Head’s Blog 23rd March 2018 Friday 23rd March 2018

To say that last week’s school production of “Lord of the Flies” was exceptional would be an understatement. Eleven talented young people aged from Year 5 to Year 8 evoked an intense journey through a panoply of emotions, as the youngsters crash landed on a beautiful but remote island and jostled for position in their new tribal environment.

The set, stunningly designed by Mr Edwards and assembled by a team over days can be seen on our time-lapse video on Facebook.

Onto that site strode some self-assured performers who, with maturity, created a sense of intensity and violence and explored fully and dramatically and with great talent, tribal behaviour.

As a reflection on society, leadership, the nature of followers and social manoeuvring, the play’s themes would have been well placed in a senior school environment. It was all the more impressive that these children created such mature characterisations at such a young age.

Congratulations to every child and adult involved in making this production happen and especially to Mr Powell and the cast.

This week has again been intensely packed with goodies for all year groups. It was lovely to see the support for our mental health charity day today through our home clothes wearing in Prep. Perhaps more lovely were the conversations between year groups who were mixed together over lunch to discuss various aspects of well-being and chew the fat across the year groups.  I was lucky enough to do some chewing of another kind as I tasted the scrumptious scones and cakes at the Year 2 afternoon tea. We all sat down to a beautiful spread baked by the children, served by the children and masterminded by our very own Sally Beesley. What a treat.

Sadly I could not make the swimming gala, the Year2/3 transition maths challenge morning nor the Macbeth workshop led by West End in Schools.  All these treats bring learning to life and I just wish I was a pupil here very often!

We shall be sorry that Mrs Halfacre is leaving us from Reception this Easter. We thank her for the work she has done and wish her well as she returns to full-time mothering. We are delighted to welcome back Anna Collier in her place. She is a most experienced practitioner and wonderful team member, who gave first class teaching in Kindergarten during the Michaelmas term.

Anna has been teaching in Early Years for 10 years in a variety of schools in Kent.  She spends the summer months working some days at the local “Castle Farm”, where she works in The Hop Shop or with the lovely lavender, hops and apples.  In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, running and swimming, as well as travelling to many interesting countries around the world.

As the term draws to its close, the ski trip will be setting off this weekend and we wish them a safe and sporty, snowy stay.

Our next newsletter will be on Thursday, the last day of this term and we look forward to the many treats ahead of us next week. I’m looking forward to our primary school orchestra day on Monday and perhaps even spotting the Easter Bunny.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend enjoy yourselves.

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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