I hope you had a wonderful half term break; I have loved hearing about the variety of activities and adventures your children enjoyed during this time.
We have recommenced the Lent Term with much enthusiasm as preparations for events, trips and exciting learning opportunities are well underway. Amongst the many things to look forward to at St Michael's this term are Science Week, House Music Competitions, World Book Day, our School Play A Monster Calls, Years 7 and 8 Sports Tour, trips week and much more. It is always a joy to see the hard work and creativity that comes to life through these events which play an important part in inspiring the pupils’ love of learning.
In today's newsletter we share some sporting achievements from both current and former pupils. In school, we congratulate pupils Nathan, Amelia, Tilly and Elizabeth on their swimming and gymnastics successes, as well as sharing exciting news about the achievements of Old Michaelian, Lottie Bingham. Lottie recently represented England in the Junior Hockey World Cup and has won a national award for her commitment to sport. We are enormously proud of all of our children, old and new, and would encourage you to reach out to any former St Michael's contacts (pupils, staff, parents) who are not yet part of our Old Michaelians Association to invite them to join. Our Old Michaelians Association is a growing part of our community which allows us to keep in touch with our alumni, sharing news and events with them as well as hearing about their own achievements beyond St Michael's.
Wishing you a brilliant weekend.
What a mixed week, with warmer temperatures, pouring rain and now, bright blue skies. Thank you for still sending your child into school with their coats. I apologise for the amount of mud that some of your children are wearing at the end of the day. It’s good to get outside whenever we can and falling over on the grass is an occupational hazard of a school pupil!
It was good to see some Kindergarten parents this week for a tour of Pre-Prep and a chat about what to expect as their children move from Kindergarten to Reception. If there are any other Kindergarten parents who haven’t got older children in Pre-Prep and would like to have a reminder visit to the Reception classrooms, please get in touch.
Next week, Year 2 parents are invited to attend a Coffee Morning at the Prep school to discuss what to expect in Year 3 from September. Year 2 parents are welcome to attend the Drama Room at 8.30am. Mrs Kate Perkins, Head of Year 3, will be able to answer all of your questions.
A few Year 2 children have been invited to a Cross Country tournament at Hilden Grange on Tuesday. Mr Davies will have been in touch with the parents of these children. Please make sure Mr Davies is aware if you are taking your child home from the event or coming back to St Michael’s on the minibus.
Our Yellow Submarine rehearsals are going well for our House Music Competition. Some of the Prep School staff came to take an assembly yesterday to explain the importance of the house system in Prep school. I could see that our Year 2 children were listening with great excitement as the house competitions in Prep were explained.
A reminder that our World Book Day is on Tuesday 5th March and children are dressing up as a favourite fictional character. Please note that this is a different day from the National date. Sophy Henn will be with us on the 5th to talk to the children about writing books and being an author. There are copies of some of her books in our Reception area if you wish to take a look and order copies in advance.
Overheard in Pre-Prep: "If I were King for the day, I would double taxes!"
Have a good weekend,
Hannah Foot has worked in education in the London Borough of Bromley for over 15 years in various roles predominantly within early years. She has also worked in adult education, training early years educators.
She is married with one daughter who is currently at university. She enjoys mountaineering, as well as music, theatre and travel. Although she enjoys life in and around various parts of Kent and Sussex where her wider family are based, her preferred environment is on the Swiss mountains bordering Italian Lakes where you will find her during a large part of the summer holidays.
She is very keen to meet all the St Michael’s team in person and she is looking forward to supporting the learning and development of the children that she will be working with.
The Music Department is delighted to announce that the House Music Competition is already well under way and the corridors and classrooms are awash with the sound of music as the houses gear up for the big sing off next week!
On Thursday the pupils in Pre-Prep will have their chance to represent their houses in a big sing off and we are thrilled to welcome back Mrs Beesley, former Head of Pre-Prep Music, as our guest judge for the event.
The Prep School contest will take place on Friday 1st March and will involve three competitive events in the morning for soloists in Junior, Intermediate and Senior classes. The competition culminates in the house sing off after lunchtime and will be followed by the awarding of medals and trophies.
Please remind your Prep children that they need to take their kit bag home on Thursday 29th February so they can arrive on the morning of Friday 1st March wearing their house colour polo shirts, track suits and clean trainers. They will wear sports kit for the whole day. Some lessons will take place as normal during Friday morning and we will email Years 3 and 4 parents next week with further details of additional kit bag requirements (including for after-school sports activities). All other year groups will not need kit bags in on Friday. There will be no music activities during the day ie. no Treble Trouble, Percussion Group, Chamber Choir, Orchestra. For those in the Solo Finals, please remember to send in instruments and music!
Hannah grew up in Tonbridge, Kent, and went to Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls 1989-1996. She began learning violin age 4, followed by piano age 8 and bassoon age 12, gaining ABRSM Grade 8s in all three instruments by sixth form.
