eNews: Friday 13th September 2019

From the Head

It has been a phenomenally busy week but great fun too. I enjoyed getting to see the emerging personalities at the Year 7 camp out on Friday night, as the new Year 7 joined in so that they were almost indistinguishable as new, such was the welcome that they were shown. Hats off to Fraser Wiseman who masterminded the logistics and to all the team of teachers who came to make it fun.

Thank you to the many parents who have attended the coffee mornings in Pre-Prep and the welcome evenings in Prep this week. We have a few more such events next week and in the week after that. Do look out for what’s in the calendar.

Settling into a new environment can take longer than just a few days, however, and I am mindful that if a child has moved schools, or perhaps countries and house, that this can be almost overwhelming and progress towards confidence will take longer. There might be tears, there might be anxiety and quite possibly some large differences in the content covered or novelties in the way things are done. We are here to help and strong routines and confident parents will help us and your child.

From a well-being perspective, it is of course okay to find things daunting when they are different and all of our new members of staff are expending more emotional energy understanding new routines and getting on top of new expectations.

During this academic year, we expect that ISI, the Independent Schools Inspectorate will visit us with very short notice to check that we are a compliant school. Compliance, as I am sure you are aware, is enshrined in a great deal of law but also best practice and inspectors when they come will want your views on what you see and what your experience is.

As the school has very strong routines, good governance and well-established staff expectations, we expect to meet all the standards in this inspection. But you can help us by letting us know if there’s anything that you see, hear or experience that is not what you would expect.

I hope very much that you have a restful and enjoyable weekend. I’m looking forward to being a tiny speck on your TV screens as part of the Prom in the Park for the last night of the Proms so if you’re watching I’ll give you a wave!

Jill Aisher

News from Pre-Prep

Nursery Parents’ Coffee mornings Monday 16th Sept at 8.45am & 11.15am
Nursery Parents’ Coffee mornings Tuesday 17th Sept at 8.45am & 11.15am
Kindergarten Parents’ Coffee morning Wednesday 18th Sept at 8.45 in the dining room

We have had a busy first full week at Pre-Prep. We are settling into Stable Court, welcoming lots of new children to the St Michael’s family and enjoying our very youngest children coming in to play with mummy or daddy, grandparents or nannies.

Year 2 met the “animal lady” on Thursday; she brought with her a range of wonderful animals and insects. The meercat is going to be a particular focus of study over the coming weeks.

Next week I have coffee mornings with Nursery parents on Monday and Tuesday and Kindergarten parents on Wednesday. There are two times for Nursery on Monday and Tuesday depending on which attendance group you are in. We will be slightly flexible with the times to accommodate the settling in of your children.

Please be aware that the construction of our Astroturf is now well under way and there are all sorts of wonderful machinery coming on site. I would ask you to keep hold of your children’s hands and please stick to the proper paths and zebra crossings at all times. Considerate parking is also required to get plant in and out of our site. Mr Smith would like to assure you that the building company will not have any lorries coming to St Michael’s at core drop off and pick up times.

Overheard: (Lunchtime) Is this sparkling water because I prefer still?

Have a good weekend,

Zerrin Leech

Corrections to the Parents’ Handbook

Prep Office Opening Hours

The Prep School Office is open from 8am until 9am and from 3pm until 5pm.

Pre-Prep Office Email

To email the Pre-Prep office, please use PrePrepOffice@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk

Safety on Site

We are delighted to have commenced the construction of our long-awaited AstroTurf pitch. At the moment, Smith’s, our contractor, have delivered plant and other vehicles outside normal school hours and will continue to do this for as long as possible. The overriding focus for the school community is the safety of the site, during this construction phase.

The area that Smiths are working in is securely enclosed in temporary ‘Heras’ fencing. However, we are asking parents to be especially vigilant with small children around the site.

At some point, a large amount of aggregate materials will need to be delivered to the site to be laid as the sub-base for the pitch. These materials will be delivered in multiple large lorries and, although we are working closely with Smith’s to have this part of project completed during Half Term, we need to forewarn parents this could potentially overrun into the days either side of half term. We may need to employ traffic management systems on Row Dow during this time to alleviate congestion, but please rest assured that we will keep everyone up to date with any developments of this nature.

