eNews: Friday 17th January 2020

From Graham Malcolm, Interim Executive Head

This week I’ve thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Forest School and seeing the development of speaking and practical skills, the team work and the sheer fun of learning outdoors. Year 6 showed me their pop art and their use of the lightbox in the amazing Art Department, while Year 4 combined creativity with ICT as they designed their frisbees. I also had lunch with the children in Pre-Prep, and listened to some wonderful ideas from the children in the Prep school – they may not be particularly practical, but they were definitely good!

Last week I enjoyed watching sport in the rain, but this week the weather has been so bad that most of the matches were cancelled. I hope to catch up with our sportsmen and women again next week and to meet some more of their parents.

The warm welcome, the joy of the children, their desire to show me pictures and tell me stories is fantastic. They’re full of interesting ideas and Years 6, 7 and 8 are so grown up and a credit to the school and their parents.

It really is great to be back at St Michael’s!

Graham Malcolm

BEd, MA (IAPS)

From the Acting Co-Heads

This week we have enjoyed welcoming Mr Kerry Lord, ISI reporting inspector, to St Michael’s. Kerry has conducted a two day “Readiness for Inspection” visit. It has been extremely helpful to have an external, independent person to verify where we are in relation to our upcoming inspection. We feel that we are in good shape. With regards to the real inspection, when we get the call there will be a parent questionnaire coming to you via email. Thanks to all the staff and pupils involved this week, as always it has been a great team effort with an incredible amount of work happening in the background.

Global Awareness is a focus this term and on Wednesday we introduced the new Homework Challenges to the children. Years 4-6 will be considering global themes and issues linked to the core areas of global awareness:
• Globalisation and interdependence
• Identity and Diversity
• Sustainable Development
• Peace and Conflict
• Social Justice and Inequality
We encourage the children to engage with events in the news and explore relevant topics, whether they be recent or historical. Many pupils have been shocked and saddened by news of the bush fires affecting Australia and its wildlife. The passion and commitment shown by our children to discuss and engage with these issues is encouraging as we recognise the need for action more than ever. The concept of cultural identity has also been a hot topic of discussion in light of Harry and Meghan’s announcement that they are ‘stepping back’ from the royal family. I wonder what views and thoughts we will uncover when this term’s challenges are shared in March. We can’t wait!

It has been another busy week in the drama department with a scholars’ trip to the National Theatre and an exciting chance to meet the actors post show. A Year 4 stage make up workshop was held this morning and the children were very proud to show the gruesome injuries that they had managed to create, which caused quite a stir along the corridors! Rehearsals continue this afternoon for our upcoming production ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. Good luck to everyone back in school on Sunday to rehearse. Do look out for ticket sales information coming soon – you won’t want to miss it!

Have a fantastic weekend.

Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman

News from Pre-Prep

• Fri 24th Jan Reception parents – English workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 31st Jan Year 2 parents – Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 7th Feb Year 1 parents Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 28th Feb Reception parents Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am

Week 2 of our Lent term has been very busy and very muddy. Luckily coats and trousers seem to be washing well, I appreciate your washing machines must be working extra hard at this time of year!

On Wednesday I was attending a course on Inspections as our Compliance Inspection will be due soon. I was relieved to know that we are doing what we should be doing. I have also spoken to a few of your class representatives this week, which is always a good way for me to pick up on the issues you may be discussing in your WhatsApp groups. Please do come and find me if there is anything you are unsure of. I am usually to be found at the top of the bridge every morning.

Some of you may have noticed that we were due to have our usual Chinese New Year celebration next Tuesday, but it has now been taken off the calendar. This is because the man who brings all his enormous dragons and drums is poorly and will not be able to be with us. He is looking forward to seeing us all again next year. In the meantime we will be celebrating Chinese New Year in our classrooms and in music lessons.

This term we have a series of Maths and English workshops for parents of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. These will be held on Friday mornings after drop-off. If you would like to know a little more about how we are teaching your children, please pop in to the dining room on the relevant date.

Have a lovely weekend,

Zerrin Leech

Cars left on site

If you need to leave your car on the school site for any reason, please ensure that you inform someone in either the Prep or Pre-Prep offices. We regret that we are unable to allow access to repair vehicles or roadside assistance vans unless we are aware that they will be arriving on site.

