eNews: Friday 14th February 2020

From Graham Malcolm, Interim Executive Head

Half term may be edging closer, but there’s no let up in the wonderful breadth of activities on offer to the children.

We started the week with the Konflux Theatre online safety workshops, which had Years 3-6 totally engaged in a very important subject.

This was followed by the showcasing of some extraordinary talent in both the Prep Musical Soirées and the Pre-Prep Valentine’s Concert.

Thankfully, the weather was kind enough to allow us to host our netball tournament on Wednesday and we were delighted to welcome number of schools to our wonderful grounds. It was a pleasure to see the competitive edge of our U11 players, combined with fairness and friendship towards the visiting teams.

With more rugby matches and the rehearsals for Little Shop of Horrors, it’s been a week was full of fun and of striving for the best – a true St Michael’s week!

I wish you all a happy and restful half-term.

Graham Malcolm

BEd, MA (IAPS)

From the Acting Co-Heads

Today is an important day for many as the results of school offers will be arriving in the post. Following the recent assessments for our own St Michael’s Scholarships for entry into Year 7, we will also be sending out the results of our recent scholarship assessments next week. The standard of performance from all the applicants has been truly outstanding this year and we have been nothing but impressed with the efforts and skill level shown across the board. Inevitably, there will be a mixture of emotions depending on the letter that arrives at your door. If you asked most children (and even adults) what they thought the opposite of success was they’ll most likely tell you it’s failure. But if we dig down a little then we can see that the logic here is flawed. Have any of the most successful people in the world got to that level by cruising along disappointment free, avoiding failure, never really pushed? Did James Dyson create his hoover on the first attempt or did it take over 5,000 failures? Was the lightbulb invented overnight or did Edison actually first find “10,000 ways that did not work”? Michael Jordan, the most famous basketballer to ever have lived, credits his multiple failures in important matches as making him the player he was. So did any of the myriad “successful” people we hear about see failure and link it with disappointment? It would appear, if they did, they would be in the minority.

The argument here is that experiencing moments of ‘failure’ is absolutely essential for eventual success. It’s ok to be disappointed when we fail. But to be disappointed to the point of quitting is the ultimate disservice to ourselves. We are depriving ourselves from our highest heights. From fulfilling our full potential. After all disappointment is just an emotion that we get to choose whether to feel or not. Or how strong the feeling is. If we can weaken the emotional attachment of disappointment to failure we may just see that failure is more a partner of success and should be celebrated as such. The opposite, in reality, being never trying at all.

As the numerous ‘results days’ arrive, we are reminded of Kipling’s famous advice: that to reach adulthood we must “meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same”. Neither our successes nor our failures define us – rather both are external events which provide experiences from which we can grow. It will be important to support our children whether they have achieved their goal or not. And perhaps the experience of results day doesn’t have to be binary. History has shown that early disappointments can spur us to greatness far more than early successes.

Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman

News from Pre-Prep

• Return to school Monday 24th February
• Fri 28th Feb Reception parents’ Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Parents’ Evenings Tuesday 17th March and Thursday 19th March; sign up on Parents’ Evening System from 21.00 on Monday 2nd March.
• Thursday March 5th World Book Day

I would like to say a big thank you to Mrs Ravayeh for organising a lovely Valentine’s Concert. The children really excelled themselves and it is wonderful to witness the musical progress being made. Thank you too to the team of music staff who tutor your children, Jacob Garside, Debbie Mumford, Tatyana Stratford and Sarah Harris. If your child did not perform at this concert but plays an instrument, then there will be another opportunity at our Easter concert.
You will have received an invitation to book for Parents’ Evenings on Tuesday 17th or Thursday 19th March. Please make sure you have your login and sign up any time from Monday 2nd March at 21.00.

I would like to give you advance warning that World Book day is on Thursday 5th March and children will be welcome to dress up as story book characters. I thought you’d like time over the holidays to think through suitable characters and costumes.

Some parents have requested that I ask parents who are collecting children at 3.20pm to please leave the site before 3.50pm when the next wave of parents is trying to find a parking space. Once our Astro is completed more parents should be able to park in the car park by the zebra crossing.
I hope you all have a lovely half term holiday and I will look forward to seeing you back on Monday 24th February.

