Head’s Blog 15th March 2019 Friday 15th March 2019

This week my challenge is what not to write about, I’m certainly happy to bypass all references to politics! Rich learning pervaded all parts of the school in a feast of creative timetabling and excellent extracurricular programming. When we decided a few years ago to concentrate alternative provision into one week, trips week, I don’t believe that we anticipated quite the combination that St Michael’s pupils experienced this week.

A Roman extravaganza for Year 4 on Monday with complementary costumes supported by our fabulous parent participants, Kent Fire Rescue training for Years 1-6, a soggy science trip for Year 5 to Herstmonceux observatory, a French film experience for Year 6 in South Kensington, a talk from an ex-prisoner about prison life, gang culture, behaviour and respect and then the Big Sing involving all of Year 2&3 and some other fantastic primaries nearby and a wonderful uplifting concert at the end of their workshop day. On top of that we’ve had Science week, culminating in Y7’s mission to Mars day today, the Jersey tour for Year 8 and some Year 7, the first homework challenge presentation morning, Pre-Prep trips to see life at Sealife and finally today celebrating, and in Pre-Prep raising money for, Red Nose Day.

Superimpose on that little lot a parent training workshop day by Kent Mind on mental health first-aid and a successful and varied governing body meeting and you have the perfect week at St Michael’s Prep!

This is of course the stuff of which memories are made but I have to thank all my colleagues for the huge amount of extra work that designing and delivering such a week involves.

Fantastic team work, brilliant support from parents and close attention to the logistical implications of all of these things made it a tremendously successful week and I thank everyone involved in making the extraordinary happen every day.

We’ve tried to “tweet the week” as it unfolded and for those of you who are not yet signed up to our Twitter feed we commend it to you in a week such as this.

Can I please also add my thanks to the IT department for supporting so many different things this week, the admin team for welcoming so many visitors, Mark and the catering team for delivering extra and delicious food for our visitors and the estates team who work so hard to make our site look beautiful and are responsible for the thousand bulbs planted which are now revealed in our newly dancing daffodils.

For the many blessings we enjoy at St Michael’s we often give thanks but this week we have been in laudatory overload!

Wherever you are this weekend, have a good one.

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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