Head’s Blog 16th June 2017 Friday 16th June 2017

From the Head

In chapel this week we heard the weird but wonderful story of Pentecost. The overriding message for me on being a part of this story (there was audience participation) on Thursday was that although everyone was speaking in different languages, all present could understand. Taking the theme of diversity and understanding, I have found it wherever I look this week at St Michael’s. Our senior pupils have been making sense of new contexts and working together in teams in Wales, developing trust and companionship. Year 7 have tried out their other language as they make their way around Paris enjoying its sights, sounds, tastes and beauty.

Pre-Prep enjoyed learning about Sweden this week as Mrs Hume gave her a second assembly, beautifully targeted at the younger learners and filling them with fascination. We closed the assembly by singing “Incy Wincy Spider” in Swedish and doing the actions, great fun!

4N’s remarkably accomplished and polished performance poetry assembly today was brimful of pleasure. Style, humour, talent and skill mixed with some impressive and confident performances. Watching Michael Rosen at work performing one of his poems about chocolate cake was also unforgettable. Congratulations to 4N. Tonight the Year 8s will be finding out how well they have performed in CE. Each pupil should feel proud. I am delighted with their results.

We are looking forward next week to our show Guys and Dolls at the Stag Theatre. A huge amount of work has been going on since September and I urge you, if you have not got yourself a ticket, even if you don’t know anybody in the show personally, to come along and see what our pupils can achieve.

Governors get together next week to thank the staff for their hard work and enjoy their company over a drink on the terrace. They will say goodbye and thank you to those who leave us: Amanda McKnight, who is sadly off to Sevenoaks Prep, where her son is at school; Rosy Newman, who will be taking retirement as you know; Sally Worby, who is moving to Somerset, a beautiful house and a new life in the country, and Win Inkson.

Win Inkson

Win has worked at St Michael’s for 25 years and has brought to the school humour, intellect and a healthy disregard for the benefits of technology! Everyone on the staff enjoys chatting with Win and she makes us laugh.

It has been fantastic to be able to have on the team someone so learned in the field of classics and when she leaves she will be much missed. In the classroom she is humorous and pacy and generations of pupils have enjoyed everything she offers. We wish her well as she moves to Peasmarsh and her house renovation project comes to its final conclusion. We hope that she will come and visit whenever she is in town.

Next week we will introduce James Tuck, our new Latin teacher.

In reflecting on the nature and scope of Prize Giving this year, we are again introducing new awards. We have also decided to make a significant change in the information about the evening and parents whose children are to receive an award at our prize-giving will receive a letter confirming this before the event. At that stage children will not know and we will congratulate them and let them know on the day itself in the morning rehearsal. We hope that parents of prize winners will therefore be able to make arrangements to be there and that everyone else who attends enjoys every minute of what is planned and will no longer be experiencing the uncertainty of waiting to find out if their child has won something.

I very much look forward to seeing you there.

I hope you have a good weekend and if you have time to pop to Shoreham I recommend the sculpture trail.  I already have something quite fantastic in my garden.

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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