. The children work on a range of projects with specialist teachers to guide them. Tasks such as the designing, building and testing of bridges and researching, building and programming a lighthouse, understanding the workings of the skeleton and the wonders of rockets are presented to the children who are encouraged to make design decisions and solve challenges using aspects of all four of the STEM disciplines. This integrated curriculum approach not only gives children knowledge but also ‘agency’ – it develops them as active learners, who take responsibility for their own learning.

“We investigated ‘what is the optimum fuel for the fizzy rocket?’ and we found out that the vitamin tablet contained a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and citric acid. When it combined with water it reacted to make carbon dioxide and we timed how long it took for the pressure to blow the lid off!”


Arts Award Children in Form 6 have again had the opportunity to participate in the national Bronze Arts Award, which is moderated by Trinity College London. The programme invites children in Form 6 to submit a portfolio of work for accreditation in this nationally recognised qualification. The Bronze Level Arts Award involves 40 guided learning hours plus 20 independent learning hours and the children produce an individual arts log or portfolio of their experiences of: developing their interests, knowledge and skills through actively participating in any art form; experience of at least one arts event/experience as an audience member and their review of that event/ experience; researching the career and work of an artist or crafts person that inspires them; passing on arts skills. Arts Award aims to inspire children to devise their own programmes of activities and self-manage their workload. This early taste of independent responsibility is the perfect preparation for managing the demands of life at senior school and beyond. This year’s participants have entered with the following subjects: Art, Architecture, Drama, & Music..

“I played one of the three child sprites in ‘The Magic Flute’ and sang the middle part. I loved taking part in this Cambridge University Operatic Society (CUOS) as it felt amazing performing with the older University students.” “I created a pine cabinet that had a light that switched on when movement was detected. Inside the cabinet there are two shelves which can be used for storage. The project took over two weeks to complete and I learnt how to cut the wood with the correct technique.” “To develop my photography skills, I learnt to angle my camera up at the sky at night where I could just see the branches and set the exposure for 30 seconds. You could see things that the naked eye couldn’t.” Wooden cabinet ~ designed & produced as part of an Arts Award portfolio

Art The Art department has continued to flourish this year with the children producing a wide range of work in multiple media. We have continued to display an Art of the Week piece at both Byron and Senior House as a way of celebrating the children’s artwork. Projects have included: Peter Thorpe space scenes, Alfred Wallis sea scenes, African Masai collages, Rousseau rainforest scenes, William Blake ink paintings, Marc Chagall study, clay dragons, collaborative drawings and embroidery of St John’s, plus a trip to the Imperial War Museum, Duxford and the Botanic Gardens Cambridge. 8 pupils had their artwork entered for the Young Artists’ Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. It is an open submission exhibition for pupils aged 4–19 studying in the UK. Artworks are judged by a panel of artists and arts professionals, with selected artworks displayed online and on-site at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Form 3 Art project based on William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence poem ~ ‘To see a World in a Grain of Sand’


Top row (left to right): Olivia Inglis & Eloise Cross (both Form 6); bottom row: Louisa Egerton (Form 6) & Zebbie Halban-Taylor (Form 2)

Music Music remains a strong focus for our school, with over 400 instruments and vocal tuition lessons taking place each week; nearly 75% of children in T2-Form 6 learn at least one instrument in school, in addition to those learn outside school. Our Instrumental/ Vocal Exam offering continues to broaden with the choice of face-to-face and digital exams. The results received have been outstanding, with 80% of results in the first two terms being in the merit and distinction categories. One pupil has achieved a distinction at Grade 8. Twenty-two pupils have taken an exam at Grade 5 level or higher so far this year. Music Scholarships were gained by seven children at Eton, Stamford, St Mary’s Cambridge, Trinity Croydon, Uppingham and Winchester. Concerts and Performance Opportunities Approximately 60 concerts have been staged during the academic year, offering valuable opportunities for children of all levels of experience and ability to gain the pleasures and benefits of musical performance. Our lunchtime concerts continue to offer an excellent opportunity for children at all stages of their musical journey to perform, side-byside, to their peers and families in a relaxed and informal setting. For example: a child playing an 8-bar melody can share the same platform as another performing a complex movement from a concerto. Six concerts have been solo recitals, with each performer delivering 25 minutes of repertoire at a very high level. Our West Road Concert at the end of the Summer term, a musical feast and a fitting celebration of a year’s Music, once again demonstrated our commitment to inclusivity and to extending our most able through various small- and large-scale performances.

“I performed with both Symphony Orchestra and in Senior House Choir. It was a real privilege to take part in such an impressive venue and with so many other musicians around me.”


