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Steven Chen's Visit

Towards the end of term we had a visit from Steven Chen, one of our students from the years 2002-2002.  Maths teacher Mr. Davies and Head of Marketing Janine Faulkner remember him well.  In fact, his name has been mentioned in the staff room from time to time over the intervening years.  Mr. Davies takes up the story.  “Steven was the first boy to get an A Star in Maths at GCSE.  Later on, he also gained the best A level results for his time.”  His former Maths teacher also adds: “He had an impish sense of humour and you had to watch him at times.” 

Steven now works in the International Business Department of the Hong Kong Metro system.  He made the trip over to see his former teachers and have dinner with the host family with whom he lived with when he was a student here.  “It was great to see them again” said Steven.  “This trip was launched to bring back memories.”

Talent Show 2017

“Is excitement contagious?”
Jessica, who was one of our back-stage co-ordinators and maximum power source took a look out at the front stage and audience.  She then announced to the trembling performers who were biting their nails backstage, that “the electricity out there was already at levels not to be found on the National Grid”.  No pressure then.
To break the tension Nashm, soon to be a rising star himself, suggested watching a movie and began to move the large TV screen into the optimum position for chilling horizontally.
MC Boril meanwhile shuffled his cue cards in a business-like fashion.  Nashm gave up on the TV and rapped surreptitiously into his phone accompanying himself with grandiloquent gestures.  Dancers limbered up, with hydration devices prominent in the hands of the more athletic performers. 
The arrival of Mrs King, Choir Mistress Extraordinaire, was heralded by whispers of anticipation, and the choral ensemble retired to a corner for some serious breathing.  The MCs took up a huddle, like quarterbacks planning their moves on the cusp of their team’s fate.  Mr. Fountaine came to finalise stage directions with Jessica.  Egor, all the while in deep chill underneath a baseball cap gazed out of the window onto a sunlit vista…
Out Front
I was just in time to catch the opening as the MCs made a very professional introduction.  The curtains then opened to the choir.  Clad in plaid, this sorority lifted us with soft, lilting voices, referring to a flashlight ‘to light their way’ and even ‘to help them through the day’ or something similar.  Obviously enjoying themselves, with big smiles they won a burst of hearty applause.
The role of the MCs was quite interesting as Boril boogied onto the stage to introduce Valilisa and Robert who then introduced the next act.
Which was Nashm.
Yeh, yeh.  I’m standing here rocking my brains in a h-h-h- hurricane.  Now check it.” 
His carefully-coordinated moves matched a phenomenal sense of rhythm.
Martin showed particular dexterity in manoeuvring his yo-yos.  For three years he has performed and as he is A2 this will be his valedictory concert.  Something to haunt him in years to come?
You remember we talked about Egor earlier.  He of the deepest of cool demeanours?  Well, straight out of the icebox of his own construction, Egor erupted onto the stage like magma breaking the surface of a mountain in Kamchatka.  Yet behind the dance, gestures and rap tune with which he worked the warmly-responsive audience, he seemed to retain a hip, unreachable cool.
A sudden complete mood change.  A deep indigo-coloured piano sound swelled from the stage, filling the common room.  A nearby friend from Tenbury High captured our hearts in simple chordal changes, slipping then to soft, melodious fluttering’s.  “Ending on the 4th note of the scale,” noted Mrs King, “giving it an unfinished quality.”
Leaf danced up a storm, twirling and whirling.  Even her hair took up a posture.  Would she run out of energy before the song’s conclusion?  Apparently not.  She took it at full pelt, and accepted her well-deserved applause on her knees.
The dance troupe composed of Frista, Jasmine and Alina showed a disciplined sense of choreography throughout their dance number.
Sergio Leone seemed to set the mood with thunderous rhythms suggesting the untamed prairies.  The mood built against a curtained backdrop, halted, and then changed abruptly.  “ullo” Mr. Fountaine greeted us as the curtains opened.  Smoke filled the stage.  The Acid Flowers were out there, live, dangerous and looking for trouble.  As the female Flowers shrugged nonchalant shoulders in time to the music, Mr Fountaine belted out the lead vocal and the ensemble rocked the talent show to its conclusion.
All the performers then joined in a final sing-song and took individual bows.  Ivan set off an explosive flapper to round off the song which proved “only 30% delightful” he admitted to me later as we swept and hoovered.  The 70% part was fright at how powerful it was.  But it resulted in a glorious confetti-filled atmosphere (floor and hair included). 

Paris Trip

We set off on a four-day trip to Paris.  It was a very long journey, but we finally made it and what a great first impression. Everyone’s mouths were wide open in shock at Paris’s beauty.
The best part of the entire visit was our trip to Euro Disney! Before we set off for the park, we started our day off with breakfast and a business Studies session where we learnt about the way Euro Disney was built, why it was built in Paris and the difficulties that came up along the way.
Once we arrived at the park, it felt like we were a part of a fairy-tale. It made us feel like children again, just like Peter Pan.  There were lots of fast rides - which we couldn’t stop ourselves from going on.  We were surrounded by the Disney magic.  Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage, Mad Hatters tea cups, the enchanting Disney castle and all of our favourite characters surrounded us.  With a little pinch of pixie dust, we were a part of a world full of wonder.
The following day, it was a whole new experience.  We set off for an adventure around the streets of Paris. We got to visit the most popular sights and be part of the latest fashion trends. We went to see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe where we took thousands of pictures – memories to last a lifetime. Everything about the city was chic and elegant.
It was an amazing experience that none of us will ever forget. It made us feel great and actually experience what we see on the pages of thousands of magazines.  We got to live a dream.

