Weekly Newsletter Friday 10th November 2023

A year at St Michael's banner

From the Head

Dear Parents,

It has been a monumental week in the St Michael’s calendar as we have held a series of remembrance events in memory of Old Michaelians who spent their school days at St Michael’s and fought for our country all those years ago.

Yesterday we held a beautiful service at the Royal British Legion’s Garden of Honour in Aylesford when a selection of staff, pupils, parents, Govenors, Old Michaelians and local dignitaries gathered to remember five of our former pupils. We were also honoured to welcome family members of these soldiers to the event which was moving for all in attendance. Thank you to the St Michael’s staff who organised and attended this event and the Chamber Choir and Drama Scholars who gave outstanding performances. Please find photographs and video clips from this event in today’s newsletter.

Today, we continued the theme of remembrance with our Prep service which was an opportunity to show our continued gratitude for the sacrifice that soldiers throughout history have paid for our country. Thank you to Mr Wiseman for leading the organisation of this service, as well as Mrs Shield, Mrs Leech, Mr Baird, Miss Balcombe, Mr Bennett and the Estates Team for their contributions.

Elsewhere in school this week, we have continued to share enriching learning experiences including a talk by visiting histopathologist Dr Woodman for Year 7 on Monday when the pupils had a fascinating insight into the world of cells and microscopes in hospital labs.

On Tuesday, Pre-Prep were delighted to welcome Mr Casey Bale, a member of our International Club and St Michael’s parent, to speak to children to Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 about his upbringing and childhood in Mexico. The children were extremely engaged, asking lots of questions about the Mexican culture, and listening carefully to Mr Bale’s description of the country’s temperature, piñata traditions and the Spanish language. Additionally, matching this thread of cultural awareness, our Pre-School children have been making Diwali-inspired art this week including Diya lamps with coloured gems and clay.

This week we have also celebrated sporting success as on Wednesday we received the fantastic news that our U13 senior girls’ 1st Team became U13 Tier 2 Girls’ Hockey County Champions. Congratulations to the team for this incredible achievement.

Wishing you a brilliant weekend and I hope you enjoy this evening’s fireworks display.

Nik Pears

From the Head of Pre-Prep


Dear Parents,

What a rainy week! It hasn’t deterred us and we have been out and about as usual. I attended the Royal British Legion Memorial Event in Aylesford on Thursday. We commemorated the lives of past St Michael’s pupils. The older Prep children who attended to sing and to dramatise prose were incredible. The children showed great respect and understood exactly what the occasion needed. Luckily the rain stopped as we started the service and the sun shone.

Mr Bale came and talked to us on Tuesday about his childhood in Mexico. We have all learnt that Mexico is part of North America and not South America. We also found out that piñatas originated from the ancient Aztecs. Next week we are looking forward to an assembly about Kazakhstan.

On Monday we are following Prep school and wearing odd socks to celebrate difference. As part of anti-bullying week we all learn to accept that everyone is different and may not think in the same way. Please send your child in with odd socks where possible.

Friday 17th November is Children in Need Day so we will be making a collection at the top of the bridge for any children who would like to adorn their uniform with something yellow or spotty.

A reminder of dates for your diary. All to be held in the Pre-Prep Hall:

Friday 1st December - 9am Christingle service for Year 2 and Year 3

Tuesday 5th December - 11am Nursery Nativity singing

Wednesday 6th December - 11am Nursery Nativity singing

Thursday 7th December - 9am Reception Nativity

Thursday 7th December - 11am Kindergarten Nativity

Friday 8th December - 2.15pm Year 1 Nativity

Tuesday 12th December - 2.00pm Year 2 Nativity


Overheard in Pre-Prep: "School curry is amazing, but I love pasta and cupcakes too. I could not live without cupcakes!"

I hope you all enjoy the fireworks this evening.

Best wishes,

Zerrin Leech


Liz Anderson

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This week we welcomed Liz to St Michael’s who will be our temporary PA to the Head. We offer her a warm welcome and will update the school community once a permanent PA to the Head has been appointed; recruitment is currently underway.


Rosemary Baisch

Congratulations to Rosemary Baisch on completing her Master's in Children's Literature.

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Congratulations to Rosemary who recently achieved her Master's degree in Children's Literature from the University of Roehampton. Her dissertation explored and analysed the depiction of domestic workers in South African literature. Beginning her studies in 2021, she began this challenge to broaden her understanding of children's literature. Rosemary's achievement is an example of how our teachers consistently challenge themselves to learn new skills during their free time and in our Tuesday Twilight training sessions.


