eNews: Wednesday 11th December 2019

From the Deputies

As we were approaching the end of term we took some time out, sitting on the blue mats in the corner of the sports hall (where all good conversations take place) and attempted to sum up the experience of the last few months. One of us is currently training for a marathon and, whilst reflecting, we realised that the running journey is a great metaphor for the Michaelmas Term. It takes you to new places, it’s exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. There are moments when you want to cry, moments where you do cry, and moments when you feel simply awesome! You learn new things about yourself, spend time thinking about others and sometimes the best experiences are when you when you share them with someone else, encouraging each other along the way. There’s been improvement and progress, although it hasn’t always been smooth. Some weeks don’t go to plan but at the end of it all there is a pride in what’s been achieved and rightly so. Hard work, dedication and commitment made it happen and now we’re ready for a little rest before we go again!

We loved celebrating the end of term and the festive season in the Carol Service last night. Beautiful singing, confident readings and excellent music sparked that magical feeling of warmth and community. Thank you to Mr Baird, Mrs Shield, Rev Di and all those who worked so hard to create such a special evening at Shoreham church.

Thank you to you all for your support and commitment to St Michael’s. We wish you all happiness and peace over the Christmas break. Here’s to 2020 and all that it brings.

Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman

Staff News

A warm welcome to Anna-Marie Mottram, who will be joining the Prep school in January as a Teaching Assistant.

Anna-Marie worked in Investment Banking before leaving to care for her growing family. She has thoroughly enjoyed volunteering as a parent helper in Prep and is excited about becoming a formal member of staff!

Having four children does not afford her much free time, but when she does have some, she enjoys reading, going to the theatre and spending time with friends and family.

News from Pre-Prep

• Return to school Tuesday 7th January

We’ve had a fun couple of days with the Cat’s Grin Theatre Co entertaining the children on Monday followed by all our Christmas parties on Tuesday. Thank you for providing plates of food for your children. This really does make life easier for the Pre-Prep staff.

Christmas jumpers were making Tuesday a very festive day together with Christmas lunch served at Prep school. I wish to thank our catering team who work incredibly hard to provide delicious meals all year long.

Thank you for the many cards and gifts you have sent in. It is really very kind of you. I know all the St Michael’s staff are very appreciative of all your best wishes and support.

It is always a joy to get the whole school together at the end of each term to review the achievements of the last term. Our last assembly of 2019 was joyous and full of brilliant musical offerings. Thank you to all our Music Department colleagues.

Overheard:

“Who knows what baby goats are called? It begins with K.”
Child: “Kangaroos!!”

Have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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:

  • Drama trip to Disneyland Paris
  • Online safety at Christmas
  • Christmas Hockey Club – spaces still available

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.

Pre-Prep Musical Assembly

Pre-Prep enjoyed a wonderful piano and recorder assembly this week with fantastic performances from Mrs Mumford’s pupils.

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Special Award

M Noorpuri For a beautifully crafted book detailing key moments in history, with personal reflection

Headteacher’s Stars

E O’Dwyer For an excellent presentation about Ellen MacArthur
E Moriarty For an interesting project about the moon landing
M Macedo For a fabulous project about Laura Dekker
E Bax For a wonderful diary of a ship’s cook
S Bailey For an inventive response to Science homework through the creation of an impressive Lego pylon, with additional information
C Prongué For an engaging presentation about how you designed and made a feather wreath
J Bashford For a thoughtful and interactive presentation about Malala
T Gage For an excellent PowerPoint presentation which was very engaging
G Kelly For a well-presented and creative video documenting your own experience of Japanese culture and society
S Andrade For an engaging presentation and poster and diary about the Titanic
B Walker For an amazing video documenting the rescue of Feathers the Owl

 

 Sports Awards

Hockey

Most Improved Player of the season
U13 Hockey E Torrison P Parker-Swift &

E Powell

U12 Hockey L Summers

 

E Collings

 

