eNews: Friday 31st January 2020

From Graham Malcolm, Interim Executive Head

Well, after the last few weeks, we thought that all the inspections were over but to everyone’s surprise on Monday morning we had an unannounced visit from Environmental Health! This was a routine visit, which anyone involved in catering will know is a regular visit to check that everything in the kitchen is fine. If you look at restaurants as you go in, a green grading sticker must be displayed to inform customers on the hygiene of the establishment. St Michael’s, although a school, is no different.

I am delighted to inform parents that our Head Chef, Mark Edwards and his team scored 5 stars out of 5, the top score, again. This should reassure parents that the hygiene of food cooked at St Michael’s continues to be of top quality. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mark and his team for the great job they perform each day at school and for this excellent achievement.

I don’t think that we have anything left to inspect, but if we do, I am sure that the outstanding staff we have at the school will not be found wanting.

Enjoy the weekend!

Graham Malcolm

BEd, MA (IAPS)

From the Acting Co-Heads

After two weeks of inspection preparation and performance it has been refreshing to enjoy a week of relative normality for the teachers and pupils. There’s comfort to be found in the usual routine of lessons, break times, matches, meetings, assemblies and activities. Year 6 have been exploring poetry this term and when the sun shone brightly on Wednesday some of the pupils took to the terrace to be inspired by the landscape of St Michael’s. It was a pleasure to see how much the children appreciate what’s around them; the beauty of a vibrant blue sky, the history in the school building and finding joy in that beautiful view. Last week we were thinking about climbing Everest and achieving the extraordinary in life but it’s also exciting to enjoy the ordinary and make that come alive for the children, and for us. Appreciating the everyday and the moments that make life normal bring a different kind of pleasure in life and we hope that the children will find the balance of dreaming big and aiming high whilst also finding magic in the ordinary. We came across the following poem this week and it divided opinion between some colleagues in the staff room but we feel that it gave us good chance to reflect on how we view the everyday:

‘Do not ask your children to strive’
By William Martin

Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

Whatever your plans are this weekend, we hope that you can find some joy in the ordinary. Have a wonderful time.

Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman

News from Pre-Prep

• Fri 7th Jan Year 1 parents Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 7th Jan School Charity Day in aid of Gush Gush water charity (https://www.facebook.com/Gushgushwaterprojects)
• Fri 28th Feb Reception parents Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Wed 5th Feb 8.45am Year 2 parents coffee morning with Year 3 teachers
• Thurs 6th Feb Year 1 trip to Shoreham
• Fri 7th Feb Year 2 Benchball tournament Prep Sports Hall

I’m afraid staff and children seem to have suffered with coughs, colds and chest infections this week. Several staff have covered in different classes, which is always interesting to do. I have loved teaching a combination of Year 2 and Reception this week. Please keep your child at home if they are unwell. Give them time to recover before returning them to school and hopefully we can reduce the spread of the germs.

Please see the dates above or our calendar for the remaining two Maths workshops for parents of children in Reception and Year 1. These will be held on Friday mornings after drop-off. If you would like to know a little more about how we are teaching your children, please pop in to the dining room on the relevant date.

For parents of children who are currently in Year 2 there will be a coffee morning next Wednesday which will be held at Prep school in the Library at 8.45am. Please do go along and hear what is on offer for your child next year and familiarise yourself with the Year 3 landing and classrooms. I know for some of you it may be a few years since you last looked at our Year 3.

Next Thursday the Year 1 children will be going in the minibuses to Shoreham to look at the different styles of buildings. This is a morning-only trip so the children will be back in time for lunch. Please make sure your child has their school coat, hat and gloves on that day so that they are warm.

On Friday Miss Rawlinson will be showcasing the talents of your Year 2 children in the Benchball Tournament. It starts at 1.40pm in the Prep Sports Hall. Parents are welcome to come and support. Tea and coffee will be served afterwards in the Pre-Prep dining room.

P&F will be organising a film night for Pre-Prep children in the Pre-Prep Hall whilst their older siblings attend the Prep school disco on Friday so look out for their messages if your children want to join in the fun. Please stay on site if your child is watching the film.

Overheard on the playground:
It’s going to snow soon so it will be Christmas time again!

Have a lovely weekend,

Zerrin Leech

Inset Day Friday 14th February

Just a reminder that the school will be closed on Friday 14th February for an INSET day.

