eNews: Wednesday 16th December 2020

From the Acting Head

We made it! What an excellent end to the term the last few days have been. As well as final lessons, the children have enjoyed a wealth of activities and committed to fundraising with vim and vigour! I would like to extend my thanks to Kerri and Kelly, our P&F Co-Chairs, who created a magical winter woodland walk for all pupils, which included a treasure hunt and many other surprises along the way. It was a fantastic way to utilise the grounds and the sense of freedom expressed by the children will, I hope, continue into a restful and relaxing Christmas break!
On Tuesday, we pulled out all the stops to raise funds for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. The commitment to the cause was awe-inspiring, and I was delighted to witness the children leaving nothing behind as they battled to secure maximum laps in their sponsored run. Thank you to all of the staff for running the final events of the term, and for making them so special and fun for the children. I am confident that both children and staff will have slept well last night! The purpose of the day stayed firmly in our minds thanks to Lucy’s assemblies in both Prep and Pre-Prep on Monday where she shared her story of how the TVAA saved her life last New Year’s Eve. I am delighted to share that our fundraising total is currently at £2556.60! Thank you all for supporting this community effort which will help to save the lives of others and support the incredible work of the TVAA.
We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas lunch on Tuesday, and it was a joy to dine in style (and Christmas jumpers!). A big thanks must go to Mark Edwards and his dedicated team for working so hard to keep our dining both safe and delicious all term! It was a joy to enjoy a special lunch and mark the end of a memorable Michaelmas Term with a fabulous feast.
We ended our term with celebrations assemblies; in bubbles of course! A huge amount has been achieved and, as always, it has been a big team effort! Thank you to the children for making our jobs so fun and worthwhile; we wish them all a happy and relaxing time with families over the coming weeks. The celebration assemblies also give us the chance to show our gratitude to the key people who play a vitally important, but often unsung impact on the running of the school each day. To the support staff, the estates, catering and cleaning teams; thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your hard work, commitment and professionalism in all that you do.

All that is left for me to say is a huge thank you for your support over what has been a quite remarkable year. It has been a pleasure to lead this amazing school and an experience that has taught me a huge amount. I look forward to seeing you all in 2021 and wish you a happy and healthy Christmas break.

Mary Bridges

 

From the Head of Pre-Prep 

The last newsletter of 2020. What a year! I am sure many people will write some very interesting observations of this most peculiar time in our History. I feel this has been a most difficult year because there have been so few celebrations, so few events to look forward to. Your children have helped us all get through. No matter what we as adults are experiencing, working with children is the best tonic. They make us smile and laugh, be realistic and protective and above all give us hope.

The Winter Wonderland walk was fabulous, thank you again to the P&F team who worked so hard in the rain on Sunday to get it all set up for us. I hear they are still up for repeating it next year! The children loved solving the Christmas clues and finding Father Christmas at the end of a very muddy walk.

Christmas lunch on Tuesday was delicious. Thank you to Mark Edwards and his team for keeping us all well fed. “Its like a giant Christmas party” I hasten to add this was just one bubble of children who would normally be having lunch together, but with music, orange squash, decorations, crackers and everyone in Christmas jumpers, it did feel like a party!

After Christmas I would like to see Reception children being able to walk down the bridge in the morning, without their parents. Many of them do already so it would be great if you could positively prepare your child for being very “grown up”.

As we look forward to 2021 and our new Headmaster Nik Pears joining us, I would like to say thank you to Mary Bridges who stepped into the Acting Head role at a very difficult time and who kept us all feeling positive through lockdown!

 

Overheard in Pre-Prep:

Teacher: “Look it’s the Christmas nativity, that’s baby Jesus.”

Child: “That’s not Jesus, it’s a goat!”

 

“There is no gunpowder in crackers”

 

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday and Happy New Year.