U11 Hockey S Andrade A Ogle
U10 Hockey I Pennington Legh

T Bax

E Bingham
U9 Netball R Romero A Clapham
U8 Netball A Pink U Osunwa

Football

Most Improved Player of the season
U13 J Cosgrove T Adesanya & K Cameron
U12 H Soper J Maloney
U11 (from Colts) J Wiseman M Cameron
U10 (from Colts) C Hunter & O West B Cosgrove
U9 G Dulski C Wilson
U8 C Thornhill & W Noble W Pennington-Legh

Sports Colours & Half Colours

Hockey

   

Football

 
Half Colours Full Colours   Half Colours Full Colours
R Gray J Sales T Adesanya
A Mourgue-D’Algue E Powell M Blincoe K Cameron
E Ward P Parker-Swift X Prongué J Fryer
E Collings S Edwards-Matthews H Soper J Cosgrove
T Vafai J Maloney E Hudson
O Bowen
O Stinson

Inter-House Sport

House Football and Hockey Results

Junior House Football (Y3&4 comb.)

 

Colts House Football (Y5&6)

1st Windsor   1st Dover
2nd Leeds   2nd Rochester
3rd Dover   3rd Leeds
4th Rochester   4th Windsor

Senior House Football

 

Middle House Hockey (Girls)

1st Leeds   1st Dover
2nd Windsor   2nd Leeds
3rd Dover   3rd Rochester
4th Rochester   4th Windsor

Senior House Hockey (Girls)

 

1st Rochester
2nd Windsor
3rd Leeds
4th Dover

Junior House XC

 

Middle House XC

1st Leeds   1st Leeds
2nd Windsor   2nd Dover
3rd Rochester   3rd Rochester
4th Dover   4th Windsor

Senior House XC

 

1st Windsor
2nd Leeds
3rd Dover
4th Rochester

 

Swim Stage Certificates

Stage 3

M Macedo
C Zheng

 

Stage 4

T Staples
X Staples
A MacRae
E Bakharevski
H Haaxman
J Osborne

Stage 5

O Court

Stage 7

M Cameron

Achievement Certificate

E Wood

 

Swimming medals for Year 4 pupil

Congratulations to Year 4 swimmer,  A Ashton, who took part in the Medway gala last Saturday and Sunday 7th and 8th December.

She swam brilliantly and came away with 1 Gold Medal in the backstroke event, 2 Silver Medals, 1 Bronze and 2 Finalist Medals in the U9 age group. Not only did she come away with this wonderful medal haul, she also achieved three Kent consideration times in the 10/11 age group category. Brilliant swimming!

Mrs Denton

ICT Awards

Digital Leader Technical Support Prizes

• 1st Place – J Bomphrey
• Runner Up – L Poracchia

Bebras Challenges

The Bebras Challenge is an annual event which takes place in November. The challenges are based on Computational Thinking. Pupils complete the challenges in a set time frame and, if they finish in the top 10%, they are invited to sit another set of challenges in February 2020. They compete against pupils in their age category all over the UK. All pupils in Years 3-8 were entered into the first round this year. The following pupils finished in the top 10% of their age category and are invited to sit the challenges in February:

• R Mayhew
• M Lewis
• C Prongue
• T Gage
• A Green
• Y Binning
• A Goodwin
• R Landgrebe
• L Shi
• O Goodwin

The following pupils received ‘Best in School’ certificates:
• A Lutzow
• C Selvey-Clinton
• T Staples
• L Lutzow
• E Schwark
• R Mayhew
• O Goodwin

Well done to all who participated.

