eNews: Friday 26th March 2021

From the Head

Dear Parents,

It’s been another superb, fun-filled week at St Michael’s featuring some brilliant lessons, events and opportunities for exploring our beautiful grounds. Once again, it’s been fantastic to see the children working hard and embracing fun activities such as searching for minibeasts in our woodlands, choreographing dances, and creating Zulu shields. It was also a delight to welcome Year 2 to the Prep school this week to explore the Year 3 classrooms in preparation for their move to the Prep building in September. Some of the comments overheard from the Year 2 children included “It’s amazing!”, “They have their own stationery trays!” and “Look at that view!”.

We finished the week on a high with Year 2 benchball tournament where I witnessed some great teamwork and sportsmanship. It was a real joy to see the pupils playing together again and their teachers cheering them on.

Next week, we look forward to some great end of term events including a visit from the Easter Bunny in Pre-Prep, and lots of fun activities in Prep.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Nik Pears 

 

A message from Mr Pears:

 

 

From the Head of Pre-Prep 

Dear Parents,

Another exciting week at the chalkface. I went to Forest school on Wednesday and chose the right day as the children were making nests for Easter chicks and then enjoyed eating fluffy pancakes cooked on the open fire. Delicious! Backstroke is being developed in Year 2 swimming lessons, with very impressive arm strokes. In the Hive, fairy gardens are developing in beautifully painted sweet tubs.

I am sorry that we could not invite you, Year 2 parents, to watch your children playing benchball this afternoon but the children had an energetic tournament showing off their throwing, catching passing and footwork skills. There was great teamwork and a “match tea” afterwards. A huge thank you to Miss Rawlinson for organising this and making it as much fun as usual even without parents!

Next week is an exciting one. We have several children playing the piano in our Year 1 and Year 2 assemblies and I hear from the Easter bunny that he may pay us a visit if we all remain good!

Please remember that we break up for Easter on Thursday 1st April at 12.00 for the shortest Easter holiday I can remember in 13 years.

Overheard in Pre-Prep:

“When you leave St Michael’s you go to secondary school. Then you go on a bus and before you go you have that special talk.”

Have a good weekend,

Zerrin Leech

Pre-Prep Gold Star Winners

Iris L for amazing drawings mapping out events from Amelia Earhart’s life

Ariana S for independently forming and writing excellent sentences

Louis N for having a wonderfully positive attitude to learning

Evelyn T for brilliant independent maths work

Teddy T for working so hard on his letter formation

William T for fantastic listening and understanding in our halving activity

Amy H for excellent thinking and working during our halving activity

Jonas S for his clear and confident reading

Peter S for always being polite and helpful

Olivia S for excellent work in fractions; finding halves and quarters

Sophia E for impressive work in mathematics doubling large numbers by partitioning

Bonham B & Zach R.B. for super effort since returning to school

Ava M for fantastic effort in her work this week and wanting to challenge herself

Benji S for brilliant persuasive writing about Amelia Earhart

Lawson B for trying his very best in everything he does

Isabelle D for writing an incredible job description for a navigator position

Zi Chen G for excellent use of adjectives when describing the house lifting off in Up

Cleo B for showing a true enjoyment in reading and discussing with enthusiasm what she had read

 

100 House Point Certificates

Awarded to:

Dover – Elodie B/ Oliver A/Edward Z/Nina T/Cian C-O

Leeds – Jonas S/Arya G

Rochester – Ellie S/ Isaac O/Peter S

Windsor – Rui T/Grace L/Krisha P

Head’s Stars

S Teeuwen (Year 3) for her amazing illustrations to accompany work on ‘Moon Man’

E Nash (Year 4)  for completing his times tables card and knowing all the tables up to 12

M Skoko (Year 5) for her brilliant support in processing donated books from parents and general filing in the Library

L Bakharevski (Year 5) for her brilliant support in processing donated books from parents and general filing in the Library

E Schwark (Year 6) for producing an amazing visitor leaflet for The Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace

T Bax (Year 6) for producing an amazing visitor leaflet for The Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace

G Owen (Year 6)  for producing an amazing visitor leaflet for The Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace

A Ravalli (Year 6) for producing an amazing visitor leaflet for The Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace

D Singh (Year 6) for helping with stamping, labelling and processing donated books in the Library

C Bower (Year 7) for working incredibly hard to complete his entire maths homework book over the Christmas holiday. His effort was far beyond expectations.

