Weekly Newsletter Thursday 8th February 2024


A year at St Michael's banner

From the Head

Dear Parents,

We have ended the half term in true St Michael's style; our week has been filled with exciting events and learning opportunities at every corner of the school.

On Monday we enjoyed an evening of theatrical talent as Prep performers took to the stage for our annual House Drama Duologue Competition. As always, the standard of talent on display was outstanding with audience members watching in awe as the pupils gave heartfelt, poignant and often comical renditions of scenes, prepared independently by the children. I'd like to congratulate all of the children who took part, from those who auditioned in the initial Heats to those who performed in Monday evening's Final and of course, the winners. We thank our guest judge and professional actress Alex Hogg for making the very difficult final decision as well as Mr Powell for organising the event and his inspiring enthusiasm which is embodied by our children. 

Safer Internet Week has been the theme of assemblies and form times this week as we have further considered how to use technology safely and responsibly, especially in this era of constant technological change. Thank you to Mrs Robertson and Mr Baird for leading this focus which is central to our efforts in keeping the children safe and equipping them for life. 

Year 5 have put their chef hats on this week, making focaccia in their Food Technology lessons with Ms Gilbrook and Mrs Caswall. It has been wonderful to hear how brilliantly the children have embraced this topic and the resilience they have shown when creating a bread dough that wasn't sticky! We look forward to hearing how the final loaves tasted and whether there were any Paul Hollywood handshakes!

On Wednesday we were delighted to host another netball tournament for U11 teams from local schools. Thank you to the Sports Department for hosting this event and motivating our pupils to try their best on a daily basis. 

Across St Michael's we have also been celebrating Lunar New Year this week with a range of immersive opportunities to experience Chinese traditions and culture. From taste testing food in Pre-School and dragon dancing in Pre-Prep Music to enjoying a delicious meal at lunchtime today, every member of the school has been fortunate to enjoy some aspect of our celebrations. 

Meanwhile, Year 1 have enjoyed a magical Pirate Day today, dressed from head to toe in stripes, eye patches and cross bones as a day of treasure hunts, walking the plank and pirate map pizzas helped them experience life as a pirate to culminate their topic this term. Thank you to Mrs Grove and the Year 1 Team for leading this wonderful event. 

We have ended the week with our Charity Day for MSF (Medecin sans Frontiere/ Doctors without Borders), an organisation that continues to support the civilian population at the centre of the conflict in Gaza. We thank you for your donations to this incredibly important cause. 

I'd like to wish you all a brilliant half term break and look forward to seeing you when we return to school on Monday 19th February.

Best wishes,

Nik Pears

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From the Head of Pre-Prep

Zerrin Leech

Dear Parents,

Half term already! I was pleased so many of you were able to pop in and see your child’s class on Tuesday. I know they love to be able to show you what they have been doing and it’s always reassuring to see how much their work has improved from the start of term.

Thank you for supporting our Charity day on behalf of MSF. The children always love wearing their own clothes and it was exciting to welcome so many Year 1 pirates into the Pre-Prep building as part of their Pirate Day. Luckily, they were well behaved pirates and didn't upset any ticking crocodiles!

When we return after half term, the parents of Kindergarten children are welcome to join me on a brief tour of Pre-Prep at 8.45am on Tuesday 20th or Wednesday 21st to familiarise themselves with life beyond Pre-School. Please meet at the main entrance to Pre-Prep.

We shall be saying goodbye to Sam Edwards at half term as she leaves us to manage a new Nursery. We have loved having her at St Michael’s and we wish her every success with her new Nursery. In her place we are welcoming Mrs Hannah Foot who is a very experienced Early Years practitioner and I know will be an excellent member of the Kindergarten Team.

You will be pleased to hear that some of the Pre-Prep staff will be celebrating at the wedding of Jenni Rawlinson this half term. We wish her and her husband Nigel all the best for their future together.

Overheard in Pre-Prep:

Child: "Do you know my favourite type of poo?"

