From the Acting Head
It has been a wonderful week at school, helped by the bright November sunshine which warmed us up as we enjoyed time outside. I was out of school for a few days on a training course which was a superb opportunity to reflect on our practice. I relished the chance to be back in the (virtual) classroom and have returned to school feeling refreshed and inspired to move forwards and think about new developments for the pupils at St Michael’s.
One event that I was extremely sorry to miss whilst on my training this week, was our remembrance service held on Wednesday. It is always such a special event, and I know that this year was no different. The children and staff experienced a moving commemoration as well as comradeship in remembering those who gave so much for our freedom today. As I cannot share my own personal reflection of the service, I have recruited two guest writers from Year 5. Please enjoy their reflection of the service below. I would like to thank Mr Wiseman for his efforts in organising the event with careful attention to detail, Reverend Adie for her thoughtful words and prayer, Mr Baird and Miss Balcombe for the beautiful music, and to Miss Booth for her moving reading of ‘In Flanders Fields’.
Whilst the school was in full flow, I was expanding my knowledge of motivation and people; what drives us and the children we teach. Our ultimate aim is to foster intrinsic motivation. We want our pupils to fall in love with the process; that’s the essence of intrinsic motivation, the “doing”. Rather than doing it for a pat on the back, a medal or some other outcome, just applying themselves to a task, and enjoying that process is enough. Whether it be solving a particularly challenging maths problem or participating in the bleep test, we try to encourage our pupils to believe that how they do anything is how they do everything. You can’t just apply yourselves to the things you’re already good at! Where’s the fun in that? The drive has to come from within. The more we foster this type of motivation, the more the pupils are, without even realising it, building a certain kind of person and a certain kind of character. One whose default is effort and passion over outcomes. Because the secret is, when you focus on the process, the outcomes take care of themselves.
We ended the week dressed head to toe in spots to mark Children in Need today. There has been much excitement about dressing up, and it was a delight to see the incredible array of colours, onesies and huge smiles at drop off this morning! Thank you for your support; we raised an incredible £1178.32 across the school.
I wish you a fabulous weekend!
Our Remembrance Service
by Elodie G and Matilda M
As you all know, we had our remembrance service on Wednesday at 10:45am. We thank Mr Wiseman for organising this and allowing us to remember important people from our school that made a difference to this world. Mr Wiseman told us all about Flying Officer Edgar Ernest Vincent Barwood who was born in India and later attended St Michael’s Prep School. At the age of 17 he joined the RAFVR as a pilot. During a night training flight on the 6th August 1994, Edgar was attempting a turn to re-join his squadron formation over Cheshire, flying an Oxford Airspeed AS.10 aircraft. Tragically, his aircraft hit the ground at speed, killing him instantly. He was just 19 years old.
Reverend Adie shared a prayer about how lucky we are to be here at this time. This made us feel grateful for our lives. Miss Booth shared an emotional reading of ‘In Flanders Fields’ filled with lots of expression. Her poppy dress was amazing and she even had a poppy mask to go with it. We really enjoyed the Chamber Choir’s performance. It started with a solo performed by Sam W followed by the group singing in separate bubbles. It was sorrowful yet moving, and nice to have a song to lift our spirits.
We had two minutes silence when we remembered the Old Michaelians that fought in the war. The bell chimed 11 times, representing the time that the war ended.
The Head Girl, Head Boy and Mr Wiseman were the first to lay their poppy wreaths at the foot of the Tommy solider and then everyone else was called to lay their poppies. It was a really special remembrance service as it reminded us to be grateful for life, despite the challenges that it brings.
From the Head of Pre-Prep
Thank you for your generous donations to Children in Need. Pre-Prep is awash with bears, unicorns, superheroes and spots! Miss Rawlinson has kept all the children entertained with games and circuits in the hall.
Parents’ Evenings are next Tuesday 17th and Thursday 19th November. I hope you have all managed to sign-up via the Parents’ Evening System. Meetings will be 10 minutes long and will cut off at this time so that your child’s teacher can move onto the next meeting. You will see a countdown clock on the screen. If you need to speak to your class teacher at greater length, please email them separately after the meeting to arrange another appointment.
Just a gentle reminder that there should be no smoking on the school grounds, including e-cigarettes.
