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

As Y5 pupil, C Hunter, explained during Monday’s assembly, Sevenoaks School has organised weekly food/supply collections for those in need during these very uncertain times.  The collections have benefited local organisations such as One Big Family: Helping the Homeless, Friends for Families, The Hygiene Bank, Sevenoaks Food Bank: Loaves & Fishes, Community Cupboard, area primary schools and others.  Miss Cat Davison, the School’s Director of Service and Social Impact, updates its online social media feeds (@sevenoaksimpact on Twitter and Instagram) with the items needed each week.  We hope that you will consider helping with this effort.  Together we can make a huge difference for those living right here in our community!
The details of the collections are provided below.  If you do wish to participate, please ensure that items are unopened and handled with washed or sanitised hands, and that social distancing is strictly adhered to on delivery.
What: Food, Supplies (check social media links for current needs)
When:   Every Tuesday, 9am – 12pm
Where: Outside Claridge House, Sevenoaks School,TN13 1HU
(Claridge House is just to the right of the main entrance of Knole Park on High Street)
On Monday our community-minded pupil also discussed a book collection which took place earlier this year for children in Ghana.  Below are photos of EduSpots centres where the books are available for local communities throughout Ghana.

We’ve been amazed by the phenomenal success of the Art Department’s recent challenge “Painting without Paint”. Set as part of our remote learning programme, children were asked to select a work of art of their choice and to recreate it at home – but without using paint!

The Art Department has been overwhelmed by submissions, which Miss Rodwell, described as “creative, humorous and inventive”. She added “Staff have been impressed by submissions that showed how carefully the children have looked at their chosen artworks in order to create such brilliant responses.”

Posts on our Twitter account have received positive responses from prestigious art galleries, such as the Tate and the National Gallery, with The Lowry in Manchester commenting “Wow, we love this!!” on T Neville’s version of L S Lowry’s “Man Lying on a Wall”. But it’s not just art galleries in the UK, who have responded to the children’s art; their work has been liked by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden and the Mauritshuis in Den Haag. One Year 3 pupil, who was inspired by artist Aja Trier, even reached New York, as permission was sought to post an image of one of her paintings. She was delighted to allow us to feature her work and on seeing J Gagg’s interpretation commented “Oh my gosh that is precious! Please tell the artist I love it! I will post on my Instagram and Facebook. Thank you!” She went on to tell us “I am always so humbled when kids are inspired by my work, but this is next level!”

In order to show you all the wonderful work our pupils have done, we’ve put together an online gallery of the work. Talking about the project and the reaction, Mrs Barratt declared “This is wonderful!” and reactions from other schools included the comment “Excellent work St Michael’s Art Department this is a really fun activity”.

Mrs Bridges told us “I am absolutely delighted, and inspired, by the way that the children have responded to these challenges. Creativity is keeping us connected, not only within our own community but across the world too!”

We can’t wait to see what the department comes up with next. Miss Rodwell is keeping us in suspense “I’ve been working on a new one today …”. We’re sure that our pupils will have even more opportunity to excel!

Click here to view our online gallery of more ingenious images.

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

Well done to our doubles girls, E Julio and S Savidge, who also played in last weekend’s Junior Orange Ball Tournament in Sevenoaks. They played four matches, won two, beating Sevenoaks Prep and Lady Boswell’s and lost two to the eventual finalists Amherst and Granville.

This was a great performance by the girls, particularly in the light of little experience of Orange Ball competition.

Well done!