Acting Head’s Blog 5th June 2020 Friday 5th June 2020

Welcome back to the second half of the Trinity Term. I hope you had a restful and enjoyable holiday and are ready to give everything you have to this last half of term and the last 5 weeks of the school year. This is traditionally a term absolutely packed with all number of events and opportunity and, although much of what we would usually have the privilege of experiencing has either changed or been lost due to Covid-19, let us just take a step back and look at it through the wider societal lens.

So much of what we experience at St Michael’s, and in our community, is an absolute privilege. The sad news of the murder of George Floyd in America has rightly shone a spotlight on issues of inequality and privilege. Issues that so many of us take for granted. It is a difficult subject to approach from my privileged position but, I strongly believe in love, kindness and community, and only by all of us standing up for what is right in the world can we set the example for our own children and the children in our care here at St Michael’s.

We strongly feel for those children still at home whilst some are at school. We recognise how hard it is to see siblings returning home happy and tired from a day spent with friends and teachers finding joy in learning. We have, however, taken huge steps forward in a return to what we know.  We are proud of the successful return of Nursery, Kindergarten, Reception, Years 1 and 6. We are also proud of our Year 8 pupils who completed their CE English and maths exams this week and who will be leaving their legacy in new ways to any that have come before. It was lovely to see the Year 8’s in a Zoom call yesterday and to make plans for their contributions to our famous stairwell timeline.  The excitement of planning where they will leave their name inscribed on the wall is possibly even more palpable after the time learning away.

I would like to offer a huge thanks to all staff that were involved in the mammoth task of getting the school and the community ready for Monday 1st June. Those of you that have been on site will appreciate that there are many parts to the puzzle that have needed slotting together and it was another superb team effort. We are already excited about the things that we have introduced that we’d like to keep. The Year 6 rolling pick up is a particular hit and I thank Fraser Wiseman and Ian Smith and his team for their thinking and work to make this, and much of site preparation and planning happen.  Jamie Booth has done a sterling job in leading our risk assessing which continues to be reviewed daily. Congratulations also to the dedicated Pre-Prep Team in planning for a huge number of children to return in one go. It was a pleasure to pay a visit yesterday and to be greeted by many smiling faces who have only seen me in Zoom for the last few months!

So, from the many events that have stolen the headlines this year and in particular reference to the recent events in America, the way forward for us, and society, will undoubtedly be trying. There will be tough conversations, mistakes made and lots of learning. But by being open, honest, kind and courageous we will find a way to be better. As the fantastic St Michael’s, British and world community that we are. At the heart of everything we all do is love. And hopefully that will win in the end.

Mary Bridges

Latest News

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

Well done to our doubles girls, E Julio and S Savidge, who also played in last weekend’s Junior Orange Ball Tournament in Sevenoaks. They played four matches, won two, beating Sevenoaks Prep and Lady Boswell’s and lost two to the eventual finalists Amherst and Granville.

This was a great performance by the girls, particularly in the light of little experience of Orange Ball competition.

Well done!

With around 20 pairs competing, representing 9 schools, pupils S Taylor, D Booth, J Vanderlanh-McKeown and J McDonnell were proud to represent St Michael’s at the Sevenoaks Junior Orange Ball Doubles, held at the Sennock Centre in Sevenoaks on Saturday 7th March.

S Taylor and D Booth started their Orange Ball tournament well with a win against Lady Boswell’s, before losing to a very strong team from Sevenoaks Primary. They followed with a close match against Amhurst Primary which they lost 7-6 and needed two wins from their remaining games to make the final stage. They won the first quite easily against Russell House and then had a tight match against Sevenoaks Prep. It was neck and neck throughout, but they kept their cool and won 7-6.

Their tally of three wins to two losses saw our Year 4 pair through to the play-offs. They had two games against a Year 5 pair from Sevenoaks Prep and New Beacon. They lost both games narrowly, 7-6 and 7-5, finishing 6th overall, which was a good performance given they’re at the younger end of the Orange grouping and the standard of the competition was high.

J Vanderlanh-McKeown and J McDonnell both demonstrated strong teamwork, good sportsmanship and skills. They came up against some strong competition from the other schools but never gave up and kept competing to the end with some great saves, serves and volley. The boys also showed respect towards others and maintained a positive attitude at all times. Both boys really enjoyed the tournament and look forward to improving their position at the next one.
It was great to see both pairs supporting each other throughout the games! Very well done, keep up the good work!

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