Friday 30th June 2017

We all recognise that the summer term and particularly the end of that, is a very busy time for everyone in schools, whether it is children making preparations for transition, meeting new people and teachers and bidding farewell to their friends, or staff collecting their thoughts and expressing their views on the performance of children in reports. Whether it is parents attending concerts and shows and prize-giving and picnics or whether it’s governors feeling satisfaction at another successful year. Whatever your experience of the end of this academic year at St Michael’s, I hope it has been special. I have the privilege of a front row seat at some of the best shows in town. The nursery singsong on Tuesday was a happy occasion on which children enjoyed in many different ways, not all of them forward facing, the songs they have been taught this year. No-one can have failed to be impressed at the words and actions they have mastered. On Wednesday we were treated to the Pre-Prep performance of “Pirates versus Mermaids”, a feisty and funny show which played to the strengths of so many children and revealed a new dimension to others. With a stylish set created by Mrs Halfacre and amazing costumes supplied by parents, the shimmering mermaids and the fearsome pirates had to come together to solve the problem of Pirate Scarypants’ fear of water. Who better to show them and teach them how to swim then the elegant mermaids?

The children without exception enjoyed their moment. There was some fantastic shimmying from the reception crabs complete with clawed headdresses and from the splendid starfish, the scary sharks and from the huge array of octopi. Hats off (and there were a lot of hats) to Mrs Beesley, Miss Salmon and the staff in the Pre-Prep for an inspired choice and an excellent production.

Today’s Kindergarten concert made those of us who had been at both Nursery and Kindy’s concerts aware of just how much progress is made in those first two years. The children presented songs on the theme of the growth and development of a butterfly, including some impressive scientific words and displayed great rhythmic skills, as well as fine voices and wonderful memories. With words and actions, they entertained us beautifully for half an hour this morning and it was a wonderful end to a happy year in Kindy.

Of course Thursday evening saw us gathered together formally for the Prep school prize-giving. We welcomed former teachers including former headmaster Paul Cox, who saw the first recipient of his newly offered prize for cross country and we celebrated the talents of the many other successful people to be rewarded in public on this occasion. Each year I have a few communications on the subject of how prize-giving fits in with an inclusive agenda. I am absolutely clear about the value of such an event in the calendar of the school. This year we added awards for cross country, global citizenship and separated effort and progress to be two separate prizes for each year.

In the variety of awards made, the whole spectrum of talent is included and those who leave us at the end of Year 6 and Year 8, it is fitting that they receive our good wishes and a small gift.

Fuzz Caan, international Olympic coach was an entertaining and fascinating speaker.  He spoke eloquently of the synergy between his beliefs about the five “P”s: Planning, Preparation, Process, Permission, Passion and our school motto “Perseverance, Wisdom, Gratitude”.  We were delighted that he could join us.

It is always fun to see the film review of the year. This is a relatively new tradition in the school and falls to the gap student to make each year. I think you will agree that this year’s set new standards.

And as I write my final lines this week, Sports Day is playing itself out. At the end of this day new records will have been set and new children will glow with pride.

Last week on our field the happiest night of the year, the 24-hour event campout was attended by so many parents and children and there was a great deal of warmth, both from the weather and from the warm atmosphere of sharing a special evening together. My grateful thanks to Rhys Morgan and Joel Thomas who organised the daytime and Fraser Wiseman and Steve Wade who organised the night time.

For many children and parents this was the absolute highlight of the year.

This is the final newsletter of the school year as next week we break up on Wednesday. During the holidays I will send you an update with the achievements of the children in their final week and the Head’s Review. This is a formal document that summarises all the achievements of the past academic year and gives parents an analysis of the school’s performance and the direction in which we travel. Can I remind you that next week, when there are no clubs, children are collected from three different doors: Year 3 come out of the main front doors, Years 6 and 7 come out of the chapel doors and Years 4, 5 & 8 come out through the white doors. For those of you with children in lots of years you will have to walk up and down the path! We hope you understand that this keeps all the children safe as the whole school is dismissed simultaneously. On the last day of term, we finish before lunch and the school field is hired in the afternoon. We hope that all parents will be able to pick the children up and there is no Hive on the last day. I wish you the happiest of summer holidays and wherever you go, safe travels and a safe return. For those of you leaving St Michael’s as parents, children or staff, thank you for all you have given to the school and come back and see us soon.

Jill Aisher

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Card games have dominated indoor activities in The Hive this week and we’ve enjoyed playing Rummy, Old Maid, Patience, Snap and Cheat.

Skipping games have expanded to include the long skipping rope, with two people holding either end while children skip in the middle.  Laughter was the name of the game as lots of children attempted to skip at the same time.  Well done to everyone who has taken part, it was such fun!   In other sporting fun, Connie has been wowing us with her gymnastic talents.   She has also impressed us with her one handed cartwheel.  Amazing, Connie, well done.

Two of our Pre-Prep children presented Mrs Aisher, Mrs Leech and Mrs Birmingham with their end of term presents from The Hive.  The children have been really busy over the last couple of weeks, making lots of lovely soaps and bath bombs, not only for themselves but also for some of the teachers. We hope you like our gifts and enjoy using them as much as the children have.

In cooking this week the children enjoyed making their own pizza. They added lots of different toppings: cheese, tomatoes, ham, chicken, pineapple and sausages.

Finally, we say a fond farewell and good luck to all the Year 6 and Year 8 children who have attended The Hive over the last year or two. We wish you every success in your new schools and hope that you have enjoyed your time with us as much as we’ve enjoyed spending time with you.

