Head’s Blog 23rd June 2017 Friday 23rd June 2017

I probably would be rocking the boat if I did not start my blog this week expressing my delight, pride, amazement and excitement at the two performances of “Guys and Dolls”. This ambitious production was carried off with energy, skill and commitment by a huge team of children and staff. Thank you doesn’t quite seem a strong enough response to what happened at the Stag theatre on Tuesday. From the opening cityscape scene bustling with life and focused performances from almost everyone in Year 5, to the rousing big numbers and finale, so much talent was showcased. The audience became completely absorbed in the intertwining stories of Nathan and Miss Adelaide and Sky and Miss Sarah. I congratulate Ollie, Josh, Camille and Megan for their  incredibly accomplished solo rôles. Polished, professional, at ease on stage, no-one present could really believe that these pupils are all 13 and under.

Many many other stars brought humour to the show through their focused performances, revealing the total personality of characters developed just as much when they weren’t speaking as when they were. In the acting, we also saw the talent of our Head of Drama, whose direction and teaching enabled the whole show to happen. Alan Powell should be extremely proud.

As for the costumes, they were magnificent and Ali Chugg has to be congratulated on masterminding the wardrobe as well as the props for this show. It has been almost a full-time job.  Down in the orchestral pit, on the hottest day of the year, the heat was definitely on and not just because Big Julie was in town. A marvellous band of peripatetic teachers and their colleagues impressed everyone with their energetic and lively playing under the talented baton of our very own Mr Baird. We were delighted in turn by the clever scenery and set, complete with flashing Hotbox signs, whole stage cabaret lights and revolving scenery, all made by our very own Darryl Edwards. Into this magnificent set came beautifully choreographed dancing and show scenes, eye-catching, clever, and beautifully performed. Congratulations to Mary Bridges, the choreographer for these exceptional moments.

And then of course behind the scenes were rafts of others without whom this would not have happened; Carol Bent who produced the show, Rachael Newton the prompt, Jack Bennett who played piano in all the weekend rehearsals at school. Supporting them were scores of parents and other staff on the green room and backstage duties, hair and make-up, some of whom made a fleeting appearance as giant chickens during the show!

Congratulations to every single person involved in any way in the show. Thanks guys you’ve made one Headteacher doll very happy indeed.

Bromley High

A couple of weeks ago, I very much enjoyed a visit to Bromley High.

Its distinctly 80s exterior hides within it an impressive, beautifully designed and visually stimulating learning environment. There was a very creative buzz about the school and having been judged exceptional in its last ISI inspection, I understand why. Girls looking for an adventurous and forward-looking single sex school should definitely go and meet the head and find out more.

It was fantastic to have all the staff celebrate our inspection with governors yesterday at school. Governors entertained the staff to drinks and thanked them for the excellent results obtained in March.

We in turn thanked them for everything they give to the school and in particular we thanked Alex Glenister, former parent and governor at the school for 13 years for her unstinting support and practical help as she retires from this position at St Michael’s Prep. Knowing her, she’ll be back soon for the next play! She will always be welcome and a part of the school.

It has been nice to have feedback from the Prep parents, whose children are winning prizes next week, that they are excited to know this in advance. All parents whose children will receive an award individually or as part of a team have had an email today. We look forward to welcoming Alex Caan to talk to the children about his mentoring work with international athletes.

I am delighted to congratulate Ishwar Sharma on winning two gold medals in the ISC World Games in Nepal. 1000 people took part from 16 countries. He won gold in the individual yoga Under 8 category and in the open group artistic yoga with his father, representing Great Britain. We look forward next term to another presentation from Ishwar in assembly about the experience of travelling to compete at the world games and all that he learnt about Nepal itself.

If you’d been down to the woods today, you sure would have had a surprise. Polar bears, snakes, lions, flamingos and a menagerie of other fantastic beasts have trotted about the Saint Michael’s lands in pursuit of fundraising efforts for animal-related and other charities; the Worldwide Fund for Nature, Battersea Dogs and Cats home and Demelza House.

With excitement building up for the overnight camp out tonight and the barbecue and evening fun ahead, this is a delightful end to a crazily busy week.

If you’re not here this weekend I hope you enjoy it, if you are you’re bound to.

See you soon.

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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