 

Zerrin Leech   

 

 

Pre-Prep Gold Star Winners

 

Grace L for trying hard with her handwriting

Isaac O for reading with lovely expression

Henry W for working hard on his reading at home

Cian C.O for deciding which coins are needed to make amounts to 10p

Sophia E for excellent problem solving, finding different ways to make money totals to 30p

Stanley H for writing a lovely letter to Father Christmas and using such neat handwriting

Thomas S for excellent effort with his reading

Sebastian C for persevering with learning the new sounds in phonics

Amy H for consistent addition and subtraction skills

Olivia B for great diligence whilst adding and subtracting

Ben C for brilliant effort with his writing

Emma B for trying her best in all our activities

All of 2B, 2M & 2S for an incredible performance of ‘It’s A Miracle’

Marianne B for trying really hard with her reading

Edward Z for good number work

Walter M for a very expressive performance in our show

Bonham B for great effort and creativity during art activities

Arthur N for being a brilliant shepherd in our production and saying his lines so clearly

Beatrix T for showing such enthusiasm with her reading- keep up the hard work

Edward H for excellent, confident reading in front of the class

Olivia D for excellent, careful phonics work

Daniel B for saying lines loudly and clearly in our Nativity performance

James H for writing beautifully neat letters in phonics

Herbert W for great addition skills during our maths lessons

Evelyn T for great participation and spelling during our phonics lessons

Headteacher’s Stars

L Andrade for a fantastic video of her Christmas Candy Cane Science Challenge

D Singh for a beautiful piece of writing in response to an English homework task

J Vanderlanh-Mckeown for a superb story and comprehension exercise for his English homework

School News

The Big Write

Years 3 and 4 put their magnifying glasses to the test this week as they worked hard to solve a Santa-themed crime scene.

The Big Write challenge saw pupils investigate a section of the St Michael’s woods in an attempt to uncover Santa’s mischievous ways.

Once identifying the clues, Years 3 returned to the classroom to write their stories about the event, whilst Year 4 wrote and performed news reports of the crime scene.

All pupils rose to the task and, once more, helped their teachers solve a tricky challenge.

 

 

St Michael’s runs the extra mile for Thames Valley Air Ambulance

On Tuesday 15th December, St Michael’s hosted a 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.”

Lucy, whose story recently featured in the TVAA’s Christmas appeal, added: “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.

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!”

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!”

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.”

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

 

 

Pupils take a magical walk through Winter Wonderland 

This week, pupils enjoyed a magical Winter Wonderland walk organised by the P & F Association.
Set in the beautiful setting of our woodlands, pupils followed a festive trail laden with Christmas decorations, sparkling lights and scattered pieces of Father Christmas’ clothing.
While Pre-Prep pupils helped save Christmas after a naughty elf tried to scupper Father Christmas’ plans, Nursery and Kindergarten had to try and find all the items Father Christmas would need, from his belt, to carrots for the reindeers. Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 also had to solve some fun festive riddles.
Meanwhile, Prep pupils used all their skills to find hidden boxes from a map grid and solve maths problems as they raced around St Michael’s grounds.
Commenting on the hugely popular event, the P & F said: “We really wanted to do something special for the children, especially at a time when many of our normal festive activities can’t happen.
“Mrs Bridges had the wonderful idea of a festive walk in the woods and with the advantage of St Michael’s incredible grounds and some wonderful parents and staff volunteering their time we were able to create something, we think, quite magical!”

Christmas lunch!

Yesterday, staff and pupils enjoyed a delicious Christmas lunch prepared by our wonderful Catering Team. Hats off to the chefs!
.

Michaelmas Term House Results

 

Girls Hockey

 

Year 3&4

1st – Windsor

2nd – Dover

3rd – Leeds

4th – Rochester

 

Year 5&6

1st – Leeds

2nd – Dover & Windsor

4th – Rochester

 

Year 7&8

1st – Leeds

2nd – Dover & Rochester

4th – Windsor

 

Boys Football

 

Year 3&4

1st – Windsor

2nd – Leeds

3rd – Dover

4th – Rochester

 

Year 5&6

1st – Leeds

2nd – Windsor

3rd – Dover

4th – Rochester

 

Year 7&8

1st – Dover

2nd – Leeds

3rd – Windsor

4th – Rochester

 

Cross Country

 

Year 3&4

1st – Leeds

2nd – Windsor

3rd – Rochester

4th – Dover

 

Year 5&6

1st – Leeds

2nd – Dover

3rd – Windsor

4th – Rochester

 

Year 7&8

1st – Windsor

2nd – Leeds

3rd – Dover

4th – Rochester

 

