eNews: Friday 30th April 2021

From the Head

Dear Parents,

We have enjoyed a brilliant second week of the Trinity Term filled with countless opportunities for the children. It really is so good to all be together again in school! As ever, around every corner there is something fun and engaging happening. In our Pre-School, children have been studying caterpillars, Year 3 have been dyeing daffodils blue, and Year 7 and 8 have been working hard in their weekend rehearsals for The Elephant Man. 

This week, I have engaged in some exciting discussions about our Trinity Term events, including many activities for our pupils to look forward to. Events in the calendar for the next few weeks include our Roman Day, French Day, Prep Music Concerts, Years 2 and 3 trip to Stubbers and the first of our Prep exam weeks. From Wednesday, we will also recommence our sports fixtures programme and enjoy our first school cricket matches since 2019! As per previous correspondence, at present we are unable to allow spectators but are hopeful that we may be able to welcome supporters on site before the end of term. We will keep you informed of this.

Continuing last week’s theme of music, I would like to give a special mention to Silas in Year 2 who recently took his Associated Board of the Royals Schools of Music Grade 5 piano examination and was awarded a Distinction! This is a superb achievement and we are all very proud of his success, the fruit of dedication and practice. Many congratulations, Silas!

Lastly, I am delighted to announce that we will be welcoming Camp Beaumont to St Michael’s this summer. They will be running activity weeks for children using our wonderful grounds and facilities. You will be pleased to know that they offer a discounted rate to pupils from St Michael’s!

St Michael’s Prep School | Day Camps in Sevenoaks | Camp Beaumont

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend – let’s hope the sun continues to shine!

Nik Pears

A message from Mr Pears:

 

From the Head of Pre-Prep 

Dear Parents,

Thank you to the Parent Reps who I have met with this week. They do a great job of collating your questions. I know several of you are thinking about the year ahead for your child. We will have a Move Up Morning on Tuesday 29th June where your children will spend their morning with their new class teacher and the classroom that they will be in when they return in September. Parents are told the new class teachers the week before this. Please rest assured, there will be plenty of exposure to their new classroom and teaching staff in the Trinity Term so your children will feel quite comfortable about the move.

I understand from the children that a few of them have visited our Forest School out of school hours with their parents. Could I please respectfully ask that you don’t visit this area in the evenings or at weekends or without the supervision of St Michael’s staff. As you will appreciate, it is an outdoor classroom for us and one that is carefully maintained with huge risk assessments attached, for the safety of your children. We expect and must rely on everything to be left safe, secure and ready for the next session. Thank you for your understanding in this important matter.

During drop off and pick up some staff choose to wear face masks outside as they are in close proximity with other adults. Please note that there is no requirement from St Michael’s or any directive from Government for staff or parents to wear a face mask, it is simply a matter of personal choice. Please feel free to do as you are comfortable with and, as always we continue to respect one another’s boundaries and sensitivities in this area.

Congratulations to Silas who has achieved his Grade 5 piano award with distinction! That’s a lot of hard work and many hours of playing the piano in lockdown. Well done, Silas.

Overheard in Pre-Prep: Whilst a teacher was sitting on a plastic car and a child was trying to push it.

Child: “You are too heavy.”

Teacher: “How could you move me?”

Child: “I think we will need a crane.”

Teacher is now on a diet!   

 

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend, see you all on Tuesday.

 

Zerrin Leech

 

Pre-Prep Gold Star Winners

Bethan & Charlotte D, Edward & Mollie H & Thea L for settling so well into Pre-Prep

Nathan H for writing an incredibly descriptive Underwater Adventure story

Grace P for writing an excellent prediction about a chosen Oliver Jeffers book

Misha B for writing excellent predictions about chosen Oliver Jeffers books

Robert M for showing a great understanding of unit and non-unit fractions

Olanna E for fantastic effort in her work on fractions, especially during whole class discussions

Leo H.B for working hard in all subjects and thinking of great ideas in English

Daniel B for wonderful book writing during the holidays

Isla P.A for fantastic independent writing about the holidays

Noah L for his perseverance and creativity when making a model at Forest School

Elizabeth A for great contributions in all our lessons and for always working hard

Max S for his enthusiastic approach to reading

Siena L for trying hard to read with more expression

Ayla A for excellent effort and achievement when finding 10 more and less than numbers to 100

Gabrielle O for persevering when finding 10 more and less than numbers to 100

 

100 House Point Certificates

Awarded to:

Leeds – Dylan H / Beatrix T

Windsor – Thomas A

 

Headteacher’s Award

Given to:

Silas C

Staff News

We are delighted to announce that the following individual will be joining the St Michael’s team in September 2021:

Jasmine Cole- GAP Student

Jasmine is currently a student completing her A levels in Art, Business and Childcare. She is excited about starting at St Michael’s as a gap year student, meeting the children and working alongside the staff team. She brings with her a passion for supporting and inspiring children as a result of her time on various work placements in schools and settings around Tonbridge.  Jasmine will be starting her Primary Teaching course in 2022 to gain her Qualified Teacher Status. Her favourite sport is cheerleading and she was a part of a cheer and dance team for around six years where she competed in arenas around the country. Jasmine is looking forward to sharing her passion for sport with St Michael’s pupils in September.

