eNews: Friday 22nd November 2019

From the Deputies

It does seem like we’ve nearly had four seasons in one week. As the children are preparing for Nativity plays, Christmas concerts and, for some, the less seasonal delights of senior school exams, their unflagging levels of effort and endeavour never fail to impress us. All the delights of Christmas ahead are obviously keeping them going.

We pride ourselves, not only on the personal expectations the children take responsibility for, but also their thoughtfulness towards others. Following our ‘Wear Red Instead’ school-wide charity day before Half Term, we are very pleased to let you know this raised £970.74. This is a phenomenal amount and all the children should be very proud of their efforts with this worthwhile cause.

If any of you read the recent Sevenoaks Chronicle, you might be forgiven for thinking the back three pages were a marketing ad for St Michael’s! Page 54 had Old Michaelian Michael Hennessy talking about his fourth professional boxing win of his fledgling career, swimming success with Sevenoaks Swimming Club for current pupil I Pennington Legh and ex-pupil, J Hudson who achieved Silver in 200m breaststroke. Page 55 then had the fantastic news of L Bingham who has been selected as the youngest ever for England U16 Hockey, at only 13! Carrying on the hockey theme, the back page had a large photo of the Sevenoaks U14A Boys team, with OM’s D Bassett, H Scott & G Schooley. Our congratulations go to all and the excitement for the completion of our own Astroturf to develop further hockey success remains high!

We wish you a happy and restful weekend.

Mr Wiseman and Mrs Bridges

News from Pre-Prep

• Tuesday 3rd Dec. Kindergarten Nativity Concert 11am
• Wed 4th Dec. Reception Nativity 9am
• Wed 4th Dec. Year 1 Nativity 2.30pm
• Thurs 5th Dec. Yr 2/3 Christingle Service 9am (Prep school)
• Thurs 5th Nursery Concert (Tu/Th) 11am
• Thurs 5th Year 2 Nativity 2.30pm
• Fri 6th Nursery Concert (M/W/Fr) 11am

Only two more weeks before our Nativities take place! Please take note of the times and dates above or in the calendar. There are lots of songs coming out of the hall and classrooms and drifting down the corridors every day. Children are busy telling me their lines at lunchtime. Staff are champing at the bit to get the decorations out, but we are resisting until our Christmas tree arrives!

I would like to say a big thank you to all the parent helpers that we have working at St Michael’s. It’s great that some of you can come and hear our children read. I now have more offers of help than we can actually fit in our school week, so for the time being we don’t need any more parent readers. If you wish to be involved more then I know times like Christmas and the end of the summer term are times when we value your help to sort costumes and props for productions. Please keep in touch with your form reps who will let you know where and when you can help the school.

Overheard: A long, long, time ago were you in your mummy’s tummy?

Have a lovely weekend,

Zerrin Leech

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:

  • Dogs on site
  • Mrs Grayland’s Christmas Netball Camp
  • Mr Thomas’ Christmas Hockey 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:

  • First Aid for Ethiopia
  • Mrs Grayland’s Christmas Netball Camp
  • Mr Thomas’ Christmas Hockey Camp

Pre-Prep Awards

Headteacher’s Star Award

Eva V H for a wonderful Portugal jigsaw puzzle with facts

Gold Stars

Theia H for wonderfully enthusiastic explanations and engagement in all our learning
Emily P for speedy addition and subtraction
Isla B for always having a go and being a super star
Monty A for enjoying problem solving in maths and staying focused on the task
Henry W & Walter M for listening carefully and being enthusiastic about our learning on measures
Silas C for speaking clearly and loudly when practising his lines in our production
Niamh G for really trying hard and practising her handwriting
Cleo B for improved effort with reading and learning her lines
Rayaan G for encouraging his friends and setting a good example
Chloe S for learning her lines and speaking them clearly and confidently
Lottie E for learning her lines for our production and saying them clearly and confidently
Eva F for writing an imaginative “own verse” based on The Owl and the Pussy Cat
Cole D for identifiying vertices and faces on different 3D shapes
Lev V for fantastic maths work on 3D shapes
Nia P for writing an excellent poem innovated from The Owl and the Pussy Cat

Music Award

Music Practice Cup: Raven S
Music Practice Award: Eva F
Star Violinist Cup: Elizabeth A

House Point Cup

Leeds House with a total of 135 points
Amelia collected the Cup on behalf of Leeds House

