eNews: Friday 5th February 2021

From the Head

Dear Parents,

What a fun and busy week it has been at St Michael’s. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing and awarding Head’s Stars for some fantastic Remote Learning work this week, as well as being able to drop in to see some of the classes in Prep school.

There’s lots to celebrate in this week’s newsletter including a fantastic story about St Michael’s amazing donation to local food bank The Community Cupboard which the school community contributed to last term. Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity.

Have a great weekend.

Nik Pears

 

A message from Mr Pears to pupils:

 

 

 

From the Head of Pre-Prep 

Dear Parents,

It has been another busy week of Remote Learning and Zoom calls. We are certainly being kept busy with prospective parents who want to get their children into St Michael’s. We have even started on entry to Nursery in 2023, so perhaps I could remind you if you haven’t already registered your youngest child, you may wish to start the process.

We are planning our parents’ “evenings” with you on Tuesday 23rd, Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th of February. These can be booked via the Parents’ Evening System. You should already have a code for this. We have brought the date forward in our calendar rather than wait until March, as we thought you may appreciate an earlier catch up with your child’s class teacher. Appointments will be for 10 minutes. We are offering daytime appointments as well as evening for those of you who are able to juggle Remote Learning with talking to a teacher. This will be a time to talk as adults rather than your child taking part.  A letter giving you further details will be with you shortly.

Next week is a 4-day week before we start half term for the children on Friday 12th February. We will not be having any critical worker children or Pre-school children at school over half term. Staff will be having an inset training day on Friday 12th February before they start their half term break.

If we do get snow this weekend at least Remote Learning shouldn’t be disrupted!

Overheard in Pre-Prep: “When I’m 100 I’m going to be a teacher…well perhaps when I’m 48.”

Have a lovely weekend,

Zerrin Leech

Head’s Stars

M Macedo (Year 4) for sharing amazing Lockdown Life Hacks video

C Selvey-Clinton (Year 4) for an amazing Roman Army Recruitment video

O Scott (Year 4) for an amazing Roman Army Recruitment video

F Digweed (Year 4) for putting in wonderful effort and extra time on lessons; an example of conscientiousness

G Binskin (Year 4) for working really hard, going the ‘extra mile’ and completing extension work

S Wallace (Year 4) for an amazing PowerPoint presentation about pursuing a passionate project

A Ulens (Year 6) for a beautiful depiction of Autumn inspired by poetry of the senses in English

D Singh (Year 6) for an amazing poem called ‘Black’ in English

Remote Learning 

St Michael’s pupils have been working hard in their Remote Learning lessons this week. They have completed artwork, made models of scientific processes and even sung songs to practise their French.

 

Send in your photos

To send us photos or videos of your child taking part in Remote Learning, please email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk along with your child’s name, year group and a short description of the photograph. All content sent to this email address may feature on St Michael’s social media and in other publications.

Critical Workers group

Meanwhile, in school our Critical Workers group has enjoyed a range of activities including making craft aliens, and enjoying some free time in the sun.

Whole School News

Freestyle Friday!

Presenting… this week’s Freestyle Friday dance to ‘9 to 5’ by Dolly PartonThank you to everyone who submitted their clips, we hope you enjoy watching this video.

 

Next week’s theme is: St Michael’s loves…

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day and we want to celebrate everybody and everything we love in our lives. Whether it’s a family member, hobby, favourite cuddly toy or place, we want to celebrate all the things that make us happy in next week’s video.

We will be dancing to: You’ve Got the Love by Florence + The Machine

If your child would like to be involved, please send a 5-10 second video clip of your child dancing to tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk to be considered for the final video. Please can we ask parents to be mindful of what their child is wearing in the video, and to ensure that their clothing and dance moves are appropriate for distribution to the school community and on St Michael’s social media channels.

The deadline for the next Freestyle Friday video is Wednesday 10th February at 12pm. Please film all videos in landscape and not portrait. You do not need to worry about sound in the video as all clips will be muted before being put with a backing track.

Lockdown Life Hacks

Thank you to those who have been sending in their Lockdown Life Hacks this week. It’s been useful and inspiring to hear how others are coping with the lockdown period and what is helping them stay positive.

This week, Year 4 pupil Mikayla is sharing her 7 Lockdown Life Hacks- please enjoy this short video which she created. We hope that you find Mikayla’s tips as useful as we did.

To submit your Lockdown Life Hack, please email a 30 second to 1 minute video clip to tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk. Videos submitted may be used on St Michael’s website and social media. Videos from pupils, parents and staff are welcome.

Screen time webinar with Dr Aric Sigman

Join us for our webinar with Dr Aric Sigman next Thursday 11th February at 8pm. The hour-long presentation and Q&A will focus on our increased screen time due to lockdown, as well as offering useful tips for finding balance in our working days.

Log in details will be emailed to parents prior to the event.

 

St Michael’s gives 318 kilo donation to local food bank

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.

Safer Internet Day (SID’s)- Tuesday 9th February 2021

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

On Tuesday 9th February we will be celebrating SID’s (Safety Internet Day).