Choirs The School offers many and varied opportunities for children to participate in choral singing. Our Choirs demonstrated strength in number and in the quality of their singing at our Services in Preparation for Christmas in the College Chapel in December; over 150 children participated in the choral contributions. The Senior House Chamber Choir took part for the first time in the Rotary Club of Cambridge’s Charity Christmas Concert at Great St Mary’s, an event which brought together choirs from many state and independent schools around Cambridge and which raised enough money to send two fully-stocked ambulances to the front line in Ukraine. The event was recorded and a potted version was broadcast on Cambridge 105 FM on Christmas Day. External Links We have further developed our collaborations with Senior School musicians in recent months, recognising the mutual benefits and the enjoyment these events bring; senior schools are thrilled to have a brief shop window at SJCS, as they value our young musicians very highly indeed, and it is hugely inspiring for our pupils to hear and perform with older pupils and imagine the levels they might be able to reach in a few years’ time. Uppingham School’s close harmony group (founded 12 years or so ago by a former SJCS pupil) returned to St John’s; three former SJCS pupils are in the current group. Our Senior House Chamber Choir performed a piece within the same concert. Oakham School participated in our Jazz Evening in March. Under the inspirational direction of Mr Lepage Dean, our Big Band, Rednotes Jazz Ensemble and vocal soloists performed in one half and Oakham’s Big Band provided the other half.


Our Outreach Piano Concert Series goes from strength to strength and offers a most rewarding opportunity to local young musicians who do not have access to a regular performance platform. Our eight young organists- that being the largest number of organ pupils we have ever had- visited Rugby School, where they had the opportunity to give a recital on one of the finest school chapel organs in the country. Outside school, six pupils sing in the Jesus College Choir and four pupils sing in the St Catharine’s College Girls’ Choir. Two pupils are members of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and took part in the NYCGB 40th Anniversary Celebration Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in April.

Form 5 Pupils Compose ‘Protest’ Songs Form 5 composed ‘protest’ songs in their Music lessons and performed them in groups in front of an audience during two informal lunchtime concerts. Their compositions were all created from scratch during lessons, with the end goal for them to be performed live. They included melodic tunes, proper harmonies, modulations, choreography, passion, melodrama, pathos and comedy. The children used the music vocabulary they had previously learnt and, having already composed Blues songs, they progressed to thinking about harmonies, the tune and the lyrics in the form of music. The reason for focusing on protest songs in particular was to encourage the children to articulate their own voice and decide what they care about in the world around them, generate opinions and express their feelings through their compositions.


‘St John’s Got Talent’ The ‘St John’s Got Talent’ show has now been running for a few years and is, without a doubt, one of the most popular and well-attended events in the Senior House Michaelmas calendar for all the older children in the school and this year did not disappoint. The 2022 show saw 32 acts in the initial rounds with 74 children participating and the highest number ever signing up to be on the Talent show committee. The Final took place on the afternoon of Christmas Jumper Day and every Senior House child watched in eager anticipation as each act took to the stage to showcase their talents and try and impress the four staff judges. 37

Parents’ Association The Parents’ Association has had a fun and busy year with many well-supported events and activities which bring the school community together and also raise money for charities, such as Castle School to support the creation of an interactive sensory garden. Events and activities this year have included the Macmillan Coffee Morning, Fireworks Night, Christmas cards, the Lent Term event ‘St John’s in the Jungle’ and the fabulous Charity Fun Day in May. In total, over £10,900 was raised for charity.

Top left: St John’s in the Jungle; top right: Fireworks night; bottom left: Fun Day & bottom right: Macmillan Coffee Morning


Charities The school is committed to raising funds for various charities throughout the year and the spirit of giving has continued to support projects such as Link to Hope’s ‘Shoebox Appeal’ for Eastern Europe and ‘Odd Socks’ Day to raise awareness for Anti-bullying Alliance. Children, staff and the school community raised money for the following good causes: The Byron House Harvest Collection raised £110 for Cambridge City Foodbank and gave donated food from both Byron and Senior House Christmas Jumper Day raised £761 for Jimmy’s Night Shelter Services in Preparation for Christmas raised £509 for Castle School in Cambridge Dress as a Book Character Day raised £1,076 for the Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal run by The British Red Cross Society £533 was raised for the new Cambridge Children’s Hospital at the Form 5 Production of ‘Jungle Book’ £600 was raised at the Form 4 Victorian Fayre for the Cambridge Children’s Hospital Byron House Summer Fair raised £1,746 for Colours of Dance Radiates Non-uniform Day & Form 6 Charities Morning, in memory of Gareth McComb, raised £5,772 for Wooden Spoon charity

