eNews: Friday 15th November 2019

From the Head

In today’s world it is not unusual to wake up and be told “you have a memory”. Social media delights in re-sharing something significant from times gone by and I don’t know if you feel, as I do, pleased to be reminded of these largely happy times that we’ve chosen to share but I also think it contributes to a stronger sense of the ways in which the past contributes to the present.

From a well-being point of view of course all our past experiences shape who we are and it is particularly interesting to see how the emotional response to an event can significantly change its impact.

But the memories do, I confess, help me to feel a sense of achievement as well as pleasure and pride. What is also remarkable in being presented with these moments from the past, is the reminder of how quickly children change and how amazing that growth and development is. Every day at school we enjoy being a part of this journey .

Being told to remember is perhaps a new phenomenon. But the act of remembrance both in the church’s year, remembering those who have died, and in the secular, and national life, where we pause to remember service men and women who have given their lives for their country, families who have been bereaved and soldiers whose lives have been irrevocably changed by war, is, I believe, our duty.

We have to teach our children how to remember. I think giving them pointers of what to think about as well as modelling respectful silence creates strong social bonds as well as marking this season of remembering.

I thank all of you who engaged with our act of remembrance on Monday and as we meet and talk about the growth and development of your children in the weeks of parents‘ evenings to come, I hope that we can strengthen the bonds between us that help all children to grow and flourish and make many more memories for the future.

Have a great weekend,

Jill Aisher

News from Pre-Prep

• Thurs 21st November Year 2 parents Stubbers Information meeting 8.45am

It’s been a happy week in Pre-Prep with congratulations and best wishes going to Miss Elsey who is getting married tomorrow and will return on Monday as Mrs Bayliss. Congratulations also go to Miss Martin who got engaged this week. Year 2 were excited to go on their trip to the Horniman Museum on Thursday, the History Troupe came to do an assembly for us on Wednesday and Children in Need topped the happiness charts with children in onesies and spots! Thank you all for your kind donations which at the time of writing total £354.86.

It was a busy week also as we commemorated all those who served in wars to keep us safe with 2 minutes silence. I am always proud of the way 142 young children can stand still and quiet for 2 minutes! It was lovely to see you all at parents’ evening and thank you for the many compliments about St Michael’s and the staff.

Next week we will move into rehearsal mode as the children begin to learn their lines for their Nativities and the words to their songs. Anything you can do to help this process at home is greatly appreciated by the teachers.

Overheard
Child: How old are you?
Teacher: I am very old.
Child: Don’t worry because Heaven is really nice.

Have a lovely weekend,

Zerrin Leech

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:

  • P&F Christmas Bazaar
  • New Swim School brochure with class details

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

Max S for coming back from the holidays enthusiastic and ready to learn
Henry M for fantastic independent word writing
Bram T for persevering to write words independently
Oliver A for brilliant sentence writing
Grace L for her positive attitude towards learning
Elodie B for listening and working hard
Bonham B for excellent effort in phonics
Adam J for working hard in every lesson and asking interesting questions
William P for enthusiasm and determination to produce work of a high standard in every task
Charlie C for good contributions during our practical maths session
Robert M for great effort in describing his imaginary friend during English
Leo H for excellent illustrations
Hugo M for fantastic effort with his handwriting
Lily M for a fantastic illustration showing part of The Owl & The Pussycat poem
Irena G for an amazing effort learning all of her lines for the Nativity
Sophie F for fantastic work on The Owl & The Pussycat
Eliza M for great work on interpreting pictograms

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup: Alexander H
Music Practice Award: Zi Chen G
Star Violinist Cup: Scarlett M

House Point Cup

Dover House with a total of 138 points
Jake L collected the Cup on behalf of Dover House

Times Tables Certificates

Bronze – Sophie F

Raven played “Angel Trumpet” perfectly to Pre-Prep during our Celebration Assembly this morning.

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

G Schneider-Price For fantastic presentation of fabulous fungi facts
E Harrison For fantastic presentation of fabulous fungi facts
M Lewis For fantastic presentation of fabulous fungi facts
K Loukam For fantastic presentation of fabulous fungi facts
A Scott For fantastic presentation of fabulous fungi facts
A Ogle For fantastic presentation of fabulous fungi facts
F Rutherford For a fantastic and creative review of the Roald Dahl trip
M Murray For a wonderful half term diary

Congratulations to E Ernoult, who was confirmed at St John the Evangelist in Bromley by the Bishop of Maidstone, Rod Thomas in a service led by Revd Andrew McClellan.