Thank you all for wearing masks once you get out of your cars and drop-off or collect your children. Some of the staff do have health concerns or are supporting family members who are vulnerable, so it is hugely helpful that they feel any risks are minimised. Staff have been alarmed when hearing tales from children of parties and sleepovers, but we are hopeful that these are from imaginative children who are still learning the difference between days, weeks and months!
It has been so helpful to see family names clearly displayed in your cars at pick up. This is helping me to radio staff to get your children ready for collection. I’m afraid I am car blind so I don’t remember which car belongs to which family. You are welcome to start filling up the spaces in the car park if you are arriving on site before we have brought the children out but please be aware that these are just spaces for quick collections.
Overheard in Pre-Prep: “I once saw Pluto in Disneyland but I was a bit confused because he was standing up and dogs don’t stand up!”
Xander S (Year 4) was awarded a Headteacher’s Star for achieving 100% in a Science test on Teeth and Digestion.
Pre-Prep Gold Star Winners
Emma R for great work during our Number of the Week lesson
Teddy T for working hard during our phonics lessons
Saskia E for working hard to write sentences with smaller letters, with wonderful finger spaces
William T for fantastic counting whilst adding two numbers together
Leo C for fantastic writing
Arian S for excellent effort with her reading
Mia Y for super effort to increase length and detail of her writing
Espen A for consistently working hard in every lesson and giving 100% effort
Aadhya S for super effort in all subjects, particularly in spelling Word Wall words
Nina T for an enthusiastic presentation about the Netherlands
Uma S for working hard on her reading
Sylvie Fittall for lovely ideas for her story map
Iris L for carefully using arrays to show multiplication
William P for using fantastic expression when reciting a poem
Kim V for excellent recall of The Owl and the Pussy Cat
Zi Chen G for brilliant maths work on multiplication arrays
Zack E.A for fantastic maths work on multiplication arrays
Lottie E for always being enthusiastic about learning and participating in whole class discussions
In memory of the fallen
On Wednesday 11th November Prep and Pre-Prep took part in remembrance events to honour those who gave their lives for our country. In Pre-Prep, the pupils took part in a minute’s silence as well as other remembrance activities such as poppy paintings, while the Prep school took part in a remembrance service led by Mr Wiseman.
During the service, which featured prayers read by Reverend Adie, a reading of ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Miss Booth, and a performance by the Chamber Choir, Mr Wiseman shared the story of an Old Michaelian who lost his life in World War 2.
Mr Wiseman read:
“We remember all of the men and women who have fallen in defence of their country, but today, at St Michael’s, among all of our Old Michaelians, we remember Edgar Ernest Vincent Barwood. Edgar was known as Marc to his friends and indeed, many of the memories shared about him refer to him as Marc. He was born to Vincent and Ellen Barwood in India in 1924. Upon the families return to England, Marc was enrolled at St Michael’s, starting in Year 3 in 1931. He spent the next six years working his way up through the school, taking advantage of all that St Michael’s had to offer, much of these benefits being the same then as they are for you now; outdoor space and sport. Marc was a keen sportsman and enjoyed his time on the sports field, but was also a keen mathematician.
When he left Year 8 in 1937, the world was moving quickly towards conflict. Marc left St Michael’s and took up a place at Christ’s Hospital school with an Open Scholarship. The outbreak of the second world war in 1939, was in Marc’s second year at Christ’s hospital and when he left there in 1942, as a 17 year old, Britain was a besieged island. Along with thousands of other young men and women, Marc joined the war effort to defend Britain and trained to be a pilot in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves.
Marc qualified as a pilot and was attached to a squadron based in the north of England. Two months after the D-day landings and while allied forces were gaining a foothold in mainland Europe, Marc was operating within a training squadron, developing their night flying skills in preparation for sorties over Europe.
On the 6th of August, 1944, while carry out a turning manoeuvre in his Oxford Airspeed aircraft over Cheshire, Marc lost control of his plane and it hit the ground at speed, killing him instantly. He was 19 years old.”
Pupils wear spots for Pudsey!
Kaleidoscopes of colour filled our corridors today as pupils dressed in their best spots and onesies for Children In Need. The annual event, which typically sees St Michael’s raise hundreds of pounds for charity, brought joy and colour to a grey November day. Pre-Prep also enjoyed a fun, Children in Need-themed obstacle course organised by Miss Rawlinson where dinosaurs, uniforms and even koala bears did their best jumping, climbing and crawling.