 

 

Whole School News

St Michael’s welcomes the accordion

Accordion has been added to the list of instruments pupils can learn to play at St Michael’s. The unique instrument, which will be offered as part of the school’s lessons delivered by the peripatetic music teachers, combines the use of various musical skills and has many wonderful attributes.

Commenting on the new addition to the school’s music programme, Director of Music, Mr Baird, said: “We are excited to include the accordion as part of our instrumental offer in the music department as it can offer many benefits to young musicians in developing their musicianship, aural skills, physical coordination, and understanding of harmony and tonality. We look forward to future ensembles and concerts featuring the accordion”.

Mr Guy, one of St Michael’s peripatetic teachers who will be leading the accordion lessons, also added: “The accordion is an amazing instrument now available for lessons at St Michael’s. It’s lots of fun to play and I’m really looking forward to teaching it to everyone who is interested.”

To sign your child up for a taster session, please complete the taster session form on the Parent Portal before Friday 28th May. If you have any questions, please email Tracey Scott our Music Administrator.

You can also view a short introductory video to the instrument by Mr Guy on St Michael’s YouTube page.

Pupils raise £175.93 for the WWF

We are delighted to announce that St Michael’s has raised £175.93 for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) charity from loom band sales in the Prep school last term. A special mention must also go to Year 4 pupils M Murray, L Bakharevski, L Turnbull and E Gage who raised a proportion of the funds during the Easter break.

 

 

Camp Beaumont comes to St Michael’s

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. For more information please click here.

 

Senior School Information

Clarement Senior School

Join Claremont Senior School for their Open House Week from 17th to 22nd May.

In the Community

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

Wednesday 2nd June for Years 5 and 6

Thursday 3rd June for Years 7 and 8

Please email sarahgrayland@hotmail.co.uk for more information and to book your place.

Mr Thomas’ Half Term Hockey Camp

Mr Thomas will be holding his Half Term Hockey Camp at Hollybush Hockey Pitch on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th June. 

As Mr Thomas’ Easter camp sold out very quickly, please sign up early to avoid disappointment. To reserve your space, please email Mr Thomas on jnthomas88@outlook.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.

Send us your stories!

Has your child won an award, passed an extra-curricular exam or accomplished something exciting recently?

We love celebrating our pupils’ amazing achievements and want to showcase them in our weekly newsletter. Email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk to submit your child’s achievement.

Follow us on social media!

It’s important that we stay connected as a community during this time, so make sure you are following St Michael’s social media channels for important updates and content throughout the Trinity Term.

Latest News

We are delighted to announce that Freddie in Year 6 is one step closer to the British Kart Championships after coming 2nd place in the final of his latest race at PFI International. The weekend long event, which took place from Friday 30th April to Sunday 2nd May, saw Freddie compete in two heats and one final race.

Commenting on his win, Freddie said: “It was a really fun weekend and I enjoyed taking part in the different races. I faced challenges including a tangle with another kart in the last lap of the final, but I was pleased that I still managed to come second.”

He added: “Although we couldn’t have an awards ceremony due to Covid, I took home a trophy which is now sat on my desk with the others.”

Supporting Freddie at the event was his family who are hugely proud of his success. Freddie’s mum said: “This is an unbelievable achievement racing against children who have years more experience than Freddie. We are really proud.”

Mr Pears, Head, echoed this praise for Freddie when he said: “A huge congratulations to Freddie for doing so well in his races at the weekend. Freddie has clearly worked very hard to get where he is and we look forward to seeing him achieve many more trophies in the future.”

And with more than eight years karting experience behind him, it is no surprise that Freddie will be competing in the British Kart Championships in two weeks time.

Freddie said: “I’m feeling nervous about the Championships, but am looking forward to it at the same time. I am really aiming for the Top 10 seed.

“My dream is to become a world champion like my brother Alex.”

Congratulations to Daniel in Year 6 who won 1st place in the Bromley Junior Parkrun on Sunday 2nd May. Competing the 2km race in just 8 minutes 28 seconds, Daniel ran incredibly well and soared past 141 other runners to gain the top title.

Commenting on his win, Daniel said: “It was a great race and I was really happy to finish first. I love competing in the parkruns and have been trying hard to win the race since they restarted after lockdown. This was my 20th parkrun so it felt really good to win.”

