Head’s Blog 12th January 2018 Friday 12th January 2018

Happy New Year to you! I do hope that you had happy family times over this Christmas holiday and that not too many of you were struck down by the dreadful flu going around. I have spoken to many children whose families were and I do hope that 2018 restores you to full health as soon as possible.

I used as my inspiration for thinking about the new year a slice of tree from my garden. Having studied the rings and seen that the growth came through good and bad years I explored this idea with children in Prep and Pre-prep to get an understanding of how growth isn’t always a positive experience and it isn’t always easy.

Nevertheless equipping children with a perspective that embraces challenge and difficulty does lie at the heart of enabling them to be well and happy.

Thursday this week had particular contrasts for me which summed up the richness of the experience that pupils at St Michael’s get.

As we looked out through the mists in chapel on Thursday we were invited to think about things we might not have done so well to ask forgiveness and to set ourselves on the road for next week with new resolve.

The service of communion which we enjoy each week not only takes us through the liturgical journey of the year but also is a weekly reference point for reflection and this time to reflect, I believe again makes a strong contribution to a sense of direction.

Later that day the Year 6 set off for London to watch the show “School of Rock”. Whilst the storyline of an imposter teacher getting away with setting up a rock band in a Prep school might  have had the safeguarding authorities on high alert, the real message of the show is that children’s talents know no bounds and that as adults we must find them, nurture them, and give them opportunities to be showcased.  The voice of Andrew Lloyd Webber at the beginning of the show confirmed that what we were about to see was live performance from some exceptional children and they were exceptional. There was an added charm in the exploration of some fractured relationships within families where their children’s talents had not been noticed and would not have been noticed had it not been for the rogue teacher.

Everyone at the show realised that we had seen some fantastic talents and the story itself could not have failed to move.

We were slightly in awe of what they could do. And yet I know I have witnessed similar moments of extraordinary talent at St Michael’s and I’m convinced that later this term when we watch the “Lord of the Flies” production, which will be intense and sophisticated, that we will perhaps be moved in the same way.

You will note that one of our school development plan areas is to expand provision at St Michael’s and today you’ll be receiving an invitation with more details about our plans and we invite you to come and discuss these with us so do watch out for that letter.

I wish you all a very pleasant weekend and look forward to seeing many of you over the next few weeks.

Jill Aisher

Latest News

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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