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:

  • Parking on site

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 as follows:

  • Otford Hospices of Hope Bagpuss Launch Party 12th February

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

Henry M for creating an amazing bird feeder in Forest School
Arthur N for good teamwork during Forest School
Eric V H for fantastic reading
Peter S for making gorgeous chickens using a variety of craft materials
Henry W for having a wonderful attitude to learning
Nina T for excellent effort in our ‘sharing’ activity
Anna W for working hard in our English lesson learning about verbs
Adam J for beautiful detailed artwork in our printing session
Kim V for fantastic progress in her swimming lessons
Elizabeth W for fantastic effort and understanding in poetry writing
Leo H B for being so polite and helpful
George W for good explanations of his working in mathematics
Reuben P for writing a very accurate diary entry about an exploration to Antarctica
Raven S for fantastic addition using bridging through 10 and the column method
Amelia B for a detailed diary entry imagining she was Scott of the Antarctic
Alexander H for using excellent scientific vocabulary during an experiment on insulation

House Points Cup

Rochester House with a total of 228 points
Lev collected the Cup on behalf of Rochester House

Times Tables Certificate

Bronze: Herbie F

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup: Zi Chen G
Music Practice Award: Elizabeth W
Star Violinist Cup: Sophie F

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

S Cook For having art work displayed at school
F Rutherford For having art work displayed at school
S Andrade For having art work displayed at school
L Watson For having art work displayed at school
A Scott For having art work displayed at school
C Bowyer For having art work displayed at school
H Richmond For having art work displayed at school
M McLaughlin For having art work displayed at school
A Moore For having art work displayed at school
O Neave For having art work displayed at school
T Porter For having art work displayed at school
K Loukam For having art work displayed at school
J Bashford For having art work displayed at school
J Taylor For having art work displayed at school
B Walker For having art work displayed at school
M Blincoe For having art work displayed at school
A Edwards For having art work displayed at school
L Griffiths For having art work displayed at school
X Prongue For having art work displayed at school
A Mottram For having art work displayed at school
E Hudson For having art work displayed at school
E Ward For having art work displayed at school
C Sturges For having art work displayed at school
O Stinson For having art work displayed at school
H Owen For having art work displayed at school
F Arduino For having art work displayed at school
H Soper For having art work displayed at school
G Schneider-Price For having art work displayed at school

Drama Duologue Finalists

INTER-HOUSE DRAMA DUOLOGUE HEATS RESULTS

Congratulations to ALL who took part. As usual the competition was very fierce. 

Finalists- Wednesday 5th Feb 2020 from 6:30pm-Get rehearsing !

 

Juniors

 

O Scott and R Stevens (Leeds)

L Andrade and E Gage (Leeds)

S Mottram and S Wallace (Rochester)

S Savidge and S Johnson (Rochester)

O Nathan and E Julio (Dover)

D Booth and S Taylor (Dover)

M Murray and L Bakharevski (Windsor)

E Wilcock and M Macedo ((Windsor)

 

Seniors

 

S Parker-Swift and P Parker-Swift (Leeds)

T Bulley and R Landgrebe (Leeds)

A Scott and L Clapham (Leeds)

S Andrade and L Blincoe (Leeds)

S Ward and N Brown (Rochester)

L Lutzow and T Bax (Rochester)

A Moore and C-M Pape (Dover)

N Stinson and G Owen (Dover)

K Loukam and N Dandeniya (Windsor)

 

 

 

Players of the Match, week commencing 27th January 2020

Team Name Given for: –
U13 Rugby K Cameron For amazing all-round play and for scoring 3 tries
U12 The whole team For a great team performance
U11 A J Wiseman & H Richmond Voted for by the opposition coach for great attacking play
U11 B G Kelly For good attacking play
U10 A C Buff For trying to play wide
U10 B I Premachandran For scoring some super tries
U9 A K Loukham For strong and direct running
U9 B J West For showing great pace and for scoring 5 tries
U8 A W Pennington Legh & A Lutzow For great all-round play
U8 B O Epps For scoring 2 great tries
U8 C Not awarded this week
U13 A Netball No Match
U13 B No Match
U13 C No Match
U11 A A Ogle Voted for by the opposition for strong attacking play and tenacious defending
U11 B M Noorpuri For brilliant defending and making many interceptions in the tournament
U11 C A Mottram Voted for by the opposition.
U10 A I Pennington Legh Voted for by the opposition
U10 B D Patel Voted for by the opposition
U10 C T Carman Voted for by the opposition
U9 A N Ogle

A Brown

Voted for by the opposition

For great defensive work

U9 B M Elliott

M Murray

Voted for by the opposition

For great versatility and attitude on the court

U9 C K Rutherford

O Padilla

Voted for by the opposition

Voted for by the opposition

U8 A S Savidge

U Osunwa

Voted for by the opposition

For great defending and intercepting

U8 B A Rehbein

B Batchelor

Voted for by the opposition

For good all-round play in a variety of positions

U8 C G Binskin

J Mayhew

Voted for by the opposition

For good defending

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, St Olave’s Grammar School and Skinners’ School.

