From the Head
As we look forward to a two week break following this busy half term, perhaps it is right to focus on the well-being that springs from rest. We were lucky on Monday to welcome Natasha Devon MBE and to listen to her wise and informed presentation about the three core elements that lead to well-being; Critical thinking, stress coping mechanisms and emotional literacy. In response to this, all the staff have thought about the opportunities we already have for teaching in these three areas and as part of our well-being award we will put together a document so that parents can be clear about the contribution the school makes to the well-being agenda. As an immediate reaction, it is clear that our focus on higher-order thinking, questioning, giving choices to children and listening to their views already makes a strong start. With a wide, balanced and varied curriculum focusing on high-quality experiences and opportunities in sport, music, art and drama, we also enable stress management to take place although I feel as a school we can develop this further and we will.
Giving children as much information about the link between chemistry, brain function and emotion is high on our agenda through PSHE and assembly work. But there is inevitably a tension between providing a calm, ordered, regular routine and the events that we plan at school that become the memories of children and so we welcome feedback from children and parents on whether we’ve got that balance right.
This morning following on from Natasha’s themes I spoke to Pre-Prep about the different kinds of listening we do and how important it is, whether for pleasure, taking part in conversations, for information, instructions, or to find out how people feel. Perhaps the last thing; listening to people and encouraging them to express their feelings and refocus on experiences that make them feel joyful, is our most important task of all. I have invited children in Pre-Prep, if they would like, to send me a postcard from their holiday destinations or homes and tell me about some of the things they can hear when they listen carefully.
Certainly in Pre-Prep there has been an overdose of joyful events and exciting trips this week as each class in turn went out for a day’s adventure. I’m only sorry that the coach of a visiting sports team caused considerable stress and inconvenience for our parents accessing and leaving the site on Thursday evening. We’ll be in touch with the school to ask them not to use a coach on their next visit to us.
Many parents and grandparents in Prep took great pleasure from the performers’ platform and breakfast on Wednesday morning, showcasing a variety of performance-ready pieces across the full range of instruments and voices. The act of listening to performance and appreciating what other people can share is a special and moving part of the life of pupils and staff at St Michael’s and it was wonderful that several of our new students shared performance with us and gave us much pleasure.
Yesterday we mailed the results of the 11+ to parents of children in Year 6. For some there is great excitement and relief whilst others may not have quite done themselves justice in this exam. We hope that we can support those families that need to appeal and that we can refocus the children for whom 11+ was a long shot and who will be best served by a non-selective environment. Our own Year 7 and 8 give unparalleled support, challenge and experiences to children who stay and my heartfelt wish is that parents will give this serious consideration amongst all of the choices that lie before them. After the half term holiday we will be exploring with Year 6 the opportunity to apply for scholarships here and to become a senior pupil at St Michael’s and we are holding a coffee morning for those interested in finding out more about Year 7 and 8 both within the community and beyond it on November 2nd. In the meantime, have a super half term holiday, do enjoy the change of pace and scene and come back safely.
I am delighted to let you know that with effect from November 1st, Mme Juliette Poracchia will take on the role of Gifted and Talented Leader. Apart from the obvious fact that she is herself a gifted and talented leader, we look forward to benefitting from an increased focus on those with high ability and talent, so that we can continue to grow what is offered and achieved by all pupils at the school.
As her own son achieved a top academic scholarship to Sevenoaks School, we also know that she combines parental as well as professional insight and wisdom on the subject of high ability.
Many congratulations to Juliette. We are excited for the future.
News from Pre-Prep
· Early Years Learning Journals – feedback please
· Booking your child’s activities for the Lent term
· Year 2 parents Stubbers Information evening 1st Nov
· Fireworks Night Friday 3rd Nov
It’s the end of the first half term and I am sad to report that Mrs Jill Coulstock will be leaving us at the end of the next half term. After 17 years at St Michael’s Pre-Prep she has decided to wave goodbye, sell up and move to the coast. We will all miss her practical, logical, common sense thinking. I know she has nurtured many of our existing Prep school children and tended to many injuries over the years, as a highly trained first aider. We will be wishing her all the best as we head towards Christmas and I know you will want to do so too.
