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

A Sevenoaks food bank is 318 kilos heavier following a donation from St Michael’s.

 

The school surprised charity The Community Cupboard with the generous donation on Monday, February 1 following a Christmas collection for the cause.

 

In total, £965 was raised from parent and staff donations throughout December, which St Michael’s Parents and Friends Association (P & F) used to organise a Sainsbury’s shop of food and toiletries for the charity.

 

Commenting on the school’s motivation to help the food bank, Co-Chair of St Michael’s P & F, Kelly Downey, said: “Delivering our donation to The Community Cupboard was an amazing and uplifting moment. Being able to bring the school together to contribute to a cause which plays such an important role in our community during this time was very rewarding.”

 

Greeted with three car loads of canned foods, long-life products and toiletries, Kelly also describes how delighted the charity were with the school’s generosity. She added: “The team were really blown away by our donation and thankful for the time we’d taken to raise the money and organise a delivery.

 

“It was a great feeling to be able to put an initial idea from a St Michael’s parent into action, and to see the impact we would be having on the local community.”

 

Kelly added: “We recognise that this is a very difficult time for everyone, especially those who can’t afford to put food on the table for their families. We hope that our donation can be a small step in making a difference for those people.”

 

Since the start of January alone, an additional 22 local families have registered for The Community Cupboard’s support, reflecting the increased pressures caused by the ongoing pandemic across the country. And it is only thanks to generous donations that the charity can continue to provide help to those who need it most.

 

Trustee at The Community Cupboard, David Carter said: “We would like to express our extreme gratitude to St Michael’s for their wonderful donation. We are very lucky to receive regular donations from local groups, but they are rarely to this scale.

 

“The food and toiletries kindly given to us by St Michael’s have allowed us to fully restock our shelves as well as putting plenty of stock on standby for new referrals. The size of this donation will allow us to give substantial food packages to the 22 new families who were referred to us in January. St Michael’s help is invaluable to us and will make a huge difference.”

 

Since its launch in January 2020, The Community Cupboard has continued to help families in Sevenoaks, and has extended its help to cover a 20 mile radius including Edenbridge, Westerham, Surrey, Sidcup, Rochester and Ashford, due to the pandemic.

 

The Trustee added: “We began as a small group of people determined to make a difference locally in an area where food banks were lacking. Little did we know, a global pandemic was on its way and our efforts would be needed tenfold. To say we hit the ground running would be an understatement.”

 

Run by four members and six volunteers, The Community Cupboard works tirelessly to deliver parcels to families, and in January alone distributed 3.1 tonnes of food, toiletries and essential items.

 

David said: “We began the charity on the foundation that ‘if we can help, we will’, and with the community’s help, I’m proud to say we are doing just that. We see a lot of hardship and sadness in doing what we do, but it really opens our eyes to the incredible hard work various organisations and charities do in our community. Thanks to generous groups like St Michael’s, we can confidently say ‘yes, we can help you’.”

 

The Community Cupboard are currently taking donations of tinned and long-life food products, as well as toiletries and essential items. Monetary donations are also welcome and will be put towards bulk orders for the charity.

 

The charity is based at The Garage, Gamcock meadow, West Kingdown where a covid secure donation drop off process has been put in place.

 

For more information about The Community Cupboard, or to donate to the charity visit www.thecommunitycupboard.co.uk.

Mr Bridges is on a mission to keep St Michael’s motivated with his latest exercise plan designed to make exercise fun.

The Director of Sport at St Michael’s, who is a very keen runner himself, has created a beginner to 5k plan for anyone wanting to keep fit this lockdown.

The six-week plan, featuring workouts, running challenges and rest days, covers a range of exercises aimed at strengthening all parts of the body.

Mr Bridges said: “I have created this training programme for the St Michael’s community to help anyone who wants to have a go at running during lockdown and safely get to 5k by the time we return to school. The plan is suitable for Prep-aged pupils, parents and staff, including absolute beginners.”

The teacher, who has 15 years’ training as a running and triathlon coach, added: “The programme is designed to build a body capable of running 5k at the end of the six weeks, and what better time to have a go than during lockdown.”

The detailed plan, organised into weeks and week days, follows a key where the letters W (walk) and R (run) appear alongside the number of minutes the activity should take place for. For example, 6 x 1:30w/2:30r represents a 1 minute 30 seconds of walking followed by 2 minutes 30 seconds of running, repeated six times.

Mr Bridges said: “The programme includes progressive long runs from week 3 onwards, the only day where the running is based on distance rather than time.

“On Mondays I will also be sharing a different workout on the St Michael’s PE YouTube channel which pupils can take part in.”

To share your experience of the programme, including photos please email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk. By sharing this information you give consent to it being shared on St Michael’s social media channels and publications.

 

 

Warm, welcoming and impressive. That’s how St Michael’s new Head describes the school.

“I’ve always liked St Michael’s and have been visiting it for several years as part of sports fixtures with my previous schools”, Nik Pears said.

“Something that has always impressed me about St Michael’s is the atmosphere and people that belong to it.

“The sense of community you feel when walking through the doors of the school is extraordinary”, he added.

An avid sportsman, experienced leader, and family man, Mr Pears brings with him a wealth of ideas for St Michael’s, including his core value of equipping pupils for life.

Nik , who joined St Michael’s in January 2021, explained: “I am very keen on developing a growth mindset in my pupils. In this ever-changing world, our children need to be prepared for life outside of the classroom.

