Head’s Blog 15th March 2019 Friday 15th March 2019

This week my challenge is what not to write about, I’m certainly happy to bypass all references to politics! Rich learning pervaded all parts of the school in a feast of creative timetabling and excellent extracurricular programming. When we decided a few years ago to concentrate alternative provision into one week, trips week, I don’t believe that we anticipated quite the combination that St Michael’s pupils experienced this week.

A Roman extravaganza for Year 4 on Monday with complementary costumes supported by our fabulous parent participants, Kent Fire Rescue training for Years 1-6, a soggy science trip for Year 5 to Herstmonceux observatory, a French film experience for Year 6 in South Kensington, a talk from an ex-prisoner about prison life, gang culture, behaviour and respect and then the Big Sing involving all of Year 2&3 and some other fantastic primaries nearby and a wonderful uplifting concert at the end of their workshop day. On top of that we’ve had Science week, culminating in Y7’s mission to Mars day today, the Jersey tour for Year 8 and some Year 7, the first homework challenge presentation morning, Pre-Prep trips to see life at Sealife and finally today celebrating, and in Pre-Prep raising money for, Red Nose Day.

Superimpose on that little lot a parent training workshop day by Kent Mind on mental health first-aid and a successful and varied governing body meeting and you have the perfect week at St Michael’s Prep!

This is of course the stuff of which memories are made but I have to thank all my colleagues for the huge amount of extra work that designing and delivering such a week involves.

Fantastic team work, brilliant support from parents and close attention to the logistical implications of all of these things made it a tremendously successful week and I thank everyone involved in making the extraordinary happen every day.

We’ve tried to “tweet the week” as it unfolded and for those of you who are not yet signed up to our Twitter feed we commend it to you in a week such as this.

Can I please also add my thanks to the IT department for supporting so many different things this week, the admin team for welcoming so many visitors, Mark and the catering team for delivering extra and delicious food for our visitors and the estates team who work so hard to make our site look beautiful and are responsible for the thousand bulbs planted which are now revealed in our newly dancing daffodils.

For the many blessings we enjoy at St Michael’s we often give thanks but this week we have been in laudatory overload!

Wherever you are this weekend, have a good one.

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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