Di Birmingham

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:

  • St Michael’s Running Club sign up
  • Senior Schools Fair information and booking link

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 Awards

Gold Stars

Sam S for trying so hard at every activity
Sophia E for always doing the right thing
Krisha for fantastic listening and great focus on the carpet
Jonas for always doing the right thing and helping others
Rui for being very kind to his new friends
Daniel W for listening well in class and making good choices
Isabelle for listening and following instructions and getting all her tasks done on time
Misha for excellent enthusiasm, trying hard in everything he does with a smile
Elizabeth W for great kindness, listening and excellent participation
Ava M for lovely manners in the dining room
Aiden W for being a very caring friend
Elisa for setting a good example and working exceptionally hard
Herbie for careful listening and great participation
Amelia B for a lovely holiday diary all about her summer holidays
Olanna / Thomas D / Niamh G / Isla / Conrad / Kim / Elizabeth S / Cole / Lily / Siena / Peter / Edgar / Miranda / Bram / Bonham / Oscar / Abigail L / Louisa S / Ellie S / Nina
for settling into St. Michael’s so well

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup: Alexander H
Music Practice Award: Silas

House Point Cup

Dover House with a total of 99 points
Archie B collected the Cup on behalf of Dover House


News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

T Bulley For exceptional chemistry analysis
L Poracchia For an excellent challenge project about the pilgrimage you made

ABRSM Exam Results

B Bachelor Piano PT PASS
S Johnson Piano PT PASS
M Macedo Piano PT PASS
S Mottram Piano PT PASS
B Tovey Descant Recorder PT PASS
A Brown Cello PT PASS
C Merralls Cello PT PASS
E Bingham Singing 1 MERIT
M Elliott Singing 1 MERIT
A Peterkin Singing 1 DISTINCTION
C Sinclair Singing 1 PASS
S Ward Singing 1 DISTINCTION
T Warren Singing 1 MERIT
L Lutzow Flute 1 DISTINCTION
G Owen Flute 1 MERIT
W Deacon Jazz Piano 1 MERIT
S Edwards-Matthews Piano 1 MERIT
M Elliott Piano 1 MERIT
I Johnson Piano 1 MERIT
S Friis Violin 1 DISTINCTION
M Murray Violin 1 MERIT
I Davis Jazz Clarinet 1 PASS
A Lutzow Jazz Clarinet 1 MERIT
K Cameron Jazz Alto Sax 1 PASS
J Fryer Jazz Alto Sax 1 PASS
F Giannakis Trumpet 1 PASS
I Johnson Trumpet 1 MERIT
M Lewis Singing 2 MERIT
G Owen Singing 2 DISTINCTION
S Parker-Swift Singing 2 PASS
P Mahil Violin 2 MERIT
V Medlen Piano 2 MERIT
E Harrison Violin 2 DISTINCTION
A Stevens Violin 2 MERIT
K Fryer Jazz Clarinet 2 MERIT
F Ashdown Singing 3 DISTINCTION
T Bulley Singing 3 MERIT
G Wall Descant Recorder 3 PASS
E Harrison Piano 3 MERIT
S Cook Violin 3 MERIT
T Maltarp Violin 3 PASS
O Stuart Violin 3 PASS
O Goodwin Cello 3 MERIT
R Landgrebe Singing 4 DISTINCTION
S Newton Singing 4 MERIT
J Fryer Descant Recorder 4 PASS
A Scott Jazz Alto Sax 4 DISTINCTION
S Newton Cello 4 MERIT
S Edwards-Matthews Singing 5 DISTINCTION
R Landgrebe Piano 5 PASS
E Ward Singing 6 DISTINCTION

Senior School Open Days

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include Bishop Challoner School, Christ’s Hospital, Cobham Hall, Haileybury, Kent College Pembury, King’s Canterbury, King’s Rochester, Sevenoaks School, Skinners’ School, Tonbridge Girls’ Grammar and Whitgift School.

We’re delighted to announce that our Senior Schools Fair will return to St Michael’s on Thursday 17th October 2019. Keep an eye on our Senior Schools Information page for details.