Top: Senior Citizens’ Christmas party; bottom left: Christmas Jumper Day & bottom right: Harvest


Power House Games ~ Power2Inspire Charity A group of Sixth Form children took part in a PowerHouse Games session at the Cambridge University Sports Centre which was organised and run by the charity Power2Inspire (Inclusion through Sport). The morning focused on taking part in adapted games and sports and all the activities were especially designed to be accessible and fun for everyone, old and young, with disabilities and none, sporty and not. The session started with a welcoming ceremony and then the participants took part in a rota of inclusive sports including: boccia, touch rugby, new age kurling, goalball, walking football and sitting netball, all different examples as to how disabled people can play sports.

“All the games were especially adapted to be accessible and were all incredibly inclusive for all to take part.”


“We played sitting volleyball, new age kurling, walking football, boccia and more! It was a real insight into how inclusive sports should be.”

Pupil Forum Listening to children and looking at the world through their eyes is at the heart of the St John’s ethos. The Pupil Forum is a vehicle for listening to children and allowing them to develop leadership skills and a sense of agency in their school. Representatives from each year group meet every week to discuss and plan ways to improve the school. The aim of the Pupil Forum is to bring about changes within the School, on issues and matters that are important to the children, which are not just important for us but also significant in the wider world. Some of the ideas raised have included: a box library in the Forest Garden, ‘Pets at School Day’, a non-uniform day, devising and presenting an Assembly on the merits of pupil voice to encourage more children to get involved. The children developed their own etiquette for the table tennis tables and new storage for the equipment. They have also fed back to the Head of Catering about their food preferences and ideas for future meals, including Greek day.

Some children expressed concerns about young people’s mental health so wrote a pupil survey which has been completed. Their findings were shared during Pupil Forum and suggestions made. Senior House Pupil Forum proposed, during their self-run Assemblies across the school, that the St John’s community should adopt a ‘Greener Week’ to encourage all St John’s families to consider how they could reduce their impact on the environment. Other ideas have included a Gap Student Celebration Assembly, creating a pond in the Forest Garden, setting up a gardening club, buying gazebos for shelter during outdoor sports matches, ‘cubby’ holes for Form 3 and providing a wider variety of Byron House break time sports.

“I am proud to be part of the Pupil Forum as it gives us the chance to express our opinions about ideas for the future of our school.” 41

Enrichment Afternoons Thursday afternoons for children in Forms 3 to 6 offer ‘off-timetable’ time during the school day to cater for expansive enrichment activities in addition to the regular schedule of lessons in the ‘My Mind’ programme (incorporating Philosophy, Tai Chi, Mindfulness, Critical Thinking, Study Skills and Online Safety). Some subjects cross three terms, such as: My Mind, Philosophy, Tai Chi and Digital well-being. A sample of some of the Enrichment activities this year is outlined below.

Michaelmas Term ‘The Big Draw’ Executive Functions Computing Young Shakespeare Company Hinduism talk Humanitas charity workshop Spanish Cambridge University Library trip Museum of Zoology trip St John’s Got Talent show

Lent Term Research Skills IWM Duxford Art trip .breathe Mindfulness Faz Shah Beatbox workshop Author talks for Book Week DT Boat Race St Giles’ Church trip Space Dome AI & Machine workshop

Summer Term Form 6 outreach projects Cambridge Mosque trip French Fayre Humanitas workshop GeoField project French/Drama Play Sikh Gurdwara trip DT Air Boat Race Activity Week Trips 42

Top: Workshop with poet Julian Sedgewick & bottom: Form 3 trip to the Cambridge Mosque

Forms 3 & 4 Design Technology Club

Co-Curricular Clubs Co-curricular refers to the activities and learning experiences that take place in school alongside the academic curriculum. Academic attainment and pastoral care are key elements to school life here and they are complemented by a broad and enriching co-curricular programme to provide a rounded education. The variety of provision within the co-curricular offering at St John’s ensures that all aspects of the schools life are enriched through either physical activities, creative challenges, performances and service to the school.

