A word from Jill Aisher 25/11/2016 Friday 25th November 2016

A Word from Mrs Aisher

It is always pleasing when children get excited about words. One such word, which recently sparked interest, was advent, coming as it does from two Latin words Year 6 have just learned; “ad” meaning “to” and “venit” “he is coming”. For those of us who are Christians we are looking forward to the time we celebrate Jesus’ birth. Advent time literally means “he is coming”.

For many parents this time is a frantic few weeks of shopping and preparation for family celebrations, to be navigated around a simultaneous increase in momentous additional events!

Here at St Michael’s we start our advent season with the wonderful P & F Christmas bazaar tomorrow with many treats in store for us all. Perhaps you will stop by the International Club’s seasonal, cosmopolitan treats or savour the harmonious music-making by the staff choir and our young musicians. Perhaps you will visit Santa’s grotto or the secrets room to wrap a gift, have a bounce on one of the inflatables or stop for lunch in the Christmas café. Whatever you do, please come and join in the fun between 12 noon and 3 pm. We look forward to seeing you here.

There will, over the next few weeks, be a wonderful set of treats in store for us all as we mark our St Michael’s advent, and we hope you will all enjoy coming together, joining in and having a lot of time off work! Whether your child is dressing up to be a part of the Christmas story, retold in song and actions, whether they concentrate hard while carrying their Christingle candle or whether they read to us in our carol service in Shoreham Parish Church, treasure these moments. The children are what Christmas is all about and the wonderful responsibility we share with you to bring them to understand what it is to be a fully-rounded human being and what it means to think of others before ourselves, lies at the heart of our work at school.

If the standards reached at the recent performers’ breakfast are anything to go by, we will have a wonderful few weeks. For much of last year, the ensembles worked as sectionals to prepare the way for our two new musical groups, the orchestra and the jazz band. With wonderful skill and pzazz they showed a whole new level of music making and our two music teachers, Mr Bennett and Mr Davies are to be congratulated for what they have achieved in one term. Alongside these débuts, we enjoyed a variety of other talented music soloists as well as the recorder group and the concert closed with a moving performance from the Show Choir. If you missed the concert itself, which got Tuesday off to a swinging start, you can catch a glimpse of it all on my twitter feed.

As we hurtle towards December do enjoy the seasonal highlights of St Michael’s. I look forward to sharing them with you.

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Prep pupils treated classmates and music teachers to a variety of musical performances this week in their half termly concert.

Performed in three instalments within their bubbles, the musicians showcased a variety of pieces, varying in both genre and instrument.

And although parents were unable to attend the concerts due to Covid-19 restrictions, the pupils’ families received a recording of the event.

Gordon Baird, Director of Music, said “We were delighted by how these first concerts of the academic year went despite the absence of the children’s parents. It was a lovely intimate experience for the children to play or sing to their friends and we heard some confident, accomplished performances.

Mr Baird added: “For some, it was their first time playing in a concert in the Prep school and we look forward to organising many more opportunities for them to perform throughout the year.”

A montage of the three music concerts can be found on the St Michael’s YouTube page at https://youtu.be/Bj_Wx4P9heg.



Spooky spiders and plump pumpkins sparked Halloween fun at St Michael’s this week.

Supported by the school’s Parents and Friends association, pupils enjoyed two games which offered great prizes to winners.

Coordinator of the Halloween competitions and P & F committee member, Kelly Downey said: “Given the restrictions currently in place, the P&F are focusing on strengthening the school community for parents and children this year.

“The competitions are a simple way for the children to have some fun in the week before half term, while raising some funds for the P&F.”

Children in Pre-Prep were tasked with guessing the number of spooky spiders in the jar, while Prep children were asked to guess the weight of a pumpkin. Pupils made a donations to the P & F in exchange for each guess they made.

And the winners of the games, Herbie W (Pre-Prep) A Ward, M Little, L Lutzow and H Owen (Prep), were awarded Halloween hampers which will help them celebrate this year’s festival in spooktacular style.

Kelly added: “The funds raised for the P&F will go towards funding activities and facilities for the children to enrich their time at the school.”

For more information about St Michael’s P & F association visit stmichaels.kent.sch.uk/parents-friends


Strawberries and sunflowers were just some of the items celebrated in last week’s harvest assemblies.


The annual Pre-Prep event, performed as three instalments this year, saw Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils sing, dance and give prayer for the harvest while learning about the festival from their music teacher, Mrs Raveyeh.



Reflecting on the success of the events, Louise Raveyeh said: “I am quite moved by the children’s enthusiastic singing in our harvest celebration.


“It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to realise that there is joy in giving and sharing what we have and happiness for those who gratefully receive it.


“Their singing and eagerness to share with others was heartwarming.”



During the assemblies pupils sung songs about harvest time, nature and the variety of fruit and vegetables grown in this country.


Louise said: “I wanted the children to be thankful for what they have by realising what an amazing rainbow variety of food we have, created with individual characteristics just like them.


“I wanted them to realise the sense of joy that there is in sharing what we have.


“The songs reflect our celebration of what we have and realisation of the process of planting, harvesting and sharing.”



And it wasn’t just songs that helped the children express their thanks. Helped by their generous parents, Pre-Prep donated hundreds of food items and household essentials to the Swanley branch of Trussell Trust food bank.



Head of Pre-Prep at St Michael’s, Zerrin Leech, said: “We had tables, cupboards and bags festooned with food last week as our families gave very kind donations of food and other items.


“A huge thank you must go to the pupils’ parents for their wonderful generosity once again this year which will be gratefully received by the Trussell Trust.


“Thank you also to Mrs Ravayeh for leading our three harvest assemblies. They have been lovely with lots of new songs as well as my all-time favourite, Cauliflowers Fluffy.”





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.”

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