eNews: Friday 13th March 2020

From the Acting Co-Heads

In an extraordinary week, we welcomed Year 2 to Prep School on Tuesday and they had a magical morning of maths alongside Year 3 followed by lunch as part of their transition programme. We warmly welcomed Francis Osei back to St Michael’s on Thursday to talk to Year 6 about their choices growing up and the importance of good decision making.

Creativity and curiosity were the order of the day as Year 3-6 pupils began sharing their homework challenges on Wednesday. The maths and geography games created by Years 3 and 4 are a huge highlight and it was a joy to see the children playing their own games and developing their learning in such an interactive and fun way. The level of awareness shown by our Year 5 & 6 pupils in response to the Global Awareness themed challenges is impressive and reassuring. These well-informed, confident and forward-thinking children are, quite simply, awesome.

Meanwhile, over in Jersey, the senior pupils are having a fantastic time. They’ve played Football, Hockey and Netball tournaments and have visited the war tunnels, shops, swimming pool and zoo. The children are having a great time making some wonderful memories. Year 7 enjoyed a fantastic trip to Chatham Dockyard on Monday where they enjoyed a variety of STEM workshops. Science week was alight in the Prep School and Year 6 pupils are delighted to have earned their “Bunsen Burner licenses” as part of this. Thank you to the Science department for their continued hard work and innovation. Please do take a moment to enjoy the enthused faces of the children excited in their learning through the fantastic photos shared on Twitter.

We have spent this week focussing on the preparations and processes we will need to put into place in the coming days and weeks. This is a time for support and unity. We will see, as was expressed at yesterday’s government press conference, an increase in cases and individuals both isolating, as a precaution based on symptoms, and those dealing with the virus directly. If you have not yet had the opportunity to watch the press conference in its entirety, we would recommend doing so. We would also ask everyone to read the email sent on Thursday evening with the school’s response to the press conference, as it outlines our initial steps to be taken with regard to the advice issued therein. This is also available on the Message Board in the Parent Portal. As all schools and businesses are finding, we will be navigating a period of time in ‘uncharted waters’. Please rest assured the decisions we make will be done with forethought and consideration. Different settings will approach this in different ways and this does not mean one school is right and one wrong in their response, just different. We look forward to your ongoing support at this time.

Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman


News from the Head of Pre-Prep

Parents’ Evenings Tuesday 17th March and Thursday 19th March; sign up on Parents’ Evening System from 21.00 on Monday 2nd March.
• Food Bank Collection for Easter – collection from Monday 16th to Thursday 26th March
• Friday 20th March Reception Mother’s Day Assembly 9am

Coronavirus I know is a concern for you all. Please rest assured that as a school we are taking advice from Public Health England daily and we will continue to ask their advice about any individual family concerns. Meanwhile please help to reinforce our message to the children about washing their hands properly with soap and water. Our message to the children has been about washing their hands whilst singing Happy Birthday through twice. I know there are lots of other songs doing the rounds together with videos, so anything you can do to reinforce the message at home is great. Thank you to those families who have self-isolated where they have had any shred of doubt and thank you for informing me when you have taken this decision or indeed sharing your Coronavirus-free test results.

Mrs Halford from the Food Bank will be coming into assembly next Wednesday. She will be talking to the children about Food Banks prior to a collection of food for Easter. With Coronavirus on the increase, I know that Food Banks are concerned about the level of donations. We will start collecting food for the Food Bank for Easter from Monday 16th March. All donations need to be received by Thursday 26th March please.

They would particularly welcome the following:

4 pack toilet rolls, Washing powder / liquid or capsules, J Cloths, tinned custard, tinned rice pudding, dried milk powder, long life juice, large tins of carrots, chocolate spread, jam, tomato ketchup and of course Easter chocolate!

Please make sure you have signed up for parents’ evening either Tuesday 17th or Thursday 19th. These are 15 minute appointments with your child’s class teacher or 10 minute appointments with Miss Rawlinson and Mrs Ravayeh.

I always look forward to our Mother’s Day Assembly. Reception children would like to invite all their mums to their assembly at 9am in our hall. Coffee will be served in the dining room from drop off.

Overheard: I’m never getting married because I’ve got too much to do!

Have a lovely weekend,

Zerrin Leech

On this week’s Message Board

Please log into our Parents’ Portal and click into the Message Board to see new important information as follows:

  • Coronavirus – information for parents

On this week’s Community Events page

Please log into our Parents’ Portal and click into the Community Events page to see important community information.

