Head’s Blog 1st December 2017 Friday 1st December 2017

I don’t know about you, but the sight of the Christmas trees with the white lights makes me feel a little bit skippy inside.

Thank you to the P&F for providing us with the trees and so much more besides. Of course tomorrow we will have the P & F Christmas Fair, which will I’m sure, be a happy, community event. None of the things the P&F does go unnoticed and I am eternally grateful for the cheerful way in which a whole army of helpers swings into action and goes the extra mile.

I hope to see many of you somewhere between Santa’s grotto, the exciting children’s activities in the hall and all the stalls in between.

The Fair starts at 12 noon and the raffle and other prizes are drawn shortly before it finishes at 3pm.

On Friday we gathered together with Year 2 and 3 parents for the Christingle service, presented by children and staff. I love watching the concentration on faces as the children carefully walk with their lit Christingles and blow them out. It was lovely this year to hear the children telling their story, reading prayers they had written themselves and I gather that they also took ownership of the rehearsal schedule in their own free time.

Well done to all of them. It was a special occasion.

In the remaining two weeks of term there will be plenty more to celebrate. Please do look at our calendar and decide when you will come to join us.

Year 8 are coming to the end of their mock examination week. They’ve worked hard and it is almost as important that they learn from their mistakes as that they take stock of what they can remember.

Staff news
I’m sorry to let you know that Mrs Sarah Stokes, Year 4 teacher will be leaving us at the end of this term. The whole family is moving to Copenhagen where Mr Stokes has been working for some time. The Stokes family have been an important part of St Michael’s and we will be sorry to see Sarah and Sophie moving from the school.

Sarah has given much to the English department and then to the Year 4 team which she joined with her job share partner Mrs Newman. Throughout her time, she has run and loved the Junior Journal, offering to the children a voice to be heard way beyond the walls of the school. I have been proud of the way this has developed under her stewardship and it will be one of many legacies to the school.

We will miss Sarah and Sophie a great deal and we hope that through the wonders of modern technology we might continue the special relationship we have through Skype and the Internet. We look forward to hearing all about their adventures in Europe.

I’m delighted to let you know that next week a new school nurse, Mrs Carlton, joins our team She will be working three days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday).


Mrs Carlton told us “I am very much looking forward to joining St Michael’s as School Nurse. I have been qualified as a nurse for 13 years and spent the majority of my career working in the paediatric department at the Royal Brompton Hospital, but I also have experience working in a special needs school.

I have two young children who keep me busy at home and I am also a very keen baker (I won our village bake off this year!). I also enjoy running.”

Whatever you’re doing this weekend make sure it includes coming to St Michael’s for the Christmas Fair. See you there!

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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