Weekly.Newsletter Friday 22nd September 2023

A year at St Michael's banner

From the Head

Dear Parents,

Whilst the weather has changed this week, joy, resilience and teamwork have remained strong at St Michael’s as we’ve enjoyed a week of enriching lessons, activities and sports fixtures. 

Last Saturday we hosted an Under 11 5-a-side Football Tournament which we were delighted to welcome nine local schools to. Thank you to the Sports Department for hosting this successful event and our Estates Team for all of their hard work in preparing our site and pitches. All boys displayed great determination and sportsmanship. 

In this week’s newsletter we have introduced a Behind the Scenes section to highlight some of the work our dedicated staff team carries out every day to make St Michael’s the brilliant place that it is. We begin with a round-up of the many maintenance and development projects our Estates Team completed over the summer holidays. 

We have welcomed more of you into school for year group Coffee Mornings and Parent Information Evenings this week to meet your children’s new teachers and gain a better understanding of the year ahead at St Michael’s. Thank you for attending these events which are pivotal in ensuring that communication between home and school is strong and your child gains the very most from their St Michael’s journey. 

On the sports fields, we have celebrated success as our U11A boys finished 3rd in the IAPS Regional Football Tournament following their success at the ISFA Regional Football Tournament last Wednesday when they made it to the Quarter-Finals. Congratulations to these boys who have showed tremendous effort in both events. 

Meanwhile, our U13 boys came runners-up at the New Beacon 7-a-side Football Tournament last Saturday, showcasing remarkable progress and resilience during a tough series of matches. We look forward to seeing all of our pupils grow in their football skills this term in what hints to be a promising season. 

In the Drama Room, Mr Powell has been busy auditioning Prep pupils for our next School Play, A Monster Calls which the cast list has been published for this week. Congratulations to these pupils and all who auditioned; we look forward to seeing the production come to life over the next couple of terms. 

We have ended the week with our International Club Coffee Morning today which saw St Michael's families of different nationalities gather together with both new and familiar members of the group. Thank you to our International Club Chair Bianca Steinhardt for organising this event which was well attended and a wonderful celebration of our community.

Next week we look forward to European Day of Languages in the Prep school, school photography day and our first School Council meeting of the academic year. 

Wishing you a brilliant weekend ahead,

Nik Pears 

From the Head of Pre-Prep


Dear Parents,

It’s been a busy week with children now becoming established in the routines of their new classes. Nursery children experienced Nursery without their parents for the first time this week and the Nursery Team have been thrilled with the way the children were able to access PE and Music lessons in the Hall and the Music Room rather than in the Nursery Room.

Talking to Reception and Kindergarten parents over coffee earlier in the week, it was good to hear so many positive comments about the start of term. Parking in the morning remains an issue so my plea is to please park considerately. Do not use the gravel car park as this is for staff only and it will be unlikely that there are spaces available in this area.

Mr Baird, Mrs Taylor and I were at a Child Protection Conference on Wednesday. It is always a tough day but incredibly important, with lots of information about legalities for schools in safeguarding our children. Please be aware that Mr Baird and I are the Designated Safeguarding Leads for the Prep and Pre-Prep so feel free to talk to us about any concerns you may have around the safety and wellbeing of any child.

Next week we have parent workshops for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 parents in English and Phonics teaching. Each workshop starts at 8.45am and will finish by 9.30am. Coffee will be served in the Pre-Prep Dining Room. Year 2 on Monday 25th September, Year 1 on Wednesday 27th September and Reception on Thursday 28th September.

On Tuesday 26th September we have flu immunisation taking place in our Dining Room so please ensure you have been in contact with the NHS if you wish your child to take part in this nasal spray.

Wendy Halford from Swanley Trussell Trust Foodbank will be joining us in assembly on Wednesday to explain to the children the work of a foodbank and the importance of collecting food and toiletries for people who need a helping hand. We will send out the list of items most needed by the foodbank in plenty of time for our Harvest Festival.

