Head’s Blog 3rd May Friday 3rd May 2019

I don’t know about you but I find the drive to school at the moment is really so beautiful. The arc of trees with their fresh green leaves marking the route brings a great deal of pleasure to me as nature bursts into its summer vitality.

Our trip to Salzburg last week was just as special. The young singers and musicians that we took with us grew in front of us in their understanding of teamwork, resilience, adventure, performance and relationships.

Inspired by the landscapes immortalised in Hollywood, they sang and played and laughed and shared with so much energy, vitality, talent and commitment.

It would be difficult to pinpoint particular performances as so many were standout and offered from the heart.

My Twitter feed went into Austrian overdrive and the reaction to the glimpses of what was happening was so very positive.

If you’re not a Twitter person, you may truly be missing out!

The concerts in Itzling church and in the school next door were particularly memorable, both because in sharing and learning and teaching each other songs to perform together there was a great deal of understanding and respect and because there was successful and moving music making.

Our own attendance at two fine concerts of classical music, the children’s focus and concentration and their clear enjoyment and respect for their performers were all highlights for us, not to mention the opportunities to glimpse incredibly beautiful architecture from both outside and inside and relive the dream of the Sound of Music.

To Gordon, Emily, Jack, Jackie and Jacob, congratulations for the magnificent musical moments. To Rob, Sally, Debbie, and Becky, thanks for all your hard work in supporting this incredible tour.

Congratulations to every child, who took part, for all that was achieved and massive thanks to Gordon who dreamed it all up and made it happen.

It’s been good this week to be back amongst my colleagues and pupils and today the Chair of Governors and I have sat down to review how I’ve been doing this year.

I’m blessed, I have to say, with an excellent team, fabulous parental support and dream children and with huge opportunities and trust that I will continue to take the school forward.

As some of our students prepare for their last term at St Michael’s, we ask each of them to give us feedback on how we are doing and what we could do better. I hope that you know that this is always welcome and it doesn’t have to be when we part company!

It was fabulous on Monday to see a Bugzi in assembly and to be able to ask questions about who would be using it and how it would help. Thank you to all children who raised money to make this possible. We look forward to seeing our St Michael’s branded Bugzi in due course.

Don’t forget your bleu, blanc, rouge for French Day on Tuesday.

I trust that all of you will enjoy the extra long weekend this week and that the sun will shine on all of us.

Have a great bank holiday weekend!

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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