Teacher: "You have a preference?!"

Child: "Yes. It’s elephant poo. I like it because you can turn it into paper."

Have a lovely half term and I look forward to seeing you all on Monday 19th February.

Kind regards,

Zerrin Leech

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World Book Day in Prep: Thursday 7th March

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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.

Happy reading!

The English Department


News from Music

2024 House Music Competition Finalists

Mr Baird and Miss Balcombe have really enjoyed listening to a wide variety of House Music auditions over the last two weeks and commend all children who took part. They have been impressed by the standard of the performances and how well prepared the children have been. We would like to thank the Peripatetic Music Teachers for the support and encouragement they have given in helping to prepare their pupils. Every entrant has earned three house points for taking part in the competition. It was difficult to decide which children to put through to the Final, given how many strong performers there were representing each house. The following children will now go through to the House Music Finals to be held on Friday 1st March and we look forward to hearing them again performing for their classmates.

Finalists for Years 3 and 4:

Dover: Oliver A, Miranda H and Walter M

Leeds: Dylan H, Theia H and Amelie G

Rochester: Alvie G, Louisa R and Marianne B

Windsor: Daniel W, Espen A and Sienna L


Finalists for Years 5 and 6:

Dover: Leo H, Zi Chen G and Sophie N

Leeds: Clara H, Herbie F and Sophie F

Rochester: Jimmy S, Silas C and George Wa

Windsor: Olivia G, Elizabeth W and Chloe S


Finalists for Years 7 and 8:

Dover: Amelia A, Maggie B, Jamie D, Xander S and Oliver N

Leeds: Oliver S and Olivia O

Rochester: Belinda B and Bronwyn T

Windsor: Florence L



Teamwork shines in Year 2 Matball Tournament

Year 2 Matball Tournament collage

The annual Year 2 Matball Tournament took place last Friday in front of a vocal crowd in the Prep Sports Hall. The children put on an exhibition of skill and game awareness which highlighted their learning from their recent matball games unit. 

The two groups of teams battles hard with some close games and plenty of goals scored across the afternoon. Taking out the Eagles Group was the Yellow Team who won two and drew one of their games, scoring a total of 11 goals on their way to the title. In the Lions Group competition, the unbeaten team of Non-Bibs also finished with two wins and a draw on their way to being crowned group champions. 

Many thanks to the Sports Department and Year 2 Team for assisting with officiating and of course to the parents and family members for their encouragement and support. 

Mr Davies, Pre-Prep PE Teacher 

St Michael's Charity Day raises £943

Thank you for your generous donations to our Charity Day today in support of MSF (Medecin sans Frontiere/ Doctors without Borders) today. In total, we raised £943.86 across the school which will aid the organisation's support of the civilian population at the centre of the conflict in Gaza. More information about the charity can be found here.

Times Tables Rockstars!

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Congratulations to everyone who participated in the NSPCC Rocks Times Tables Competition on Friday 2nd February alongside 3,793 schools! Congratulations to the leading class, Mrs Small's Year 5 Maths group.

Our top 3 participants were: Tom B, Adam O and Albert B.

Well done!

Mrs de Belder, Maths Teacher 

2024 House Drama Duologue Competition 

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Congratulations to every pupil who auditioned for the Heats and took part in the Final of our 2024 House Drama Duologue Competition. The standard of talent, independent work and team spirit on display was outstanding and every performer did St Michael's and their families proud.

The winners, as chosen by our wonderful guest judge Alex Hogg, were as follows:


Gold: Dover (Evelyn and Saskia)

Silver: Windsor (Teddy and Sofia)

Bronze: Dover (Isla and Elodie)


Gold: Leeds (Clara and Sophie)

Silver: Dover (Isabel E and Sophie)

Bronze: Windsor (Iris and Scarlett)

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House Drama Duologue Competition highlights video:

Year 5 rise to the focaccia challenge


Our final Food Technology lessons for Year 5 have seen them making focaccia bread. The children designed their own recipe, chose their fillings to add to the dough mixture and used their knowledge of how to carefully use kitchen utensils to chop and grate their foods. 

