Having prepared for a Compliance Inspection last week, you are no doubt aware that we had a call from ISI, on Monday, to inform us that the school was to undergo the inspection on Wednesday and Thursday this week. For the staff who have been working towards this for months, there was a mixture of relief that we could show how good we are and anxiety that everything would be okay.
Often, there is a mis-understanding about a Compliance Inspection, as it can be confused with an Educational Quality Inspection. Independent schools are inspected every three years, with Compliance and Educational Quality inspections alternating.
The focussed Compliance Inspection looks at the requirements of the statutory framework for education, as published by the Department for Education, and decides if the school is meeting expectations.
Inspectors review in detail paperwork, logs, registers, communications, complaints and other records. They also privately interview staff, parents, Governors and pupils, as well as reviewing the parent, pupil and staff questionnaires.
Areas inspected include:
• Quality of education provided
• Welfare, health & safety of pupils
• Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils
• Premises and accommodation
• Suitability of staff & governors
• Provision of information
• Manner in which complaints are handled
• Quality of leadership & management
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff and Governors for their contribution to the inspection, particularly the Senior Leadership Team of the school and those staff directly involved in meeting inspectors. I would also like to thank the huge number of parents who replied to the questionnaire.
A focussed Compliance Inspection is a pass or fail judgement by inspectors and there are no grades. A full report will be sent to the school in 5-6 weeks, when we will hear if we have passed and remain compliant. All parents will receive a copy of the report and it will be posted on our website. In the meantime, we are very hopeful of a good result!
I wish you all an enjoyable and relaxing weekend, particularly the staff!
BEd, MA (IAPS)
From the Acting Co-Heads
Team work makes the dream work! We would like to extend a huge thank you to the entire St Michael’s community who have all worked incredibly hard this week during our inspection. There have been many long hours worked, double and triple checks made, questions asked, discussions held and paperwork readied. The feeling across the school has been of commitment, because we are all so proud of St Michael’s and want to make sure that can be recognised through the formal process of inspection. We look forward to the report but it was excellent to hear that the inspectors could see and feel the strong sense of belief that the staff and the pupils have in St Michael’s.
We are currently in the process of seeing our Year 6 scholarship applicants giving their all to the practical and academic assessments. We are very proud of the children for putting themselves forward and entering into a challenging and rigorous process. Feeling the balance of anticipation, nerves and determination to succeed is an excellent experience and, regardless of the result, will help their preparation for future events. In our introductory session this morning we talked about the qualities of resilience, respect, leadership, co-operation, openness to learning and positivity. I was impressed with the engagement of every child and would like to congratulate them for taking on this challenge.
The theme of challenge was also reinforced in an inspiring assembly this morning led with an infectious energy by the writer, film-maker and adventurer Matt Dickinson. Matt asked us all to raise our hands if we have a crazy goal in life and it was exciting to see a huge amount of hands shoot up in the audience. His advice to the children and staff was to hold onto that goal, make a plan and stick with it! I hope this sparks some brilliant conversations at home this weekend about goals in life and aiming big. As Mr Bridges would say, if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough!
Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman
News from Pre-Prep
• Fri 31st Jan Year 2 parents – Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am • Fri 7th Jan Year 1 parents Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am • Fri 28th Feb Reception parents Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am
Another busy week at St Michael’s, the highlight being our Compliance inspection. My thanks go to all the staff who have gone the extra mile in the last few weeks to ensure everything at school was top notch.
I know some parents may have thought they had missed a concert for Chinese New Year but this is a celebration we do in school with the children only, so you haven’t missed out! Thank you to Mrs Ravayeh for a Chinese musical story with Year 1. Kindergarten were also lucky to have two Chinese parents in who explained to the children all about the Year of the Rat. They bought in dumplings and seaweed for the children to try.
It has been good to hear questions from your class reps in the last couple of weeks. I know they have been getting back to you all. I am concerned to hear that some parents think playtime is a problem. Please let me reassure you that children are having happy playtimes in the garden and if any of you would like to come and watch for a while please get in touch.
