eNews: Friday 11th June 2021

From the Head

Dear Parents,

I hope you had a fantastic half term break.

The sun has been shining on St Michael’s all week and we have been making the most of the warm weather and the opportunities that come with our beautiful grounds. In Pre-Prep, the children have been practising for Sports Day on our pitches as well as enjoying woodland walks, quiet time in the shade, trips to Forest School, and much welcomed visits to the swimming pool. A special thank you must go to the P & F for providing Pre-Prep with new tables and chairs to enjoy their time outside on; they have been put to very good use this week.

Yesterday, we were also delighted to welcome our September 2021 cohort of Reception children to St Michael’s as part of a taster afternoon to ease their transition to our school. We very much look forward to welcoming these children, along with the other new joiners, next term.

Meanwhile, in the Prep school our Year 7 and 8 children have been working hard in their exams which, despite the heat, they have approached with maturity and focus. We are extremely proud of these pupils and the dedication they have shown to these assessments. Year 8 have also been taking part in a fun forensic challenge in collaboration with the Royal Society of Chemistry this week which we look forward to announcing the winners of soon.

I also had the joy of attending Rochester Cathedral on Wednesday afternoon where our Chamber Choir joined voices with members of King’s Rochester Senior Choir for Choral Evensong. It was a magnificent event displaying much talent from our singers. Congratulations to all involved.

I hope you have a lovely weekend enjoying the sun.

Nik Pears

A message from Mr Pears:

 

From the Head of Pre-Prep 

Dear Parents,

What a great week back at school. Everyone is excited about the last half term. We have put dates in the calendar for Sports events for each year group and Concerts or Prize Givings and we are now holding our breath to see if we can have an audience for these events!

  • 22nd June 11am Nursery Tu/Th Sports, Concert & Picnic
  • 23rd June Whole school photo for all children
  • 23rd June 2pm Kindergarten Sports, Concert & Picnic
  • 25th June 9am Reception Sports Day
  • 25th June Nursery Mon/Wed/Fri Sports, Concert & Picnic
  • 28th June 10am Year 1 Sports Day
  • 28th June 1.30pm Year 2 Sports Day
  • 29th June Move Up Morning for all children
  • 1st July 2pm Year 1 & 2 Prize Giving – Prep Sports Hall
  • 2nd July 5pm Family Social – Sports Field
  • 6th July 9am Reception Prize Giving
  • 7th July 12pm Break up for Summer holidays

On the last day of term, we will dismiss the Pre-Prep children from the car park areas as usual at 12pm. Those children with Prep school siblings will be collected from the Pre-Prep area at 12.15pm with their siblings who will have made their way to us from Prep school. The Prep school children without younger Pre-Prep siblings will be collected at 12.30pm from the Prep pick up zone.

Kindergarten have been enjoying watching the water cascade from one water tray to another this week. Whilst some children are watering plants, others are painting the fence with water and some are making “soup” and mud pies.  It has all been very industrious and lots of fun.

The King of Tiny Things has been the focus for Reception this week and the children’s writing is really progressing. I have been very impressed with all those finger spaces between words!

Please remember to send your children in with a school sun hat and all-day sun cream that has been applied by you before leaving for school in the morning. We do spend quite a lot of our day outside whenever possible so protection from the sun is necessary.

Overheard in Pre-Prep: “You’re the Head so you are allowed to be silly once a year.”

Have a lovely weekend.

Zerrin Leech

Staff News

We are delighted to announce that the following individual will be joining St Michael’s this summer.

Louis Thorpe- Maintenance and Groundsman

Louis Thorpe has worked in education for five years as a member of the estates team at a college in Lewes. Here he served as a maintenance groundsman and security guard keeping students and staff safe.

Louis is very excited to begin his role at St Michael’s and be part of the school community. He is also looking forward to living on site when our current Groundsman Simon Wagstaff moves into a new home with his wife this summer. We would like to congratulate Simon on this move.

 

Louis will replace our current Grounds Assistant Peter Callow who will be leaving St Michael’s to begin his retirement in July.

After four and a half years of working at St Michael’s, Peter has decided to hang up his overalls and retire from the Estates Team as our Groundsman. In this time, he has been a great asset to the school with his extensive knowledge of grounds, helping to steer us in the right direction with the raft of new planting that is being planned around the site. His cheerful manner and wicked sense of humour will be greatly missed by all the staff, but none more so than in the Estates Department. We all wish Peter a very long and happy retirement and hopefully soon he will be able to return to one of his passions of travelling around the globe, in the meantime he can carry on metal detecting which is another of his hobbies. Good luck Peter and Thank you.

 

Pre-Prep Gold Star Winners

Arlo S for great independent writing

Matthew D for fantastic writing for the King of Tiny Things

Louis N for working so hard in phonics

Henry G for lovely writing during our King of Tiny Things learning

Jasmine H for amazing independent writing

Sebastian C for trying so hard with your writing

Amelie G for producing fantastic non-fiction writing about owls

Miranda H for producing fantastic non-fiction writing about owls

Ayla A for making good progress in reading and trying hard

Daniel W for a fantastic charcoal drawing of an owl

Uma S for trying hard to read her information texts

Krisha P for good listening and asking interesting questions on our trip

All of Class 1P, 1FG and 1W for wonderful behaviour on the Shoreham trip

Myla B for creating some amazing pieces of artwork over the Trinity Term

Kim V for completing her Stubbers’ booklet with lots of writing

Taran M for writing a very descriptive recount of events from Stubbers

Lucy T for excellent expression and character voices when reading

Abigail S for a fantastic Stubbers’ booklet with beautiful illustrations

George W for always working hard in all subjects and offering interesting ideas during whole class discussions

