Acting Head’s Blog 4th September 2020 Friday 4th September 2020

The excitement of a new school year is upon us, and this week it has been wonderful to re-connect with all colleagues and welcome some new faces to the team.

As part of our socially distanced whole school meeting on Wednesday, we thought about what we are most looking forward to this year. For many of us, it is embracing the ‘normality’ of school life, being in our grounds, and enjoying the small, funny and wonderful moments spent with the children supporting their growth, development, learning and happiness.

Security and stability are fundamental this year more than ever, and we look forward to working with you all to provide the very best for our mini (and not so mini!) Michaelians. Training in ‘bubble protocol’, school logistics, cleaning, safeguarding, first aid and lifeguarding has been attended and we are ready to kick off the year with what looks set to be a warm and sunny week. Hooray!

This newsletter will update you on final information for the start of the new school year as well as introducing our new members of staff. The logistics of the school day have been adapted in order to maximise safety whilst still providing the best, most exciting opportunities for the children to experience what St Michael’s can offer, both inside and outside of the classroom. We know that teamwork will continue to be an essential skill required by all and that listening, adjusting and adapting will be necessary as we find the rhythm in the new systems. Your feedback, questions and comments are always welcome.

Further updates on school systems and protocols can be found in the Pre-Prep and Prep parent handbooks which are ready to be sent home with your eldest child on Monday, so look out for that.

Each September we launch our school development plan which provides a framework and focus for our progression over the year ahead. This year we have three aims:

  1. Review what we have learnt from Covid-19 school closure and consider changes to further improve what we do
  2. Focus on equality and the understanding of diversity in the curriculum throughout the school
  3. Focus on well-being through promoting healthy strategies for mind and body with children, staff and parents

We look forward to sharing details of our developments in relation to these strands over the course of the academic year. An essential part of looking ahead and planning for the future requires reflection on what has previously worked well and what could have been even better. As part of our annual reflection, I invite you to read the Head’s Review of 2019-2020 which has been published on the school website today.

Here’s to the new year and the many opportunities that it brings. I look forward to seeing the children next week and hope that they feel refreshed and ready to go!

Have a fantastic weekend.

Mary Bridges

Latest News

 

 

 

Sunsets and sizzling sausages set the tone for the new term last Friday as Year 7 pupils celebrated the start of their senior education journey.

The annual event, traditionally held as a Camp Out, was delivered as a fun-filled barbecue night which the children enjoyed with teachers including St Michael’s Acting Head, Mrs Bridges.

Throughout the evening pupils tucked into dinner cooked by Deputy Head Mr Wiseman, and toasted marshmallows on an open fire.

And to make use of their new term energy, games and group bonding activites were carried out, followed by a walk up the school’s famous Warren where the sunset was relished in all of its glory.

Reflecting on the sucess of the event, Head of Year 7 and 8, Mrs Shield, said: “Unfortunately, we were unable to camp this year, but that did not dampen anybody’s spirits.

“One of the highlights of the evening was our twilight walk to the top of the Warren where we marvelled at the beautiful site that our school occupies.

“We viewed the bats swirling the skies in the dusk of late summer and ended the evening with a well-deserved hot chocolate – not forgetting the squirty cream and yet more marshmallows.

“Life-long friendships were made and re-established after the long summer break.”

This month St Michael’s Prep is celebrating the opening of its new Astro Turf pitch.

Completed during Summer 2020, the state-of-the-art facility will provide a huge boost to the school’s sporting facilities and allow it to offer a broader range of activities including boys hockey and football to its pupils.

Its floodlights will also enable St Michael’s to host sports matches during evenings, as well as inviting external schools and clubs to enjoy the new pitch throughout the year.

Ben Bridges, Director of Sports at St Michael’s, said: “We’re really excited to use the Astro Turf for the first time this month.

“We feel extremely lucky to be able to offer this to our pupils in both Prep and Pre-prep and are thrilled about the benefits it will bring to our sporting curriculum.

“As well as hockey, the new pitch will allow us to offer many other sports to pupils and will prevent the children from missing lessons due to inclement weather.”

Planning for the Astro Turf began in 2014 and has seen St Michael’s grounds undergo a significant transformation since construction began last summer. During this time pupils were fascinated by the diggers, dumpers and bulldozers which visited the school, while nursery and kindergarten children were treated to close-up views of the machinery.

Mr Bridges added: “Although it was a slightly delayed start due to the poor weather we faced, this feels like the perfect time to put the incredible space to good use.

“This is really going to move sport at St Michael’s to the next level, as well as providing us with opportunities to engage with the local community. We’re excited all round.”

 

The Governors of St. Michael’s Prep School take pleasure in announcing the appointment of Nik Pears as our new Head Teacher with effect from January 2021.

Nik was educated at St Dunstan’s College, London and is a graduate of Cambridge University. He is currently Head of Prep at Kent College Pembury, a post he has held since 2016. Prior to that, he was Headmaster of the Junior School at Sevenoaks Prep for 5 years. Nik is also an ISI inspector and a governor at Dulwich Prep, Cranbrook. We believe that he has the experience and qualities required to lead St Michael’s into the next chapter of its history.

Nik represented Kent U18 group at rugby and has a love of all sports. He is an accomplished musician and has performed at The O2 and Wembley Arenas. He is an Ambassador for “We See Hope”, a charity working with orphans and vulnerable young people in sub Saharan Africa. Nik devised The Social Entrepreneurs Project an initiative that challenges young people to turn £10 seed capital into £100 or more with their profits going to support the work of the charity.

We feel very fortunate to have secured Nik’s headship and welcome him and his wife Emma and two children, Jessica and Josiah into the St. Michael’s family from the start of next year. Nik has said

“I am delighted to have been appointed the next Head of St Michael’s Prep. Having lived in the area for the past twenty years, it is a school I have known and long admired for its ambitious and child-centred approach to learning. There is a very special atmosphere in the school and I am excited to become a part of the community, getting to know the children, parents and staff over the months and years ahead. St Michael’s is privileged to have an experienced and committed Senior Leadership Team and I very much look forward to working together with them as we embark on an exciting future for the school.” 

Some of our super St Michael’s Swimmers have won an array of silverware at recent events.

At the Sevenoaks Swimming Club presentation evening, I Pennington Legh was presented with the Kingsbury Cup for U10 girls; A Green was awarded the Kingsbury Cup for U10 boys; E Green received runner up plate for the best U9 boy; S. Taylor was awarded the Mike Radford Trophy for most improved U9 boy; A Ashton was presented with the U9 Individual Medley Cup and U9 trophy for most improved swimmer; B Tovey and J Taylor were both awarded plaques with their positions from the recent Sevenoaks Club Championships.

At the Black Lion Gala, Gillingham, at the start of March our swimmers again came away with medals. A Ashton won three gold, one bronze, one fourth and one sixth medal; A Green three gold and two silver medals; E Green four silver and one bronze medal; S Taylor one silver and one fourth medal and J Taylor a fourth position medal. V Medlen also came away with a medal from the gala.

Well done to all those swimmers; your hard work and dedication is certainly paying off!

Mrs Denton

Swim School Manager

Weekly eNewsletter