Head’s Blog 14th February 2019 Thursday 14th February 2019

As we race towards the half-year point, I very much hope that most of you will have the opportunity to spend time with your children, draw breath and have some fun.

 

Last Saturday, as many of you were doing the aforementioned, my senior colleagues and I spent a training day together offsite thinking about accountability to one another and looking at the ways we can exploit our differences on the team to bring about collegiate decision-making of a different order.

 

The school’s journey is only as strong as our own as a team and it was fantastic to have the time and space to listen to one another and make some important plans for tackling some of the issues ahead and become closer in the process.

There was a great deal of bonding and fun happening at the discos on Friday night. There was a wonderful atmosphere in both junior and senior discos, with joyful responses to the music and a good deal of fun and sparkle!

This week in assemblies, I have returned to my environmental theme and we looked at reducing plastic in the bathroom. It was interesting that most of the children did not know what shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet and in perhaps one of the more memorable moments of my career at St Michael’s the whole of Prep school was heard to be saying in unison, “pee, paper and poo” are the things you put down the loo!

 

So that means; no cotton wool, no baby buds, no facial and baby wipes, no plasters and in fact surprisingly, no sanitary products.

 

All of these can clog up the sewerage system and when they overflow because of that they do end up in rivers and the sea so please make sure you have a bin in your bathroom.

 

Alongside that, we looked at the prevalence of microbeads before the law that banned these in the UK in October 2018. If, like me, you have some beauty products from before that date you may well still have microbeads in your bathroom and they should not be flushed down the loo or the sink in any form. The link below takes you to a site where you can check the existence of microbeads in many very famous beauty products with top-level brands which I found most surprising when I discovered it as part of my research through Friends of the Earth. https://www.beatthemicrobead.org/product-lists/

 

Decisions that can be taken in families to reduce the products that rely on plastics in the bathroom are to

  • stop buying liquid soap and return to bars
  • consider buying shampoo bars from Lush, their inventor
  • consider buying Truthpaste which is toothpaste in a jar
  • when choosing things like lip balm choose metal containers not plastic ones from the range on sale
  • switch to cotton or silk floss rather than plastic and under no circumstance put it down the toilet

 

I wish you the greatest of luck in modifying your bathroom behaviours. Let’s see if we can, in each of our homes, make a difference to our beautiful planet.

 

We finished the half term with a wonderful Pre-Prep concert where an orchestra of strings, recorders and percussion played two rhythmic and challenging pieces and up in Prep a glorious interhouse music competition with many wonderful moments and I congratulate each child who participated as well as the house leaders on organising and inspiring such enjoyable rehearsals for the whole group performances. Where else would you find all ages joined in joyful song and teachers alongside them also having a lot of fun? Our former colleague, Diane Day, had a very challenging task choosing the winners I felt, and her feedback was positive and thoughtful. I will not forget the focus, energy and fun of all the House songs, nor the sudden preponderance of shark outfits and accoutrements.  The shiny-eyed, winning “We’re all in this together” from Rochester, alongside the staff’s surprise entry seemed to sum up the whole competition beautifully.

 

I hope you have a great half-term. You may spot some of us out and about in Sevenoaks on Friday as the staff training is around team bonding and we’re doing a treasure hunt around the town.

 

Have a lovely holiday.

 

Jill Aisher

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Congratulations to Year 4 pupil, I Sharma, who was nominated for the Community and Voluntary Awards by Sevenoaks District Council. He received his award at St Nicholas Church, Sevenoaks and had the opportunity to meet television stars and Councillor Edward Parsons, a former pupil of St Michael’s.

Confirmation Service 31st January 2019

Although, at one point, it looked like we might be covered in snow, in the end Confirmation Day was cold, clear and sunny.

The sun and the light and warmth it gives us, was the theme of Bishop Simon Burton-Jones’ (Bishop of Tonbridge) talk at the service. The theme of light is one that permeates the service in words, symbols and music. At the end of the service each of those being confirmed was given a lit candle and we were challenged to think about how each of us could take light into our families and school. The final words of the service being, ‘Go in the light and peace of Christ’.

Four Year 6 pupils were confirmed this year – F Arduino, B Kerr, R Landgrebe and E Ward. The service was full of joy and excitement. It was wonderful to see the four of them sporting huge grins and to witness how much getting confirmed clearly meant to each of them. It was also fantastic to listen to the thoughtful prayers that the pupils in Years 7 and 8, who had been previously confirmed, had written (O Stuart, G Schooley, C Mottram and H Madden).

Their reasons for getting confirmed ranged from wanting to feel closer to God, being ready to make this choice and commitment, as well as there being a sense of completeness, belonging fully to the church and being able to receive communion.

We continue to meet on a Tuesday lunchtime for Confirmation sessions, exploring a range of things in a fun way, such as prayer, the Bible, living as a Christian, with even a bit of Greek thrown in!

Confirmation is open to everyone from Year 6 upwards, including members of staff. Ms Booth got confirmed three years ago. So if you are Year 5 or above, it is something you can start thinking about now.

Revd Diane

On Monday 11th February Year 3 had their second Open Classroom event of the year. It was wonderful to see so many parents and grandparents enjoying the children guiding them through their learning. There was a fantastic buzz across all the classrooms with the children talking enthusiastically about all their achievements so far this year. We look forward to a further Open Classroom event in the Trinity Term.

Mrs Dodd, Miss Murch, Mrs MacIntosh and the Year 3 Team

Well done, to our U10A team, who took part in the Versatility Tournament at Kent College on Saturday. The girls played well in the face of some strong opposition but the highlight of their day was meeting Old Michaelian Jess Haynes, who now plays for the U17 England Netball Team!

Jess now plays for two clubs, Pulse and Telstars, training three times a week and playing matches on both Saturday and Sunday!

She learned her netball skills first at St Michael’s, so who knows what heights this year’s U10A team could eventually reach!