Weekly Newsletter Friday 8th March 2024

Friday 8th March 2024A year at St Michael's banner

From the Head

Dear Parents,

Our love of Science and reading has inspired our learning at St Michael’s this week.

Beginning on Monday, Science Week has seen children across Prep tackle exciting experiments based around the theme of time. From creating climbing bugs and cosy cups, to competing in pendulum, tomato lander and balloon car challenges, the buzz in our Science Labs has been electric. Thank you to Mrs Neylan and the Science Team for organising these brilliant activities for the children which are invaluable in developing their love and fascination of the subject!

Children in Nursery to Year 8 have championed their passion for books this week as part of World Book Day. On Tuesday, children and staff in Pre-Prep dressed as their favourite book characters whilst enjoying a special visit from children’s author Sophy Henn who led fun workshops throughout the day. Meanwhile, Prep pupils have applied their creativity to several book-themed competitions and activities; it has been a joy to see our Library even fuller than normal this week! Thank you to Mrs Andrade, Mrs Yarrow, Mrs Briggs and the wider staff team for leading these events. 

Adding more excitement to our Reception children’s busy week, we were delighted to welcome some owls to Pre-Prep on Thursday as visiting company Exotic Explorers treated the pupils to a morning of owl facts and flying displays. 

Today’s newsletter features some brilliant recent sporting success including our U11A girls becoming South East Hockey Champions on Monday as well as several tennis and external sport achievements. I hope you enjoy reading about these victories.  

We have ended the week with Reception’s Mother’s Day assembly where many a happy tear were shed as the children sang and spoke beautifully this morning. The children’s painted portraits of their mums were particularly creative! 

Wishing you a brilliant weekend,

Nik Pears

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From the Head of Pre-Prep

Zerrin Leech

Dear Parents,

What a fabulous week it has been! Our World Book Day on Tuesday was great fun with such an array of wonderful costumes. Sophy Henn our author/illustrator came in to work with children, giving them so many ideas. Her assembly was great fun using her own life story to illustrate points such as some baby animals having ears that are as large as their faces and therefore what Sophy herself would have looked like as a baby.

Reception had Exotic Explorers in on Thursday, bringing with them a parliament of owls. If you ask a Reception child where the ears on an owl are, you may be very surprised at the answer! All the owls are bred and reared in captivity and owning them is very tightly controlled. It was wonderful to see them up close.

Our Reception Mother’s Day assembly went really well. We love the paintings that the children complete of their mothers, although it may be hard to pick you out in the playground at the end of the school day if these were the only reference we had!

Thank you for joining in online with our Parents' Evenings. In the event that you need a further chat with your child’s class teacher, please email them to make another appointment.

We have a busy week ahead with our Easter Concert on Tuesday 12th March. This is for invited parents of children who are instrumentalists or in the Choir. Please come for coffee at 8.45am in the Dining Room prior to the concert starting at 9am.

On Friday 15th March Year 1 children will be visiting Leeds Castle. They should be back to school for the normal pick-up time. Let’s hope the sun shines.


Overheard in Pre-Prep:

Teacher: "Would you like a piece of shortbread?"

Child: "But they’re all long!"


Have a lovely Mother’s Day,

Zerrin Leech

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Experience Camp Beaumont at St Michael's this Easter

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

For a limited time only quote STMICHAELS24 at the checkout to save 20% on your booking (offer valid until 18/03/2014).

As the UK’s most established day camps provider, dating back over 40 years, Camp Beaumont host the most magical, inspiring and confidence-building activity days created with different age groups in mind. Working with industry-leaders in programme design, children can expect a huge range of over 50 exhilarating indoor and outdoor activities including Superhero Academy, Soft Play Ninjas, Clay Workshop, Aqua Olympics, Mini Archery and Rockstar Challenge; all tailored by age group and season. There are also chill-out areas available for campers who want some relaxation time.

Camp Beaumont gives local children the opportunity to meet new, like-minded friends and have lots of fun together away from screens in a friendly and welcoming environment. With flexible booking options available, childcare vouchers and tax-free childcare accepted, Camp Beaumont is a flexible and affordable school holiday childcare option for busy parents in the local area.

Click here to secure your child's place at Camp Beaumont this Easter

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Celebrating our love of books on World Book Day!

