Weekly Newsletter Friday 15th December 2023

A year at St Michael's banner

From the Head

Dear Parents,

We have had a magical final week of the Michaelmas Term as festive spirits have been high across the school.

On Monday, we enjoyed the final performance of our 2023 Nativity series where vibrant costumes, singing and dancing juxtaposed Prep where a power cut was occurring! As always, I was amazed by the team work and positive attitude of our community which shines through whatever the scenario.

On Tuesday, it was the Prep pupils’ turn to showcase hours of choral rehearsals in our candle-lit Carol Service in Shoreham. Congratulations to all of the children who performed and the Music Department, in particular Mr Baird, Miss Balcombe, Mrs Clarke and Mrs Scott, for their astounding work resulting in a breathtaking performance. Thank you also to Reverend Diane for leading this event, the team at The Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul for hosting us and the Darenth Golf Club for kindly allowing us to use their car park for the event.

The second half of our week saw parties enjoyed in Pre-Prep, visits from Father Christmas and an amazing Christmas Lunch. Thank you so much to our Catering Team led by Mr Edwards for their tireless work preparing yesterday’s meal which was a joyous occasion for every child and member of staff at St Michael’s.

Festive Science activities have also been enjoyed by the children this week as many engaging experiments have been enjoyed by the children in the lead up to Christmas. Thank you to Mrs Neylan and her Science Team for their innovative practicals which are invaluable to the pupils’ learning; I hope you enjoy the coverage of these activities in today’s newsletter.

As we approach the end of term, I’d like to thank you all for your continued support and thank the St Michael’s staff for the outstanding care and dedication that they show your children every day. Today we also say goodbye to some members of staff who we will all the best on their onward journeys, in particular Mrs Martin who is leaving us today after dedicating 30 years of her life to St Michael’s. We are enormously grateful to her and know that she has impacted the lives of hundreds of St Michael’s families over the years.

Wishing you a brilliant Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all in the new year.

Best wishes,

Nik Pears


From the Head of Pre-Prep


Dear Parents,

The end of term has arrived! The Nativities are all played out, the Carol Service has been sung and we send you home all the glittery creations your children have loved making. Our cleaners will sigh with relief as we put the sparkles away for a while.

The Prep Carol Service on Tuesday was yet again top notch. Many thanks to Mr Baird, Miss Balcombe and the Music Department for a fabulous concert which had most of us in tears.

On Wednesday it was lovely to see so many members of staff from years gone by who came to celebrate with Mrs Martin as she leaves us to enjoy living by the sea with her husband Ian. We will miss Elaine but know she will be back to see us for many more years to come.

Thank you for the many lovely cards, gifts and best wishes for the year ahead. I know the staff would like me to pass on their thanks too for your generosity. Have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year.


Overheard in Pre-Prep:

Child: “Did you put those paper chains up yourself?”

Teacher: “I did.”

Child: “Well you should be proud of yourself, you did a good job.”


I look forward to seeing you all when the new term starts on Tuesday 9th January 2024.


Zerrin Leech


Our year at St Michael’s Prep

As we approach the end of 2023, we reflect on the many moments and achievements we have enjoyed together as a community this year.

Screenshot (77)

Screenshot (78)

Michaelmas Term Highlights

Please see a video montage of our Michaelmas Term highlights below.


St Michael’s Christmas Highlights

Please see a video montage of our Christmas 2023 highlights below.

Year 5 Christmas Candy Cane Experiment 

Year 5 will be bringing home some candy canes for an experiment they might like to carry out over the Christmas holiday. This is an optional activity but we’d love to see some photos of our festive scientists in action, if they decide to give it a go. All instructions are included in the gift bag.

Merry Christmas!

Mrs Neylan, Mrs J Clarke and Mrs Medd

A Monster Calls – tickets now on sale!

The St Michael’s Drama Department is proud to present A Monster Calls

 Wednesday 13th March to Friday 15th March 2024

“Stories are wild creatures”, the monster said. “When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”

Patrick Ness’ piercing novel- brought vividly to life in this Olivier Award-winning play developed by Adam Peck and Sally Cookson.

Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved away. But now his mum is sick and she’s not going to get any better. His grandmother won’t stop interfering and the kids at school either won’t look him in the eye, or worse! He’s even alienating his best friend. Then, one night, Conor is woken by something at his window. A monster has come walking. It’s come to tell Conor tales from when it walked before and when it’s finished, Conor must tell his own story, and face his deepest fears.