Mrs N Smith

 

 

 

Last week, after a tough week of exams the Year 8’s headed off to Tregoyd House, Wales, for PGL. This was a trip that brought the adventurous side out of everyone. The mornings were spent in the lake on canoes, kayaks or building rafts. We knew that all hope of staying dry was lost, as was evidenced by the fresh batch of wet clothes at the end of each morning in the drying room.

 

The dry activities in the afternoon were filled with heights, harnesses and targets. We sure found out who our friends were…luckily they’re a trustworthy bunch who would have caught us if we fell! My favourite activities included, but were not limited to, the trapeze, archery and rifle shooting. Adam, our group leader, helped us with anything we needed to know at the site and planned our evening activities and games, although any free time we had on the site turned quickly into water fights kindly supplied by the stream running through Tregoyd.

 

The nights were filled with more activities such as ‘Ambush’ and camp fire night. The tuck shop was among people’s favourite places to waste their money, trying to fit the most sweets in the cup from the pick ‘n’ mix.

 

If we didn’t already know our Year 8 friends well enough by now, we certainly did after this trip! PGL was among one of my favourite trips at my time at St Michael’s.

 

A huge thanks to Mr T, Mr Cobb… and Mrs Shield for putting up with those two (and us!!)

 

J Benjamin 8W

 

Keep an eye on our website as we add more photos in our Year 8 PGL gallery during next week

The Hive has been buzzing with fun and laughter again this week, as the glorious weather allowed the children to take part in a variety of different garden activities.

We’ve also been drawing treasure maps and hunting for treasure, setting up and taking part in obstacle and relay races and even having a proper game of badminton.  Skipping games and limbo also continue to be a hit with the children.  Well done to Hazel who is currently our best limbo dancer!

The children have also helping each other complete their Monsters Inc “Sulley” wreaths, while others are still enjoying making their coloured soap and bath bombs.

Continuing our summer theme in cookery, we made a raspberry trifle, which went down a treat and tasted delicious!

Well done to everyone who took part in our many wide and varied activates this week, it’s been great fun!

Mrs N Smith

 

 

 

Our Paris Trip

By Lucy, Scott, Matthew and Teddy

 

Last week, Year 7 went on their biggest trip of the year. Off to Paris and its surroundings!

On Monday, we had to wake up at 5:15am to meet at school at 6:15pm. We drove to Folkestone to take the Shuttle to Calais and then we drove for 3 hours to the centre of Paris. En route, we watched the French DVD “Un monstre à Paris” and we stopped for a picnic. Once in Paris, we went to a bakery. We were only allowed to order in French and the baker kept asking us questions in French, such as “sur place ou à emporter (eat here or take away)?”. We were so good that he gave the teachers chaussons aux pommes for free. After that, we walked all the way up to the bottom of Montmartre where we got onto the famous merry go round thanks to the money we raised on French Day. We visited the church, which is huge and beautiful and walked to the Place du Tertre with lots of artists. We stayed there to have dinner at “Cadet de Gascogne” where we had the best steak-frites ever and we drank Orangina. We finally arrived at our Novotel hotel quite late. The hotel was clean and modern.

 

On Tuesday, we woke up at 6:50am to have breakfast of pains au chocolat and croissants. We drove to France Miniature where we saw mini models of famous French monuments and places. Then we managed to skip the long queue to enter Versailles. Our favourite room was the Hall of mirrors, full of gold and glass. We even saw the King’s room. That day, we were 22 of the 32,000 visitors. Later in the afternoon, we went to the gardens. There were lots of fountains and music displays. We ate dinner by the lake, at the end of the garden. Lucky us!

 

On Wednesday, we went to central Paris. We walked up the 1,669 stairs to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower where we had astonishing panoramic views of Paris. We ate our picnic on the other side of the bridge, after buying lots of mini Eiffel Towers. Some of us got very good deals! Afterwards we went on a bateau-mouche trip and finally got the chance to see Notre-Dame. Later, we went to Musée d’Orsay to view the impressionist paintings and sculptures. Some of us were too tired and did our diary instead! Back at the hotel, we played rounders and cricket in the huge field.

 

On Thursday, we got the chance to swim in the hotel pool before heading to Parc Astérix because it was a very hot day. According to us, the best rides were Zeus, Vikings and Osiris. We also watched a sea lion and dolphin show, as well as a fight between “romains” and “gaullois”. Teddy could not go on the rides but managed to win a huge dog called Zeus. That evening, we had a yummy dinner at a pizzeria. There was even a farm outside the restaurant with a big fat pig and kids (baby goats). We were so good that the waiter gave us a glass bottle of Orangina to take back to England.

 

On Friday, we drove to Stade de France. We learnt lots of facts about the stadium, we visited the players’ changing rooms and ran out of the tunnel and we sat in the president seat, like Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday when England played against France. Luckily it was a friendly because we lost! Then we drove back to Calais where we headed to the supermarket. There we had to do a treasure hunt and also bought our own dinner. Just before we arrived back at St Michael’s, we were all given a funny French nicknames and some of us won prizes:

Best bedroom (after 2 inspections!): Zach, Matthew and Charlie

Nice friends: Henry and Lucy

Sun queen: Amber

Frenchman of the week: Zach

Star of the week: Charlie

 

“It was an awesome trip!”

“It was the best trip I have ever been on!”

“Merci Mrs Chugg, Mr Wade and Mme Poracchia.”

 

See more of our photos in our special gallery