eNews: Friday 6th March 2020

From the Acting Co-Heads

At times like this, it can be all too easy to focus on things that draw in our negative thoughts to worst case scenario situations. It is right and proper to think about, consider and prepare for these situations, but we must never lose sight of those things that bring us joy and happiness. This week we have seen much laughter & smiling, both among the children and staff at St Michael’s. Considering the weather we’ve had, this is even more surprising!

Mrs Andrade started the week with a trip to Sevenoaks Bookshop to purchase some new titles for the library. With the amount of reading that is being done in the Prep school, we’re not surprised these have to be updated so regularly.

On Tuesday evening, an audience of family and friends were treated to an evening of outstanding performances by our music scholars and chamber ensembles at Shoreham Church. As Mr Baird commented on the evening, it was an eclectic mix of styles, pace and tempo. However, the overarching theme that ran through the entire evening was quality. The undoubted hard work and effort that had gone into the hours of rehearsal and practice shone through and all present agreed that every performer, and their families, should be rightly proud.

On Wednesday morning, 4M tried very hard, at the end of their assembly to break two world records. Who would have thought trying to stick the most Post-It notes to your face in a minute was so much fun! Our best effort of 22 was a little off the record of 63. The other record did seem achievable though. Mr Morgan was leading the charge to see if he, and two of his form, could beat the record of 12 doughnuts stacked vertically. Alas, the best that could be done in the minute, remaining free-standing for five seconds, was 6. Harder than you think.

Carrying on the delicious sweet treat theme, it was great to see N Stinson organise her own cake sale after school to raise money for WIRES. There is more on this later in the newsletter. It is definitely worth a read.

World Book Day was celebrated across the school this week with the exciting and colourful dressing up in Pre-Prep and the Prep school engaging in a wide and varied selection of book-related activities. There were guest readers in the Library and a book café, where the children were encouraged to pick up and read something they may not always choose to.

Don’t miss the sport section to read the reports about our girls exploits at the IAPS netball tournaments this week. Medals were being proudly worn at pick-up on Thursday.
We wish you a restful (and dry!) weekend.

Mary Bridges and Fraser Wiseman

News from the Head of Pre-Prep

• Parents’ Evenings Tuesday 17th March and Thursday 19th March; sign up on Parents’ Evening System
• Tuesday 10th March – Year 2 and 3 Maths Challenge at Prep

We have had an exciting week at Pre-Prep with a visit from Alan Durant and dressing up for World Book Day. Alan Durant had us all laughing on Wednesday as he told his ‘Ode to Custard’ and discovered that all our children have the same name “AAArrrggghhhhh” (ask your child).

On Thursday I am told that World Book Day was a lot of fun with your children looking splendid. I have seen the photographs as I was at the Pre-Prep Heads’ Conference in Nottingham. Although missing out on the fun at school, it is great to catch up with other Pre-Prep Heads and hear from some inspirational speakers, who are focused on the latest ideas and research around the education and wellbeing of young children.

I hope you have a relaxing weekend.

Z Leech

Di Birmingham Director of Finance and Operations

Di Birmingham has announced that she will be moving on from St Michael’s in June 2020. Di has been with the school for five and a half years and has been an invaluable member of our Senior Leadership Team. She has supported and given counsel to so many of our staff over the years she has worked here, and her door has always been open to us all.

The numerous projects Di has overseen and her stewardship of the school’s finances throughout her years at St Michael’s have taken insightful strategic planning, hard work, determination and the ability to never take no for an answer. With the hard work of her team and Zerrin Leech, the redevelopment of Stable Court has been a huge success and is a wonderful legacy for both pupils and staff. The determination of Di and our Estates Manager, Ian Smith, to build an Astro Turf pitch was inspirational when it often seemed an impossible task. We will now have a facility which will create more opportunities for our pupils and that was at the heart of everything Di achieved, she always had the pupils at the forefront of her mind.