Rihaan S for joining in brilliantly during Music and singing beautifully

Neve H for wonderful independent writing during our Phonics lessons this week

Leo M for supreme effort in all of our learning activities

Edwin L for adapting and achieving so well at school with a broken collar bone

Aria L for excellent, independent writing about nocturnal animals

Tiara A for trying hard every day and being proud of what she has achieved

Luca A for enthusiastic participation in our Maths lessons

Millie W for brilliant ideas in our Design Technology lesson in designing a hand puppet

Harry S for an excellent piece of descriptive writing using the word because

Oscar R for being a kind friend and always considering the feelings of others

Archie W for working hard to use his Phonics when he writes independently

Martha S for already knowing her lines for the Christmas play!

Charlie C for always working hard and being a good friend to others

Ilse A for having a positive approach to all areas of school life and setting a good example to others

Beau B for having a fantastic first week in Year 2 and settling well into life at St Michael's

Florrie B for excellent effort and focus during Maths when learning to bridge 10

Thora W for an amazing half term fact-file project about cheetahs

Rafi O for creating an excellent diorama about a red eye tree frog

Mia D for excellent understanding during our bridging 10 Maths lessons

Leo M for his enthusiasm and effort in PE lessons  

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Players of the Match - week commencing 6th November

Team Name Reason
U13 Senior 1st Team Bailey H Good range of passing
U13 Senior 2nd Team Emile M Determination in goal and numerous saves
Colts A George W Voted for by opposition
Colts B Oscar B and Nathan H Voted for by opposition
Colts C Thomas D Great determination
Colts D Tristan H Enthusiasm on the pitch
Colts E Tom K Lex B Intelligent play Great attacking
Colts F Lev V Passing the ball well
U9 A Sam S Great dribbling, ball control and goals
U9 B Winston G Scored two goals and some lovely passing in midfield
U9 C Aiden B Brilliant dribbling and great goal
U8 A Matthew D Finding space and good crossing
U8 B Albert B Scoring two excellent goals
U13 A Erica W Amazing goals scored in the tournament
U13 B Florence D Voted by opposition
U13 C Georgia R Olivia O Georgie G Excellent attacking Voted by opposition Dependable defending of goal
Colts A Amelia B Good attacking play
Colts B Iris L Voted for by opposition
Colts C Stella T Voted for by opposition
Colts D Sofia V Isla J Jess P Good stick work Good stick work Voted for by opposition
Colts E Olanna E Voted for by opposition
Colts F Myla B Bethan D Both voted for by opposition
U9A Ellie S Voted for by opposition
U9B Darcey B Good dribbling in to space in mid-field
U9C Araya J Voted for by oppositon
U9D Miranda H Voted by opposition and great goals
U8A Alice H All round good play
U8B Ella F Nzu C Awesome play Voted for by opposition
U8C Beatric B All round good play
U8D Amelia I Thea L Great defending Great effort on pitch


Anti-bullying Week and Odd Socks Day

Next week St Michael's will take part in national Anti-Bullying Week 2023, which will run from 13th to 18th November. The theme for this year is 'Make a Noise' and pupils will be reflecting on this theme during our whole school assemblies on Monday. The children will also take part in activities across the week. During form times and PSHE lessons they will explore some of the key messages in greater depth including celebrating diversity, developing empathy and know what to so when we witness hurtful behaviour. To help raise awareness, we will begin the week by taking part in Odd Socks Day (Monday 13th November). All adults and children are invited to wear odd socks at school to celebrate what makes of us unique and different. Your child can wear their odd socks with their usual school uniform. Please note that this is not a fundraising event, therefore the children do not need to bring in money. We very much hope that the children will enjoy the week and learn some valuable lessons.

Mr Baird, Designated Safeguarding Lead

News from the International Club

Pre-Prep discover Mexico

Mexico assembly collage

On Tuesday the Pre-Prep children were treated to a talk about Mexico by Mr Casey Bale. He explained how big Mexico is and that the UK could fit 8 times into Mexico! Casey had a special assistant, his daughter, who taught the children the colours of the rainbow in Spanish. Spanish is spoken by 500 million people around the world and is the second most spoken language in the USA.

Much to everyone’s surprise, chocolate and popcorn were invented in Mexico. Traditionally the piñata was filled with fruit and was used by the Aztecs. Thank you to Mr Casey Bale for taking the time and talking to the children about Mexico.

The International Club

News from the P & F

Christmas Wreath Workshop

The P & F are delighted to invite you to their Christmas Wreath Workshop in November. Please click here to book your place. 

The Stag Theatre's Jack and The Beanstalk Pantomime Group Booking

The P&F are excited to announce that we have secured a group booking for the performance of the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk at the Stag Theatre on Friday 15th December at 4pm. School breaks up at 12-12.30pm that day. To book your tickets at a special discounted rate of £27 each + booking fee please use this link:  https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/booking/t-ojqvonx Booking will open from 8pm on Tuesday 17th October, so set an alarm as you don't want to be a silly billy! Oh no you don't... We look forward to seeing you there. The P&F Committee

P & F Christmas Fayre 2023

There is much to look forward to at this year's P & F Christmas Fayre. Please see below and book where necessary. 