Zerrin Leech

In Memoriam

Lindsey Marchant Deadman

We were sorry to hear that Lindsey sadly lost her fight against cancer and passed away peacefully on Monday 10th February with her partner and children by her side.
Lindsey worked at St Michael’s as the Assistant to the Bursar for several years in the early 2000’s.

She was a very special, caring, funny lady, who could light up a room. Her laughter could always be heard through the corridors of St Michael’s. She was passionate about football and her beloved team Charlton Athletic, and would always have banter with the PE staff about the most recent matches. She lived life with energy and humour, such a larger than life personality.

She will be deeply missed by everyone whose hearts she touched.

5-Star Award for our Catering Team

Congratulations to Mark Edwards and his team in our kitchen on receiving a 5 Star Award following an Environmental Health inspection.

Mark received a bottle of champagne from Clare Piggott, Client Services Director of Accent Catering.

Gush Gush Charity

We are delighted to be sending a grand total of £709.65 to Gush Gush, to help with the provision of clean water to people in Africa.

Grateful thanks to everyone in the Prep and Pre-Prep schools for their support.

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:

  • Internet Safety Week – advice and tips
  • Sports Uniform requirements updated
  • St Michael’s Story Writing Competition
  • Kitchen roll cardboard tubes required for Prep Science Department
  • Mr Thomas’ Half-Term Hockey Camp – places still available

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.

News stories

Our news stories can be found by clicking “News” and “Latest News” on our website. To see our latest articles please click here

Pre-Prep Awards

Gold Stars

Mona Swan for having excellent manners and always saying ‘thank you’
Espen for wonderful writing while learning about Meerkats
Bram for his concentration and focus when using watercolours to paint an African Savanna
Oliver for being such a kind and loving friend to others
Edward for excellent ball skills in PE
Walter for amazing enthusiasm in our work about birds
William M for excellent independent writing about birds
Scarlett for great use of adjectives in your writing
Lana for consistent effort in Maths
Olanna for great use of adjectives in your writing
Ruaridh for working hard in our printing activity
Nathan for asking interesting questions about what you are reading and showing such an interest in non-fiction texts
William P for always being so helpful around the classroom and to others
Finlay for carefully completing a timeline of events from Neil Armstrong’s life
Clara for excellent work solving problems involving time
Herbie L for enthusiasm and hard work with your writing
George W for excellent work on telling the time

House Point Cup

Leeds House with a total of 198 points
Clara H collected the Cup on behalf of House

Times Tables Certificate

Platinum: Elisa F and Jake S

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup:
Music Practice Award: Silas for Piano
Star Violinist Cup: Nia

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

F Griffin For having art work displayed at school
C West For having art work displayed at school
S Davis For having art work displayed at school
L Summers For having art work displayed at school
A Mourgue d’Algue For having art work displayed at school
N Staples For having art work displayed at school

Players of the Match, week commencing 10th February 2020

Team Name Given for: –
U13 Rugby J Fryer For showing steely determination in tackling
U12 The whole team For an amazing performance and a great win
U11 A T Neville & L Selvey-Clinton For great attacking play
U11 B D Little For powerful play and scoring 2 tries
U10 A L Lattimer & E Short For fearsome tackling against strong runners
U10 B J Pathiwill

C Hunter

For scoring 6 tries

For scoring 8 tries

U9 A Matches Cancelled
U9 B Matches Cancelled
U8 A Matches Cancelled
U8 B Matches Cancelled
U8 C Matches Cancelled
U13 A Netball P Parker-Swift Voted for by the opposition for great play in both hockey and netball
U13 B L Griffiths For great all-round play
U13 C E Jones Voted for by the opposition for good all-round play
U11 A A Ogle For being Player of the Tournament
U11 B E Harrison For being Player of the Tournament
U11 C R MacIntosh For brilliant defending
U10 A I Pennington Legh

A Ulens

Voted for by the opposition

For good defending

U10 B M Amure

A Ravalli

Voted for by the opposition

For good attacking play

U10 C T Ward

A Madgett

Voted for by the opposition

 

U9 A Matches Cancelled
U9 B Matches Cancelled
U9 C Matches Cancelled
U8 A Matches Cancelled
U8 B No Matches
U8 C No Matches

Senior School Open Days, Scholarships and Events

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include Oakwood Park Grammar School, Roedean School and Skinners’ School.

Latest News

Mr Bridges is on a mission to keep St Michael’s motivated with his latest exercise plan designed to make exercise fun.