Pre Prep World Book Day

Wizards, princesses, dinosaurs and superheroes could be seen across Pre-Prep on Tuesday as children in Nursery to Year 2 celebrated their love of books together.

Dressed in costumes representing their favourite characters, the children were excited to guess their friends' identities for the day as well as taking part in exciting workshops with children's author Sophy Henn.

Pre-Prep was truly inspired by the renowned picture book author and illustrator, Sophy Henn. Sophy not only sparked our creativity but also shared valuable insights into crafting our own stories and illustrations. (Apologies to parents, as you may find more sketchbooks around the house from now on!)

The children were captivated as Sophy delved into the origins of her story ideas and the fun process of character development leading to the final edit. Kindergarten had the delightful opportunity to listen to Sophy read one of her books, and it was clear they thoroughly enjoyed it, eagerly requesting another storytime session with her.

In Reception, the children explored their own interpretations of Pom Pom through sketching, while Year 1 concentrated on drawing a Red Panda inspired by the Lifesize books. Year 2 pupils were fascinated to learn that Lifesize stemmed from extensive observations at London Zoo. They also enthusiastically created their own Pizazz superheroes.

As the day concluded, we witnessed the children’s excitement as they shared their ideas of one day becoming budding young authors and illustrators. Some fortunate ones among us received signed copies of Sophy’s books, which will surely be treasured and passed down for years to come.

Sophy left us with a final challenge: "Remember your audience, reach for your dreams and go for it!"

A magical day had by all!

Words by Mrs Briggs, Year 2 Teacher

Pre-Prep World Book Day highlights video:

World Book Day was celebrated in Prep with many activities that allowed us to experience the joy and wonder of reading and of books! Many of the lessons started with the teachers reading extracts of their favourite childhood books to their classes. 'Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi' proved to be a particularly popular choice in Maths lessons! A band of volunteers from Years 7 and 8 read to their younger counterparts in Years 3 and 4 during the junior lunch sitting. In addition, our senior pupils spent the afternoon in Pre-Prep sharing stories together.

Our picture book and chapter book emoji quizzes were real hits and sparked lots of conversation. Congratulations to Annabella S, whose name was drawn out of a hat of all the correct entries. The 'wanted' poster trail around the Prep building also attracted a great number of entries and caused much excitement, particularly during morning break. Sophie E was the winner of this - again, all the correct entries were put in a hat and the winner's name drawn at random.


The children's creative talents saw expression in bookmark making and book cover designing activities. The entries to the wooden spoon competition were varied and imaginative. It was very hard to choose a winner, but Ella C's three spoons inspired by 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' were victorious. Congratulations to her, and to Robert M for his shark from The 26-Storey Treehouse and to Sebastian C with his Willy Wonka, both of which were highly commended.

Thank you to Mrs Yarrow and Miss Murch for their help in creating such a wide diet of book-related activities.

Mrs Andrade, Head of English

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It's time for Science Week!

‘Time for Science’ – a fitting slogan for our Science Week as we have embraced this year’s theme of Time!

Across Prep the children enjoyed a range of time-related activities. Year 3 got crafty creating an array of colourful climbing bugs and measuring how quickly they scaled a length of string. Year 4 were challenged to design and make their own ‘cosy cups’ and keep water warm for at least 10 minutes. In Year 5, the race was on to build the perfect landing craft to get a ripe tomato to the ground without splitting or splatting! Parachutes and balloons were popular solutions to slow down their descent from the Sports Hall viewing gallery. Year 6 investigated pendulums: could they create a device which swung backwards and forwards ten times in exactly ten seconds? There were some impressively accurate responses. Balloon powered vehicles raced across the lab floor as Years 7 and 8 competed in their own Science Week challenge. Congratulations to team ‘Helen Wheel’ (Lucy, Hannah & Matilda) for building the car which travelled the furthest and to Eliza and ‘Tiny Torpedo’ – the nippiest vehicle on four wheels!

The Science Department

Prep House Music Competition 2024

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Last Friday the atmosphere in Prep School was electric for the Inter-House Music Competition. The day was a tremendous success and a wonderful display of talent, enthusiasm and teamwork as pupils competed in soloists’ classes throughout the morning and the entire school took part in the big sing-off in the afternoon. Our guest judge, Hannah I’Anson commented on how impressed she was with the range of instrumental and vocal talent on display and how well the soloists performed. She gave encouraging and constructive feedback to everyone who took part before announcing the winners for each category.

