eNews: Thursday 7th May 2020

From the Acting Head

This week I would like to dedicate the newsletter to our amazing children.    My week started with the whole school assembly, which the children did for me! I hope you were all able to enjoy the experience too, and if so, I am sure that you will agree how wonderful they were. The confidence, passion, pride and engagement they all displayed inspired me for the week ahead, and it also made me think: how do they do it?

When I look back to 5, 8 or 12 years old me, I can’t imagine myself doing what those children did with quite that spark and openness. Mini-me also wasn’t going through a pandemic and lockdown with no clear end in sight. The rest of my week has been full of highlights of our children raising ducklings, performing monologues, delivering presentations, uploading responses to complex problems and creative writing. And then some. Making movies, practising French, creating music, art, telling jokes and sharing the kind things they’re doing to support those in need. There are also children struggling but having the courage to speak out and ask for help. That’s inspiring.

During this time we’ve all been challenged, having to adapt the way we do many things in our day to day lives. When I think back to 5, 8 or 12 years old me, my life revolved mainly around school.  Being with friends; learning, playing, competing, creating, sharing hopes, dreams, worries and growing together. It was pretty simple. This disruption to the lives of our children must feel huge, yet their approach and response show determination, positivity and grit. The way that they are embracing the challenges, feeling the fear and trying their best regardless, is superb. They get up and carry on and try and make each day even better than the one before. So here’s to our heroes: the children.

I wish you all a fantastic bank holiday weekend. The weather on Friday and Saturday looks set to be glorious, so I hope that you can take the opportunity to get outside and have a break from devices. Next week we will be able to look ahead with more knowledge about when we will return to school and it will be great if we can go into that following a few days of being able to enjoy good weather and time with family.

Mary Bridges

From the Head of Pre-Prep

Dear Parents,

Thank you again for the lots of lovely and encouraging emails we have been receiving. It’s lovely to hear how you are all getting on and to see photos and video clips of the children.

We are awaiting the news on Sunday to see what the Government advice is going to be around the schools reopening. We have started to do some thinking around scenario planning and lots of “what ifs?” The safety of your children, St Michael’s staff and parents is of paramount importance and we are going to have to balance this with our desire to get the school open and running as soon as we can. I am very aware that social distancing with young children is impossible. We will keep you informed as soon as we know ourselves.

If any of you would like to share overheard comments from your children at home, I am happy to share them in the newsletter if you wish to email them to me. They will of course be anonymous.

Overheard by a parent after her child had watched a video clip from their teacher. The child whispered into the speaker “ Mrs X are you in there?”

Enjoy the sunshine this weekend.

Zerrin Leech

Headteacher’s Stars

E Short For a superb piece of Science work completed during remote learning
F Giannakis For an outstanding video made as part of the Geography remote learning activity
J Bomphrey For an incredible oil painting showing human impact on polar bears
L Clapham For an excellent working model of a wind turbine
A Sharp For your Science classification keys
J Gagg For amazing effort and perseverance with remote learning
O Scott For amazing effort and perseverance with remote learning
P Palmer For amazing effort and perseverance with remote learning
E Julio For amazing effort and perseverance with remote learning
L Summers For creating a very detailed river case study poster
H Smith For creating a very detailed poster clearly showing the impacts of flooding
H Soper For lots of very thorough river research on the impacts of flooding and a well-presented poster
E Collings For a very creative and well-presented poster and video, very good research and descriptive detail to show impacts of flooding
D Stephens For the time and effort put into your poster, which shows lots of detail about the impacts of flooding
L Shi For a very detailed poster, including good use of Digimaps to demonstrate a flooding area
J Maloney For lots of really good detail in your river poster and also adding a PowerPoint
T Petersen For very detailed research and a well-designed, handwritten poster and good use of historical photos to show flooding damage history
L Watson For a very detailed and well-researched river poster, beautifully presented
E Ward For very detailed maps, used to demonstrate flooding damage, with good facts and research
F Rutherford For excellent extra-curricular work, including raising ducklings, making a bat detector and bat box and a bug hotel
H Haaxman For a creative and engaging video, made from scratch, about online safety rules
L Karir For a fantastic video about online safety, packed full with top tips, animation effects and background music

School News

National Writing Competitions

Mrs Andrade has shared details of two writing competitions that you might like to take part in:

The Young Walter Scott Prize is for ages 11 upwards and the ALCS writing competition has no age limits.

Full details can be found on our Message Board.

Virtual Book Club 

Mrs Andrade would like pupils in Years 7 & 8 to take part in a virtual book group. Full details are on our Message Board.

Zoom Meetings

Thank you to everyone who signed in for the pastoral check ins in Prep this morning. These will revert to Fridays from next week.
We will also be trialling a ‘Zoom playground’ for Years 3&4 at some point next week. This will be a supervised zoom call, but the staff will only be there to monitor the interactions.
It will be offered initially in year groups and we will look to develop this as we run through them.
Children should always look out for the Zoom invite that their form teacher will post in their Seesaw account, with the login details.
Have a lovely bank holiday weekend.
Mr Wiseman

 

Freestyle Friday Silent Disco

Next week on Freestyle Friday we will be having a live silent disco for one week only! It will be set up for 8:30am on Friday. The premise is that we all turn up at just before 8:30 having selected our 2 favourite songs in the world. Then we all mute our microphones and press play at the same time and everyone can dance in their own homes, to their own favourite songs, but together with everyone.
A link will be sent out on Seesaw to pupils in Years 3-8 and Pre-Prep will share it on either Seesaw or Tapestry – only St Michael’s pupils will be able to join in.
I’m hoping it will be a lovely way to start the day and that lots of people turn up for it. Let’s try something different and bring a bit of live interaction to finish the week!
Mr Bridges

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