The Director of Sport at St Michael’s, who is a very keen runner himself, has created a beginner to 5k plan for anyone wanting to keep fit this lockdown.

The six-week plan, featuring workouts, running challenges and rest days, covers a range of exercises aimed at strengthening all parts of the body.

Mr Bridges said: “I have created this training programme for the St Michael’s community to help anyone who wants to have a go at running during lockdown and safely get to 5k by the time we return to school. The plan is suitable for Prep-aged pupils, parents and staff, including absolute beginners.”

The teacher, who has 15 years’ training as a running and triathlon coach, added: “The programme is designed to build a body capable of running 5k at the end of the six weeks, and what better time to have a go than during lockdown.”

The detailed plan, organised into weeks and week days, follows a key where the letters W (walk) and R (run) appear alongside the number of minutes the activity should take place for. For example, 6 x 1:30w/2:30r represents a 1 minute 30 seconds of walking followed by 2 minutes 30 seconds of running, repeated six times.

Mr Bridges said: “The programme includes progressive long runs from week 3 onwards, the only day where the running is based on distance rather than time.

“On Mondays I will also be sharing a different workout on the St Michael’s PE YouTube channel which pupils can take part in.”

To share your experience of the programme, including photos please email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk. By sharing this information you give consent to it being shared on St Michael’s social media channels and publications.

 

On Tuesday 15th December, St Michael’s hosted a fun-filled charity day for Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA).

Organised by Year 7 pupil Lucy, whose life who saved by the emergency team last Christmas, the school partook in a range of fundraising activities including a fun run, Christmas jumper day, and brain-teaser quizzes.

Lucy said: “With Mr Wiseman’s help, I planned activities to raise some much-needed money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and increase awareness of their work.

“A lot of people don’t realise what a great charity they are, and I hope our fundraising day has changed that.

“Not only do they save people’s lives in moments of crisis, but they provide long-term support to families who undergo medical emergencies.”

Amanda McLean, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, said: “A big thank you to the staff and pupils of St Michael’s for coming up with creative ways to involve everyone in fundraising. In sharing her story, Lucy has helped us spread awareness of what Thames Valley Air Ambulance does. We can only do what we do because of the imagination and generosity of our wonderful fundraisers. We hope you had a lot of fun on your fundraising day!”

Lucy, whose story recently featured in the TVAA’s Christmas appeal, said: “Thames Valley Air Ambulance helped me at a time when my parents couldn’t. When I was seriously injured, the team stepped in and became my heroes.”

“It means so much to me that St Michael’s have come together to support this cause.”

The highly successful events saw pupils spread festive joy while raising an impressive £2556.60 for the charity which relies wholly of public donations.

Mrs Bridges, St Michael’s Acting Head, added: “Yesterday was amazing! The whole school had such a great time, and pupils were very excited to take part in a different fundraiser which meant they could enjoy the outdoors, whilst raising money for such an important charity. Everyone gave their all in the sponsored run and it was a brilliant event to watch.”

 

Mrs Wade, Head of Girls’ Games also said: “The children did remarkably well considering the conditions, and ran superbly for Lucy’s cause.”

 

 

And Lucy’s family echoed this gratitude for St Michael’s support. They said: “We wanted to say a huge thank to the St Michael’s community for supporting Lucy’s appeal for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance this Christmas. We’re so grateful to you for getting behind this amazing charity to whom we owe so much. We know from experience that your donations really do save lives. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021!”

For more information about the Thames Valley Air Ambulance or to donate visit: www.tvairambulance.org.uk/support-us/donate

 

 

This Tuesday 15th December, St Michael’s will host a fundraising day for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA), organised by Year 7 pupil Lucy.

Determined to help a cause very close to her heart, Lucy has organised a series of events aimed at raising money for the charity-based emergency service.

Throughout the day pupils will be invited to participate in a range of activities including wearing a Christmas jumper, doing a sponsored run, and completing brain teaser quizzes in exchange for donations to the TVAA which relies wholly on public contributions.

Lucy said: “With Mr Wiseman’s help, I’ve planned activities to raise some much-needed money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and increase awareness of their work.

“A lot of people don’t realise what a great charity they are, and I hope our fundraising day will change that.

“Not only do they save people’s lives in moments of crisis, but they provide long-term support to families who undergo medical emergencies.”

