A warm, or perhaps I should say more accurately a cold welcome back to all of you after the half term break. I for one, after a pleasant trip to sunnier climes was a little bit shocked to be scraping frost off my car on Monday morning! However once at school the smiles of the children and yes the staff too, soon warmed me up and I found my rhythm at work again.
I have very much enjoyed being in lessons this week and have taken pleasure from watching Nursery children combining fine motor skills, learning about the world, and discussing shapes and numbers as they made pipe cleaner birdfeeders with Cheerios for our feathered friends.
In the pool this week there was hot and focused work going on by Year 4 as they perfected their front crawl, in Year 7 I enjoyed a fine French lesson and today was delighted to be in an outstanding lesson with Year 4 focusing on prayer; what it is and what it does.
The quality of thinking and depth of exploration in just a short time moved me and reminded me what a privilege it is to work with the children and the team at St Michael’s
On Thursday we spoke to the Year 6 pupils and to parents both within and beyond the school about the benefits of Year 7 and 8 at St Michael’s. What that will be like in the future will be changing and it’s an exciting thought that offers of senior school places will take place earlier and that Common Entrance, where it is required, will be for setting purposes only.
We hope that Year 6 parents have received the scholarship booklet and will consider their child making an application to win an award and become a senior pupil leading the other pupils at St Michael’s.
It was a great privilege this Wednesday to be at the first performance by the Belgian piano duo B!z’Art, who cast their spell on the audience with a mixture of storytelling, piano playing and slapstick to encourage the children to “get inside” the music.
Perhaps my favourite moment was when Kian joined in, playing a duet for one of the Mother Goose pieces. I also enjoyed both the piece called “Blind Man’s Buff”, which was played blindfold and “Beauty and the Beast”, when the rather fetching cascade of curls of the blonde, wig-wearing Beauty, was joined by a fearsomely masked Beast as his theme began to play.
Their piano playing was technically and emotionally very fine and the presentation kept the children engaged for almost an hour.
In a week in which spiritually we celebrate All Saints and All Souls in chapel, but threw in Halloween and fireworks night as well, the school has responded by focusing in chapel on mastering fear through faith and self-belief, thinking about how the “light inside“ can make you feel good.
I felt happy to receive post cards from Alex and Amy, telling me what they could hear on their holidays and from Arabella and unsigned from Dubai, telling me all about their fun in the sun.
It was good in Pre-Prep to share what I learnt this summer about puffins on the Westman Isles in Iceland with the children and staff. The puffins end up in the town, confused by the lights and are hunted by torchlight and kept in boxes. Our pupils could hardly believe their eyes, seeing the children launching rescued puffins into the skies over the sea.
It was lovely to have 3C sharing their good manners assembly this morning. An effective and touching presentation, which reminded everyone about manners and respect. As Ishwar said “Good manners can turn into friendship; friendship can turn into love and love can turn into life”.
We are all looking forward to feeling good tonight when we gather together as a community to celebrate fireworks night and I look forward to seeing as many of you as I can to round off the week with a bang!
Whatever you’re doing this weekend stay safe, keep your pets inside, keep children away from fireworks, and have some fun.