Please see the dates above or our calendar for the Maths workshops for parents of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. These will be held on Friday mornings after drop-off. If you would like to know a little more about how we are teaching your children, please pop in to the dining room on the relevant date.
As a reminder, please ensure children’s long hair is tied back during the school day. This is for safety reasons as well as reducing the likelihood of spreading head lice.
Overheard: Are these the chat up lines of the next generation?
Child A: Soooo, what do you do at the weekend?
Child B: Stuff
Child A: Soooo, what do you do in your spare time?
Child B: More stuff
Have a lovely weekend,
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:
Choir rehearsal tracks
New 1:1 slots for Speech and Drama available with Mrs Woods
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.
Our news stories can be found by clicking “News” and “Latest News” on our website. To see our latest articles please click here
Aadhya S for beautiful writing and a fantastic effort with her phonics
Theia H for wonderful phonics and writing
Sophia E for excellent addition with a hundred square
Jonas S for beautiful sentence writing
Siena L for brilliant listening during music
Theo B for being a ray of sunshine in the class
Louisa S for working hard at being a kind friend
Adam O for working hard to improve his cursive handwriting
Iris L for working hard when adding two numbers together by counting on from the largest number
Charlie C for a beautiful fantasy home picture done with pastels
Hans Emil P for super number bond work
Abigail S for reading with lovely expression
Charlie M for working hard on his handwriting
Cole D for always having a smile on his face even when things get tricky
Elizabeth A for being a great friend, always extremely helpful and polite
Eliza M for listening carefully and working hard on writing a historic Polar Explorer Survival Kit
Amelia N for mastering the art of pointillism in her artwork
100 House Points
House Points Cup
Dover House with a total of 116 points
Jake collected the Cup on behalf of Dover House
Times Tables Certificates
Gold: Jake L
17th January – Music Practice Cup was awarded to: Jake L Music Practice Cup: Ruaridh O Music Practice Award: Adam J Star Violinist Cup: Kayla K
Music and Celebration Assemblies
We heard some beautiful performances in our music and celebration assemblies. Well done, everyone!
News from Prep
For learning all times tables and division facts
For completing your entire maths home learning booklet accurately, in addition to normal homework
Upcoming events include Oakwood Park Grammar School, St Olave’s Grammar School and Skinners’ School.
Rose Hill School Future Schools’ Evening
Rose Hill School (Coniston Avenue, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9SY; Telephone: 01892-525591) are holding a Future Schools’ Evening on Tuesday 28th January from 7pm. They would be delighted to welcome any St Michael’s parents, who would like to join them.
Over twenty independent secondary schools will be in attendance, including Tonbridge School, Sevenoaks School, Bede’s, Bethany School and Hurstpierpoint College.
As Y5 pupil, C Hunter, explained during Monday’s assembly, Sevenoaks School has organised weekly food/supply collections for those in need during these very uncertain times. The collections have benefited local organisations such as One Big Family: Helping the Homeless, Friends for Families, The Hygiene Bank, Sevenoaks Food Bank: Loaves & Fishes, Community Cupboard, area primary schools and others. Miss Cat Davison, the School’s Director of Service and Social Impact, updates its online social media feeds (@sevenoaksimpact on Twitter and Instagram) with the items needed each week. We hope that you will consider helping with this effort. Together we can make a huge difference for those living right here in our community!
The details of the collections are provided below. If you do wish to participate, please ensure that items are unopened and handled with washed or sanitised hands, and that social distancing is strictly adhered to on delivery.
What: Food, Supplies (check social media links for current needs)
When: Every Tuesday, 9am – 12pm
Where: Outside Claridge House, Sevenoaks School,TN13 1HU
(Claridge House is just to the right of the main entrance of Knole Park on High Street)
On Monday our community-minded pupil also discussed a book collection which took place earlier this year for children in Ghana. Below are photos of EduSpots centres where the books are available for local communities throughout Ghana.
