Head’s Blog 8th June Friday 8th June 2018

In Prep it’s been heads down this week. Year 8 have been doing CE and Year 7 getting used to the rhythm of that by mirroring the same pattern for their exams.

It’s been difficult for the children going downstairs to the new basement ICT room to contain their delight at the newly refurbished and relocated ICT1, which now provides an adjacent office space for Miss Booth. The children have been delighted as has Miss Booth. I’d like to congratulate the estates team who have been working for months on this to transform a space that was configured differently to deliver a very smart and calm environment, with fine exposed brickwork paying homage to the gorgeous building we are in. Our ICT team in Ben and Tom also worked really hard to deliver the set up and installation of the hardware over half term. Congratulations to everyone involved.

I showed the children in assembly some footage about the incredible variety of methods, locations and materials that birds around the world use to make nests for their young. Since then a steady trickle of people have come back to me to share their stories of discovery in their gardens. Today I showed Pre-Prep “Bird Movie I” not available in a cinema near you but the result of three weeks observing my camera nest box! I hope you enjoy looking out for birds with their beaks full of food in your gardens and near your houses. If they are flying with food it means there are babies nearby. See what you can spot with your children this weekend.

I’m delighted to introduce some of our new staff team for September.

Head of Geography

 

 

 

 

 

We’re pleased to welcome Miss Kathertine Lambert as our new Head of Geography.  Katharine has been teaching for 10 years. She has a BSc (Honours) degree from Gloucestershire University and later completed her PGCE at Canterbury Christchurch. Katharine has always been passionate about Geography as it is something we see around us all the time and was inspired from her experience of Geography as a student at school. Having worked at Sackville, Weald of Kent Grammar School and Swadelands, most recently Katharine has taught at Cobham Hall for the last 9 years and across that time has been part of all aspects of the school, she has taught Geography, Physical Education, been a housemistress to all year groups, lead the Duke of Edinburgh programme and also fully participated in extra-curricular activities such as Eco club. Watching her pupils overcoming challenges and achieve in areas they used to find impossible is one of Katharine’s greatest pleasures as a teacher.

In her spare time she enjoys badminton, tennis, hiking and travelling all over the world. Katharine recently completed seven UK National Walking Trails during her holidays. Katharine is very much looking forward to working at St Michael’s.

Head of Year 3 and Head of Initial Teacher Training and NQTs

 

 

 

 

 

A very warm welcome to Yvonne Dodd, our new Head of Year 3.  Yvonne was born and educated in Northern Ireland and, despite having not lived there for more than 20 years, her accent is still clearly in evidence. Having attained a BA in Education at the University of Ulster, Yvonne won her first teaching job in Sevenoaks and made the brave move to England. In the two decades since, she has taught and led to deputy head level across the primary age range in the Maidstone area, Melbourne and Dubai, gathering a wealth of experience along the way. As a lifelong learner herself, Yvonne recently completed her MA in Education and, when not studying or working, she loves to read, run and relax by the fire. She is very much looking forward to joining the St Michael’s team and meeting the children.

Head of Year 4

 

 

 

 

 

We’re delighted to announce the promotion of Rhys Morgan to the position of Head of Year 4.

Rhys has lived in Kent from a very young age, being educated at Langafel Primary School in Longfield and later Gravesend Grammar School. Here he developed a love for History and the Classics which prompted him to study Historical Archaeology at the University of Sheffield. Returning to Kent, Rhys was employed at St Michael’s as a Trainee Teaching Assistant. Here he decided he loved teaching and took on the decision to train as teacher at Canterbury Christchurch University. He qualified in 2016 and was employed as a Year 4 teacher at St Michael’s. Rhys loves his sport and follows cricket, rugby and football as well as American sports such as baseball, ice hockey and American football. He plays cricket to a high standard during the summer and loves the challenges that brings.

Rhys is looking forward to his new role and the increased responsibilities that this will bring.

Head of Art and Design Technology

 

 

 

 

 

We’re delighted to welcome Ross Patrick to the school as our new Head of Art.

Ross is a passionate artist and arts specialist based in Folkestone, Kent. After graduating from the University for the Creative Arts and winning a student of the year award he then studied for QTS. Shortly after qualifying as a teacher Ross joined The Folkestone All Age Academy where he has worked happily for the last 11 years. During his time at The Academy Ross has had the opportunity to teach fine art, graphic design, photography, textiles and Interactive Media to ages Year 6 up to A-Level. Ross has held a number of additional responsibilities during his time at The Academy which have included roles as an Examiner, Quality Nominee for the school and more recently Captain of the Art Society.

Outside of the classroom Ross continues to work as a practising artist and has taken part in a number of exhibitions and festivals both locally and internationally. One of Ross’ proudest artistic moments has been when he has the opportunity to work alongside famed artist Antony Gormley in the production of his ‘Waste man’ sculpture shown as part of the Margate Exodus in 2006.

Ross lives by the seaside in Folkestone with his girlfriend and beloved cat Sid. He enjoys attending live music events, making his own artwork, DIY and digital design projects.

David Hooper

David Hooper comes to join our Estates Team from Dartford Grammar School for Girls, where he had worked for 3 years as a maintenance assistant. Prior to this David ran his own fencing and property business. David has been married for 33 years to his wife Peggy and has 2 sons. His interests include old cars, loud motorbikes and dancing (Ceroc).

David is part of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship and can often be found performing in the streets at the Dickens Festival and Sweeps Festival. He said if you see him say “hi”, but he’s terrible at remembering names! Keep an eye out for his 1953 split screen Morris Minor in the car park.

More staff news to follow over the next few weeks.

Have a great 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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