eNews: Friday 22nd March 2019

From the Head

This week in chapel 3D led the service about Maundy Thursday. The word Maundy itself comes from the Latin (hurrah!) mandatum – “that which is ordered” or commanded and specifically on this day it refers to the commandment that Jesus gave his disciples to love one another.

That love, on this particular day, found its expression in the humblest of tasks that he performed for his friends, washing their feet.

On Tuesday therefore, it was good that I could play my part in the story and wash the feet of some of the children acting as disciples around the table for the last supper.

Any such act by a leader has more of an impact perhaps because there is a surprise at the role being taken on.

In agreeing to wash their feet, whether symbolically or as on Tuesday in reality, what I’m saying to the children is that I respect them and I want the best for them and I will do anything for them and of course I do in fact believe that leadership is intrinsically bound up with service.

In the traditions of British society and culture we value all the services that support the structures of our country. We teach children to respect healthcare professionals, those who offer to fight for all countries or keep it safe. We ask children to show their respect in the ways that they behave and in the effort that they put into what they do each day at school. And of course it works both ways. My colleagues in leading the pupils’ education also understand the meaning of service and I think it is a hallmark of a great school when this is a constant feature amongst all those working within it.

This week I have been treated to a huge variety of reasons to be excited about serving this particular community and I’m privileged to have seen some extraordinary projects, games, films and this morning my challenge group listened to a very moving and powerfully written story about a girl’s quest to save polar bears threatened by global warming.

What speaks volumes in all of these fascinating and varied offerings is the huge satisfaction and enjoyment being experienced by the children and the richness of learning and sharing learning in the way that we have developed. Thank you to those parents who have taken the time to write to express their own joy at seeing this powerful development in our homework policy and to all the children whose endless creativity is really something that makes us proud.

As things hot up towards next week’s production of “Emil and the Detectives” I commend to you the many, many extraordinary things that have been achieved so far this term and I’m excited at what I will see and enjoy when I attend the show next week.

Please remember next week, as there are no clubs, that dismissal from Prep School is from three different doors depending on year groups.

What ever you’re doing this weekend enjoy your last weekend of this school term.

Jill Aisher

News from Pre-Prep

• Break up: Friday 29th March at 12.00 Please note there will be no After School Club
• Tuesday 26th March Mother’s Day assembly for all Reception mums. Coffee served from 8.45am
• Tuesday 26th Year 2 Swimming Gala 1.40pm
• Wednesday 27th Easter bunny visits Pre-Prep
• Thursday 28th March Year 1 Easter Concert 2pm in the Pre-Prep hall

This week we have been showing off our hard work in so many areas. Mrs Crane’s dance activity gave us a demonstration of their latest dance moves, Mrs Dennett’s violin players played beautifully in assembly on Monday, Choir showed my visitors on Wednesday how tremendous their singing can be. It seems so easy and effortless for your children to impress anyone I show around. I have been conducting interviews this week for our new Year 1 class teacher in September, it is a joy to do, as so many teachers would like to work here with your children!
Next week we break up! Pre-Prep finishes at 12.00. I would appreciate you collecting your children on time as the staff do have a training session as soon as all your children have been collected.
It is a busy day on Tuesday as we have our Mother’s Day assembly for all Reception mums. Coffee will be served from 8.45am in the dining room. Later we have our Year 2 swimming gala and Year 2 parents are invited to join us at the swimming pool. Please enter Prep school via the white doors and sign in. This will start at 1.40pm. You are requested not to take photos of the children during this event.
On Wednesday we are hoping (I want to write hopping!) that the Easter bunny will pay us a visit at Pre-Prep. My thanks as usual to Parents and Friends for helping out the Easter bunny here.
Thursday will be our Easter Concert day. Year 1 will be taking the lead in The Chocolate Shop performance. Year 1 parents and parents of children in choir are invited to attend.
May I wish you all a lovely Easter holiday and I look forward to seeing your children back on Wednesday 24th April.

Zerrin Leech

Forthcoming events in Prep

Break a leg to all cast and crew for next week’s production of “Emil and the Detectives”!

Saturday 23rd March Netball U11B vs Junior Schools Community Tournament
Netball U11A vs Cobham Hall Tournament
Sunday 24th March                          17.30 Emil and the Detectives
Monday 25th March                         19.00 Emil and the Detectives
Tuesday 26th March                         19.00 Emil and the Detectives
Wednesday 27th March ABRSM Exams
                                                          18.00 Music Tour information meeting for parents
Thursday 28th March                       All day FIGO Ensemble String Workshop
                                                          09.00-13.00 Salzburg Music Tour rehearsal
                                                          15.15-16.00 String Ensemble concert for Years 3 & 4
                                                           16.15-18.15 Year 3 & 4 Parents’ Evening
Friday 29th March End of term – Prep School finishes at 12.30

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:

Departing from Prep School next week

Lost Property


Charity Fundraising for the Bugzi

No Nuts in School

P&F Minutes

On this week’s Community Events page

Please log into our Parents’ Portal and click into the Community Events page to see new important information as follows:

