From the Head
It’s been another productive week here at St Michael’s. Pupils in Years 3 to 6 have been working hard in their exams and it has been good to see them settling down to these assessments and applying themselves well in this important area of school life. A huge thank you to all of the teaching staff for their hard work with this.
Sadly, the weather has been a bit variable and not all fixtures were able to take place, nevertheless it was good to welcome other local schools here to play cricket in between the rain clouds. Once again, it was a joy to see the grounds full of happy children enjoying their sports matches together.
The week ahead is a busy but exciting one. Next week we look forward to our Year 4 Roman Day, Whole School French Day, Prep Music Concerts, Scholars’ Day and Dinner, as well as the Stubbers Trip for Years 2 and 3. In particular, we are looking forward to welcoming the very talented Nicholas McCarthy on Thursday to host workshops with our Year 7 and 8 Scholars, followed by an evening of food and entertainment. Nicholas is famous for not only being an outstanding musician, but the first ever left-hand-only concert pianist to graduate from the Royal College of Music. Having met Nicholas a few times myself, I am thrilled to be welcoming him to St Michael’s to share his story and musical expertise with us.
I am also delighted to announce that in line with the updated Government guidance, pupils in Years 7 and 8 will no longer be required to wear face masks in school from Monday 17th May. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their maturity and compliance with this since the return to school on 8th March. As a school, we are very much looking forward to the increased opening up of school life over the coming weeks and I will be writing shortly to update you on our end of term events.
Many thanks for your ongoing support and I wish you a wonderful weekend.
A message from Mr Pears:
From the Head of Pre-Prep
It has been another busy week at St Michael’s. A highlight for Miss Rawlinson, Mrs Dodd and I, was a trip to Stubbers to look at the £1 million investment they have made to their site during the last year as the schools were not able to have trips. The new adventure playgrounds will make it difficult for us to persuade children to leave! New indoor climbing walls have been added, caving (above ground), woodland trails, paddle boarding, and my personal favourites swan, flamingo and dragon boats are now available for use. We just have to hope for good weather next Thursday and Friday for the Year 2 and 3 trip.
It was lovely to meet our next year of Nursery parents, whose 2-year olds will be starting with us in September, on Zoom this week. I am always amazed at the existing St Michael’s families who have the baby of the family joining us. The 2 years between birth and arrival in Nursery seems incredibly short.
Next week on Tuesday we are having a French Day. Thank you for all the competition entries you have sent in. Some of the snail cakes look amazing, so thank goodness I don’t have to be the person to judge the winner. I am sure they all tasted delicious. Snails of the savoury variety will be available to try for lunch for our more adventurous children. Next Tuesday your child will be able to wear red, white and blue clothes rather than school uniform. The rule as usual, is no football kits please.
As the weather starts to improve please remember to send your children in with their school sunhat, clearly labelled of course. A high factor all day sun cream should also have be applied at home please.
Overheard in Pre-Prep: “That’s the teacher that calms all the other teachers down.”
I’d love to know which teacher they were referring to!
Have a lovely weekend,
Anneka Begbey- Art & Design Teacher
We are delighted to announce that Anneka Begbey has been appointed the role of Art & Design Teacher which she will commence in September 2021, replacing Mrs Barratt.
Anneka has worked at St Michael’s since 2014 in various roles including Teaching Assistant, Librarian, Swim School Administrator, Swim School Assistant and most recently, as the Art Technician. She qualified with a teaching degree in 2007 and has worked in another school as a Teaching Assistant mainly with Years 3 to 6 before joining us. She has been teaching art at St Michael’s since January and has relished the opportunity and challenges this has given her. Anneka is excited about this post and getting stuck into curriculum planning for next year including putting together new and exciting projects with different techniques and materials to inspire a great love of art and DT with Years 3 to 5.
