eNews: Friday 6th December 2019

From the Deputies

Engagement is the theme of the year at St Michael’s and over the course of this week we have witnessed it everywhere! From the amazing assault courses to the superb range of stalls (via the delicious food and mulled wine offerings) there was celebration amongst the community at the Christmas Bazaar and the start of the festive season was well and truly underway. We would like to offer our congratulations to the P&F Christmas Bazaar committee and all the Year Reps for their tireless work in making it happen.

On Tuesday the Year 3 pupils dazzled us with their creativity and fun at the challenging and comic panto. Hooray to Mr Powell, the Year 3 team and the children for their command of a complex storyline which told the tale of friendship and perseverance. We warmly welcomed Year 2 to the Prep School on Thursday as they joined Year 3 for the Christingle Service. During this time of advent it allows us time and space to reflect and we thank Rev. Di for leading her last in-school service so thoughtfully.

Treasure boxes unravelling tales of old, scrapbooks with historic headlines and confident, thought provoking presentations were just a few of the delights that we witnessed through the sharing of the homework challenges. It was, as always, a delight to uncover the curious journeys that our pupils have been on. WOW indeed – the dopamine hit surged through the school as we all learnt new things and saw our children flourish in their moment to share and to shine.

We rounded off the week with a breakfast concert laden with musical treats (and refreshments to match) this morning. It was great to see so many of you here to support the pupils and enjoy the music. Congratulations to Mr Baird and his hugely talented team for all that you do to enable this to happen. The numbers of children involved with huge smiles on their faces is testament to all that goes on behind the scenes.

Looking ahead to next week there are, inevitably, some changes to the normal routines. We urge you to read all communications from school. Those of you with Prep school children involved in the Carol Service rehearsals at Shoreham Church will need to follow the instructions in the email from Mr Baird regarding drop-off. The rest of the children at school need to be in school uniform and trainers. However, Tuesday is Christmas jumper day for everyone! This isn’t a charity event and is completely optional. Children may swap their school jumper or cardigan for a festive themed one.

We wish you a wonderful weekend.

Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman

Staff News

We’re delighted to welcome Lindsey MacRae to the staff of St Michael’s as our new Religious Studies teacher in Prep.

Lindsey has been teaching in secondary schools for 6 years, following a career as a commercial property lawyer.

Her interests include yoga, gardening and literature and she has two children at St Michael’s: Austin and Amelia.

Lindsey is excited about developing our investigative approach to Religious Studies, encouraging the children to consider and question faith and morality in the context of the major world religions and, in doing so, to develop self-knowledge and a sense of their own place in the world.

A warm welcome, too, to new peripatetic violin teacher, Sarah Harris.

Sarah studied viola at the Purcell School and Royal Academy of Music, subsequently enjoying a career as an orchestral viola player, performing with some of the UK’s top opera and ballet companies.

Combining a playing career with violin and viola tuition, she has become an experienced, dedicated and highly skilled teacher. She currently works as a peripatetic violin teacher for a number of primary schools in South London and she has just been appointed as violin teacher for the Junior Guildhall String programme in Felsted, Essex.

On her visit to St Michael’s Sarah was impressed by the ethos and commitment of the school towards an instrumental education and, as such, she is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the string students here and is very much looking forward to becoming immersed in the school’s vibrant musical community.

News from Pre-Prep

• Christmas Parties Tuesday 10th December
• Christmas jumpers Tuesday 10th December
• Break up 12.00 Wednesday 11th December
• School uniform
• NO AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES 9th,10th, 11th December
• Return to school Tuesday 7th January

It has been such a lovely week watching all your children perform in their Christmas concerts and Nativities. They really rise to the occasion with you as an audience. I would like to thank all my staff who work so hard to get these performances ready for you. I would especially like to thank Louise Ravayeh who has been thrown into her first St Michael’s Christmas season and has done a wonderful job.

I wish to congratulate Jacqui Cain who has been working hard over the last few years to become a qualified Play Therapist. She will be finishing her role as a teaching assistant at Christmas but luckily for us she will still be with us on Tuesdays and Wednesdays helping any children and families who need her calm, kind, listening ear to help them move forward.

Can I remind you all of the school uniform, details of which can be found in the Parent Handbook. There are too many children now arriving at school in a range of coats, hats and gloves that are not school ones. School shoes, school hair accessories too please. Nursery and Kindergarten are the only exceptions to this.

Please note there will be no after school activities in the week beginning Monday 9th December, apart from the additional session of Archway Football and Sports Initiative with Mr Lopez on Monday 9th in the Pre-Prep Hall.

On Tuesday 10th December we have our Christmas Jumper Day. Children are invited to wear a Christmas jumper with their school uniform instead of their school jumpers/cardigans. The children will be enjoying their Christmas Lunch up in Prep school as well as having their year group parties!

A reminder on Tuesday too, please bring a named, disposable “party plate” containing some party food and a drink for your child only. Please can we ask that you do not include items that need to be refrigerated as we cannot accommodate this. As always, please ensure you do not include ant nut-based products.