Miss Booth

100 House Point Badges

Name Year House Grand Total
G Owen 5 D 109
F Merralls 6 D 135
A Goodwin 6 D 120
O Scott 3 L 108
P Mahil 3 L 102
H Brown 4 L 104
T Warren 4 L 114
V Medlen 6 L 112
M Noorpuri 6 L 115
A Madgett 5 R 100
Y Binning 6 R 117
N Dandeniya 6 W 102

Top Star Scorers

Surname Year House HP Total
Michaelmas 2019
O Scott 3 L 108
P Mahil 3 L 102
W Noble 3 R 71
A Ashton 4 D 158
E Wood 4 W 92
L Winter 4 D 88
A Jassi 5 L 99
G Owen 5 D 109
E Williamson 5 D 89
F Merralls 6 D 135
Y Binning 6 R 117
E Harrison 6 D 131
C West 7 R 75
N Staples 7 D 47
L Griffiths 7 D 91
E Ukwu 8 D 56
J Cosgrove 8 W 83

Senior Prefect Badges

T Bulley
E Powell
J Cosgrove
E Torrison

New Heads of School

Deputy Head Boy – J Fryer
Deputy Head Girl – R Gray

Head Boy – F Smith
Head Girl – S Edwards-Matthews

Latest News

A Sevenoaks food bank is 318 kilos heavier following a donation from St Michael’s.

 

The school surprised charity The Community Cupboard with the generous donation on Monday, February 1 following a Christmas collection for the cause.

 

In total, £965 was raised from parent and staff donations throughout December, which St Michael’s Parents and Friends Association (P & F) used to organise a Sainsbury’s shop of food and toiletries for the charity.

 

Commenting on the school’s motivation to help the food bank, Co-Chair of St Michael’s P & F, Kelly Downey, said: “Delivering our donation to The Community Cupboard was an amazing and uplifting moment. Being able to bring the school together to contribute to a cause which plays such an important role in our community during this time was very rewarding.”

 

Greeted with three car loads of canned foods, long-life products and toiletries, Kelly also describes how delighted the charity were with the school’s generosity. She added: “The team were really blown away by our donation and thankful for the time we’d taken to raise the money and organise a delivery.

 

“It was a great feeling to be able to put an initial idea from a St Michael’s parent into action, and to see the impact we would be having on the local community.”

 

Kelly added: “We recognise that this is a very difficult time for everyone, especially those who can’t afford to put food on the table for their families. We hope that our donation can be a small step in making a difference for those people.”

 

Since the start of January alone, an additional 22 local families have registered for The Community Cupboard’s support, reflecting the increased pressures caused by the ongoing pandemic across the country. And it is only thanks to generous donations that the charity can continue to provide help to those who need it most.

 

Trustee at The Community Cupboard, David Carter said: “We would like to express our extreme gratitude to St Michael’s for their wonderful donation. We are very lucky to receive regular donations from local groups, but they are rarely to this scale.

 

“The food and toiletries kindly given to us by St Michael’s have allowed us to fully restock our shelves as well as putting plenty of stock on standby for new referrals. The size of this donation will allow us to give substantial food packages to the 22 new families who were referred to us in January. St Michael’s help is invaluable to us and will make a huge difference.”

 

Since its launch in January 2020, The Community Cupboard has continued to help families in Sevenoaks, and has extended its help to cover a 20 mile radius including Edenbridge, Westerham, Surrey, Sidcup, Rochester and Ashford, due to the pandemic.

 

The Trustee added: “We began as a small group of people determined to make a difference locally in an area where food banks were lacking. Little did we know, a global pandemic was on its way and our efforts would be needed tenfold. To say we hit the ground running would be an understatement.”

 

Run by four members and six volunteers, The Community Cupboard works tirelessly to deliver parcels to families, and in January alone distributed 3.1 tonnes of food, toiletries and essential items.

 

David said: “We began the charity on the foundation that ‘if we can help, we will’, and with the community’s help, I’m proud to say we are doing just that. We see a lot of hardship and sadness in doing what we do, but it really opens our eyes to the incredible hard work various organisations and charities do in our community. Thanks to generous groups like St Michael’s, we can confidently say ‘yes, we can help you’.”