Anneka is married with one son who previously attended Nursey and Kindergarten at St Michael’s and is now in Reception at a local school. Anneka also teaches BOOSTfit, a South-East based fitness class, and is looking forward to these returning to in-person classes soon, though she has been teaching over Zoom throughout lockdown. She is a keen seamstress, learning to sew during the first lockdown and is knee-deep in fabric, usually making roman blinds for her home and friends. She enjoys baking and is an accomplished cake decorator as evidenced at her son’s birthday parties!
She is looking forward to continuing the role she has been holding these last 2 terms and becoming a greater part of the St Michael’s family.
Pre-Prep Gold Star Winners
Saskia E for excellent and enthusiastic doubling and halving
Millie I.W for getting started on her work independently
Harry B for always trying to do the right thing
James H for careful listening to instructions in our Bog Baby story
Alice H.B for excellent effort in all of her schoolwork
Ben C for always being kind and helpful
Aiden G for trying to work independently in phonics
Edward H for excellent weekend news
Olivia B for wonderful practical problem solving and careful thinking
William T for neat and careful writing in phonics
Emma B & Emma R for listening well and following instructions when drawing their story map
Beatrix T for great work in our English lesson, correctly identifying and matching contracted forms of words
Edgar I for impressive reading skills demonstrating careful attention to punctuation and expression
Cian C.O for creating a beautiful piece of artwork in different media
Arthur S for always participating with an enthusiastic and sensible attitude
Marianne B for good work with number bonds
Isaac O’B for excellent explanations of his working in maths
Adam J for always having impeccable manners and setting a good example for others to follow
Bethan D for writing a very descriptive opening paragraph to her quest story
Lana C.O for being such a kind and caring friend, always looking out for others
Charlie C for showing great knowledge and understanding of adding and subtracting money amounts
Mollie H for fantastic maths work involving adding and subtracting amounts of money
Charlie M for working hard in all subjects this week, especially maths
Times Tables Certificates
Bronze – Tara C / Hugo M / Taran M / Chloe S
100 Housepoints Certificates
Dover – Abigail T / Elizabeth S / Walter M
Leeds – Conrad B / Isabelle P / Taran M
Rochester – Monty A / Marianne B / Isabelle D
Windsor – Siena L / Uma S / Viggo W / Misha B / Elizabeth W / Max H / Lucy T
Thomas D /Jessica H for great presentation at Open Morning
Silas C for playing the piano at Open Morning
B Hayward (Year 6) for completing a fantastic Victorian Project independently at home
Prep School Uniform Reminder
Pupils are expected to wear the correct school uniform at all times. This includes uniform, shoes, hair bands, etc. The uniform should be well-fitting, clean and smart and in good condition. Pupils are expected to take a pride in their appearance and to have clean shoes and shirts tucked in. No jewellery may be worn but girls may wear ear studs. Any badges worn should only be those awarded by the school. We also permit the wearing of badges linked to charity fundraising, prizes or awards and Blue Peter badges and a badge on a child’s birthday. The school issue, green rucksack must be used by all children up to, and including, Year 6. The winter coat worn by all children up to Year 6, must be the school issue, black coat. Children in Years 7 and 8 may wear any suitable black winter coat of their choice. Children in Years 7 and 8 may also use a their own choice of school bag.
The children should arrive at school and depart from school wearing either their school coat (cold weather) or their school blazer (warm weather). One or other must be in school every day. The school fleece is not an alternative to these. An example of the uniform pupils should be wearing during this term can be found below:
To add some clarity around appropriate sports attire when in school, we thought it would be beneficial to clarify what is and isn’t acceptable for the pupils to be wearing in lessons and around school. Pupils will be allowed to come into school in their PE or Games kit only when pre-arranged with a teacher or department (usually if they have another club at a break time that prevents them from changing into kit at that stage). As it is nearing summer, we will not be requiring the pupils to wear a full tracksuit throughout the day but we do require them to wear a tracksuit top and correct shorts/skort, socks and trainers. If they do not have the correct clothing then their choices are to wear tracksuit bottoms or to stay in school uniform. Full cricket whites are also acceptable.
