eNews: Friday 7th February 2020

From Graham Malcolm, Interim Executive Head

Life at St Michael’s is always busy. Highlights of the week for me were the Confirmation Service in the chapel for four pupils, visiting the Astro Turf site with one of the Reception classes and visits by the Chair of Governors.

The Confirmation Service was particularly poignant for me as it demonstrated that the ethos of the school has remained the same and it was a special moment for some of our pupils to be confirmed by the Bishop of Rochester.

The Astro Turf visit by Reception on a beautiful, sunny day was both exciting and informative. Ian, the builder, told us that the rubber was going down to ensure a smooth run of the ball and that the “carpet” of green Astro would be going down next week, weather permitting. As you drive into school each day, you will hopefully see the black surface become green.

Our Chair of Governors, Mr Robert Turner, visited classes in both Prep and Pre-Prep to see what the pupils were doing and to discuss their work with them. He had lunch with some of our staff and pupils and toured the grounds. It is Robert’s intention to come into school regularly to engage with the children and staff, so that he can keep himself up to speed with what goes on at St Michael’s.

I hope that you have an enjoyable weekend, although weather forecasters are predicting strong winds, so please stay safe.

Graham Malcolm


From the Acting Co-Heads

Oh, what a week! Monday night was the new Friday as many of our Year 3 and 4 pupils, teachers, parents and siblings sang, danced and partied at Young Voices at the O2. The atmosphere sounded electric and the theme was set for a lively and fun-filled week. On Wednesday we were treated to a theatrical feast in the Drama Duologues finals, this year judged by Thomas Dennis of War Horse and Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time fame. Another fantastically organised event and superb, skilled performances all round. Well done to everyone who has played a part in the rehearsing, planning, performing, organising and supporting of these two huge events. Working quietly in the background are all of the staff helping out by covering lessons, duties and offering extra support in order to allow these extraordinary things to take place. We wrote about the wonder of team work at the end of inspection week but in reality it’s part of everyday life at St Michael’s. The kindness shown between colleagues and pupils alike sits quietly behind everything we do and props us all up when we need it.

Today we topped the wonderful week off with a charity day in aid of Gush Gush. This is a charity (linked with a larger charity) that was set up by the cousin of two of our children, Euan and Olivia C, in Years 6 & 8 respectively. It aims to aid in the access to fresh, clean water for more people around the world. To date, their cousin, Lula, has raised in excess of £18,000 for this charity. We look forward to hearing about the projects being supported by this charity.

Don’t forget that on Friday next week there is a staff development day, so no school!

Have a fantastic weekend.

Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman

News from Pre-Prep

• Wednesday 12th February 9am Valentine’s concert. Parents of performers by invitation only
• Cake sale in aid of The Royal Marsden: Mrs Rose’s Brighton Marathon Thursday 13th
• Half term starts on Friday 14th February. Return to school Monday 24th February
• Fri 28th Feb Reception parents’ Maths Workshop 8.45-9.30am

Thank you to Miss Rawlinson for organising an exciting Benchball tournament. The children and parents all had fun in the Prep hall this afternoon.

On Wednesday we will be holding a concert for parents of some of our musical performers. Coffee will be served from 8.45am in the dining room. I know lots of your children have been working hard on their performances, so it will be lovely to hear the progress they are making.

It was good to see so many Year 2 parents familiarising themselves with Year 3 and Prep school on Wednesday. If your child is in Year 2 you should have all collected or been sent a booklet about transition into Year 3.

Year 1 had a wonderful day for their trip to Shoreham on Thursday. The sun shone brightly and they were amazed at how many different styles of building they could spot. Well done, Year 1, for such good behaviour on your trip.

Mrs Rose will be running in the Brighton Marathon this year and is running for The Royal Marsden hospital. She will be holding a cake sale after school next Thursday so if you wish to make a donation for some delicious cakes, please come along to the playground at 3.20pm

Please see the dates above, or our calendar, for the remaining Reception Maths Workshops for parents. Coffee will be served in the dining room from 8.45am

I’m afraid staff and children are still suffering from coughs, colds and chest infections this week. Please keep your child at home if they are unwell. Give them time to recover before returning them to school and hopefully we can reduce the spread of the germs.

Reminder that the last day of school is Thursday 13th so half term starts on Friday 14th. We will look forward to seeing the children back on Monday 24th February.

Overheard: If you eat your food too quickly, you’ll get injections (meant indigestion!)