Please bear in mind that some may find elements of this production upsetting, particularly the subject matter, and scenes of bullying and bereavement.  We therefore recommend that this production is only suitable for brave Year 4s and above at parents’ discretion. This production will also use strobe effect lighting and loud music. If you have any questions concerning the content of the play, please do contact Mr Powell or Mrs Scott for more information.

Doors open at 18:00 with a paid bar available. The performance will begin at 19:00 and late comers will not be admitted to the auditorium until the interval. 

Please click here to buy your tickets.

Ticket Source A4


At the end of this term we will be saying goodbye to the following individuals:

Sherri Smith


Sherri Smith will be leaving Pre-Prep to return to being a Teaching Assistant at another school. She has been a great support in the Learning Development Department during her time with us and we wish her all the best at Sevenoaks Primary School.

Hazel Ross

Hazel Rosss

Mrs Ross is leaving us to pursue an exciting, new career opportunity with ASRSM as their Head of Music Development. She has made a wonderful contribution to the Music Department and whilst we are are saddened by her departure, we wish her every success as she pursues new pathways.

Henrik Persson

A4ABB1C7 A8E7 4118 B329 0642CA390AD6

Mr Persson has been providing substitute cover for both cello and piano lessons. We wish to thank him for his dedication and commitment to his pupils during his time with us and to acknowledge the individual support that he has given them in their musical journey in recent months.

Next Term we will be welcoming the following individual

Charlotte Dove – Peripatetic Music Teacher


Charlotte has worked as a cello and piano teacher in Kent for over 25 years. She began her career at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, progressing on to the Royal College of Music in London where she completed her BMus(Hons) performance degree. As well as teaching individual pupils, she also coaches various ensembles, such as string quartets and cello groups, as well as working with cello sectionals in various orchestra settings. She is also an enthusiastic performer herself.

Charlotte lives in Bonnington with her two children and her two sausage dogs who she enjoys taking for long walks. She also enjoys taking her children out to various outdoor activities and frequently visits the cinema and restaurants with them.

Charlotte is very excited to meet the St Michael’s team and is looking forward to inspiring the children to share her love of music through exciting and thought-provoking lessons and performances.


St Michael’s scientists embrace Christmas!

Science activties collage

In the run up to Christmas, pupils have been enjoying fun-filled Christmas activities in their Science lessons.

On Monday and Tuesday, year groups merged to take on the STEM snowman challenge. Mrs Neylan set the pupils a challenge to build the tallest freestanding snowman from just five sheets of paper! Well done to the winning team consisting of Hugo M, Thomas S and Adhi C, whose snowman reached an amazing height of 155cm.

Meanwhile, Year 5 pupils investigated the best temperature for dissolving jelly by making solutions and carefully observing. They experimented with strawberry jelly, perfect for a Christmas trifle!

Additionally, Year 6 pupils saw how many drops of water they could put on Rudolph’s nose. They delicately used pipettes to drop water droplets onto a 2p coin. Amelia B placed an impressive 130 drops onto one penny!

Christmas card collage

Finally, with a creative twist, Year 6 have been crafting Christmas cards that use circuits to light up.

Years 1 and 2 wow with sparkling Nativities

Nativity collage

Years 1 and 2 performed beautifully in our final Nativities of Christmas 2023 this week, making their parents and teachers very proud. Led by Mrs Crane, the pupils sang beautifully and reenacted the birth of Jesus, spreading joy and Christmas spirit to all in attendance.

An awe-inspiring Carol Service

Carol Service collage

This year we were delighted to return to the beautiful Parish of St Peter and St Paul in Shoreham for our annual celebratory Christmas Carol Service. Over 150 pupils and staff shared the Christmas story with families and friends through a festive and enchanting selection of music, readings, poems and prayers. The congregation relished the opportunity to join in singing the seasonal carols, complete with glorious descants from the choristers.

Congratulations to the Junior Choir, Treble Trouble, Cantoria, Chamber Choir and Junior Choristers, who treated us to some captivating and impressive renditions of modern and traditional Christmas repertoire and of course to our talented Staff Choir who brought joy to all in their high-spirited performance of The Holly and the Ivy.

The simple but powerful message of Christmas Wish, which the massed choirs performed with such passion in the finale, brought the evening to an uplifting and poignant close as families left the church with hearts full of festive cheer.