The pupils were a credit in terms of their support for one another, the way in which they performed for their peers, listened attentively as an audience and celebrated the achievements of those who won awards. The afternoon was dominated by Beatlemania, during which teachers and staff from across the school performed hits by the Beatles together with the pupils in their houses in a colourful and choreographed display of fun-filled singing and dancing. 

We had a wonderful and memorable day of music-making and the event was a true celebration of everything that makes St Michael’s such a joyful place to be.

The results were as follows:

Junior Soloists

Bronze Medal – Daniel W

Silver Medal – Miranda H

Gold Medal – Walter M and Theia H


Intermediate Soloists

Bronze Medal – Sophie F and Olivia G

Silver Medal – Silas C

Gold Medal­ – Clara H


Senior Soloists

Bronze Medal – Florence L

Silver Medal – Belinda B

Gold Medal – Xander S


House Song Winners - Dover

Overall House Music Competition Winners - Leeds


Words by Mr Baird, Director of Music

Extended highlights video:

Highlights video:

St Michael's U11As become South East Hockey Champions!

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On Monday 4th March, St Michael's U11A Girls' hockey team participated in the South East Area Finals held at Sevenoaks Hockey Club. The format consisted of a 6-team round-robin competition, featuring the top two teams from Kent, Sussex, and Surrey. Despite the conclusion of the hockey season before Christmas, many of the girls continued their involvement by playing for their clubs or participating in the Monday or Tuesday hockey academy run by Mr Thomas, Mrs Bingham and Miss Rodwell.

In the opening match against Hurstpierpoint School, the girls secured a comfortable 3-0 victory, with Elizabeth A delivering a remarkable hat-trick. The subsequent two games against St George's and Feltonfleet Prep School, representing Surrey, ended in 2-0 victories courtesy of goals from Elizabeth A and Amelia B in each match. In the fourth game against local rivals Sevenoaks Prep School, despite creating numerous opportunities, Amelia B was the sole scorer. Unfortunately, a series of errors, after conceding a soft short corner, allowed Sevenoaks an easy goal, leaving insufficient time within the 10 minute game duration to secure a comeback.

In the final game against Burgess Hill, the girls needed a win to secure victory in the tournament. After a frustrating initial 5 minutes marked by dominating play, poor shooting and impressive goalkeeping, the score remained level. Eventually, Elizabeth A's shot found the back of the net, opening the floodgates for another goal by Elizabeth A and one by Amelia B, securing the Championship once again.

This marks the end of a phenomenal season for the girls and St Michael's Prep, clinching back-to-back IAPS National Champions and South East Area Championships. Congratulations to the girls, including Elizabeth A, Amelia B, Alex S, Sophie F, Clara H, Kayla K, Mollie H and Amelia-Rose, B. 

Mr Thomas, Head of Boys' Games

Reception owl experience is a hoot!

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This week the Exotic Explorers visited Pre-Prep with a selection of owls for the Reception children to see, as part of their topic on 'Sky'. 

They were introduced to Twyla the Black Barn Owl, Echo the Southern White-faced Owl, Bubo and Eglantine the British Barn Owls and a cheeky Burrowing Owl nicknamed Potato. 

The children were enthralled by the owls, were quiet and still when the handlers, Ben and Nathan, brought then close. They were interested in the owl facts Ben told us about. Reception loved watching them fly between the handlers and were quizzed at the end on all of their amazing owl facts. Did you know owls aren’t actually wise?

Thank you to the Exotic Explorers for another fun-filled session; it was a hoot!. 

Mrs Barnes, Reception Teacher 

Abigail and Araya serve up a silver!

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On Saturday 2nd March St Michael's Abigail T and Araya J participated in the Sevenoaks Orange Ball Doubles Tournament at Sevenoaks School. Despite it being their first time playing together, the girls had a good performance, reaching the knockouts stages where they then secured victories against Sevenoaks Primary School in the Quarter-Finals and Granville School in the Semi-Finals. However, they faced a tough match in the Final against a strong pair from Hilden Grange School, ultimately losing with a score of 8-10.

