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

We are delighted to announce that Freddie in Year 6 is one step closer to the British Kart Championships after coming 2nd place in the final of his latest race at PFI International. The weekend long event, which took place from Friday 30th April to Sunday 2nd May, saw Freddie compete in two heats and one final race.

Commenting on his win, Freddie said: “It was a really fun weekend and I enjoyed taking part in the different races. I faced challenges including a tangle with another kart in the last lap of the final, but I was pleased that I still managed to come second.”

He added: “Although we couldn’t have an awards ceremony due to Covid, I took home a trophy which is now sat on my desk with the others.”

Supporting Freddie at the event was his family who are hugely proud of his success. Freddie’s mum said: “This is an unbelievable achievement racing against children who have years more experience than Freddie. We are really proud.”

Mr Pears, Head, echoed this praise for Freddie when he said: “A huge congratulations to Freddie for doing so well in his races at the weekend. Freddie has clearly worked very hard to get where he is and we look forward to seeing him achieve many more trophies in the future.”

And with more than eight years karting experience behind him, it is no surprise that Freddie will be competing in the British Kart Championships in two weeks time.

Freddie said: “I’m feeling nervous about the Championships, but am looking forward to it at the same time. I am really aiming for the Top 10 seed.

“My dream is to become a world champion like my brother Alex.”

Congratulations to Daniel in Year 6 who won 1st place in the Bromley Junior Parkrun on Sunday 2nd May. Competing the 2km race in just 8 minutes 28 seconds, Daniel ran incredibly well and soared past 141 other runners to gain the top title.

Commenting on his win, Daniel said: “It was a great race and I was really happy to finish first. I love competing in the parkruns and have been trying hard to win the race since they restarted after lockdown. This was my 20th parkrun so it felt really good to win.”

Daniel, whose sister Mikayla also ran in the race, added: “It was a very rewarding run and a good challenge. Our parents were there to cheer us on and as we were celebrating Lithuanian Mother’s Day on Sunday, this made it even more special.”

Since winning the run, Daniel has used his experience to inspire others to give running a go. He said: “It would be great to see more people coming to the runs and trying their best. I didn’t used to be sporty, but I now really enjoy taking part in the events.”

Mr Bridges, Director of Sport, who is a very keen runner himself, praised Daniel for his success. He said: “We are very proud of Daniel’s achievement and how well he ran on Sunday. Competing against a large group of people can be daunting, but Daniel conquered this challenge. We look forward to hearing about Daniel’s future successes.”

Accordion has been added to the list of instruments pupils can learn to play at St Michael’s. The unique instrument, which will be offered as part of the school’s lessons delivered by the peripatetic music teachers, combines the use of various musical skills and has many wonderful attributes.

Commenting on the new addition to the school’s music programme, Director of Music, Mr Baird, said: “We are excited to include the accordion as part of our instrumental offer in the music department as it can offer many benefits to young musicians in developing their musicianship, aural skills, physical coordination, and understanding of harmony and tonality. We look forward to future ensembles and concerts featuring the accordion”.

Mr Guy, one of St Michael’s peripatetic teachers who will be leading the accordion lessons, also added: “The accordion is an amazing instrument now available for lessons at St Michael’s. It’s lots of fun to play and I’m really looking forward to teaching it to everyone who is interested.”

For more information about music at St Michael’s or to view performances by some of our musicians, please visit our website.

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.