eNews: Friday 22nd January 2021

From the Head

Dear Parents,

It’s been another brilliant week of the Lent Term. We may have begun the week with Blue Monday, but a grey start led to a glorious finish helped by today’s blue skies and sunshine.

Thank you so much to those of you who have completed the Remote Learning survey; your feedback is much appreciated as we strive to do the best that we can for the children in these circumstances.

As always, I am grateful for your ongoing support as we navigate through this period. I am so proud of the resilience which is being shown by all members of the St Michael’s community.

I wish you a safe and happy weekend.

Nik Pears


A message from Mr Pears to pupils:


From the Head of Pre-Prep 

Dear Parents,

On Thursday we managed to get out and about in sunshine, we laughed at ourselves on Freestyle Friday and have enjoyed some delicious lunches provided by our catering team. Small things but they have managed to get us through the week at school with a smile on our faces.

I have seen some super pieces of work posted to Tapestry and Seesaw so well done everyone. Year 1 have been identifying defence systems on castles, Year 2 have created some interesting Picasso faces and Reception children seem to have enjoyed lots of Maths particularly through cooking. There is a lot of hard work going on in your homes.


Overheard in Pre-Prep:

“Why has America has got a granddad as their President?”


Have a great weekend,


Zerrin Leech

Head’s Stars

A Karir (Year 3) for amazing planning and design on the Float-a-boat project

X Noorpuri (Year 3) for amazing planning and design on the Float-a-boat project

E Feacham (Year 3) for amazing planning and design on the Float-a-boat project

A Short (Year 3) for amazing planning and design on the Float-a-boat project

F Saxby (Year 3) for an amazing art jungle scene

J Devenney (Year 4) for being a great new addition to the class; being cheerful, conscientious and making an active contribution

O Padilla (Year 5) for drawing a beautiful Zentangle feather

M Hayward (Year 5) for drawing a beautiful Zentangle feather

G Schneider-Price (Year 7) for a brilliant essay about Roald Dahl’s short story Lamb to the Slaughter

H Owen (Year 8) for creating an amazing perspective painting in art

H Soper (Year 8) for creating an amazing perspective drawing in art

A Moore (Year 8) for creating an amazing perspective drawing in art

E Ward (Year 8) for creating an amazing perspective painting in art

E Collings (Year 8) for creating an amazing perspective drawing in art

R Landgrebe (Year 8) for creating an amazing perspective drawing in art

S Davis (Year 8) for creating an amazing perspective painting in art

X Prongue (Year 8) for creating an amazing perspective painting in art

A Morgue D’Algue (Year 8) for creating an amazing perspective painting in art

R Landgrebe (Year 8) for creating terrific packaging, with logo, for glass coasters

S Davis (Year 8) for creating terrific packaging, with logo, for glass coasters

Whole School News

Freestyle Friday!

Presenting… this week’s Freestyle Friday dance to ‘This is Me’ from The Greatest Showman. Thank you to everyone who submitted their clips, we hope you enjoy watching this video.


Next week’s theme is: Dance with your Pet

We will be dancing to: ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry

What if I don’t have a pet? Dance with a soft toy, sibling, parent, put some animal face paint on- we don’t mind, be creative! We still want everyone to be involved.

If your child would like to be involved, please send a 5-10 second video clip of your child dancing to tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk to be considered for the final video. Please can we ask parents to be mindful of what their child is wearing in the video, and to ensure that their clothing and dance moves are appropriate for distribution to the school community and on St Michael’s social media channels.

The deadline for the next Freestyle Friday video is Wednesday 27th January at 12pm. Please film all videos in landscape and not portrait. You do not need to worry about sound in the video as all clips will be muted before being put with a backing track.

Michaelmas Charity Day raises £3000 for Thames Valley Air Ambulance

A fundraising day hosted during the Michaelmas Term raised £3000 for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA), the charity have confirmed.

In a letter addressed to St Michael’s this week, the TVAA said:

“Dear all at St Michael’s Prep School,

I’m writing to let you know that Thames Valley Air Ambulance has received your kind donation of £3000 raised at your charity fundraising day before Christmas. This is an amazing amount of money, which could cover the cost of 5 missions in one of our response cars, getting our crew to the scene of a serious incident and bringing the expertise, equipment and medication of the hospital to where it is needed most, so thank you so much.

