St Michael's
Church of England Primary School

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Enabling every child to flourish in their potential as a child of God

About St Michael

St Michael is one of the three archangels named in the bible (the others being Gabriel and Raphael).  Michael means “Who is like God” and it is St Michael who symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.  St Michael is recorded in the Book of Revelation as the leader of the angels who fight against the dragon (Satan) and throw him out of heaven. The Church honours St Michael and all the Angels on the 29th September.

History of St Michael’s School

St Michael’s school was founded in 1871 in what is now the Junior school, although it is believed that children were not admitted to the school until the following year.  In its early days there were in fact three schools at the site, each with its own headteacher: a girls school, a boys school and an infants school.  The school expanded quickly from its original size and in 1896 the infants school moved into new buildings on the other side of Champion Crescent where it remains until this day.  At that time, it is recorded that there were 206 children in the Infants school, 192 in the Boys school and 179 in the Girls school – a total of 577.  Luckily attendance was not compulsory and was somewhat erratic, so it was very unlikely that everyone attended every day.

In the early years of the school, Empire Day (24th May) was regularly (marked with a celebration) celebrated with the singing of patriotic songs and waving of flags.  In 1909, the school had its own Rifle Corps under command of Captain Flewry.  The Corps fired a salute and then led a march past of the Union Flag with the whole school following them.

Not a lot is recorded of the school during the First World War although twenty former pupils were among the many who died during this frightful conflict.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, pupils met at the school to walk to the railway station where they travelled by train to East Grinstead as part of the evacuation arrangements. The church was hit by a bomb during a night raid in the Blitz, destroying it and badly damaging the vicarage and also causing damage to many other houses in Champion Crescent.  The church was rebuilt during the 1950s and part of the foundations of the old church (the rounded East end) now forms the outline for the current school hall.

In later years, the school expanded to 315 pupils with 45 in each year group.  In 2007 however, the decision was taken to reduce the intake to one form of 30 children per year so that more space would be available to enable the school to provide more targeted learning to small groups of children.

About our Houses

The school is organised into four different houses. When your child enters the school, they will be placed in a house. Our houses are named after people who were of significant interest in 1871, the year our school was founded.

Wright (blue)

Named after the American, brother pioneer aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright being born in 1871. The brothers are credited with inventing and building the World’s first successful aeroplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight in December 1903.

Nightingale (red)

Named after the nurse, Florence Nightingale, who did such pioneering work with wounded soldiers in the Crimean War and the Franco-Prussian war, which ended in 1871.

Livingstone (green)

Named after the famous Victorian explorer David Livingstone who was found in 1871 by fellow explorer Stanley after having been considered lost and presumed dead in Africa.

Patteson (yellow)

Named after Bishop John Coleridge Patteson, a missionary in the Polynesian islands who was killed in 1871 having being mistaken by native islanders as a slave trader. Having realised their mistake, they accorded a traditional island ‘burial’ to Bishop Patteson setting his body in a canoe to return to his ship. The islanders subsequently established a very devout Christian community.

Church Inspections

All Church of England dioceses and the Methodist Church use the Church of England Education Office's framework for the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005.  The SIAMS Evaluation Schedule sets out the expectations for the conduct of the Statutory Inspection of Anglican, Methodist and ecumenical Schools under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005.

Purpose and focus of SIAMS inspections:

SIAMS inspection focuses on the impact of the Church school's Christian vision on pupils and adults. This involves looking at the school’s Christian vision, the provision the school makes because of this vision and how effective this provision is in enabling all pupils to flourish. Church schools will employ a variety of strategies and styles appropriate to, and reflective of, their particular context in order to be distinctively and effectively Christian in their character and ethos. SIAMS inspectors therefore do not look for a set template of what a Church school should be like, but rather take the particular context of the school into account and base their evaluation on the outcomes rather than the process.

The Evaluation Schedule has one inspection question: how effective is the school’s distinctive Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling pupils and adults to flourish?

This is explored through seven strands:

  1. Vision and Leadership
  2. Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills 
  3. Character Development: Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy
  4. Community and Living Well Together
  5. Dignity and Respect
  6. The impact of collective worship
  7. The effectiveness of religious education

One overall grade is awarded reflecting the contribution of these strands to the flourishing of pupils and adults in a Church school. In addition a standalone grade is awarded in all schools for collective worship and in voluntary aided (VA) schools and former VA schools for religious education (RE). This grade is based on teaching and learning alone.

A copy of the latest report can be found in the ‘Achievement & Performance’ part of the website.

St Michael’s Church

The church stands next to the school and is regularly used by the school for weekly collective worship led by a member of the clergy, as well as other school functions and activities.

In 2012 the parish merged with a neighbouring parish and is now officially known as the Parish of Forest Hill St George with Lower Sydenham St Michael and All Angels. Revd Ifeanyi Chukuka is the vicar for St Michael's.

For information regarding services or to arrange baptisms, weddings or funerals, see the notice board outside the church in Champion Crescent or contact Revd Ifeanyi

Telephone: 020 3601 7026