Head’s Blog 8th June Friday 8th June 2018

In Prep it’s been heads down this week. Year 8 have been doing CE and Year 7 getting used to the rhythm of that by mirroring the same pattern for their exams.

It’s been difficult for the children going downstairs to the new basement ICT room to contain their delight at the newly refurbished and relocated ICT1, which now provides an adjacent office space for Miss Booth. The children have been delighted as has Miss Booth. I’d like to congratulate the estates team who have been working for months on this to transform a space that was configured differently to deliver a very smart and calm environment, with fine exposed brickwork paying homage to the gorgeous building we are in. Our ICT team in Ben and Tom also worked really hard to deliver the set up and installation of the hardware over half term. Congratulations to everyone involved.

I showed the children in assembly some footage about the incredible variety of methods, locations and materials that birds around the world use to make nests for their young. Since then a steady trickle of people have come back to me to share their stories of discovery in their gardens. Today I showed Pre-Prep “Bird Movie I” not available in a cinema near you but the result of three weeks observing my camera nest box! I hope you enjoy looking out for birds with their beaks full of food in your gardens and near your houses. If they are flying with food it means there are babies nearby. See what you can spot with your children this weekend.

I’m delighted to introduce some of our new staff team for September.

Head of Geography






We’re pleased to welcome Miss Kathertine Lambert as our new Head of Geography.  Katharine has been teaching for 10 years. She has a BSc (Honours) degree from Gloucestershire University and later completed her PGCE at Canterbury Christchurch. Katharine has always been passionate about Geography as it is something we see around us all the time and was inspired from her experience of Geography as a student at school. Having worked at Sackville, Weald of Kent Grammar School and Swadelands, most recently Katharine has taught at Cobham Hall for the last 9 years and across that time has been part of all aspects of the school, she has taught Geography, Physical Education, been a housemistress to all year groups, lead the Duke of Edinburgh programme and also fully participated in extra-curricular activities such as Eco club. Watching her pupils overcoming challenges and achieve in areas they used to find impossible is one of Katharine’s greatest pleasures as a teacher.

In her spare time she enjoys badminton, tennis, hiking and travelling all over the world. Katharine recently completed seven UK National Walking Trails during her holidays. Katharine is very much looking forward to working at St Michael’s.

Head of Year 3 and Head of Initial Teacher Training and NQTs






A very warm welcome to Yvonne Dodd, our new Head of Year 3.  Yvonne was born and educated in Northern Ireland and, despite having not lived there for more than 20 years, her accent is still clearly in evidence. Having attained a BA in Education at the University of Ulster, Yvonne won her first teaching job in Sevenoaks and made the brave move to England. In the two decades since, she has taught and led to deputy head level across the primary age range in the Maidstone area, Melbourne and Dubai, gathering a wealth of experience along the way. As a lifelong learner herself, Yvonne recently completed her MA in Education and, when not studying or working, she loves to read, run and relax by the fire. She is very much looking forward to joining the St Michael’s team and meeting the children.

Head of Year 4






We’re delighted to announce the promotion of Rhys Morgan to the position of Head of Year 4.

Rhys has lived in Kent from a very young age, being educated at Langafel Primary School in Longfield and later Gravesend Grammar School. Here he developed a love for History and the Classics which prompted him to study Historical Archaeology at the University of Sheffield. Returning to Kent, Rhys was employed at St Michael’s as a Trainee Teaching Assistant. Here he decided he loved teaching and took on the decision to train as teacher at Canterbury Christchurch University. He qualified in 2016 and was employed as a Year 4 teacher at St Michael’s. Rhys loves his sport and follows cricket, rugby and football as well as American sports such as baseball, ice hockey and American football. He plays cricket to a high standard during the summer and loves the challenges that brings.

Rhys is looking forward to his new role and the increased responsibilities that this will bring.

Head of Art and Design Technology






We’re delighted to welcome Ross Patrick to the school as our new Head of Art.

Ross is a passionate artist and arts specialist based in Folkestone, Kent. After graduating from the University for the Creative Arts and winning a student of the year award he then studied for QTS. Shortly after qualifying as a teacher Ross joined The Folkestone All Age Academy where he has worked happily for the last 11 years. During his time at The Academy Ross has had the opportunity to teach fine art, graphic design, photography, textiles and Interactive Media to ages Year 6 up to A-Level. Ross has held a number of additional responsibilities during his time at The Academy which have included roles as an Examiner, Quality Nominee for the school and more recently Captain of the Art Society.

Outside of the classroom Ross continues to work as a practising artist and has taken part in a number of exhibitions and festivals both locally and internationally. One of Ross’ proudest artistic moments has been when he has the opportunity to work alongside famed artist Antony Gormley in the production of his ‘Waste man’ sculpture shown as part of the Margate Exodus in 2006.

Ross lives by the seaside in Folkestone with his girlfriend and beloved cat Sid. He enjoys attending live music events, making his own artwork, DIY and digital design projects.

David Hooper

David Hooper comes to join our Estates Team from Dartford Grammar School for Girls, where he had worked for 3 years as a maintenance assistant. Prior to this David ran his own fencing and property business. David has been married for 33 years to his wife Peggy and has 2 sons. His interests include old cars, loud motorbikes and dancing (Ceroc).

David is part of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship and can often be found performing in the streets at the Dickens Festival and Sweeps Festival. He said if you see him say “hi”, but he’s terrible at remembering names! Keep an eye out for his 1953 split screen Morris Minor in the car park.

More staff news to follow over the next few weeks.

Have a great weekend.

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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