They had a choice of sweet or savoury fillings to choose from and had to combine up to four different filings to create their own recipe. They each made a small load to take home and bake, with instructions included.

This project has been a new addition to the Design Technology curriculum this year and has been met with much excitement. The children have had a great time practising their chopping skills, taste-tasting new ingredients and designing and making their own bread. We look forward to finding out how they tasted!

Ms Gilbrook, Art and Design Technology Teacher

St Michael's swimmers head to Kent Swimming Championships

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We wish the best of luck to our St Michael's swimmers heading to the Kent Swimming Championships this weekend! We look forward to hearing how you get on. 

Pirate Day memories to treasure forever!

Pirate Day

Adorned with eye patches and skull and cross bones, Year 1 have had a fantastic day experiencing life as a pirate. After performing a pirate song in assembly the children were tasked with making edible treasure maps, completing pirate puzzles in French and using their gymnastics skills to avoid walking the plank! To complete the day, we followed clues around Pre-Prep which led us to a chest, filled with treasure, before returning to our classrooms to find that pirates had found our messages in a bottle and replied!

Mrs Grove, Year 1 Teacher

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St Michael's U11s tackle Solefield Rugby Festival


Last Saturday, the U11 boys' rugby team participated in the annual Solefield School Rugby Festival. All of the boys treated us to an exhibition of skill, determination, commitment and great athleticism. Every game was a battle with hard tackling, ferocious rucks and strong, direct running. 

The boys showed great courage, camaraderie and resilience. Despite losing their game, the team came away with a sense of pride and should be very proud of themselves. We scored some great tries, with Finlay S, George W and Jimmy S all battling their way to the try line. 

I could not have been prouder of the boys. Well done on an amazing team effort!

Team: Oscar B, Archie B, Herbie F, Jake L, Finlay S, Jimmy S, George W and Herbie L. 

Mr Brightman, Director of Sport 

 新年快乐! Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year Collage

This week Pre-Prep have been celebrating Chinese New Year and have been learning about the forthcoming celebration in many exciting ways. 

In Mandarin Club, Mrs Tsang talked to the children about Chinese New Year and how to celebrate the year of the dragon. Dressed in traditional Chinese costumes, the children learnt special new year greetings and how to gift a hóngbāo (a red packet). They also had a go at making play-doh dumplings, making traditional Chinese decorations and learning Chinese calligraphy with a Máo-Bǐ (a brush pen).

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Mrs Crane taught pupils how to do the traditional dragon dance. The dragon represents good luck and performing the dragon dance ushers away any evil spirits. 

Reception enjoyed an interesting lesson with Mrs Tsang, where they learnt all about the origins of Chinese New Year and how it is celebrated. She asked the children if they knew what Chinese zodiac sign they were born to (2018-Dog, 2019-Pig). The children dressed up in traditional Chinese costumes, tried on lion costumes and had fun performing a dragon dance. 

On Thursday, the Catering Team treated us to a tasty themed lunch. The food on offer included vegetable spring rolls, radish and sesame soy noodles and pickled Asian vegetables. 

Chinese New Year Lunch collage

Kindergarten and Nursery have also been embracing Chinese New Year by taste testing different foods. The food tried included prawn crackers, noodles, rice and sweet chilli sauce. The children even had a go at using chopsticks. 

Chinese New Year is on Saturday 10th February and is celebrated for 15 days. Some of the children will be participating in the London Chinese New Year parade from Trafalgar Square through to China Town on Sunday 11th February 2024. Please come and celebrate with us!


Happy Chinese New Year!

IAPS Kent Hockey Tournament 

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On Monday, St Michael's boys participated in their first IAPS hockey competition when our Colts team travelled to Charterhouse School for the Regional Qualifiers. Given the early stage of the hockey term, the boys had minimal preparation but were eager to put themselves to the test. The first game against York House resulted in a 1-0 victory, courtesy of a splendid goal by Captain Finlay S. However, the subsequent two games ended in narrow defeats, with Feltonfleet and Edgeborough securing 1-0 and 2-1 wins, respectively. Remarkable saves by Ruaridh O and a goal from Hugo M from a short corner were highlights in these matches.

