eNews: Friday 23rd April 2021

From the Head

Dear Parents,

It has been a delight to welcome back the pupils this week and hear their stories from the Easter break. It is wonderful to see they have returned to school feeling refreshed and ready for an action-packed Trinity Term.

We have had a fantastic week both back in the classroom and on our beautiful grounds; learning, playing and participating in games lessons in what has been some glorious weather. It was particularly lovely to see fields full of children playing together at breaktimes as we invited them to enjoy the adventure playground and pitches again. Thank you to the Estates Team for working so hard to prepare and keep these smart for us.

In this week’s newsletter there is once again much to celebrate including some excellent ABRSM music grades. Congratulations to the pupils who took part in the exams on a range of instruments last term. Additionally, we are proud to announce that Eve W in Year 8 has been awarded a place at the Junior Academy within the Royal Academy of Music. This is an outstanding achievement which is very much deserved. I hope you take the time to read the short interview between Mr Baird and Eve featured later in this newsletter.

As we move through the Trinity Term, there are many events to look forward to, and we are hopeful of opening up as much as possible to our school community as the weeks progress. This includes the Year 7 and 8 production of The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance which is taking place at the end of June. A reminder of how to buy tickets, as well as a new trailer of the production, can be found below.

Wishing you a great weekend,

Nik Pears


A message from Mr Pears:

From the Head of Pre-Prep 

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to the start of the Trinity Term. I hope you all had a good break and are looking forward to the term ahead. We are going to try and fit in as many events as we can after the 21st June in the optimistic hope that we will be able to have more parents attending a Sports Day, Concert or Prize Giving. Things may be a little different from our usual schedule, but they will be as special as we can make them.

Our activities start from Monday. If you have signed up for after school activities these will be run with a member of staff from the same year group and in one of the three classrooms of that year group. We will aim to finish the activities in good time for us to bring the children to the collection points at the top of the bridge at 3.55pm. If you have paid for activities such as tennis, ballet etc. then please check the time that these activities finish. Please be aware that the tennis coaches will dismiss your children from the tennis courts so you will need to park and collect.

As the weather improves, please send your child into school with all day sun protection cream already applied.

We have noticed that a few children are getting dry skin from the increased hand washing and gel. We do have E45 cream in all classrooms which the children will be encouraged to use. Please let us know if you do not want your child to use this.

Miss Rawlinson is delighted that our trip to Stubbers Adventure Centre has been rescheduled to enable Year 2 and 3 to stay overnight. This is now taking place on the 20th and 21st of May. We are planning to have another Zoom Q&A for parents next Tuesday 27th April at 7pm. Zoom invitations will be sent out. We would prefer to have an adult only audience for this meeting. The children have already had Stubbers explained to them and we will continue to reassure them of their exciting adventure in the weeks to come. If you are unable to make this time, please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions, Miss Rawlinson and I will be at the top of the bridge every morning.

Overheard in Pre-Prep: Whilst role playing with a tea set –

“Here’s your gin and tonic.”

Have a lovely weekend

Zerrin Leech

Staff News

Welcome to…

Helena Klein – Learning Support Assistant (Pre-Prep)

Helena is a psychology graduate with a Grad cert in Psychodynamic Practice. She is married with four children, two boys in their thirties and two teenage girls, and their family have two guinea pigs, two Bedlington Terriers and two horses. After 30 years of living in North London, Helena now really enjoys the countryside and can be found digging her allotment in her spare time. Helena is looking forward to joining the team at St Michael’s as a Learning Support Assistant and  putting her knowledge of child development into practice.


We are also pleased to announce that the following individuals will be joining the St Michael’s team in September 2021:


Stephanie Clarke- Deputy Head (Academic)

Stephanie has worked in education since 2000 in a number of schools across the UK before teaching internationally in The Netherlands and Texas, USA. She has taught from Nursery to Year 9 in various roles including: teacher, phase leader, assistant head, curriculum and data leader. She loves exploring new curricula, styles of teaching and seeing happy children learn and make progress. Her favourite subjects are maths and science, using number, logic and reasoning skills.

Stephanie is married with two children in upper primary and senior school. As a family, they have loved exploring new places particularly across America; learning about the history and culture of those places, especially the cuisine! Now, they are ready to return to their roots (Stephanie was born in Redhill and lived in Coulsdon until going to university) and start exploring the hidden gems back in the UK. She is excited to become part of the St Michael’s community, building relationships and working with the whole school on teaching and learning.


Steve Brightman- Director of Sport

Steve initially worked as a stock broker in London for over 20 years. For the past six years, he has dedicated himself to the study of sports science and physical education, with the goal of educating and enthusing young people to participate in sport and a healthy active lifestyle. He is married with two sons, one who is a PE teacher and another who is joining the police force. He is an active member of the local community and is the co-founder of the Next-Generation Football academy; he combines this with a passion for hiking and surfing, typically during his holiday time you will find him on the North Devon coast.

