eNews: Friday 7th May 2021

From the Head

Dear Parents,

On Tuesday we returned to school feeling refreshed from the bank holiday weekend and ready to embrace another week of opportunities at St Michael’s.

A key highlight of this week was the return to competitive fixtures which saw our Prep pupils play cricket against other schools for the first time since 2019. For some children, these were their first ever matches for the school, which is a very exciting milestone for them. It was a real joy to witness some wonderful cricket from all of our girls and boys during these events; our pupils are superb ambassadors for the school and displayed such pride in representing St Michael’s.

Elsewhere in the school, I have had the pleasure of visiting various classrooms and seeing the tremendous hard work our pupils are committing to their lessons. I never fail to be impressed by the engagement and interest shown by St Michael’s children and the rapport that exists between them and their teachers. This sense of community was likewise echoed by our Virtual Open Morning on Wednesday where we listened to speeches by pupils in Year 2 to Year 8, Jessica, Thomas, Herbie, Millie, Jaylen, Oliver and Alix, as well as two past pupils, James and Olivia. The way the children spoke about their time at St Michael’s, from how amazing the school lunches are, to the huge family they feel part of; each pupil shared unique memories and ways that the school is special to them. A huge thank you to all staff and speakers involved in this event, and our superb musicians Silas, Eve and Alex who gave spectacular performances to our prospective families.

I would also like to express a heartfelt thanks to all of those who have sent messages of support and thoughtful gifts to Mr Wiseman who, as you know, is currently unwell. Your response is a testimony to the sense of family which can be felt at St Michael’s.

In this week’s newsletter, we are delighted to share some excellent achievements including those from our Year 6 pupils Freddie and Daniel who performed brilliantly in competitions at the weekend. I hope you enjoy reading our interviews with them.

Finally, a huge thank you to the Estates Team for keeping our grounds and buildings looking so stunning throughout the year. They do such an excellent job and work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep everything safe and fully functioning for us.

Have a great weekend.

Nik Pears

 

A message from Mr Pears:

From the Head of Pre-Prep 

Dear Parents,

There is much excitement as the teachers are starting to plan to take the children on school trips for the first time. We have a limited amount of Trinity Term to fit in a trip but it looks like Reception will go to Godstone Farm, Year 1 will go to Shoreham and Year 2 will finally get to Stubbers. There is a huge amount of organisation involved in each trip; risk assessments, medication, food, staffing and transport to name but a few of the considerations, so I would like to thank the staff for their hard work and enthusiasm in trying to get these arrangements completed in limited time.

Open Morning was virtual again this week. The Admissions and Marketing Department did a great job on Wednesday and I was extremely proud of the children who were filmed as part of our Open Morning for prospective parents. The achievements of our pupils as they move through the school are incredible and hearing them speak so enthusiastically is a joy. It is always tricky to show off our amazing school via a small screen, but everyone involved did so well.

Another thank you goes to Parents & Friends who have funded outdoor tables and benches for Stable Court. The children are excited about using them for some outdoor lessons and they are looking forward to being able to read outside as the weather warms up.

Overheard in Pre-Prep: To the teacher

“When you die, I’ll take over the class.”

 

Have a lovely weekend

Zerrin Leech

Pre-Prep Gold Star Winners

Silas C for an outstanding result for his Grade 5 Piano exam

Zack E-A for fantastic writing about Lost and Found using descriptive vocabulary and imaginative ideas

Chloe S for working hard on counting in halves and quarters

Elizabeth S for an excellent piece of narrative writing

Jessica H for using fantastic language when writing a narrative

Thomas G for carefully solving problems involving mixed and top-heavy fractions

Anna W for sculpting a very accurate clay penguin character

Elodie B & Ellie S for excellent effort in Maths, adding 1 digit numbers to 3 digit numbers

Isabelle P for persevering to complete her maths tasks

Conrad B for trying hard to form all his letters correctly

Espen A for good mathematical calculations, applying his knowledge of addition and subtraction facts

Sam S for always making a super effort in our English lessons

 

Times Tables Certificates

Awarded to:

Bronze – William P

 

100 Housepoints Certificates

Awarded to:

Dover – Charlie C/Zi Chen G/Jessica H

Leeds – Rayaan G/Robert M

Rochester – Isla B

 

Headteacher’s Award

Given to:

Ellie S for fantastic work in Maths

Elodie B for fantastic work in Maths

Head’s Stars

H Forest (Year 3) for a fantastic open morning speech

M Blincoe (Year 4) for a fantastic open morning speech

E Schwark (Year 6) for writing an amazing Slave Diary

A Ulens (Year 6) for writing an amazing Slave Diary

J Pathiwill (Year 6) for writing an amazing Slave Diary AND for a fantastic open morning speech

A MacRae (Year 6) for writing an amazing Slave Diary

O Court (Year 6) for writing an amazing Slave Diary

G Owen (Year 6) for writing an amazing Slave Diary

E Green (Year 6) for writing an amazing Slave Diary

I Pennington Legh (Year 6) for writing an amazing Slave Diary

B Costrove (Year 6) for writing an amazing Slave Diary

E Newton (Year 6) for writing a great story for homework where she had to include a change in the weather to reflect emotions

M Amure (Year 6) for being of invaluable support in the library and helping with library duties

B Tovey (Year 5) for her amazing descriptive writing in English

F Lloyd (Year 6) for an unbelievable achievement in racing at PFI International, gaining 2nd place in the final

D Macedo (Year 6) for a fantastic interview about his parkrun success

A Scott (Year 7) for a wonderful open morning performance

E Ward (Year 8) for a wonderful open morning performance

O Maltarp (Year 8) for a fantastic open morning speech

A Mourgue D’Algue (Year 8) for a fantastic open morning speech

 

Whole School News

A welcome return to fixtures

St Michael’s welcomed the return of competitive fixtures this week, as The Hawthorns School, Solefield School and Radnor House were among the first groups to compete with our Prep pupils following a year break due to Covid-19. Excited to be playing against different teams again, pupils enjoyed an afternoon of cricket matches against a backdrop of ferocious clouds apprising the approaching thunderstorm.

Mr Bridges, Director of Sport, said: “It was fantastic to see competitive fixtures resume against other schools this week following a long break. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the matches and the atmosphere on the pitches was great. We look forward to enjoying many more fixtures in the coming weeks.”

 

 

Ski Trip 2022 – sign up now!

Bookings are now open for the 2022 Ski Trip to Alpe d’Huez in France. Open to children currently in Year 4 and above, the trip will see pupils spend a week at the popular resort, and stay in Clubhotel Vallee Blanche where excellent facilities and entertainment are on offer. For more information or to book your child’s place on the trip please click here.

Come and see The Elephant Man!

After what has felt like an eternity, theatres are finally opening their doors and at St Michael’s Prep we are delighted, and excited, to say our drama space is once again going to echo with the voices of thespians performing their craft. The School Play is back!

Normally, our play is presented by Years 5 to 8, however the restrictions of the pandemic and the enforced bubbles have meant that this year, only students from Years 7 and 8 have been able to get involved.

Nevertheless, we would be delighted to see all students, as well as their families and friends, at one of the performances. The cast has worked incredibly hard since September to bring this show to you; please do come along and give them your support. We recommend the production for Years 6 and above, although this is not exclusive.

Doors open at 6pm. There will be a paid bar available.

Grab your tickets via the QR Code below, or online at www.ticketsource.co.uk.

Shoot for the Stars!

Daniel’s Parkrun Victory

Congratulations to Daniel in Year 6 who won 1st place in the Bromley Junior Parkrun on Sunday 2nd May. Competing the 2km race in just 8 minutes 28 seconds, Daniel ran incredibly well and soared past 141 other runners to gain the top title.

Commenting on his win, Daniel said: “It was a great race and I was really happy to finish first. I love competing in the parkruns and have been trying hard to win the race since they restarted after lockdown. This was my 20th parkrun so it felt really good to win.”

Daniel, whose sister Mikayla also ran in the race, added: “It was a very rewarding run and a good challenge. Our parents were there to cheer us on and as we were celebrating Lithuanian Mother’s Day on Sunday, this made it even more special.”

Since winning the run, Daniel has used his experience to inspire others to give running a go. He said: “It would be great to see more people coming to the runs and trying their best. I didn’t used to be sporty, but I now really enjoy taking part in the events.”

Mr Bridges, Director of Sport, who is a very keen runner himself, praised Daniel for his success. He said: “We are very proud of Daniel’s achievement and how well he ran on Sunday. Competing against a large group of people can be daunting, but Daniel conquered this challenge. We look forward to hearing about Daniel’s future successes.”

