Head’s Blog 2nd February 2018 Friday 2nd February 2018

For five days my schedule has been exceptionally full, extraordinarily rich and extremely enjoyable. I have spent about eight hours interviewing potential scholarship children and their candour and spirit has been joyful to behold. I look forward to more of the same in the creative context of tonight’s Drama Duologue competition. The stage is set, the lights on and the performers are warming up for a feast of talent, showcasing independence and collaboration.

Another feast took place yesterday when Bishop Michael came to welcome C Mottram and C Kern into the church through confirmation. With prayers written and lead by Year 7 pupils and the support of family and friends, we enjoyed revisiting the story of Jesus remaining behind in the temple because he loved to learn about God. We commend both pupils to you in your prayers this week. All of us, whether confirmed or not, love to learn and grow and in our journey together at St Michael’s there is a huge amount of support from friends and colleagues every day in all that we do.

You will read later in these pages of our chef, Mark’s, two-day Ritz experience. Di Birmingham and I were very generously treated to lunch at the Ritz on Monday to celebrate Mark’s special time down in the kitchens and it was great to talk to them and see how many people are employed and how ordered they are. The food presented to us at lunch was artistic as well as delicious; we would very much like to thank publicly Brookwood caterers for taking us out and treating all three of us in these different thoughtful ways.

Zerrin and I enjoyed meeting parents from Pre-Prep again for a coffee morning and presentation on our plans for developing St Michael’s. It’s been good to be able to adopt ideas offered at our first meeting and the decision has been taken to put a new third Reception class next to the existing two, move the Year 1s into the Year 2 classrooms and put Year 2 in the basement music room and the current Year 1 room.

It was good to see our governors back at school for the Staffing and Remuneration Committee meeting on Thursday night. We appreciate all the guidance and support we get in making the experience of working at St Michael’s the best it can be.

On Tuesday night I had great good fortune to attend the Kent College production of “Phantom of the Opera” involving two of our former pupils, S Chappell Salmon and L Myburgh.  From the opening notes of the band to the final descent of the cleverly projected luxurious curtain, the performance reached exceptional standards and was worthy of any West End theatre.

The theatre had been transformed into a magnificently opulent Opera.  Glittering costumes, fabulous sets, gorgeous choreography, inventive staging and impressive lighting all served to set a wonderful backdrop to some excellent singing by leads and ensembles. It really was fabulous, an incredible achievement. I commend it and the school to you as a dynamic experience.

Next week, the pupils will all enjoy a four-day week to allow us to travel out on Friday to other schools and learn through observation, dialogue and exchange.

Enjoy your weekend and your time with your family.

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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