As a former St Michael’s parent and member of the sports department, Steve is very keen to re-acquaint himself with the school team and he is excited to inspire the children to develop their skills and passion for sports through innovative, fun and challenging lessons.


Head’s Stars

A Pink (Year 4) for the amazing birdhouse she made over the Easter holidays as part of an Eco-Challenge to make a ‘home for nature’

E Schwark (Year 6) for presenting an amazing visual representation of her research into Animal Adaptations in a very different format

O Gasson (Year 6) for his creative and scientific design in relation to plant adaptations

T Bax (Year 6) for her creative and scientific design in relation to plant adaptations AND for her excellent ideas regarding the conservation of wildlife at St Michael’s

A Ravalli (Year 6) for her amazing work in French and putting in lots of effort



ABRSM exam results

We are pleased to share the following results from the recent ABRSM exams held at school on Saturday 3rd April:


Name Instrument Grade Result
O Scott Descant Recorder 5 Merit
W Deacon Jazz Piano 4 Pass
S Ward Piano 3 Merit
A Lutzow Jazz Clarinet 3 Pass
L Lutzow Flute 3 Pass
J Pathiwill Jazz Alto Sax 3 Pass
E Schwark Alto Saxophone 2 Distinction
F Giannakis Trumpet 2 Pass
A Hughes Piano 2 Pass
S Johnson Trombone 2 Pass
M Macedo Piano 2 Pass
G Owen Jazz Flute 2 Pass
T Ward Piano 2 Pass
K Loukam Alto Saxophone 1 Distinction
E Abueita Descant Recorder 1 Merit
E Feachem Piano 1 Merit
A O’Brien Descant Recorder 1 Merit
N Staples Trumpet 1 Merit
S Wallace Trumpet 1 Pass
A O’Brien Piano Initial Merit

O Scott also passed his Grade 3 theory which was taken as an online exam.

Eve secures Junior Academy place

We were thrilled to learn that Eve in Year 8 recently secured a place at Junior Academy and we congratulate her for her this tremendous achievement. The Junior Academy offers specialist music provision and entry is highly competitive. Mr Baird recently asked Eve a few questions about her experience.

What drew you to the Royal Academy?

I have wanted to attend a music college once I finish school since I was quite young, but I wasn’t completely aware of the Junior departments until fairly recently. I was drawn to the Royal Academy because many string players I admire have attended, such as Sheku Kanneh-Mason. The Junior Royal Academy is also mentioned often as being the musical education of finalists in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, which is one of the main sources of inspiration for me as a budding violinist.

Describe the application and audition process? What are the requirements for applying?

Usually, the audition process would be through a live audition in London with a panel, in which I would have performed two pieces on the violin, a singing piece, and possibly a piano piece. I would also have done a sight reading and aural test. However, due to the pandemic, auditions were unable to be held live, so I had to audition through video. This was harder than it sounds because, although I could theoretically have recorded the pieces as many times as I wanted to until I was completely happy, it was also an emotionally and physically draining process – playing my pieces multiple times while dealing with nerves. Although the recording process was difficult, I was extremely happy with my videos, and I feel that they really showed my progress on the violin. The live audition would also have included an interview, so the Academy also asked that you record a short video talking about yourself and your musical journey. During the pandemic, I have gone through this process not once, but twice! The first time I applied, back in March 2020, I was put on a waiting list and was ultimately unsuccessful, but I now think this was a blessing in disguise, as it gave me so much motivation to work and improve so that I could get into Junior Academy on my next try, with which I was successful!

What will you be doing there and what are you most looking forward to?

At Junior Academy, which I will attend every Saturday from September, the activities vary from week to week, but are likely to include: my violin lesson (which will happen every week), either a singing or piano lesson (we are only able to choose one of my “second studies” to learn there), small chamber groups, theory of music and aural, orchestral rehearsals, choirs, masterclasses, and performances ranging from informal and internal to major concerts in venues in London. My Saturdays will be very busy, but also very exciting. I think I am most looking forward to the chamber ensembles as I love playing with others in a communicative way, but I am also very excited to further my musicianship in my individual lessons. The Junior Royal Academy will help me continue to find more opportunities to embrace my love of music and the joy I find in playing.

Shoot for the Stars!

Elodie achieves yellow belt in Taekwondo

Congratulations to Elodie B who was awarded her 8th Kup Yellow Belt after taking her grading in Taekwondo in March. Keep up the hard work, Elodie!



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.

