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

Mr Bridges is on a mission to keep St Michael’s motivated with his latest exercise plan designed to make exercise fun.

The Director of Sport at St Michael’s, who is a very keen runner himself, has created a beginner to 5k plan for anyone wanting to keep fit this lockdown.

The six-week plan, featuring workouts, running challenges and rest days, covers a range of exercises aimed at strengthening all parts of the body.

Mr Bridges said: “I have created this training programme for the St Michael’s community to help anyone who wants to have a go at running during lockdown and safely get to 5k by the time we return to school. The plan is suitable for Prep-aged pupils, parents and staff, including absolute beginners.”

The teacher, who has 15 years’ training as a running and triathlon coach, added: “The programme is designed to build a body capable of running 5k at the end of the six weeks, and what better time to have a go than during lockdown.”

The detailed plan, organised into weeks and week days, follows a key where the letters W (walk) and R (run) appear alongside the number of minutes the activity should take place for. For example, 6 x 1:30w/2:30r represents a 1 minute 30 seconds of walking followed by 2 minutes 30 seconds of running, repeated six times.

Mr Bridges said: “The programme includes progressive long runs from week 3 onwards, the only day where the running is based on distance rather than time.

“On Mondays I will also be sharing a different workout on the St Michael’s PE YouTube channel which pupils can take part in.”

To share your experience of the programme, including photos please email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk. By sharing this information you give consent to it being shared on St Michael’s social media channels and publications.

 

On Tuesday 15th December, St Michael’s hosted a fun-filled charity day for Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA).

Organised by Year 7 pupil Lucy, whose life who saved by the emergency team last Christmas, the school partook in a range of fundraising activities including a fun run, Christmas jumper day, and brain-teaser quizzes.

Lucy said: “With Mr Wiseman’s help, I planned activities to raise some much-needed money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and increase awareness of their work.

“A lot of people don’t realise what a great charity they are, and I hope our fundraising day has changed that.

“Not only do they save people’s lives in moments of crisis, but they provide long-term support to families who undergo medical emergencies.”

Amanda McLean, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, said: “A big thank you to the staff and pupils of St Michael’s for coming up with creative ways to involve everyone in fundraising. In sharing her story, Lucy has helped us spread awareness of what Thames Valley Air Ambulance does. We can only do what we do because of the imagination and generosity of our wonderful fundraisers. We hope you had a lot of fun on your fundraising day!”

Lucy, whose story recently featured in the TVAA’s Christmas appeal, said: “Thames Valley Air Ambulance helped me at a time when my parents couldn’t. When I was seriously injured, the team stepped in and became my heroes.”

“It means so much to me that St Michael’s have come together to support this cause.”

The highly successful events saw pupils spread festive joy while raising an impressive £2556.60 for the charity which relies wholly of public donations.

Mrs Bridges, St Michael’s Acting Head, added: “Yesterday was amazing! The whole school had such a great time, and pupils were very excited to take part in a different fundraiser which meant they could enjoy the outdoors, whilst raising money for such an important charity. Everyone gave their all in the sponsored run and it was a brilliant event to watch.”

 

Mrs Wade, Head of Girls’ Games also said: “The children did remarkably well considering the conditions, and ran superbly for Lucy’s cause.”

 

 

And Lucy’s family echoed this gratitude for St Michael’s support. They said: “We wanted to say a huge thank to the St Michael’s community for supporting Lucy’s appeal for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance this Christmas. We’re so grateful to you for getting behind this amazing charity to whom we owe so much. We know from experience that your donations really do save lives. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021!”

For more information about the Thames Valley Air Ambulance or to donate visit: www.tvairambulance.org.uk/support-us/donate

 

 

This Tuesday 15th December, St Michael’s will host a fundraising day for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA), organised by Year 7 pupil Lucy.

Determined to help a cause very close to her heart, Lucy has organised a series of events aimed at raising money for the charity-based emergency service.

Throughout the day pupils will be invited to participate in a range of activities including wearing a Christmas jumper, doing a sponsored run, and completing brain teaser quizzes in exchange for donations to the TVAA which relies wholly on public contributions.

Lucy said: “With Mr Wiseman’s help, I’ve planned activities to raise some much-needed money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and increase awareness of their work.

“A lot of people don’t realise what a great charity they are, and I hope our fundraising day will change that.

“Not only do they save people’s lives in moments of crisis, but they provide long-term support to families who undergo medical emergencies.”