News stories

Our news stories can be found by clicking “News” and “Latest News” on our website. To see our latest articles please click here

Pre-Prep Awards

Gold Stars

Thomas A for great teamwork and participation during Forest School
Mia for good work during our Maths lesson on money
Uma for becoming more independent during lessons
Conrad for showing great improvement in his handwriting
Abigail L for excellent effort in our lesson about money
Mona Swan for working hard at her letter formation in phonics
Lawson for fantastic progress in Maths and always trying his best
Amelia Rose for good improvement in handwriting
Cleo for consistent hard work in reading, writing and maths
Hugo for trying hard to use more expression in his reading
Luke for speedy work in doubling and halving
Elisa for working really hard with all classwork this week
Lily for carefully measuring the length of items using cm and mm
Daniel W for great work using the beebots
Sophie F for excellent writing when working with Alan Durant
Olivia Gibson for fantastic maths work this week

House Point Cup

Dover House with a total of 126 points
Olanna collected the Cup on behalf of Dover House

Music Award

Music Practice Cup: James L
Music Practice Award: Olanna E
Star Violinist Cup: George W

100 House Points Certificates

Leeds: Genevieve M
Windsor: George W


Festival pieces preview

In assembly Ruaridh, Alice O and Xavi performed for us on the piano. Some of our pianists will be entering the Tunbridge Wells Music Festival this year and we were lucky enough to hear their pieces that they are going to perform for the Festival.

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

J Vanderlanh-McKeown For amazing dancing and participation at the Young Voices Concert
K Loukam For amazing dancing and participation at the Young Voices Concert
L Andrade For completing all of your times tables cards and now knowing up to your 12 times table
J Vanderlanh-McKeown For a wonderful Homework Challenge, showing excellent effort
G Gagg For a beautiful and original Homework Challenge
H Palmer For a very well-conceived and hugely enjoyable card game, which was well presented and managed
T Warren For a fantastic Global Monopoly game, involving huge effort and for managing your group very sensibly
F Merralls For a fabulous Homework Challenge Diarama, poem and presentation on the global warming in Australia
V Medlen For an excellent Homework Challenge poem and koala pouch
J Bashford For excelling yourself during a parent tour
S Andrade For excelling yourself during a parent tour

Players of the Match, week commencing 9th March 2020

Team Name Given for:-
U12A Hockey T Porter Great midfield play
U12B Team Amazing performance
U12C A Edwards-Matthews Good defensive work
U11A M Cameron & L Poracchia Scoring 4 goals and and fantastic defensive play
U11 Chargers A Goodwin Great play
U11 Rams N Brown Great all-round play
U10A L Bowen Great play
U10 Giants C Buff Great passing and defensive work rate
U10 Jets A McCrae & R Thornhill Good disciplined play
U9A S Taylor & C Wilson Great ball carrying
U9B J West Good energy all over the field
U8A S Mottram Great tackling and good goal
U8B O Epps Tireless work rate and strong tackling
U8C J Osbourne & S Doyle Hard work
U11A Netball I Johnson Voted by opposition
U11B M Lewis & S Cook Excellent defending and voted for by opposition
U11C A Mottram Good work rate
U10A A Mitchell Voted by opposition
U10B N Stinson Voted by opposition
U10C T Bax & A Madgett Voted by opposition and for great defence
U9A A Ashton Voted by opposition
U9B E Woods Voted by opposition
U9C L Bakharevski Voted by opposition
U8A E Julio & S Savidge Vote by opposition and great shooting
U8B C Zheung Voted by opposition
U8C F Digweed & A Pink Voted by opposition and good energy on the court

Senior School Open Days, Scholarships and Events

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include King’s Rochester, Oakwood Park Grammar School, Roedean School and Skinners’ School.

Latest News

We are delighted to announce that former St Michael’s pupil Jess Haynes has selected to join the Loughborough Lightning Superleague Netball team.

Jess, who attended St Michael’s between 2008 and 2014 and returned as a GAP Student in 2019, made her Superleague and Sky Sports debut on Saturday 5th June against Celtic Dragons at the Copperbox Arena in London, after which she was officially announced as Loughborough Lightning squad member No. 102.

Lightning are currently in second place in the Superleague behind Team Bath and have already secured their place in the playoffs.

Jess, whose matches with Lightning will be broadcast live on the Sky Sports Netball platforms, said: “I feel so honoured and excited to be given this opportunity. It has been a bit of a whirlwind over the last couple of weeks so it was great to get on court and make my Superleague debut at the Copperbox . I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season with such an amazing squad. I always love coming back to St Michael’s to coach the current pupils, to share my love of sport and to show that dreams do come true!”

Jess joined Loughborough Lightning U21 NPL Squad from London Pulse in September 2020 when she started studying at Nottingham Trent University where she is part of their Performance Sport Programme.