NCS Graduation

- by Dani

After lots of hard work we all put into raising around £470 with the Student-Staff football match and the staff carwash, we were granted the long expected NCS Graduation dinner.

The evening started around 6pm. We all got dressed up smartly and made our way to the venue where the NCS staff were waiting to welcome and walk us in. We arrived at the venue and the atmosphere was perfect for us. We were handed our starter cocktails and made our way to our tables.

After a small introduction from the CEO of the school and the marketing managers of the NCS programme, 3 very brave students - Anas, Leonardo and Khoi - gave a small speech about their experience they had on the programme. After the certificates were handed out, it was time for the Disco! The DJ created a dance battle where Todd and Jessica ended up in a tie. Students were able to challenge the winners and we all had so much fun. I personally was walking around with a camera in my hands, visually documenting every moment of the evening.

To conclude, it was a great night and an even greater overall experience when we realised how much fun we had whilst learning a lot of new things. We all did great and look forward to more experiences like this in the future!

NCS Charity Fair

The charity event turned out to be more successful than was anticipated. There was a good turn out. The townspeople were delightful. It was freezing cold but the locals made lunch for us - we were very grateful. We sold paintings, 'positive boxes' and cups. There was face-painting, a magic show and Simram did some fortune telling.

Charity Football Match: Students Vs Staff

Match preview: Comments from staff and students:

This is an event organised by the pupils on the National Citizenship Service.  A lot of discussion and preparation has gone into this match to be held this Wednesday. Various members of staff have volunteered their services, in spite of being out of practice in many cases.  Housemaster Mr. Glare admitted himself that he has not put boot to leather in a good while.  He said however that he feels very fit and ready for the fray.

Pupils are also excited about this event.  Stoyan says that he intends to support the teachers.

The match will run simultaneously with a staff car wash outside the Science Block.  Those wishing to have their cars clean as a whistle will have to pay £3 for the service.  This will go to charity.  But “we’re only doing the exterior” added Jessica.

Match afterview: Comments from staff and students:

Through on and off drizzle that slowly soaked both pitch and players, both students and staff looked as though they really enjoyed it. The power seemed to rest with the staff, whilst speed and agility favoured the younger players.  Staff and students worked well as a team and a community spirit seemed to be taking root among the spectators. It was all in good cause and funds were collected for charity.  Well done to the NCS students who organised it.

The staff Car Wash also went well, with students wielding detergents and hoses and seeming to get quite wet in the process themselves. Many staff drove home in shiny clean vehicles that evening and more money was raised for charity.

Excursion to London

It was great.  The weather seemed a little grim but added to the romantic image of ‘Foggy Albion’ with street lamps .  There were lots of Christmas decorations and a seasonal market on the South Bank of the Thames.  Crowds packed Oxford Street and Leicester Square.  A host of runaway Santas gave voice to carols…


Carol Celebration

As Mr. Higgins remarked at the outset, the Carol Celebration is now a tradition at Saint Michael’s dating back ten years.  Indeed, A2 pupils arrived eager to give voice to songs they had perhaps first practised in GCSE 1.  There was a lot of merry fa-la-la-ing and encouragement to hear herald angels.  The Christmas tree…


Practicing for perfection

by Frista Gradica, Albania Christmas Carol.  No wonder it sounds so festive.  It is one of the best parts of the year.  Everyone wants to participate, whether it is in the choir, carol reading or helping with the decorations. Choir is one of the most inspiring activities.  It guides every student throughout the song.  Everyone…


NCS Excursion

by Nevena Doknic, Serbia The government organised an excursion for A Level students which was divided into four parts.  The first part was taken in SMC and it was about what NCS is and why it is so important.  NCS stands for National Citizen Service. The second part was in Grantham in a leisure park. …


SI-UK University Fair

by Abdulrahman Amir Ahmed The SI-UK University Fair is the largest University fair in the UK designed for EU and International students applying to UK universities. It was an important event that Saint Michael’s College took advantage of, with students filled with enthusiasm and high expectations. The Fair took place on 12th November in the…


Daring Visitor comes to Saint Michael’s

Monday 14th saw the arrival at Saint Michael’s of an unusual visitor.  Carved from aristocratic stock and related to Spanish royalty, Count Alvaro de Marichalar regaled A level and Foundation pupils with tales of bravery across an unforgiving landscape – the Atlantic Ocean. “Don’t complain about life, just get on with it” was a message that…


Table football competition

by Nashem Al Khadour Rather than sending a journalist to cover this competition we sent a poet instead.  This is what our student Nashm came up with:         “Table football What a game.  Elgar won What a shame. Bending the rules, While people hoped They would trip on their shoes. Nonetheless, the…


ISSA football competition

by Mostafa H. We went to London and the weather was quite cold.  We played 5 matches and lost all of them, but we gained experience, a sense that we were all contributing and doing all we could.  Mr. Glare and Simon were motivating us and the common motivating phrase from Mr Glare is “Come…