Head’s Blog 28th May 2021 Friday 28th May 2021

Dear Parents,

It’s been another wild week at St Michael’s, quite literally! In the Prep school today we are celebrating Go Wild Day in aid of Kent Wildlife Trust and Otford Hospices of Hope. The costumes on display are remarkable.

Thank you again to all of the staff and pupils who played a part in the fantastic experience of Stubbers for Years 2 and 3 last week. I hope you enjoy watching the highlights reel below which captures both the joy and amazing memories that were gained from this trip.

This week I enjoyed a visit to Kindergarten where I spent the afternoon reading stories to the children and experiencing the extraordinary buzz in the Pre-School classrooms.

In Prep, our mathematicians have been working hard in the Years 5, 6, 7 and 8 maths competitions where pupils raced against the clock to create equations for target numbers. The speed at which the children completed these challenges was outstanding and a true testament to the brilliant Maths Department we have here at St Michael’s.

We have also enjoyed opportunities outside of school this week as Year 1 explored Shoreham Village on Wednesday and a some of our Prep musicians performed in a spectacular Scholars’ Concert on Tuesday evening. The concert was a magical event featuring an array of outstanding talent.

I look forward to experiencing even more events and trips like these with our pupils after half term.

I wish you all a wonderful break.

Nik Pears

A message from Mr Pears:

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Year 8 have enjoyed an array of fun trips and activities this week as part of their Leavers’ Programme. Beginning with a trip to Camber Sands on Monday, Year 8 had a wonderful day relaxing on the beach, playing cricket and even having a swim. This was followed by a trip to Hever Castle on Tuesday where pupils enjoyed a series of activities including a worksheet-led task around the castle, as well as a visit to the adventure playground and water maze. Mr Wade, who accompanied Year 8 on the trip, said: “A great day was had by all. The water maze was particularly popular with the children and ideal on the hot day we had.”

On Wednesday, Year 8 returned to school for a Codathon challenge led by the ICT Department. The event, compiled of Codathon Computing, Minecraft in Education and Code.org sections, was a huge success and saw pupils put their ICT skills to good use.

Head of ICT and Computing, Miss Booth, said: “The three tasks tested the pupils in different ways. In the Codathon Computing Quiz, it was pleasing to see some fantastic scores and the students enjoying a challenging assessment based activity in a very different format. In the Minecraft in Education section pupils used blocky, Python or JavaScript to add super powers to make their world more engaging and exciting to play. Meanwhile, the Code.org activities enabled students to test their problem solving skills whilst revisiting key computing concepts such as Decomposition, Abstraction, Algorithms, Pattern Recognition, Iteration and many more.”

Red carpets were rolled out on Thursday as Year 8 took part in a Film Day organised by the Young Film Academy. Throughout the day, the pupils watched film making tutorials following by creating their own short films in groups.

Commenting on the week of events, Head of Year Mrs Shield said: “Year 8 have celebrated the end of their exams and assessments by taking part in a range of fun and educational activities during Week 1 of the Leavers’ Programme.  On Monday they visited Camber Sands for sea, sunshine and in some cases…. sunburn!  Hever Castle offered some focus on the Tudor history we have been studying this year but finished with some unadulterated fun in the water maze.  Pupils then completed a ‘Codathon Challenge’ and Minecraft activities.  They finished the week by making some short films based on different themes – all of which you can enjoy watching later in the term!”

Parents and children in Sevenoaks will be excited to learn that the UK’s most experienced day camp provider Camp Beaumont is bringing lots of fun activities to the area at St Michael’s Prep School in Otford.

 

The school is preparing to welcome children to its first set of camps this summer, where they will get to take advantage of its expansive sports fields, tennis courts, swimming pool, art room and drama studio.

 

Camp Beaumont will be running its successful Playtime, Magic, Active and Teen programmes during the summer holidays between 19 July – 27 August 2021.

 

The bespoke Camp Beaumont programmes at St Michael’s Prep School for three to 16-year-olds are designed to help children get active, challenge them mentally, build new life skills, discover new interests – and most importantly, help them grow in confidence. And there’s enough to suit a wide range of interests.

 

For the adventurous explorer, activities like archery will give children a real sense of excitement. For sporty competitors, a wide range of games from benchball to capture the flag will test their athletic abilities and get them moving. And for artists, actors and musicians in the making, Camp Beaumont also offers a number of opportunities to be creative, from jewellery making to clay work. They will even get the chance to prove they are the camp’s next big star in Beaumont’s Got Talent.

