Thank you to everyone who responded to our trial run survey. 139 respondents replied on behalf of the 187 families at the school. After half term I will write more about the information we received. Most scores were in the 90% agreed or more which is very pleasing!
As Internet safety awareness week has rolled on, pupils have been focussing on ways to keep safe online and have engaged in a number of e-safety activities which you can read about later in this newsletter.
Perhaps the highlight of my week was the amazing House Drama Duologue Competition. For anyone there it was a total treat. For the families of those performing and for the staff we had such joy and such pride in what was achieved by every pair on stage, whether the Year 3s flexing their dramatic muscles and revealing their “other side” or the humorous dialogues chosen by older students keen to entertain, or the challenging renditions of Dickens and Austen, delivered with assurance , maturity and genuine understanding, or the slightly surreal sketch where two wolves discussed the stereotyping they experience as they are portrayed in literature. There could have been so many winners, our judge Anita Louise Combe , hotfoot from the West End stage picked some corkers but it was hard to select them from among so much talent. Congratulations to all who took part and thank you to the audience who buzzed with excitement. Drama is very much alive and kicking at St Michael’s
As we storm towards the half term lull I would like to thank all the children for working so hard this year so far and the staff who make the learning so enjoyable. Meeting some parents about to relocate to Europe this morning, they said “You must be very proud of all your teachers here”. I most certainly am.
Two special people are planning their retreat from St Michael’s and before I introduce you to their successors I would like to thank Sue Ringrose and Sally Worby for all that they have done and will continue to do until such time as they move on to their new lives.
Sue Ringrose leaves us at Easter for a part time maths leadership role at the lovely school at Skipper’s Hill and Sally Worby will retire and move to the West Country in the summer.
Sue joined the staff in 1998 as a part-time head of ICT under Peter Roots and quickly established herself as a dedicated and able teacher, with a firm grasp on how IT should be developed and expanded and the drive to take IT at school forward. Her own children enjoyed being pupils at St Michael’s and when Sue leaves here a major chapter of her life will be closing. Sue is a high performing and dedicated member of staff, who in the latter part of her career here made a strong contribution to the School leadership team as well as taking on the maths department and securing, alongside her team, fantastic results from students at CE. Over more than two decades at the school, Sue has given a great deal to St Michael’s, through her musical talents and gifts, through her passion for her charitable work for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and before she took over maths her management of IT was quite transformational. Many generations have much to be grateful for. Sue took on timetabling, and implemented the migration to SIMS, as well as leading training for staff and masterminding various roll outs of systems. Sue has prepared for handing over with exemplary dedication and we will be sorry to see her go. We hope that she will enjoy a more balanced working week and that we continue to see her here whenever she wishes to visit.
Sally Worby came to us in September 2012 from Bethany School and has proved a capable, organised, enthusiastic and selfless member of the teaching team here. Under her leadership , the science department has been a “happening” department and broadened its work to include astronomy, competitions, and visiting senior school masterclasses for our pupils and those in other schools. We are indebted to Sally for the contact with Christopher Lloyd and our introduction of the Curiosity Curriculum in Year 7 and we were the first school in the world to adopt it. Sally is committed not only to her subject and her team, but has also made a significant contribution to the wellbeing and success of the Year 7 & 8 pupils in her role as Head of Year and Form Tutor. Her wisdom and good sense have enabled many pupils to meet challenges with excellent and practical support. As she moves away from Kent in the summer, down to the West Country, we wish her every happiness in her new life.
This weekend many of our Year 6s will be learning what offers they have from senior schools. After half term our own scholarship results will be published. We look forward to sharing with you the successes of our students in their exams.
I trust that each one of you will enjoy a restful half term. If you are off to colder or warmer places, go safely, enjoy your time together and we look forward to welcoming you back on 20th February.