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


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


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

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




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)




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



On Wednesday, November 27 Year 5 and 6 pupils took part in a Spelling Bee hosted by Mrs Andrade and Mrs Baisch.

Challenged with spellings such as synonymous, counterfeit, and accommodation, it was an extremely close competition with many tense rounds.

Winner of the Spelling Bee, Moyo in Year 6, triumphed with her correct spelling of the word ‘conscience’.

Commenting on her success, Moyo said: “I really enjoyed taking part in the Spelling Bee and was really surprised to win.

“It was challenging as there were some words I’d never heard of, but it was fun to guess the spellings of these words and apply what I knew about other spellings to my answers.”

“It was great to take part in the competition with my friends.”

Two former St Michael’s pupils have been selected for the final phase of the England Under 16 Hockey Assessments.

Lottie Bingham and Anna Faulstich, who attended St Michael’s until July 2017, have remained great friends and play hockey together at HC Knole Park.

Lottie said “ I loved playing hockey at St Michael’s and I am delighted that Anna, my best friend , has joined me in the England training programme that I was also selected for last year. We are both very jealous that St Michael’s now have a wonderful, new astro pitch at school!“

Both girls were also members of the successful Year 6 St Michael’s who won the regional IAPS and came 5th in the National Finals .

Congratulating the girls on their achievement, Mr Thomas, who taught them 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 how they get at the trials and someday welcoming them back to play on our new pitch.”

Many congratulations to Lottie and Anna, St Michael’s wishes them the best of luck in the next phase of assessments.

A former St Michael’s student has been awarded an Honorary Sports Scholarship to support her excellence in athletics.

Harriet Medlen, who attended the school between 2011 and 2018, has received the scholarship from Sevenoaks School.

Harriet, who is in Year 9 at Sevenoaks School, said: “My time at St Michael’s helped me to develop my love of sport especially athletics and hockey. I have very happy memories of sports days and Mrs Wade taking me to IAPs athletics competitions. I am very grateful to all the teachers at St Michael’s for their encouragement during my time there. I am proud to have achieved a sports scholarship at Sevenoaks School and I am looking forward to making the most of this opportunity.”

And commenting on Harriet’s success, St Michael’s teacher Mrs Wade said: “It is great to hear that Harriet has been awarded an Honorary Sports Scholarship from Sevenoaks School. We are extremely proud of what she has achieved since leaving St Michael’s. Harriet is an excellent games player and an outstanding athlete. She was very hardworking in her sports at St Michael’s and it is great to hear that she continues to achieve highly. Well done, Harriet!”

Don’t judge a book by its cover, it’s the first chapter that holds all the secrets!

                                                       Year 6 and Mrs Yarrow pose with some of the First Chapter Friday books.


“Good readers, make excellent writers.” says St Michael’s Library Assistant, Helen Yarrow, who has launched an exciting reading initiative in the Prep school this term. 


Mrs Yarrow, who joined the St Michael’s team in September 2020, is passionate about books and believes children should read a variety of genres and authors before they choose what’s best for them.


Keen to implement this strategy at St Michael’s, Mrs Yarrow has introduced First Chapter Friday, a project designed to get pupils reading a range of books, rather than the same authors, characters and storylines over again. 


First Chapter Friday sees pupils receive a list of 10 books, suited to the reading proficiency of their year group, each term. Every Friday, pupils read the first chapter of a new book with their form groups before deciding whether to continue reading it in their own time.


Mrs Yarrow said: “The aim of First Chapter Friday is to help the children find a book they really want to read. 


“By exposing the children to books that they wouldn’t normally pick off the bookshelf, it introduces them to a range of subjects, and inevitably fosters their love of reading.”


Helen added: “Some form groups choose to read the chapter independently during the sessions, some listen to their form teachers reading the chapter, and some take turns to read different paragraphs.”


“By inviting pupils to read sections of the chapter out loud, the form tutors are also helping to develop the pupils’ language acquisition and public speaking skills. The challenge has many benefits to it.”



Titles on this term’s First Chapter Friday lists include both fiction and non-fiction books spanning a variety of themes and genres. 


One popular title is  Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill, which Sean C from Year 6 describes as “extremely interesting”. He added: “I really enjoy Shackleton’s Journey because it takes you on an adventure, showing you how Shackleton’s crew survived and what they encountered along the way.


“My favourite part of the book is where it describes how they escaped their sinking ship.


“Since reading it with my form during First Chapter Friday, I’ve enjoyed coming to the library to read more of it at break and lunch times.”



And explaining the planning process behind First Chapter Friday, Mrs Yarrow said: “I create the reading lists using recommendations from websites such as Love Reading for Kids as well as my own research.


“I try to ensure the First Chapter Friday books are 2020 titles to keep them in tune with modern authors and contemporary ideas.”


“This term I’ve included a range of titles focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement and Black History, as well as those written by black authors. Such books include The Faraway Truth by Janae Marks, Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly, and The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley.”


She added: “First Chapter Friday encourages form groups to discuss the different topics linked to each book. It is designed to make the sessions an interactive experience which is both fun and educational for the children.” 



Other favourites from Mrs Yarrow’s reading lists include The Battle of Bubble and Squeak by Philippa Pearce, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson. 


Mrs Yarrow said: “Different pupils gravitate towards different books, but there have been some very clear favourites.”


She continued: “I get the children to read the first chapter of the book as it’s in these pages that the author establishes the hook of their novel. 


“Friday Chapter Friday helps pupils recognise the importance of a first chapter and shows them various ways they can make their writing engaging.


“One of the main aims of the initiative is to inspire the children to write their own stories.”