This is for the safeguarding of your children.

Thank you.

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:

  • Online Safety Presentation by Lorin Lafave – booking closes on 24th January
  • Jersey Tour Disco details
  • Dé Jà Vu Second Hand Uniform Shop looking for volunteers
  • Mr Thomas’ Half-Term Hockey Camp
  • Mrs Grayland’s Half-Term Netball Camp

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 as follows:

  • Mr Thomas’ Half-Term Hockey Camp
  • Mrs Grayland’s Half Term Netball Camp

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

Edgar B for fantastic reading and writing
Stanley H for great effort in developing reading and writing skills
Max S for trying really hard to write independently
Arya G for having a go at writing sentences
Ayla A for exceptional effort in everything she has been doing
Thomas D for an incredible and disciplined effort to improve his handwriting
Myla B for committing herself fully to all tasks and asking to do more work
Amelia Rose B for fantastic progress in reading and building her vocabulary
Zi Chen G for great progress in reading and improving his comprehension
Luke S for fact-finding work about Belvoir Castle
Ava M for telling the class interesting information about Hever Castle
Aiden W for carefully using his sounds when spelling tricky words
Irena G for carefully using place value to partition three digit numbers
Archie B W for outstanding maths work on place value
Sophie T for working hard and focussing on creating a realistic polar bear using chalk
Sophie F for creating a lovely advent calendar

Eva F for conducting a wonderful assembly about landing on the moon

 

 

House Point Cup

Windsor House with a total of 187 points
Finley S collected the Cup on behalf of Windsor House

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup: Ruaridh O
Music Practice Award: Finley S
Star Violinist Cup: Genevieve M

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

E Julio For a wonderful display about Bartholomeu Dias
A Sharp For producing an excellent I-movie for the ‘Who Am I’ project
H Brown For a fabulous presentation about your family, complete with excellent model of an ice cream van
S Andrade For an informative homework booklet about electricity

Players of the Match, week commencing 13th January 2020

Team Name Given for: –
U13 Rugby No Match
U12 No Match
U11 A No Match
U11 B No Match
U10 A No Match
U10 B No Match
U9 A The whole team For never giving up and scoring in the last play of the game
U9 B J West For good try scoring and tackling
U8 A R Stevens For not giving up
U8 B I Vanghese For scoring 2 tries and good effort
U8 C E Nash For superb running and scoring 3 tries
U13 A Netball T Vafai

P Parker-Swift

Voted for by the opposition

For great intercepting

U13 B R Gray For running to get free, making space and for displaying great energy
U13 C I Neave

S Davis

Voted for by the opposition

For great centre court play

U11 A A Bowyer For good all-round play
U11 B G Wall

E Harrison

Voted for by the opposition

For good shooting and movement

U11 C A Mottram For being a great link between defence and attack
U10 A E Schwark

E Newton

Voted for by the opposition

For good shooting

U10 B D Patel

B Hayward

For good shooting

For good centre court play

U10 C B West

A Madgett

Voted for by the opposition

For good defending

U9 A N Ogle For good shooting and defensive play at the tournament
U9 B No Match
U9 C H Palmer

 

B Tovey

For having a great attitude and an improvement in skills

For great shooting in the tournament

U8 A U Osunwa

C Selvey-Clinton

Voted for by the opposition

For great defending and intercepting

U8 B G Cheetam

F Jenkins

Voted for by the opposition

For great intercepting and reading the game well

U8 C E Moriarty

E Bax

Voted for by the opposition

For great defending

Senior School Open Days, Scholarships and Events

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include Oakwood Park Grammar School, St Olave’s Grammar School and Skinners’ School.

Rose Hill School Future Schools’ Evening

Rose Hill School (Coniston Avenue, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9SY; Telephone: 01892-525591) are holding a Future Schools’ Evening on Tuesday 28th January from 7pm. They would be delighted to welcome any St Michael’s parents, who would like to join them.

Over twenty independent secondary schools will be in attendance, including Tonbridge School, Sevenoaks School, Bede’s, Bethany School and Hurstpierpoint College.

Please register in advance with clare.rowton@rosehillschool.co.uk 

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.”