eNews: Friday 4th October 2019

From the Head

I am delighted to let you know that following our two year focus on well-being at schools we have been accredited with the Wellbeing at School award offered by the National Children’s Bureau with Optimus Education.

I’d like to thank Fraser Wiseman and his change team which comprised staff and parents and I’d like to thank Lorna Sharp from West Kent Mind, who helped us build our training partnership to become the lead school in Kent for the number of trained staff and parents.

If you would like to train in mental health First Aid please do sign up for the next course which is in November

The award takes the school through a period of questioning, reflection, engagement and action to improve outcomes, awareness and signpost sources of help. During this period a great deal of progress has been made. People feel more confident to say they’re struggling if they are and there is no shame attached to expressing such a feeling.

Of course there is a tension for leaders and parents, who also know that resilience is a key component of wellbeing and hand-in-hand by providing challenge, managing disappointment and failure with positivity and making explicit next steps and new opportunities for trying again, children can grow the ability to deal with disappointment and thus alleviate anxiety and stress.

Of course this does not mean to say that we will lose focus in this area, quite the contrary. We recognise that we are at a point within the journey and we will continue to focus on adapting the curriculum for children, so that the vocabulary to articulate things that can cause anxiety is known and mastered by children. We also know and understand that staff and parents must be clear that unless they look after themselves they will be no use to anyone else and they have our blessing in this endeavour!

My assemblies on perseverance in Prep and Pre-Prep have focused on two stories to date, the first is the incredible story of team Hoyt.

For those of you that you that are not aware, Rick and Dick Hoyt raced as a team together in marathons and triathlons over three decades and have demonstrated the most incredible perseverance in the face of extreme challenges with Rick, a quadriplegic sufferer of cerebral palsy, who has to communicate letter by letter through a computer, and his Dad pushing him in a running chair. You can see a glimpse of their incredible story in the weblink below or perhaps order Rick’s book:

One Letter at a Time 

Click here to watch my video from assembly

Next week I shall be out of school on Wednesday and Thursday on an inspection. I’m looking forward to learning something new on my two days away.

I hope that this weekend, wherever you are, you can give yourself the space and time to enjoy the company of your family, let your mind free itself of worry and have some good, wellbeing-inducing fun!

Jill Aisher

 

 

About the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS)

Developed in partnership with NCB, this whole-school award focuses on ensuring effective practice and provision is in place that promotes the emotional wellbeing and mental health of both staff and pupils.
The award has a focus on changing the long-term culture of a school, and embedding an ethos where mental health is regarded as the responsibility of all.
To achieve this award schools will be expected to demonstrate how they:
• Show their commitment to promoting mental health as part of school life
• Improve the emotional wellbeing of their staff and pupils
• Ensure mental health problems are identified early and appropriate support provided
• Offer provision and interventions that matches the needs of its pupils and staff
• Engage the whole school community in the importance of mental health awareness
• Capture the views of parents, pupils and teachers on mental health issues

News from Pre-Prep

• Harvest Festival Friday 4th Oct. Wonderful donations received – thank you all for your generosity
• Parking/Drop Off – Please don’t leave your car in the drop off only area
• Tuesday 8th October Open Morning

Thank you for all your harvest festival donations. You are very generous and the Trussell Trust wish to pass on their thanks for the enormous quantity of food and toiletries which they can now distribute to so many families in need.

Traffic updates: Please try and park within the white lines in the car park. This will enable us to fit as many cars as possible into our Pre-Prep car park.

Next Tuesday we will be holding our Open Morning for prospective parents who may wish to send their children to St Michael’s. If any of you wish to look at Prep school in action ready for moving into Year 3, please contact Jane Thornton. Please note there will also be opportunities in the Lent term to visit Prep in preparation for your child’s transition.

As the weather is rather rainy now please could you make sure we have your child’s school coat sent in everyday?

Overheard:
About the Harvest food “and we got it all from Lidl!

Have a lovely weekend.

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:

  • Audio files for Young Voices 2020
  • St Michael’s Fireworks Display – dates and booking details
  • List of Senior Schools attending our Senior Schools Fair
  • Half-term Sports Camps, including Mrs Grayland’s new Netball Camp

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:

  • Derek Benfield’s “Anyone for Breakfast?”  – comedy at Otford Village Memorial Hall

Pre-Prep Awards

 

Gold Stars

Arthur N for fantastic word writing
Beatrix T for writing wonderful letters in phonics
Sylvie F for labelling her favourite foods by using her fabulous phonic knowledge
Eric V for brilliant blending
Mona-Swan M for always being enthusiastic with her reading
Cian C for trying so hard with his letter formation
Arthur S for mending a giant peg for Mrs Leech
Adam O for good work in mathematics
Grace P for 100% effort in every lesson
Amelia R for fantastic and thoughtful participation in our R. E. discussion
Elizabeth S for very careful and creative art work
Sebastian G for fantastic effort with his reading
Zack E for trying his best with his handwriting
Florence B for fantastic attention to detail and great presentation skills on her life cycle work
Finley S for always trying his best and approaching everything he does with such a brilliant attitude
Genevieve M for always approaching work with a positive attitude and a smile on her face
Mickey M for using fantastic scientific vocabulary about life cycles
Myla B for persevering in gymnastics and always smiling
Olanna E for brilliant persevering in swimming and swimming without a float on her back