Next week will finish with the photographers in to take individual and family group photos. This is a mammoth operation logistically so only those children who are attending on Friday (Nursery & Kindergarten) will be photographed. Please send your child in looking extra polished and including their blazers for their school photo.


Overheard in Pre-Prep:

Child 1: "I have a sausage dog."

Child 2: "What! Do you eat your dog?"


Have a lovely weekend,


Zerrin Leech


River R for being a very kind and caring friend when his classmates need help

Leo E for wonderful enthusiasm and participation during all our activities

Arianna O for wonderful perseverance when writing cursive letters

Dilly E for always listening carefully and following instructions beautifully

Hugo A for his wonderful sounding out and trying really hard to write his letters cursively

Sofia B for being such a happy and hardworking member of our class

Alexander S for demonstrating impeccable manners at all times and being a fantastic role model to others

Phoebe D for beautiful writing on her peace dove for International World Peace Day

Lucas T for demonstrating a wonderful work ethic and setting a great example to others

Noah M for super writing using adjectives to describe Bertie Bear

Mason M for working hard, making good choices and being a great example to the class

Lottie B for writing detailed sentences about Mog

Arius G for his amazingly detailed and beautifully coloured Ndebele Art patterns

Freya E for writing a descriptive diary entry about Sunny's adventures around our school

Hattie R for a beautifully presented and detailed story road, retelling Meerkat Mail

Dan L for excellent explanations during our Maths lessons on place value

Billy C for having a great attitude towards reading

Evelyn T for excellent handwriting and presentation


Ella M for a very detailed and thorough river flood project

Evie S for a very detailed and thorough river flood project

Harry B for a very detailed and thorough river flood project

Amelia A for a very detailed and thorough river flood project

Tilly L for a very detailed and thorough river flood project

Amelia M for a very detailed and thorough river flood project

Bronwyn T for a very detailed and thorough river flood project

Florence L for a very detailed and thorough river flood project

Louisa W for a very detailed and thorough river flood project

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Players of the Match - week commencing 18th September

Team Name Reason
U13 Senior 1st team Harry B Oliver S Scoring a long-range goal Good resilience and determination throughout the whole game
U13 Senior 2nd team Jamie D Incisive runs and hard work on the wing
Colts A Whole team Excellent play together as a unit
Colts B Whole Team Excellent play especially in the second half
Colts C Whole Team Great defensive work as a unit
Colts D Felix H Outstanding defensive performance
Colts E Zack E Great work rate and a brilliant goal
Colts F Viggo W Theo H Great goalkeeping Incisive outfield play
U9A  Alex C Incredible hard work in defence
U9B Stanley H Zach R Excellent goalkeeping Excellent work in defence
U9C Bonham B Incredible defending and good passing
U8A Zach V Outstanding defending and reading of the game
U8B Ben C Voted for by opposition
U8C Asher B For great understanding of space
U8D James H Voted for by opposition
U13 Senior 1st team Ella M Erica W Voted for by opposition and excellent attacking play Scoring an amazing 6 goals
U13 Senior 2nd team Tilly L Excellent play/voted for by opposition
U13 Senior 3rd team Mikayla M Excellent ball awareness
Colts A Alex S Great goalkeeping
Colts B Abigail T Isobel E Voted for by opposition For great play
Colts C Chisombei O Voted for by opposition
Colts D Jess P Voted for by opposition
Colts E Ava M Annabella S Both these girls for fantastic in defence
Colts F Nicole C Excellent attacking play
U9A Sophia E Ellie S Scoring 5 goals Voted for by opposition
U9B Krisha P Excellent defensive work
U9C Gwyneth H Voted for by opposition
U9D Gabrielle O Voted for by opposition
U8A Amy H Voted for by opposition
U8B Nzu O For resilience and good skills
U8C Charlotte D Scoring in the match and good play
U8D Chloe S Playing well in the match

A Message from the Deputy Head


In the Prep school, it is the expectation that children, when they arrive in school, are wearing either their blazer or school coat. It is very much up to the child and their family which one, depending on the weather of the day, but the expectation is that they are wearing one or the other.