 

As you are aware, the St Michael’s community celebrates SID’s every year.  The purpose of the day is to keep everyone up to date with the latest online safety advice. This year is just as important owing to our continued use of different devices to access countless online platforms to work, teach and learn. Therefore, it is important we are up to date with how we keep ourselves safe whilst online.

 

St Michael’s Prep School is a part of the NOS (National Online Safety) where we can access the latest online courses which are informative and free of charge. As a school, we are trying to become a NOS accredited school, therefore, the more people we have completing the courses, the more credits we receive which all contribute to achieving our accreditation.

 

NOS Parents Online-Safety Course:

If you would like to complete a parents’ course on Online-Safety please select this link http://nationalonlinesafety.com/enrol/st-michael-s-school then, you will need to:

  • Create an account by inputting your details
  • Once logged in, go the left hand margin and select ‘NOS Courses’.

 

Then select the course within your child’s age bracket.

 

When you access your NOS account you will see a variety of other Online-Safety courses available to you. Please feel free to take any of these courses.  As mentioned above, the more we do, the more credits we receive which takes us a step closer in achieving whole school NOS accreditation.

 

NOS APP:

NOS have just launched their new App. Below are links to the App for Apple and Android devices.

 

Download for Apple:  hubs.ly/H0BwQjL0

Download for Android:  hubs.ly/H0Bx0tp0

 

 

Students:

  • Students will have an assembly with myself on Tuesday 9th February

 

  • From Monday 8th February, an Online-Safety activity will be available for students in Years 5 to 6 via Seesaw which they should access during their PSHE lesson

 

  • Years 3 and 4 will have an activity on Seesaw which is optional

 

Useful Resources:

 

Should you require further details regarding Online-Safety advice for parents, please email me directly at jbooth@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk. 

 

Jamie Booth

Shoot for the Stars!

Iris receives Blue Peter Badge

Congratulations to Iris in Year 2 who received a Blue Peter Badge for her amazing sunset chalk pastel drawing, this week. Keep up the amazing work, Iris!

 

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.

In the Community

Help Sevenoaks Larder help others

A new Sevenoaks support service is helping struggling residents to pay for their weekly food shop.

Sevenoaks Larder, an extension of local projects Lockdown Larder and Sevenoaks Pantry, aspires to offer a helping hand to those in need, as well as spreading hope and compassion during these difficult times.

Sevenoaks Larder provides fresh and long-life food to those who are struggling to afford their own food in our community. The charity’s main aim is to fundraise to be able to provide regular fresh and healthy food shops for our clients.

Sevenoaks Larder will also be collecting and distributing excess stock from supermarkets, and food donations from individuals and businesses. These items can then either be collected from the charity’s premises (Hope Church, Mill Lane, Sevenoaks) during its opening hours of 10-11am, or delivered by one of our volunteers.

Sevenoaks Larder strongly believes that it is vital to try and preserve as much self-respect and dignity as possible for people, and this includes leaving them in charge of what they feed their families as much as possible. People can self-refer or be referred to us by other agencies.

For more information or to contribute to the charity visit their website: https://www.sevenoakslarder.co.uk/

Senior Schools Information

Eastbourne College

Join Eastbourne College for their Virtual Open Morning on Saturday 27th February, from 9am – 11am. 

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 Lent Term.

Latest News

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.

Mr Bridges is on a mission to keep St Michael’s motivated with his latest exercise plan designed to make exercise fun.

The Director of Sport at St Michael’s, who is a very keen runner himself, has created a beginner to 5k plan for anyone wanting to keep fit this lockdown.

The six-week plan, featuring workouts, running challenges and rest days, covers a range of exercises aimed at strengthening all parts of the body.

Mr Bridges said: “I have created this training programme for the St Michael’s community to help anyone who wants to have a go at running during lockdown and safely get to 5k by the time we return to school. The plan is suitable for Prep-aged pupils, parents and staff, including absolute beginners.”

The teacher, who has 15 years’ training as a running and triathlon coach, added: “The programme is designed to build a body capable of running 5k at the end of the six weeks, and what better time to have a go than during lockdown.”

The detailed plan, organised into weeks and week days, follows a key where the letters W (walk) and R (run) appear alongside the number of minutes the activity should take place for. For example, 6 x 1:30w/2:30r represents a 1 minute 30 seconds of walking followed by 2 minutes 30 seconds of running, repeated six times.

Mr Bridges said: “The programme includes progressive long runs from week 3 onwards, the only day where the running is based on distance rather than time.

“On Mondays I will also be sharing a different workout on the St Michael’s PE YouTube channel which pupils can take part in.”

To share your experience of the programme, including photos please email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk. By sharing this information you give consent to it being shared on St Michael’s social media channels and publications.

 

On Tuesday 15th December, St Michael’s hosted a fun-filled charity day for Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA).

Organised by Year 7 pupil Lucy, whose life who saved by the emergency team last Christmas, the school partook in a range of fundraising activities including a fun run, Christmas jumper day, and brain-teaser quizzes.

Lucy said: “With Mr Wiseman’s help, I planned activities to raise some much-needed money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and increase awareness of their work.