In recognition of their efforts, the girls received Silver Medals; congratulations to them both!

Mr Thomas, Head of Boys' Games

Mum is the word!

Mother's Day assembly

On Friday morning, Reception held a very special assembly for their mummies. They presented their paintings of their mummies and sang songs beautifully for their audience. Their creative portraits were enjoyed by all!

The children expressed their love by thanking their mummies for giving them cuddles, playing with them, being cheeky and for making them laugh. 

St Michael's swing to success at Sevenoaks tennis tournament

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On Saturday 2nd March four boys from St Michael's participated in the Sevenoaks Orange Ball Doubles Tournament at Sevenoaks School. Rayaan G and Taran Singh M reached the Quarter-Finals, showcasing their skills in the earlier rounds.

Meanwhile, Adam J and Thomas G performed exceptionally well, advancing to the final match. In a closely contested Final, Adam and Thomas narrowly lost with a score of 11-13 against a formidable pair from Hilden Grange School. Despite the final outcome, both players were recognised for their outstanding performance with well-deserved silver medals.

Congratulations to all of the boys from St Michael's for their participation and commendable efforts in the tournament. Well done!

Mr Thomas, Head of Boys' Games

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Genevieve is set to perform Mozart Requiem at Canterbury Cathedral 


We are delighted to learn that former St Michael's pupil Genevieve S will be performing at Canterbury Cathedral as part of Mozart Requiem on Saturday 16th March. Genevieve will be singing as part of the Canterbury Choral Society whose patron is Gareth Malone.

Excited to be a part of the event, Genevieve said: "I am both excited and nervous to take part; it is a great honour to perform at such a prestigious venue. Mr Baird and Miss Balcombe at St Michael's were the driving force behind my passion for choral music and I hope I can make them proud at Canterbury Cathedral later this month!"

We wish Genevieve the best of luck for her big performance. 


Head's Stars

Harry B

For making excellent progress with his reading

Amelia I

For making excellent progress with her reading

Anouk C

For devoting hours to her brilliant story

Marney B

For great progress with her times tables through Year 4

Cian C

For great effort levels and diligence on Times Tables Rockstars

Stanley H

For great perseverance and progress with his reading


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Players of the match - week commencing 8th March 2024
  Name Awarded for
Colts A  Adam J Good play 
Colts B  Ruaridh O Good all round play 
Colts C  Tristan H A good goal
Colts C Aiden G Good stick skills 
Colts D  Michael M Great dribbling 
Colts E  Robert M Scoring a Hat-trick 
Colts F Game 1  Lex B and Nathaniel O Great play 
Colts F Game 2  Archie B 2 goals and great play 
Colts G Game 1  Reuben P Great midfield play and goal 
Colts G Game 2  Theo H Great play 
U9A  Oliver A Good tackling and distribution
U9B  Zach R Voted by opposition 
U9C  Daniel W Good skills 
U9D  Monty A Scoring 5 goals 
U8A  Albie C and Ted H Great goals and good skills 
U8B  Ben C Great all round play 
U8B Felix B A Hat-trick 
U8C  Sebastian C Voted by opposition 
U8D  Herbie W  Scoring a Hat-trick 
U13 Senior 2nd Team  Matilda M Voted by opposition
U13 Senior 2nd Team  Erica W Scoring 3 goals 
U11A  Elizabeth A and Anna W Great play 
U11B  Maria C Voted by opposition 
U11B Poppy P Improved commitment in defence 
U11C  Talulah D Good skill 
U10A  Mollie H Strong play and good passing 
U10B  Ella C  Great tackling and tracking back 
U10C  Sophie N Good play 
U10D  Chisomebi O Voted by opposition
U10D Ava M Great goal scoring 
U9A  Sophia E Voted by opposition 
U9A Elodie B Scoring two great goals 
U9B  Abigail L Voted by opposition 
U9B Marney B Great defending 
U9C  Araya J  Voted by the opposition 
U9C Darcey B Excellent defending 
U9D  Isla J Voted for by opposition
U9D Krisha P Good running with the ball
U8A Saskia E and Ella F Voted by opposition
U8B  Olivia D and Ellie H  Voted by opposition 
U8C Isla P and Amelia I Voted by opposition 

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This week The Hive children have enjoyed role playing, building tents and dressing up in a variety of costumes.