 

Players of the Match, week commencing 11th November 2019

Team Name Given for: –
1st Football E Hudson For making outstanding saves throughout the game and keeping his team in the game
2nd N Staples

C Mottram

For scoring a hat-trick

For scoring 2 goals

3rd E Ukwu For scoring a hat-trick and having good communication.
Colts A M McLaughlin For giving a very disciplined defensive performance
Colts B L Bowen For great defending and reading of the game
Colts C F Rutherford For great goalkeeping
Colts D J Bomphrey

I Premachandran

For great all-round play

For scoring 2 excellent goals

Colts E A MacRae For having great goalkeeping positioning
Colts F E Crane For great defending
U9 A J West

C Wilson

For displaying great communication

For making a superb effort

U9 B G Dulski For having a great work ethos
U8 A A Lutzow For reading the game brilliantly from defence.
U8 B W Noble

J Osborne

For fantastic goalkeeping

For scoring a goal

U8 C E Nash For trying really hard
U13 A Hockey No Match
U13 B No Match
U13 C No Match
U11 A A Bowyer

A Ogle

For scoring 2 goals

Voted for by the opposition

U11 B K Fryer & I Johnson For good all-round play
U11 C S Andrade Voted for by the opposition
U10 A E Bingham & I Pennington Legh For having a great work rate and skills
U10 B T Bax

A Madgett

For good attacking play

For tenacious tackling and displaying a high rate of energy

U10 C I Mannsberger & R Bedzrah Voted for by the opposition
U9 A Netball N Ogle For great attacking play and shooting
U9 B E Wood Voted for by the opposition
U9 C K Rutherford For good defending
U8 Green Netball E Julio & E O’Dwyer

U Osunwa

For great passing of the ball down the court

Voted for by the opposition

U8 Black B Batchelor & G Cheetham For good shooting and attacking play in the circle
U8 Blue M Walker Voted for by the opposition

Senior School Open Days

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include King’s Rochester, Oakwood Park Grammar School, Sevenoaks School, Skinners’ School and Whitgift School.

Latest News

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.

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.

 

 

Warm, welcoming and impressive. That’s how St Michael’s new Head describes the school.

“I’ve always liked St Michael’s and have been visiting it for several years as part of sports fixtures with my previous schools”, Nik Pears said.

“Something that has always impressed me about St Michael’s is the atmosphere and people that belong to it.

“The sense of community you feel when walking through the doors of the school is extraordinary”, he added.

An avid sportsman, experienced leader, and family man, Mr Pears brings with him a wealth of ideas for St Michael’s, including his core value of equipping pupils for life.

Nik , who joined St Michael’s in January 2021, explained: “I am very keen on developing a growth mindset in my pupils. In this ever-changing world, our children need to be prepared for life outside of the classroom.

“Pupils need to be adaptable, resilient and perseverant, and learn to accept their failure and mistakes as important parts of their personal development.

“By equipping children with the right interpersonal skills during their school years, we can set them up for a future in which they may have to fight for their place in the world.”

Nik’s concept of growth mindset can also be applied to his broader vision for the school.

Coming to St Michael’s from his headship at Kent College, Pembury, Nik believes the challenges posed by Covid-19 can teach schools a lot about the importance of flexibility and community.

Mr Pears said: “These unprecedented times have been a huge learning curve for schools.

“Navigating a school through a global crisis was never going to be easy, but it has shown just how necessary it is to put pupils at the heart of every decision.

“As someone who has experienced the period as both a teacher and parent, it is very clear that we are all battling the same storm in different boats.

“It is incredible how people have found new and creative ways to deal with the circumstances. From Zoom concerts, to helping food banks, to keeping each other’s spirits high with funny videos, this period has shown us a lot about community which we will learn from and remember.”

Having belonged to multiple Prep schools himself throughout his education and as a teacher, Nik is excited to be entering this new stage in his career at St Michael’s.

Reflecting on his own school years which saw him attend schools in London, Devon and Dublin, he said: “I always enjoyed school as a child and made the most of every opportunity I was given.

“I particularly enjoyed subjects like music, drama and history and was fascinated by the things that we learnt.

“I was also heavily involved in sports and belonged to the Kent U18 rugby group. Even now you’ll find me in a pair of wellies at the side of the pitch cheering on my pupils and own children.”

Nik added: “I was one of those children who wanted to get stuck into everything, even the things that I found difficult.

“As well as my sports clubs, I belonged to multiple choirs, as well as orchestras where I played the drums, trumpet, piano and guitar.”

Mr Pears also spoke about the impact his own teachers had on his time at school and the person that he is today.

He said: “I had some amazing teachers which taught me a lot of things about life and leadership.

“Sir Anthony Seldon, one of my history teachers, was particularly inspiring and sparked my passion for the subject.

“The Head of my Prep school in Dublin also gave her pupils a lot of time. She was a hero.”

And Nik’s teachers aren’t his only role models in life.

He said: “A man called Phil Wall is also a huge inspiration of mine. Phil is the founder of the charity We See Hope which works with orphans and vulnerable young people in sub Saharan Africa.

“Phil’s selflessness and passion for the cause inspired me to become an ambassador for the charity.

“His exceptional leadership, authenticity and integrity is just inspiring.”

Mr Pears also explained how his love of people has guided him to the many leadership roles he has held.

Nik said: “I very much enjoy being with people and having a good laugh. I’m very lucky to have such an amazing family including my wife, Emma and our two children, Jessica and Josiah. Our pet hamster Charlie is also a valued member of the family who kept us well entertained during the first lockdown.”

He added: “Being a leader brings so many opportunities to show warmth, empathy and understanding to others, and I can’t wait to become a member of the St Michael’s community.

“When pupils leave St Michael’s to pursue their senior education, I hope they remember me as someone who was kind, knew them well and valued their opinion.”

 

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