Overheard: Looking at the developing Astro site.
All those diggers and tractors have “Smith” written on them.
That’s because they belong to Mr Smith. (Our Estates Manager – he’s going to get a bigger garage!)

Have a magical Christmas and see you all in the New Year.

Zerrin Leech

Old Michaelians

With some great events to look forward to, we are delighted to announce that we have made it easier for former pupils, staff, parents and friends to join the Old Michaelians.

Our Old Michaelians pages on the website (click here) now contain the following:

• A “Join the Old Michaelians” form, which can be completed and submitted, ensuring that everyone who wishes to be kept informed of our events and OM news can be added to our database.
• A “Contact Old Michaelians” form, on which we ask for news and photos for publication on our OM page.

If you know of any former members of the St Michael’s community, who would like to stay in touch with us, please do let them know about our association – we’d love to hear from them!

Driving on the school site

It has come to my attention that there have been a number of near-misses at the morning drop off when cars are queuing in the 8:55-9:05 time slot. At this time, the queue of cars waiting to drop off can stretch back beyond the school front gates. When this happens, some drivers take it upon themselves to drive on the right side of the road to join the Pre-Prep drop off lane.

Can I take this opportunity to emphasise to parents that only the section of road after the junction with the road up from Pre-Prep is one way. Between the public highway (Row Dow) and this junction, it is two way and parents must not drive on the right-hand lane.

Thank you.

Mr Wiseman

Reminder – cake ingredients

Could we please remind parents that any cakes brought in for celebrations must not contain nuts, traces of nuts or be produced in a factory which handles nuts.  This includes the toppings, sometimes put on home made cakes.

We like the children to be able to share their cakes with their friends, but are unable to allow them to do so unless they are guaranteed nut-free.

Thank you.

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:

  • Everest Michaelmas Library Challenge – for Prep pupils

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.

Pre-Prep Awards

Gold Stars

Krisha for beautiful singing and actions during our Nativity
Abigail L for trying so hard in the Nativity
Ayla for great number work this week
Thomas G for good ideas in our English lessons
Grace P for working hard to solve number sentences
Robert M for excellent progress with reading
Jessica H for outstanding progress in reading
Sophie N for always being an enthusiastic helper
Olanna E & Ava M for always being a willing helper
Jake L for accurate work using halves and quarters
Raven for carefully explaining to the class the differences between a moth and a butterfly
Mickey for fantastic effort and perseverance with all his work
James L for writing an imaginative story for his homework
Viggo W for great effort with dancing in the Nativity practice

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup: Silas
Music Practice Award: Zak E-A
Star Violinist Cup: Sophie F

House Point Cup

Leeds House with a total of 138 points
Sophie F collected the Cup on behalf of Leeds House

Times Tables Certificates

Bronze – Alex H

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Special Award

S Ward For achieving a place in the National Youth Boys Choir

Headteacher’s Stars

M Lewis For a fantastic piece of art work, inspired by Malala, with extensive background research & personal insight
I Mannsberger For an informative & engaging presentation about volcanoes
L Bowen For a confident presentation of a well-researched volcano project, complete with quiz
A-L El-Alami For an outstanding presentation & diary about your family history, sharing their moving story in a mature way
L Karir For an excellent presentation about your family tree, with confident commentary
A Brown For a wonderful album about your family, which was very well researched & presented
S Ward For fantastic English homework with superb writing
A Clapham For a wonderful presentation which brought the story of your Great, Great Grandad to life
M Pape For an excellent verbal presentation about your Great Grandmother
L Poracchia For an amazing project about computers
S Connolly For a wonderful project about Iceland, complete with model volcano
N Brown For an excellent project book about life at St Michael’s
F Merralls For a fabulous model of Anne Frank’s attic
P Malin For a well-rehearsed and confident presentation of your ‘Olympic Gold’ Homework Challenge



Players of the Match, week commencing 2nd December 2019

Team Name Given for: –
1st Rugby K Cameron For great all-round play
2nd J Maloney & X Prongué For tough tackling
U11 A T Smith For all good all-round performance
U11 B A Goodwin & D Little For good tackling
U10 A F Lloyd For tough tackling in a no-nonsense style
U10 B E Short & L Lattimer For superb running and tackling
U9 A The whole team For unbelievable play
U9 B J West For great tackling
U8 A The whole team For a great performance
U8 B T Staples For scoring 3 tries
U8 C D Verdemato For supportive communication
U13 A Netball
U13 B
U11 A
U11 B No Matches for Girls
U10 A
U10 B
U10 C
U10 D
U9 A
U9 B
U9 C
U8 Green
U8 Black
U8 Blue

Senior School Open Days, Scholarships and Events

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include Oakwood Park Grammar School, St Olave’s Grammar School, Skinners’ School and Whitgift School.

Latest News

We are delighted to announce that former St Michael’s pupil Jess Haynes has selected to join the Loughborough Lightning Superleague Netball team.

Jess, who attended St Michael’s between 2008 and 2014 and returned as a GAP Student in 2019, made her Superleague and Sky Sports debut on Saturday 5th June against Celtic Dragons at the Copperbox Arena in London, after which she was officially announced as Loughborough Lightning squad member No. 102.

