Despite huge quantities of water falling from the skies this week it’s been sunny at St Michael’s at least on the inside.
Madame Poracchia’s excellent French day on Tuesday got us off to a roaring start and there was so much enjoyment and effort in the décor and the catering arrangements as well as a huge number of people having a go at using French in all sorts of different parts of the day. C’était extra! I commend to you the video that was sent to all the staff to challenge the stereotypes that did find expression in some of the outfits that were sported on the day. France isn’t a nation of stripey-topped, beret-wearing, garlic-bedecked men with moustaches on bikes! (heureusement!)
We welcomed a goodly number of adventurous souls on Wednesday to our Open Morning who braved a Hollywood style rainstorm to come and feel the warmth of St Michael’s. I was particularly moved by the children who spoke about what it’s like to be here and as always they are the best part of the day for me.
It is always exciting to meet new children and families eager to join us too and we have much to be grateful for. The new royal baby is one we might not expect as a future pupil and it has been amusing to see reporters scrambling to ask questions around parenting and personality based on just two days in the world as a family.
I share the royal couple’s joy at this new potential bundle of promise, but I also feel that way actually most days, when I witness in classrooms, on the sports field, in concerts or on ski slopes, as shown in this morning’s assembly, any child taking a step towards realising their own potential and promise.
Educating children is a privilege that we all enjoy.
At the end of the week we welcomed the steel pan band from Parkwood Hall cooperative academy, who lifted our spirits, showing off their promise and potential, feeding our dancing souls with their joyful renditions of tunes from TV, films and shows. After the concert, big band members and music scholars elect joined the pupils for a workshop session in which they learnt to have a go. What fun to have a little taste of the Caribbean on a Friday morning.
Next week is an important one for pupils as we take stock of what they can now do independently through exams and tests. I’m a firm believer that really good teaching leads, on the whole, to children being able to do things without too much revision. Of course for some children the thought of the process brings apprehension and for some there will always be challenges that are unique in a test. Testing is one of the ways we measure success and it is equally important to be able to share, help, explain, make someone smile or feel valued as to “learn and churn” facts. So as we enter this week, we do try to keep the whole process in proportion and as low-key as possible for everybody’s sake. Parents can support by keeping to normal routines, making sure children eat well, sleep well and have time to play and rest. Keeping medical appointments to an absolute minimum next week is enormously helpful for the staff who otherwise have to arrange for separate sittings and invigilate these out of the main timetable.
We are all looking forward to the visit of Happy’s circus on Sunday the 19th. The P&F have been working so hard to make it a very special day and I’m delighted to be coming myself. There’s still a week left to buy tickets online. https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/booking/kent/st-michaels-prep-school/family-fun-day/2019-05-19/11:30
Whatever you’re doing this weekend, have a good one.