 

Jof Gaughan, Executive Director at Camp Beaumont, said: “We are thrilled to add St Michael’s Prep School to our portfolio of outstanding school locations. The environment at St Michael’s is truly wonderful and the school is packed with first-class facilities which will help campers to learn and thrive.

 

“Our camp team can’t wait to deliver our multi-activity programmes for 3 to 16-year-olds, and for all our campers to enjoy the incredible outdoor and indoor space available for arts, crafts, sports and games.

 

“The grounds at St Michael’s Prep School are immense and beautifully maintained, making it the perfect setting for summer 2021.”

 

Nik Pears, Head of St Michael’s Prep School, added: “We are delighted to be hosting Camp Beaumont during the summer holidays. They have an exciting programme planned and will make good use of our spacious grounds and fantastic facilities.”

 

Camp Beaumont will be running at St Michael’s Prep School from 19 July – 27 August. Prices start from £52 for a one-day pass. For more information visit www.campbeaumont.co.uk

We are delighted to announce that former St Michael’s pupil Jess Haynes has selected to join the Loughborough Lightning Superleague Netball team.

Jess, who attended St Michael’s between 2008 and 2014 and returned as a GAP Student in 2019, made her Superleague and Sky Sports debut on Saturday 5th June against Celtic Dragons at the Copperbox Arena in London, after which she was officially announced as Loughborough Lightning squad member No. 102.

Lightning are currently in second place in the Superleague behind Team Bath and have already secured their place in the playoffs.

Jess, whose matches with Lightning will be broadcast live on the Sky Sports Netball platforms, said: “I feel so honoured and excited to be given this opportunity. It has been a bit of a whirlwind over the last couple of weeks so it was great to get on court and make my Superleague debut at the Copperbox . I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season with such an amazing squad. I always love coming back to St Michael’s to coach the current pupils, to share my love of sport and to show that dreams do come true!”

Jess joined Loughborough Lightning U21 NPL Squad from London Pulse in September 2020 when she started studying at Nottingham Trent University where she is part of their Performance Sport Programme.

And it was St Michael’s where her passion for netball began. Jess’ mum, Clare, said: “Jess’ year group team were a strong squad who enjoyed a high level of success at both local and national IAPS level. Jess played all sports during her time here where she achieved a great deal of success across the board . She left at the end of Year 8 to continue her education at Kent College Pembury with a Sports Scholarship. Her place in the Loughborough Lightning Super League is a huge opportunity for her.”

Mrs Wade, who coached Jess during her time at St Michael’s, added: “We are extremely proud of Jess and all she has achieved since leaving St Michael’s. I had the delight of watching Jess’ netball skills grow tremendously during her time with us and it is no surprise that Jess’ dedication to the sport has landed her this incredible opportunity. We look forward to hearing about her future successes and seeing her on Sky Sports!”

A swarm of bees, pride of lions and bloom of ladybirds could be seen roaming the school grounds on Friday 28th May as the Prep school celebrated Go Wild Day in aid of local charities Kent Wildlife Trust and Otford Hospices of Hope.

The action-packed charity day, organised by the School Council to raise awareness of the local causes, raised an amazing £727.04.

Mr Baird, Acting Deputy Head, said: “It was amazing to see so many staff and pupils dressing up for this brilliant fundraising event. A big thank you to the School Council and Year 8 prefects who played a key part in the success of the event, and to the pupils for putting so much effort and energy into the activities.”

Throughout the day, pupils took part in fundraising activities including an exotic bring and buy sale where pupils exchanged good quality toys and games. The afternoon events also included a face painting session for the children led by the senior Art Scholars group.

Fundraising & Communications Manager at Otford Hospices of Hope, Jessica McKechie added: “We were delighted to hear that St Michael’s Prep School chose to fundraise for Hospices of Hope with their Go Wild Day. Being supported locally is so important for our charity and we are really grateful to all the children and staff who took part. The funds raised will help us to support our patients with vital care, some of whom are children too and will love to hear about the activities the school arranged in order to help them.”

St Michael’s Go Wild Day forms part of its longterm plan to improve the wildlife around their 90-acre site as well as increasing the school community’s awareness of the importance of conserving nature.

Delighted by St Michael’s efforts, Acting Head of Education and Lifelong Learning at Kent Wildlife Trust, Lee Mason-Baldwin said: “Wow, what a brilliant effort and superb, heart-warming achievement, thank you so much! We love the gorgeous colourful activities and the fun you’ve had to help animals, plants, bugs and birds which is crucial for developing a life-long love of wildlife. Your support will help us on our quest for a wilder Kent, rich in wildlife for everyone to enjoy, forever.”

For more information about St Michael’s Prep School please visit their website: https://www.stmichaels.kent.sch.uk/

 

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