Cross Country Overall

1st – Leeds

2nd – Windsor

3rd – Dover

4th – Rochester

Music Exam Results

We are pleased to share another great set of results from the ABRSM exam session that we hosted in school on Friday 4thDecember:

 

R. Landgrebe Piano 6 Pass
T. Neville Singing 5 Merit
S.Bendle Singing 4 Distinction
S. Ward Singing 4 Distinction
J. Pathiwill Singing 4 Merit
O. Scott Clarinet 4 Merit
L. Shi Singing 4 Merit
N. Staples Singing 3 Merit
B. Tovey Singing 3 Pass
O. Scott Singing 2 Distinction
M. Elliott Piano 2 Merit
A. Clapham Singing 2 Pass
H. Palmer Singing 2 Pass
T. Warren Singing 2 Pass
A. Hughes Piano 1 Distinction
M. Macedo Piano 1 Distinction
S. Mottram Piano 1 Distinction
A. Paizes Alto Saxophone 1 Distinction
E. Schwark Alto Saxophone 1 Merit
E. Abueita Violin 1 Pass
P. Palmer Singing 1 Pass
A. Sharp Singing 1 Pass

 

Well done to all the above children and to O. Maltarp who passed his Trinity grade 3 guitar exam which was examined by submission of a continuous non-edited recording of three

From the P & F

The P & F are delighted to announce that St Michael’s has raised a fantastic £945 for the Community Cupboard Christmas Appeal. Thank you to all of those who donated to this very important cause.

Staying safe online this Christmas

Some useful information for parents and students on Online Safety over Christmas from the Thinkuknow website can be found via the below link. This site is run by CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection).

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/articles/parents-guide-being-social-online/

 

Shoot for the stars!

Congratulations to L Lattimer has qualified for the Kent U11 Northern Warriors Cricket team and will join its main squad for the 2021 cricket season.
L. Selvey-Clinton must also be congratulated for being selected for the U13 elite pathway in cricket despite being an U12. This achievement will see Leo become one of the top 12 boys in Kent.

In the Community

Mr Thomas’ Christmas Hockey Camp

Mr Thomas will be holding his Christmas Hockey Camp at Hollybush Hockey Pitch on Thursday 17th December, Friday 18th December, Monday 21st December and Tuesday 22nd December. Monday and Tuesday are fully booked, however there is still limited space available on Thursday and Friday.

Please email Mr Thomas on jnthomas88@outlook.com to reserve your space.

We will be following all England Hockey guidelines and may have to limit the numbers to less than previous camps. Please sign up early to avoid any disappointment.

Click here for the application form. 

Follow us on social media!

Love seeing your children’s smiley faces on our social media pages?

Make sure you’re following all four of our channels to ensure you don’t miss any precious photos and videos. This also includes our new YouTube page featuring videos about St Michael’s and speeches from the pupils.

Latest News

We are delighted to announce that former St Michael’s pupil Jess Haynes has selected to join the Loughborough Lightning Superleague Netball team.

Jess, who attended St Michael’s between 2008 and 2014 and returned as a GAP Student in 2019, made her Superleague and Sky Sports debut on Saturday 5th June against Celtic Dragons at the Copperbox Arena in London, after which she was officially announced as Loughborough Lightning squad member No. 102.

Lightning are currently in second place in the Superleague behind Team Bath and have already secured their place in the playoffs.

Jess, whose matches with Lightning will be broadcast live on the Sky Sports Netball platforms, said: “I feel so honoured and excited to be given this opportunity. It has been a bit of a whirlwind over the last couple of weeks so it was great to get on court and make my Superleague debut at the Copperbox . I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season with such an amazing squad. I always love coming back to St Michael’s to coach the current pupils, to share my love of sport and to show that dreams do come true!”

Jess joined Loughborough Lightning U21 NPL Squad from London Pulse in September 2020 when she started studying at Nottingham Trent University where she is part of their Performance Sport Programme.

And it was St Michael’s where her passion for netball began. Jess’ mum, Clare, said: “Jess’ year group team were a strong squad who enjoyed a high level of success at both local and national IAPS level. Jess played all sports during her time here where she achieved a great deal of success across the board . She left at the end of Year 8 to continue her education at Kent College Pembury with a Sports Scholarship. Her place in the Loughborough Lightning Super League is a huge opportunity for her.”

