Head’s Blog 24th May 2019 Friday 24th May 2019

To say this has been a busy week would be an understatement. We kicked off on Sunday with a really fun and brilliantly organised day with circus and side stalls, including the very tempting stall from the International Club with cakes and desserts from around the world, traditional BBQ and other delicious food and lots of fun side stalls and inflatables, all organised by the terrific P&F, to whom many congratulations and thanks from everyone who attended.

Highlights for me were the atmosphere of the day, which was big on family fun and the wonderful duo working on the high ropes doing what can only be described as airborne ballet, which was both intimate and powerful.

With the permission of Happy’s Circus I gaily tweeted some little extracts so you can see just a glimpse of what happened.

Congratulations in particular to Oliver, Daisy, Jo, Tracey, Anna-Marie and the whole team of planners and doers and clearer uppers!

Over the weekend we were delighted to learn that E Powell, Year 7, who only started playing hockey when she joined St Michael’s in Year 6, was part of the Sevenoaks team to become National Champions. We were also really delighted to learn that a painting submitted by the school to the National IAPS art competition won first prize for E Schwark in the Year3 & 4 category. Click here to see our full articles in our News section

On Tuesday evening we celebrated in style the achievements of our scholars, present and future as they embark on the pathway towards what we hope will be scholarships into their senior schools. The combination of inspiring motivational speaking by Gavin Henry, Head of Drama at Sevenoaks School and our own leaving scholars, followed by delicious curry and cheesecake (not simultaneously!), the great company of parents, scholars and colleagues who joined us and of course the meticulous organisation of Mary Bridges made for a wonderful evening of celebration and happiness. Thank you to Mark and his team for all the extra work, to Mary, to Gavin and every child and adult who came and celebrated with us.

Tonight we have experienced the extravaganza that is the summer concert! I was proud of every performance and it is wonderful to showcase so much great ensemble work. It’s a huge thing to have such a strong team who enjoy each other’s company and who go the extra mile almost every day to help us to put on concerts like this. It certainly felt good to be a tiny part of it for the first time and I’m sure everybody who was doing that for the first time felt, as I did, something very special is happening. The repertoire, ranging from sacred to very secular and a bit cheeky, included some fine individual performances as well as much teamwork and joy. Congratulations to Gordon, Emily and Emily, Jack, Jacob, Debbie, Jackie, Rob and thanks and congratulations to every child who took part.

As we race towards half-term and the football tournaments that many children are going on over the bank holiday weekend, it was nice to be outside for much of Friday enjoying the Pre-Prep school sports day. To those of you who were able to join us, thank you for taking the time to come. It means such a lot to the children to have a supporter there with them. Congratulations to Jenni Rawlinson and all the team in Pre-Prep. It was a great occasion.

So many of the elements of this week have had the common theme that is our motto: perseverance, wisdom and gratitude. I am always moved to see the energy and commitment with which children sing, run or perform.

For some of our pupils, this half-term is the final push towards their important exams and to all our Year 8, as they face the last focus on revision, I wish you a pleasant week with a good balance of working, studying & learning and some relaxing.

Friday in Prep finished with a day’s fundraising for the charity Our Kids, working to support children and young adults in Bosnia Herzegovina https://ourkidsfoundation.org/ and a wonderfully prepared and witty assembly from 3C on all things Egyptian.

As you help your children switch off this week may the sun shine where you are. Enjoy…

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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