Weekly Newsletter Friday 20th October 2023

A year at St Michael's banner

From the Head

Dear Parents,

It's been a soggy week at St Michael's but our spirits have not been dampened as vibrant lessons, trips and events have created many highlights.

The Roald Dahl Museum, Knole Park, Herstmonceux Observatory, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and a London theatre have brought learning to life this week as pupils in Prep and Pre-Prep have enjoyed enriching trips. Thank you to the staff team for leading these exciting outings which are invaluable educational and social experiences for your children.

Meanwhile in school, Dr Pippa from Accent Catering has broadened our knowledge of nutrition as a gigantic pie chart and miniature food replicas have caused much fun and discussion in Prep. We hope you enjoy reading about these nutrition workshops and our Sports Scholars' response to beetroot juice in today's newsletter.

We have ended the week with our School Council's charity day of choice for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Thank you for your kind donations to this cause and for finding something high-vis for your children to wear; if only the power cut had been better timed to this Friday! Additionally, our Year 2 pupils took part in their Football Tournament this afternoon where some impressive teamwork and football skills wowed parents and teachers alike. Thank you to Mr Davies for organising this brilliant event which is a key step in the children's transition to weekly fixtures from September.

Wishing you a brilliant half term and I look forward to seeing you and your children in November.

Best wishes,

Nik Pears

From the Head of Pre-Prep


Dear Parents,

The last week of half term has finished and we are all set for two weeks of half term holiday. Staff have noticed that the children have become more emotional over the last week as tiredness kicks in. We have also had a lot of coughs and colds and the occasional bout of sickness so a break from school now will do everyone good.

Year 1 had a lovely time at Knole this week and the staff were very proud of their behaviour. Well done Year 1. We had a mini show in assembly on Thursday with the choir singing a song from Oliver and show dance from Mrs Groves' after school activity. Wonderful confidence was demonstrated by the children.

We all looked super bright in assembly this morning. We watched a video sent by Mrs Crane’s nephew who is partially sighted and is learning to read braille thanks to braille lego. It was lovely to see Miles explaining the tools he uses at school. Thank you to everyone who wore hi-vis today and donated to our charity day in aid of Guide Dogs UK. This charity was chosen by our Prep School Council made up of children from Year 3 to Year 8. In Pre-Prep we raised £348.22 and across the school at total of £845.08!

When we return after half term, we will be talking to Year 2 parents about Stubbers on Wednesday 8th November at 7pm. We kindly ask for no children to be at this evening please. On Friday 10th November we will be talking about remembrance and having a short silence at the end of playtime. In the evening, I will see you at the fireworks display which is always a highlight of the calendar.

At the time of writing, we are making the decision to go ahead with the Year 2 Football Tournament. The children are super excited about showing off their ball skills and having match “tea” afterwards.

Overheard in Pre-Prep: "Oh, I love eating wild boar!"

Have a lovely half term holiday and see you all back on Monday 6th November.

Zerrin Leech


During half term we will be saying goodbye to the following individual:

Sam Parker

Samantha Parker

We wish Sam Parker, our PA to the Head, the very best for her future as she begins a new role at Townley Grammar School as Executive Assistant to the Head. We thank her for her service to St Michael's Prep and hope she enjoys this new and exciting challenge.


Ava W for working really hard on her phonics and making great progress with her blending

Emma U for working hard during our Phonics lessons and making good progress with her reading and writing

Harry W for listening and achieving very well in all of our learning activities

Helena H for always doing ‘the right thing

Rain K for trying really hard in Phonics and being proud of his work

Jemima G for an excellent and immersive Show and Tell

Bella S for always working hard and having super ideas for her writing

Teddy D for working hard on his piece of writing about our trip to Knole House

Leo V for being a positive member of the class who always approaches every task with a smile

Poppy R for a super piece of creative writing describing how SuperTed was captured

Rusen E for working so hard all term

Alex B for always making the right choices and being a kind friend to everyone

Florence W for working exceptionally hard when adding 3 numbers together in Maths

Arthur G for always working hard and trying his best when completing challenging questions in Maths

Mason T for his enthusiasm and effort when learning about animals and the rainforest