We have seen a recent change in weather, but there were 30+ children this morning on the playground at 8am in just their shirt/blouse or cardigan/jumper.

All children in Years 3 to 6 must wear the black, fleece-lined school uniform coat (if wearing a coat). Only the children in Years 7 and 8 have permission to wear a non-uniform coat to school.

8am arrival

Please do not send your children to start walking to the playground before 7.58am. Allowing 2 minutes to walk approxamitely 200m is more than enough. The playground is not supervised before 8am as staff are in the building preparing lessons for the day ahead.

Entry and exit from the school site in cars

Please be aware that vehicles attempting to enter the school site from the top of Row Dow must take a much wider turn, to be able to come around the entry junction. When the queue of traffic exiting the site is very slow moving or stationary, please allow space in front of your vehicle, if you are almost at the junction with Row Dow. This will allow any cars waiting to turn into the school the space to do so, while you are unable to move forward anyway.

Mr Wiseman, Deputy Head (Pastoral)

School photographs - Friday 29th September

A reminder that school photographs will be taken next Friday. More details to follow via email.


Harvest Festival - Friday 6th October

We will be celebrating Harvest Festival at St Michael's with dedicated assemblies on the morning of Friday 6th October. We will also be making a collection for the Swanley Trussell Trust Foodbank and the Loaves and Fishes Foodbank in Sevenoaks.

A more detailed list of the foodstuffs and hygiene products that the foodbanks would love to have will be posted in the newsletter next week.

Prep European Day of Languages 2023


Dear Parents,

In the Prep school we will be celebrating European Day of Languages on Tuesday 26th September. We are inviting the children to wear an accessory representing a different country, such as a flag, a flagsticker/drawing, a scarf or ribbon. Please note that children should still wear normal school uniform. The wearing of an accessory is optional but we would love to see everyone celebrating.

During the school day, children will attend an assembly where they will be given the chance to discover some of the 6000+ languages spoken around the world. Teachers will try their best to greet children in a different language and our Catering Team will cook an international meal.

We look forward to having some multilingual fun.

Kind regards,

Madame Poracchia

Head of Languages

European Day of Languages - Wikipedia

Harvest Festival donations

We will be celebrating Harvest Festival next Friday 6th October.Please find below a list of the food and hygiene items the Trussell Trust foodbank needs. We will also be making a contribution to the Loaves and Fishes Foodbank in Sevenoaks.


The foodbank has enough cereal, pasta and tea so please do not donate these items.

On Wednesday, Pre-Prep were delighted to welcome Wendy Halford and Lynne Grove from Swanley's Trussell Trust foodbank to speak to the children about the charity's work. During the assembly they showed the children a variety of food and hygiene items that they are in need of including tinned fruits and vegetables, pasta sauce, biscuits, UHT milk and laundry detergent. They also explained that as they don't have any fridges at the foodbank, canned and longlife products are the best to donate. Pre-Prep donations: We are happy to receive any items from Monday 2nd October onwards, up until the start of the school day on Friday 6th October. Please can items be bought in a carrier bag or box for ease of transportation and if they could be dropped off at the Pre-Prep Office. Prep donations: We will only be accepting donations to the Prep Harvest collection on Friday 6th October, please do not bring them in earlier in the week. Donations should be brought to the alcove outside the Prep Reception entrance.


A reminder to buy your child's Prize Giving photograph

Your children's Prep Prize Giving photographs from our July 2023 ceremony are still available to buy and would not only make the perfect memoir of your child's achievements, but could also make a brilliant Christmas present for loved ones this year.

Please contact Gillman & Soame at enquiries@gillmanandsoame.co.uk if you have not received login details and would like to order. You will then be provided with the information required to view and order on the Gillman & Soame website.  

Fairy Tree Damage

We are sorry to share that the doors and windows of our special Fairy Tree have been damaged.

Please reassure your children that we are trying to find some magic to fix the tree so the fairies can move back in and we can visit them again soon.

