Head’s Blog 12th January 2018 Friday 12th January 2018

Happy New Year to you! I do hope that you had happy family times over this Christmas holiday and that not too many of you were struck down by the dreadful flu going around. I have spoken to many children whose families were and I do hope that 2018 restores you to full health as soon as possible.

I used as my inspiration for thinking about the new year a slice of tree from my garden. Having studied the rings and seen that the growth came through good and bad years I explored this idea with children in Prep and Pre-prep to get an understanding of how growth isn’t always a positive experience and it isn’t always easy.

Nevertheless equipping children with a perspective that embraces challenge and difficulty does lie at the heart of enabling them to be well and happy.

Thursday this week had particular contrasts for me which summed up the richness of the experience that pupils at St Michael’s get.

As we looked out through the mists in chapel on Thursday we were invited to think about things we might not have done so well to ask forgiveness and to set ourselves on the road for next week with new resolve.

The service of communion which we enjoy each week not only takes us through the liturgical journey of the year but also is a weekly reference point for reflection and this time to reflect, I believe again makes a strong contribution to a sense of direction.

Later that day the Year 6 set off for London to watch the show “School of Rock”. Whilst the storyline of an imposter teacher getting away with setting up a rock band in a Prep school might  have had the safeguarding authorities on high alert, the real message of the show is that children’s talents know no bounds and that as adults we must find them, nurture them, and give them opportunities to be showcased.  The voice of Andrew Lloyd Webber at the beginning of the show confirmed that what we were about to see was live performance from some exceptional children and they were exceptional. There was an added charm in the exploration of some fractured relationships within families where their children’s talents had not been noticed and would not have been noticed had it not been for the rogue teacher.

Everyone at the show realised that we had seen some fantastic talents and the story itself could not have failed to move.

We were slightly in awe of what they could do. And yet I know I have witnessed similar moments of extraordinary talent at St Michael’s and I’m convinced that later this term when we watch the “Lord of the Flies” production, which will be intense and sophisticated, that we will perhaps be moved in the same way.

You will note that one of our school development plan areas is to expand provision at St Michael’s and today you’ll be receiving an invitation with more details about our plans and we invite you to come and discuss these with us so do watch out for that letter.

I wish you all a very pleasant weekend and look forward to seeing many of you over the next few weeks.

Jill Aisher

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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