Latest News

 

 

 

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.”

This month St Michael’s Prep is celebrating the opening of its new Astro Turf pitch.

Completed during Summer 2020, the state-of-the-art facility will provide a huge boost to the school’s sporting facilities and allow it to offer a broader range of activities including boys hockey and football to its pupils.

Its floodlights will also enable St Michael’s to host sports matches during evenings, as well as inviting external schools and clubs to enjoy the new pitch throughout the year.

Ben Bridges, Director of Sports at St Michael’s, said: “We’re really excited to use the Astro Turf for the first time this month.

“We feel extremely lucky to be able to offer this to our pupils in both Prep and Pre-prep and are thrilled about the benefits it will bring to our sporting curriculum.

“As well as hockey, the new pitch will allow us to offer many other sports to pupils and will prevent the children from missing lessons due to inclement weather.”

Planning for the Astro Turf began in 2014 and has seen St Michael’s grounds undergo a significant transformation since construction began last summer. During this time pupils were fascinated by the diggers, dumpers and bulldozers which visited the school, while nursery and kindergarten children were treated to close-up views of the machinery.

Mr Bridges added: “Although it was a slightly delayed start due to the poor weather we faced, this feels like the perfect time to put the incredible space to good use.

“This is really going to move sport at St Michael’s to the next level, as well as providing us with opportunities to engage with the local community. We’re excited all round.”

 

The Governors of St. Michael’s Prep School take pleasure in announcing the appointment of Nik Pears as our new Head Teacher with effect from January 2021.

Nik was educated at St Dunstan’s College, London and is a graduate of Cambridge University. He is currently Head of Prep at Kent College Pembury, a post he has held since 2016. Prior to that, he was Headmaster of the Junior School at Sevenoaks Prep for 5 years. Nik is also an ISI inspector and a governor at Dulwich Prep, Cranbrook. We believe that he has the experience and qualities required to lead St Michael’s into the next chapter of its history.

Nik represented Kent U18 group at rugby and has a love of all sports. He is an accomplished musician and has performed at The O2 and Wembley Arenas. He is an Ambassador for “We See Hope”, a charity working with orphans and vulnerable young people in sub Saharan Africa. Nik devised The Social Entrepreneurs Project an initiative that challenges young people to turn £10 seed capital into £100 or more with their profits going to support the work of the charity.

We feel very fortunate to have secured Nik’s headship and welcome him and his wife Emma and two children, Jessica and Josiah into the St. Michael’s family from the start of next year. Nik has said

“I am delighted to have been appointed the next Head of St Michael’s Prep. Having lived in the area for the past twenty years, it is a school I have known and long admired for its ambitious and child-centred approach to learning. There is a very special atmosphere in the school and I am excited to become a part of the community, getting to know the children, parents and staff over the months and years ahead. St Michael’s is privileged to have an experienced and committed Senior Leadership Team and I very much look forward to working together with them as we embark on an exciting future for the school.” 

Some of our super St Michael’s Swimmers have won an array of silverware at recent events.

At the Sevenoaks Swimming Club presentation evening, I Pennington Legh was presented with the Kingsbury Cup for U10 girls; A Green was awarded the Kingsbury Cup for U10 boys; E Green received runner up plate for the best U9 boy; S. Taylor was awarded the Mike Radford Trophy for most improved U9 boy; A Ashton was presented with the U9 Individual Medley Cup and U9 trophy for most improved swimmer; B Tovey and J Taylor were both awarded plaques with their positions from the recent Sevenoaks Club Championships.

At the Black Lion Gala, Gillingham, at the start of March our swimmers again came away with medals. A Ashton won three gold, one bronze, one fourth and one sixth medal; A Green three gold and two silver medals; E Green four silver and one bronze medal; S Taylor one silver and one fourth medal and J Taylor a fourth position medal. V Medlen also came away with a medal from the gala.

Well done to all those swimmers; your hard work and dedication is certainly paying off!

Mrs Denton

Swim School Manager