We’ve been amazed by the phenomenal success of the Art Department’s recent challenge “Painting without Paint”. Set as part of our remote learning programme, children were asked to select a work of art of their choice and to recreate it at home – but without using paint!
The Art Department has been overwhelmed by submissions, which Miss Rodwell, described as “creative, humorous and inventive”. She added “Staff have been impressed by submissions that showed how carefully the children have looked at their chosen artworks in order to create such brilliant responses.”
Posts on our Twitter account have received positive responses from prestigious art galleries, such as the Tate and the National Gallery, with The Lowry in Manchester commenting “Wow, we love this!!” on T Neville’s version of L S Lowry’s “Man Lying on a Wall”. But it’s not just art galleries in the UK, who have responded to the children’s art; their work has been liked by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden and the Mauritshuis in Den Haag. One Year 3 pupil, who was inspired by artist Aja Trier, even reached New York, as permission was sought to post an image of one of her paintings. She was delighted to allow us to feature her work and on seeing J Gagg’s interpretation commented “Oh my gosh that is precious! Please tell the artist I love it! I will post on my Instagram and Facebook. Thank you!” She went on to tell us “I am always so humbled when kids are inspired by my work, but this is next level!”
In order to show you all the wonderful work our pupils have done, we’ve put together an online gallery of the work. Talking about the project and the reaction, Mrs Barratt declared “This is wonderful!” and reactions from other schools included the comment “Excellent work St Michael’s Art Department this is a really fun activity”.
Mrs Bridges told us “I am absolutely delighted, and inspired, by the way that the children have responded to these challenges. Creativity is keeping us connected, not only within our own community but across the world too!”
We can’t wait to see what the department comes up with next. Miss Rodwell is keeping us in suspense “I’ve been working on a new one today …”. We’re sure that our pupils will have even more opportunity to excel!
Click here to view our online gallery of more ingenious images.
Some of our super St Michael’s Swimmers have won an array of silverware at recent events.
At the Sevenoaks Swimming Club presentation evening, I Pennington Legh was presented with the Kingsbury Cup for U10 girls; A Green was awarded the Kingsbury Cup for U10 boys; E Green received runner up plate for the best U9 boy; S. Taylor was awarded the Mike Radford Trophy for most improved U9 boy; A Ashton was presented with the U9 Individual Medley Cup and U9 trophy for most improved swimmer; B Tovey and J Taylor were both awarded plaques with their positions from the recent Sevenoaks Club Championships.
At the Black Lion Gala, Gillingham, at the start of March our swimmers again came away with medals. A Ashton won three gold, one bronze, one fourth and one sixth medal; A Green three gold and two silver medals; E Green four silver and one bronze medal; S Taylor one silver and one fourth medal and J Taylor a fourth position medal. V Medlen also came away with a medal from the gala.
Well done to all those swimmers; your hard work and dedication is certainly paying off!
Well done to our doubles girls, E Julio and S Savidge, who also played in last weekend’s Junior Orange Ball Tournament in Sevenoaks. They played four matches, won two, beating Sevenoaks Prep and Lady Boswell’s and lost two to the eventual finalists Amherst and Granville.
This was a great performance by the girls, particularly in the light of little experience of Orange Ball competition.
My son began his journey at St Michael's last Friday in the Nursery class and, one week on, I have to write to say how impressed I am and how thrilled we are with our decision to send him to such an amazing school.
The approach to settling them in has been perfect!
St Michael’s is a wonderful school. Fantastic teachers, a nurturing environment. It has suited our three children who are all very different in their academic and pastoral needs. Thank you.
Year 6 Parent
St Michael's is a place where I can let my imagination run wild.
Year 6 pupil
We were struck by the warmth and kindness of everyone we met; pupils as well as staff. We believe in giving our son the right start and instilling in him the joy of learning and satisfaction from achievement. We can see this happening at St Michael’s
My daughter has had such a wonderful school life at St.Michael’s. We really couldn’t have asked for a better school for her in terms of academic life, extra-curricular activities and friendship groups. We still can’t believe how quickly the time has flown by and that she will soon be leaving!