Congratulations to all of the pupil and staff performers, the soloists, speakers and of course the dedicated team from the Music Department for another magical and memorable service. We are also extremely grateful to Mrs MacRae and Mrs Shield for preparing the readings and prayers with the children which were flawlessly performed.

Our sincere thanks to the parish community for their hospitality, warmth and for dressing the church so beautifully with candles, lights and seasonal decorations.

We’d also like to thank The Darenth Golf Club for allowing parents to use their carpark and for providing marshals to oversee the drop-off process for rehearsals.

Finally, our heartfelt thanks to Reverend Diane for leading our service so beautifully once again.

Festive joy, jumpers and Christmas Lunch!

Christmas lunch collage

On Thursday the whole school enjoyed an amazing Christmas lunch made by the Catering Team.

All children in Nursery to Year 8 enjoyed a delicious roast dinner alongside our staff, complete with a choice of Christmas Pudding, Chocolate Roulade or Christmas Tree biscuits for dessert. Crackers, hats and many jokes were also enjoyed.

Additionally, a few lucky children, who found stickers on the bottom of their cups, were surprised with Christmas toys.

A wonderful way to spend our penultimate day of the Michaelmas Term together!

Lunch decorations

If the Catering Team’s culinary skills weren’t enough to wow us, they also produced a magical Christmas scene made from recycled materials in the Prep School including a polar bear made from wire and a snow sledge made from Mr Thomas’ old hockey sticks! A brilliant way to spread Christmas joy whilst being sustainable and kind to our environment!


St Michael’s Science Quiz Team make it to the Semi-Finals

Quiz club image

The St Michael’s Science Quiz team were in action again this week as they competed in the National Science Quiz Club competition Semi-Finals. Lev V, Theo H, Lottie E and Thomas G combined their vast scientific knowledge and worked tirelessly as a team to zoom in on correct answer after correct answer.

The team lost very few points and were within reach of the medal positions, until a tricky final round where they secured 8th place. Having narrowly missed out on an automatic qualification for the Finals, the team remain hopeful that a score of 1440 will be enough to take them to Oxford again next summer on a wild card place.

Well done to all of the team!

Mrs J Clarke,  Science Teacher 

Email signature

Christmas Breakfast Concert 2023

Music soiree collage

The Music Department helped to spread a little joy and festive cheer in the Prep School last Friday with an early morning Christmas concert for parents, featuring all of our instrumental ensembles and the Show Choir.

The Catering Team laid on a luscious spread of sweet and savoury treats for breakfast and the scene was adorned with lights, decorations and the occasional naughty elf!

We enjoyed performances of a Christmas Samba from the Percussion Group, a selection of traditional carols from the guitars and accordions, classics including The Nutcracker and White Christmas from the Orchestra and the recorders treated parents to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Adore. The Show Choir and Scholar’s Group brought the festivities to a close with animated and upbeat renditions of There is a Santa Claus (from the movie Elf) and Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin’ Stevens.

A huge thank you goes out to the whole team of peripatetic musicians who have inspired and supported these groups throughout the term.

Gordon Baird, Director of Music 

House Music Competition 2024 songs announced!

The House Music songs for next year’s competition were announced in this morning’s Prep assembly. The following songs within our Beatles theme were chosen. Your children may wish to look at the lyrics for their song over the Christmas break in preparation for rehearsals next term.

Rochester: Help!

Dover: All You Need is Love

Leeds: From Me to You

Windsor: Twist and Shout


Eren E for working with determination and perseverance on his blending skills which has allowed him to begin to read

River R for working hard to find and remember number bonds to 10

Olivia W for fabulous independent addition and subtraction

Arianna O for fabulous independent writing using descriptive words

Thea L for being sensible and helpful at all times

Caspar H for super listening and participation in Phonics

Iona H for super effort with Maths

Isabella S for making fantastic reading progress this term

Thomas D for demonstrating great perseverance with his pattern work in Art

Thomas R for working hard to listen and follow instructions

Faith A for making an excellent effort with her reading

Dylan B for being a kind, caring friend and encouraging others to do well

Frank P for always working hard and giving his very best in all that he does

Freya E for doing a brilliant job, taking on two roles in the Nativity

Aaliya S for a humorous and expressive performance in the Nativity

Anika B for making brilliant progress with Maths this term

Liza V for an excellent, expressive performance in the Nativity

Benji A for creativity and enthusiasm during Art lessons

Fleur S for having fantastic stage presence and learning all her lines for the Christmas Nativity