Thanks to people like you we have been able to make huge developments in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine. Our teams have at their fingertips the latest life support kit such as a compact chest compressor which allows us to continue treatment at the same time as keeping the heart pumping. We carry blood on board for on scene transfusions and a hospital level blood analyser which can give vital information in seconds. We have hand held ultrasound machines, able to show internal injuries at the roadside. In the last few years TVAA have extended the service by introducing 5 cars as well as a brand-new helicopter, fully equipped for night operations.

With your help, we are proud to be an organisation that is committed to constant development and enhancement and above all else, we are committed to patient care.

Kind regards,

Nicola Bishop

Community Fundraising Officer”


Thank you to everyone who contributed to this amazing cause.

St Michael’s raises £356.93 for The Children’s Society

We are delighted to announce that St Michael’s raised £356.93 for The Children’s Society as part of the Christingle fundraising carried out by Years 2 and 3 during the Michaelmas Term.

The charity, which helps young people threatened by abuse, exploitation and neglect, said: “Outstanding from Years 2 and 3! Christingle is all about shining hope and light in the darkest moments, thank you all for helping us spread joy and for your support.”

Remote Learning 

This week pupils have been working extremely hard in their Remote Learning lessons. Please enjoy this highlights reel of their work.


Send in your photos

To send us photos or videos of your child taking part in Remote Learning, please email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk along with your child’s name, year group and a short description of the photograph. All content sent to this email address may feature on St Michael’s social media and in other publications.

Critical Workers group

Meanwhile, in school our Critical Workers group has been working equally as hard.

Shoot for the stars!

Ryan scoops Student of The Year Taekwondo award

Congratulations to Ryan in Year 6 who has been awarded the Student of The Year award by the Juventus Taekwondo Academy.

Having trained in Taekwondo since the age of six, Ryan is a black belt in the sport and attends training regularly, including online and outdoors lessons which he has taken part in throughout the lockdowns.

Ryan was presented the award for his dedication, commitment and hard work throughout 2020. He was also commended for his positive attitude and commitment to helping others learn Taekwondo.

Congratulations Ryan, keep up the amazing work!



Send us your stories!

Has your child won an award, passed an extra-curricular exam or accomplished something exciting recently?

We love celebrating our pupils’ amazing achievements and want to showcase them in our weekly newsletter. Email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk to submit your child’s achievement.

Senior Schools Information

Benenden School

Please find details of Benenden School’s upcoming Open Day Presentations here: https://www.benenden.school/admissions/open-days-and-visits

Benenden School will also be hosting an online event taking place on Wednesday 27th January at 7.00pm with the Editor of TATLER Education, Tori Cadogan, interviewing Benenden Headmistress Sam Price and Tonbridge School Headmaster James Priory on the importance and relevance of boarding today. Sam Price and her team will be delighted to welcome families with daughters of any age who are considering boarding and to find out more about A Complete Education at Benenden, with a focus on the academic and co-curricular opportunities as well as the boarding and pastoral care on offer.

To sign up for the event visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/why-choose-boarding-today-tickets-132076296759


Tonbridge School

Please find details of Tonbridge School’s Virtual Open Morning taking place this Saturday 23rd January 9.30am to 11.45am here: https://www.tonbridge-school.co.uk/admissions/contact-us

The event will be an opportunity to hear from the Headmaster, James Priory, and to attend up to three break-out sessions focusing on specific areas of life at Tonbridge School: STEM, Scholarships & Bursaries, Admissions, Sport, Music, Boarding, Day, Creative Arts, University & Careers.

Select Book Now on this webpage and complete the form to attend. You can also submit up to three questions in advance of the event under ‘Questions’ within the form.

Joining details will be sent to all participants before the event. If you have already attended one of Tonbridge School’s MTH sessions, you will find the first 45 mins to be a similar format. You may still find this helpful but if you prefer, book your place and simply join the breakout sessions later.

Follow us on social media!

It’s important that we stay connected as a community during this time, so make sure you are following St Michael’s social media channels for important updates and content throughout the Lent Term.

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.