Swimming Certificates

Learn to Swim Level 1
Silas / Sylvia / Jonas / Henry M / Elizabeth W / Espen / Mia Y / Cleo B / Charlie C / Theia / Sebastian G
Learn to Swim Level 2
James L / Viggo / Ruaridh / Elodie / Tara / Max H / Chloe S
Learn to Swim Level 3
Tom K / Amelia N / Irena / Sophie F

Times Table Certificates

Silver: Elisa F / Eva V H / Kayla / Florence
Bronze: Elizabeth A

Musical Assemblies

In Assembly on Tuesday Eva F played “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” (the whole Assembly sang along) and Alexander played the “Pathétique Symphony” and “L’ll Liza Jane”. Well done to you both.

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

M Amure Headteacher’s Special Award – For the publishing of your book ‘Stories My Grandmother Told Me & More’
H Palmer For excellent perseverance in developing your reading
T Bax For representing the school at the Poetry Live! Competition
I Sharma For representing the school at the Poetry Live! Competition
L Blincoe For representing the school at the Poetry Live! Competition and winning the Year 6 group
S Ward For representing the school at the Poetry Live! Competition


House Point Awards

Name House Total House Points
E Harrison Dover 101
A Ashton Dover 113
L Andrade Leeds 105
A Sharp Rochester 100
M Elliott Rochester 111

Players of the Match, week commencing 18th November 2019

Team Name Given for: –
1st Football J Cosgrove For stoic defending and leading the back line
2nd F Smith For showing a terrific attitude and work rate
3rd O Goodwin For making great saves in goal
Colts A The whole team For making a great effort
Colts B The whole team For a good all-round team performance
Colts C K Loukham & A Green Both scored 3 goals
Colts D E Green For controlling the game well
Colts E A MacRae For making a great effort on the pitch
Colts F J Hull For making a great effort on the pitch
U9 A M Little For superb energy on the pitch
U9 B G Dulski, J McDonnell & H Brown For showing great energy on the pitch
U8 A W Pennington Legh For tireless running and excellent attacking play
U8 B G MacIntosh

W Noble

For good defending

For good goal-keeping

U8 C J Gagg & O Epps For making a great effort
U13 A Hockey E Ward

A Mourgue D’Algue

For tackling back really well

For displaying great energy on the pitch

U13 B S Melamed

L Summers

Voted for by the opposition

For being involved all the time in the match and for good defending

U11 A A Ogle

C Prongué

Voted for by the opposition

For tenacious defending

U11 B G Schneider-Price For good defending
U11 C B Walker

J Bashford

Voted for by the opposition

For great work in mid-field

U10 A G Owen Voted for by the opposition
U10 B D Singh

M Amure

For good spacing and hitting the ball well

For making good clearances of the goal

U10 C T Bax Voted for by the opposition
U9 A Netball No Match
U9 B No Match
U9 C No Match
U8 Green Netball S Johnson For great attacking play
U8 Black P Mahil For superb marking and defending
U8 Blue A Rehbein For good intercepting

Senior School Open Days

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include King’s Rochester, Oakwood Park Grammar School, Sevenoaks School, Skinners’ School and Whitgift School.

Latest News



On Wednesday, November 27 Year 5 and 6 pupils took part in a Spelling Bee hosted by Mrs Andrade and Mrs Baisch.

Challenged with spellings such as synonymous, counterfeit, and accommodation, it was an extremely close competition with many tense rounds.

Winner of the Spelling Bee, Moyo in Year 6, triumphed with her correct spelling of the word ‘conscience’.

Commenting on her success, Moyo said: “I really enjoyed taking part in the Spelling Bee and was really surprised to win.

“It was challenging as there were some words I’d never heard of, but it was fun to guess the spellings of these words and apply what I knew about other spellings to my answers.”

“It was great to take part in the competition with my friends.”

Two former St Michael’s pupils have been selected for the final phase of the England Under 16 Hockey Assessments.

Lottie Bingham and Anna Faulstich, who attended St Michael’s until July 2017, have remained great friends and play hockey together at HC Knole Park.

Lottie said “ I loved playing hockey at St Michael’s and I am delighted that Anna, my best friend , has joined me in the England training programme that I was also selected for last year. We are both very jealous that St Michael’s now have a wonderful, new astro pitch at school!“

Both girls were also members of the successful Year 6 St Michael’s who won the regional IAPS and came 5th in the National Finals .