If you have children in 2FD, please don’t worry as their new teaching assistant from January, will be the very experienced Mrs Barton. Reception R will be gaining Sarah Bailey who already knows the children from being in Kindergarten last year and Ms Frankie Elsey will be returning from maternity leave to take up her position back in Kindergarten in January. Mrs Jones also returns to Kindergarten in January.
We have had children out on trips this week and all have reported back that they have had wonderful experiences. Year 1 went to Knole House for the first time and the teachers were very impressed with the programme, level of supervision and teaching from the National Trust staff. Year 2 had a great time at the Horniman museum. Their robotics exhibition had the children really enthusiastic on their return to school. Reception went to Godstone Farm on a bright autumnal day; perfect!
For those parents with children in Nursery, Kindergarten or Reception you should have now logged into our new style learning journeys via Tapestry. Please feel free to comment on your child’s journal. Feedback, to us as teachers, would also be welcome as we want to make sure we are getting this on-line facility right for you.
We will soon be sending out the new list of activities for the Lent term. Can I ask you to make decisions on these activities carefully, through the booking system. Please do not request changes once they are booked. Many thanks for your co-operation in this.
Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the St Michael’s Fireworks evening. One of the best events in our calendar for families. Our fireworks are always the best and being on the terrace at Prep means you can catch other people’s displays too!
Overheard: (Child had been to a Christening) My cousin was wet by God.
Have a lovely half term holiday and see you all again on the 30th October.
Upcoming Events at St Michael’s
|Wednesday 1st November
||Visit by Belgian Piano Duo
||Prep & Pre-Prep
|Thursday 2nd November
||Year 5 Parents’ Evening
|Friday 3rd November
|Tuesday 7th November
||Year 6 Parents’ Evening with Scholarship Information
|Wednesday 8th November
||HiStory Troupe Assembly
||Parents & Friends Meeting
||Prep School Library
|Thursday 9th November
||Kindergarten, Reception, Years 1 and 2 Parents’ Evening
|Friday 10th November
||Kindergarten Trip to Kemsing Library
Whole School News
Medals galore for St Michael’s girls
Congratulations are in order for four St Michael’s pupils, who achieved an amazing total of five Gold medals, two Silver and a Bronze in addition to finalists medals at the Sevenoaks Swimming Club 25M Festival 2017 Swimming Championship last week.
Year 3 pupil, I Pennington-Legh won Gold in backstroke, breaststroke, fly and freestyle; Year 5 pupil, F Ashdown, won Gold in butterfly and backstroke and Silver in freestyle, Year 2 pupil A Ashton won Silver in breaststroke and Bronze in freestyle and Year 5’s E Collings received finalists medals for butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke.
Well done, girls, fantastic achievements by you all; we’re so proud of you!
Twenty Fingers on a Piano
We are very much looking forward to welcoming an exciting piano duo to school next month to perform for us. Duo B!zart are Belgian pianists, André Roe and Geoffrey Baptiste, who have been entertaining audiences across Europe with piano duets since 2004. During their visit to St Michael’s on 1st November, they will give two performances of their children’s show “Twenty Fingers on a Piano“, which is specially designed for 5 to 11 year olds.
During this, André and Geoffrey become acting and performing artists, helping children discover famous musical fairy tales (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast …) and forgotten games (spinning top, Blind Man’s Buff). The show includes music by Percy Pitt, Maurice Ravel and Georges Bizet and develops children’s imagination and appreciation of music through stories.
Director of Music
Allergy Free Recipes
In response to requests from our families, we are pleased to let you know that a cookery book, which contains recipes suitable for most allergies, will be available for reference in both school offices.
We hope that this will help you if you wish to send in home-made celebration cakes with your children.
Director of Admissions and Marketing
We are looking forward to our annual Fireworks Display which will be held here on Friday 3rd November. All families and friends of St Michael’s are warmly invited.
The evening will start at 6.30pm with the display at 7pm.
Advance tickets went on sale from the Prep School Reception on Monday 2nd October and are available between 3pm-5pm daily. This year we are pleased to offer family tickets.
As tickets sell fast and to help with catering, we encourage you to buy them early. Tickets include a hot dog, hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Ticket prices: Adult £12, Child £10, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £40
A limited number of tickets will be available on the night at £15, £12, and £50 respectively.
