eNews: Friday 8th November 2019

From the Head

I trust that you were able to have an enjoyable and relaxing half term holiday and that your children have enjoyed the busyness of their first week back. We congratulate Ishwar Sharma on becoming European yoga champion over the holidays at the European Championships in Bordeaux.

It will be good to come together at the end of it today to celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night with a spectacular firework display and time to catch up in relaxed surroundings.

There has been more debate this year in the press and on social media about the cruelty of letting off fireworks in relation to pets and we very much hope that your pets have been kept safely inside at the appropriate moments if you have known about displays near to where you live.

Having offered all the children in the school a reminder of their responsibilities within families to look after younger children and pets and guidance about how to keep safe when handling and watching fireworks, I would not wish to be part of any movement that said that fireworks are no longer allowed in this country and our celebration draws people together in one place at one time to share a fantastic professional display and we hope that this will be instead of many smaller parties where pets nearby might get stressed.

The senior team are looking this week at what’s going on in Year 7 and, by the time you are reading this, we will have popped in and out of quite a few lessons to enjoy the full extent of what is being offered to our pupils and will come together on Monday to discuss this in detail. I’ve also enjoyed some funky fungi work in two and three dimensions from Y6 .

On Monday the school will come together to pay respects to those who fell in all world wars and again we will hold our celebration outside around our Tommy sculpture. Parents who would like to join us will be most welcome on the terrace from 10. 45 and we will aim to mark our two minutes’ silence along with the rest of the nation at 11 am midway through our service.

We hope that whatever you’re doing, you have a relaxing weekend .

Jill Aisher

Staff News

We extend a warm welcome to Laura Phillips, our new Learning Support Assistant in Pre-Prep.

Laura studied Geography at Durham University and left her first career in commercial property to pursue a second in Early Years education. With experience as a Teaching Assistant, gained whilst her own children were young, she has latterly specialised in Learning Support. Working at a local school she supported a lovely child with special educational needs. For that role she learnt Makaton signing and other communication techniques to build confidence and independence.

More recently Laura has also worked in Nurseries and Early Years settings. As a sportswoman ( tennis , golf, cricket and sailing) and an artist, Laura brings a very visual and kinaesthetic approach to learning – always with a sense of fun. She values kindness and patience.

Laura looks forward to joining the team at St Michael’s and will be taking a keen interest in art being produced around the school and cricket being played in the lovely grounds.

Laura will join us on 11th November.

 

 

News from Pre-Prep

• Poppies for sale in school in Pre-Prep reception for Remembrance Day Assembly on 11.11.19
• Tuesday 12th Parents’ Evening 3.45pm to 6.15pm
• Thursday 14th Parents’ Evening 5.30pm to 8pm
• Thursday 15th Year 2 trip to Horniman Museum
• Friday 15th Children in Need – wear spots or a onesie for a donation to the cause. (Pre-Prep only)

At the time of writing I am looking forward to St Michael’s firework night. This is always a special event and the fireworks are spectacular.

On Tuesday and Thursday next week we have our November parents’ evenings. This year Nursery, Kindergarten, PE and Music will be based in the dining room for 10 minute appointments and Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will be in the Pre-Prep Hall for 15 minute appointments. Please use the main Pre-Prep doors for access. A bell will be rung at the end of your appointment time, so please help us to keep appointments on time by moving on at the end. If you wish to see teachers for longer about a specific issue, then you are welcome to see them after school at a mutually convenient time.

Year 2 will be going to the Horniman Museum on Thursday. Please ensure children are smart in their school uniforms and send them in with blazers.

Friday next week is Children in Need day. I understand that children (and staff) are desperate to come to school in their onesies, therefore Pre-Prep will be happily attired in spots or onesies for the day. Please bring a donation for Children in Need if you are not wearing school uniform! Please note that siblings in Prep will be wearing school uniform on this day.

I would like to remind you all that children’s snacks in both the morning and afternoon are fruit, vegetable, plain rice cakes or plain breadsticks. Please don’t send in anything that looks like a bag of crisps or a cereal bar; this is not fair on the other children in the class.