Latest News

As Y5 pupil, C Hunter, explained during Monday’s assembly, Sevenoaks School has organised weekly food/supply collections for those in need during these very uncertain times.  The collections have benefited local organisations such as One Big Family: Helping the Homeless, Friends for Families, The Hygiene Bank, Sevenoaks Food Bank: Loaves & Fishes, Community Cupboard, area primary schools and others.  Miss Cat Davison, the School’s Director of Service and Social Impact, updates its online social media feeds (@sevenoaksimpact on Twitter and Instagram) with the items needed each week.  We hope that you will consider helping with this effort.  Together we can make a huge difference for those living right here in our community!
The details of the collections are provided below.  If you do wish to participate, please ensure that items are unopened and handled with washed or sanitised hands, and that social distancing is strictly adhered to on delivery.
What: Food, Supplies (check social media links for current needs)
When:   Every Tuesday, 9am – 12pm
Where: Outside Claridge House, Sevenoaks School,TN13 1HU
(Claridge House is just to the right of the main entrance of Knole Park on High Street)
On Monday our community-minded pupil also discussed a book collection which took place earlier this year for children in Ghana.  Below are photos of EduSpots centres where the books are available for local communities throughout Ghana.

We’ve been amazed by the phenomenal success of the Art Department’s recent challenge “Painting without Paint”. Set as part of our remote learning programme, children were asked to select a work of art of their choice and to recreate it at home – but without using paint!

The Art Department has been overwhelmed by submissions, which Miss Rodwell, described as “creative, humorous and inventive”. She added “Staff have been impressed by submissions that showed how carefully the children have looked at their chosen artworks in order to create such brilliant responses.”

Posts on our Twitter account have received positive responses from prestigious art galleries, such as the Tate and the National Gallery, with The Lowry in Manchester commenting “Wow, we love this!!” on T Neville’s version of L S Lowry’s “Man Lying on a Wall”. But it’s not just art galleries in the UK, who have responded to the children’s art; their work has been liked by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden and the Mauritshuis in Den Haag. One Year 3 pupil, who was inspired by artist Aja Trier, even reached New York, as permission was sought to post an image of one of her paintings. She was delighted to allow us to feature her work and on seeing J Gagg’s interpretation commented “Oh my gosh that is precious! Please tell the artist I love it! I will post on my Instagram and Facebook. Thank you!” She went on to tell us “I am always so humbled when kids are inspired by my work, but this is next level!”

In order to show you all the wonderful work our pupils have done, we’ve put together an online gallery of the work. Talking about the project and the reaction, Mrs Barratt declared “This is wonderful!” and reactions from other schools included the comment “Excellent work St Michael’s Art Department this is a really fun activity”.

Mrs Bridges told us “I am absolutely delighted, and inspired, by the way that the children have responded to these challenges. Creativity is keeping us connected, not only within our own community but across the world too!”

We can’t wait to see what the department comes up with next. Miss Rodwell is keeping us in suspense “I’ve been working on a new one today …”. We’re sure that our pupils will have even more opportunity to excel!

Click here to view our online gallery of more ingenious images.

Some of our super St Michael’s Swimmers have won an array of silverware at recent events.

At the Sevenoaks Swimming Club presentation evening, I Pennington Legh was presented with the Kingsbury Cup for U10 girls; A Green was awarded the Kingsbury Cup for U10 boys; E Green received runner up plate for the best U9 boy; S. Taylor was awarded the Mike Radford Trophy for most improved U9 boy; A Ashton was presented with the U9 Individual Medley Cup and U9 trophy for most improved swimmer; B Tovey and J Taylor were both awarded plaques with their positions from the recent Sevenoaks Club Championships.

At the Black Lion Gala, Gillingham, at the start of March our swimmers again came away with medals. A Ashton won three gold, one bronze, one fourth and one sixth medal; A Green three gold and two silver medals; E Green four silver and one bronze medal; S Taylor one silver and one fourth medal and J Taylor a fourth position medal. V Medlen also came away with a medal from the gala.

Well done to all those swimmers; your hard work and dedication is certainly paying off!

Mrs Denton

Swim School Manager

Well done to our doubles girls, E Julio and S Savidge, who also played in last weekend’s Junior Orange Ball Tournament in Sevenoaks. They played four matches, won two, beating Sevenoaks Prep and Lady Boswell’s and lost two to the eventual finalists Amherst and Granville.

This was a great performance by the girls, particularly in the light of little experience of Orange Ball competition.

Well done!