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Xmas Fayre Ice skating

St Michael's Farmers Market Vendor Spotlight!  

Here are the first few of over 30 vendors that will be at the Christmas Fayre on Saturday 2nd December.  Each week leading up to the Fayre, we will highlight some of the vendors that will be there. Please select each box to check out their websites and start preparing your Christmas list - there is something for everyone on it, including you! 10% of all sales will go back to the school!

Please click here for a detailed list of all the vendors attending the Christmas Fayre and links to their websites.

E-scooters advice

Kent Police are advising the public to ensure they understand the laws around e-scooters use before purchasing them. E-scooters are classed as motor vehicles and are required to be taxed and insured. It is not possible to get insurance for privately owned e-scooters, which means it is illegal to use them on the road or in public spaces, such as pavements. For further, detailed information regarding e-scooters please visit GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/powered-transporters/information-sheet-guidance-on-powered-transporters

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U13 hockey girls become Tier 2 County Champions!

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This week the U13 senior girls' 1st team took part in the Tier 2 County Hockey Tournament. They stormed through their pool stage, beating Weald of Kent 5-0, St Lawrence 3-0,  Highworth 2-0 and Cranbrook 1-0. The Quarter-Finals saw them face Langley Park, where they beat them 3-0. Next was the Semi-Finals where they faced Weald of Kent again, this time beating them 5-3. The Final was against Cranbrook where the girls won with an impressive 5-1. All girls played brilliantly and gained a fantastic result, despite the very wet and miserable conditions. Well done to Erica W, Ella M, Matilda M for some amazing goals and thank you to Mrs Bingham for umpiring. We are now Tier 2 County Champions!

Mrs Denton, Head of Girls' Games

Royal British Legion Old Michaelians Remembrance Service

RBLI remembrance service

We were honoured to gather at Aylesford’s Royal British Legion Garden of Honour yesterday morning to remember the Old Michaelians who sacrificed their lives for our country during the Second World War.

Attended by former members of the armed forces, Royal British Legion, local councillors, Governors, members of the St Michael’s community and relatives of the soldiers, the ceremony saw performances from our Chamber Choir and Drama Scholars as well as a plaque presentation for five of our former pupils.
The servicemen honoured were Edgar Ernest Vincent 'Marc' Barwood, Lieutenant George Vernon Blythe, Lieutenant Peter Derek Victor Jones, Mervyn Stanley Preece and Gordon Searson. Thank you to those who shared this special event with us.
Please click here to view a gallery of photographs from the event.
Highlights video:


Below are some photographs from the last time St Michael's Prep School did a remembrance service for the five soldiers; this took place on 17th March 1947. These photographs were kindly shared with us by Peter and Tony Jones who attended yesterday's service, sons of honoured soldier Peter Jones.

Remembrance service


Honouring the fallen in our Remembrance Service

Remembrance service collage

The Prep school gathered for a remembrance service this morning when we remembered those soldiers who fought for our country in the World Wars.

The service began with collective singing of I vow to thee, my country (by Gustav Holst  and Cecil Spring Rice), followed by beautiful singing from the Chamber Choir of Flanders Fields (by John McCrae and Sharon Durant), as well as speeches, readings and prayers from Mr Pears, Mr Wiseman, Mrs Leech and Mrs Shield. A 2 minutes’ silence, strikes of the St Michael’s bell and singing of the School Hymn also featured, followed by laying of wreaths by Mr Pears, Head Girl, Evie S, and Head Boy, Harry B, and poppy laying by pupils and staff.

Quiz Club success

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Congratulations to Lev V, Oscar B, Lottie E, Thomas G, Taran M and Amelia-Rose B who on Wednesday took part in the preliminary heat of this year’s National Science Quiz Club Competition. A special mention and thanks go to Reuben P and Tom K who stood in at very short notice for their team mates, who were unfortunately absent due to illness. Both teams worked incredibly hard together and answered questions on all aspects of Science which were well beyond the KS2 curriculum. We were delighted to hear the 1st team will be progressing to the semi finals in December having finished in the top 10 out of 50 schools taking part. Thank you to the 2nd team for being excellent training partners in the competition so far. Thanks also to Mrs S Clarke, Mrs J Caswall, and Mr T Smith for providing support and technical back up on the day.

Mrs J Clarke, Science Teacher

Year 7 histology talk from histopathologist, Dr Woodman

Y7 Science Talk collage

Where can a career in Science or Medicine take you? This week, Year 7 were given a fascinating insight into the work of a histopathologist with a presentation by one of our parents, Dr Isabel Woodman. There were lots of links to our recent topic on cells, with the pupils comparing how microscope slides are prepared in a hospital lab with the ones they’ve made in their Science lessons. The children had plenty of interesting questions to ask too! Well done, Year 7, for your curiosity and engagement and many thanks to Dr Woodman for coming in to talk to us.