And Lucy’s charity day is driven by her own bond with the charity who saved her life following an accident last Christmas.

She said: “Thames Valley Air Ambulance helped me at a time when my parents couldn’t. When I was seriously injured, the team stepped in and became my heroes.”

Since her accident, Lucy has remained close with three of TVAA’s critical care paramedics, Jo, John and Clare.

Lucy said: “Not only did the team come and visit me in hospital during my recovery, but in February this year my family and I were invited to their base to see their helicopters and learn more about their work.

“Since then, we’ve kept in close contact with them and have been given the exciting opportunity to take part in their Christmas campaign.

“One morning, my mum received a phone call from the TVAA asking if we’d like to tell our story as part of their fundraising appeal.

“Despite the accident still being quite fresh, we were keen to get involved as it’s such an amazing charity.”

Earlier this year, Lucy and her family were invited to Oxfordshire to talk about their experience in front of the camera.

The filming day, which involved interviews with both Lucy and her parents, aimed to raise awareness of the charity’s impact.

Lucy said: “It was such a fun day and really made us feel part of the TVAA community.

“Afterwards, we were sent several cuts of the video, including a very cool animation of my story which was very realistic.

“They kept us in mind throughout the whole process and made us feel very special.”

A full breakdown of the fundraising events can be found below. For more information about the TVAA or to view Lucy’s video visit: www.tvairambulance.org.uk/appeal/.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance Fundraising Activities 

  • Christmas jumpers – In Prep and Pre-Prep, we are inviting the children and staff to sport their best Christmas jumper and make a donation for the privilege of wearing it! The 15th  is the day of the school Christmas lunches, so this would be a good time to wear them. As with the last charity collection, the donations for Christmas jumpers can be deposited in the buckets at the doors into the buildings as the children arrive in the morning.
  • Sponsored run (Prep) – we are going to be inviting the children to run in teams of (up to) 4 around the shortest XC route on the fields. They will have a set time to complete as many laps as possible in that time. The children can look to have their team sponsored per lap, or have a donation from their sponsor. Sponsorship money raised will need to be brought in the following day.
  • Brain teaser quizzes – there are two quiz sheets that can be purchased for 50p each and you can take them home and try to solve the puzzles as a family. I’m afraid the only prize on offer is the glow of self-fulfilment upon having completed them. Answers will be shared on the last day of term. As parents cannot be in the school buildings at the moment, the quiz sheets can be purchased via homework diaries (please send the 50p/ £1, depending if you want one quiz sheet or both).

 

 

A former St Michael’s pupil has been awarded an Honorary Academic Scholarship for her excellence across all subjects.

Grace Goodwin, who attended St Michael’s between 2014 and 2019, has received the honour from Sevenoaks School.

Commenting on Grace’s success, her mother Marianthe Goodwin said: “Grace joined Sevenoaks in Year 7 and has really thrived from day one.

“We all knew Grace was doing very well academically as she was awarded the Academic Prize in Year 7 and Year 8. However, just before half term we received a letter awarding Grace an Honorary Academic Scholarship, one of only four which was awarded.

“Grace was delighted and extremely surprised as she had absolutely no idea that she was going to receive it. As an Academic Scholar, Grace is invited to attend the Schickler Society with the other scholars in which they discuss lots of different world issues both current and past, such as gun control and the Cold War.”

Mrs Goodwin added: “Grace had a wonderful and very happy time at St Michael’s and the decision to leave was  a hard one, but we felt it was the right time for Grace.  At St Michael’s she enjoyed all her subjects, especially English and Science.

“She found all the teachers very encouraging and approachable, and felt the growth mindset attitude and community spirit of St Michael’s gave her the confidence to hit challenges head on and not give up.

“Mrs Bridges among others was particularly encouraging of Grace during her time at St Michael’s and offered amazing pastoral support to pupils.”

And it isn’t just Sevenoaks School that spotted Grace’s academic potential. St Michael’s teacher Mrs Baisch, who taught Grace during her time at the school, said: “Grace is an incredibly creative pupil who loves reading and writing, and produced some beautiful work. The words flew off her pen.

“Grace was also a very good speaker which was shown by her victory in the poetry live senior competition which she won with her reading of Dulce et Decorum est. For a Year 6 pupil, her performance was very impressive.

“Grace’s scholarship is of no surprise and is something she should be very proud of.”

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