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


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

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!