Head’s Blog 1st February 2019 Friday 1st February 2019

As January draws to a close, and we have welcomed more than double the number of prospective pupils, I reflect on a busy month in which so much has been achieved.
The snow has impacted perhaps our ability to plan, but with temperatures above zero today we can be confident of travel in relative safety.

Two parts of this week have been particularly enjoyable for me. The confirmation service on Thursday at which we welcomed the families and friends of E Ward, F Arduino, B Kerr and R Landgrebe together with Bishop Simon Burton-Jones was a very special occasion. Bishop Simon encouraged us to contemplate the vastness of the universe and the light of the sun travelling 93,000,000 miles to warm us and nourish us here and talked about the impact that we can have through our example on others in our behaviour choices being like a light for others. We hold these four young people in our prayers as they begin to think about how they wish to shine their light more strongly.

One small group of pupils today acted as a light for others in their excellent Internet Safety assembly, explaining how our data is stored by the various companies we use daily in apps. Google has a record of everywhere we have ever been if our GPS is enabled. So we do need to look at terms and conditions, request consent to post and keep children safe through well understood online behaviours. The digital leaders finished their assembly with a brilliant song reminding us of what those behaviours are, which was witty, original, absolutely on message and well-executed in both lyrics, performance, filming and music, all of which the children have done themselves in a collaborative project with the music department. It was fantastic.

I’d like to thank Ian Smith and his estates team for the excellent work they’ve done this week which has required different start and finish times and working after hours. I’m sure you appreciate all that they do and will thank them as well when you see them.

A number of parents have expressed through the reps’ meetings that they believe the staff should park on the gravel car park. Whilst this is an interesting idea, I would like to clarify that we have no plan to enforce this and indeed when work on the Astro starts that car park will no longer be in use for cars. I am sorry if that is disappointing to many of you.

I hope that this weekend you can enjoy the winter wonderland and one another’s company and I look forward to all that will happen next week at St Michael’s

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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