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St Michael`s School
Otford Court, TN14 5SA, UK Sevenoaks
+44 (0)1959 522137
www:http://www.stmichaels.kent.sch.uk/e-mail:

Welcome

Welcome to the St Michael's School website. St Michael's Otford is a thriving, friendly school in a superb setting. We offer a fully co-educational, all-round preparatory education of the highest standard in a caring, family community.

Please feel free to explore the pages of the site to get a feel for our special school.

In this section, you will find a message from the Headmaster, Mr Keith Crombie, a brief history of the school itself, some details of the facilities we enjoy on the site and details of our most recent IAPS inspection.

Should you have any queries or would like further information, or perhaps you would like to visit the school, please contact our school office on 01959 522137.

PRE-PREP

The attractive red-brick buildings of the estate's former stable block provide a homely and secure environment for the Nursery and Pre-Prep departments. Purpose-designed pre-school and infant areas, bright clasrooms and a spacious hall for assemblies and activities overlook a cobbled courtyard and walled garden.

A large, long-serving and dedicated staff ensure individual and expert teaching and supervision. We foster participation, co-operation and mutual care in a spirit of joy in discovery to provide a firm foundation for literacy and numeracy. Children play, learn and progress together, mastering a wide variety of skills and making friends.

The St Michael's Pre-Prep department achieves very high standards and gives children a thoroughly rounded early learning experience. Year 2 pupils look forward to joining the Prep School with happy memories of early school life and the confidence to progress onto the next stage in their learning.

Pre-Prep Organisation

Our Pre-Prep department operates an open door policy which enables parents to have immediate daily contact with their child's class teacher.

The daily structure and organisation of the pre-prep is balanced between class time and play time with supervised breaks and a hot lunch catered for by the school's kitchen.

An extensive programme of activities follows most school days.

Pre-Prep Curriculum

A very well balanced curriculum provides opportunities for science, French, history, geography, RE, music, art, PSHE, physical education and games in addition to language and mathematics. Staff recognise the great importance of a varied approach to education and place equal emphasis on what is taught and how it is learnt. Specialist teaching in PE and music starts at the age of two.

PREP SCHOOL

 When children reach the main school at St Michael's they remain in small classes and continue to enjoy high levels of individual attention.  With a firm grounding in key skills, they are ready to benefit from the excellent facilities and specialist teaching of the Prep School.

As a non-selective school it is our aim to give everyone the best possible chance to gain knowledge and perform well. The staff to pupil ratio of 1:9 gives an exceptional quality of service and care in every aspect of academic and extra-mural activity.

Prep Curriculum

As in the Pre-Prep, the National Curriculum provides the basis of a much wider learning and teaching programme. Our dedicated and energetic staff plan and develop imaginative and stimulating teaching and learning programmes which integrate information technology wherever possible. A full timetable of single and multiple lessons covers English, mathematics, science, French, history, geography, religious studies, art, design technology, ICT, music, drama, PSHE, physical education and games. In the later years, science is taught as physics, chemistry and biology. Latin is introduced for some pupils and more independent study is incorporated. Setting is gradually implemented for core curriculum subjects and begins with spelling groups in Year 3. By Year 7 and 8 pupils are set for the four main subjects of English, mathematics, French and science.

A combination of whole class, individual and small group teaching methods facilitates learning and exploration across the curriculum. We monitor progress carefully and keep parents closely informed.

ADMISSIONS

The school aims to offer the best possible access to the curriculum for every pupil in its care. It is therefore necessary to have a full understanding of each pupil’s needs.

The first possible intake at St. Michael’s is into the Nursery where children have to be two years old by the 1st September of that academic year. There are 40 places available, inclusive of siblings, and parents can register their child for a potential place from the birth of their child onwards.

During the Michaelmas Term of the year preceding the academic year in which they are due to start, the first 40 children waiting for a place will be invited to visit the school with their parents. No more than six prospective pupils visit at any one time. Once all the visits are complete, firm offers of places will be given. 

Occasionally places become available higher up in the Pre-Prep department and, when such a vacancy arises, the next child on the waiting list will be invited to attend an experience day. An offer of a place will be made following a successful assessment. 

Candidates for entry at 7+ (Year 3) will be invited to the school for a short assessment which will include reading aloud, written English and a standardised maths test.  A recent report from their current school will be requested and offers of a place will be made soon afterwards if successful.  

If places become available higher up in Main School, that is Years 4 to 8, the next child on the waiting list will be invited to attend an experience day.  Again, parents are asked to complete a confidential family questionnaire prior to the visit.  The form teacher and, where applicable, subject teachers will observe the child and generally assess the pupil’s performance.  In addition the child may be asked to complete a piece of free writing unaided and a written mathematics test.  An offer of a place will be made following a successful assessment. 

Every prospective pupil’s case will be individually considered and therefore it is important we have all the relevant information to hand. Where the school feels confident that it can carry out its duty of care, a conditional offer of a place will be made subject to termly reviews. Parents may be asked to pay for any additional support offered to their child. 

If the needs of the pupil are greater than that for which the school can realistically provide, given the constraints of the school facilities, levels of staffing and expertise, etc. the school will inform the parents accordingly. While it is the school’s aim to remain non-selective, it has a responsibility to clearly define its parameters and we would be acting in breach of our duty to the child by accepting him/her as a pupil knowing that the school could not adequately safeguard and promote the child’s welfare (which includes meeting his/her additional educational need). 



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