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:

  • Little Shop of Horrors – ticket sales information

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

George W for good explanations of his working in mathematics
Olivia S for remembering facts about hyenas
Amelie G for great work during our lesson on time and for creating a lovely clock
Isabelle P for having a positive attitude and giving 100% effort in all her work
Marianne B for trying really hard to stay focused during lessons
Cian C-O for excellent effort in our writing about Barn Owls
Iris L for checking her numbers are written correctly in her calculations
Taran M for consistently working hard in every subject and producing work of a high standard
Misha B for excellent independent maths work, counting in 10s from any number
Jessica H for being a very kind and supportive learning partner
Zack E-A for excellent perseverance with his reading
Chloe S & Tara C for confident counting on and back in 10s
Eva V H for creating an accurate and imaginative treasure map
Finley S for always setting a good example and being a good friend
Genevieve M for a beautifully presented Antarctic diary
Maria C for always working hard and being a good friend to others

House Points Cup

Windsor House with a total of 195 points
Hervie L collected the Cup on behalf of Windsor House

100 House Points Certificate

Dover: Elizabeth A

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup: Alice O
Music Practice Award: Florence B
Star Violinist Cup: Eva V H

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

L Blincoe For an inspiring piece of writing about your special telescope
K Fryer For an inspiring piece of writing about your special telescope
E Harrison For a superb homework challenge, including an interview with a famous cricketer!
E Ward For an outstanding science project and presentation about dark energy and dark matter
L Winter For completing all of your times tables and division cards
E Bakharevski For completing all of your times tables and division cards
E Wilcock For delivering a fantastic speech at the Year 3 event
M Blincoe For delivering a fantastic speech at the Year 3 event

Drama Duologue Results

Well done to all Houses, congratulations to everyone who took part in a fantastic night. The winners are:


(S Mottram and S Wallace)

(O Nathan and E Julio)

(D Booth and S Taylor)


(C M Pape and A Moore)

(R Landgrebe and T Bulley)

(N Brown and S Ward and L Clapham and A Scott)


Players of the Match, week commencing 3rd February 2020

Team Name Given for: –
U13 Rugby J Cosgrove For scoring and for being most improved
U12 X Prongué

J Maloney

For great all-round play

For scoring a great try

U11 A L Poracchia & T Neville Nominated by the opposition coach for good play
U11 B F Rutherford & D Little For impressive attacking play
U10 A No Match
U10 B No Match
U9 A D Booth & A Saini For intelligent play making
U9 B J McDonnell For showing good pace and scoring 2 tries
U8 A A Lutzow & S Mottram For great supporting play
U8 B T Staples

O Epps

For strong running

For tenacious defence

U8 C S Doyle For great running with the ball
U13 A Netball H Pope For showing great skills and sportsmanship in the tournament
U13 B C M Pape For showing great skills and sportsmanship in the tournament
U13 C No Match
U11 A A Ogle

G Schneider-Price

Voted for by the opposition

For great defending

U11 B A Mottram

S Cook

Voted for by the opposition

For great defending

U11 C No Match
U10 A G Owen Voted for by the opposition for good centre court play
U10 B M Amure For great defending
U10 C T Ward For great defending
U9 A S Cameron For showing great skills all round
U9 B L Andrade Voted for by the opposition for good play
U9 C No Match
U8 A S Johnson For strong play in many positions
U8 B P Mahil

G Cheetham

For tidy defending

Voted for by the opposition

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



On Wednesday, November 27 Year 5 and 6 pupils took part in a Spelling Bee hosted by Mrs Andrade and Mrs Baisch.

Challenged with spellings such as synonymous, counterfeit, and accommodation, it was an extremely close competition with many tense rounds.

Winner of the Spelling Bee, Moyo in Year 6, triumphed with her correct spelling of the word ‘conscience’.

Commenting on her success, Moyo said: “I really enjoyed taking part in the Spelling Bee and was really surprised to win.

“It was challenging as there were some words I’d never heard of, but it was fun to guess the spellings of these words and apply what I knew about other spellings to my answers.”

“It was great to take part in the competition with my friends.”

Two former St Michael’s pupils have been selected for the final phase of the England Under 16 Hockey Assessments.

Lottie Bingham and Anna Faulstich, who attended St Michael’s until July 2017, have remained great friends and play hockey together at HC Knole Park.

Lottie said “ I loved playing hockey at St Michael’s and I am delighted that Anna, my best friend , has joined me in the England training programme that I was also selected for last year. We are both very jealous that St Michael’s now have a wonderful, new astro pitch at school!“

Both girls were also members of the successful Year 6 St Michael’s who won the regional IAPS and came 5th in the National Finals .

