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

 

 

 

Sunsets and sizzling sausages set the tone for the new term last Friday as Year 7 pupils celebrated the start of their senior education journey.

The annual event, traditionally held as a Camp Out, was delivered as a fun-filled barbecue night which the children enjoyed with teachers including St Michael’s Acting Head, Mrs Bridges.

Throughout the evening pupils tucked into dinner cooked by Deputy Head Mr Wiseman, and toasted marshmallows on an open fire.

And to make use of their new term energy, games and group bonding activites were carried out, followed by a walk up the school’s famous Warren where the sunset was relished in all of its glory.

Reflecting on the sucess of the event, Head of Year 7 and 8, Mrs Shield, said: “Unfortunately, we were unable to camp this year, but that did not dampen anybody’s spirits.

“One of the highlights of the evening was our twilight walk to the top of the Warren where we marvelled at the beautiful site that our school occupies.

“We viewed the bats swirling the skies in the dusk of late summer and ended the evening with a well-deserved hot chocolate – not forgetting the squirty cream and yet more marshmallows.

“Life-long friendships were made and re-established after the long summer break.”

This month St Michael’s Prep is celebrating the opening of its new Astro Turf pitch.

Completed during Summer 2020, the state-of-the-art facility will provide a huge boost to the school’s sporting facilities and allow it to offer a broader range of activities including boys hockey and football to its pupils.

Its floodlights will also enable St Michael’s to host sports matches during evenings, as well as inviting external schools and clubs to enjoy the new pitch throughout the year.

Ben Bridges, Director of Sports at St Michael’s, said: “We’re really excited to use the Astro Turf for the first time this month.

“We feel extremely lucky to be able to offer this to our pupils in both Prep and Pre-prep and are thrilled about the benefits it will bring to our sporting curriculum.

“As well as hockey, the new pitch will allow us to offer many other sports to pupils and will prevent the children from missing lessons due to inclement weather.”

Planning for the Astro Turf began in 2014 and has seen St Michael’s grounds undergo a significant transformation since construction began last summer. During this time pupils were fascinated by the diggers, dumpers and bulldozers which visited the school, while nursery and kindergarten children were treated to close-up views of the machinery.

Mr Bridges added: “Although it was a slightly delayed start due to the poor weather we faced, this feels like the perfect time to put the incredible space to good use.

“This is really going to move sport at St Michael’s to the next level, as well as providing us with opportunities to engage with the local community. We’re excited all round.”

 

The Governors of St. Michael’s Prep School take pleasure in announcing the appointment of Nik Pears as our new Head Teacher with effect from January 2021.

Nik was educated at St Dunstan’s College, London and is a graduate of Cambridge University. He is currently Head of Prep at Kent College Pembury, a post he has held since 2016. Prior to that, he was Headmaster of the Junior School at Sevenoaks Prep for 5 years. Nik is also an ISI inspector and a governor at Dulwich Prep, Cranbrook. We believe that he has the experience and qualities required to lead St Michael’s into the next chapter of its history.

Nik represented Kent U18 group at rugby and has a love of all sports. He is an accomplished musician and has performed at The O2 and Wembley Arenas. He is an Ambassador for “We See Hope”, a charity working with orphans and vulnerable young people in sub Saharan Africa. Nik devised The Social Entrepreneurs Project an initiative that challenges young people to turn £10 seed capital into £100 or more with their profits going to support the work of the charity.

We feel very fortunate to have secured Nik’s headship and welcome him and his wife Emma and two children, Jessica and Josiah into the St. Michael’s family from the start of next year. Nik has said

“I am delighted to have been appointed the next Head of St Michael’s Prep. Having lived in the area for the past twenty years, it is a school I have known and long admired for its ambitious and child-centred approach to learning. There is a very special atmosphere in the school and I am excited to become a part of the community, getting to know the children, parents and staff over the months and years ahead. St Michael’s is privileged to have an experienced and committed Senior Leadership Team and I very much look forward to working together with them as we embark on an exciting future for the school.” 

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