Following Undergrad and Postgrad studies on violin and bassoon at Trinity College of Music, she freelanced in the UK and abroad, joining Royal Air Force Music Services in December 2002. As a RAF musician, she's been fortunate enough to perform as a bassoon, violin and piano soloist in most major concert halls, as well as playing clarinet on parade as part of huge ceremonial occasions such as Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond and Platinum Jubilees, and King Charles III's Coronation.
In her spare time, she's a Governor for a local primary school and a music leader at Chiltern Music Academy, which includes conducting one of the senior wind bands, teaching violin and accompanying one of the choirs.
Hannah is excited to join us for the day and we look forward to her valuable insights and feedback on all of the performances.
The joy of books and reading will be at the heart of our World Book Day celebrations in the Prep School on Thursday 7th March. Children in the Prep School will not be asked to dress up. However, if they would like to get their creative juices flowing, they are invited to enter our World Book Day wooden spoon competition, in which they need to create a favourite character from a book out of a wooden spoon and craft materials. There will be two categories: Junior (Years 3, 4 and 5) and Senior (Years 6, 7 and 8). Book tokens will be awarded to the winning entries. Wooden spoons should be given to Mrs Yarrow in the library or to Mrs Andrade. The deadline is Wednesday 6th March.
There will be a whole host of book-related activities taking place on the day itself.
The English Department
The children from our Eco Club have drawn to our attention that while parents wait to drop off and pick up their children from St Michael’s, most cars have their engines running.
As all of you are aware, we all need to do our bit towards helping to improve our environmental footprint including the impact on our atmosphere and community.
Our children are politely asking that by turning off your engines, you help to keep our air free from pollutants.
We are delighted to be welcoming Camp Beaumont back to St Michael's this Easter holiday to host exciting workshops from Tuesday 2nd April to Thursday 11th April 2024.
Camp Beaumont Day Camps have been caring for children for over 40 years and are part and parcel of the school holiday calendar. Much-loved by parents, guardians and grandparents, they provide flexible, affordable and reliable childcare over the school holidays. But more than childcare, every day camp is an adventure, a chance to learn something new, meet new friends and grow in confidence.
Their camps are completely inclusive for every 3-14 year old. Children are cared for in a wonderfully active and happy environment with the most engaging, fun and supportive team of Groups Leaders.
Use discount code STMICHAELS24 for 10% off your Camp Beaumont booking.
This year's U11 IAPS Netball Tournament was, once again, held at Kent College. It was a stinger netball tournament which meant that 5 girls were on the court at any one time and they all had to rotate positions after each half of a match. It was due to be outdoors, but the dreadful weather meant that the Kent College staff had a re-shuffle and moved the tournament inside. The were 16 teams with 4 teams in each group.
Our group games were against Rose Hill School, 8-2, Walthamstow Hall, 2-10, and King's Rochester, 6-0. This led us onto the Quarter-Final as runners-up of our group, where we faced Holmewood House. Our girls played some great netball and were successful - winning 6-2.
Onto the Semi-Final, our girls played better and better as the day wore on and they were the winners of their Semi-Final against Derwent Lodge School, 4-3.
The Final was against Walthamstow Hall, who we had played in the group stages. This was an end to end Final, with some great play by both teams. The opposition became quite rattled by the perseverance and determination of our girls. Great interceptions were made and some super shots at goal. The Final score was 6-7 to Walthamstow Hall, after a nail-biting Final.
Huge congratulations to all of the girls on their fantastic performances!
Mrs Wade, Sports Coach
From making David Attenborough documentaries in our woodlands and making Japanese inspired art, to taking part in a re-enactment of The Last Supper and making robots, there has been so much to discover and enjoy across St Michael's curriculum this week!
Florence E for working independently and accurately to find ways of making 14 this week
Charlie E for great sounding out and letter formation when writing about our mums this week
Eliza C for her wonderful attitude towards her learning and always being willing to share her knowledge and ideas
Alex K for a wonderfully informative Show and Tell about iguanas
Ethan G for beginning to really stretch himself in our Number of the Week activities
Arthur L for brilliant, independent sentence writing
Rupert A for fantastic engagement and participation in our jigsaw lesson
Frankie T for settling into St Michael’s well
Tancred B for resilience and perseverance when subtracting and finding the difference in Maths lessons
Erin S for producing a fantastic piece of art in the style of Paul Klee using paints
Annabella N for having an excellent work ethic and always leading by example
Noah M for making excellent observations in our Science lesson about the weather
Faith A for thinking carefully about the sounds she needs when she is writing independently
Archie W for not giving up easily when he finds activities challenging
Freya E for using beautiful writing and illustrating the different stages of fossilisation
Arthur G for carefully researching facts about Mary Anning's life and completing a fact file in great detail
Liza V for her enthusiasm and great work creating a detailed fact file about Mary Anning
Rosanna C for showing good understanding of multiplication and division, beginning to explain her reasoning in more detail
Zihao G for enthusiasm and participation in our work on Mary Anning and fossils
Willow C for working hard to solve multiplication and division problems
Freya E for drawing and captioning a fabulous cartoon in French
Ella F for drawing and captioning a fabulous cartoon in French
Jenson D for composing a beautifully thought out phrase on the chime bars, using the notes from the pentatonic scale
Willow C for making superb progress in her cello lessons and at Fiddlesticks. Keep up the great work!