Both the Breakfast Club and The Hive have also had lots of opportunities to make and complete their special Mother’s Day gifts. 

Ship Ahoy! Our new, outdoor, recycled weatherproof play boat has now been assembled and is ready to set sail on many an adventure.

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Hot off the press

We were delighted to see the following article recently published in the Sevenoaks Chronicle. 

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Hugo and Adam win the Kent Cup!

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Congratulations to Hugo and Adam in Year 5 who were part of the Sevenoaks U10 boys' team that won the Kent Hockey Cup in Folkestone on Sunday 3rd March 2024.  They won all five of their group matches against Canterbury, Ashford, Tunbridge Wells, Marden and Folkestone, conceding only one goal along the way.

As winners they now are through to the Regional Finals in April.

A huge well done, boys!


Gymnastics victory for Mia, Evelyn and Freya!

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Congratulations to Year 2 pupils Mia D, Evelyn T and Freya E who triumphed in the Lightning Gymnastics Competition on Sunday 3rd March 2024. Competing against representatives from several other schools, the girls were victorious in gaining all three spots on the winners' podium for their individual performances. 


Gymnastics hat-trick for Gwyneth!

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Congratulations to Gwyneth H in Year 4 who competed in the Lightning Gymnastics Club Championships on Sunday 3rd March.

Gwyneth achieved some fantastic results during the competition, becoming Champion for the Tumbling Competition, Champion for the Gymnastics Competition and Runner-up for the Aerial Competition.

Amazing work Gwyneth, keep it up!


Charlie's Sevenoaks Rugby Success!

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Congratulations to Charlie C in Year 5 whose parents were delighted to share his rugby success with us this week. 

Charlie represented Sevenoaks Rugby Club's 1st team at the Edenbridge Rugby Festival on Sunday 3rd March and played all five games for the U10s, winning 4 out of 5 games against Edenbridge, Westcombe, East Grinstead and Crowborough. An amazing achievement!


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P & F Carnival Ball 2024

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If anyone would like their business/company to sponsor the lounge/bar area for the Ball, please email stmmayball@gmail.com for more details. 

P & F Ball Auction 2024

In May, the St Michael's P&F Carnival Ball auction will raise money for three important causes. The auction will support the P&F's two chosen charities Friends for Families and the Emily Ash Trust. It will also raise funds for an exciting plan to install new play equipment in the school playground. There will be an online and a live event auction.

Please have a think if there is anything you could donate to make this auction a success. We are relying on the generosity of the St Michael's community. Prizes aimed at an experience of a child could do particularly well. Perhaps your network includes a successful sportsperson, author, musician or politician who could offer an experience or a lunch meeting? Perhaps you have a holiday home you could offer for a long weekend? Or tickets to a sporting, theatrical or musical event? We are looking for a range of auction lots, including smaller items for the online auction. 

If you have any ideas or would like to discuss further a possible donation, please drop the P&F a note on stmcharities@yahoo.com

St Michael's Cookbook Competitions

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A group of St Michael's parents are creating a St Michael's cookbook and as part of that, are launching a recipe and drawing competition.

We welcome all recipe entries; they do not need to be part of the competition so any family favourites or family and friends entries are welcome.

Recipe competition

We would love for children to submit their favourite food recipe (snack, main, dessert etc.). This should include ingredients list with quantities, a method and a drawing of the finished food (by hand or computer).

Art competition

We would like children to submit pictures of their favourite school meal or food they’ve had at school. This can be by hand or by computer.

This is across the whole school and there will be separate winners for Prep and Pre-Prep. The judges will include Mr Pears and Mrs Leech. The winners will receive copies of the cookbook along with St Michael's aprons.

The closing date for entries is Friday 22nd March 2024.

Please email all entries to stmcookbook24@gmail.com.

St Michael's Umbrellas

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Community News notices banner

Please click the above banner for notices including:

Midsummer at Archbishop's Palace, Otford

Girls' Cricket at Holmesdale 

Dulwich Cranbrook Triathlon 


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Otford Village Fete 2024 programme competition

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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

For more details about the competition, please click here. 


Follow us on social media!

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