Head’s Blog 21st June 2019 Friday 21st June 2019

In a term in which my assembly theme has been based on words removed from the junior Oxford dictionary, I thought it would be appropriate to invent one to add to it this week. We have entered a period which I shall call “trip-a-thon” time.

In what can perhaps be described as an overload of enjoyment, all year groups have been out and about, experiencing new things in the last 10 days. The Year 3s on Friday enjoyed their trip to Chiddingstone, despite the rain and this week they have been enjoying the company of pupils from Shoreham Village School on Monday for the spectacularly successful Tanzania day and the Year 2s, who have been up here being creative and collaborative in a variety of workshops designed to settle them and give them confidence as they move around the Prep school. My colleagues’ quality thinking and planning came up trumps as this logistical jigsaw has fallen into place almost seamlessly over the week. In just two days, the Year 2s have grown in confidence and familiarity with the routines of Prep.

Superimposed onto this activity we welcomed 25 pupils from Plaxtol Primary School, who joined in the Year 5 Codathon, masterminded by Jamie Booth, all day Tuesday, while parents in the library enjoyed another mental health first-aid course delivered by West Kent Mind.

The end of last week came to a most joyful conclusion when Year 8 presented their “play in a week”, “Melon City” which was a delightful ensemble piece enabling them to have fun, work strongly as a team and deliver an impressive and enjoyable story, word perfect, by heart. Their particularly moving finale involved a rewrite of the song “When all is said and done” which was touching and beautifully performed with each pupil having a solo moment.

I’m very proud of all the Common Entrance results secured by Year 8s and it was great for them to celebrate at the end of the week feeling proud of all their achievements.

It’s been fun to get daily updates from Suffolk, where Year 8s are now enjoying an action-packed week and from Paris, where the Year 7s are enjoying “la belle vie Parisienne”.

Yesterday’s challenge project in my group taught me about the invention of the telephone and the invention of the ballcock and U- bend. One of the nicest things about the challenge project group sessions is that we all learn from one another. A steady trickle of excellent and original projects is passing across my desk and I very much enjoy taking a moment to look at the work these children have created with inventiveness, style, commitment and talent.

Today you will receive the class lists for your children next year and on Monday they will be experiencing a taste of things to come. We are welcoming in all our new staff for their induction day and we very much look forward to the next phase in the development of St Michael’s Prep.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend, enjoy it.

Jill Aisher

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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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