House Point Certificates
Dover: Bella S and Luca A
Leeds: Millie W and Iona H
House Point Certificates
Bronze Times Tables Certificate: Jenson B; William T and Aliénor D
Silver Times Tables Certificate: Zaviyar A
For scoring two goals
For good play and a great assist
For good ball control and determination
For great all around play
Voted for by opposition
For good defence
Voted for by opposition
For scoring a hat-trick
For scoring lots of goals
For good all round play
For good all round play
For good perseverance
For superb play at the IAPS qualifier and for coming second in the Final
Fun and games have been had in the Breakfast Club this week as the children challenged themselves to see how many times they can keep a plastic cup spinning. Well done to Ruaridh who currently holds the record of just under 19 seconds.
In The Hive we have enjoyed playing outside on the Didi cars and performing shows for our friends. We have also made scrumptious Krispie Marshmallow treats in the shape of Lego Bricks.
Congratulations to Nathan H in Year 5 who swam brilliantly at the Kent Swimming Championships during half term.
Nathan achieved the following results which he should be very proud of:
400m free - 9th
100m breaststroke - 7th (made the Final)
50m breaststroke - 6th (Final)
200m individual medley - 14th
We wish Nathan the best of luck in his next 4 races in March: 50m, 100m, 200m free and the 200m breast.
Congratulations also to Amelia A in Year 8 who achieved the following results:
100m breaststroke - 10th
200m individual medley - 14th
50m breaststroke - 12th
50m backstroke - 11th
And Tilly L in Year 8 who achieved the following results:
50m breaststroke - 25th
Congratulations to Year 5 pupil Elizabeth W for winning a silver medal during the rhythmic gymnastic zonal group qualification competition which took place on Sunday 18th February 2024 in London. Her group has qualified for the British Championships 2024.
We are delighted to announce that former St Michael's pupil Lottie Bingham has been named the winner of a prestigious award for her ongoing hockey success which most recently saw her represent England at the Junior World Cup in Chile.
Presented at a ceremony on Wednesday 7th February at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, London, Lottie was awarded the 2023 Hockey Writers' Club U18 Girls' Youth Award.
The judging panel sought information from coaches, clubs and schools, with the judges considering not just hockey ability but players’ personal qualities and potential for future development.
Previous winners of the award include Rio Olympic Games gold medallists, Maddie Hinch and Sophie Bray.
Lottie began her hockey career at St Michael’s Prep and Sevenoaks Hockey Club where she was part of the team who won the U12 national title. She was also Captain of the Weald of Kent Grammar School team who were crowned U13 National School Hockey Champions in 2019.
St Michael’s is where Lottie’s love for hockey evolved. She said: “I started playing hockey outside of school in Year 3 and really enjoyed playing at St Michael's when I was in Years 5 and 6. I still play at my club every week with three of the other girls who were in my Year 6 team that came 5th at the IAPS National Finals. Myself, Anna and Pascale are currently in the England junior training squad.”
Lottie then moved to Knole Park Hockey Club and her performances over four seasons helped the club win U16 indoor and outdoor national titles and become U18 Indoor National Champions last season.
Lottie played for the U16s for two seasons and was part of the U18 squad which came fourth in the U18 European Championships in Dusseldorf last summer.
At 17, Lottie was the youngest member of England’s U21 squad at the Junior World Cup in Chile.
The hockey star transferred to Holcombe for senior hockey this season and was part of the indoor Holcombe team who were promoted to the Premier Division.
England Hockey coaches said: “Lottie contributes more to hockey than just her performances on field, a state school player, she inspires the future with her mentoring of younger athletes within her club environment. Lottie is a great role model showing what perseverance and hard work can achieve.”
Congratulations Lottie, we are so proud of you!
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P & F Ball
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St Michael's Umbrellas
Otford Village Fete is delighted to invite St Michael's pupils to take part in their 2024 programme cover competition!
Children are tasked with designing a cover for this year's event programme based on the theme of this year's fete, the union between France and the United Kingdom.
Children of all ages are invited to take part and the winning drawing will take pride of place on the programme. Prizes are available to the winner and runners-up.
All entries should be submitted to St Michael's Pre-Prep Office or Prep Office by Tuesday 19th March 2024 at 9am.