eNews: Friday 19th June 2020

From the Acting Head

We’ve reached the end of another successful week; well done to everyone both at home and at school! I continue to be impressed and inspired by the superb engagement of our pupils. I thank everybody involved in embracing the learning with ambition and creativity. Those of you that joined the whole school assembly zoom on Monday will have seen our Year 5 pupils share their recent poetry work. It was wonderful. Not only were the poems beautifully written, but the pupils performed with sensitivity, confidence and flair. Thank you also to our two young pianists who played beautifully. Well done to you all.

We were delighted earlier this week that the government acknowledged the importance of including Year 7 & 8 in their guidance for primary schools, enabling Prep Schools to invite their seniors back before the summer break. We are excited that we can enjoy the final few weeks of term with many of our pupils back together in the company of friends and teachers. Preparations have been in full swing; we have new timetables with staggered breaks and lunches, white lines painted on the grass banks to identify group areas and lots of exciting outdoor activities planned. It will be new and different, but our aim is for the children to feel happy and connected and have a positive end to the school year. You may have noticed that we’ve also arranged for the weather to be amazing! Please ensure that your children come in with sun lotion already applied so that we can enjoy the beautiful grounds and time outside together.

 

For those children coming into school, there will be a lot of change and need to adapt, and for those remaining at home, there may be different feelings as well. I will be moving my zoom assembly to 9am on Monday morning just for those children at home, and I look forward to starting the week with them all.  There will undoubtedly be mixed feelings for those staying at home, and the most important thing is that we keep communicating. Form teachers and co-tutors are here to help and support the children through the emotions of change and new routines so please do keep us informed if there is anything we need to know to support the children over the final few weeks of term.

 

Mr Wiseman is busy pulling all of the Prep School logistics together, and it will be essential to look out for communications from him over the weekend. He aims to keep the number of messages to a minimum, but please be aware that, if you do receive a few different emails, this is simply to enable you to be fully informed. I will be out at drop off on Monday morning and cannot wait to see many familiar faces. Until then, have a fabulous weekend.

 

Mary Bridges

From the Head of Pre-Prep

Dear Parents,

The children who are in school have been enjoying as normal an experience as possible. Year 1 have turned into pirates with their own pirate names and pirate hats bobbing up and down the corridors throughout the day. In Nursery it’s been all about teddy bears. They have had a wonderful teddy bears’ picnic, luckily on the warm dry day and have been out to hunt for the teddy bears that the fairies had taken to the woods overnight. Thank goodness the children found them!

Kindergarten have also been hunting, but for treasure. The children have been able to follow the stick arrows left as clues and luckily were able to recover the hidden gold coins.

Our Reception children are writing so much more now. I have noticed just how much they are writing about their dads prior to Father’s Day. Your secrets are out gentlemen!

Another plea to please send your children in with their coats if it is raining. We do have spares but not in large quantities.

I am looking forward to Monday when our Year 2 children return. Even better, I am going to teach one of the bubbles.

Overheard: My daddy wears my sister’s clown costume!

 

Best wishes to you all,

Zerrin Leech

Staff News

A warm welcome to Mrs Helen Yarrow, who will be joining us in September as our Prep School Library Assistant.

Helen has worked in education in Kent for twenty-five years in various roles including class teacher and English specialist subject teacher, covering an age range from 7 – 13; she was also a Head Librarian in a previous Prep school.

She is married with three grown-up children and enjoys a range of outdoor activities as well as reading, interior design, the ballet and travel. Although she enjoys life in and around Sevenoaks, Helen’s preferred environment is the Suffolk coast, where you will find her during the summer holiday period.

She is very keen to meet all the St Michael’s team in person and is looking forward to inspiring the pupils to share her love of the English language and her passion for reading during their regular visits to the library.

 

School News

Appeal for a doll’s house and accessories

Pre-Prep Reception are in need of a doll’s house, so we thought we would ask if any of our older children have one that they have grown out of and would be happy to donate to St Michael’s 5 year olds. We would also be looking for doll’s house furniture. Mrs Leech is at the top of the bridge each morning and would be happy to accept any donation if you have any of these items you no longer play with.

Many thanks,

Pre-Prep.

Headteacher’s Stars

S Cameron For superb effort in remote learning
E O’Dwyer For excellent effort and commitment to reading during remote learning
A Ravalli For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French
E Bingham For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French
T Maltarp For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French
E Williams For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French
E Green For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French
G Owen For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French
T Carman For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French

 

G Bashford For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French

 

J Gagg For excellent effort, perseverance and progress with reading during remote learning
I Pennington Legh For a superb poem, written about swimming during remote learning
J Vanderlanh-Mckeown For making a fantastic computer as part of his “Parts of a PC” IT & Computing project
E Williamson For a superb science presentation, with clear and purposeful delivery
W Deacon For consistent virtual engagement in PE and sport
E Ukwu For consistent virtual engagement in PE and sport
S Chen For a beautiful piano performance in our online whole school assembly
P Gulihar For a beautiful piano performance in our online whole school assembly
J Pathiwill For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
T Bax For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
G Owen For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
B Hayward For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
A MacRae For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
C Hunter For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
E Schwark For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
E Newton For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly

Drama Gallery

We’re so impressed with the puppets Mr Powell’s pupils have made in response to their study of Beauty and the Beast, that we’ve made a special gallery to show them to you. Click here to see their incredible creations.

 

Follow our day to day news on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Sports News

Congratulations to St Michael’s swimmers on some wonderful IAPS swimming results. The following children would have qualified for the finals that were to be held at the London Aquatics Centre this year. Unfortunately this is not happening due to the current situation but well done to all the IAPS swimming 2020 finalists:

A Green- Boys’ U11 50 metres breastroke-  16th position out of 136 competitors.

I Pennington-Legh – Girls’ U10 25 metres butterfly-  7th position out of 136 competitors

The Girls U10 4 x 25 metre freestyle relay team- I Pennington-Legh, E Newton, G Owen, A Mitchell-  qualified in 10th place out of 133 teams.

Such brilliant results- well done to all those who swam. Fingers crossed things are different next year.

Mrs Denton

 

 

Senior School Virtual Tours and Open Days

Many Senior Schools are offering virtual tours and Open Days at the moment. We’ll be updating our Senior Schools Information page as we hear about them. Most of the schools are offering traditional Open Days from September and booking forms for both traditional and virtual open events are available on their websites. Links to the schools are available on our Senior Schools Information page.

The following schools are currently offering virtual Open Days or Tours:

Ardingly

Bethany School

Brighton College

Caterham School

Christ’s Hospital

Cobham Hall

Dover College

Eastbourne College

Haileybury

King’s Canterbury

King’s Rochester

Lingfield College

Radnor House

Sevenoaks School

Tonbridge School

Wellington College

Whitgift School – click here for your Virtual Open Event Invitation

In addition, a new school has been added to our page:

St Catherine’s School, Bramley is a GSA Day and Boarding School near Guildford. They will be holding Open Mornings throughout the autumn.

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.