Head’s Blog Friday 10th February 2017

It is always a privilege to spend time listening to children, (well almost always!) . This week I have had a veritable feast of listening. Year 5 form captains came to have lunch with me and tell me how much they loved learning and how stimulating they found their lessons. Their wisdom and ability to articulate, reflect and offer opinion and their insight, combined with their discernment and manners made me proud. We were also able to pinpoint a couple of follow up actions for me for the very small number of children in their group who don’t always display such qualities. ! I am on the case.

 

I have also found my one to one interviews with scholarship candidates really quite exciting. Their ability to talk with eloquence and political awareness about bigger issues impresses me and I have noticed a shift in the quality of pupils’ responses from the year I first interviewed children for these awards.

 

I enjoyed enormously listening to the students who played at the Performers’ Breakfast on Thursday. It was a most moving occasion and I think it was a mixture of pride and amazement at the quality, the confidence, the standards achieved as well as a great sense that the relationships between teachers and performers are so positive and encouraging.

 

To round my week off I was delighted to hear Ishwar in Y2 explaining all about Yoga and as current UK U11 Yoga champion, doing a demonstration of incredible positions, holds and balances. Pupils were delighted by watching him and he finished with a performance of acro-yoga (yoga gymnastics) with his father which was extraordinary.

 

We are very lucky to be able to learn from him and his father. It was lovely to welcome Ishwar’s granny too. Ishwar has his own website www.iyogasolutions.com

featuring photos and videos of him competing and we are delighted that he has been selected to represent the UK in the European Championships in Prague later this year. All that by the age of 7. We look forward to what the future holds.

 

Security at School

Can we remind all parents that the protocols for entering the school are there to keep children safe. Access to the school is via the front entrance for all parents during the day, except for those attending match tea. Parents are expected to sign in and out and to wear a badge to show they are a visitor. At no time are parents allowed inside the changing rooms for any reason.

 

Feedback for the Survey.

It’s been brilliant to have such a speedy and high response rate to our trial run ISI Inspection questionnaire. I will be writing about the results and follow up to that in the coming weeks . Obviously, when the real email comes we want you to do exactly that again and we are confident that inspectors will be impressed by the parental support evidenced in the number of respondents and the comments made.

 

Half term

Our edition next week will be on Thursday. We hope you enjoy a pleasant half term break. Staff are doing a mixture of offsite and on-site training next Friday and children are not expected at school. I have had a few requests for next Friday off , which as you will imagine I was pleased to agree to! We will look forward to seeing children back safe and sound after the holiday.  

 

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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