Head’s Blog 16th June 2017 Friday 16th June 2017

From the Head

In chapel this week we heard the weird but wonderful story of Pentecost. The overriding message for me on being a part of this story (there was audience participation) on Thursday was that although everyone was speaking in different languages, all present could understand. Taking the theme of diversity and understanding, I have found it wherever I look this week at St Michael’s. Our senior pupils have been making sense of new contexts and working together in teams in Wales, developing trust and companionship. Year 7 have tried out their other language as they make their way around Paris enjoying its sights, sounds, tastes and beauty.

Pre-Prep enjoyed learning about Sweden this week as Mrs Hume gave her a second assembly, beautifully targeted at the younger learners and filling them with fascination. We closed the assembly by singing “Incy Wincy Spider” in Swedish and doing the actions, great fun!

4N’s remarkably accomplished and polished performance poetry assembly today was brimful of pleasure. Style, humour, talent and skill mixed with some impressive and confident performances. Watching Michael Rosen at work performing one of his poems about chocolate cake was also unforgettable. Congratulations to 4N. Tonight the Year 8s will be finding out how well they have performed in CE. Each pupil should feel proud. I am delighted with their results.

We are looking forward next week to our show Guys and Dolls at the Stag Theatre. A huge amount of work has been going on since September and I urge you, if you have not got yourself a ticket, even if you don’t know anybody in the show personally, to come along and see what our pupils can achieve.

Governors get together next week to thank the staff for their hard work and enjoy their company over a drink on the terrace. They will say goodbye and thank you to those who leave us: Amanda McKnight, who is sadly off to Sevenoaks Prep, where her son is at school; Rosy Newman, who will be taking retirement as you know; Sally Worby, who is moving to Somerset, a beautiful house and a new life in the country, and Win Inkson.

Win Inkson

Win has worked at St Michael’s for 25 years and has brought to the school humour, intellect and a healthy disregard for the benefits of technology! Everyone on the staff enjoys chatting with Win and she makes us laugh.

It has been fantastic to be able to have on the team someone so learned in the field of classics and when she leaves she will be much missed. In the classroom she is humorous and pacy and generations of pupils have enjoyed everything she offers. We wish her well as she moves to Peasmarsh and her house renovation project comes to its final conclusion. We hope that she will come and visit whenever she is in town.

Next week we will introduce James Tuck, our new Latin teacher.

In reflecting on the nature and scope of Prize Giving this year, we are again introducing new awards. We have also decided to make a significant change in the information about the evening and parents whose children are to receive an award at our prize-giving will receive a letter confirming this before the event. At that stage children will not know and we will congratulate them and let them know on the day itself in the morning rehearsal. We hope that parents of prize winners will therefore be able to make arrangements to be there and that everyone else who attends enjoys every minute of what is planned and will no longer be experiencing the uncertainty of waiting to find out if their child has won something.

I very much look forward to seeing you there.

I hope you have a good weekend and if you have time to pop to Shoreham I recommend the sculpture trail.  I already have something quite fantastic in my garden.

Jill Aisher

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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

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