Current match kit for boys is either their cricket whites or PE kit (coloured house polo top, white shorts and white socks). Match kit for girls is their match top, green skort and white socks.
Whole School News
Prefects begin new duties
Our Year 8 prefects have stepped into their roles with diligence and dedication this week. The 14 pupils, who support the school with day-to-day tasks, assemblies and key events, have commenced their leadership duties under the guidance of Mr Baird, Acting Deputy Head.
Mr Baird said: “During this week alone, the prefects have already shown they are excellent representatives of the school and brilliant role models to the younger year groups. From supporting Years 3 and 4, to helping with lunchtime duties, no task is too big for the pupils and they always carry out their responsibilities with a smile.”
Mrs Beesley, Prep Receptionist, added: “The prefects have been tremendously helpful this week, especially with their lost property support. They never need to be prompted and set a fantastic example to other pupils.”
Go Wild Day!
On Friday 28th May, the Prep school will take part in a Charity Day with the theme ‘Go Wild!’
Last week the School Council met for a socially distanced picnic lunch on the Marie-Curie ‘Field of Hope’ to debate, in their respective bubbles, two important questions.
- What can we do to protect our planet and improve our local natural environment?
- How can we reach out to help children and families in need?
From this starting point, the 3 ‘bubble’ teams came up with an array of colourful and exciting charitable fundraising ideas, some of which will form the basis of our fundraising activities for Trinity Term. We look forward to collaborating with the Kent Wildlife Trust in giving back some of our superb natural parkland to help to protect and restore natural habitats, enabling insects and wildlife to recover and thrive. The Estates Team have identified several key areas across the site for future re-wilding and next month the school council will play an active role in planting wildflower meadow seeds to encourage the return of pollinators and a variety of native plant species that will improve our local environment.
As part of the Charity Day, pupils in Years 3 to 8 are invited to dress up with the natural world in mind, the more nature themed the better! (Year 7 and 8 may want to go more for the intrepid explorer or Bear Grylls look!) Please encourage your children to consult with their School Council Reps and Form Teachers for unusual and collaborative ideas, such as armies of ants, cetes of badgers, swarms of bees, butterflies or parliaments of owls. Children will each pay £2 to dress up ‘wild’ for the day. They should also bring a further £1 to take part in the afternoon ‘bring and buy sale’ which will focus on the importance of the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse & recycle. Next week we will look in more detail at this.
Each pupil is encouraged to donate a toy, game or another gift item which they no longer use or play with, but which is in good condition and may be purchased and reused by someone else. (No books or electronic items please). All items that remain unpurchased at the end of the market sale will be donated to the Otford Hospice of Hope charity shop for resale, along with a 50% share of our fundraising campaign. The other 50% of funds will be donated to support the work of Kent Wildlife Trust.
Come and see The Elephant Man!
After what has felt like an eternity, theatres are finally opening their doors and at St Michael’s Prep we are delighted, and excited, to say our drama space is once again going to echo with the voices of thespians performing their craft. The School Play is back!
Normally, our play is presented by Years 5 to 8, however the restrictions of the pandemic and the enforced bubbles have meant that this year, only students from Years 7 and 8 have been able to get involved.
Nevertheless, we would be delighted to see all students, as well as their families and friends, at one of the performances. The cast has worked incredibly hard since September to bring this show to you; please do come along and give them your support. We recommend the production for Years 6 and above, although this is not exclusive.
Doors open at 6pm. There will be a paid bar available.
Grab your tickets via the QR Code below, or online at www.ticketsource.co.uk.
A Message from the P & F
Call for Year Reps for 2021-2022
It’s that time where we look forward to the next academic year and all that it may hold for the school community. If you’re wondering how to get more involved, then this post is for you! We’re looking for volunteers to become Reps for the 2021-2022 academic year. Read on to learn a bit more about the role and if you have any questions or would like to put yourself forward ,please contact Kerri O’Dwyer, Kelly Downey or one of your current Reps.