Mrs Neylan, Head of Science

Hot off the press

KMTV recently featured our U11 hockey girls' success at the IAPS Regional Finals:


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West Sussex Guitar Festival success

Guitar festival collage

On November 4th, Daniel W, Louis L and Herbie F took part in the annual West Sussex Guitar Festival. The festival saw loads of children from all over the South East attend and was presided by Royal College of Music professor, Gary Ryan. Herbie played in the 12 and under class (grade 3 +). For his first piece, Herbie performed an atmospheric rendition of Kurpie Etude which was flawless. He then played The Firth of Lorn which was a piece composed by Gary Ryan, who even signed Herbie's book. Gary enjoyed Herbie's rendition of his music and gave him much praise with how her phrased the music. Daniel and Louis took part in the 12 and under class (grade 2 and under). They both performed at a very high standard and received encouraging comments from Gary. For Louis it was his first festival and he was highly commended by his accurate playing. For Daniel, it was his second festival and impressed Gary with his four pieces where he exhibited expressive playing. Daniel impressed his teacher by walking away with 1st prize and a trophy, which he described as an amazing achievement and in a class which was the at the highest level he had seen. Congratulations boys and keep up the fantastic guitar playing!  

Oliver and Sebbie record song for National Youth Boys' Choir

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Photo taken last year when the boys gained their places in the National Youth Boys' Choir

Well done to Year 7 pupil Oliver S and Old Michaelian Sebbie M for their impressive singing on the National Youth Boys' Choir recording of the song I Am. We Are. The song was recorded during the summer whilst the boys were on a residential NYBC course at Harrogate Ladies' College and was released on the 27th October. It is a new commission composed by Oliver Tarney for the National Youth Boys' Choir to celebrate their 40th anniversary and set to words written by lyricist Hazel Gould in collaboration wit the singers themselves. Click here to listen to the song.

It is in three parts and is nearly 15 mins long in total. Sebbie is in the first 5 min segment which features the treble voices and Oliver appears in the next part to around 8.5 mins and they’re both in the remaining section.

Exam Results

Last month Year 6 pupil Clara H took her ABRSM Grade 5 descant recorder exam in London and we are pleased to share that she was awarded a merit. Well done, Clara!


New books in the Library this term

Please click the link below to have a look at the list of new books in the Library this term prepared by our Librarian, Mrs Yarrow. The list also appears in the Prep Library to help those who want to begin or continue reading for pleasure. New books in the Library this term


Isabelle's Recycling Scene

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Following on from Recycling Week before half term, Year 5 pupil Isabelle D created a scene made out of recycled items that represents how we are damaging the Earth's environment. She created the scene to make the viewer aware of how important it is to recycle and try to reduce what we use.

Here is Isabelle's description of the scene: "All the bottles around the outside are building up just like the rubbish we build up. All the flames around the earth represent our Earth burning up. The plastic bridge at the top with the Lego people in means that many people are just watching it all happen and not working to stop it. The little girl at the front represents other children and I who want to make a difference."



Hive 10th November

This week the Breakfast Club and the Hive have started to make pom-pom and fabric wreaths for the Christmas Fayre. The Hive’s grass seed hedgehogs, which were planted last half term, have now well and truly sprouted and could do with a haircut! The Hive has also enjoyed painting and decorating a large cardboard box and a pair of cardboard legs to represent Santa coming down the chimney.  

Shoot for the stars

Amelie donates books for her birthday!



Normally people are excited to receive presents on their birthday, but for Amelie, she looks forward to giving one present in particular. To mark her 9th Birthday, Year 4 pupil Amelie kindly donated four books to St Michael's Library. Every year she carefully chooses and donates books on her birthday. This has been a tradition since she was in Nursery, when she didn’t like sweets or cake (both she enjoys now) so instead donated books.

She chooses newly released books that are similar to books she has read and enjoyed before. This year she has chosen Finding Wonder by Lauren St John, Tyger by S.F. Said, Stories for Christmas by Enid Blyton and The Miraculous Sweetmakers - The Frost Fair by Natasha Hastings. Mrs Yarrow is sure the books will fly off the shelves! Thank you so much for your generosity and Happy Birthday, Amelie!

Walter makes his stage debut in Les Misérables

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A big well done to Year 4 pupil Walter who made his stage debut in Rare Productions Youth Theatre Group's production of Les Misérables which took place at the Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks. The standard of performance by Walter and all of those who took part was astonishing and met with a well deserved standing ovation.  

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Make sure you are following St Michael’s social media channels for important updates and content throughout the year.