“Pupils need to be adaptable, resilient and perseverant, and learn to accept their failure and mistakes as important parts of their personal development.

“By equipping children with the right interpersonal skills during their school years, we can set them up for a future in which they may have to fight for their place in the world.”

Nik’s concept of growth mindset can also be applied to his broader vision for the school.

Coming to St Michael’s from his headship at Kent College, Pembury, Nik believes the challenges posed by Covid-19 can teach schools a lot about the importance of flexibility and community.

Mr Pears said: “These unprecedented times have been a huge learning curve for schools.

“Navigating a school through a global crisis was never going to be easy, but it has shown just how necessary it is to put pupils at the heart of every decision.

“As someone who has experienced the period as both a teacher and parent, it is very clear that we are all battling the same storm in different boats.

“It is incredible how people have found new and creative ways to deal with the circumstances. From Zoom concerts, to helping food banks, to keeping each other’s spirits high with funny videos, this period has shown us a lot about community which we will learn from and remember.”

Having belonged to multiple Prep schools himself throughout his education and as a teacher, Nik is excited to be entering this new stage in his career at St Michael’s.

Reflecting on his own school years which saw him attend schools in London, Devon and Dublin, he said: “I always enjoyed school as a child and made the most of every opportunity I was given.

“I particularly enjoyed subjects like music, drama and history and was fascinated by the things that we learnt.

“I was also heavily involved in sports and belonged to the Kent U18 rugby group. Even now you’ll find me in a pair of wellies at the side of the pitch cheering on my pupils and own children.”

Nik added: “I was one of those children who wanted to get stuck into everything, even the things that I found difficult.

“As well as my sports clubs, I belonged to multiple choirs, as well as orchestras where I played the drums, trumpet, piano and guitar.”

Mr Pears also spoke about the impact his own teachers had on his time at school and the person that he is today.

He said: “I had some amazing teachers which taught me a lot of things about life and leadership.

“Sir Anthony Seldon, one of my history teachers, was particularly inspiring and sparked my passion for the subject.

“The Head of my Prep school in Dublin also gave her pupils a lot of time. She was a hero.”

And Nik’s teachers aren’t his only role models in life.

He said: “A man called Phil Wall is also a huge inspiration of mine. Phil is the founder of the charity We See Hope which works with orphans and vulnerable young people in sub Saharan Africa.

“Phil’s selflessness and passion for the cause inspired me to become an ambassador for the charity.

“His exceptional leadership, authenticity and integrity is just inspiring.”

Mr Pears also explained how his love of people has guided him to the many leadership roles he has held.

Nik said: “I very much enjoy being with people and having a good laugh. I’m very lucky to have such an amazing family including my wife, Emma and our two children, Jessica and Josiah. Our pet hamster Charlie is also a valued member of the family who kept us well entertained during the first lockdown.”

He added: “Being a leader brings so many opportunities to show warmth, empathy and understanding to others, and I can’t wait to become a member of the St Michael’s community.

“When pupils leave St Michael’s to pursue their senior education, I hope they remember me as someone who was kind, knew them well and valued their opinion.”

 

On Tuesday 15th December, St Michael’s hosted a fun-filled charity day for Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA).

Organised by Year 7 pupil Lucy, whose life who saved by the emergency team last Christmas, the school partook in a range of fundraising activities including a fun run, Christmas jumper day, and brain-teaser quizzes.

Lucy said: “With Mr Wiseman’s help, I planned activities to raise some much-needed money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and increase awareness of their work.

“A lot of people don’t realise what a great charity they are, and I hope our fundraising day has changed that.

“Not only do they save people’s lives in moments of crisis, but they provide long-term support to families who undergo medical emergencies.”

Amanda McLean, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, said: “A big thank you to the staff and pupils of St Michael’s for coming up with creative ways to involve everyone in fundraising. In sharing her story, Lucy has helped us spread awareness of what Thames Valley Air Ambulance does. We can only do what we do because of the imagination and generosity of our wonderful fundraisers. We hope you had a lot of fun on your fundraising day!”

Lucy, whose story recently featured in the TVAA’s Christmas appeal, said: “Thames Valley Air Ambulance helped me at a time when my parents couldn’t. When I was seriously injured, the team stepped in and became my heroes.”

“It means so much to me that St Michael’s have come together to support this cause.”

The highly successful events saw pupils spread festive joy while raising an impressive £2556.60 for the charity which relies wholly of public donations.

Mrs Bridges, St Michael’s Acting Head, added: “Yesterday was amazing! The whole school had such a great time, and pupils were very excited to take part in a different fundraiser which meant they could enjoy the outdoors, whilst raising money for such an important charity. Everyone gave their all in the sponsored run and it was a brilliant event to watch.”

 

Mrs Wade, Head of Girls’ Games also said: “The children did remarkably well considering the conditions, and ran superbly for Lucy’s cause.”

 

 

And Lucy’s family echoed this gratitude for St Michael’s support. They said: “We wanted to say a huge thank to the St Michael’s community for supporting Lucy’s appeal for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance this Christmas. We’re so grateful to you for getting behind this amazing charity to whom we owe so much. We know from experience that your donations really do save lives. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021!”

For more information about the Thames Valley Air Ambulance or to donate visit: www.tvairambulance.org.uk/support-us/donate