Overheard: Child to parent – When I go to school do you go to Mummy school?

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:

• P&F Pantomime – last tickets available now!
• Winter Carol tracks from the Music Department

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

Thomas A for fantastic addition with dice
Mia Y for wonderful cursive writing
Marianne B for excellent effort with her reading
Theo B for excellent effort in phonics
William M for making some really sensible choices in class
Marina N for a huge effort and positive attitude in reading and writing
Myla B for careful work in mathematics, checking she has written her numbers correctly
Kim V for an enthusiastic start back to school
Hans Emil for working with enthusiasm and being very helpful
Benji S for trying hard with his handwriting
Abigail S for using some lovely expression in her reading
Finlay S for carefully interpreting recorded data about Guy Fawkes night
Xavi N for learning a given poem off by heart, adding expression where necessary
Alexander H for doing a fantastic job of learning off by heart The Owl & The Pussycat
Olivia G for excellent work on tally charts and bar graphs, completing lots of work very quickly

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup: Rayaan G
Music Practice Award: Finley S
Star Violinist Cup: Anna W

House Point Cup

Windsor House with a total of 110 points
Amelia N collected the Cup on behalf of Windsor House

Times Tables Certificates

Bronze – Jake L

Players of the Match, week commencing 4th November 2019

Team Name Given for: –
1st Football K Cameron For displaying incisive attacking play and a fantastic left foot half volley goal!
2nd N Staples For scoring a hat-trick!
3rd O Goodwin For displaying great energy and effort
Colts A J Moore For a strong defensive display
Colts B B Cosgrove & L Bowen For good defensive play
Colts C C Hunter

J Pathiwill

For strong defending

For good mid-field play

Colts D R Browne & S Ward For an outstanding defensive display
Colts E N Dandeniya For making a great effort
Colts F E Crane For excellent play and for never giving up
U9 A T Warren For brilliant all-round play
U9 B G Dulski For being great in attack and defence
U8 A R Stevens For showing calmness on the ball and keeping his head up trying to find the right pass
U8 B C Thornhill For fantastic defensive play
U8 C G MacIntosh For great defending
U13 A Hockey T Vafai

E Ward

For showing tenacity on the pitch

For chasing back to make a second tackle

U13 B E Jones For displaying great tenacity on the pitch
U13 C H Pope

C Sturges

Voted for by the opposition

For having a “never giving up” attitude.

U11 A A Ogle

L Blincoe

Voted for by the opposition for great play

For good attacking play

U11 B M Noorpuri Voted for by the opposition for great play
U11 C No Match
U10 A G Owen

E Bingham

Voted for by the opposition

For making a great effort for the whole game

U10 B A Stevens For showing great attacking play and scoring 3 goals.
U10 C No Match
U9 A Netball M Pape For great all-round play
U9 B S Cameron

E Wood

Voted for by the opposition

For great play in all positions

U9 C No Match
U8 Green Netball No Match
U8 Black No Match
U8 Blue Alice Pink For great all-round play and scoring 4 goals

Senior School Open Days

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include Bromley High School, Oakwood Park Grammar School, Sevenoaks School, Skinners’ School, Whitgift School and Wilmington Grammar School for Boys.

Latest News

Mr Bridges is on a mission to keep St Michael’s motivated with his latest exercise plan designed to make exercise fun.

The Director of Sport at St Michael’s, who is a very keen runner himself, has created a beginner to 5k plan for anyone wanting to keep fit this lockdown.

The six-week plan, featuring workouts, running challenges and rest days, covers a range of exercises aimed at strengthening all parts of the body.

Mr Bridges said: “I have created this training programme for the St Michael’s community to help anyone who wants to have a go at running during lockdown and safely get to 5k by the time we return to school. The plan is suitable for Prep-aged pupils, parents and staff, including absolute beginners.”

The teacher, who has 15 years’ training as a running and triathlon coach, added: “The programme is designed to build a body capable of running 5k at the end of the six weeks, and what better time to have a go than during lockdown.”

