eNews: Friday 29th November 2019

From the Deputies

We had a ‘Heinz’ day on Monday this week: 57 children off with illness! You know you are in the season of coughs, colds and flu when you have a fifth of the Prep children and staff all off on one day. We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding while many of the children and staff are battling some fairly unpleasant bugs. We wish everyone still struggling a very speedy recovery. We would also like to extend, publicly, our thanks to the staff who have all stepped up in this difficult time of cover lessons and duties. It is truly heartening to see the commitment to St Michael’s when faced with difficult times.

The illness bug that has run its way through a large proportion of the children and staff has caused a substantial increase in pressure on many aspects of the running of the school. We ask for your patience when waiting for a response to an email or request. We will endeavour to get back to you in our normal time frame, but this may not always be possible.

Election fever hit St Michael’s this week as the Year 8 children have been very busy on their campaign trails and have successfully generated huge excitement and engagement across the school. Today we hold our own election and it will be interesting to see how the votes go when they are announced on Monday (keep your eye on the Twitter feed for updates). Over the course of this week our four Year 8 candidates have stated their parties’ aims in lunchtime broadcasts to an energised lunch hall.

It has been refreshing to see a friendly and open contest amongst our own candidates, which is in contrast to what we are observing in the public arena. As so often is the case, it is the children that lead the way.

As we look towards the weekend and the Christmas Bazaar, we would like to wish the volunteers from the P&F committee, the parent reps and the volunteer parents who are all giving up time to make this event happen, all the best. This is one of the highlights of the St Michael’s calendar, if not only for the opportunity to hear the trained voices of the staff choir… or is that strained voices?!

Have a lovely weekend, we look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow.

Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman

Important Notice

We understand from communication via other local schools that Kent Police have received intelligence that some individuals may be planning to cause disruption at tonight’s Christmas lights event in Sevenoaks.

Fraser Wiseman contacted Kent Police this morning and they confirmed that there will be the appropriate number of officers and CCTV at the event. We all hope that the evening will run smoothly and without incident but we wanted to bring this to your attention so that if you are attending with your children you can be extra vigilant.

Staff News

Revd. Diane

Sadly, we will say goodbye to Revd Diane at the end of term. Diane joined us in September 2015 and has made a real impact in many areas during those four years. She has been instrumental in introducing and implementing the new enquiry-based curriculum in Years 3-6 and has recently enjoyed delivering the new St Michael’s Diploma work to Year 7. She has led thoughtful worship in both Prep and Pre-Prep, including preparing children (and staff) for Confirmation and Baptism. Each year, Diane has enjoyed finding readings and prayers around a theme for the Carol Service. We have also seen the introduction of a new school Hymn Book under Diane’s direction, which includes the new Eucharistic Prayer for children, as well as prayers modern and traditional at the back. Her wider responsibilities have included taking a gifted and talented maths group in Pre-Prep, as well as doing some weddings and baptisms in Kindergarten! She has also provided essential pastoral care to the whole St Michael’s community.

Over the past year, Diane’s adventures have taken her beyond the parish of Shoreham to Tanzania, where she has led a three-way partnership between Shoreham Village School, Shoreham Parish and St Michael’s, linking us to St Joseph’s, Chunyu and Chunyu primary and secondary schools. Pupils and teachers in both countries are continuing to benefit from learning about the rich diversity in our lives and cultures.

Diane will continue as Vicar of Shoreham Church and will also further our partnership with Mpwapwa. We will work hard to continue the 20-year association between St Michael’s and Shoreham Church. She hopes to come back to offer some supply teaching. Diane may also pick up on her former career as an Educational Psychologist and will definitely spend more time on her passion of glass-making. We wish Diane, Alain and Joseph all the very best for the future and look forward to Diane’s Carol Service in Shoreham Church on 10th December.

We are delighted to welcome Katherine Keen to St Michael’s, teaching Year 3 in a job-share with Mrs Macintosh.

Katherine joins us with several years of teaching experience within the state and independent sectors. She has taught all year groups from Reception to Year 8. After graduating from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2003, she began her teaching career at St James Hatcham CE School, New Cross. Here she was the Head of Key Stage One and a member of Senior Management, as well as the English, ICT, PSHE and Gifted and Talented subject leader.

In 2007, she moved on to teach at Riverston Independent Day School. Here, much of her experience has been with students with special educational needs. She held a variety of posts at Riverston, including ‘Senior Mistress of The Lower School’ for seven years. Katherine also held the posts of NQT mentor, English subject leader, choir leader and intervention teacher.

Katherine has a strong interest in positive mental health in children and recently undertook CPCAB training in levels 2 & 3 Counselling studies. She is a calm, experienced and creative teacher, who enjoys seeing children reach their full potential and leave school each day feeling happy and accomplished.