Daphne S for her passion and love of learning in all lessons

Ethan M for excellent effort in Swimming and for his creativity in Art

Elise A for a having a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards all areas of learning

Mia D for excellent perseverance and determination

All of 1FG, 1G and 1RW for being good ambassadors for St Michael's at Knole Park

Reuben S for being brave and working hard to improve in Swimming lessons

Ella F for super listening and being a considerate team member in PE lessons

Rafferty R for fair play in both chess and team games


Edward H for his wonderful story, The Wild Robot

Olanna E for her wonderful contribution to Prep School Assembly for Black History Month

Ella C for amazing, in-depth research into world records, shared with Year 5 Challenge Club

Harry B for preparing a brilliant Open Morning speech

Amy H for delivering a fantastic Open Morning speech

Nathan H for delivering a fantastic Open Morning speech

Clara H for delivering a fantastic Open Morning speech

Evie S for delivering a fantastic Open Morning speech

Oliver S for a wonderful Open Morning performance

Belinda B for a wonderful Open Morning performance

Ellie H for a fantastic class presentation


Nutrition workshops with Dr Pippa

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This week we welcomed Dr Pippa, Accent Catering’s Head of Nutrition, to talk to Prep about the Eatwell Guide, explaining how different food groups make up a healthy and balanced diet.

The pupils learnt about the importance of having 5+ portions of fruits and vegetables per day and trying to eat wholegrain starchy carbohydrates wherever possible to provide energy and fibre for their body. They also listened to Dr Pippa's advice about choosing lean sources of protein for growth and repair and limiting those which have been processed. Finally, they explored how they can include 2-3 portions of calcium containing dairy or dairy alternatives in their meals to  build healthy strong bones and teeth, and how Accent limits the fat content in our food by using vegetable oils in their cooking which are healthier for our heart.

Engaging in an interactive team activity, children in Years 3 to 8 explored the “eat less often and in small amounts” section of the Eatwell Guide, understanding that there are items which can be high in fat, salt and/or sugars and therefore shouldn’t make up the majority of their food intake, but can feature as part of a healthy and balanced diet. The pupils also learnt about hydration, covering the importance of drinking enough water to ensure good concentration and mood. They completed the workshop knowing that the best way to check if they are hydrated enough is to check in the toilet!

Separately, Dr Pippa met with the Sports Scholars for a special sports nutrition drinks workshop. Dr Pippa began the session by demonstrating how it can be very easy to make a homemade sports drink using sugar containing squash and a pinch of salt for electrolytes. She explained how this can be a great option to save money and help the environment as there is less plastic bottle waste. The pupils also tried beetroot juice, known for its vasodilating effects through high nitrate concentration – the pupils were mostly keen to try this, but ultimately didn’t like the taste of it! Finally, Dr Pippa made some recovery drinks using milk-based products for their protein content. The smoothie made using yoghurt, milk, banana and frozen berries was extremely popular and is something the pupils were happy to consume (especially for those who hadn’t managed to eat breakfast that morning!).

Year 8 geographers explore Stratford

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On Tuesday Year 8 visited London Stratford area to investigate if the regeneration of the area has been successful or not for environmental, social and economic aspects.
They used numerous data collection techniques such as business tallies, environmental quality surveys, interviews and field sketches. We were fortunate to have blue skies and sunshine throughout the day which allowed us to enjoy a picnic lunch under the Olympic rings, followed by a long walk exploring the Elizabeth Olympic park. It was a great day filled with many geographical elements.
Miss Lambert, Head of Geography

Year 1 time travel to Tudor times

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Year 1 had an excellent visit to Knole House on Tuesday. The children explored the grounds, measuring trees to see how old they were, as well as spotting deer and ant hills. We tried on Tudor costumes, using the colour and material to help us decide how wealthy the person wearing it was. The children looked at portraits around the house before drawing their own.

Our favourite quote from the trip was ‘This is the best trip I have been on!!".

