A Word from Jill Aisher Friday 2nd December 2016

A Word from Mrs Aisher

Having met some delightful prospective families this week, I have been reminded about what a special place we work in. Quite apart from the stunning view, there is an energy in lessons and an engagement from pupils that speaks volumes about the imaginative ways they are being taught.

I enjoyed my time in Nursery recently watching paint mixing and painting with balls rolling on paper in trays…concentration faces galore and miraculously, despite total freedom to explore with the paint, not too much mess!

 

Last Saturday’s P and F Christmas Bazaar was a happy, successful and entertaining occasion. The school was buzzing with excitement and the huge number of former pupils who came back to enjoy a taste of “St Michael’s does Christmas” speaks volumes about the quality of what was on offer. I really wanted to be 10 again because the inflatable bungee run, laser quest and beat the goalie (with speed camera) shoot out area were all very popular, as was the bouncy castle. Of course, when I was 10 none of these things actually existed! Many congratulations to Claire Soper and Sadie West and their amazing team of helpers: Anna Smith, Charlie Parkinson-Bonard, Jules Benjamin, and Tracey Ashton.

 

The chance to pause and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas was afforded this week at the advent chapel service on Tuesday and the beautiful Christingle service with a great deal of impressive pupil participation.

 

Today in Prep we have been bringing a cuddly animal to school and raising money for the RSPCA, chosen by the School Council for our charity day. I was happy that my cuddly puffin from the RSPB arrived in time for the assembly, and that’s a whole other story…

 

The Nursery Nativity showcased a great deal of talent in singing and jigging about and almost achieved uniformity of contributions in the jangly rendition of Jingle Bells. It always warms my heart to see the children embracing the Christmas story in song and action and, although I’m not sure all of the action was in the script, this is one of the many pleasures of being surrounded by young learners and inspiring colleagues.

 

Our cake and carols with Year 2 was a joyful occasion. I often reflect on the very high standards of music-making that children are enabled to enjoy and the chance to sing and play together is one of the greatest blessings we can enjoy throughout our lives. From the opening performance of the three part violin ensemble through the impressive recorder group’s offerings to the final moving and in turn hilarious, closing numbers, we had Christmas with attitude!  

I’ve had three gifts sent up from The Hive in the last fortnight as they swing into biscuit baking mode, now that there is a kitchen annexe. Icing and decorating bakes are a great way to relax and unwind in the Hive.

 

I imagine this weekend is the crunch one in your preparations for Christmas. Good luck with that and in your busyness remember that the gift of a child is to be celebrated by enjoying your own children, as we do each day here (enjoy yours that is!). Whatever you are doing this weekend, have fun.

 

Jill Aisher

Latest News

As Y5 pupil, C Hunter, explained during Monday’s assembly, Sevenoaks School has organised weekly food/supply collections for those in need during these very uncertain times.  The collections have benefited local organisations such as One Big Family: Helping the Homeless, Friends for Families, The Hygiene Bank, Sevenoaks Food Bank: Loaves & Fishes, Community Cupboard, area primary schools and others.  Miss Cat Davison, the School’s Director of Service and Social Impact, updates its online social media feeds (@sevenoaksimpact on Twitter and Instagram) with the items needed each week.  We hope that you will consider helping with this effort.  Together we can make a huge difference for those living right here in our community!
The details of the collections are provided below.  If you do wish to participate, please ensure that items are unopened and handled with washed or sanitised hands, and that social distancing is strictly adhered to on delivery.
What: Food, Supplies (check social media links for current needs)
When:   Every Tuesday, 9am – 12pm
Where: Outside Claridge House, Sevenoaks School,TN13 1HU
(Claridge House is just to the right of the main entrance of Knole Park on High Street)
On Monday our community-minded pupil also discussed a book collection which took place earlier this year for children in Ghana.  Below are photos of EduSpots centres where the books are available for local communities throughout Ghana.

We’ve been amazed by the phenomenal success of the Art Department’s recent challenge “Painting without Paint”. Set as part of our remote learning programme, children were asked to select a work of art of their choice and to recreate it at home – but without using paint!

The Art Department has been overwhelmed by submissions, which Miss Rodwell, described as “creative, humorous and inventive”. She added “Staff have been impressed by submissions that showed how carefully the children have looked at their chosen artworks in order to create such brilliant responses.”

Posts on our Twitter account have received positive responses from prestigious art galleries, such as the Tate and the National Gallery, with The Lowry in Manchester commenting “Wow, we love this!!” on T Neville’s version of L S Lowry’s “Man Lying on a Wall”. But it’s not just art galleries in the UK, who have responded to the children’s art; their work has been liked by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden and the Mauritshuis in Den Haag. One Year 3 pupil, who was inspired by artist Aja Trier, even reached New York, as permission was sought to post an image of one of her paintings. She was delighted to allow us to feature her work and on seeing J Gagg’s interpretation commented “Oh my gosh that is precious! Please tell the artist I love it! I will post on my Instagram and Facebook. Thank you!” She went on to tell us “I am always so humbled when kids are inspired by my work, but this is next level!”

In order to show you all the wonderful work our pupils have done, we’ve put together an online gallery of the work. Talking about the project and the reaction, Mrs Barratt declared “This is wonderful!” and reactions from other schools included the comment “Excellent work St Michael’s Art Department this is a really fun activity”.

Mrs Bridges told us “I am absolutely delighted, and inspired, by the way that the children have responded to these challenges. Creativity is keeping us connected, not only within our own community but across the world too!”

We can’t wait to see what the department comes up with next. Miss Rodwell is keeping us in suspense “I’ve been working on a new one today …”. We’re sure that our pupils will have even more opportunity to excel!

Click here to view our online gallery of more ingenious images.

Some of our super St Michael’s Swimmers have won an array of silverware at recent events.

At the Sevenoaks Swimming Club presentation evening, I Pennington Legh was presented with the Kingsbury Cup for U10 girls; A Green was awarded the Kingsbury Cup for U10 boys; E Green received runner up plate for the best U9 boy; S. Taylor was awarded the Mike Radford Trophy for most improved U9 boy; A Ashton was presented with the U9 Individual Medley Cup and U9 trophy for most improved swimmer; B Tovey and J Taylor were both awarded plaques with their positions from the recent Sevenoaks Club Championships.

At the Black Lion Gala, Gillingham, at the start of March our swimmers again came away with medals. A Ashton won three gold, one bronze, one fourth and one sixth medal; A Green three gold and two silver medals; E Green four silver and one bronze medal; S Taylor one silver and one fourth medal and J Taylor a fourth position medal. V Medlen also came away with a medal from the gala.

Well done to all those swimmers; your hard work and dedication is certainly paying off!

Mrs Denton

Swim School Manager

Well done to our doubles girls, E Julio and S Savidge, who also played in last weekend’s Junior Orange Ball Tournament in Sevenoaks. They played four matches, won two, beating Sevenoaks Prep and Lady Boswell’s and lost two to the eventual finalists Amherst and Granville.

This was a great performance by the girls, particularly in the light of little experience of Orange Ball competition.

Well done!

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