Book Café Chatterbooks Debating International Films Journalism Reading for Empathy British Sign Language Ancient Greek Beginners Italian Art Arts Award Design Technology How to Think when Draw Pupil Forum Sewing Sugar Craft Wool Craft

Aquathlon Athletics Boys’ and Girls’ Football Boys’ Rugby Boys’ and Girls’ Cricket Boys’ and Girls’ Hockey Chess Field Run Football Golf Mini Tennis Multi Sports Netball Rowing Running Squash and Fives Swimming Tennis

Calm Club Happy Mind, Body & Heart Reading for Empathy Yoga & Mindfulness Ballet Drama Shakespeare Strictly@SJCS Grade 5 Music Theory Music Composition Music Ensembles Musical Theatre Pop Choir Potential Music Scholars Year Group Choirs Chamber Choirs Junior Choir

Lego Film Fun & Games Tabletop Games Computer Control & Electronics Digital Craft General Programming Micro:bit Python Programming

“When I started at St John’s, I couldn’t believe how many clubs there were to choose from, there is something for everyone.” 43

Boarding Boarding at St John’s, at Whitfield House, is based on the principle that the House should act as an extension of the child’s family. Whitfield House has a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere which provides a happy and structured environment for boarders and their families. In addition to the Head of Boarding and House Parents, a wide range of resident and non-resident staff play crucial parts in the lives of boarders and their families. This is a task which we take on with enthusiasm. The House accommodates up to 40 boys and girls co-educationally. In addition to the bedrooms and the common rooms, the children have access to all the facilities of Senior House, including the library, music school, computing rooms, indoor swimming pool, sports hall, playing fields and astro, tennis courts and play areas. Once the school day is over, the school’s facilities become very much the boarders’ own. Within the House itself, there are two main areas for socialising: the kitchen and the recreation room. There is also a library which is a designated ‘quiet’ space. The majority of boarders (with the exception of the Choristers) are children who convert from day schooling at St John’s and the school offers a variety of boarding options to meet the needs of families and pupils as far as possible. There are several boarding options, including: full/flexi and temporary day or weekly boarding.

“Whitfield House is a really charming boarding house, which has been beautifully put together.” 44

Chris Gray ~ St John’s College Choir’s New Director of Music The School was delighted to welcome Mr Christopher Gray as the new Director of Music for the Choir of St John’s at the start of the summer term. Mr Gray, formerly the Director of Music at Truro Cathedral, conducts the world-famous College Choir, which includes boy and girl Choristers and Probationers who are educated at the School.

“We sing at Evensong in the Chapel during the Cambridge University term time.”

Photos courtesy of Joe Giddens (Press Association)

“We have the opportunity as Choristers to sing in iconic venues around the world, as well as the incredible St John’s College Chapel.”


Drama Drama encourages the children learn the vital skills of collaboration and communication, resourcefulness, responsibility, rigour, resilience and risk-taking. Every child at St John’s has been involved in a performance this year, from our youngest in Nativity plays to The Pirates Next Door in T2, Roman Britain Rewritten in Form 1, Stories, Stories, Stories in Form 2, the musical Rats! in Form 3, Folk Tales From Around the World in Form 4 and onto the spectacular Form 5 production of The Jungle Book. Form 6 performed a newly-scripted Passion Play, as well as Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as part of their Leavers’ productions and the Shakespeare Schools Festival (The Winter’s Tale).

Form 6 perform The Winter’s Tale for the Shakespeare Schools Festival (SSF)


Form 5 The Jungle Book


Top left: Kindergarten nativity Whoops-a-Daisy Angel; top right: T1 nativity Babushka; middle left: T2 The Pirates Next Door; middle right: Form 1 Roman Britain Rewritten; bottom left: Form 2 Stories, Stories, Stories; bottom centre: Form 3 Rats! & bottom right: Form 4 Folk Tales From Around the World

Sixth Form’s ‘Passion Play’ The telling of Christ’s Passion at the end of the Lent Term by our departing Form 6 is a tradition which goes back several decades. Inspired by the world-famous Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany, this year significant changes were made to the script and the way the Passion was performed. The role of women has been developed further in the play and any antiSemitic issues have been addressed by including parts which show the beauty and importance of the Jewish religion within the story.

“This new-look ‘Passion’ was performed to a predominantly standing audience, in an immersive way with the story unravelling around the Hall and on the stage. The vision was for the audience to literally be in the story.” 49

Sport At St John’s, we want to foster a love of sport in all pupils, developing their knowledge and understanding of sports, enabling pupils to be the best they can be, and inspiring lifelong involvement in physical and healthy activities to benefit the body and mind. Across the breadth of the PE and Games curriculum we have enabled pupils to be physically active and develop their physical fitness and skills, their tactical awareness, critical evaluation, and teamwork and the other important values and skills which sports can teach such as leadership, communication, perseverance, resilience, creativity and humility. The girls attended the U11 and U13 Hockey IAPS and the U11 and U13 County hockey rounds. The U11 Girls qualified for the County Finals at Gresham’s. It has been very encouraging for us to see our pupils developing their sporting ability at these competitive events and making the latter stages of them.