Katherine’s hobbies include: Metafit, walking, yoga, reading, attending concerts and the theatre and listening to music. She is excited about joining the teaching staff at St Michael’s after visiting us and experiencing such enthusiasm for learning from the children. She is very much looking forward to working with the Year 3 children and parents and being part of our school community.

News from Pre-Prep

• Tuesday 3rd Dec. Kindergarten Nativity Concert 11am
• Wed 4th Dec. Reception Nativity 9am
• Wed 4th Dec. Year 1 Nativity 2.30pm
• Thurs 5th Dec. Year 2/3 Christingle Service 9am (Prep school)
• Thurs 5th Nursery Concert (Tu/Th) 11am
• Thurs 5th Year 2 Nativity 2.30pm
• Fri 6th Nursery Concert (M/W/Fr) 11am

The classrooms are now beginning to look very festive as your children produce cards and decorations in preparation for Christmas. We are so lucky that our curriculum allows time for our children to be creative in so many ways.

We have a very busy week next week with all our Nativities. We will be serving coffee and tea in the dining room 15 minutes before each performance. For the 2 afternoon performances the children who are currently in the choir will be singing alongside the other year group’s performers, so some of you may have children singing twice. If your child is in choir, they will be wearing their school uniform so please don’t worry about additional costumes.

Don’t forget the P&F Christmas Bazaar this Saturday. A huge amount of work goes into this by the parents on the P&F Committee and all the parent reps, so a big thank you to all the people who are involved. Sadly this is the first year I won’t be attending as I agreed to run a safeguarding training workshop for Tonbridge Child Contact Centre. I’m sure the staff and community choir won’t miss me!

Overheard: When babies are born they can’t sit up, that’s why they have babysitters.

I look forward to welcoming you all next week to our Nativities.

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:

  • P&F Christmas Bazaar tomorrow, 30th November!
  • School Uniform Shop – extra Christmas opening time

 

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,

Pre-Prep Awards

Gold Stars

Miranda for wonderful have-a-go writing of some very long words
Dylan for great reading in phonics
Uma for showing great improvement in her handwriting
Conrad for beautiful singing in our Nativity practice
Ellie S for an informative and confident show and tell
Aadhya for working so hard and showing good understanding in our measuring lesson
Lawson for working hard with his handwriting and practising at home too
Isabelle D for thinking of interesting questions in our English lesson and remembering to use question marks
Max H for a great clear speaking voice in the Nativity practice
Sebastian G for trying hard with his phonics
Ruaridh for learning his lines and cues for the performance
Kayla for a noticeable improvement with her reading and writing
Aiden for using lovely expression when delivering his lines in the Nativity practice
Amelia N for having a positive attitude towards all her learning
Herbie F for working extremely hard on his maths homework and presenting it neatly

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup: Alice O
Music Practice Award: Xavi
Star Violinist Cup: Amelia-Rose

House Point Cup

Windsor House with a total of 111 points
Finlay S collected the Cup on behalf of Windsor House

Swimming Certificates

Learn to Swim Level 1
William M
Learn to Swim Level 2
Iris L
Learn to Swim Level 3
Reuben

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

I Johnson For a very dramatic piece of History writing
K Loukam For a very dramatic piece of History writing
A Green For a very dramatic piece of History writing

Global Child Prodigy Award for Year 5 pupil

Congratulations to I Sharma, who has been selected as one of the 100 children worldwide to be awarded the Global Child Prodigy Award 2020 in the category of “Yoga”. He will receive his award in Delhi in January from Nobel Peace Laureate Dr Kailash Satyarthi.

Players of the Match, week commencing 25th November 2019

Team Name Given for: –
1st Football
2nd
3rd
Colts A
Colts B
Colts C
Colts D No Matches for any boys
Colts E
Colts F
U9 A
U9 B
U8 A
U8 B
U8 C
U13 A Hockey I Neave

D Stephens

Voted for by the opposition

For using the space well, moving well and marking all the time.

U13 B No Match
U11 A L Blincoe Voted for by the opposition
U11 B I Johnson

 

S Andrade

Voted for by the opposition and for great attacking and defending play

For great tackling and tackling back

U10 A I Pennington-Legh Voted for by the opposition
U10 B T Carman Voted for by the opposition
U10 C T Bax

L Lutzow

B West

P Malin

For good all-round play
U10 D R Bedzrah For good all-round play
U9 A Netball M Pape For great interceptions and movement on the court
U9 B E Soper

A Ashton

Voted for by the opposition

For showing good versatility on the court

U9 C B Tovey For good all-round play
U8 Green Netball U Osunwa

E O’Dwyer

Voted for by the opposition

For good shooting

U8 Black A Pink For making some good interceptions
U8 Blue M Walker For some superb marking and defending

Senior School Open Days, Scholarships and Events

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include King’s Rochester, Oakwood Park Grammar School, St Olave’s Grammar School, Sevenoaks School, Skinners’ School and Whitgift School.