We would ask you to car share wherever possible so that we can accommodate everyone.
Sevenoaks Symphony Orchestra
The Sevenoaks Symphony Orchestra are putting on two performances of the very popular Family Concert on Sunday 15 October at 2pm and 4pm. The concert is aimed at primary school children and their families and is a great introduction to live classical music in a format designed specifically for children. We are playing snippets of music based on the theme of magic and each piece is introduced by our charismatic conductor, Darrell Davison.
Parents and Friends
Looking for Stall Holders – St Michael’s Christmas Bazaar
The St Michael’s Christmas Bazaar will be held this year on Saturday 2nd December from 12.00noon-3.00pm. As always, we will be looking for stall holders to come and join us to sell their products.
If you know of a family member, friend or acquaintance who may like to book a stall, please ask them to email us at email@example.com and we will make contact with them.
St Michael’s Parents & Friends
From a warm and welcoming coffee morning to a chocoholic’s paradise the International Club have been saying “hello” to our new families. Click here to read more and to see how to contact them if you’d like to join in.
Seasonal crafts are well underway in The Hive, with Count Dracula, witches’ fingers (for which read hot dogs!) and Christmas wreaths. Click here to read all about their week.
Gold Stars were awarded to:
Aiden W for always working so hard
Xavier N for making some really good choices this week
Nicholas S for great learning in French
Mojola A & Alyssa K for great word writing in phonics
Edward N for a fantastic start to his story
Pearl G & Hugo H for trying hard to change for games independently
Liza B for a stunning performance in assembly accompanied by her mother
Alex C for enthusiasm and hard work in class
Bronwyn T for fantastic work on shape and Venn diagrams
Music Practice Cup: Emilia P
Music Practice Award: Oliver S
Star Violinist Cup: Florence L
House Point Cup
Awarded to Windsor House with a total of 128 points
Evie S collected the Cup on behalf of the House
Judoka of the Week Award: Lincoln M
Best Effort of the Week Award: Alex C
Rulesmaster of the Week Award: Amelia MacR
Gamesmaster of the Week Award: James R
Ella played ‘Train Ride’ on the piano in Assembly on Wednesday – well done, Ella!
Pre-Prep’s Lion Queen
Mrs Smith not only enjoys arts and crafts after school with the children in the Hive, but she then goes home and produces all sorts of creative projects for herself.
Her latest masterpiece is a lion made entirely from Hama Beads! We persuaded Mrs Smith to bring this picture into Pre-Prep so we could all be inspired.
Mother and Daughter Netball
Ball skills galore and some future England players? Click here to view our gallery of action photos from a fun and exciting games lesson with Year 2 and their mummies. The girls took great delight in showing off everything they have learnt in netball this term, demonstrating footwork, passing, dodging and shooting. Continuing the match spirit, we finished with a match tea!
Thank you to all the mums who joined us for the event.
Year 2 at the Horniman Museum
Year 2 have been adventuring into the realms of animal adaptation, stuffed dodos and robot zoos! Read about their trip here and see our photos in the gallery.
||For a wonderful speech at Open Morning
||For a fantastic speech at Open Morning
||For making a super speech at Open Morning
||For making a fabulous speech at Open Morning
||For making a superb speech at Open Morning
||For making a wonderful speech at Open Morning
||For making a fantastic speech at Open Morning
||For making a fabulous speech at Open Morning
||For making a superb speech at Open Morning
||For making a wonderful speech at Open Morning
||For enthusiasm to learn, an excellent vocabulary and a fabulous description of your trip to Butser
||For a wonderful book poster
||For a fabulous book poster creation
||For designing the front of the prospectus envelope
Year 7 2018 Coffee Morning
Are you looking at your options following the 11+ results? Come and chat to us at an informal coffee morning on 2nd November from 10.15-12.00 noon. You’ll have the chance to meet our Year 7 & 8 pupils, chat to Mrs Aisher, Mrs Bridges and Mrs Shield, Head of Years 7 & 8, about the curriculum and life in Years 7 & 8 at St Michael’s and to ask questions.
The event is open to both current and prospective families.