Fairy Tree collage



School Play cast announced

We are excited to announce the cast list for our 2024 School Play, A Monster Calls. We wish the cast and crew the best of luck in their rehearsals and can't wait to see the show in action next year:  


A Monster Calls cast list

Conor: Theo S

The Monster: Oliver S

Mum: Florence L

Grandma: Belinda B

Dad: Anrij Z

Harry: Mikayla M

Sully: Lucy A

Anton: Jack C

Claire: Maggie B

Lily: Clara H

Miss Godfrey: Matilda M

Mr Marl: Aiden G


  Yews 1-8 (plus school kids/villagers etc.)

Yew 1/ King: Theo H

Yew 2/ Prince: George W

Yew 3/ Queen: Isabelle D

Yew 4/ Farmer’s Daughter: Isabel E

Yew 5/ Apothecary: Oliver N

Yew 6/ Parson: Finley S

Yew 7/ Parson’s Daughter 1/ Doctor/ Chippie Couple: Amelia M

Yew 8/ Parson’s Daughter 2/ Nurse/ Chippie Couple: Ella M

Colts A team give 100% effort in ISFA Regionals

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On Wednesday 15th September the St Michael’s U11A boys' football team travelled to Ardingly College to compete in ISFA Kent and Sussex Regional Football Tournament. It was a scorching hot day with bone dry pitches and the boys' fitness levels played a big part. The St Michael’s boys battled their way out of the group only losing one game and qualified for a Quarter-Final place.

In the Quarter-Finals St Michael's were drawn against St Christopher's and this proved a step too far. The St Michael’s boys played some good football and battled well on a huge pitch and the score line of 0-4 does not do our boys justice.

I am extremely proud of how the St Michael's boys played, always supporting each other, giving 100% effort in all of their matches. I look forward to watching this team grow as they play more games together. Well done boys.

Team: Cole D, George W, Herbie F, Michael M, Jimmy S, Nik B, Thomas G, William P and Adam J

U13s show resilience and skill in football Final

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On Saturday 16th September, the U13 Senior 1st team took part in the New Beacon 7-a-side Football Tournament. Despite a challenging start, the boys showcased remarkable character and emerged as the proud runners up of the Shield. 

They did well to progress from a tough group including the eventual winners and runners-up of the main cup competition. Losing a tough game to St Ronan’s in the Cup Quarter-Final then qualified them for the Semi-Final of the Shield. In a thrilling Semi-Final clash against Sevenoaks Prep, the boys exhibited tremendous courage and composure, ultimately securing their spot in the Final through a nail-biting penalty shootout. 

Although victory eluded them in the Final, the boys exhibited remarkable progress throughout the tournament and demonstrated great resilience after a challenging start in the group stages. 

Congratulations to everybody who took part! 

Mr Fuller, Games Teacher

Colts A team compete in IAPS Regional Semi-Finals

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Congratulations to the Colts A team who made it to the Semi-Finals of the IAPS Under 11 Boys' Regional Football Tournament held at Bede's School on Wednesday 20th September.

The boys finished 3rd in their group, qualifying for the Plate, and lost in the Semi-Final.

Team: Jimmy S, Nik B, Herbie F, Thomas G, George W, Cole D, Adam J, William P and Michael M.


News from the International Club

Coffee Morning catch-up

IC Coffee morning

Today the International Club hosted their first Coffee Morning of the school year. Thank you so much to everyone that joined us, it was lovely to see so many of you (old and new). At school we have families from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Ukraine, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, India, Singapore, Malaysia, USA, Mexico, Italy, Kazakhstan, Australia, Ireland and many others. St Michael’s truly is home to many different cultures and languages.

If anyone is interested in giving a 10-minute talk at a Pre-Prep assembly about their childhood and school in a foreign country, please do get in touch. It is a great way of teaching the children about different countries and cultures, helping to broaden their horizons.

Thank you to Mrs Leech and Mr Pears for welcoming everyone and making us feel at home.