Music Award

Music Practice Cup: Archie B
Music Practice Award: Walter M
Star Violinist Cup: Irene G

Swimming Certificates

Swim England Learn to Swim Awards

Level 1 – Ava M
Level 2 – Isabelle D

News from Prep

Notices from Mr Wiseman

Parking on the top pitch

We do normally allow parking on this top pitch during the first half of the Michaelmas term, with the last time it is used being Firework night. As we have already had a substantial amount of rainfall, the opening to the pitch is fast becoming muddy through the number of cars driving over this area.
Please refrain from using this as a parking area, unless absolutely necessary. If there are spaces in the other parking areas, please use them.
In the mornings, this must not be used as a drop off area. The allocated drop off area must be used for the Prep school. Ultimately, this is still a teaching area and the surface needs to be protected as much as possible for this to remain so. Thank you.

Uniform

Along with the assistance of my colleagues, I will be having a push towards a stricter adherence to the required uniform we expect the children to wear. It has been noted that some of the children are falling below the standards we expect and, in many cases, this is after being asked to improve their appearance by a member of staff.

The main issues are;
• School shoes – these should be black leather and not trainer style. There is a handful of children who are wearing trainers as this has been recommended by a medical professional. All other children should be wearing their school shoes.
• Tracksuit – if a child is in an academic lesson, but is wearing their sport kit, they should be in full tracksuit. Children often have to get changed at morning break in preparation for a later fixture or event. The tracksuit should always be in their kitbag for these times. They should also have their full tracksuit for match tea.
• Shirts – this mostly affects the boys, but in the winter uniform, the girls must also adhere to this. I, again along with my colleagues, spend a large proportion of time walking around the school asking children to tuck their shirts in. I would ask that parents check the length/ size of the shirts/ blouses, as I can see some of the boys shirts coming out when they put their hands up to answer a question. Although still a couple of months away, maybe Father Christmas could supply some new shirts for the start of the Lent term. I am sure the children would be overjoyed!
• Coats/Blazers – We have seen a distinct change in the weather this week, and I am still seeing some children arrive at school in only their shirt/ blouse (sometimes short-sleeved) or jumper. All the children should be arriving at school, throughout the year, in either their blazer or school coat, depending on the weather.

Much of the above can be assisted from those at home. There will be instances when a child has made a choice to not wear the correct uniform and in these cases a sanction may well be given. The children will be reminded of the expectations regarding uniform, so they will be in no doubt as to the expectations. With your assistance from home, I am convinced we will see an immediate improvement. I also expect parental support if a sanction has been given for non-adherence to the expectations, while in school.

I thank you in advance for your assistance in this.

Players of the Match, week commencing 30th September 2019

Team Name Given for: –
1st Football M Blincoe For displaying tidy and precise play throughout the match
2nd T Petersen For great attacking play
3rd T Bulley & T Porter For showing great perseverance and endeavour
Colts A T Neville & L Selvey-Clinton For all-round great play
Colts B The whole team For having 2 wins and all-round good performances
Colts C F Rutherford For excellent goal-keeping
Colts D C Hunter, M Batchelor & R Brown For great all-round play
Colts E D Macedo

 

I Premachandran

For displaying great enthusiasm and energy

For scoring and showing determination

Colts F F Giannakis

A Scott

For scoring a hat-trick

For good play and scoring 2 goals

U9 A The whole team For all-round great play
U9 B G Dulski For scoring a fantastic goal and showing a great work rate
U8 A W Pennington Legh For working hard to recover the ball
U8 B I Vanghese For having a great finish
U8 C S Doyle

G MacIntosh

For scoring 2 goals

For good defending

U13 A Hockey E Ward

 

E Powell

For displaying great energy on the pitch and for tackling back.

For the most outstanding goal-keeping!

U13 B Hockey L Griffiths

F Griffin

Voted for by the opposition

For showing excellent game awareness, tackling and use of space

U13 C Hockey D Stephens

F Arduino

Voted for by the opposition

For running non-stop!

U11 A No Match
U11 B S Cook For good distribution of the ball
U10 A G Owen For showing great distribution of the ball
U10 B P Malin For scoring a goal and for showing great pace and tenacity
U10 C No Match
U9 A A Brown

 

A-L El Alami

For good intercepting of the ball and strong passing

For good movement on the court and good all-round skills

U9 B S Cameron Voted for the opposition
U9 C O Padilla & K Rutherford Voted for the opposition
U8 Green S Savage

C Selvey-Clinton

For great shooting

For superb intercepting

U8 Black G Biskin For great intercepting
U8 Blue M Walker & B Ravalli For great all-round play

Senior School Open Days

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, Bromley High School Christ’s Hospital, Cobham Hall, Haileybury, Kent College Pembury, King’s Canterbury, Oakwood Park Grammar School, Radnor House, Sevenoaks School, Skinners’ School, Tonbridge Girls’ Grammar, TWGGS, Walthamstow Hall and Whitgift 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