 

Times Tables Certificates

Awarded to:

Silver – Adam J

Bronze – Zack E-A, Leo H-B, William P, Thomas G and Adam O

 

 

100 Housepoints Certificates

Awarded to:

Dover – Max S / Louis N / Alice H  B / William T / Adam J / Thomas S / Beatrice B / Noah L

Leeds – Theia H / Ariana S / Felix B / James H / William P /

Rochester – Ella F / Ben C / Elizabeth A /

Windsor –Thomas G / Amelia I W / Sofia F /

Head’s Stars

M Skoko (Year 5) for writing a wonderful story based on Cloud Tea Monkeys in English

A-L El-Alami (Year 5) for writing a wonderful story based on Cloud Tea Monkeys in English

Whole School News

Kings’ Rochester & the Choral Evensong in Rochester Cathedral

On Wednesday afternoon, the Chamber Choir from St Michael’s joined voices with members of King’s Rochester Senior Choir for Choral Evensong in Rochester Cathedral. For many of our pupils, this was their very first experience of a sung Evensong, a much loved and traditional service in the the Anglican Church.
Following a short train journey to Rochester we received a warm welcome from our hosts in their beautiful school grounds and enjoyed a terrific rehearsal session together with the senior choir and their Director of Music, Mr Mountford.
Ms Balcombe conducted the service throughout and we were moved by some touching moments including Goodall’s setting of The Lord is My Shepherd and the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by Dyson.
 
A tired and happy bunch of choristers and their parents were treated to a delicious buffet reception and games on the Paddock to round off a wonderful afternoon of music-making in a very special setting. We extend our sincere thanks to Mr Charles, Head, and all at Rochester for their kindness and hospitality.
Gordon Baird, Director of Music 

Globe Theatre praises Holly’s English project  

Congratulations to Year 6 pupil Holly who recently had her English project praised by The Globe Theatre.

Holly’s Antony and Cleopatra-inspired chessboard was celebrated by Shakespeare’s Globe on St Michael’s Twitter page.

Come and see The Elephant Man!

After what has felt like an eternity, theatres are finally opening their doors and at St Michael’s Prep we are delighted, and excited, to say our drama space is once again going to echo with the voices of thespians performing their craft. The School Play is back!

Normally, our play is presented by Years 5 to 8, however the restrictions of the pandemic and the enforced bubbles have meant that this year, only students from Years 7 and 8 have been able to get involved.

Nevertheless, we would be delighted to see all students, as well as their families and friends, at one of the performances. The cast has worked incredibly hard since September to bring this show to you; please do come along and give them your support. We recommend the production for Years 6 and above, although this is not exclusive.

Doors open at 6pm. There will be a paid bar available.

Grab your tickets via the QR Code below, or online at www.ticketsource.co.uk.

St Michael’s is very pleased to be collaborating with Camp Beaumont during the summer holiday. The children’s activity programme, which will run from 19th July to 27th August, is designed to help children keep active, challenge them mentally, build new life skills and most importantly, help them grow in confidence. Activities will include a wide range of games, music, sports and creative workshops.

We are also delighted to announce that St Michael’s parents will receive a 10% discount off full weeks, 5% off days and 50% off extended days when parents use the code HS20. For more information please click here.

Shoot for the Stars!

Past pupil Jess joins Loughborough Lightning Super League

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!”

Send us your stories!

Has your child won an award, passed an extra-curricular exam or accomplished something exciting recently?

We love celebrating our pupils’ amazing achievements and want to showcase them in our weekly newsletter. Email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk to submit your child’s achievement.

Senior School Information

Tonbridge Grammar School

Join Tonbridge Grammar School for its upcoming Open Events.

You can also view their Virtual Open Day here or read information specifically about admissions for September 2022 here. 

 

Knole Academy

Knole Academy is now taking bookings for its Year 5 taster sessions for 2021. During the taster sessions, which will take place between 22nd June and 9th July, children and parents will have the chance to find out more about life and lessons at the school.

To book you preferred subject session please visit: https://www.knoleacademy.org/463/open-events. Further information about the events and the admissions process please click here.

Please note, Knole Academy has asked that you only book one session in order for them to accommodate as many children as possible. and to inform their school of the booking they have made. Please also book early to avoid disappointment.

For those parents who would rather not attend a Taster Session during this time or have been unable to book a place, we are pleased to offer a ‘virtual experience’ where children are able to take part in a number of Taster lessons in English, Maths, Science, Design Technology and Food Technology.  There is also a virtual tour of our school from our Headteacher, Mr Collins.

King’s Rochester

Join King’s Rochester for their Open Morning on Saturday 26th June from 9am to 1pm. The event will be an opportunity to meet with the school’s staff and pupils as well as seeing their beautiful grounds, nestled within the Cathedral precinct of historic Rochester. King’s is a proud broad-ability School which offers a variety of Scholarships in Academia, Sport, Music, Drama and Art.

Principal Mr Ben Charles will welcome all visitors to King’s at 9:15am in the School Hall where breakfast will be available and after which families can tour the school.

Pre-booking is essential and can be done here.

Sevenoaks School

Join Sevenoaks School for their Open Morning on Saturday 26th June.

In The Community

Archway Summer Football Camp

Mr Lopez will be holding his Football Camp from Tuesday 24th August to Friday 27th August. Click here for full details and a booking form. Book early as places are limited!

Follow us on social media!

It’s important that we stay connected as a community during this time, so make sure you are following St Michael’s social media channels for important updates and content throughout the Trinity Term.

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.