Martha S for your beautiful solo as Mary in the Year 1 Nativity

Danny S for your wonderful solo as Gabriel in the Year 2 Nativity

Ella F for your fantastic solo as Mary in the Year 2 Nativity

All of 1FG, 1G, 1RW for your wonderful performance and excellent stage presence during the Year 1 Nativity

All of 2B, 2MS and 2P for a beautifully sung and delightful Nativity performance


Times Tables Certificates

Bronze Times Tables Certificate: A Golding; Zaviyar A; Hattie R and Dan L


Swim England Awards – Learn to Swim

Level 1: Leo E; Oliver F; Leo V; Millie W and Lila P

Level 2: Gabriella A; Daphne S; Mia D; Benji A; Rosanna C; Harvey R; Reis N and Anika B

Level 3: Martha S; Willow C and Charlotte P


Robert M for an outstanding piece of literary work

Marney B for creating wonderful games to aid learning of their times tables

Louisa R for creating wonderful games to aid learning of their times tables

Erin O for creating wonderful games to aid learning of their times tables

Sofia V for exceptional effort and achievement in French

Taran S for exceptional effort and achievement in French

Eva S for exceptional effort and achievement in French

Ellie S for conducting and showing inner strength when performing a reading during this year’s Carol Service

Kim V for her movie of her Christmas Candy Cane Experiment

Prep Michaelmas Term Prize Winners 

Please click here for a list of the Prep Michaelmas Term prize winners who were announced in the end of term assembly this morning.

Email signature

Players of the Match – week commencing 11th December

Team Name Reason
U13 Senior 1st Team Erica W Voted for by opposition
U13 Senior 2nd Team Belinda B Voted for by opposition
U13C Anouk C

Hannah J

Olivia O

Voted for by opposition

Good defensive play

Good defensive play

U11A Sophie F

Elizabeth A

Voted for by opposition

Great interceptions

U11B Irena G Excellent spatial awareness on court
U11C Talulah D

Ella C

Voted for by opposition

For great movement in attack

U10A Grace P Voted for by opposition
U10B Isabel E

Abigail S

Voted for by opposition

Good attacking play



Hive collage (1)

Following a very exciting and busy half term, we’ve enjoyed a more leisurely week making paper chains, filling in our countdown to Christmas advent pictures and playing games.

Wishing you all a fun packed Christmas!

Mrs Smith and The Hive Team


Willow and Peter level up in judo

Judo collage

Well done to siblings Willow and Peter C, from Year 2 and Reception, who recently completed their Sho gradings at Tonbridge Judo Club.

Willow received her yellow belt and Peter received his red belt.

Keep up the amazing judo!

Adam masters the Koshi-guruma!

Untitled design

Congratulations to Adam O in Year 5 who participated in a Tonbridge Judo Club camp last Sunday and was awarded a certificate for his variation of a Koshi-guruma throw.

This is a huge achievement for Adam as a yellow belt, showing his understanding of the move, how to maximise his body weight and his willingness and capability to innovate the sport!

He has been teaching his new throw to his older colleagues in the junior club where many of them have a higher belt than him!

Anouk becomes a published author          

Congratulations to Year 7 pupil Anouk C for her creative writing success, as she was shortlisted in the Seasonal Shorts: Christmas 2023 competition that is sponsored by Junoberry Books.

Anouk’s story The Dark Christmas was among the top stories submitted in her age category. This means her story will be published in Junoberry’s Seasonal Shorts and will be available in print and as a eBook, so look out for it soon!

Impressive work, Anouk!

Email signature

Email signature (2)

Half Term staff sports camps

Mr Thomas’ Christmas Hockey Camp

Mr Thomas will be holding his Christmas Hockey Camp at Hollybush Hockey Pitch on:

Monday 18th December

Tuesday 19th December

Please click here to book.


Mrs Grayland’s Christmas Netball Camp

Mrs Grayland will be running another netball camp this Christmas on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th January 2024. The camp is for all abilities and is aimed at developing skills and enjoying some fun, netball-based activities and games.

Please contact sarahgrayland@hotmail.co.uk to book your place now.


Follow us on social media!

Screenshot (79)

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