It’s been another wild week at St Michael’s, quite literally! In the Prep school today we are celebrating Go Wild Day in aid of Kent Wildlife Trust and Otford Hospices of Hope. The costumes on display are remarkable.
Thank you again to all of the staff and pupils who played a part in the fantastic experience of Stubbers for Years 2 and 3 last week. I hope you enjoy watching the highlights reel below which captures both the joy and amazing memories that were gained from this trip.
This week I enjoyed a visit to Kindergarten where I spent the afternoon reading stories to the children and experiencing the extraordinary buzz in the Pre-School classrooms.
In Prep, our mathematicians have been working hard in the Years 5, 6, 7 and 8 maths competitions where pupils raced against the clock to create equations for target numbers. The speed at which the children completed these challenges was outstanding and a true testament to the brilliant Maths Department we have here at St Michael’s.
We have also enjoyed opportunities outside of school this week as Year 1 explored Shoreham Village on Wednesday and a some of our Prep musicians performed in a spectacular Scholars’ Concert on Tuesday evening. The concert was a magical event featuring an array of outstanding talent.
I look forward to experiencing even more events and trips like these with our pupils after half term.
I wish you all a wonderful break.
A message from Mr Pears:
From the Head of Pre-Prep
We have reached the end of half term and unusually it looks like we are going to have a sunny half term break.
The Years 2 and Year 3 children were a credit to St Michael’s and you as they joined in the Stubbers activities with enthusiasm. The weather was probably the worst we had experienced for an overnight trip under canvas with 90 children, however the staff were amazed at the ability of the children to sleep though the high winds. The children were very well behaved and the staff at Stubbers are always full of praise for our children. A huge thank you to all the staff and in particular the parents who joined us for the night, having battled with 3 hours of traffic on the M25!
Year 1 had a lovely trip to Shoreham on Wednesday. They were extremely excited to be going in the school minibuses. Our thanks to Mr Aisher who stepped in at the last minute to tell the children all about Shoreham Church.
Next term we would like to invite you to see your children in a sports event or Prize Giving. We have kept the children in year groups for most of these events. We will restrict guests to two per child as we continue to be as Covid-safe as possible. We remain hopeful that the opening up roadmap remains on course. The dates and times for all our Pre-Prep events are in the school calendar on our website but we will send out a dates letter after half term.
Overheard in Pre-Prep:
Teacher: “What is the word we use for the environment where animals live?”
Have a lovely half term holiday and enjoy the much-needed sunshine.
This week we said farewell to Kim Christen.
Kim has worked as the Finance Bursar at St Michael’s for the past 9 years and has given the Senior Leadership Team and Governors sound financial information continually in that time. Calm under pressure and always with a smile on her face, we will miss her greatly as she enjoys taking it easier and relaxing in her garden this summer.
We are delighted to announce that the following individuals will be joining the St Michael’s team:
Samantha Parker- PA to the Head
Samantha has worked in education in Kent for 17 years, both in primary and secondary school settings as Office Manager and PA to the Headteacher. She previously worked in banking and financial services in London and Kent.
She is married with a daughter and a son who are both currently enjoying student life at university. She enjoys fitness, yoga and long country walks with the family’s rescue dog, Bella.
She is very much looking forward to joining the team at St. Michael’s and working with Mr Pears to support the pupils, parents and staff.
Hazel Ross- Peripatetic Violin Teacher
Hazel has built a reputation both in the UK and abroad as a professional violinist and for her work in music education. Since returning to her roots in Sevenoaks with her husband and daughter, she teaches violin and chamber music at Sevenoaks School and Walthamstow Hall, and is an ABRSM Examiner. She has also recently initiated and led string projects further afield in Chile and Antigua. Hazel is passionate about her teaching and connecting through music and her work as both a performer and educator led to her being nominated as finalist for ‘Classic Woman of the Year’ in 2020.