The detailed plan, organised into weeks and week days, follows a key where the letters W (walk) and R (run) appear alongside the number of minutes the activity should take place for. For example, 6 x 1:30w/2:30r represents a 1 minute 30 seconds of walking followed by 2 minutes 30 seconds of running, repeated six times.

Mr Bridges said: “The programme includes progressive long runs from week 3 onwards, the only day where the running is based on distance rather than time.

“On Mondays I will also be sharing a different workout on the St Michael’s PE YouTube channel which pupils can take part in.”

To share your experience of the programme, including photos please email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk. By sharing this information you give consent to it being shared on St Michael’s social media channels and publications.

 

On Tuesday 15th December, St Michael’s hosted a fun-filled charity day for Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA).

Organised by Year 7 pupil Lucy, whose life who saved by the emergency team last Christmas, the school partook in a range of fundraising activities including a fun run, Christmas jumper day, and brain-teaser quizzes.

Lucy said: “With Mr Wiseman’s help, I planned activities to raise some much-needed money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and increase awareness of their work.

“A lot of people don’t realise what a great charity they are, and I hope our fundraising day has changed that.

“Not only do they save people’s lives in moments of crisis, but they provide long-term support to families who undergo medical emergencies.”

Amanda McLean, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, said: “A big thank you to the staff and pupils of St Michael’s for coming up with creative ways to involve everyone in fundraising. In sharing her story, Lucy has helped us spread awareness of what Thames Valley Air Ambulance does. We can only do what we do because of the imagination and generosity of our wonderful fundraisers. We hope you had a lot of fun on your fundraising day!”

Lucy, whose story recently featured in the TVAA’s Christmas appeal, said: “Thames Valley Air Ambulance helped me at a time when my parents couldn’t. When I was seriously injured, the team stepped in and became my heroes.”

“It means so much to me that St Michael’s have come together to support this cause.”

The highly successful events saw pupils spread festive joy while raising an impressive £2556.60 for the charity which relies wholly of public donations.

Mrs Bridges, St Michael’s Acting Head, added: “Yesterday was amazing! The whole school had such a great time, and pupils were very excited to take part in a different fundraiser which meant they could enjoy the outdoors, whilst raising money for such an important charity. Everyone gave their all in the sponsored run and it was a brilliant event to watch.”

 

Mrs Wade, Head of Girls’ Games also said: “The children did remarkably well considering the conditions, and ran superbly for Lucy’s cause.”

 

 

And Lucy’s family echoed this gratitude for St Michael’s support. They said: “We wanted to say a huge thank to the St Michael’s community for supporting Lucy’s appeal for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance this Christmas. We’re so grateful to you for getting behind this amazing charity to whom we owe so much. We know from experience that your donations really do save lives. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021!”

For more information about the Thames Valley Air Ambulance or to donate visit: www.tvairambulance.org.uk/support-us/donate

 

 

This Tuesday 15th December, St Michael’s will host a fundraising day for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA), organised by Year 7 pupil Lucy.

Determined to help a cause very close to her heart, Lucy has organised a series of events aimed at raising money for the charity-based emergency service.

Throughout the day pupils will be invited to participate in a range of activities including wearing a Christmas jumper, doing a sponsored run, and completing brain teaser quizzes in exchange for donations to the TVAA which relies wholly on public contributions.

Lucy said: “With Mr Wiseman’s help, I’ve planned activities to raise some much-needed money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and increase awareness of their work.

“A lot of people don’t realise what a great charity they are, and I hope our fundraising day will change that.

“Not only do they save people’s lives in moments of crisis, but they provide long-term support to families who undergo medical emergencies.”

And Lucy’s charity day is driven by her own bond with the charity who saved her life following an accident last Christmas.

She said: “Thames Valley Air Ambulance helped me at a time when my parents couldn’t. When I was seriously injured, the team stepped in and became my heroes.”

Since her accident, Lucy has remained close with three of TVAA’s critical care paramedics, Jo, John and Clare.

