As the Autumn Term of 2021 draws to a close, we reflect on the joy and brilliance of the last twelve months. Despite the challenges we continue to endure as a nation, the adaptability and commitment of our community has been incredible; there have been so many wonderful moments of pride alongside a greater sense of normality. As we look to the year of 2022 with high hopes, we bring 2021 to a close with festive frivolity.

St John’s Christmas Card 2021 by Henrietta, Upper Third

The final few weeks of term are always packed with festive fun, with house competitions and social events aplenty, including trips to the pantomime, pizza nights and ice-skating trips! The glowing trees and decorations across the School have provided a sense of warmth and excitement for our community, and we will be donating the beautiful Christmas tree to a local charity as we close our doors for the term.

With twinkling lights and a fantastic array of stalls, the Christmas festivities began at St John’s School on Saturday 20 November with the SJPA Christmas Market. Our local community and families had the perfect opportunity to peruse a fantastic array of unique gifts, delicious food and tombola stalls. This year’s event was a fun-filled seasonal extravaganza of shopping, a snowboarding simulator and much more!

Moreover, our sincerest thanks go to the SJPA for providing a fantastic ice rink for pupils to enjoy at St John’s, it was a fantastic addition to the excitement of the last week of term. Pupils relished the opportunity to get their skates on and have some fun – especially with the snow machine!

Across two nights in the final week of term, we welcomed families to join us in Chapel for the Festival of Lessons and Carols. With carols sung by the choir and readings by staff and the School Captains, the service was a moment of comfort to all.”

Boarders enjoyed a delicious Christmas Dinner on Tuesday, and on the last day of term, the Catering Department set to work on a military level mission to provide a scrumptious Christmas Lunch, for our entire community. The Dining Hall was full of festivity and twinkling lights, as pupils were able to enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings and crackers.

Across the term, the Performing Arts Department have been busier than ever! On Tuesday 14 December, the much-loved Christmas Rock Concert was streamed live to families, and a host of bands and soloists performed a fantastic mix of pieces from Christmas classics to power ballads, showcasing the instrumental and vocal talents of our pupils.

On Tuesday 14 December, pupils in the Brass Band surprised everyone with a Christmas performance outside the Dining Hall. Pupils and staff were overjoyed to hear an array of wonderful festive favourites performed on The Quad. On Thursday 16 December, we enjoyed a Tinsel Town lunchtime recital, where musicians performed, with festive solo and group performances.

Amongst the many moments of pride this term, we are delighted to have seen our pupils thriving amongst the varied school life they have come to enjoy and cherish at St John’s, from the incredible performances showcasing our pupils’ vocal and instrumental talents to sporting triumphs.

Across the term, pupils participated in over 700 fixtures across 62 teams competing in Rugby, Hockey, Netball, Football, Swimming and Shooting on a local, county, regional and national level. The resilience, determination and passion shown for school sport across all our pupils has been nothing short of outstanding.

On Friday 17 December, we bid farewell to the busy Autumn Term whilst donning our best festive attire for Christmas Jumper Day, raising money for Eikon, a local charity that works on improving mental health in young people. Eikon was chosen to receive the donations for Christmas Jumper Day this year, after pupils took part in fundraising pitches; Eikon were put forward by Eliza, Olive, Daisy, Darcey, Katherine, Kyarra and Rhianna from Haslewood House.

As we close the doors on the Autumn Term, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year.