Head’s Blog 19th January 2018 Friday 19th January 2018

For a week starting with the day that the nation names “Blue Monday” it’s been pretty multicoloured here and pretty multicultural too.

The children enjoyed finishing the week representing a fine array of countries and they have been encouraged to teach others something about the country they have chosen to represent. I loved the “Hello to all the children of the world” song that Pre-Prep children were singing this week, which encourages interest in twelve countries and their languages and it has been mastered with impressive ease.

Year 8 rounded off an interesting week of workshops and visiting speakers with their assembly on sustainability, based on their Common Entrance projects and their residential trip to Bore Place.

I particularly enjoyed the visit from Mike Fawcett on Thursday from the diocese of Rochester, to talk about church based links with other parts of the world, which we are about to embark upon.

His lively presentation of the village we might link with in Tanzania was enjoyed by all and it was lovely that Jake could model for us clothes worn by Masai Warriors, whilst Daniel and Diya sported some fine handmade shirts for girls and boys. I was excited to hold a very valuable Masai spear. Bradley demonstrated with a fine rhythm a beautiful handmade drum, whose skin was held across the baobab fruit body with black thorns.

Organising a themed week is a huge piece of work and I would like particularly to thank Ali Chugg for inspiring and encouraging such full participation from all corners of the school. You may have noticed that we are currently advertising for a new Head of Geography and it is perhaps fitting to acknowledge this week that this is because Ali and her husband will be moving to Burma in the summer where Dan is to become the British ambassador. We congratulate Dan on this appointment and all of us know that this will be a challenging and privileged position, in which they will make a huge difference to a country that does need support and we wish them every success and happiness.

Zerrin Leech and I look forward to meeting any parents interested in finding out more about our decision to open a third Reception class this September. We are excited by the prospect of having classes of 18 coming through Pre-Prep and strengthening the reputation of the school.

Parents have suggested we also hold morning slots for parents to come and find out more and I think this is an excellent suggestion. I will announce the dates next week.

This weekend some of our senior students in Year 6 are being assessed for scholarships into Year 7 here. Since our scholarship programme was introduced in my first year of headship here, we have seen considerable success in our scholarship rates to senior schools and I believe that offering a challenging curriculum for the very top students actually enhances it for every single child.

Visitors always comment on the buzz around the school on a normal day and we all love being a part of that every day.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend I hope the sun shines on you and I look forward to seeing many of you next week. Have a great weekend.

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!

Weekly eNewsletter