In the final group game against Halstead St Andrew's, despite dominating the match and with impressive individual skills from Adam J, we secured a 1-0 win, again from a short corner goal by Hugo M. Unfortunately, the close losses in the group stage led us to qualify in 3rd place, sending us to the plate competition. Our next opponents were Seaford College, and although we dominated the game, it ended goalless. We proceeded to a penalty shootout, but unfortunately, we fell short in the shootout.

Despite the outcomes, the boys showed immense improvement throughout the day and were unlucky to lose any of their games. They represented themselves admirably and we look forward to their performance next year. The team comprised Finlay S, Adam J, Ruaridh O, Hugo M, Nik B, Cole D, George W, Herbie F and Herbie L.

Mr Thomas, Head of Boys' Games

St Michael's host U11 Netball Tournament 

Netball teams

On Wednesday, we hosted the St Michael's U11A and U11B Netball Tournaments. It was a fantastic afternoon during which the girls showcased remarkable teamwork, sportsmanship and netball skills. In the U11A Tournament, St Michael's won 2 matches, drew 1 and narrowly lost 1 by a single goal. Unfortunately, this meant we didn't progress to the Semi-Finals. The champions of the U11A Tournament were Hazelwood School.

In the U11B Tournament, we successfully advanced to the Semi-Finals after winning 4 out of 5 games in the group stage. However, in the Semi-Finals, we faced a formidable Holmewood House team and, unfortunately, lost in a tense 1-0 game. The overall champions of the U11B tournament were Derwent Lodge.

Congratulations to all the girls who participated!

Mrs Denton, Head of Girls' Games

Inspiring change during Safer Internet Week

Online safety

This week St Michael’s joined over 170 countries around the world to celebrate Safer Internet Week 2024, kicking off on Tuesday 6th February with an assembly to get the pupils thinking!

The theme this year is ‘Inspiring change and making a difference’. Pupils have been asked to think about what they would change to make the internet a safer, kinder place for all.

During the week, pupils have been taking part in a range of activities, from designing positive tech of the future, to talking about the positive and negative effects of social media ‘influencers’.

Hopefully, this generation will leave the World Wide Web a better place than they found it!

Mrs Robertson, Head of Computing



Florence E for working independently and accurately to find ways of making 14 this week

Peter C for great understanding and involvement during our lesson on repeating pattern

Zohan A for being kind and thoughtful towards his friends

Michael S for constructing and writing a fabulous sentence when writing about ‘the things I love’

Edwin L for great use of digraphs when independently writing about ‘the things I love’

Rain K for working hard to make the right choices

Arthur L for enthusiasm towards his learning

Leo V for listening carefully and working hard to improve his handwriting

Harry S for making excellent progress with his reading

Walter B for being so enthusiastic about his reading books and reading with confidence, fluency and great expression

Gabriella A for fantastic independence and resilience in all areas of her learning

Archie F for independently writing his own sentences based on ‘A New Home for a Pirate’

Owen J for showing good understanding of our work on double numbers

Arius G for using his knowledge of repeated addition to multiply numbers to find an answer

Isla E for using lovely description when writing about her first day in space

Florrie B for excellent descriptive work when writing a diary entry as Neil Armstrong

Jenson D for excellent descriptive work when writing a diary entry as Neil Armstrong

Aliénor D for fantastic effort and progress in Swimming

Danny S for amazing ideas and descriptive phrases in his diary entry as Neil Armstrong

Henry M for his passion and infectious enthusiasm in all lessons and areas of school life 

Jude S for excellent work on chronological order when creating a timeline of Neil Armstrong's life


