Head’s Blog 29th September 2017 Friday 29th September 2017

The highlights of my week have been with children. I walked round the Prep school for an hour yesterday afternoon and dropped in on some fascinating lessons. The register-taking in the history lesson was combined with children recapping learning facts from the previous lesson. In a science lesson, children were busy classifying bugs they had observed last week in the woods and making charts to help younger children to classify. In geography, Year 7 were learning the difference between Oceania and Australasia, while next door in the RS lesson children were drawing and labelling Puja trays. There was a verb test going on in French and pupils in Year 8 were reading Lord of the Flies, which is also our school production this academic year. Every lesson I visited was characterised by high levels of engagement and really interesting things to learn. This morning’s assembly told me more about the role of poet laureate. I was interested to hear the history of how poets used to be awarded this role for life, which now no longer applies. I look forward to seeing in a couple of weeks’ time the competitors from Years 5 & 6 in the poetry reciting competition, launched in the assembly.

Over lunch with Year 8 earlier in the week, I was pleased to hear so much positive feedback about their experiences and some sensible suggestions about how these years might develop in future. Asking pupils for their views is central to understanding how to develop St. Michael’s.


In Prep and Pre-Prep this week we have celebrated harvest through giving, storytelling and singing.
The bible story of Ruth for Harvest in Prep had resonances for today; displacement and refugee status in search of food is sadly all too familiar in today’s world. The story of The Little Red Hen in Pre-Prep, with its moral about teamwork and helping, also showcased some fine speaking and singing from Year 1 and Pre-Prep today.

Pupils have also been offsite this week with Year 4 travelling to Butser Farm to explore Celtic life with a hands-on day, while ten singers journeyed yesterday to King’s Canterbury for a choral prep day, finishing with a concert in the cathedral, which they found an inspiring experience.

It was good to see some parents benefiting from Miss Booth’s talk on e-safety this week. There was a lot of literature to take away and parents were grateful for what they learnt.

Next week we look forward to our Open Morning on Wednesday 4th of October. Parents in Pre-Prep are most welcome to join visitors from outside the school if they wish to re-acquaint themselves with Prep school life.

Next Tuesday we welcome parents of Years 7 and 8 to their welcome evening. Parents interested in finding out more about Years 7 and 8 are also most welcome. It starts at 7.00pm.

As the sports department gears up for another football tournament this weekend, I look forward to seeing some of you on the touchline tomorrow and whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, enjoy your weekend.

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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