 

From the Deputy Head

Adhering to the guidance in lockdown

Although the weather is brightening and the news is suggesting that there is light at the end of the tunnel, the dates given by the government for the Roadmap Out of Lockdown are dependant on cases not rising and the spread of infection coming under control and steadily falling. In order for us all to continue to play our part in this, I would like to remind parents that the organisation of playdates and visits between houses by school friends is not currently permitted. We know that children are more likely to carry the virus, but display none of the symptoms we are all looking out for. In this (hopefully) final push, can we all pull together to help minimise the spread of the disease.

I am sure you will join with me in looking forward to a greater degree of mixing being allowed in the coming months.

Thank you.

Fraser Wiseman

School Shop Opening Hours

The uniform shop will  be open on Monday 19th April between 2pm and 4pm for click and collect only.
Please can you order any items required online at sturdyclothing.co.uk/st-michaels.  When your order is received you will be sent a link to book a collection slot from the shop.
If you need any help with your order please email stmichaels@sturdyclothing.co.uk or call Lou on 07713 632284

Déjà Vu Reopening

Déjà Vu will be reopening at the start of the Trinity Term!

For the first week of term (20th – 23rd April) we will be open every morning from 8.15-9.15.  After that, we will be open at our normal times of 8.15-9.15 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
We will only be able to have one customer in the shop at a time, so please queue outside until there is space, and please wear a mask in the shop.

From the P & F

An Eggcellent Easter Competition!

It’s going to be egg-xtraordinary, it’s going to be egg-cellent, it’s going to be sooooooo egg-citing! Sorry, perhaps cabin fever has set in here and we’re getting just a bit excited about the arrival of Spring and Easter weekend!!

With Easter just around the corner, we’re delighted to announce that next week children in Prep and Pre-Prep will have the chance to ‘Guess the number of eggs in the jar’. You might have noticed a theme in our recent competitions for the children, we promise to come up with some new ideas soon…..

Separate competitions will be running in Pre Prep and Prep from Monday morning to Wednesday lunchtime next week. We are requesting a donation of £1 for each guess with the winner of each competition taking home the jar full of Easter goodies.

Proceeds will go towards the Year 7 & 8 ‘Film Day’ which is being run by Mrs Shield for the two year groups. The ‘Film Day’ is going to be a very special occasion with the children being given the chance to make their own films, ending with an Oscars-style awards ceremony!

We hope you can support this event. Happy guessing!

Kerri & Kelly, Co-Chairs P&F

 

 

Trinity guitar exam results

 

We are delighted to announce that some more children have passed their Trinity initial grade guitar exam which was examined by submission of a continuous non-edited recording of technical exercises, scales and arpeggios and three pieces:

H Forrest  Distinction
F Samworth     Merit

Shoot for the Stars!

Oliver and Sophie Clean Up Sevenoaks!

Congratulations to Oliver and Sophie who took part in the Clean Up Sevenoaks initiative last weekend. Between them they collected three full bags of rubbish; amazing work both of you!

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.

In the Community

Easter Holiday What’s On Guide

We are delighted to give you exclusive early access to Muddy Stiletto’s curated Easter Holiday What’s On Guide. They have worked hard at picking out the best of what’s on offer across Kent.

Mrs Grayland’s Easter Netball Camp

Mrs Grayland will be running another one of her fun netball camps this Easter.  Please see the below flyers for more information and sign up via this booking form. The Year 5 to Year 8 camp is already fully booked, but don’t worry- she has added an extra day for those year groups!  Please see the below flyer for more information and sign up for the extra Year 5 to 8 session on Friday 16th April 10.30am-3pm via this booking form.  Please book early to avoid disappointment.

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