Lucy said: “Not only did the team come and visit me in hospital during my recovery, but in February this year my family and I were invited to their base to see their helicopters and learn more about their work.

“Since then, we’ve kept in close contact with them and have been given the exciting opportunity to take part in their Christmas campaign.

“One morning, my mum received a phone call from the TVAA asking if we’d like to tell our story as part of their fundraising appeal.

“Despite the accident still being quite fresh, we were keen to get involved as it’s such an amazing charity.”

Earlier this year, Lucy and her family were invited to Oxfordshire to talk about their experience in front of the camera.

The filming day, which involved interviews with both Lucy and her parents, aimed to raise awareness of the charity’s impact.

Lucy said: “It was such a fun day and really made us feel part of the TVAA community.

“Afterwards, we were sent several cuts of the video, including a very cool animation of my story which was very realistic.

“They kept us in mind throughout the whole process and made us feel very special.”

A full breakdown of the fundraising events can be found below. For more information about the TVAA or to view Lucy’s video visit: www.tvairambulance.org.uk/appeal/.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance Fundraising Activities 

  • Christmas jumpers – In Prep and Pre-Prep, we are inviting the children and staff to sport their best Christmas jumper and make a donation for the privilege of wearing it! The 15th  is the day of the school Christmas lunches, so this would be a good time to wear them. As with the last charity collection, the donations for Christmas jumpers can be deposited in the buckets at the doors into the buildings as the children arrive in the morning.
  • Sponsored run (Prep) – we are going to be inviting the children to run in teams of (up to) 4 around the shortest XC route on the fields. They will have a set time to complete as many laps as possible in that time. The children can look to have their team sponsored per lap, or have a donation from their sponsor. Sponsorship money raised will need to be brought in the following day.
  • Brain teaser quizzes – there are two quiz sheets that can be purchased for 50p each and you can take them home and try to solve the puzzles as a family. I’m afraid the only prize on offer is the glow of self-fulfilment upon having completed them. Answers will be shared on the last day of term. As parents cannot be in the school buildings at the moment, the quiz sheets can be purchased via homework diaries (please send the 50p/ £1, depending if you want one quiz sheet or both).

 

 

A former St Michael’s pupil has been awarded an Honorary Academic Scholarship for her excellence across all subjects.

Grace Goodwin, who attended St Michael’s between 2014 and 2019, has received the honour from Sevenoaks School.

Commenting on Grace’s success, her mother Marianthe Goodwin said: “Grace joined Sevenoaks in Year 7 and has really thrived from day one.

“We all knew Grace was doing very well academically as she was awarded the Academic Prize in Year 7 and Year 8. However, just before half term we received a letter awarding Grace an Honorary Academic Scholarship, one of only four which was awarded.

“Grace was delighted and extremely surprised as she had absolutely no idea that she was going to receive it. As an Academic Scholar, Grace is invited to attend the Schickler Society with the other scholars in which they discuss lots of different world issues both current and past, such as gun control and the Cold War.”

Mrs Goodwin added: “Grace had a wonderful and very happy time at St Michael’s and the decision to leave was  a hard one, but we felt it was the right time for Grace.  At St Michael’s she enjoyed all her subjects, especially English and Science.

“She found all the teachers very encouraging and approachable, and felt the growth mindset attitude and community spirit of St Michael’s gave her the confidence to hit challenges head on and not give up.

“Mrs Bridges among others was particularly encouraging of Grace during her time at St Michael’s and offered amazing pastoral support to pupils.”

And it isn’t just Sevenoaks School that spotted Grace’s academic potential. St Michael’s teacher Mrs Baisch, who taught Grace during her time at the school, said: “Grace is an incredibly creative pupil who loves reading and writing, and produced some beautiful work. The words flew off her pen.

“Grace was also a very good speaker which was shown by her victory in the poetry live senior competition which she won with her reading of Dulce et Decorum est. For a Year 6 pupil, her performance was very impressive.

“Grace’s scholarship is of no surprise and is something she should be very proud of.”