Head’s Blog 19th May 2017 Friday 19th May 2017

It was particularly nice to welcome all our scholars in Year 6, 7 and 8 and their parents, together with our governor Mark Weatheritt, to a special celebration dinner last night. We commended them on the work they have done and wish them well for the work they will do in the future and we thanked them for the contribution they have made to St Michael’s Prep. The pursuit of excellence is an exciting endeavour and as we focus on drawing out the best in every child, we find that focusing on the very top raises standards for all. The opportunities for excelling in music, art, drama and sport are equally important to us as is the chance to love learning, work hard and strive to put our knowledge to the best use we can. But above and beyond that, there is a strong sense of the value of consideration, courtesy, manners, curiosity and as another group of children set off today for their Curiosity Curriculum convention, the excitement will continue right up to the weekend. And excitement there was a-plenty as Bruno won the individual challenge competition and our boys then went on to win the Senior School performance challenge. Many congratulations to everyone who went to take part today.

Out in the wilds of Essex, a whole cohort of Year 2 pupils today woke up to perhaps their first night away from home. Experience of travel, change, challenge and collaboration is an important way in which we build resilience, co-operation and communication, all of which are life skills.

Sports this week have been extremely damp but pretty good by all accounts. We were delighted to hear that H Martin won the silver medal in his fencing tournament at the British Youth Championships in Sheffield.

Many congratulations to our Under 8 tennis team, who became the Kent Champions this week.

As the school looks forward to a weekend of celebration and music at the festival, I am only sorry that a significant birthday takes me away from this wonderful event which I hope everyone will enjoy. I am proudly sporting my St Michael’s festival friendship bracelet, crafted by Syrian refugees in Istanbul working for Empathy Action. This morning, we enjoyed a superb assembly presentation on Brunei from the Friis family which opened our eyes and our minds. With the appointment this week of Ali Chugg as Global Dimension Leader for St Michael’s, we formally acknowledge through this role, the fundamental importance of our wish to look out on the wider world, understand it better and play our part in keeping it beautiful and making it a fairer place.

I hope that the festival is a wonderful and happy occasion.

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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