Being a Year Group Representative (Rep) is a great way to get involved in the school community and get to know other parents and the teaching staff. Reps have an invaluable role in helping to create a better experience for the whole school community; parents, teachers and children. It’s a great way to meet some like minded people, interact with the school for more than drop off and pick up and help create some amazing events and experiences to make the year special for you and your children.
The primary role of a Rep is to establish and maintain good communication between parents and the school, providing a conduit for information to parents and feedback from the school to parents. Each Rep is an ambassador for the school, promoting teamwork and sharing throughout the school community.
There are normally 2 to 4 Reps for each year group who work as a team to share tasks and responsibilities, this means that no one person carries all the weight and everyone’s skills can be put to most use. Not everyone is expected to be an organisational whizz, financial controller and life and soul of the party! Divide and conquer….. and, actually, the most important quality in a Rep is the desire to get involved and help!
New to the school and don’t think you know enough? Please don’t be put off! As a Rep you’re not expected to know everything, you just need to be happy to ask and share information. Being a Rep can be a great way to get to know the school and understand how everything works. Plus you’ll be working as a team with the other Reps in the year group and you always have the back up of the P&F team.
Examples of what is involved:
– Meeting with teachers periodically and providing feedback to parents
– Establish and administrate a communication platform (most year groups use Classlist for their main/official announcements and WhatsApp for more day to day issues), encouraging parents to participate and therefore ensure optimal exchange of information
– Provide a warm welcome to new parents
– Organise social events such as coffee mornings, Christmas drinks, end of year party
– Keep parents informed about activities/ events and specific classroom requirements
– Encourage parents to get involved with/ support events in the school community
– Coordinate collections and purchase gifts for previous year Reps and end of year gifts for teachers
– Coordinate for replacement Reps for following year
Year group specific tasks:
– Leavers gifts and parties for all pupils in the year group (Yrs 2, 6 & 8)
– Coordinating collection for and purchasing of hoodies for Stubbers trip (Yr 2)
The role excludes individual parents concerns regarding their specific child(ren). This should be addressed directly to the class teacher, form team, Head of Year, Head of Department, Deputy Head or Head (as appropriate).
Note: All monetary contributions for events/ gifts are voluntary and it is important that we respect the wishes of all parents to contribute/ participate in such non-compulsory activities.
Many thanks for your continued support,
Kerri & Kelly (P&F Co-Chairs)
Shoot for the Stars!
Amelie’s Superhairo Mission
For many people, the reopening of hairdressers has led to a long overdue hair cut, but for one St Michael’s pupil its meant achieving a big goal.
Amelie in Year 1, who challenged Rapunzel during lockdown, has donated 20cm of her hair to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs for children suffering with hair loss due to cancer and other illnesses.
Commenting on Amelie’s donation, which took place on Saturday 8th May at the charity’s official hairdressers in Orpington, her mum, Anna, said: “Amelie watched a video about The Little Princess Trust and asked if she could donate her hair to them when she next had it cut. During lockdown it got very long and by the time salons reopened, it was long enough for her to donate 20cm.”
And her hair isn’t the only thing she’s donated to the amazing charity. Determined to make an even bigger difference, Amelie set out to raise £550 for the Little Princess Trust, and with a current total of £1160 has smashed her target two times already.
Anna said: “She wanted to raise £550, which is how much it costs to make, fit and style a real-hair wig for a young person. On the day of the hair cut she had raised £700 and she was over the moon. Family, friends, neighbours, even her football club (Chipstead), donated and sent lovely messages of encouragement. The amount is still growing.”
“I lost count of how many times we asked Amelie ‘Are you sure?’. She’s only six so it’s a big thing to do and I had visions of her changing her mind in the middle of the cut! But she was adamant she wanted to do it and was so pleased afterwards. Her dad and I are incredibly proud of her and what she has done. People have been extremely generous and we’re thrilled to be giving this large amount of money to such a fantastic charity.”
