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History of the school
St. Michael’s School was founded in 1872 when Father Arthur Tooth (who was born in Cranbrook and educated at Tonbridge School and Trinity College, Cambridge) established a school and home for ‘orphaned’ boys at Hatcham in New Cross. The school wasn’t strictly an orphanage as it was intended for sons of the Clergy, officers of the Army and Navy and of professional men whose homes had been marred by bereavement or by some form of domestic unhappiness.
Much has been written about Arthur Tooth who as a young priest fell foul of Disraeli’s Public Worship Regulation Act and was imprisoned for 28 days in Horsemonger Lane gaol. He was the first priest to be gaoled to protect the public from “ritualism and the Mass”. After his imprisonment he devoted his life to his school which he moved to Woodside in Croydon and then in 1925 to Beechy Lees in Otford which had previously served as a hunting lodge for Londoner Barclay Field’s family.
A log book, started by the Senior Master Charles Manning Jaggard, and continued by Michael Cork covers the years from 1916 to 1941 and gives a fascinating insight into the day to day lives of the 40 or so boys who boarded at the school.
Fr Tooth died in 1931 and was succeeded as Warden by Fr Charles Harcourt Blofeld, who was succeeded on his death in 1938 by his younger brother Father Thomas Guest Blofeld.
In 1937, the Warden took on a young man Donald Cormack as Senior Master, a role he held until his retirement in 1981 (the post became known as Head Teacher on the death of the Warden T G Blofeld in 1964).
Father Paul Cox succeeded Cormack as Head, and was succeeded in turn by Simon Cummins in 1990. Dr Peter Roots was Head from 1996 to 2002, and an interim Headmaster, Frank Skipwith held the post until Mr Keith Crombie took over in September 2003. Current Head Teacher, Mrs Jill Aisher joined the school on Mr Crombie's retirement in 2013.
For almost 100 years all St Michael’s boys were full-time boarders, and averaged 50 pupils. Until the 1930’s there was only one holiday during the year!
In the 1980’s the school started to expand and the then Headmaster, Father Paul Cox, introduced both a pre-prep section (in the old stable block) and girls (though they were only introduced into the Main School in 1991).
Boarding was finally abandoned in the 1990’s and the expansion of the school continued under the headship of Simon Cummins. The grounds were landscaped to accommodate several pitches and a new sports centre was built.
The school is now considered ‘full’ with 450 pupils but the expansion of the building work continues in order to provide new facilities.
2002 was the 130th anniversary of St Michael's School and proved to be a very successful year academically with 30 out of the 50 leavers achieving scholarships.
St Michael’s Prep School pupils continue to meet the stars! Last week, Year 3 pupil Annabel was invited to the O2 for .. Read More
Pupils at St Michael's Prep School spent a thrilling day as they raised awareness of dyslexia. Read below the account of.. Read More
Year 8 pupils at St Michael’s Prep School have transformed one of the stairwells by decorating it with a timeline of the.. Read More
Cats in Hats, Jokers, Harry Potters, Hagrids and Malfoys turned out in force at St Michael’s Prep School, Otford last we.. Read More
Pre-Prep children enjoyed the company of Joyce, a trainee guide dog as they learned about the work of the Guide Dogs Ass.. Read More
Art and English were on the agenda for the Year 7 pupils' trip to the Tate Modern! Read More
Weird smells and plants which eat insects proved great attractions at Lullingstone World Gardens as Year 8 began their s.. Read More
Coming in 17th out of 118 children competing in his Aquathlon group was an amazing triumph for Tan! Read More
From 1938 to 2012 the tales of times passed at St Michael's kept current pupils enthralled as the Old Michaelians came b.. Read More
"What a fantastic show!" "Absolutely outstanding!" Dazzling costumes and an incredible set met with mesmerising choreog.. Read More
The first ever national triathlon event for IAPS schools led seven enthusiastic St Michael's pupils to Dulwich Prep Scho.. Read More
Piers H achieved his goal to cycle to the top of Alpe d'Heuz during the half term break... Read More
Junior Journalists from St Michael’s Prep School in Otford were thrilled last Friday when award-winning Chief Reporter f.. Read More
Grandioso! Pre-arranged concerts were supplemented by impromptu performances as pupils and staff visited La Scala, Isol.. Read More
St Michael's Prep School children experienced the challenges of living with partial or total sight loss as they took par.. Read More
We are so proud of Emma, who has had seven inches of her hair cut off, so that Little Princess Trust can use it to make .. Read More
“Thrilling!” “a great experience!” “so fun! “breathtaking!” “epic!” - these were just some of the reactions of St Mich.. Read More
Pre-Prep years 1 and 2 had a great time last week watching science shows at Sevenoaks School! Read More
Prep School children had a wonderful time at Sevenoaks School’s Science Week last week! Read More
World Book Day celebrations kicked off early at St Michael’s Prep school last week as penguins, dinosaurs, cats and fant.. Read More