Mrs Wade, who coached Jess during her time at St Michael’s, added: “We are extremely proud of Jess and all she has achieved since leaving St Michael’s. I had the delight of watching Jess’ netball skills grow tremendously during her time with us and it is no surprise that Jess’ dedication to the sport has landed her this incredible opportunity. We look forward to hearing about her future successes and seeing her on Sky Sports!”

A swarm of bees, pride of lions and bloom of ladybirds could be seen roaming the school grounds on Friday 28th May as the Prep school celebrated Go Wild Day in aid of local charities Kent Wildlife Trust and Otford Hospices of Hope.

The action-packed charity day, organised by the School Council to raise awareness of the local causes, raised an amazing £727.04.

Mr Baird, Acting Deputy Head, said: “It was amazing to see so many staff and pupils dressing up for this brilliant fundraising event. A big thank you to the School Council and Year 8 prefects who played a key part in the success of the event, and to the pupils for putting so much effort and energy into the activities.”

Throughout the day, pupils took part in fundraising activities including an exotic bring and buy sale where pupils exchanged good quality toys and games. The afternoon events also included a face painting session for the children led by the senior Art Scholars group.

Fundraising & Communications Manager at Otford Hospices of Hope, Jessica McKechie added: “We were delighted to hear that St Michael’s Prep School chose to fundraise for Hospices of Hope with their Go Wild Day. Being supported locally is so important for our charity and we are really grateful to all the children and staff who took part. The funds raised will help us to support our patients with vital care, some of whom are children too and will love to hear about the activities the school arranged in order to help them.”

St Michael’s Go Wild Day forms part of its longterm plan to improve the wildlife around their 90-acre site as well as increasing the school community’s awareness of the importance of conserving nature.

Delighted by St Michael’s efforts, Acting Head of Education and Lifelong Learning at Kent Wildlife Trust, Lee Mason-Baldwin said: “Wow, what a brilliant effort and superb, heart-warming achievement, thank you so much! We love the gorgeous colourful activities and the fun you’ve had to help animals, plants, bugs and birds which is crucial for developing a life-long love of wildlife. Your support will help us on our quest for a wilder Kent, rich in wildlife for everyone to enjoy, forever.”

For more information about St Michael’s Prep School please visit their website: https://www.stmichaels.kent.sch.uk/

 

We are hugely proud to announce that past St Michael’s pupils L Bingham and A Faulstich have been selected for the England Under 16 Hockey Squad.


The Year 10 pupils, who currently attend Weald of Kent Grammar School and Tonbridge Grammar School were announced as members last week following many months of training and assessment.


Congratulating the girls on their achievement, Mrs Wade, who taught them PE during their time at St Michael’s, said: “We are extremely proud of Lottie and Anna and all they have achieved since they left St Michael’s. They were extremely hardworking in all their sports at school and it is great to hear that they have taken their hockey to such a high level. We look forward to hearing about their future success.”


A huge congratulations to both girls on this amazing achievement.

St Michael’s Prep School, Otford was delighted to welcome concert pianist Nicholas McCarthy as the special guest for its Scholars’ Day on Thursday 20th May.

Mr McCarthy, who was the first left-hand-only graduate of the Royal College of Music in its 130-year history, hosted a music masterclass with the school’s Music Scholars, before joining the wider Scholars group for an evening of food and entertainment.

Nicholas said: “It has been so wonderful to work with the pupils today. The performance standard of the Scholars is fantastic and their personalities came across in their performances. It was lovely to see.”

During his visit, the talented musician shared his story with St Michael’s including his performance with band Coldplay at the 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony. Nicholas also offered words of encouragement for overcoming setbacks and barriers. He said: “At my first audition I was turned away because they just didn’t believe I could play the piano with one hand. I had to dig deep and find that resilience to carry on achieving my dream. Very quickly that fire built back up and I was determined to prove them wrong.”

Commenting on the success of the event, St Michael’s Deputy Head Mary Bridges said: “We were delighted to host a special event for our current scholars, incoming scholars and our Year 8 pupils who have achieved scholarships at their senior schools. Nicholas words inspired all of us and his performance was absolutely stunning. It was a true mark of excellence.”

To view a highlights reel of the event or watch the full interview with St Michael’s Head Nik Pears and Nicholas McCarthy please visit their YouTube page.