P&F Family Fun Day and Circus

Otford Village Fete

Pre-Prep Awards

Gold Stars

Lottie for excellent coin addition in our shop
George W for fantastic use of Numicon to make some very large numbers
Dante for enjoying maths and challenging himself
Adam J for super reading and writing lovely sentences
Max H for being independent in dressing after swimming
Nik for excellent effort in PE
Amelia B for wonderful reading, great progress
George W for always listening in lessons and working hard in all subjects
Florence B for working hard on telling the time
Xavier for working hard on his pencil grip
Alice P for carefully solving division problems in maths
Jack C for trying exceptionally hard to include adjectives in his writing
Florence D for an excellent diary entry about Flotsam, remembering all her targets
Holly for fantastic sentence writing

Music Award

Music Practice Cup: Aksel
Music Practice Award: Oliver S
Star Violinist Cup: Nia

100 House Points Certificates

Windsor: Seth

House Point Cup

Leeds House with a total of 147 points
Priya collected the Cup on behalf of the House

Swimming Certificates

ASA Learn to Swim Awards
Level 3 – Pearl

Well done to Mrs Crane’s Musicals club on their performance of “Come Alive” in assembly.

Alexander H played ‘By the light of the moon’ in Assembly on Tuesday. Well done, Alexander.

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

J Sales For a fantastic newts project
L Andrade For a brilliant maths game
A Ashton For a magnificent maths game
L Watson For a lovely project on famous walls
I Johnson For an excellent presentation and movie on palm oil
T Carman For a fascinating poster about tigers
A Macrae For a brilliant poster about macaws
J Pathiwill For a wonderful poster about orangutans
E Schwark For a brilliant poster about gorillas
J Absalom For an amazing poster about Indian elephants
A Mitchell For a fabulous poster about orangutans
S Bailey For a wonderful recycled piggy bank and video of the construction
E Crane For an excellent video about raising money
L Clapham For a super octopus made from recycled materials
N Brown For a fantastic poem about dogs playing poker
C Merralls For a great video to show different angles, using gymnastics!
E Gage For making fabulous games, which are great fun to play
D Booth For fantastic maths research to calculate which day of the week you were born
G Bashford For excellent research and a wonderful movie about how maths helped you plan your new kitchen
J Absalom For an excellent presentation about banana bread, delivered with confidence and great imagination
E Schwark For outstanding research about food from around the world, with a clear presentation
A Macrae For designing and building an inventive game to show information from around the world
J Pathiwill For creating a very detailed and inventive game about the world
L Summers For an impactful presentation of your research on recycling, complete with a rap
I Neave For an impactful presentation of your research on recycling, complete with a rap

ABRSM Exam Results

Candidate Subject Grade Result
S Bendle Singing 1 Distinction
E Bingham Singing Prep Test
O Crane Singing 3 Merit
M Elliott Singing Prep Test
E Ernoult Piano 2 Pass
E Ernoult Singing 1 Merit
O Goodwin Singing 4 Distinction
E Harrison Violin 1 Distinction
E Harrison Singing 3 Distinction
E Hudson Singing 1 Distinction
A Jassi Violin 2 Pass
E Jones Singing 1 Distinction
G Kelly Trumpet 2 Merit
R Landgrebe Violin 3 Merit
A Macrae Singing P Pre
T Maltarp Singing 1 Merit
W McDeigan-Lee Singing Prep Test
V Medlen Singing 3 Merit
F Merralls Singing 2 Distinction
E Newton Singing 2 Distinction
M Noorpuri Singing 2 Merit
J Pathiwill Singing 2 Merit
L Poracchia Singing 2 Merit
B Ravalli Violin Prep Test
A Scott Singing 3 Distinction
L Shi Singing 2 Merit
P Singh Singing 2 Merit
N Staples Singing 1 Distinction
E Ward Violin 7 Distinction
J Wiseman Trombone 1 Merit

Players of the Match, week commencing 18th March 2019

Team Name Given for: –
1st  Hockey G Schooley For all-round good play
2nd O Stuart For a good work rate
U11 A M Blincoe For great goal keeping
U11 B No match
U11 C No match
U10 A J Moore & M Cameron For great dribbling
U10 B No match
U10 C No match
U9 A No match
U9 B No match
U9 C No match
U8 A No match
U8 B No match
U13 Netball E Powell  & A Anglin For consistent play in the St Michael’s tournament
U11 A I Davies For good passing and intercepting
U11 B T Smith

E Jones

For good defending

Voted for by the opposition

U11 C The whole team For great all-round play and coming 3rd in the tournament
U10 A A Bowyer Voted for by the opposition
U10 B G Schneider-Price & S Figueiredo Fernandes Voted for by the opposition
U10 C E Ernoult Voted for by the opposition
U9 A The whole team For great passing and all-round play in their tournament
U9 B The whole team For winning the St Michael’s tournament
U9 C The whole team For superb play in the B team tournament
U8 A N Ogle & A-L El Alami Both for great all-round play and for reading the game so well
U8 B E Gage

E Wood

For great all-round play

Voted for by the opposition

U8 C B Tovey

F Lindsay

Voted for by the opposition

For great defending

Senior School Open Days

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include Brighton College, Cobham Hall, Haileybury, King’s Rochester and Sevenoaks School. Brighton College have a new website at www.brightoncollege.org.uk designed with parents in mind, so please take a look if you are considering this school for the future.