Pre-Prep Gold Star Winners
All of 2B, 2M & 2S for flying St Michael’s flag high: showing resilience and determination whilst at Stubbers
Monty A for trying hard to record more of your excellent ideas
Winston G & Henry M for good work in maths, making amounts using fewest coins
Mona-Swan M for great work in maths, using different combinations of coins to make amounts to 20p
Grace L for tying to read with more consistent expression
Oscar H for super effort and focus during maths over the last couple of weeks
Charlotte D for participating well and working hard in all our lessons
Ella F for being so brave when coming into school each morning
Ian V for using phonics beautifully to write about the pond adventure
Teddy T for wonderful participation during our floating and sinking activities
Olivia D for being an excellent Shape Detective
Saskia E for a fantastic story about the pond adventure
100 Housepoints Certificates
Leeds – Jasmine H & Isla P-A
Rochester – Daniel B & Matthew D
Windsor – Amy H & Ian V
U Osunwa (Year 4) for consistently outstanding work in RS this year including talking to Sikhs giving Langar in the community
S Davis (Year 8) for amazing work in DT on glass fusion
L Summers (Year 8) for amazing work in DT on glass fusion
Whole School News
Prep mathematicians compete in countdown challenge
This week saw the inaugural Maths Countdown Competition for Years 5 to 8. The competition required them to add/subtract/multiply and divide a set of given numbers to get as close to the target number as possible. The competitors had the chance to show off their arithmetic skills over several rounds and the standard on show was very impressive!
All competitions were hotly contested, and we required a sudden death round to determine final placings in three of the four competitions!
Congratulations go to all entrants for taking part. It was a great competition played in good spirit all round.
Year 8: 1st H Smith, 2nd X Prongue, 3rd R Landgrebe
Year 7: 1st J Moore, 2nd D Little, 3rd A Green
Year 6: 1st G Neirynck, 2nd T Maltarp, 3rd C Hunter
Year 5: 1st G Dulski, 2nd T Maltarp & D Booth, 3rd A Ashton
The Years 3 and 4 competition will be taking place after half term!
Mr Fuller, Maths Teacher
A terrific trip to Stubbers!
Very early on Thursday morning the very excited Years 2 and Year 3 children arrived at school for their Stubbers Trip. When we arrived at Stubbers the children found their tents in their camp and eagerly unpacked and made their tents cosy. We got into activity groups and walked to our ‘red huts’ that were to be our St Michael’s base for the two days. We met the Stubbers activity leaders there and they took each group to the first activities. Throughout the day the Year 2s had taken part in archery, team games, canoeing, grass sledging and orienteering. The Year 3s had enjoyed climbing, mega SUP, bushcraft, orienteering, grass sledging and team games. In amongst the activities they had loads of fun on the new adventure playgrounds too. Despite the strong winds, they all had a brilliant first day. In the evening, after a yummy dinner of pasta, meatballs and chocolate brownies, we all walked over to the camp fire in the wooded area where we roasted marshmallows and sang songs around the fire. It was a really wonderful time. After all this, the children were ready for bed and snuggled down in their sleeping bags for the windy night ahead. The next morning we all woke up excited for the day ahead and were raring to go after a good breakfast of pancakes, cereals and toast. By lunchtime the wind had well and truly battered the life out of the teachers and we were just about ready to get on the coach and head back to school! The teachers were extremely proud of all the children for their determination, bravery, courage and resilience throughout the trip. They smiled, laughed and chatted excitedly the whole time and it really was a fantastic trip had by all. A huge thank you to all the staff and parent helpers who made the trip happen and looked after the children on the trip.
Miss Rawlinson, Head of Pre-Prep Sport
Go Wild Day!
A swarm of bees, pride of lions and bloom of ladybirds could be seen roaming the school grounds today 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, which saw pupils take part in fundraising activities including an exotic market and face painting, has so far raised an amazing £420.75 for the causes. An updated total is to follow.
Commenting on the event, 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.”
We’ve enjoyed another series of fixtures this week, made even better by the beautiful sunshine that we have missed. Congratulations to all of the pupils who displayed some great sportsmanship in their matches.
U8’s first cricket match against Derwent Lodge
On Tuesday we were delighted to host our Scholars’ and Chamber Music concert by candlelight. It was 14 months ago that our musicians were last able to perform in front of a live audience so it was quite fitting that we returned to Shoreham Church for this concert. The Scholars, Chamber Music Groups and our Chamber Choir presented an eclectic programme of music featuring classical and popular styles in front of a select audience of parents. There were some exceptional performances that represented some of the best of the music-making at St Michael’s.
I’d like to thank the children who practised hard to prepare for this concert, the music team for their hard work preparing the performers and Mark Edwards for providing the delicious canapés for our guests. We look forward to our Summer Concert on Monday 5th July where all the various music groups in the Prep school hope to perform in front of a larger audience (Covid-19 guidance permitting).