 

Freddie’s kart wins 2nd place

We are delighted to announce that Freddie in Year 6 is one step closer to the British Kart Championships after coming 2nd place in the final of his latest race at PFI International. The weekend long event, which took place from Friday 30th April to Sunday 2nd May, saw Freddie compete in two heats and one final race.

Commenting on his win, Freddie said: “It was a really fun weekend and I enjoyed taking part in the different races. I faced challenges including a tangle with another kart in the last lap of the final, but I was pleased that I still managed to come second.”

He added: “Although we couldn’t have an awards ceremony due to Covid, I took home a trophy which is now sat on my desk with the others.”

Supporting Freddie at the event was his family who are hugely proud of his success. Freddie’s mum said: “This is an unbelievable achievement racing against children who have years more experience than Freddie. We are really proud.”

Mr Pears, Head, echoed this praise for Freddie when he said: “A huge congratulations to Freddie for doing so well in his races at the weekend. Freddie has clearly worked very hard to get where he is and we look forward to seeing him achieve many more trophies in the future.”

And with more than eight years karting experience behind him, it is no surprise that Freddie will be competing in the British Kart Championships in two weeks time.

Freddie said: “I’m feeling nervous about the Championships, but am looking forward to it at the same time. I am really aiming for the Top 10 seed.

“My dream is to become a world champion like my brother Alex.”

 

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.

Senior School Information

 

Knole Academy

Knole Academy is now taking bookings for its Year 5 taster sessions for 2021. During the taster sessions, which will take place between 22nd June and 9th July, children and parents will have the chance to find out more about life and lessons at the school.

To book you preferred subject session please visit: https://www.knoleacademy.org/463/open-events. Further information about the events and the admissions process please click here.

Please note, Knole Academy has asked that you only book one session in order for them to accommodate as many children as possible. and to inform their school of the booking they have made. Please also book early to avoid disappointment.

For those parents who would rather not attend a Taster Session during this time or have been unable to book a place, we are pleased to offer a ‘virtual experience’ where children are able to take part in a number of Taster lessons in English, Maths, Science, Design Technology and Food Technology.  There is also a virtual tour of our school from our Headteacher, Mr Collins.

 

King’s Rochester

Join King’s Rochester for their Open Morning on Saturday 26th June from 9am to 1pm. The event will be an opportunity to meet with the school’s staff and pupils as well as seeing their beautiful grounds, nestled within the Cathedral precinct of historic Rochester. King’s is a proud broad-ability School which offers a variety of Scholarships in Academia, Sport, Music, Drama and Art.

Principal Mr Ben Charles will welcome all visitors to King’s at 9:15am in the School Hall where breakfast will be available and after which families can tour the school.

Pre-booking is essential and can be done here.

 

Bethany School

Join Bethany School for their virtual Open Morning on Wednesday 12th May 10am to 11am.

Bethany School’s virtual Open Mornings have provided parents with a very worthwhile first experience, not only of the range of facilities and the expertise of teaching staff, but also of the atmosphere at Bethany. One prospective parent who attended a recent e-Open Morning commented: “It was great to see the School, hear from pupils and have my questions answered in real time.”

For more information please visit www.bethanyschool.org.uk/visit.

 

In the Community

Mrs Grayland’s Half Term Netball Camp

Mrs Grayland will be running a netball camp during half term. This is a great opportunity to practice your skills, play some fun games and develop your game alongside your friends.

The camp will run on: Tuesday 1st June for Years 3 and 4

Wednesday 2nd June for Years 5 and 6

Thursday 3rd June for Years 7 and 8

Please email sarahgrayland@hotmail.co.uk for more information and to book your place.

Mr Thomas’ Half Term Hockey Camp

Mr Thomas will be holding his Half Term Hockey Camp at Hollybush Hockey Pitch on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th June. 

As Mr Thomas’ Easter camp sold out very quickly, please sign up early to avoid disappointment. To reserve your space, please email Mr Thomas on jnthomas88@outlook.com. 

Please note the following from the organisers: We are hoping that all Government restrictions will be lifted by then. We will be following all England Hockey guidelines and may have to limit the numbers. Please sign up early to avoid any disappointment.

St Michael’s is very pleased to be collaborating with Camp Beaumont during the summer holiday. The children’s activity programme, which will run from 19th July to 27th August, is designed to help children keep active, challenge them mentally, build new life skills and most importantly, help them grow in confidence. Activities will include a wide range of games, music, sports and creative workshops.