Congratulating the girls on their achievement, Mr Thomas, who taught them 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 how they get at the trials and someday welcoming them back to play on our new pitch.”

Many congratulations to Lottie and Anna, St Michael’s wishes them the best of luck in the next phase of assessments.

A former St Michael’s student has been awarded an Honorary Sports Scholarship to support her excellence in athletics.

Harriet Medlen, who attended the school between 2011 and 2018, has received the scholarship from Sevenoaks School.

Harriet, who is in Year 9 at Sevenoaks School, said: “My time at St Michael’s helped me to develop my love of sport especially athletics and hockey. I have very happy memories of sports days and Mrs Wade taking me to IAPs athletics competitions. I am very grateful to all the teachers at St Michael’s for their encouragement during my time there. I am proud to have achieved a sports scholarship at Sevenoaks School and I am looking forward to making the most of this opportunity.”

And commenting on Harriet’s success, St Michael’s teacher Mrs Wade said: “It is great to hear that Harriet has been awarded an Honorary Sports Scholarship from Sevenoaks School. We are extremely proud of what she has achieved since leaving St Michael’s. Harriet is an excellent games player and an outstanding athlete. She was very hardworking in her sports at St Michael’s and it is great to hear that she continues to achieve highly. Well done, Harriet!”

Don’t judge a book by its cover, it’s the first chapter that holds all the secrets!

                                                       Year 6 and Mrs Yarrow pose with some of the First Chapter Friday books.


“Good readers, make excellent writers.” says St Michael’s Library Assistant, Helen Yarrow, who has launched an exciting reading initiative in the Prep school this term. 


Mrs Yarrow, who joined the St Michael’s team in September 2020, is passionate about books and believes children should read a variety of genres and authors before they choose what’s best for them.


Keen to implement this strategy at St Michael’s, Mrs Yarrow has introduced First Chapter Friday, a project designed to get pupils reading a range of books, rather than the same authors, characters and storylines over again. 


First Chapter Friday sees pupils receive a list of 10 books, suited to the reading proficiency of their year group, each term. Every Friday, pupils read the first chapter of a new book with their form groups before deciding whether to continue reading it in their own time.


Mrs Yarrow said: “The aim of First Chapter Friday is to help the children find a book they really want to read. 


“By exposing the children to books that they wouldn’t normally pick off the bookshelf, it introduces them to a range of subjects, and inevitably fosters their love of reading.”


Helen added: “Some form groups choose to read the chapter independently during the sessions, some listen to their form teachers reading the chapter, and some take turns to read different paragraphs.”


“By inviting pupils to read sections of the chapter out loud, the form tutors are also helping to develop the pupils’ language acquisition and public speaking skills. The challenge has many benefits to it.”



Titles on this term’s First Chapter Friday lists include both fiction and non-fiction books spanning a variety of themes and genres. 


One popular title is  Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill, which Sean C from Year 6 describes as “extremely interesting”. He added: “I really enjoy Shackleton’s Journey because it takes you on an adventure, showing you how Shackleton’s crew survived and what they encountered along the way.


“My favourite part of the book is where it describes how they escaped their sinking ship.


“Since reading it with my form during First Chapter Friday, I’ve enjoyed coming to the library to read more of it at break and lunch times.”



And explaining the planning process behind First Chapter Friday, Mrs Yarrow said: “I create the reading lists using recommendations from websites such as Love Reading for Kids as well as my own research.


“I try to ensure the First Chapter Friday books are 2020 titles to keep them in tune with modern authors and contemporary ideas.”


“This term I’ve included a range of titles focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement and Black History, as well as those written by black authors. Such books include The Faraway Truth by Janae Marks, Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly, and The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley.”


She added: “First Chapter Friday encourages form groups to discuss the different topics linked to each book. It is designed to make the sessions an interactive experience which is both fun and educational for the children.” 



Other favourites from Mrs Yarrow’s reading lists include The Battle of Bubble and Squeak by Philippa Pearce, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson. 


Mrs Yarrow said: “Different pupils gravitate towards different books, but there have been some very clear favourites.”


She continued: “I get the children to read the first chapter of the book as it’s in these pages that the author establishes the hook of their novel. 


“Friday Chapter Friday helps pupils recognise the importance of a first chapter and shows them various ways they can make their writing engaging.


“One of the main aims of the initiative is to inspire the children to write their own stories.”