eNews: Friday 28th February 2020

From the Acting Co-Heads

The start of a new half term is always a chance to re-set. After a little break and the opportunity for rest and reflection we are ready to go again. In Monday morning’s assembly we talked about aims for the new half term and some pupils shared what they hoped to accomplish. It was lovely to hear excitement about the opportunity for the children to develop their hockey skills, to make progress in a particular subject or to plan to do something for charity and, in turn, help others.

When you have a clear goal or aim, no matter what it is, once you’ve acknowledged it then your next step is to make a plan. It is the actions that we commit to, day in, day out, that will determine how close we get to achieving our aims. We had a great conversation with a child this week about what they feel school is all about. They had lots to say and it was very positive, with a clear focus on learning and succeeding in exams. We concentrate so much on the daily routines, working hard to do well in the final assessment but, in reality, there’s much more to it than that. As staff at St Michael’s, we are here to get your fantastic children to the best place they can be in the next steps of their life. To figure out who they are and how they can be the best version of themselves. It’s the building of the skills that will make our pupils be able to cope with the curveballs that life will throw. Resilience, kindness, empathy, commitment and the ability to work collaboratively. Grit and determination. Looking at life with the wonder of a two year old, as Einstein said, can fill our lives with joy and an infallible energy. And isn’t that what makes the whole thing worthwhile? So, whatever your children hope to achieve this half term, I hope that they can figure out some strategies to get there. And even if they don’t quite make it then we can be pretty confident that they will benefit from developing the commitment and resilience that will bring later success.

Mr Bridges wrote to the parents of the boys in the Prep school this week to explain why we are still looking longingly down on the oh-so-nearly finished AstroTurf, as we have hockey fixtures in the calendar that we have been unable to fulfil. We really have had unprecedented bad weather over the previous months, but we are pleased to say that the end is in sight. We are still reliant on a period of good weather to allow the sand to be evenly distributed, but we are hopeful that the children will be able to get on the new pitch soon. We are looking forward next week to the music scholars’ evening performance at Shoreham Church. We are sure it will be a fantastic event and wish all the performers well this weekend with their final preparations.

We wish you a lovely, restful weekend.

Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman

News from Pre-Prep

• Parents’ Evenings Tuesday 17th March and Thursday 19th March; sign up on Parents’ Evening System from 21.00 on Monday 2nd March 
• Thursday March 5th World Book Day
• Author Alan Durant Wed 4th March. Books available for sale at the end of the school day

We have been into recycling this week. I’ve enjoyed watching Kindergarten children tapping pins into the polystyrene cushioning that packed our new smart board screens and I was delighted to see Reception children making a soft play area for bugs out of all sorts of rubbish. Your cardboard boxes are always being put to good use with our younger years. I know you are all delighted to get them back once a transformation has taken place!

On Wednesday Mrs Briggs has organised for author Alan Durant to hold workshops on writing stories with your children. He will have some of his books for sale at the end of the school day and these can be billed to your school account if you find this an easier payment method.

Thursday is World Book Day and, in common with a lot of schools up and down the country, we will be dressing up as book characters. Please make sure that children still have their school coats and that they can still play outside comfortably in their costumes. Any characters with weapons will of course need to leave those at home on the day.

Coronavirus I know is a concern for you all. Please rest assured that as a school we are taking advice from Public Health England daily and we will continue to ask their advice about any individual family concerns. Meanwhile please help to reinforce our message to the children about washing their hands properly with soap and water.

I will be at the Pre-Prep Heads’ conference next Thursday and Friday so if you have any urgent concerns please contact Miss Jo Salmon who will be looking after Pre-Prep in my absence.

Overheard: Mrs Leech, how many different costumes do you have at home?

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:

  • Mr Lopez’s Archway Easter Football Camp
  • Mr Thomas’ Easter Hockey Camp
  • Small number of tickets left for Little Shop of Horrors
  • Channel 4’s Junior Bake Off – applications open to bakers aged 9-15

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.

News stories

Our news stories can be found by clicking “News” and “Latest News” on our website. To see our latest articles please click here

Pre-Prep Awards

Gold Stars

Lawson for perseverance in swimming and showing huge improvement this week
Adam O for always trying his hardest in swimming and for making brilliant progress
Miranda for lovely independent writing about tigers
Dylan H for excellent listening and participation during all our learning
Grace L for beautiful handwriting
Isla B for good understanding of subtraction
Elodie for trying so hard to read with confidence and expression
Rui for excellent effort in our Maths work this week
Thomas G for good recall of information when exploring non-fiction texts
Grace P for showing resilience in Maths lessons and always trying her very best even when finding things tricky
Nik for settling back into school life beautifully
Elizabeth S for being kind and considerate to others
Sebastian G for good work with odd and even numbers
Sophie N for sharing some interesting facts about owls
Kayla for always working exceptionally hard, especially with her writing
Xavier for an improved effort with the speed at which he works, showing far more resilience
Nia for creating a fantastic model of a rocket, based on the Apollo II Saturn V
James L for working hard to plan and write a letter home from Neil Armstrong while he was in space

House Point Cup

Dover House with a total of 119 points
Eliza collected the Cup on behalf of Dover House

100 House Points

Dover: Eliza
Leeds: Herbie F

Times Tables Certificate

Bronze: Raven

Silver: Eva F

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup: Adam J
Music Practice Award: Walter
Star Violinist Cup: Taran

Pre-Prep Assembly

Well done to Finley and Olivia, who played “Train Ride” and “Footsteps in the Snow” respectively, in our Assembly.

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

L Shi For having art work displayed at school
T Vafai For having art work displayed at school
S Edwards-Matthews For having art work displayed at school

Players of the Match, week commencing 24th February 2020

Team Name Given for: –
U13 Hockey
U11 A
U11 B
U10 A No Matches for any boys this week
U10 B
U9 A
U9 B
U8 A
U8 B
U8 C
U13 A Netball No Matches
U13 B No Matches
U13 C No Matches
U11 A A Ogle

M Noorpuri

For good all-round play

For making great interceptions

U11 B S Cook For showing good all-round play and skills
U11 C K Fryer Voted for by the opposition
U10 A A Mitchell

E Newton

G Owen

For great defending

For super shooting

For displaying great sportsmanship

U10 B M Amure

N Stinson

Voted for by the opposition

For energised and effective play

U10 C T Carman Voted for by the opposition
U10 D T Bax Voted for by the opposition
U9 A M Pape Voted as player of the tournament by all of the schools
U9 B No Matches
U9 C No Matches
U8 A No Matches
U8 B No Matches
U8 C No Matches

Senior School Open Days, Scholarships and Events

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include Oakwood Park Grammar School, Roedean School and Skinners’ School.

Latest News

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!

Mrs Denton

Swim School Manager

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.

Well done!