Lightning are currently in second place in the Superleague behind Team Bath and have already secured their place in the playoffs.

Jess, whose matches with Lightning will be broadcast live on the Sky Sports Netball platforms, said: “I feel so honoured and excited to be given this opportunity. It has been a bit of a whirlwind over the last couple of weeks so it was great to get on court and make my Superleague debut at the Copperbox . I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season with such an amazing squad. I always love coming back to St Michael’s to coach the current pupils, to share my love of sport and to show that dreams do come true!”

Jess joined Loughborough Lightning U21 NPL Squad from London Pulse in September 2020 when she started studying at Nottingham Trent University where she is part of their Performance Sport Programme.

And it was St Michael’s where her passion for netball began. Jess’ mum, Clare, said: “Jess’ year group team were a strong squad who enjoyed a high level of success at both local and national IAPS level. Jess played all sports during her time here where she achieved a great deal of success across the board . She left at the end of Year 8 to continue her education at Kent College Pembury with a Sports Scholarship. Her place in the Loughborough Lightning Super League is a huge opportunity for her.”

Mrs Wade, who coached Jess during her time at St Michael’s, added: “We are extremely proud of Jess and all she has achieved since leaving St Michael’s. I had the delight of watching Jess’ netball skills grow tremendously during her time with us and it is no surprise that Jess’ dedication to the sport has landed her this incredible opportunity. We look forward to hearing about her future successes and seeing her on Sky Sports!”

A swarm of bees, pride of lions and bloom of ladybirds could be seen roaming the school grounds on Friday 28th May as the Prep school celebrated Go Wild Day in aid of local charities Kent Wildlife Trust and Otford Hospices of Hope.

The action-packed charity day, organised by the School Council to raise awareness of the local causes, raised an amazing £727.04.

Mr Baird, Acting Deputy Head, said: “It was amazing to see so many staff and pupils dressing up for this brilliant fundraising event. A big thank you to the School Council and Year 8 prefects who played a key part in the success of the event, and to the pupils for putting so much effort and energy into the activities.”

Throughout the day, pupils took part in fundraising activities including an exotic bring and buy sale where pupils exchanged good quality toys and games. The afternoon events also included a face painting session for the children led by the senior Art Scholars group.

Fundraising & Communications Manager at Otford Hospices of Hope, Jessica McKechie added: “We were delighted to hear that St Michael’s Prep School chose to fundraise for Hospices of Hope with their Go Wild Day. Being supported locally is so important for our charity and we are really grateful to all the children and staff who took part. The funds raised will help us to support our patients with vital care, some of whom are children too and will love to hear about the activities the school arranged in order to help them.”

St Michael’s Go Wild Day forms part of its longterm plan to improve the wildlife around their 90-acre site as well as increasing the school community’s awareness of the importance of conserving nature.

Delighted by St Michael’s efforts, Acting Head of Education and Lifelong Learning at Kent Wildlife Trust, Lee Mason-Baldwin said: “Wow, what a brilliant effort and superb, heart-warming achievement, thank you so much! We love the gorgeous colourful activities and the fun you’ve had to help animals, plants, bugs and birds which is crucial for developing a life-long love of wildlife. Your support will help us on our quest for a wilder Kent, rich in wildlife for everyone to enjoy, forever.”

For more information about St Michael’s Prep School please visit their website: https://www.stmichaels.kent.sch.uk/


We are hugely proud to announce that past St Michael’s pupils L Bingham and A Faulstich have been selected for the England Under 16 Hockey Squad.

The Year 10 pupils, who currently attend Weald of Kent Grammar School and Tonbridge Grammar School were announced as members last week following many months of training and assessment.

Congratulating the girls on their achievement, Mrs Wade, who taught them PE during their time 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 about their future success.”

A huge congratulations to both girls on this amazing achievement.

St Michael’s Prep School, Otford was delighted to welcome concert pianist Nicholas McCarthy as the special guest for its Scholars’ Day on Thursday 20th May.

Mr McCarthy, who was the first left-hand-only graduate of the Royal College of Music in its 130-year history, hosted a music masterclass with the school’s Music Scholars, before joining the wider Scholars group for an evening of food and entertainment.

Nicholas said: “It has been so wonderful to work with the pupils today. The performance standard of the Scholars is fantastic and their personalities came across in their performances. It was lovely to see.”

During his visit, the talented musician shared his story with St Michael’s including his performance with band Coldplay at the 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony. Nicholas also offered words of encouragement for overcoming setbacks and barriers. He said: “At my first audition I was turned away because they just didn’t believe I could play the piano with one hand. I had to dig deep and find that resilience to carry on achieving my dream. Very quickly that fire built back up and I was determined to prove them wrong.”

Commenting on the success of the event, St Michael’s Deputy Head Mary Bridges said: “We were delighted to host a special event for our current scholars, incoming scholars and our Year 8 pupils who have achieved scholarships at their senior schools. Nicholas words inspired all of us and his performance was absolutely stunning. It was a true mark of excellence.”

To view a highlights reel of the event or watch the full interview with St Michael’s Head Nik Pears and Nicholas McCarthy please visit their YouTube page.