Mrs Leech, Head of Pre-Prep at St Michael’s, also celebrated Amelie’s efforts. She said: “We’re so proud of Amelie for raising so much money for the Little Princess Trust and donating her hair to boys and girls who need it. She has showed so much dedication to this project and even got a beautiful haircut along the way.”
For more information or to support Amelie’s fundraising, please visit:
Loom bands for Cancer Research
Congratulations to Lucas and Alyssa K who raised over £100 for Cancer Research during the Easter holiday.
The St Michael’s siblings, who raised the money with a loom band sale, attracted many generous customers to their stall.
Send us your stories!
Has your child won an award, passed an extra-curricular exam or accomplished something exciting recently?
We love celebrating our pupils’ amazing achievements and want to showcase them in our weekly newsletter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your child’s achievement.
Senior School Information
Knole Academy is now taking bookings for its Year 5 taster sessions for 2021. During the taster sessions, which will take place between 22nd June and 9th July, children and parents will have the chance to find out more about life and lessons at the school.
To book you preferred subject session please visit: https://www.knoleacademy.org/463/open-events. Further information about the events and the admissions process please click here.
Please note, Knole Academy has asked that you only book one session in order for them to accommodate as many children as possible. and to inform their school of the booking they have made. Please also book early to avoid disappointment.
For those parents who would rather not attend a Taster Session during this time or have been unable to book a place, we are pleased to offer a ‘virtual experience’ where children are able to take part in a number of Taster lessons in English, Maths, Science, Design Technology and Food Technology. There is also a virtual tour of our school from our Headteacher, Mr Collins.
Join King’s Rochester for their Open Morning on Saturday 26th June from 9am to 1pm. The event will be an opportunity to meet with the school’s staff and pupils as well as seeing their beautiful grounds, nestled within the Cathedral precinct of historic Rochester. King’s is a proud broad-ability School which offers a variety of Scholarships in Academia, Sport, Music, Drama and Art.
Principal Mr Ben Charles will welcome all visitors to King’s at 9:15am in the School Hall where breakfast will be available and after which families can tour the school.
Pre-booking is essential and can be done here.
In The Community
Suns Sevenoaks Half Term Basketball Camp
Sevenoaks Suns Basketball Club will be running an All Girls camp on Thursday 3rd June and Friday 4th June. It will be run by Renee Bush, current GB and Suns professional basketball player leading the coaching.
Places will be limited per session, so secure your spot by registering through the link below.
Venue: Solefield School, Solefields Road, TN13 1PH (The school driveway is on Fiennes Way off Solefields Road) Please park on Solefields Road and walk up to the school driveway.
There are three age group categories:
- Reception to Year 2: 9:45 am – 11:00 am; £10 per day
To sign up for the camp click on the link to fill in the registration form. This will include all necessary details. For any queries, please email email@example.com
Mrs Grayland’s Half Term Netball Camp
Mrs Grayland will be running a netball camp during half term. This is a great opportunity to practice your skills, play some fun games and develop your game alongside your friends.
The camp will run on: Tuesday 1st June for Years 3 and 4
Wednesday 2nd June for Years 5 and 6
Thursday 3rd June for Years 7 and 8
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to book your place.
Mr Thomas’ Half Term Hockey Camp
Mr Thomas will be holding his Half Term Hockey Camp at Hollybush Hockey Pitch on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th June.
As Mr Thomas’ Easter camp sold out very quickly, please sign up early to avoid disappointment. To reserve your space, please email Mr Thomas on email@example.com.
Please note the following from the organisers: We are hoping that all Government restrictions will be lifted by then. We will be following all England Hockey guidelines and may have to limit the numbers. Please sign up early to avoid any disappointment.
Follow us on social media!
It’s important that we stay connected as a community during this time, so make sure you are following St Michael’s social media channels for important updates and content throughout the Trinity Term.