And Lucy’s charity day is driven by her own bond with the charity who saved her life following an accident last Christmas.

She said: “Thames Valley Air Ambulance helped me at a time when my parents couldn’t. When I was seriously injured, the team stepped in and became my heroes.”

Since her accident, Lucy has remained close with three of TVAA’s critical care paramedics, Jo, John and Clare.

Lucy said: “Not only did the team come and visit me in hospital during my recovery, but in February this year my family and I were invited to their base to see their helicopters and learn more about their work.

“Since then, we’ve kept in close contact with them and have been given the exciting opportunity to take part in their Christmas campaign.

“One morning, my mum received a phone call from the TVAA asking if we’d like to tell our story as part of their fundraising appeal.

“Despite the accident still being quite fresh, we were keen to get involved as it’s such an amazing charity.”

Earlier this year, Lucy and her family were invited to Oxfordshire to talk about their experience in front of the camera.

The filming day, which involved interviews with both Lucy and her parents, aimed to raise awareness of the charity’s impact.

Lucy said: “It was such a fun day and really made us feel part of the TVAA community.

“Afterwards, we were sent several cuts of the video, including a very cool animation of my story which was very realistic.

“They kept us in mind throughout the whole process and made us feel very special.”

A full breakdown of the fundraising events can be found below. For more information about the TVAA or to view Lucy’s video visit: www.tvairambulance.org.uk/appeal/.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance Fundraising Activities 

  • Christmas jumpers – In Prep and Pre-Prep, we are inviting the children and staff to sport their best Christmas jumper and make a donation for the privilege of wearing it! The 15th  is the day of the school Christmas lunches, so this would be a good time to wear them. As with the last charity collection, the donations for Christmas jumpers can be deposited in the buckets at the doors into the buildings as the children arrive in the morning.
  • Sponsored run (Prep) – we are going to be inviting the children to run in teams of (up to) 4 around the shortest XC route on the fields. They will have a set time to complete as many laps as possible in that time. The children can look to have their team sponsored per lap, or have a donation from their sponsor. Sponsorship money raised will need to be brought in the following day.
  • Brain teaser quizzes – there are two quiz sheets that can be purchased for 50p each and you can take them home and try to solve the puzzles as a family. I’m afraid the only prize on offer is the glow of self-fulfilment upon having completed them. Answers will be shared on the last day of term. As parents cannot be in the school buildings at the moment, the quiz sheets can be purchased via homework diaries (please send the 50p/ £1, depending if you want one quiz sheet or both).

 

 

A former St Michael’s pupil has been awarded an Honorary Academic Scholarship for her excellence across all subjects.

Grace Goodwin, who attended St Michael’s between 2014 and 2019, has received the honour from Sevenoaks School.

Commenting on Grace’s success, her mother Marianthe Goodwin said: “Grace joined Sevenoaks in Year 7 and has really thrived from day one.

“We all knew Grace was doing very well academically as she was awarded the Academic Prize in Year 7 and Year 8. However, just before half term we received a letter awarding Grace an Honorary Academic Scholarship, one of only four which was awarded.

“Grace was delighted and extremely surprised as she had absolutely no idea that she was going to receive it. As an Academic Scholar, Grace is invited to attend the Schickler Society with the other scholars in which they discuss lots of different world issues both current and past, such as gun control and the Cold War.”

Mrs Goodwin added: “Grace had a wonderful and very happy time at St Michael’s and the decision to leave was  a hard one, but we felt it was the right time for Grace.  At St Michael’s she enjoyed all her subjects, especially English and Science.

“She found all the teachers very encouraging and approachable, and felt the growth mindset attitude and community spirit of St Michael’s gave her the confidence to hit challenges head on and not give up.

“Mrs Bridges among others was particularly encouraging of Grace during her time at St Michael’s and offered amazing pastoral support to pupils.”

And it isn’t just Sevenoaks School that spotted Grace’s academic potential. St Michael’s teacher Mrs Baisch, who taught Grace during her time at the school, said: “Grace is an incredibly creative pupil who loves reading and writing, and produced some beautiful work. The words flew off her pen.

“Grace was also a very good speaker which was shown by her victory in the poetry live senior competition which she won with her reading of Dulce et Decorum est. For a Year 6 pupil, her performance was very impressive.

“Grace’s scholarship is of no surprise and is something she should be very proud of.”