The School Shop

Term Time Opening Hours

During term times our current opening times are:
8:00am – 9:00am: Monday, Wednesday & Friday
To keep everyone as safe as possible and to avoid long queues, we strongly encourage you to continue to use the click and collect service where possible.  Please visit our website www.sturdyclothing.co.uk/st-michaels
Customers will receive an e-mail requesting they book a collection slot via a link once their online order has been processed.  We have created a sizing guide which can be found under the uniform downloads section which we hope you find useful.
If you are a new parent with a child starting or an existing parent with lots of items to purchase, please contact us to arrange an appointment.
Should you need any further help, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at stmichaels@sturdyclothing.co.uk with any queries and we will do our best to help.
The School Shop Team

Can you support our school play?

Rehearsals are well underway for the Year 7 and 8 production of The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance and we can’t wait to show you the final product in June.

In order to make the shows happen, we’re asking our St Michael’s families whether they are part of, or know, a business that would be keen to advertise in the programme.

If this is you, please contact tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk for more information.

Adverts start from £25 for a quarter page. 300 programmes will be distributed to guests across the 3 performances.

Don’t forget, you can also book tickets for The Elephant Man here.


Senior School Information

Claremont Senior School

Join Claremont Senior School for a live Virtual Senior School Open Morning webinar on Thursday 29th April from 11:30-12:30. This webinar is designed to give parents a ‘virtual’ flavour of senior school life at Claremont, and to inspire them to find out more about the school.
For more information and to register directly please click here.

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 Trinity Term.

Latest News

We are delighted to announce that Freddie in Year 6 is one step closer to the British Kart Championships after coming 2nd place in the final of his latest race at PFI International. The weekend long event, which took place from Friday 30th April to Sunday 2nd May, saw Freddie compete in two heats and one final race.

Commenting on his win, Freddie said: “It was a really fun weekend and I enjoyed taking part in the different races. I faced challenges including a tangle with another kart in the last lap of the final, but I was pleased that I still managed to come second.”

He added: “Although we couldn’t have an awards ceremony due to Covid, I took home a trophy which is now sat on my desk with the others.”

Supporting Freddie at the event was his family who are hugely proud of his success. Freddie’s mum said: “This is an unbelievable achievement racing against children who have years more experience than Freddie. We are really proud.”

Mr Pears, Head, echoed this praise for Freddie when he said: “A huge congratulations to Freddie for doing so well in his races at the weekend. Freddie has clearly worked very hard to get where he is and we look forward to seeing him achieve many more trophies in the future.”

And with more than eight years karting experience behind him, it is no surprise that Freddie will be competing in the British Kart Championships in two weeks time.

Freddie said: “I’m feeling nervous about the Championships, but am looking forward to it at the same time. I am really aiming for the Top 10 seed.

“My dream is to become a world champion like my brother Alex.”

Congratulations to Daniel in Year 6 who won 1st place in the Bromley Junior Parkrun on Sunday 2nd May. Competing the 2km race in just 8 minutes 28 seconds, Daniel ran incredibly well and soared past 141 other runners to gain the top title.

Commenting on his win, Daniel said: “It was a great race and I was really happy to finish first. I love competing in the parkruns and have been trying hard to win the race since they restarted after lockdown. This was my 20th parkrun so it felt really good to win.”

Daniel, whose sister Mikayla also ran in the race, added: “It was a very rewarding run and a good challenge. Our parents were there to cheer us on and as we were celebrating Lithuanian Mother’s Day on Sunday, this made it even more special.”

Since winning the run, Daniel has used his experience to inspire others to give running a go. He said: “It would be great to see more people coming to the runs and trying their best. I didn’t used to be sporty, but I now really enjoy taking part in the events.”

Mr Bridges, Director of Sport, who is a very keen runner himself, praised Daniel for his success. He said: “We are very proud of Daniel’s achievement and how well he ran on Sunday. Competing against a large group of people can be daunting, but Daniel conquered this challenge. We look forward to hearing about Daniel’s future successes.”

Accordion has been added to the list of instruments pupils can learn to play at St Michael’s. The unique instrument, which will be offered as part of the school’s lessons delivered by the peripatetic music teachers, combines the use of various musical skills and has many wonderful attributes.

Commenting on the new addition to the school’s music programme, Director of Music, Mr Baird, said: “We are excited to include the accordion as part of our instrumental offer in the music department as it can offer many benefits to young musicians in developing their musicianship, aural skills, physical coordination, and understanding of harmony and tonality. We look forward to future ensembles and concerts featuring the accordion”.

Mr Guy, one of St Michael’s peripatetic teachers who will be leading the accordion lessons, also added: “The accordion is an amazing instrument now available for lessons at St Michael’s. It’s lots of fun to play and I’m really looking forward to teaching it to everyone who is interested.”

For more information about music at St Michael’s or to view performances by some of our musicians, please visit our website.

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.