Congratulating the girls on their achievement, Mr Thomas, who taught them 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 how they get at the trials and someday welcoming them back to play on our new pitch.”

Many congratulations to Lottie and Anna, St Michael’s wishes them the best of luck in the next phase of assessments.

A former St Michael’s student has been awarded an Honorary Sports Scholarship to support her excellence in athletics.

Harriet Medlen, who attended the school between 2011 and 2018, has received the scholarship from Sevenoaks School.

Harriet, who is in Year 9 at Sevenoaks School, said: “My time at St Michael’s helped me to develop my love of sport especially athletics and hockey. I have very happy memories of sports days and Mrs Wade taking me to IAPs athletics competitions. I am very grateful to all the teachers at St Michael’s for their encouragement during my time there. I am proud to have achieved a sports scholarship at Sevenoaks School and I am looking forward to making the most of this opportunity.”

And commenting on Harriet’s success, St Michael’s teacher Mrs Wade said: “It is great to hear that Harriet has been awarded an Honorary Sports Scholarship from Sevenoaks School. We are extremely proud of what she has achieved since leaving St Michael’s. Harriet is an excellent games player and an outstanding athlete. She was very hardworking in her sports at St Michael’s and it is great to hear that she continues to achieve highly. Well done, Harriet!”

Don’t judge a book by its cover, it’s the first chapter that holds all the secrets!

                                                       Year 6 and Mrs Yarrow pose with some of the First Chapter Friday books.


“Good readers, make excellent writers.” says St Michael’s Library Assistant, Helen Yarrow, who has launched an exciting reading initiative in the Prep school this term. 


Mrs Yarrow, who joined the St Michael’s team in September 2020, is passionate about books and believes children should read a variety of genres and authors before they choose what’s best for them.


Keen to implement this strategy at St Michael’s, Mrs Yarrow has introduced First Chapter Friday, a project designed to get pupils reading a range of books, rather than the same authors, characters and storylines over again. 


First Chapter Friday sees pupils receive a list of 10 books, suited to the reading proficiency of their year group, each term. Every Friday, pupils read the first chapter of a new book with their form groups before deciding whether to continue reading it in their own time.


Mrs Yarrow said: “The aim of First Chapter Friday is to help the children find a book they really want to read. 


“By exposing the children to books that they wouldn’t normally pick off the bookshelf, it introduces them to a range of subjects, and inevitably fosters their love of reading.”


Helen added: “Some form groups choose to read the chapter independently during the sessions, some listen to their form teachers reading the chapter, and some take turns to read different paragraphs.”


“By inviting pupils to read sections of the chapter out loud, the form tutors are also helping to develop the pupils’ language acquisition and public speaking skills. The challenge has many benefits to it.”



Titles on this term’s First Chapter Friday lists include both fiction and non-fiction books spanning a variety of themes and genres. 


One popular title is  Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill, which Sean C from Year 6 describes as “extremely interesting”. He added: “I really enjoy Shackleton’s Journey because it takes you on an adventure, showing you how Shackleton’s crew survived and what they encountered along the way.


“My favourite part of the book is where it describes how they escaped their sinking ship.


“Since reading it with my form during First Chapter Friday, I’ve enjoyed coming to the library to read more of it at break and lunch times.”



And explaining the planning process behind First Chapter Friday, Mrs Yarrow said: “I create the reading lists using recommendations from websites such as Love Reading for Kids as well as my own research.


“I try to ensure the First Chapter Friday books are 2020 titles to keep them in tune with modern authors and contemporary ideas.”


“This term I’ve included a range of titles focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement and Black History, as well as those written by black authors. Such books include The Faraway Truth by Janae Marks, Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly, and The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley.”


She added: “First Chapter Friday encourages form groups to discuss the different topics linked to each book. It is designed to make the sessions an interactive experience which is both fun and educational for the children.” 



Other favourites from Mrs Yarrow’s reading lists include The Battle of Bubble and Squeak by Philippa Pearce, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson. 


Mrs Yarrow said: “Different pupils gravitate towards different books, but there have been some very clear favourites.”


She continued: “I get the children to read the first chapter of the book as it’s in these pages that the author establishes the hook of their novel. 


“Friday Chapter Friday helps pupils recognise the importance of a first chapter and shows them various ways they can make their writing engaging.


“One of the main aims of the initiative is to inspire the children to write their own stories.”