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

 

Prep pupils recently treated their classmates and music teachers to a variety of musical performances in a half termly concert.

Performed in three instalments within their bubbles, the musicians showcased a variety of pieces, varying in both genre and instrument.

And although parents were unable to attend the concerts due to Covid-19 restrictions, the pupils’ families received a recording of the event.

Gordon Baird, Director of Music, said “We were delighted by how these first concerts of the academic year went despite the absence of the children’s parents. It was a lovely intimate experience for the children to play or sing to their friends and we heard some confident, accomplished performances.

Mr Baird added: “For some, it was their first time playing in a concert in the Prep school and we look forward to organising many more opportunities for them to perform throughout the year.”

A montage of the three music concerts can be found on the St Michael’s YouTube page at https://youtu.be/Bj_Wx4P9heg.

 

 

Spooky spiders and plump pumpkins sparked Halloween fun at St Michael’s this week.

Supported by the school’s Parents and Friends association, pupils enjoyed two games which offered great prizes to winners.

Coordinator of the Halloween competitions and P & F committee member, Kelly Downey said: “Given the restrictions currently in place, the P&F are focusing on strengthening the school community for parents and children this year.

“The competitions are a simple way for the children to have some fun in the week before half term, while raising some funds for the P&F.”

Children in Pre-Prep were tasked with guessing the number of spooky spiders in the jar, while Prep children were asked to guess the weight of a pumpkin. Pupils made a donations to the P & F in exchange for each guess they made.

And the winners of the games, Herbie W (Pre-Prep) A Ward, M Little, L Lutzow and H Owen (Prep), were awarded Halloween hampers which will help them celebrate this year’s festival in spooktacular style.

Kelly added: “The funds raised for the P&F will go towards funding activities and facilities for the children to enrich their time at the school.”

For more information about St Michael’s P & F association visit stmichaels.kent.sch.uk/parents-friends

 

Strawberries and sunflowers were just some of the items celebrated in last week’s harvest assemblies.

 

The annual Pre-Prep event, performed as three instalments this year, saw Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils sing, dance and give prayer for the harvest while learning about the festival from their music teacher, Mrs Raveyeh.

 

 

Reflecting on the success of the events, Louise Raveyeh said: “I am quite moved by the children’s enthusiastic singing in our harvest celebration.

 

“It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to realise that there is joy in giving and sharing what we have and happiness for those who gratefully receive it.

 

“Their singing and eagerness to share with others was heartwarming.”

 

 

During the assemblies pupils sung songs about harvest time, nature and the variety of fruit and vegetables grown in this country.

 

Louise said: “I wanted the children to be thankful for what they have by realising what an amazing rainbow variety of food we have, created with individual characteristics just like them.

 

“I wanted them to realise the sense of joy that there is in sharing what we have.

 

“The songs reflect our celebration of what we have and realisation of the process of planting, harvesting and sharing.”

 

 

And it wasn’t just songs that helped the children express their thanks. Helped by their generous parents, Pre-Prep donated hundreds of food items and household essentials to the Swanley branch of Trussell Trust food bank.

 

 

Head of Pre-Prep at St Michael’s, Zerrin Leech, said: “We had tables, cupboards and bags festooned with food last week as our families gave very kind donations of food and other items.

 

“A huge thank you must go to the pupils’ parents for their wonderful generosity once again this year which will be gratefully received by the Trussell Trust.

 

“Thank you also to Mrs Ravayeh for leading our three harvest assemblies. They have been lovely with lots of new songs as well as my all-time favourite, Cauliflowers Fluffy.”

 

 

 

 

Sunsets and sizzling sausages set the tone for the new term last Friday as Year 7 pupils celebrated the start of their senior education journey.

The annual event, traditionally held as a Camp Out, was delivered as a fun-filled barbecue night which the children enjoyed with teachers including St Michael’s Acting Head, Mrs Bridges.

Throughout the evening pupils tucked into dinner cooked by Deputy Head Mr Wiseman, and toasted marshmallows on an open fire.

And to make use of their new term energy, games and group bonding activites were carried out, followed by a walk up the school’s famous Warren where the sunset was relished in all of its glory.

Reflecting on the sucess of the event, Head of Year 7 and 8, Mrs Shield, said: “Unfortunately, we were unable to camp this year, but that did not dampen anybody’s spirits.

“One of the highlights of the evening was our twilight walk to the top of the Warren where we marvelled at the beautiful site that our school occupies.

“We viewed the bats swirling the skies in the dusk of late summer and ended the evening with a well-deserved hot chocolate – not forgetting the squirty cream and yet more marshmallows.

“Life-long friendships were made and re-established after the long summer break.”