 

The Community Cupboard are currently taking donations of tinned and long-life food products, as well as toiletries and essential items. Monetary donations are also welcome and will be put towards bulk orders for the charity.

 

The charity is based at The Garage, Gamcock meadow, West Kingdown where a covid secure donation drop off process has been put in place.

 

For more information about The Community Cupboard, or to donate to the charity visit www.thecommunitycupboard.co.uk.

Mr Bridges is on a mission to keep St Michael’s motivated with his latest exercise plan designed to make exercise fun.

The Director of Sport at St Michael’s, who is a very keen runner himself, has created a beginner to 5k plan for anyone wanting to keep fit this lockdown.

The six-week plan, featuring workouts, running challenges and rest days, covers a range of exercises aimed at strengthening all parts of the body.

Mr Bridges said: “I have created this training programme for the St Michael’s community to help anyone who wants to have a go at running during lockdown and safely get to 5k by the time we return to school. The plan is suitable for Prep-aged pupils, parents and staff, including absolute beginners.”

The teacher, who has 15 years’ training as a running and triathlon coach, added: “The programme is designed to build a body capable of running 5k at the end of the six weeks, and what better time to have a go than during lockdown.”

The detailed plan, organised into weeks and week days, follows a key where the letters W (walk) and R (run) appear alongside the number of minutes the activity should take place for. For example, 6 x 1:30w/2:30r represents a 1 minute 30 seconds of walking followed by 2 minutes 30 seconds of running, repeated six times.

Mr Bridges said: “The programme includes progressive long runs from week 3 onwards, the only day where the running is based on distance rather than time.

“On Mondays I will also be sharing a different workout on the St Michael’s PE YouTube channel which pupils can take part in.”

To share your experience of the programme, including photos please email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk. By sharing this information you give consent to it being shared on St Michael’s social media channels and publications.

 

 

Warm, welcoming and impressive. That’s how St Michael’s new Head describes the school.

“I’ve always liked St Michael’s and have been visiting it for several years as part of sports fixtures with my previous schools”, Nik Pears said.

“Something that has always impressed me about St Michael’s is the atmosphere and people that belong to it.

“The sense of community you feel when walking through the doors of the school is extraordinary”, he added.

An avid sportsman, experienced leader, and family man, Mr Pears brings with him a wealth of ideas for St Michael’s, including his core value of equipping pupils for life.

Nik , who joined St Michael’s in January 2021, explained: “I am very keen on developing a growth mindset in my pupils. In this ever-changing world, our children need to be prepared for life outside of the classroom.

“Pupils need to be adaptable, resilient and perseverant, and learn to accept their failure and mistakes as important parts of their personal development.

“By equipping children with the right interpersonal skills during their school years, we can set them up for a future in which they may have to fight for their place in the world.”

Nik’s concept of growth mindset can also be applied to his broader vision for the school.

Coming to St Michael’s from his headship at Kent College, Pembury, Nik believes the challenges posed by Covid-19 can teach schools a lot about the importance of flexibility and community.

Mr Pears said: “These unprecedented times have been a huge learning curve for schools.

“Navigating a school through a global crisis was never going to be easy, but it has shown just how necessary it is to put pupils at the heart of every decision.

“As someone who has experienced the period as both a teacher and parent, it is very clear that we are all battling the same storm in different boats.

“It is incredible how people have found new and creative ways to deal with the circumstances. From Zoom concerts, to helping food banks, to keeping each other’s spirits high with funny videos, this period has shown us a lot about community which we will learn from and remember.”

Having belonged to multiple Prep schools himself throughout his education and as a teacher, Nik is excited to be entering this new stage in his career at St Michael’s.

Reflecting on his own school years which saw him attend schools in London, Devon and Dublin, he said: “I always enjoyed school as a child and made the most of every opportunity I was given.

“I particularly enjoyed subjects like music, drama and history and was fascinated by the things that we learnt.