Mrs Grove, Year 1 Teacher

A golden ticket to the Roald Dahl Museum

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The sun shone all day for Year 6 on Tuesday as we toured the village of Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire, which inspired many of Roald Dahl’s books. We were able to get hands-on with the exhibits in the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, sitting in Dahl’s writing chair, smelling the big chocolate doors and even flying a plane just like Dahl did. Highlights of the trip included creating a short stop-motion film, lots of dressing up and visiting the gift shop to buy bags of Mrs Pratchett’s sweets!

Mrs Andrade, Head of English

A stellar day at Herstmonceux Science Centre

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Year 5 rounded off their Earth & Space topic with a stellar day out at The Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux. There was plenty to explore and discover and it was wonderful to watch the children investigating, learning and having fun. The Water Planet exhibits were a firm favourite, and everyone enjoyed having a go on the vacuum cleaner chair!

Mrs Neylan, Head of Science

Year 7 creative arts trip

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Thursday's Year 7 creative arts trip began with a visit to The Wallace Collection housed at a museum in London occupying Hertford House in Manchester Square, the former townhouse of the Seymour family, Marquesses of Hertford. It is named after Sir Richard Wallace, who built the extensive collection, along with the Marquesses of Hertford, in the 18th and 19th centuries.

We were met by Luisa Rivera, a London-based artist originally from Chile. She works primarily on paper with water-based media to create figurative art and her practice explores our relationship with the environment through multiple layers of interpretation. She draws on storytelling to create narratives that are inhabited predominantly by women and natural elements. Her body of work covers themes such as ecology, feminism and uprooting, often through the lens of magic realism.

Working with Luisa, we explored two paintings in the gallery – The lady with a fan painted by Diego Velázquez -  1639 and the amazing landscape Venice: the Bacino di San Marco from San Giorgio Maggiore painted by Canaletto in 1738. We had a quick look at the amazing armoury collection followed by lunch and a walk to Regent's Park.

The afternoon was spent at The Soho Place Theatre watching the amazing new London musical Little Big Things, an extraordinary true story about an ordinary family. An avid sportsman and academy player with a premiership rugby club, Henry Fraser’s life changed forever when in 2009 he had a diving accident. From that moment he had a new life to live as a tetraplegic and new circumstances to accept and adapt to. Henry’s defiance and determination to prosper against devastating odds led to him wheeling himself out of hospital a whole year earlier than predicted. Today he is a successful artist, inspirational speaker and best-selling author.

Mrs Rodwell, Head of Art, Craft & Design

High-vis for a pawsome cause!

Guide Dogs Charity Day collage

A generous glow could be seen across St Michael's today as pupils in Nursery to Year 8 dressed in high-vis accessories for our termly charity day. Among the accessories on display were fluorescent vests, hairbands, leg warmers, hats and wristbands. Supporting the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, a charity chosen to support by the Prep School Council, we were delighted to raise £845.08 for the cause which will help those living with sight loss. Thank you for your generous contributions to this cause.

The charity supports the blind and partially sighted to live the best quality of life by providing guide dogs, mobility aids and other rehabilitation services.

For further information about the charity or to give further support press click here.


Charity Day highlights video

Please click here to view.


Year 2 Football Tournament

Y2 Football Tournament collage

The annual Year 2 Football Tournament kicked off on the school Astro pitch this afternoon, with everyone very happy that the weather decided to play ball too. The children have been looking forward to demonstrating their skills and gameplay they have been learning in their Games sessions and they didn’t disappoint with 25 goals being scored along with multiple saves, passes and dribbles to please the crowd. It was great to see so many parents and supporters at the event, cheering loudly and offering that vital encouragement which really helps the children to focus and apply themselves. In the Eagles tournament group, the Red Team were crowned winners after reversing an earlier result against the Yellow Team in the Final and in the Lions group, the Orange Team and Non-Bib Teams shared the spoils of first place after playing out a draw in their Final. Thanks again to everyone for the support and to the Games Department and teachers for all their help.

Mr Davies, Pre-Prep PE Teacher

Wagamamas wins for Year 8!

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Year 8 were excited to enjoyed delicious food from Wagamamas at lunchtime today as a token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication to their Year 3 buddy responsibilities this term. Year 8 have played a valuable role in helping our Year 3 children to transition to their life in the Prep school this term, including eating lunch with them and showing them other aspects of their new routine.