We wish Di well in her new adventure and thank her for all she has done for St Michael’s.

We say goodbye today to our Assistant Estates Manager, Andrew Bannister. Andrew has been with St Michael’s for just under six years and in that time he’s refurbished countless classrooms, the Junior and Senior Landings in the Prep School, maintained the swimming pool and, indeed, together with Mr Smith, the whole school! He’s kept us all cheerful with his sense of humour and dreadful jokes and he’ll be greatly missed. We wish him all the best for his retirement.

Staff News

We’re delighted to welcome Mrs Holly Churchill to St Michael’s as an LSA 1:1 in Pre-Prep.

Holly’s previous jobs have been centred around customer service but she has also been involved with her local school for the past 4 years on a voluntary basis. She has assisted with reading groups, school trips and school events and run or helped to run several extra curricular clubs. More recently she has been spending full days in the classroom assisting children in small groups and on a 1:1 basis.

Holly is a keen musician and enjoys singing and playing the viola. She also enjoys playing and coaching cricket, long distance walking and skiing.

Holly is really looking forward to joining the team at St Michael’s. When she first came to visit the school she was very impressed by the beautiful grounds and everyone she met, staff and pupils, were extremely friendly and welcoming. Holly is excited to have the opportunity to work with children everyday in this beautiful setting.

Sport Relief in Prep School

For Sport Relief on Friday 13th March, the children can wear attire linked to their favourite sport or pastime. This might include long socks, jodhpurs, helmets, etc. If boys or girls would like to wear kit representing a team, I would like to see them wearing their own club kit. A suggested donation of £2 to wear sport kit.

Mr Wiseman

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:

  • Mrs Grayland’s Easter 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.

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

Winston for great concentration during our lesson on capacity
Beatrix for working well in a pair during our positional language lesson
Sylvie for great improvement in her sentence writing
Monty for a fun and informative ‘show and tell’ on how to make cookies and eat them!
Ellie for fantastic reading this week using wonderful expression
Daniel for great work using the beebots
Isabelle D for always giving her very best to lessons and for being a role model to others around her
Niamh for working well in group activities, getting involved and enjoying the company of others
Viggo for outstanding effort in Maths including being very fast in ‘Cowboy Shoot-Out’!
Elizabeth W for excellent improvement in her handwriting
Lottie for working hard on her handwriting
Charlie M for trying to do his best in all areas of the curriculum
Eva F for carefully finding ways to balance equations
Tom K for working well in all subjects and thinking carefully about his behaviour
Alice O for excellent work in all subjects this week
Lev for fantastic teamwork whilst completing work on Lost and Found

Headteacher’s Award

Louisa for beautiful, factual writing about animals

House Point Cup

Rochester House with a total of 173 points
Mickey M collected the Cup on behalf of Rochester House

Times Tables Certificate

Platinum: Florence B & Eva VH
Gold: Lily M
Bronze: Finlay S

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup: Oliva G
Music Practice Award: Tara C
Star Violinist Cup: Elia F

Creative assembly

On Thursday, the Little Strings violin group played for us in assembly. A mixed year group from Reception to Year 2, they performed three beautiful pieces for us involving plucking their violin strings. Well done on a lovely performance!

Reception told us the story of Cinderella. Using mixed untuned percussion, the made the sound effects and sang songs about Cinderella dancing at the ball and about her ugly step sisters. Everybody enjoyed being dressed up and telling the story using instruments on World Book Day.

 

For more about our day, see our news item and our Twitter page

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

A Ravalli For a wonderful piece of writing about your sister

LAMDA Results

We are thrilled with the results of our most recent exams session, and extremely proud of all who took part, for many it was their first exam, and they approached it bravely. We are delighted, but not surprised, that every student passed their exam, with many given Merits and Distinctions, one student even achieved 97 %! Many congratulations to all our wonderful students, and to the parents helping with line-learning at home!