Gordon Baird, Director of Music
Music concert Highlights
Please enjoy this highlights video of last week’s Prep music concerts:
Scholars’ Day Highlights
Please enjoy this highlights video of last week’s Scholars’ Celebration Day, as well as an interview between Mr Pears and Nicholas McCarthy :
International Club Coffee Meet-up
Our International Club enjoyed a lovely meet-up at Polhill Garden Centre last week.
For more information about the group and how you can join as a St Michael’s parent, please visit our website.
Come and see The Elephant Man!
After what has felt like an eternity, theatres are finally opening their doors and at St Michael’s Prep we are delighted, and excited, to say our drama space is once again going to echo with the voices of thespians performing their craft. The School Play is back!
Normally, our play is presented by Years 5 to 8, however the restrictions of the pandemic and the enforced bubbles have meant that this year, only students from Years 7 and 8 have been able to get involved.
Nevertheless, we would be delighted to see all students, as well as their families and friends, at one of the performances. The cast has worked incredibly hard since September to bring this show to you; please do come along and give them your support. We recommend the production for Years 6 and above, although this is not exclusive.
Doors open at 6pm. There will be a paid bar available.
St Michael’s is very pleased to be collaborating with Camp Beaumont during the summer holiday. The children’s activity programme, which will run from 19th July to 27th August, is designed to help children keep active, challenge them mentally, build new life skills and most importantly, help them grow in confidence. Activities will include a wide range of games, music, sports and creative workshops.
We are also delighted to announce that St Michael’s parents will receive a 10% discount off full weeks, 5% off days and 50% off extended days when parents use the code HS20. Additionally, Camp Beaumont will be running a 48 hour flash sale on summer day camps which starts next week on Tuesday at 9am where up to 20% off camps will be offered. Discounts will be automically applied to costs on the website during this time.
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.
Sevenoaks Swimmers tackle time trials
Best of luck and congratulations to all Sevenoaks Swimming Club swimmers taking part in the ‘Level X Racing time trials’ which are taking place between April and August this year. This virtual event allows athletes to complete time-trials in a full programme of events, held at their respective pools, with the results then being collated and displayed on leaderboards when the series concludes. All of Swim England’s Category 2 members are invited to take part in the series to challenge themselves against swimmers from across the country within the comfort of their home pools. Many of our St Michael’s swimmers have been taking part and still have events left to compete in so best of luck to all of you.
Mrs Denton, Swim School Manager
Send us your stories!
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Senior School Information
Knole Academy is now taking bookings for its Year 5 taster sessions for 2021. During the taster sessions, which will take place between 22nd June and 9th July, children and parents will have the chance to find out more about life and lessons at the school.
Please note, Knole Academy has asked that you only book one session in order for them to accommodate as many children as possible. and to inform their school of the booking they have made. Please also book early to avoid disappointment.
For those parents who would rather not attend a Taster Session during this time or have been unable to book a place, we are pleased to offer a ‘virtual experience’ where children are able to take part in a number of Taster lessons in English, Maths, Science, Design Technology and Food Technology. There is also a virtual tour of our school from our Headteacher, Mr Collins.
Join King’s Rochester for their Open Morning on Saturday 26th June from 9am to 1pm. The event will be an opportunity to meet with the school’s staff and pupils as well as seeing their beautiful grounds, nestled within the Cathedral precinct of historic Rochester. King’s is a proud broad-ability School which offers a variety of Scholarships in Academia, Sport, Music, Drama and Art.
Principal Mr Ben Charles will welcome all visitors to King’s at 9:15am in the School Hall where breakfast will be available and after which families can tour the school.
Join Sevenoaks School for their Open Morning on Saturday 26th June.
In The Community
Morrison’s launches the “Little Library” book exchange
Morrisons has launched a book donation and exchange station for children – the Morrisons ‘Little Library’ – in its stores across the UK which aims to promote reading and literacy in children, particularly those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The scheme was inspired by Canterbury-based children’s author, Rebecca Smith, who approached Morrisons asking for help to tackle the issues surrounding children’s literacy and the lack of availability of books at home.
The idea is that customers can bring along unwanted books to donate, and children, teenagers and parents can pick up a book for free. New books will also be donated through the initiative to local schools and community groups, via Morrisons Community Champions. One such book is Morrisons’ own newly created book – Cedric The Seed.