“A lot of people don’t realise what a great charity they are, and I hope our fundraising day has changed that.

“Not only do they save people’s lives in moments of crisis, but they provide long-term support to families who undergo medical emergencies.”

Amanda McLean, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, said: “A big thank you to the staff and pupils of St Michael’s for coming up with creative ways to involve everyone in fundraising. In sharing her story, Lucy has helped us spread awareness of what Thames Valley Air Ambulance does. We can only do what we do because of the imagination and generosity of our wonderful fundraisers. We hope you had a lot of fun on your fundraising day!”

Lucy, whose story recently featured in the TVAA’s Christmas appeal, said: “Thames Valley Air Ambulance helped me at a time when my parents couldn’t. When I was seriously injured, the team stepped in and became my heroes.”

“It means so much to me that St Michael’s have come together to support this cause.”

The highly successful events saw pupils spread festive joy while raising an impressive £2556.60 for the charity which relies wholly of public donations.

Mrs Bridges, St Michael’s Acting Head, added: “Yesterday was amazing! The whole school had such a great time, and pupils were very excited to take part in a different fundraiser which meant they could enjoy the outdoors, whilst raising money for such an important charity. Everyone gave their all in the sponsored run and it was a brilliant event to watch.”

 

Mrs Wade, Head of Girls’ Games also said: “The children did remarkably well considering the conditions, and ran superbly for Lucy’s cause.”

 

 

And Lucy’s family echoed this gratitude for St Michael’s support. They said: “We wanted to say a huge thank to the St Michael’s community for supporting Lucy’s appeal for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance this Christmas. We’re so grateful to you for getting behind this amazing charity to whom we owe so much. We know from experience that your donations really do save lives. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021!”

For more information about the Thames Valley Air Ambulance or to donate visit: www.tvairambulance.org.uk/support-us/donate

 

 

This Tuesday 15th December, St Michael’s will host a fundraising day for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA), organised by Year 7 pupil Lucy.

Determined to help a cause very close to her heart, Lucy has organised a series of events aimed at raising money for the charity-based emergency service.

Throughout the day pupils will be invited to participate in a range of activities including wearing a Christmas jumper, doing a sponsored run, and completing brain teaser quizzes in exchange for donations to the TVAA which relies wholly on public contributions.

Lucy said: “With Mr Wiseman’s help, I’ve planned activities to raise some much-needed money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and increase awareness of their work.

“A lot of people don’t realise what a great charity they are, and I hope our fundraising day will change that.

“Not only do they save people’s lives in moments of crisis, but they provide long-term support to families who undergo medical emergencies.”

And Lucy’s charity day is driven by her own bond with the charity who saved her life following an accident last Christmas.

She said: “Thames Valley Air Ambulance helped me at a time when my parents couldn’t. When I was seriously injured, the team stepped in and became my heroes.”

Since her accident, Lucy has remained close with three of TVAA’s critical care paramedics, Jo, John and Clare.

Lucy said: “Not only did the team come and visit me in hospital during my recovery, but in February this year my family and I were invited to their base to see their helicopters and learn more about their work.

“Since then, we’ve kept in close contact with them and have been given the exciting opportunity to take part in their Christmas campaign.

“One morning, my mum received a phone call from the TVAA asking if we’d like to tell our story as part of their fundraising appeal.

“Despite the accident still being quite fresh, we were keen to get involved as it’s such an amazing charity.”

Earlier this year, Lucy and her family were invited to Oxfordshire to talk about their experience in front of the camera.

The filming day, which involved interviews with both Lucy and her parents, aimed to raise awareness of the charity’s impact.

Lucy said: “It was such a fun day and really made us feel part of the TVAA community.

“Afterwards, we were sent several cuts of the video, including a very cool animation of my story which was very realistic.

“They kept us in mind throughout the whole process and made us feel very special.”

A full breakdown of the fundraising events can be found below. For more information about the TVAA or to view Lucy’s video visit: www.tvairambulance.org.uk/appeal/.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance Fundraising Activities 

  • Christmas jumpers – In Prep and Pre-Prep, we are inviting the children and staff to sport their best Christmas jumper and make a donation for the privilege of wearing it! The 15th  is the day of the school Christmas lunches, so this would be a good time to wear them. As with the last charity collection, the donations for Christmas jumpers can be deposited in the buckets at the doors into the buildings as the children arrive in the morning.
  • Sponsored run (Prep) – we are going to be inviting the children to run in teams of (up to) 4 around the shortest XC route on the fields. They will have a set time to complete as many laps as possible in that time. The children can look to have their team sponsored per lap, or have a donation from their sponsor. Sponsorship money raised will need to be brought in the following day.
  • Brain teaser quizzes – there are two quiz sheets that can be purchased for 50p each and you can take them home and try to solve the puzzles as a family. I’m afraid the only prize on offer is the glow of self-fulfilment upon having completed them. Answers will be shared on the last day of term. As parents cannot be in the school buildings at the moment, the quiz sheets can be purchased via homework diaries (please send the 50p/ £1, depending if you want one quiz sheet or both).