We may have some spaces from next term if your child would like to start 1:1 or 2:1 lessons with us. Please ask at the office for a registration form, or you can email Kelly Woods, the LAMDA coach at kellywoods500@outlook.com.

 

C HUNTER ACTING G1 DISTINCTION
D SINGH ACTING G1 DISTINCTION
A BOWYER MIME G1 DISTINCTION
C BOWYER MIME G1 DISTINCTION
E ERNOULT ACTING G2 DISTINCTION
M AMURE ACTING G2 MERIT
C STURGES MIME G3 DISTINCTION
L SHI MIME G3 DISTINCTION
L SHI VERSE & PROSE G2 DISTINCTION
O COURT ACTING G1 DISTINCTION
R LANDGREBE ACTING G2 DISTINCTION
R LANDGREBE SHAKESPEARE L1 DISTINCTION
T BULLEY ACTING G3 DISTINCTION
W SHERRY PUBLIC SPEAKING G3 DISTINCTION
O GOODWIN ACTING G3 DISTINCTION
O GOODWIN SHAKESPEARE L1 DISTINCTION
T BAX ACTING G2 DISTINCTION
E COLLINGS SHAKESPEARE L1 DISTINCTION
E COLLINGS MIME G3 DISTINCTION
E WILLIAMSON ACTING ENTRY PASS
L CLAPHAM MIME G1 DISTINCTION
J MOORE READING FOR PERFORMANCE G1 MERIT
L BLINCOE MIME G1 DISTINCTION
L BLINCOE ACTING G1 DISTINCTION
I SHARMA ACTING G1 MERIT
H OWEN ACTING G2 DISTINCTION
S ANDRADE ACTING G2 DISTINCTION
T PETERSEN ACTING G2 MERIT
K LOUKHAM ACTING G2 DISTINCTION
J TAYLOR ACTING G2 DISTINCTION
J VANDERLANH- MCKEOWN ACTING ENTRY MERIT
B WEST ACTING G1 MERIT
G CHEETHAM ACTING ENTRY MERIT

 

 

Wonderful cake sale in aid of WIRES

Well done to N Stinson, who was determined to do something to help the animals affected by the terrible bush fires in Australia.  Together with friends, B West, G Owen and E Newton, who all donated cakes and B West, R Bedzrah and M Amure, who helped with selling, she raised an amazing £212, every penny of which will go directly to WIRES Australia.

Wonderful initiative and great fundraising!

If you’d like to know more about the work of WIRES, please click here to visit their website. If you’d like to donate to WIRES, please click here.

 

Sports News & Players of the Match

Match reports and Players of the Match can also be found in the News section of SOCS. Please log in to see the nominations or click this link: http://www.stmichaelsprepsport.co.uk/News.asp?Id=982.

To read about our U11 team’s IAPS Netball tournament this week please click here.

A report of today’s U13 IAPS tournament will be on our News pages next week.

Players of the Match, week commencing 2nd March 2020

Team Name Given for: –
U13 Hockey No match
U12 No match
U11 A No match
U11 B No match
U10 A No match
U10 B No match
U9 Team 1 J Vanderlanh-Mckeown

G Dulski

For good skill

For showing great commitment

U9 Team 2 H Brown & L Karir For great defending
U8 A No match
U8 B No match
U8 C No match
U13 A Football S Davis Voted for by the opposition for scoring 2 goals and showing great skills
U13 B D Stephens

F Arduino

Voted for by the opposition

For great play in several positions

U11 A Netball V Medlen Voted for by the opposition
U11 B C Prongué Voted for by the opposition
U11 C J Bashford Voted for by the opposition
U10 A E Newton

I Pennington Legh

For brilliant shooting
U10 B M Amure

D Patel

For great defending

For good shooting

U10 C T Carman

T Bax

Voted for by the opposition

For good shooting

U9 A No match
U9 B No match
U9 C No match
U8 A No match
U8 B No match
U8 C No match

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 and Skinners’ 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