Head’s Blog 10th July 2019 Wednesday 10th July 2019

As the academic year hurtles to a close, it is almost time to take a step back and have a well-earned rest. We have, all of us, worked so hard this year.

Our last few days have been spectacularly enjoyable, complex to create but beautifully simple to enjoy.

The Prep Sports Day on Friday ran like clockwork, with stunning weather to match the superb organisation. The houses marched out in style and competed with ambition and mutual support and respect. It was exciting to see some new records set, equalled and old ones broken:

Year 7&8 1500m     P Parker-Swift – 6.2.8.21min (from 6.29.35)

Year 6 High Jump   S Newton – 1.49m (from 1.41m)

Year 5 High Jump   M Cameron – 1.38m (from 1.37m)

Year 5 100m              J Wiseman (=record 14.19)

Congratulations to all the winners and to all who pushed themselves to their own limits.

Thank you and congratulations too, to Cal Wade, whose immaculate organisation triumphed on the day and all staff who worked hard to make it happen and to be such a fun day.

The evening celebrations and the gorgeous weather led to a convivial evening of barbecue, sizzled and served by a strong staff team, time to play freely, chat, enjoy a drink and then the excitement of the all-night camp out. It was good to see children playing and laughing in mixed age groups, enjoying the space and the warm summer sun. An enormous debt of gratitude is owed to Fraser Wiseman, who masterminded the logistics and the practicalities of the camp out, plotting pitches, shopping for food and drink, cooking, cleaning and staying awake to look after everyone. A merry band of colleagues joined him to serve and clear and to each person involved a very warm and heartfelt thank you.

On Monday we were treated to the talents of Pre-Prep, when they performed their “Plastic Pirates” songs for us. I later very much enjoyed the whole environmentally on-message show, with not only plenty of opportunity for solo and ensemble work, but also the sea of underwater creatures colourfully bedecked. It was great that Zerrin Leech is fit to return to work to congratulate the pupils and staff on an excellent year in Pre-Prep. I’m proud of each and every one of them.

Alongside our super sports day, we held a magnificent Old Michaelians’ Day and met, for the first time in one case, some interesting former pupils who have lead very successful lives in different professions and regard the school with fondness and a deep connection, born of the fact that they boarded here. One of our Old Michaelian visitors explained that when he transferred to his fine independent senior school he struggled to not be boarding and felt that there was something missing.

Today’s struggle I think, for pupils, and particularly today, the last day of term, is to actually say goodbye. But of course this isn’t ultimately necessary because although they won’t be with us every day, all staff and pupils will always have a place at St Michael’s. We want to be in touch. We want to hear your news we want to engage on social media and we want to follow the careers of our spectacularly successful and varied cohort of leavers as they go out to make their mark on their next schools and the world beyond.

It was easy to detect how splendid our pupils are at last night’s Prize Giving. It was utterly delightful to welcome Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to the stage and he certainly showed us the art of feeling comfortable performing.

Laurence’s nephews attend St Michael’s and we were absolutely thrilled that he agreed to come and present the prizes to our lucky winners this year. From the moment he arrived, Laurence was bubbling with humour and quips that put the children on stage very much at their ease. Having declared that our marquee was quite retro and suggesting that perhaps we had too much fabric around the window apertures, he went on to talk with some passion about the charity MERU which his father set up to assist severely disabled children with the simple tasks of life by making and engineering tools to support their independence. Laurence kindly waived his appearance fee (phew!) and instead asked the school to make a donation to MERU to continue the good work. Laurence made us laugh and gave us food for thought about creativity and following your dreams, about being unconventional and passionate and he certainly demonstrated that being funny gets you places. If there are parents that would also like show the measure of their enjoyment of last night’s occasion they would be most welcome to do so at the following link https://fundraising.qef.org.uk/donate/donate-qef. Please be generous .

I shall be writing to you all towards the end of the summer to send you my Head’s Review of the year and update you on the progress of Stable Court and the Astroturf.

In the meantime, I wish you all a very happy summer holiday.

Jill Aisher

Latest News

Well done to M, J and S Murray, who have raised money for the Marine Conservation Society by baking and selling cakes in their local village hall. They advertised their event in the village newsletter and put posters up at bus stops, the local pub, the school and the church; Mrs Murray also advertised it on social media.

She told us “The children are very aware of the problem that has been created by the overuse of plastic. Mrs Aisher talks about it at school, they see it in the media and we talk about it at home. They are saddened by the impact it has had on wildlife.”

The children raised an amazing £360.00.

We think it was a fantastic effort for a very well-deserving cause and those cakes look delicious! We’re very proud of you!

Our Old Michaelians arrived to the sound of cheering and tannoy announcements this year! Sports Day was in full flow and they took a moment to sit on the terrace and enjoy the view of St Michael’s competitiveness, friendship and support.

A lovely lunch, tour of the school, afternoon tea in the gazebo on the sports field and drinks with the staff were accompanied by spellbinding stories and laughter as we heard about their time at St Michael’s and beyond.

Current staff and parents took the opportunity to be regaled, while our OMs loved to hear about life at St Michael’s now. Our Estates Team were particularly delighted to be able to learn about the buildings and grounds in past years and to give our guests an insight into their work and the wildlife they come across every day!

Our more recent “graduates” joined us later for the evening barbecue and games.

It’s always a pleasure to welcome back our OMs and we very much look forward to seeing everyone again next year.

 

Congratulations to Year 4 pupil, I Sharma, who has won gold in the athletic yoga section of the World Yoga Championship in Sofia, Bulgaria. Competing in the 8-12 year age group, he faced tough competition.

Well done!

Congratulations to Year 7 pupil, K Cameron, whose football team, Tunbridge Wells Ridgewaye, competed in the U12’s Tunbridge Wells Youth and Ladies tournament on Sunday.

All the teams participating were of a high standard, including an academy team!

The TW Ridgewaye team won their first game, drew the next 2 and won the last.  They made it to the quarter finals, then beat the academy team to reach the final, which was against Bearsted, who are top of the league.

It was a thrilling final, which ended up with Tunbridge Wells winning the cup.

Well done to K Cameron and his team mates!