We want our children to enjoy their learning across a wide range of subjects.
We try to develop children as active, resourceful and flexible learners. People learn by doing and experimenting as well as listening and watching. Our teaching and learning approach emphasises the importance of a varied and stimulating diet of learning activities. It also stresses the importance of developing children’s creativity. Our creative approach to the curriculum enables pupils to make connections between subjects and provides opportunities for creative thinking, problem solving and collaborative working.
We are especially keen to promote learning outside of the classroom and all of our children enjoy the opportunity to visit many places of educational interest throughout the year. We are very fortunate to own two minibuses which enable us to travel within and beyond the M25 to an unimaginable and seemingly unlimited variety of places to stimulate and foster a love of learning. This programme is further enriched by a wide range of workshops and theatre presentations run by local organisations and subject specialists (‘I enjoy trips, shows and workshops and they help me to learn and have fun’ – 97% of pupils ‘Agree’ in our Pupil Satisfaction Survey). In this way we seek to nurture children’s natural curiosity and creativity while developing the individual gifts, talents and aptitudes that all children possess. The PTFA subsidise these trips by offering the school £3500 pa. Costs are further alleviated by an annual and very generous donation of £5000 from the Friern Barnet Educational Trust!
Sport is important too and we encourage our pupils to develop positive attitudes towards healthy lifestyles (‘I enjoy sport at school’ – 95% of pupils ‘Agree’ in our Pupil Satisfaction Survey). As well as offering a full P.E. syllabus, we offer a unique ‘sport enrichment programme’ whereby every class in the main school has the chance to try something different for a half-term each year. Sports we have offered during school hours have included: yoga, gymnastics, taekwondo, trampolining, handball, tennis, rock climbing, fencing, street dance, keep fit and kayaking. Each activity lasts six weeks and is run by a professional coach here at school or off-site. The PTFA subsidise these activities by donating £2000 pa.
Community Cohesion and Citizenship are incredibly important to us at St. John’s as well; in addition to fantastic international links, we encourage our children to become active participants in the local community. In EYFS and KS1, pupils adopt a charity and run exciting fund raising events to raise money for their chosen worthy cause. In KS2 pupils cook meals for Shelter during the winter months, help run mother and toddler groups at church, undertake weekly visits to Oakleigh Special School, serve lunch to the elderly at the Parish Centre and help out at the Age UK Barnet Day Centre in East Finchley. We are proud of our children and their caring attitudes.
We are also committed to the arts and as well as attending the theatre regularly we also invite travelling theatre groups into school to perform for the children and run drama workshops. In addition we present our own shows at Christmas and towards the end of the school year. These experiences develop children’s confidence and self esteem and over the years these shows have become a strength of the school.