Head’s Blog 8th December 2017 Friday 8th December 2017

I am not sure if there is a collective noun for nativity plays but if there isn’t there should be and I think it would be “a delectation of…”

 

Those of you with more than one child at St Michael’s will have experienced a veritable delectation of nativities this week and I did too.

 

The Nursery nativity with its counting songs and simple actions was brilliantly directed by Kâren Stibbons in full puppet master mode and the children were captivated by the opportunity to make the noises of the animals and join in the songs as much as the adults were captivated by their performance.

 

Kindy’s performance of what I call “Round the Back” was also at the front, down the sides and in the middle (!) and they certainly loved their costumes and the fact that mums and dads and grannies and grandads were there to admire their performance.

 

Reception’s wonderful” Christmas Celebration” delighted us with the traditional Nativity story, complemented by songs, sung with enthusiasm and panache, although one young performer was less than impressed that Mrs Leech invited our parents and grandparents to join in at the end!

 

Years 1 & 2 gave an assured performance of “A Midwife Crisis” with a veritable panoply of witty and fast-paced lines that they had mastered and were clearly enjoying in their singing.

With a large number of solo performance opportunities and a great deal of enjoyment therein, the audience caught a sense of fun as well as having admiration for what was achieved.

In all of this lies the dedicated work of Sally Beesley who is phenomenal. Each year group staff team joins me in thanking her for training all the children to sing with pleasure and for our delight.

 

On Wednesday evening when the lights went down for Year 3’s production of “Christmas is Forever”, the dashing Jane Blonde was drafted in to rescue and release Father Christmas from his evil kidnapper. Each class took turns to take the story from start to finish and there was a great deal to be proud of: assured and lively singing, a sense of timing for the jokes, the overcoming of nerves to stand on stage and be heard, and the milking of certain scenes by several children who definitely feel at home on stage and may turn out to make it their future.

 

No one present could fail to be impressed and the energy of everyone was palpable. I congratulate Alan, Gordon, Lauren, Seppie and Anna and all the mums and dads who help with costumes, Mark for help with catering and the drama scholars who helped with the technical aspects.  It was a joyful affair and one of many this week.

 

This morning’s Christmas concert at breakfast time set off the weekend in snazzy Christmas style. The showcase of ensembles, groups and bands which now regularly rehearse and perform is amazing. And the journeys of the performers in those bands is a pleasure to behold. Repertoire chosen is increasingly complex and demanding and the standards achieved are impressively high.

 

One of the joys of this annual event is the relaxed atmosphere created by Mr Baird and his team, which expresses itself visibly in the array of festive adornments sported by each performer. I must confess that I’m guilty of breaking one of the Ten Commandments today as there were some incredible festive sunglasses which I particularly coveted!

 

Alongside the incredible week of nativities of course, we were launched into Christmas at the P&F Christmas Fair which was a happy, successful and exciting occasion for all those present. We are truly grateful to Claire, Sadie, Tracey, Anna, Charlie and Jules for their fantastic work making it happen and to the army of helpers, who came, smiled, decorated, organised, sold, cooked, took money, cleared up and served up Christmas in style.  Thank you from all of us at St Michael’s for another fabulous fair.

 

We do hope to see you at our very special carol service on Wednesday evening at Shoreham church.

 

As we take time to reflect on the central message of the Nativity story we shall also take turns to sing, pray and celebrate together the true meaning of Christmas.

 

I very much look forward to seeing you there.

 

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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