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

We are delighted to announce that former St Michael’s pupil Jess Haynes has selected to join the Loughborough Lightning Superleague Netball team.

Jess, who attended St Michael’s between 2008 and 2014 and returned as a GAP Student in 2019, made her Superleague and Sky Sports debut on Saturday 5th June against Celtic Dragons at the Copperbox Arena in London, after which she was officially announced as Loughborough Lightning squad member No. 102.

Lightning are currently in second place in the Superleague behind Team Bath and have already secured their place in the playoffs.

Jess, whose matches with Lightning will be broadcast live on the Sky Sports Netball platforms, said: “I feel so honoured and excited to be given this opportunity. It has been a bit of a whirlwind over the last couple of weeks so it was great to get on court and make my Superleague debut at the Copperbox . I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season with such an amazing squad. I always love coming back to St Michael’s to coach the current pupils, to share my love of sport and to show that dreams do come true!”

Jess joined Loughborough Lightning U21 NPL Squad from London Pulse in September 2020 when she started studying at Nottingham Trent University where she is part of their Performance Sport Programme.

And it was St Michael’s where her passion for netball began. Jess’ mum, Clare, said: “Jess’ year group team were a strong squad who enjoyed a high level of success at both local and national IAPS level. Jess played all sports during her time here where she achieved a great deal of success across the board . She left at the end of Year 8 to continue her education at Kent College Pembury with a Sports Scholarship. Her place in the Loughborough Lightning Super League is a huge opportunity for her.”

Mrs Wade, who coached Jess during her time at St Michael’s, added: “We are extremely proud of Jess and all she has achieved since leaving St Michael’s. I had the delight of watching Jess’ netball skills grow tremendously during her time with us and it is no surprise that Jess’ dedication to the sport has landed her this incredible opportunity. We look forward to hearing about her future successes and seeing her on Sky Sports!”

A swarm of bees, pride of lions and bloom of ladybirds could be seen roaming the school grounds on Friday 28th May as the Prep school celebrated Go Wild Day in aid of local charities Kent Wildlife Trust and Otford Hospices of Hope.

The action-packed charity day, organised by the School Council to raise awareness of the local causes, raised an amazing £727.04.

Mr Baird, Acting Deputy Head, said: “It was amazing to see so many staff and pupils dressing up for this brilliant fundraising event. A big thank you to the School Council and Year 8 prefects who played a key part in the success of the event, and to the pupils for putting so much effort and energy into the activities.”

Throughout the day, pupils took part in fundraising activities including an exotic bring and buy sale where pupils exchanged good quality toys and games. The afternoon events also included a face painting session for the children led by the senior Art Scholars group.

Fundraising & Communications Manager at Otford Hospices of Hope, Jessica McKechie added: “We were delighted to hear that St Michael’s Prep School chose to fundraise for Hospices of Hope with their Go Wild Day. Being supported locally is so important for our charity and we are really grateful to all the children and staff who took part. The funds raised will help us to support our patients with vital care, some of whom are children too and will love to hear about the activities the school arranged in order to help them.”

St Michael’s Go Wild Day forms part of its longterm plan to improve the wildlife around their 90-acre site as well as increasing the school community’s awareness of the importance of conserving nature.

Delighted by St Michael’s efforts, Acting Head of Education and Lifelong Learning at Kent Wildlife Trust, Lee Mason-Baldwin said: “Wow, what a brilliant effort and superb, heart-warming achievement, thank you so much! We love the gorgeous colourful activities and the fun you’ve had to help animals, plants, bugs and birds which is crucial for developing a life-long love of wildlife. Your support will help us on our quest for a wilder Kent, rich in wildlife for everyone to enjoy, forever.”

For more information about St Michael’s Prep School please visit their website: https://www.stmichaels.kent.sch.uk/


We are hugely proud to announce that past St Michael’s pupils L Bingham and A Faulstich have been selected for the England Under 16 Hockey Squad.

The Year 10 pupils, who currently attend Weald of Kent Grammar School and Tonbridge Grammar School were announced as members last week following many months of training and assessment.

Congratulating the girls on their achievement, Mrs Wade, who taught them PE during their time at St Michael’s, said: “We are extremely proud of Lottie and Anna and all they have achieved since they left St Michael’s. They were extremely hardworking in all their sports at school and it is great to hear that they have taken their hockey to such a high level. We look forward to hearing about their future success.”

A huge congratulations to both girls on this amazing achievement.

St Michael’s Prep School, Otford was delighted to welcome concert pianist Nicholas McCarthy as the special guest for its Scholars’ Day on Thursday 20th May.

Mr McCarthy, who was the first left-hand-only graduate of the Royal College of Music in its 130-year history, hosted a music masterclass with the school’s Music Scholars, before joining the wider Scholars group for an evening of food and entertainment.

Nicholas said: “It has been so wonderful to work with the pupils today. The performance standard of the Scholars is fantastic and their personalities came across in their performances. It was lovely to see.”

During his visit, the talented musician shared his story with St Michael’s including his performance with band Coldplay at the 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony. Nicholas also offered words of encouragement for overcoming setbacks and barriers. He said: “At my first audition I was turned away because they just didn’t believe I could play the piano with one hand. I had to dig deep and find that resilience to carry on achieving my dream. Very quickly that fire built back up and I was determined to prove them wrong.”

Commenting on the success of the event, St Michael’s Deputy Head Mary Bridges said: “We were delighted to host a special event for our current scholars, incoming scholars and our Year 8 pupils who have achieved scholarships at their senior schools. Nicholas words inspired all of us and his performance was absolutely stunning. It was a true mark of excellence.”

To view a highlights reel of the event or watch the full interview with St Michael’s Head Nik Pears and Nicholas McCarthy please visit their YouTube page.