Head’s Blog 16th March 2018 Friday 16th March 2018

As I survey my wonderful view today there is just a whiff of spring in the air. The highlights of my week have been enjoying the huge variety of excellent Challenge projects by children. I had a private performance of Grace’s song about girls in school. Oscar came to perform his misogyny rap, which was startlingly mature, some of the children in my own group gave very thoughtful feedback and encouragement to one another and as a Prep school, in my assembly next week, will focus on feedback again.

I’ve enjoyed meeting some teachers who want to come and work at St Michael’s. I’ve also enjoyed watching the children from School Council growing in maturity and wisdom as they interview the staff with their own questions.

My Year 8 lunch companions gave me the lowdown on life as a senior pupil over lunch on Tuesday and it was good to be able to learn from and also help the Year 8 Parent reps this morning over coffee, with questions they had gathered.

Science week has been gloriously creative and inclusive and, of course, tonight I will have the pleasure and privilege of watching Lord of the Flies for the first time and the last at St Michael’s.

I’m very sorry that many of you were caught up in the horrendous gridlock on Wednesday morning. The large number of unfilled holes fenced off on Row Dow created havoc for parents arriving and leaving and for all our neighbours in St Michael’s Drive. Please do read carefully the article by my colleague, Di Birmingham, about the background to this issue and the steps taken. Can I reiterate that we do not have the right to use St Michael’s Drive. It is a private road and it is maintained by the residents who live on it. Whilst it seemed to me we had no choice but to open the gate and allow traffic to flow out of this road, I was disappointed to learn that some drivers passing along St Michael’s Drive did not have the courtesy to allow the residents to reverse into the traffic and exit their own properties. Of course I cannot know whether these drivers were our own parents or some of the members of the public whose vehicles we invited onto our land to ease the gridlock.
I do however offer my apologies publicly to the residents, whose morning was very dramatically altered by our need to use the road to solve a problem we had not created. I also thank them for their forbearance.

I hope you all have a restful weekend and good luck to our performers in the Tunbridge Wells Arts Festival concert.

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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