And it was St Michael’s where her passion for netball began. Jess’ mum, Clare, said: “Jess’ year group team were a strong squad who enjoyed a high level of success at both local and national IAPS level. Jess played all sports during her time here where she achieved a great deal of success across the board . She left at the end of Year 8 to continue her education at Kent College Pembury with a Sports Scholarship. Her place in the Loughborough Lightning Super League is a huge opportunity for her.”

Mrs Wade, who coached Jess during her time at St Michael’s, added: “We are extremely proud of Jess and all she has achieved since leaving St Michael’s. I had the delight of watching Jess’ netball skills grow tremendously during her time with us and it is no surprise that Jess’ dedication to the sport has landed her this incredible opportunity. We look forward to hearing about her future successes and seeing her on Sky Sports!”

A swarm of bees, pride of lions and bloom of ladybirds could be seen roaming the school grounds on Friday 28th May as the Prep school celebrated Go Wild Day in aid of local charities Kent Wildlife Trust and Otford Hospices of Hope.

The action-packed charity day, organised by the School Council to raise awareness of the local causes, raised an amazing £727.04.

Mr Baird, Acting Deputy Head, said: “It was amazing to see so many staff and pupils dressing up for this brilliant fundraising event. A big thank you to the School Council and Year 8 prefects who played a key part in the success of the event, and to the pupils for putting so much effort and energy into the activities.”

Throughout the day, pupils took part in fundraising activities including an exotic bring and buy sale where pupils exchanged good quality toys and games. The afternoon events also included a face painting session for the children led by the senior Art Scholars group.

Fundraising & Communications Manager at Otford Hospices of Hope, Jessica McKechie added: “We were delighted to hear that St Michael’s Prep School chose to fundraise for Hospices of Hope with their Go Wild Day. Being supported locally is so important for our charity and we are really grateful to all the children and staff who took part. The funds raised will help us to support our patients with vital care, some of whom are children too and will love to hear about the activities the school arranged in order to help them.”

St Michael’s Go Wild Day forms part of its longterm plan to improve the wildlife around their 90-acre site as well as increasing the school community’s awareness of the importance of conserving nature.

Delighted by St Michael’s efforts, Acting Head of Education and Lifelong Learning at Kent Wildlife Trust, Lee Mason-Baldwin said: “Wow, what a brilliant effort and superb, heart-warming achievement, thank you so much! We love the gorgeous colourful activities and the fun you’ve had to help animals, plants, bugs and birds which is crucial for developing a life-long love of wildlife. Your support will help us on our quest for a wilder Kent, rich in wildlife for everyone to enjoy, forever.”

For more information about St Michael’s Prep School please visit their website: https://www.stmichaels.kent.sch.uk/


We are hugely proud to announce that past St Michael’s pupils L Bingham and A Faulstich have been selected for the England Under 16 Hockey Squad.

The Year 10 pupils, who currently attend Weald of Kent Grammar School and Tonbridge Grammar School were announced as members last week following many months of training and assessment.

Congratulating the girls on their achievement, Mrs Wade, who taught them PE during their time at St Michael’s, said: “We are extremely proud of Lottie and Anna and all they have achieved since they left St Michael’s. They were extremely hardworking in all their sports at school and it is great to hear that they have taken their hockey to such a high level. We look forward to hearing about their future success.”

A huge congratulations to both girls on this amazing achievement.

St Michael’s Prep School, Otford was delighted to welcome concert pianist Nicholas McCarthy as the special guest for its Scholars’ Day on Thursday 20th May.

Mr McCarthy, who was the first left-hand-only graduate of the Royal College of Music in its 130-year history, hosted a music masterclass with the school’s Music Scholars, before joining the wider Scholars group for an evening of food and entertainment.

Nicholas said: “It has been so wonderful to work with the pupils today. The performance standard of the Scholars is fantastic and their personalities came across in their performances. It was lovely to see.”

During his visit, the talented musician shared his story with St Michael’s including his performance with band Coldplay at the 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony. Nicholas also offered words of encouragement for overcoming setbacks and barriers. He said: “At my first audition I was turned away because they just didn’t believe I could play the piano with one hand. I had to dig deep and find that resilience to carry on achieving my dream. Very quickly that fire built back up and I was determined to prove them wrong.”

Commenting on the success of the event, St Michael’s Deputy Head Mary Bridges said: “We were delighted to host a special event for our current scholars, incoming scholars and our Year 8 pupils who have achieved scholarships at their senior schools. Nicholas words inspired all of us and his performance was absolutely stunning. It was a true mark of excellence.”

To view a highlights reel of the event or watch the full interview with St Michael’s Head Nik Pears and Nicholas McCarthy please visit their YouTube page.