House Point Certificates 

Dover: Gabriella A 


Times Tables Certificates 

Bronze Times Tables Certificate: Hugo E

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Head's Stars

Alvie G  for writing a wonderful rainforest themed group poem and working collaboratively to upgrade his use of vocabulary and figurative language

Marianne B for writing a wonderful rainforest themed group poem and working collaboratively to upgrade her use of vocabulary and figurative language

Issac O for writing a wonderful rainforest themed group poem and working collaboratively to upgrade his use of vocabulary and figurative language

Sophie N for using her initiative and writing an amazing letter in the perspective of an evacuee

Evie S for a very detailed and thorough fieldwork project based on the field trip in October

Ella M for a very detailed and thorough fieldwork project based on the field trip in October

Louisa W for a very detailed and thorough fieldwork project based on the field trip in October

Amelia A for a very detailed and thorough fieldwork project based on the field trip in October

Tilly L for a very detailed and thorough fieldwork project based on the field trip in October

Charlie W for a very detailed and thorough fieldwork project based on the field trip in October

Noah L for always embodying the five learning behaviours that we are striving for

Amelia M for being a great Senior Eco Leader in Eco Committee and helping in the eco assembly

Andrij Z  for being a great Senior Eco Leader in Eco Committee and helping in the eco assembly

Beatrice B for effective use of language, repetition and layout in her narrative poem


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Players of the match - week commencing 5th February 2024







Elizabeth A


Sophie F

For excellent defending and brilliant interceptions

For great attacking play up the court


Whole team

For reaching the Semi-Finals of their tournament

U11C/ U10D

Nicole C

Lucia A

Voted for by opposition

Voted for by opposition


Anna W

Voted for by opposition


Sophie N

Voted for by opposition


Scarlett M

Voted for by opposition

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6th Feb Hive collage

This week in the Breakfast Club we have enjoyed yummy bacon and turkey rasher rolls, whilst in the Hive we have made a tasty dairy-free pizza as well as a delicious ham, tomato, pepperoni and cheese pizza.

We have also had a great time constructing dens and Lego models, with an occasional marble run thrown in.

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Isla's kindness recognised by the King!

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Congratulations to Isla in Year 3 who has received royal recognition for her kindness to wildlife.

Writing to Isla on Friday 19th January, the Head of Royal Correspondence for King Charles III said: "The King has asked me to thank you for your interesting letter. His Majesty is very glad that you and your family were able to rescue the bird which flew into your home and take it to the vet. The King is deeply passionate about the natural world and was heartened by your appreciation and care for garden wildlife."

We are very proud of you Isla for showing such care!

Espen and Ilse impress at Chichester Music Festival

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Congratulations to Espen and Ilse A who both won their classical guitar classes at the recent Chichester Music Festival where they were highly commended by the adjudicator, Paul Gregory. 

Both Ilse and Espen performed brilliantly and won their classes with distinction.

Isabelle stars in Thumbelina

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Year 5 pupil Isabelle has wowed audiences in a local production of Thumbelina over the past two weeks.

Keep up the amazing acting, Isabelle!

Luke sails to sea cadet success

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Well done to Year 5 pupil Luke for his recent success in the Sea Cadets 5 Aside Football league.

A few weeks ago, Luke and his team mates played against various teams and won the Area Cup. They then went onto the District Finals and won all three games, achieving 2-0 in the Quarter-Finals, an impressive 6-0 in the Semi-Finals and ending with a tense 2-1 score in the Final. 

Luke and his team were crowned Junior Champions in both the District and Area leagues for the London Southern District.

A huge congratulations to Luke and his team!

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Half Term staff sports camps

Mr Thomas' February Half Term Hockey Camp

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

Monday 12th February

Tuesday 13th February

Please click here to book.

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Can you spot an Asian Hornet this half term?

Mr Edwards, our Catering Manager, and St Michael's Eco Club would like to encourage the St Michael's community to look out for Asian Hornets and report them via the Asian Hornet App. 

Asian Hornet notice


Otford Village Fete 2024 programme competition

Copy of Rocks Day collage

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.