“I was also heavily involved in sports and belonged to the Kent U18 rugby group. Even now you’ll find me in a pair of wellies at the side of the pitch cheering on my pupils and own children.”

Nik added: “I was one of those children who wanted to get stuck into everything, even the things that I found difficult.

“As well as my sports clubs, I belonged to multiple choirs, as well as orchestras where I played the drums, trumpet, piano and guitar.”

Mr Pears also spoke about the impact his own teachers had on his time at school and the person that he is today.

He said: “I had some amazing teachers which taught me a lot of things about life and leadership.

“Sir Anthony Seldon, one of my history teachers, was particularly inspiring and sparked my passion for the subject.

“The Head of my Prep school in Dublin also gave her pupils a lot of time. She was a hero.”

And Nik’s teachers aren’t his only role models in life.

He said: “A man called Phil Wall is also a huge inspiration of mine. Phil is the founder of the charity We See Hope which works with orphans and vulnerable young people in sub Saharan Africa.

“Phil’s selflessness and passion for the cause inspired me to become an ambassador for the charity.

“His exceptional leadership, authenticity and integrity is just inspiring.”

Mr Pears also explained how his love of people has guided him to the many leadership roles he has held.

Nik said: “I very much enjoy being with people and having a good laugh. I’m very lucky to have such an amazing family including my wife, Emma and our two children, Jessica and Josiah. Our pet hamster Charlie is also a valued member of the family who kept us well entertained during the first lockdown.”

He added: “Being a leader brings so many opportunities to show warmth, empathy and understanding to others, and I can’t wait to become a member of the St Michael’s community.

“When pupils leave St Michael’s to pursue their senior education, I hope they remember me as someone who was kind, knew them well and valued their opinion.”

 

On Tuesday 15th December, St Michael’s hosted a fun-filled charity day for Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA).

Organised by Year 7 pupil Lucy, whose life who saved by the emergency team last Christmas, the school partook in a range of fundraising activities including a fun run, Christmas jumper day, and brain-teaser quizzes.

Lucy said: “With Mr Wiseman’s help, I planned activities to raise some much-needed money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and increase awareness of their work.

“A lot of people don’t realise what a great charity they are, and I hope our fundraising day has changed that.

“Not only do they save people’s lives in moments of crisis, but they provide long-term support to families who undergo medical emergencies.”

Amanda McLean, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, said: “A big thank you to the staff and pupils of St Michael’s for coming up with creative ways to involve everyone in fundraising. In sharing her story, Lucy has helped us spread awareness of what Thames Valley Air Ambulance does. We can only do what we do because of the imagination and generosity of our wonderful fundraisers. We hope you had a lot of fun on your fundraising day!”

Lucy, whose story recently featured in the TVAA’s Christmas appeal, said: “Thames Valley Air Ambulance helped me at a time when my parents couldn’t. When I was seriously injured, the team stepped in and became my heroes.”

“It means so much to me that St Michael’s have come together to support this cause.”

The highly successful events saw pupils spread festive joy while raising an impressive £2556.60 for the charity which relies wholly of public donations.

Mrs Bridges, St Michael’s Acting Head, added: “Yesterday was amazing! The whole school had such a great time, and pupils were very excited to take part in a different fundraiser which meant they could enjoy the outdoors, whilst raising money for such an important charity. Everyone gave their all in the sponsored run and it was a brilliant event to watch.”

 

Mrs Wade, Head of Girls’ Games also said: “The children did remarkably well considering the conditions, and ran superbly for Lucy’s cause.”

 

 

And Lucy’s family echoed this gratitude for St Michael’s support. They said: “We wanted to say a huge thank to the St Michael’s community for supporting Lucy’s appeal for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance this Christmas. We’re so grateful to you for getting behind this amazing charity to whom we owe so much. We know from experience that your donations really do save lives. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021!”

For more information about the Thames Valley Air Ambulance or to donate visit: www.tvairambulance.org.uk/support-us/donate