Please contact Jane Thornton for further information and to book in to our coffee morning, firstname.lastname@example.org or 01959 526042.
Scholarships and bursaries are available. Mrs Bridges and Mrs Shield will be speaking to our current Year 6 pupils about applying for a scholarship into Year 7 on the morning of 2nd November.
Reminder O-Pro Mouthguard Fitting 3rd November 2017
The mouthguard fitters, Opro, are coming to school on Friday 3rd November to fit mouth guards for the boys in preparation for the rugby season. St Michael’s boys from Years 4,5,6,7 & 8 will all need a mouth guard by Monday 27th November. A letter has been e- mailed out to parents with information but to book a fitting, please visit the Opro web site at – www.opro.com
Mrs C Wade
Director of Sport
Hallowe’en Hot Chocolate and Cookie Sale in aid of the Jersey Tour
Year 8 will be starting their Jersey Tour fundraising on Tuesday 31st October with a Hallowe’en hot chocolate and cookie sale at break time.
Pupils’ Ski Trip 2018
We are pleased and excited to announce details of the pupils’ ski trip for 2018. Our ski company, Equity, have secured our booking in the pretty Italian village of Claviere, which sits right on the French border. We will stay at the traditional Hotel Savoia, which is in the heart of the village, very close to the ski lifts and beginners’ slopes. Claviere is in an excellent position – linking into the huge “Milky Way” ski area, which boasts over 400km of skiing.
The trip will depart on Saturday 24th March, returning on Saturday 31st March.
The pupils’ ski trip is traditionally for children in current years 5 to 8, but depending on numbers, it may be possible for us to accommodate some families (although we are unable to offer crèche facilities). Numbers are quite limited, so a speedy reply is required to guarantee a place.
Further details can be found by clicking here.
Poetry Live for Years 5 and 6
The semi-finals of Poetry Live took place this week, with children in Years 5 and 6 learning a poem by heart and reciting it in their English lessons. A winner and runner-up from each year group will go through to the final at Caterham School on 17th November, at which St Michael’s children will be competing against children from other Prep schools in Kent and Surrey.
Stop press – our winners are (first and second place in each year group will go through to the final at Caterham School):
3rd place: A Peterkin
2nd place: E Ward
1st place: T Elliott
3rd place: T Lister-St George
2nd place: A Martin
1st place: G Goodwin
Head of English
From environmental damage and endangered animals to malnutrition and lack of education, our new Global Ambassadors have been working out ways of helping around the globe. Read more about their plans here.
U11 Girls Reap Hockey Success in Three Tournaments
Our U11 girls’ hockey team played in three tournaments in six days. Last Thursday they went to the IAPS at Hurstpierpoint and came 3rd in a strong group; on Saturday they were bronze medal winners at the Hawthorns tournament and on Wednesday they won another bronze medal at the Sutton Valence tournament. They had notable 2-0 victories against Holmewood House, Ardingly College and Dulwich Prep (full results are on SOCS). I am very proud of their progress and their commitment and desire to get better. They thoroughly deserve their success and their medals. Well done girls!
See below for our photos
Bronze Medals for U11 Team in Hawthorns Hockey Tournament
Congratulations to our U11 Girls’ Hockey Team, who won bronze medals in last weekend’s Hawthorns Hockey Tournament.
U11 Hockey Team reap more success at Sutton Valence
In yet another Prep Schools tournament, this time at Sutton Valence, our U11 team once again came 3rd. They competed against fourteen teams from other schools. Well done!
More Sporting Success at the IAPS Cross Country Event at Schools at Somerhill
A perfect day for running. Not too hot, not cold and fairly dry underfoot our runners all took on the course with great gusto! All of our teams tried their hardest and there some excellent individual performances.
The U11 boys were 3rd overall, the U11 girls were 10th, the U9 boys were 8th and the U9 girls were placed 7th.
Individual performances were as follows: –
K Cameron – 4th
K Smith – 28th
H Wilkinson 42nd
C Kern – 34th
H Medlen – 38th
A Goodwin – 21st
M Cameron – 22nd
J Wiseman – 43rd
E Bingham – 26th
…and the best result of all was by V Kern who came running in strongly to finish in 1st position! Very well done to her and all of our runners.