Mrs Grayland’s Half Term Netball Camp
Mrs Grayland will be running a netball camp during half term. This is a great opportunity to practice your skills, play some fun games and develop your game alongside your friends.
The camp will run on: Tuesday 1st June for Years 3 and 4
Mr Thomas will be holding his Half Term Hockey Camp at Hollybush Hockey Pitch on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th June.
There are currently a few spaces left on the camp, so if you would like to attend please email Mr Thomas on email@example.com.
Please note the following from the organisers: We are hoping that all Government restrictions will be lifted by then. We will be following all England Hockey guidelines and may have to limit the numbers. Please sign up early to avoid any disappointment.
Year 8 have enjoyed an array of fun trips and activities this week as part of their Leavers’ Programme. Beginning with a trip to Camber Sands on Monday, Year 8 had a wonderful day relaxing on the beach, playing cricket and even having a swim. This was followed by a trip to Hever Castle on Tuesday where pupils enjoyed a series of activities including a worksheet-led task around the castle, as well as a visit to the adventure playground and water maze. Mr Wade, who accompanied Year 8 on the trip, said: “A great day was had by all. The water maze was particularly popular with the children and ideal on the hot day we had.”
On Wednesday, Year 8 returned to school for a Codathon challenge led by the ICT Department. The event, compiled of Codathon Computing, Minecraft in Education and Code.org sections, was a huge success and saw pupils put their ICT skills to good use.
Red carpets were rolled out on Thursday as Year 8 took part in a Film Day organised by the Young Film Academy. Throughout the day, the pupils watched film making tutorials following by creating their own short films in groups.
Commenting on the week of events, Head of Year Mrs Shield said: “Year 8 have celebrated the end of their exams and assessments by taking part in a range of fun and educational activities during Week 1 of the Leavers’ Programme. On Monday they visited Camber Sands for sea, sunshine and in some cases…. sunburn! Hever Castle offered some focus on the Tudor history we have been studying this year but finished with some unadulterated fun in the water maze. Pupils then completed a ‘Codathon Challenge’ and Minecraft activities. They finished the week by making some short films based on different themes – all of which you can enjoy watching later in the term!”
Parents and children in Sevenoaks will be excited to learn that the UK’s most experienced day camp provider Camp Beaumont is bringing lots of fun activities to the area at St Michael’s Prep School in Otford.
The school is preparing to welcome children to its first set of camps this summer, where they will get to take advantage of its expansive sports fields, tennis courts, swimming pool, art room and drama studio.
Camp Beaumont will be running its successful Playtime, Magic, Active and Teen programmes during the summer holidays between 19 July – 27 August 2021.
The bespoke Camp Beaumont programmes at St Michael’s Prep School for three to 16-year-olds are designed to help children get active, challenge them mentally, build new life skills, discover new interests – and most importantly, help them grow in confidence. And there’s enough to suit a wide range of interests.
For the adventurous explorer, activities like archery will give children a real sense of excitement. For sporty competitors, a wide range of games from benchball to capture the flag will test their athletic abilities and get them moving. And for artists, actors and musicians in the making, Camp Beaumont also offers a number of opportunities to be creative, from jewellery making to clay work. They will even get the chance to prove they are the camp’s next big star in Beaumont’s Got Talent.
Jof Gaughan, Executive Director at Camp Beaumont, said: “We are thrilled to add St Michael’s Prep School to our portfolio of outstanding school locations. The environment at St Michael’s is truly wonderful and the school is packed with first-class facilities which will help campers to learn and thrive.
“Our camp team can’t wait to deliver our multi-activity programmes for 3 to 16-year-olds, and for all our campers to enjoy the incredible outdoor and indoor space available for arts, crafts, sports and games.
“The grounds at St Michael’s Prep School are immense and beautifully maintained, making it the perfect setting for summer 2021.”
Nik Pears, Head of St Michael’s Prep School, added: “We are delighted to be hosting Camp Beaumont during the summer holidays. They have an exciting programme planned and will make good use of our spacious grounds and fantastic facilities.”
Camp Beaumont will be running at St Michael’s Prep School from 19 July – 27 August. Prices start from £52 for a one-day pass. For more information visit www.campbeaumont.co.uk
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/