Latest News

Hazelwood v St Michael’s Swimming Gala

11th March 2019


This eagerly anticipated gala produced some unbelievably close finishes for our teams, captained by R Friis and H Roderick, accompanied by noisy encouragements from all.  The noise was deafening from both swimmers and parents.


As always my philosophy with galas is to get as many swimmers as possible to join our team to experience the excitement of competition in the pool and take their place alongside our experienced swimmers who compete at the top of their game.


After the individuals, St Michael’s were leading.  Many of our younger swimmers showed outstanding potential with a good understanding of the rules of competition swimming.  Even with our squad relay finishing over a length in front, both schools were fighting for points and with considerable jostling for first place throughout.


Full of apprehension, both schools awaited the final results.  With only 4 points separating teams, Hazelwood took first place with 231 points and St Michael’s second with 227 in an amazingly close finish.


Congratulations to all the following swimmers who achieved 1st places.



S Taylor

T Parkinson-Bonard

K Cameron



A Ashton

J McDonnell

A Mitchell

A Ogle

F Ashdown

S Newton



T Parkinson-Bonard

M Lewis

A Green

G Rehbein

I Sinclair



B Tovey

I Pennington Legh

V Medlen

A Green

F Ashdown

G Rehbein

R Friis


Year 6 Girls Freestyle Relay

F Ashdown

M Smith

E Collings

S Friis



A Ashton

S Taylor

I Pennington Legh

E Green

A Ogle

A Green

I Gascoyne-Day

G Rehbein

H Roderick

R Friis


I can safely say we are proud of both the standard and speed of our team who showed exceptional potential.


Many thanks must go to our helpers:  Charlie Parkinson and Anne Smith as team managers, Kendra Tovey and Miss Booth placing, Gail Leathers judging and most importantly Mrs Wade and Tracey Ashton adding up the points which turned out to be an exceedingly pressurised task.



Well done to all our swimmers.


Helen Dudman

Congratulations to Year 5 pupils V Medlen and A Ogle, who played for Sevenoaks Hockey U10 team in the Kent Cup at Folkestone this weekend.  They came third and just missed out on qualifying for the Regionals on penalties.


Well done, girls – great performance!

Coinciding with another day of student strikes to protest against the lack of action on climate change, we were thrilled to hear that Year 7 pupil, O Goodwin, has had his motion on installing electric charging points in the Sevenoaks District Council’s area recommended to the Council.

As a member of the Sevenoaks Youth Council, he attends regular Council meetings and participates in various local campaigns and events. At the most recent Council meeting he was elected as acting Chairman for the meeting and he put forward a motion urging that Sevenoaks District Council be more proactive in installing electric charging points for cars in their area. He presented his case to the Council and it was resolved that the Youth Council put forward a recommendation to Sevenoaks District Council that electric charging points be included within any new commercial or residential housing development as part of the Local Plan.

This is an issue that he really cares about and to be able to influence the drafting of the Local Plan would have positive implications for years to come so he was delighted that his motion was adopted and that the recommendation was made!

We’re thrilled too! Well done!

We had a great language day out in London on Tuesday visiting the French Institute. We travelled from Otford via train and tube and spent the morning completing a range of language-based activities relating to the film, Les malheurs de Sophie – ‘Sophie’s misfortunes’. In the morning, the children worked in small groups and practised a great deal of French (and so did the teachers who happily joined in and practised their French pronunciation!)

After the activities, we had a picnic lunch during which we sang joyeux anniversaire to Annabel and had some delicious French croissants. We then enjoyed a private viewing of the film, watching the adventures of an intrepid little French girl, Sophie, often getting up to mischief because of her tireless curiosity. This film was adapted from a XIXth century French book written by the Comtesse de Ségur and yet it feels as though it is a timeless story which our pupils could relate to. They laughed a lot when Sophie was up to no good with her cousin and friends, but they also felt quite sad for her when she was facing some tragic events in her life. There were a number of moral and social issues raised and it was satisfying that it had a happy ending.

We now look forward to seeing our pupils’ poster reviewing the movie (ideally in French!) and participating in a competition with other schools.

I would like to thank all the children for their exemplary behaviour during the day and the staff who accompanied us, helped us have fun and keep the children safe. (Mme Poracchia, Mrs Baisch, Miss Lambert, Mr Wiseman and Mr Orpin).

We look forward to our next visit to the French Institute and a new film next year.

Hélène Lacroix (French Teacher)