Director of Sport
Thanks to Mrs Kern for the photos
Sailing Success for Year 4 Pupil
Congratulations to Year 4 pupil, I Johnson, who has recently won two adult sailing competitions, crewing her father, Dom Johnson. Together they won the Chipstead Sailing Club Firefly Open Meeting and the Papercourt Firefly Open Meeting at Papercourt Sailing Club. They also won the Firefly M25 Series Trophy (the large wheel you can see in the photo). Mrs Johnson told us “These are adult competitions and we are really proud of her achievements”.
As are we – well done!
Performance Breakfast 11th October
Twenty four musicians, a breakfast concert, a great audience and talented teachers. Click here to read our article and here to see our gallery of photos of the event.
Year 7 Chemists look at Diffusion
Our Year 7 chemists discovered that Skittles aren’t just for eating, tasty though they are. They can also be used to help you understand science! Or to be more precise … diffusion.
Year 3 go mountaineering!
Crampons, waterproof sleeping bags, helmets and special gloves were just some of the equipment Year 3 were lucky enough to see up close when mountaineer Mr Gandy came in to talk to them. Click here to read our article and see our photos.
Players of the Match – week commencing 9th October
|1st X1 Football
||H Madden and K Denny
||The whole team
||The whole team-all excellent
||B Sanderson and J Wright
||A Green and G Kelly
||D Little and N Brown
||B Emery and L Clapham
||J Pathiwill and B Cosgrove
||S Bendle and O Gasson
||The whole team – scored their 1st goal
|U13 A Hockey
||M van Slingelandt
||The whole team-came 3rd in another tournament
||R Gray and S Stokes
||C Colgan and F Ashdown
|U9 A Netball
||N Dolton and M Noopuri
||T Ward and D Patel
October Half Term Soccer and Netball Camps
The Archway Soccer Course will run from 23rd -26th October inclusive, 10am to 3pm. There will be pure football training, competitions and matches all day. All courses are delivered by our qualified, talented football coaches. Head Coach, Carlos Lopez worked for Arsenal F.C in their Academy, as a coach and scout, for 8 years.
The course will be structured as follows:
Morning – First touch, team play, individual skills, finishing/defending/support play and games.
Afternoon– Tournaments, skill tournaments, penalty shootouts, small-sided games.
The course costs £120 for the four days. Spaces are limited, so book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Booking forms are available from both school offices and are downloadable here. To guarantee your child’s place, please return your form together with payment; cheques should be made payable to C Lopez.
If you require further information please contact Carlos on 07429 065067 or email email@example.com
Miss Rawlinson will be running her netball course for girls in classes from Year 1 to Year 5 from 23rd-26th October.
With practice in netball skills, matches competitions and fun, the course will run from 10.00am – 3.00pm each day and costs £120 for the four days.
Booking forms are available from the Pre-Prep office or by clicking here. Cheques should be made payable to C Lopez.
October Half-Term Hockey Camp
Mr Thomas and Mr Young will be running a three-day hockey camp during the October half term on Tuesday 17th, Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th October at Hollybush. The course will run from 10.00am to 3.00pm and will run similarly to previous camps. To book your place or for further information, please email Mr Thomas on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior School Open Days
(listed in order of upcoming events)
Weald of Kent Grammar School (Tonbridge)
Tuesday 17th October 9.30am-11.30am
Another opportunity to tour the school with a student guide and to see the wide range of activities, subject displays and interactive workshops taking place in classrooms – feel free to join in!
Saturday 18th November 2017 9:30am-12:15pm
Sevenoaks will be holding four Open Mornings for pupils applying to join them in 2018 and beyond. The first is above; the other dates are 17th March 2018 and 16th June 2018. All Open Mornings are suitable for pupils and parents interested in Year 7, Year 9 or Sixth Form entry.
Please book online at www.sevenoaksschool.org/openmornings
Open Afternoons are by appointment only. Please contact the Admissions Office to book a place on 0208 633 9935 or by email, email@example.com
Monday 16 October 2017 – FULL
Wednesday 8 November 2017
Wednesday 15 November 2017
Thursday 16 November 2017
Monday 20 November 2017
Tuesday 21 November 2017
Key Dates for 2018 admissions are available by clicking here.