Head’s Blog 18th October Friday 18th October 2019

In a week such as this one, I am reminded daily of what a privilege it is to be leading this magnificent school. The fact is I’m surrounded by talent, both in your children and in those who teach them and work alongside them.

Whether it’s the richness of provision on offer, the trips out to interesting places, or the meetings where our main focus is on supporting the children, there is a life and a buzz and a general sense of deep respect for what each child can do and where they are on their journey. Each day in Prep this week there has been a concert for a specific age group. Sadly I have only been able to attend one of these in full, but I know that there has been enormous pleasure derived on each occasion both from the parents and supporters of children performing and from the audience as a whole at the feast of musical offerings and there’s been respect for the variety showcased and for the confidence to share something quite personal with others. Meanwhile in Pre-Prep, children have been excited to visit Godstone Farm and Knole Park and enjoyed the adventure as much as the destination.

We heard the following from the children:

“I loved the piglets because they were so small and cute!”

“I loved the tractor ride when we saw the duck pond and all the ducks”

“I loved the pigs’ butts”

“It was the best day ever!”

 

This week draws to a close with the fantastic Senior Schools Fair which, as those of you who were here will know, was a truly impressive occasion with incredible benefits to both the schools present and the parents who came. I’d like to thank Karen Voce, Jenni Lovell and Jane Thornton for meticulously masterminding the whole event, the many staff who came and helped, Ian and the Estates Team and Mark and the catering team. We had a great deal of wonderful feedback.

This week also brought news to our Year 6 pupils of their results in the 11+ exams for Kent County Council and, for some, this will have brought huge pleasure and pride and for others perhaps anxiety. I spoke to all the children this morning about being sensitive to the needs of others this week on Friday after 11+ day, which is often a tricky day for some children. My own beliefs are that it is an exam that suits fast-working bright children and that there are plenty of bright children who prefer to work quietly and slowly and it alas does not suit this particular style. So if your child has not managed to get over that hurdle, please do come and talk to us about the next steps and be as positive as you can about the future, because I can assure you there are plenty of fantastic alternatives.

I hope you all have a wonderful half-term. Don’t forget to buy your fireworks tickets for Friday 8th November; see our Message Board for details.

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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