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Jottings from St. John's

25th October 2019


A big welcome to Fr Emmanuel and Fr Anthony from the children, staff and families at St John’s. Just like the new children that we have welcomed to our school over the last few weeks, we wish that you very soon feel the love and warmth of being part of this special community.

The academic year has started very well for us and we haven’t wasted any time getting on with nurturing our gifts and talents – Year 5 have started their swimming lessons and many showed great courage overcoming their fear of the water. Year 3 and 4 have started their recorder and clarinet lessons and are already dreaming of playing in bands and orchestras around the world!

This year, our whole school focus will be on continuing to develop the curriculum and in particular on embedding Catholic Social Teaching in to all areas of the curriculum. We will also be continuing our work on ensuring that all pupils are effectively supported and challenged to reach their full potential – especially the most vulnerable.

We continue to pray for you, our friends at the Cathedral and ask that you continue to pray for us as we start this new school year.


Laura Park

1st April 2019



A few weeks ago many of our Year 4 and 5 children were lucky enough to go on a week-long residential trip to Nethercott Farm in Devon. The trip is designed to give city children a unique experience of living and working together on a real farm. As well as the early morning jobs of feeding the cattle and collecting the eggs, the children were able to make their own butter and cream,  dig the fields,  clean out the animals and finish each day by making sure that the animals were safe and secure in their barns.


Without exception, the children returned filled with renewed energy and radiance; they recognised the pride and self-worth that comes from hard work, had felt the wonder of tending to God’s creation and had experienced the joy that comes from community living. Well done to all the children and staff who made the trip such a huge success!


Laura Park

27th January 2019


Happy New Year and good wishes for 2019.


As always, our term got off to a quick start with Year 3 off to the park on the second day back! They had entered a competition to design a poster for our local playground to become smoke-free. Year 3 were particularly keen to encourage adults to make good choices for their health, the health of the children and the environment as a whole and so they put their faith in to action and got designing.


Luckily for one of our children, she won the whole competition and so with her classmates went to see her poster being unveiled as a rather impressive sign at the gate to the children’s park in Landport. I’m sure that for years to come the children and families of St John’s will be able to give thanks for the difference that is being made through her piece of art work.


Laura Park

2nd December 2018


Following our recent elections, it is with great pleasure that I can announce our new school council members: Sophia, Rafal, David, Aurora, Amelia, Daniel, Joyhan, Jayden, Hiyabel and Howard.


These children generously put themselves forward to represent their peers, act as the student voice on important school matters and help to lead us to develop and live out our school mission of ‘loving to learn; learning to love.’


Meeting with this new school council, I was delighted to hear them share their ideas on how we can continue to put our faith in to action following the example of Oscar Romero. They spoke passionately about the charities that they were looking in to supporting this academic year, which I’m pleased includes working with you to collect gift cards for the homeless during Advent – and they asked me to support them in making links with local causes that need our practical help.

I am so proud of their passion, empathy and drive and look forward to updating you with their work this year.


Laura Park

3rd November 2018


Just before half term we had a wonderful celebration of our school feast day, which we transfer from December 27th in the middle of the school holidays, to October when our school moved to our current site in Arundel Street.

To mark this special occasion, we spent the day being entertained, coached and inspired by Rise Theatre Company who specialise in Christian theatre. With a focus on the parable of the mustard seed, we explored what it means to grow as children of God, to be great and to witness to others.

Every child and member of staff was challenged to work together to use their gifts and talents to prepare and perform an amazing production at the end of the day. It was full of energy, talent and inspiration. Without a doubt it was a huge success and has certainly revitalised our individual faith journeys as well as the faith life of the school as a whole.

From this work as well as our continued commitment to put our faith in to action, we have planned to regularly pray the Rosary with St Edmund’s, explore links with local charities and develop our ‘Big Voices’ group to support class worship.


Laura Park

5th October 2018


We have had a successful start to the new academic year and the children are busy settling in to their classes and getting to grips with their new topics. Clubs have been set up for various sports including hockey, football and netball and children across KS 2 have started their instrumental lessons in recorder, clarinet and ukulele.

We are delighted to have welcomed our new Reception children to school over the last few weeks and they are eagerly embracing their new surroundings. It is lovely to get to know each child and put plans in place to help every one of them reach their full potential as children of God.

As a school that is always keen to put our faith in to action, we are very proud to be taking part in a number of exciting environmental projects this half term that illustrate our care for God’s creation. Last week, some Year 4 children were invited to launch Portsmouth Music Hub’s environmental songbook by taking part in a beach clean at Southsea, followed by singing some of the newly composed songs on the pier. Even more children are taking part in a stomp to school challenge to help reduce pollution in Portsmouth by encouraging their parents to leave their cars at home and walk to school. Another project has seen children from across the school design no smoking signs for our local park so that all local children can enjoy a safe, smoke-free environment in which to play and have fun.

I ask you to pray for our school community as we embark on this new school year and assure you of our continued prayers for you, our friends in Christ.


Laura Park



3rd September 2018


It is with much excitement and anticipation that we reach the end of the school summer holidays; reflecting on the fun that we have had with our friends and families during the long, warm days of August as well as looking forward to all that the new academic year has in store for us.


At St John’s one of the first things that we will be doing as a staff team and then with the children is to explore our mission statement which we summarise as Loving to Learn; Learning to Love. It will give both the staff and children the opportunity to anchor our work, behaviour, relationships and expectations to Christ’s love and example and so gives us a distinctive purpose and direction to our year.


During the first few weeks of term, we have much to look forward to – from welcoming our new Reception children to taking part in a beach clean event. I’m sure that the new Year 3 children will enjoy learning to play the recorder, the Year 4 children will love learning to play the clarinet and our talented ukulele band are very excited to be moving in to their second year of lessons.


As a school community we are very sad to be saying goodbye to Canon Dominic and thank him most sincerely for his care, guidance, wisdom and support. His cheerful, kindness will be greatly missed in the classrooms, offices and staffroom of St John’s.


Laura Park