Hot off the press

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



Hive 20th Oct collage

Halloween baking has been enjoyed this week. Between the Breakfast Club and The Hive, we have made and enjoyed waffle banana ghosts; tasty witches' fingers (frankfurters in buns); spooky cream cheese ghosts; scrumptious cucumber toasted mummies and delicious ham and cheese mummies!

In The Hive we have also had fun painting our hands and feet to create spooky pictures of ghosts, monsters and vampires. Additionally, we have constructed paper split pin mummies, skeletons and had lots of fun with Halloween spot the difference puzzles.


Pre-Prep Eco Half Term challenges

Recycling and environmental protection concept. Row of green, blue, red and yellow recycle bins over white background. 3d rendering

Mrs Rose, Pre-Prep Environment and Sustainability Lead, was excited to launch a range of eco half term challenges for the pupils in Eco Assembly on Wednesday.

Pre-Prep children have been challenged to make posters to encourage cars not to idle in the carpark/drop-off zone at St Michael's which will be laminated and put up around the car park.

The pupils have also been encouraged to recycle at home; taking 'rubbish selfies' to show Mrs Rose what they've achieved!

We can't wait to see the children's response to these tasks.

News from the P & F

P & F Christmas Charity Appeal

Local charity Friends for Families have identified through children’s services a number of local families who may struggle this Christmas. There are three main ways the St Michael’s community could help. Your family could buy a gift for a child for the value of £25 or you could make up a bag for life of non-perishable food for an individual family. Alternatively, you could provide a £25 donation. Please email stmcharities@yahoo.com if you would like to be involved by Friday 3rd November and the P&F will provide you with further details. We hope you are encouraged to participate in this community project.


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.




Forest School fun!

Forest School Fun collage

Hammering nails, crafting jewellery and swinging from branches have been on the Forest School agenda this week as children in Reception and Year 1 have enjoyed hours of fun in our woodlands.

Forest School highlights video:

Please click here to view.


Vibrant Art lessons

Y2 Art

Colours and creativity have been seen across St Michael's this week as pupils have engaged in a range of vibrant Art lessons. In Pre-Prep, Year 2 have used tissue paper, PVA glue and pipe cleaners to craft rainforest scenes and animals as part of their Topic learning.


Meanwhile, in Prep Year 3 have explored colour theory whilst Year 6 have made intricate drawings of natural objects using ink and unusual drawing tools.

Y3 Art Colour Theory

Y6 Observational Drawing


Pre-instrumental group


This week saw the last session of our Pre-Prep Pre-instrumental Group take place.  The Pre-instrumental Group was a club that ran weekly throughout this half term, designed to help children select an instrument. This was run by a professional musician, Mrs Hazel Ross, and gave children the opportunity to experiment with a variety of string, woodwind and percussion instruments. They also took part in aural games and activities. Once they had completed their five sessions in the group, we made suggestions for the next steps of each child's musical journeys.

Mrs Crane, Pre-Prep Music Teacher


Louisa is set to join Kent Cricket Pathway

Cricket achievement

Congratulations to Louisa in Year 8 who has secured a place in Kent Cricket's Pathway Programme in their area programme squad for West Kent Girls' U13 squad. Louise was nominated by her Coach who nominated her for the open trials in September. Kent Cricket were impressed with Louisa's bowling and especially her pace. As part of the programme, Louisa will take part in winter training as well as being involved in a number of tournaments next year.  


Reuben wins Judo Gold

Judo achievement

Congratulations to Reuben in Year 6 who participated in the Tonbridge Judo Club competition last weekend. He won all four of his matches to secure gold in his group as well as winning the boys' trophy for best technique and overall performance. Keep up the brilliant judo, Reuben!


9th Dan Grand Master presents William with outstanding achievement award

William judo

Congratulations to William in Year 3 who won gold at the Tonbridge Judo Club competition on Sunday 15th October.

William, who has been attending Judo lessons since January 2023, had a clean sweep of fights throughout the morning of which two were against taller and heavier competitors.
In addition, William was awarded an outstanding achievement award for consistent exceptional performance and unwavering hard work which was presented to him by a 9th Dan Grand Master; an exceptional honour!

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