Head’s Blog 15th March 2019 Friday 15th March 2019

This week my challenge is what not to write about, I’m certainly happy to bypass all references to politics! Rich learning pervaded all parts of the school in a feast of creative timetabling and excellent extracurricular programming. When we decided a few years ago to concentrate alternative provision into one week, trips week, I don’t believe that we anticipated quite the combination that St Michael’s pupils experienced this week.

A Roman extravaganza for Year 4 on Monday with complementary costumes supported by our fabulous parent participants, Kent Fire Rescue training for Years 1-6, a soggy science trip for Year 5 to Herstmonceux observatory, a French film experience for Year 6 in South Kensington, a talk from an ex-prisoner about prison life, gang culture, behaviour and respect and then the Big Sing involving all of Year 2&3 and some other fantastic primaries nearby and a wonderful uplifting concert at the end of their workshop day. On top of that we’ve had Science week, culminating in Y7’s mission to Mars day today, the Jersey tour for Year 8 and some Year 7, the first homework challenge presentation morning, Pre-Prep trips to see life at Sealife and finally today celebrating, and in Pre-Prep raising money for, Red Nose Day.

Superimpose on that little lot a parent training workshop day by Kent Mind on mental health first-aid and a successful and varied governing body meeting and you have the perfect week at St Michael’s Prep!

This is of course the stuff of which memories are made but I have to thank all my colleagues for the huge amount of extra work that designing and delivering such a week involves.

Fantastic team work, brilliant support from parents and close attention to the logistical implications of all of these things made it a tremendously successful week and I thank everyone involved in making the extraordinary happen every day.

We’ve tried to “tweet the week” as it unfolded and for those of you who are not yet signed up to our Twitter feed we commend it to you in a week such as this.

Can I please also add my thanks to the IT department for supporting so many different things this week, the admin team for welcoming so many visitors, Mark and the catering team for delivering extra and delicious food for our visitors and the estates team who work so hard to make our site look beautiful and are responsible for the thousand bulbs planted which are now revealed in our newly dancing daffodils.

For the many blessings we enjoy at St Michael’s we often give thanks but this week we have been in laudatory overload!

Wherever you are this weekend, have a good one.

Jill Aisher

Latest News

Hazelwood v St Michael’s Swimming Gala

11th March 2019

 

This eagerly anticipated gala produced some unbelievably close finishes for our teams, captained by R Friis and H Roderick, accompanied by noisy encouragements from all.  The noise was deafening from both swimmers and parents.

 

As always my philosophy with galas is to get as many swimmers as possible to join our team to experience the excitement of competition in the pool and take their place alongside our experienced swimmers who compete at the top of their game.

 

After the individuals, St Michael’s were leading.  Many of our younger swimmers showed outstanding potential with a good understanding of the rules of competition swimming.  Even with our squad relay finishing over a length in front, both schools were fighting for points and with considerable jostling for first place throughout.

 

Full of apprehension, both schools awaited the final results.  With only 4 points separating teams, Hazelwood took first place with 231 points and St Michael’s second with 227 in an amazingly close finish.

 

Congratulations to all the following swimmers who achieved 1st places.

 

Freestyle

S Taylor

T Parkinson-Bonard

K Cameron

 

Backstroke

A Ashton

J McDonnell

A Mitchell

A Ogle

F Ashdown

S Newton

 

Breaststroke

T Parkinson-Bonard

M Lewis

A Green

G Rehbein

I Sinclair

 

Butterfly

B Tovey

I Pennington Legh

V Medlen

A Green

F Ashdown

G Rehbein

R Friis

 

Year 6 Girls Freestyle Relay

F Ashdown

M Smith

E Collings

S Friis

 

Squadron

A Ashton

S Taylor

I Pennington Legh

E Green

A Ogle

A Green

I Gascoyne-Day

G Rehbein

H Roderick

R Friis

 

I can safely say we are proud of both the standard and speed of our team who showed exceptional potential.

 

Many thanks must go to our helpers:  Charlie Parkinson and Anne Smith as team managers, Kendra Tovey and Miss Booth placing, Gail Leathers judging and most importantly Mrs Wade and Tracey Ashton adding up the points which turned out to be an exceedingly pressurised task.

 

 

Well done to all our swimmers.

 

Helen Dudman

Congratulations to Year 5 pupils V Medlen and A Ogle, who played for Sevenoaks Hockey U10 team in the Kent Cup at Folkestone this weekend.  They came third and just missed out on qualifying for the Regionals on penalties.

 

Well done, girls – great performance!

Coinciding with another day of student strikes to protest against the lack of action on climate change, we were thrilled to hear that Year 7 pupil, O Goodwin, has had his motion on installing electric charging points in the Sevenoaks District Council’s area recommended to the Council.

As a member of the Sevenoaks Youth Council, he attends regular Council meetings and participates in various local campaigns and events. At the most recent Council meeting he was elected as acting Chairman for the meeting and he put forward a motion urging that Sevenoaks District Council be more proactive in installing electric charging points for cars in their area. He presented his case to the Council and it was resolved that the Youth Council put forward a recommendation to Sevenoaks District Council that electric charging points be included within any new commercial or residential housing development as part of the Local Plan.

This is an issue that he really cares about and to be able to influence the drafting of the Local Plan would have positive implications for years to come so he was delighted that his motion was adopted and that the recommendation was made!

We’re thrilled too! Well done!

We had a great language day out in London on Tuesday visiting the French Institute. We travelled from Otford via train and tube and spent the morning completing a range of language-based activities relating to the film, Les malheurs de Sophie – ‘Sophie’s misfortunes’. In the morning, the children worked in small groups and practised a great deal of French (and so did the teachers who happily joined in and practised their French pronunciation!)

After the activities, we had a picnic lunch during which we sang joyeux anniversaire to Annabel and had some delicious French croissants. We then enjoyed a private viewing of the film, watching the adventures of an intrepid little French girl, Sophie, often getting up to mischief because of her tireless curiosity. This film was adapted from a XIXth century French book written by the Comtesse de Ségur and yet it feels as though it is a timeless story which our pupils could relate to. They laughed a lot when Sophie was up to no good with her cousin and friends, but they also felt quite sad for her when she was facing some tragic events in her life. There were a number of moral and social issues raised and it was satisfying that it had a happy ending.

We now look forward to seeing our pupils’ poster reviewing the movie (ideally in French!) and participating in a competition with other schools.

I would like to thank all the children for their exemplary behaviour during the day and the staff who accompanied us, helped us have fun and keep the children safe. (Mme Poracchia, Mrs Baisch, Miss Lambert, Mr Wiseman and Mr Orpin).

We look forward to our next visit to the French Institute and a new film next year.

Hélène Lacroix (French Teacher)