“We have had more pupils than ever representing “Sports can teach leadership skills, communication, the school across a wide range of sporting activities perseverance, resilience, creativity and humility.” this academic year.”

Form 4 House Cross Country Run on the St John’s College Playing Fields


The IAPS Rugby festivals for the U13 and U11 proved to be a worthwhile experience for the boys and something we will look forward to again in the future. The U13’s did extremely well to finish in second place at the Oundle event. This momentum continued when Form 6 participated in the regional U13 Rugby 7’s Tournament hosted by the Northampton Saints and finished a very respectable fourth overall out of ten schools on the day. The U9s and U10s also had very productive Rugby terms. It was a positive Netball term when the U9 took part in a Festival at St Faith’s. At the IAPS competitions the U11 girls came 1st place in the Bowl competition. The U13 girls had a competitive day at IAPS. The U13s won the trophy at the Regional IAPS event. We entered the U13 Boys’ Football IAPS this term which was enjoyed by the pupils and we hope to do this again for the U11s as well. We took up the opportunity to play some Girls’ football with St Mary’s and were delighted that so many girls expressed an interest and look to do more of this in the future along with looking at the Girls’ football IAPs competitions. Rowing, Squash and Fives are popular Games choices on Wednesdays each term and offers pupils the opportunity to participate in sports that are not the main term’s game. Swimming remains a popular activity for our pupils with all Swimming clubs well attended. Over 30 Form 3 to Form 6 pupils took part in the IAPS Swimming Competition at Culford this year. Swimming is the largest event in the IAPS Sport programme, with over 4,500 competitors taking part each year.


92 SJCS pupils took part in the Oundle School Triathlon competition

92 pupils across Byron House and Senior House took up the opportunity to take part in the Schools Triathlon at Oundle School in May. It is wonderful to see an event like this inspire pupils to take part. A group of Form 5 and 6 pupils competed in the District Cross Country in December and Frankie Benstead (Form 5) ran exceptionally well and was selected for the Cambridgeshire team running at the English Schools Athletics Association Cross Country which is a wonderful achievement. Cross Country for Forms 4 to 6 is closely aligned with the Field Run ethos and, whilst retaining a competitive element, was a positive afternoon in the Lent term. It was fantastic to see pupils perform with purpose to score valuable points for their House and do as well as they could. Friday Field Run is as popular as ever and develops a love of running in our pupils. It was heart-warming to see the Byron House Field Run be so well-supported when it has been able to take place. We have been thrilled to see 32 pupils take up tennis as a Games option in Forms 5 and 6 this year. All 28 SJCS tennis players competed twice with St Faith’s pupils during the Summer term.

Sports Day 2022


Leavers’ Destinations & Awards 56 Form 6 boys and girls are leaving for Senior Schools. They are proceeding as follows: 13 to the Stephen Perse Foundation; 11 to The Leys; 6 to Uppingham; 4 to King’s Ely, 4 each to Oundle and the Perse Upper; 3 to Winchester; 2 each to Eton and state secondary schools; 1 each to King’s InterHigh, Lake Bluff Middle School Illinois, St Mary’s Cambridge, Trinity, Queen Margaret’s, St Mary’s Ascot and Stamford Schools At the time of going to press, the following 20 awards were achieved as follows: Antigone Axon Angus Crichton-Stuart Melissa French Georgie Formston Roksana Ghahramani Eadie Harrison Straughair Olivia Inglis Caspar Johnson Lucy Keightley Amelie Kirk Zoe Loose Kieran McGurran Isobel Morbey Riley Neville Milan Patel Vita Rainey Hugo Wells Milo White Anne Vinokurov

Design Technology Scholarship Music Scholarship Academic Scholarship Music Scholarship Academic Scholarship Drama Scholarship Sport Scholarship Music Scholarship Drama Scholarship Music Scholarship Sport Scholarship Academic & Music Scholarships All Round Scholarship Drama Scholarship All Round Scholarship Academic Scholarship Academic Scholarship Music Scholarship Music Scholarship

Uppingham Eton Stephen Perse Foundation Stamford Schools Stephen Perse Foundation Stephen Perse Foundation Oundle Trinity Oundle St Mary’s Cambridge Stephen Perse Foundation Winchester Oundle The Leys Oundle The Leys Uppingham Uppingham Uppingham

Where a child has gained an award in the same discipline for more than one school, only the award for the destination school is recorded.

Highlights is written, designed, produced and edited by St John’s College School staff


© St John’s College School 2023

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