Bianca Steinhardt



Hive 22nd Sept collage

Our patchwork throw is beginning to take shape. Smiles of delight have been on many faces as both the Breakfast Club and The Hive continue to love using the sewing machine.

Handprinted leaves and acorns have also been made as well as and a pair of fabric dungarees for one very smartly painted scarecrow.

Behind the Scenes


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We are excited to introduce a new section to the newsletter, Behind the Scenes. Each term we will be showcasing some of the important projects that are completed at St Michael's by our Estates, Operations and Admin Teams which you otherwise may not hear about. This week we are highlighting some of the projects completed by our Estates Team over the summer holidays which included: servicing moveable walls in our Drama and Dining Rooms; creating a Mini Hive in Pre-Prep; renovating hardwood floors and replacing carpets in Prep; LED lighting conversions; office refurbishments; servicing and completing MOTs on minibuses, vans and school cars; cleaning the Pre-Prep balcony; completing fencing at the Prep Pick-Up and Drop-Off area; replacing doors in and around the Junior Landing, restructuring classroom layouts and preparing our pitches for pupil return and the change of sport from athletics to football. Click here to see a thank you to our Estates Team from Mr Pears.

In the News


Adam's Cricket Festival success

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Congratulations to Adam in Year 5 who was selected to play for an invitational U11 Kent Invicta side over the summer holidays and played in two annual cricket festivals. The King's College Cricket Festival held in Taunton, Somerset and the Minor Counties Cricket Festival (MCCF) held in Ipswich, Suffolk.

Both festivals were held in August and spread over a 2 week period and were a mix of T20 matches and all day games of up 90 overs per match. Adam played against county sides including Somerset, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Middlesex Schools and a touring side from the USA. Even though Adam was at the U9 age group and playing up two age groups at county level, he performed well including a top score of 25 runs and best bowling figures of 2 wickets for 11 runs which was in a T20 match.

Keep up the brilliant cricket, Adam!


Eva discovers her inner astronaut

E and the Astronauts

Last weekend Year 6 pupil Eva had an exciting day assisting her mum in the BBC Studios during recordings of upcoming podcast Discover your Inner Astronaut. 

She spent the day listening to and chatting with astronauts Helen Sharman and Nicole Stott and was even lucky enough to get their autographs.   Eva said she found the day "exciting" and "a great experience". She learnt that Helen was the first ever British astronaut to travel into space and that Nicole spent 104 days living in space.  

va was excited to tell her Science teacher Mrs Neylan about the experience during her lesson on Monday and says she wants to be a scientist or astronaut when she grows up. 

We look forward to listening to the podcast when it is live later this year and seeing impact it has on our aspiring scientists.      



Xander's perfume hits all the right notes

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Year 7 pupil Xander impressed teachers with his carefully crafted Lily of the Valley scent this week following a course at the Molinard Perfumery. 

Given a selection of 90 aromas to choose from, Xander combined a variety of smells to create a fresh, lasting perfume.   Xander said: “We learnt about the different notes in perfumes and how different parts of the scent, which are the heart and base notes, can be smelt at different times whilst wearing them.” 

Eager to gain feedback on his newly-made perfume, Xander trialled the fragrance on his St Michael’s teachers Madame Poracchia and Mrs Baisch. 

Very impressed by the perfume, Madame Poracchia said: “Xander has clearly worked very hard making this. It has an elegant and flowery scent which I would happily wear.”  Mrs Baisch also loved the perfume and said: “The workshop seems like an exciting and creative thing to do.”  


Jessica's begins her ballet journey

Ballet achievement

Congratulations to Jessica in Year 1 who took her  pre-primary ballet exam with the Royal Academy of Dance before summer and after a long wait, has received her certificate and medal, confirming a pass. She is now continuing to work hard towards her next exam.

Keep up the amazing ballet, Jessica!

Send us your stories!

Has your child won an award, passed an extra-curricular exam or accomplished something exciting recently? We love celebrating our pupils’ amazing achievements and want to showcase them in our weekly newsletter. Email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk to submit your child’s achievement.

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