Daniel, whose sister Mikayla also ran in the race, added: “It was a very rewarding run and a good challenge. Our parents were there to cheer us on and as we were celebrating Lithuanian Mother’s Day on Sunday, this made it even more special.”

Since winning the run, Daniel has used his experience to inspire others to give running a go. He said: “It would be great to see more people coming to the runs and trying their best. I didn’t used to be sporty, but I now really enjoy taking part in the events.”

Mr Bridges, Director of Sport, who is a very keen runner himself, praised Daniel for his success. He said: “We are very proud of Daniel’s achievement and how well he ran on Sunday. Competing against a large group of people can be daunting, but Daniel conquered this challenge. We look forward to hearing about Daniel’s future successes.”

Accordion has been added to the list of instruments pupils can learn to play at St Michael’s. The unique instrument, which will be offered as part of the school’s lessons delivered by the peripatetic music teachers, combines the use of various musical skills and has many wonderful attributes.

Commenting on the new addition to the school’s music programme, Director of Music, Mr Baird, said: “We are excited to include the accordion as part of our instrumental offer in the music department as it can offer many benefits to young musicians in developing their musicianship, aural skills, physical coordination, and understanding of harmony and tonality. We look forward to future ensembles and concerts featuring the accordion”.

Mr Guy, one of St Michael’s peripatetic teachers who will be leading the accordion lessons, also added: “The accordion is an amazing instrument now available for lessons at St Michael’s. It’s lots of fun to play and I’m really looking forward to teaching it to everyone who is interested.”

For more information about music at St Michael’s or to view performances by some of our musicians, please visit our website.

A Sevenoaks food bank is 318 kilos heavier following a donation from St Michael’s.

 

The school surprised charity The Community Cupboard with the generous donation on Monday, February 1 following a Christmas collection for the cause.

 

In total, £965 was raised from parent and staff donations throughout December, which St Michael’s Parents and Friends Association (P & F) used to organise a Sainsbury’s shop of food and toiletries for the charity.

 

Commenting on the school’s motivation to help the food bank, Co-Chair of St Michael’s P & F, Kelly Downey, said: “Delivering our donation to The Community Cupboard was an amazing and uplifting moment. Being able to bring the school together to contribute to a cause which plays such an important role in our community during this time was very rewarding.”

 

Greeted with three car loads of canned foods, long-life products and toiletries, Kelly also describes how delighted the charity were with the school’s generosity. She added: “The team were really blown away by our donation and thankful for the time we’d taken to raise the money and organise a delivery.

 

“It was a great feeling to be able to put an initial idea from a St Michael’s parent into action, and to see the impact we would be having on the local community.”

 

Kelly added: “We recognise that this is a very difficult time for everyone, especially those who can’t afford to put food on the table for their families. We hope that our donation can be a small step in making a difference for those people.”

 

Since the start of January alone, an additional 22 local families have registered for The Community Cupboard’s support, reflecting the increased pressures caused by the ongoing pandemic across the country. And it is only thanks to generous donations that the charity can continue to provide help to those who need it most.

 

Trustee at The Community Cupboard, David Carter said: “We would like to express our extreme gratitude to St Michael’s for their wonderful donation. We are very lucky to receive regular donations from local groups, but they are rarely to this scale.

 

“The food and toiletries kindly given to us by St Michael’s have allowed us to fully restock our shelves as well as putting plenty of stock on standby for new referrals. The size of this donation will allow us to give substantial food packages to the 22 new families who were referred to us in January. St Michael’s help is invaluable to us and will make a huge difference.”

 

Since its launch in January 2020, The Community Cupboard has continued to help families in Sevenoaks, and has extended its help to cover a 20 mile radius including Edenbridge, Westerham, Surrey, Sidcup, Rochester and Ashford, due to the pandemic.

 

The Trustee added: “We began as a small group of people determined to make a difference locally in an area where food banks were lacking. Little did we know, a global pandemic was on its way and our efforts would be needed tenfold. To say we hit the ground running would be an understatement.”

 

Run by four members and six volunteers, The Community Cupboard works tirelessly to deliver parcels to families, and in January alone distributed 3.1 tonnes of food, toiletries and essential items.

 

David said: “We began the charity on the foundation that ‘if we can help, we will’, and with the community’s help, I’m proud to say we are doing just that. We see a lot of hardship and sadness in doing what we do, but it really opens our eyes to the incredible hard work various organisations and charities do in our community. Thanks to generous groups like St Michael’s, we can confidently say ‘yes, we can help you’.”

 

The Community Cupboard are currently taking donations of tinned and long-life food products, as well as toiletries and essential items. Monetary donations are also welcome and will be put towards bulk orders for the charity.

 

The charity is based at The Garage, Gamcock meadow, West Kingdown where a covid secure donation drop off process has been put in place.

 

For more information about The Community Cupboard, or to donate to the charity visit www.thecommunitycupboard.co.uk.