We are also delighted to announce that St Michael’s parents will receive a 10% discount off full weeks, 5% off days and 50% off extended days when parents use the code HS20. For more information please click here.

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 Trinity Term.

Latest News

Year 8 have enjoyed an array of fun trips and activities this week as part of their Leavers’ Programme. Beginning with a trip to Camber Sands on Monday, Year 8 had a wonderful day relaxing on the beach, playing cricket and even having a swim. This was followed by a trip to Hever Castle on Tuesday where pupils enjoyed a series of activities including a worksheet-led task around the castle, as well as a visit to the adventure playground and water maze. Mr Wade, who accompanied Year 8 on the trip, said: “A great day was had by all. The water maze was particularly popular with the children and ideal on the hot day we had.”

On Wednesday, Year 8 returned to school for a Codathon challenge led by the ICT Department. The event, compiled of Codathon Computing, Minecraft in Education and Code.org sections, was a huge success and saw pupils put their ICT skills to good use.

Head of ICT and Computing, Miss Booth, said: “The three tasks tested the pupils in different ways. In the Codathon Computing Quiz, it was pleasing to see some fantastic scores and the students enjoying a challenging assessment based activity in a very different format. In the Minecraft in Education section pupils used blocky, Python or JavaScript to add super powers to make their world more engaging and exciting to play. Meanwhile, the Code.org activities enabled students to test their problem solving skills whilst revisiting key computing concepts such as Decomposition, Abstraction, Algorithms, Pattern Recognition, Iteration and many more.”

Red carpets were rolled out on Thursday as Year 8 took part in a Film Day organised by the Young Film Academy. Throughout the day, the pupils watched film making tutorials following by creating their own short films in groups.

Commenting on the week of events, Head of Year Mrs Shield said: “Year 8 have celebrated the end of their exams and assessments by taking part in a range of fun and educational activities during Week 1 of the Leavers’ Programme.  On Monday they visited Camber Sands for sea, sunshine and in some cases…. sunburn!  Hever Castle offered some focus on the Tudor history we have been studying this year but finished with some unadulterated fun in the water maze.  Pupils then completed a ‘Codathon Challenge’ and Minecraft activities.  They finished the week by making some short films based on different themes – all of which you can enjoy watching later in the term!”

Parents and children in Sevenoaks will be excited to learn that the UK’s most experienced day camp provider Camp Beaumont is bringing lots of fun activities to the area at St Michael’s Prep School in Otford.

 

The school is preparing to welcome children to its first set of camps this summer, where they will get to take advantage of its expansive sports fields, tennis courts, swimming pool, art room and drama studio.

 

Camp Beaumont will be running its successful Playtime, Magic, Active and Teen programmes during the summer holidays between 19 July – 27 August 2021.

 

The bespoke Camp Beaumont programmes at St Michael’s Prep School for three to 16-year-olds are designed to help children get active, challenge them mentally, build new life skills, discover new interests – and most importantly, help them grow in confidence. And there’s enough to suit a wide range of interests.

 

For the adventurous explorer, activities like archery will give children a real sense of excitement. For sporty competitors, a wide range of games from benchball to capture the flag will test their athletic abilities and get them moving. And for artists, actors and musicians in the making, Camp Beaumont also offers a number of opportunities to be creative, from jewellery making to clay work. They will even get the chance to prove they are the camp’s next big star in Beaumont’s Got Talent.

 

Jof Gaughan, Executive Director at Camp Beaumont, said: “We are thrilled to add St Michael’s Prep School to our portfolio of outstanding school locations. The environment at St Michael’s is truly wonderful and the school is packed with first-class facilities which will help campers to learn and thrive.

 

“Our camp team can’t wait to deliver our multi-activity programmes for 3 to 16-year-olds, and for all our campers to enjoy the incredible outdoor and indoor space available for arts, crafts, sports and games.

 

“The grounds at St Michael’s Prep School are immense and beautifully maintained, making it the perfect setting for summer 2021.”

 

Nik Pears, Head of St Michael’s Prep School, added: “We are delighted to be hosting Camp Beaumont during the summer holidays. They have an exciting programme planned and will make good use of our spacious grounds and fantastic facilities.”

 

Camp Beaumont will be running at St Michael’s Prep School from 19 July – 27 August. Prices start from £52 for a one-day pass. For more information visit www.campbeaumont.co.uk

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/