P & F News
Stonepitts donate to P & F for every tree bought by St Michael’s
From Saturday 21st November Stonepitts Farm will be selling Christmas Trees from its Farm Shop in the yard, as well as its online channels: www.stonepitts.com.
For every Christmas tree sold to a St Michael’s parent or staff member, a £2 contribution will be made to the P & F. This donation equally applies if you buy from Stonepitts Farm Shop or online site. Stonepitts’ friendly staff will be following careful precautions and Government Guidelines at all times.
Additionally, while Stonepitts for Help for Heroes is ongoing, (which raised £1,350 for the charity in 2019), the team will be donating to the Stag Theatre Charity this year who is need of their support.
We hope you enjoy participating in Stonepitts’ 15th year of the scheme.
For more information contact Stonepitts Farm.
Community Curry night
Last Saturday St Michael’s families united via Zoom for a curry masterclass led by local cooking school, The Cooking Apple.
The event, organised by the P & F, saw participants create a delicious Punjabi Curry bursting with delicious rich spices and flavours.
And guided by Pip from The Cooking Apple, families followed a step by step demonstration, while tailoring the dish to their preferred heat.
Reflecting on the success of the event, co-chair of the P & F, Kerri O’Dwyer said: “It was wonderful to have Pip bring parents together from across the school and to do something different. It was fun, relaxed and everyone had a laugh. But most importantly Pip managed to get us to create something delicious!”
Wellbeing for Parents
As we come to the end of 2020, we have been reflecting on how many challenges St. Michael’s staff, parents and pupils have had to face this year. We are aware that many of these challenges are ongoing and in order to meet them it is important that we offer as much support to St. Michael’s families as possible. Earlier in the year, staff at St. Michael’s received a session on staff wellbeing from our counsellor Elizabeth Baughan. We have now asked Elizabeth to provide two sessions for parents which will be accessed via the Parents’ Portal. The first session, which will be available early in December, will be on parent wellbeing – recognising that for parents to be able to support their children, they must also look after themselves. The session will focus on self-care, relationship balance, work-life balance and management of stress and anxiety. The second session, to be released in January, will look at ways in which parents can help their children with emotional wellbeing, stress management, behavioural challenges and developing resilience in the face of uncertainty.
At the end of both sessions Elizabeth will provide links to sources of support and helpful websites.
ISEB pre-test dates for the Michaelmas Term:
Friday 27th November
Shoot for the Stars!
Amelie is star of the pitch
During the October half term break Amelie. G (Year 1) received a trophy for her contribution to the Chipstead Football Club Wildcats. Amelie was awarded The Star of the Week trophy during her first week with the club and was commended for getting stuck in with confidence and making an excellent effort. Congratulations, Amelie!
Blue Peter Badge for Katie
Katie from Year 7 has been awarded a Blue Peter Music badge for her commitment to playing the clarinet, piano and recorder. Having submitted her application to Blue Peter over the summer, she was delighted to receive a badge in the post this week. Well done, Katie!
Music Exam Results
The following pupils have recently received the results of various music exams, some of which were taken as performance exams. A performance exam is a new format that many of the examining boards are now offering where video footage is submitted of the children playing their piece, as opposed to there being an examiner in the room. We are delighted that all the children coped so well with the various challenges that taking exams in lockdown brings.
S. Friis Violin Grade 3 Merit
P. Mahil Violin Grade 3 Pass
S. Taylor Jazz sax Grade 3 Merit
W. Deacon Guitar Grade 2 Distinction
S. Taylor Piano Grade 2 Merit
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.
In the Community
Mr Thomas’ Christmas Hockey Camp
Mr Thomas will be holding his Christmas Hockey Camp at Hollybush Hockey Pitch on Thursday 17th December, Friday 18th December, Monday 21st December and Tuesday 22nd December
Please email Mr Thomas on firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your space.
We will be following all England Hockey guidelines and may have to limit the numbers to less than previous camps. Please sign up early to avoid any disappointment.
Click here for the application form.
Senior School Open Mornings
Tonbridge School will be hosting a virtual open day on Saturday 21st November. To sign up visit: https://www.tonbridge-school.co.uk/admissions/contact-us
Tonbridge Virtual Open Morning with link
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Love seeing your children’s smiley faces on our social media pages?
Make sure you’re following all four of our channels to ensure you don’t miss any precious photos and videos. This also includes our new YouTube page featuring videos about St Michael’s and speeches from the pupils.