Latest News

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.

 

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

 

 

This Tuesday 15th December, St Michael’s will host a fundraising day for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA), organised by Year 7 pupil Lucy.

Determined to help a cause very close to her heart, Lucy has organised a series of events aimed at raising money for the charity-based emergency service.

Throughout the day pupils will be invited to participate in a range of activities including wearing a Christmas jumper, doing a sponsored run, and completing brain teaser quizzes in exchange for donations to the TVAA which relies wholly on public contributions.

Lucy said: “With Mr Wiseman’s help, I’ve 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 will change 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.”

And Lucy’s charity day is driven by her own bond with the charity who saved her life following an accident last Christmas.

She 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.”

Since her accident, Lucy has remained close with three of TVAA’s critical care paramedics, Jo, John and Clare.

Lucy said: “Not only did the team come and visit me in hospital during my recovery, but in February this year my family and I were invited to their base to see their helicopters and learn more about their work.

“Since then, we’ve kept in close contact with them and have been given the exciting opportunity to take part in their Christmas campaign.

“One morning, my mum received a phone call from the TVAA asking if we’d like to tell our story as part of their fundraising appeal.

“Despite the accident still being quite fresh, we were keen to get involved as it’s such an amazing charity.”

Earlier this year, Lucy and her family were invited to Oxfordshire to talk about their experience in front of the camera.

The filming day, which involved interviews with both Lucy and her parents, aimed to raise awareness of the charity’s impact.

Lucy said: “It was such a fun day and really made us feel part of the TVAA community.

“Afterwards, we were sent several cuts of the video, including a very cool animation of my story which was very realistic.

“They kept us in mind throughout the whole process and made us feel very special.”

A full breakdown of the fundraising events can be found below. For more information about the TVAA or to view Lucy’s video visit: www.tvairambulance.org.uk/appeal/.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance Fundraising Activities 

  • Christmas jumpers – In Prep and Pre-Prep, we are inviting the children and staff to sport their best Christmas jumper and make a donation for the privilege of wearing it! The 15th  is the day of the school Christmas lunches, so this would be a good time to wear them. As with the last charity collection, the donations for Christmas jumpers can be deposited in the buckets at the doors into the buildings as the children arrive in the morning.
  • Sponsored run (Prep) – we are going to be inviting the children to run in teams of (up to) 4 around the shortest XC route on the fields. They will have a set time to complete as many laps as possible in that time. The children can look to have their team sponsored per lap, or have a donation from their sponsor. Sponsorship money raised will need to be brought in the following day.
  • Brain teaser quizzes – there are two quiz sheets that can be purchased for 50p each and you can take them home and try to solve the puzzles as a family. I’m afraid the only prize on offer is the glow of self-fulfilment upon having completed them. Answers will be shared on the last day of term. As parents cannot be in the school buildings at the moment, the quiz sheets can be purchased via homework diaries (please send the 50p/ £1, depending if you want one quiz sheet or both).

 

 

A former St Michael’s pupil has been awarded an Honorary Academic Scholarship for her excellence across all subjects.

Grace Goodwin, who attended St Michael’s between 2014 and 2019, has received the honour from Sevenoaks School.

Commenting on Grace’s success, her mother Marianthe Goodwin said: “Grace joined Sevenoaks in Year 7 and has really thrived from day one.

“We all knew Grace was doing very well academically as she was awarded the Academic Prize in Year 7 and Year 8. However, just before half term we received a letter awarding Grace an Honorary Academic Scholarship, one of only four which was awarded.

“Grace was delighted and extremely surprised as she had absolutely no idea that she was going to receive it. As an Academic Scholar, Grace is invited to attend the Schickler Society with the other scholars in which they discuss lots of different world issues both current and past, such as gun control and the Cold War.”

Mrs Goodwin added: “Grace had a wonderful and very happy time at St Michael’s and the decision to leave was  a hard one, but we felt it was the right time for Grace.  At St Michael’s she enjoyed all her subjects, especially English and Science.

“She found all the teachers very encouraging and approachable, and felt the growth mindset attitude and community spirit of St Michael’s gave her the confidence to hit challenges head on and not give up.

“Mrs Bridges among others was particularly encouraging of Grace during her time at St Michael’s and offered amazing pastoral support to pupils.”

And it isn’t just Sevenoaks School that spotted Grace’s academic potential. St Michael’s teacher Mrs Baisch, who taught Grace during her time at the school, said: “Grace is an incredibly creative pupil who loves reading and writing, and produced some beautiful work. The words flew off her pen.

“Grace was also a very good speaker which was shown by her victory in the poetry live senior competition which she won with her reading of Dulce et Decorum est. For a Year 6 pupil, her performance was very impressive.

“Grace’s scholarship is of no surprise and is something she should be very proud of.”