Head’s Blog 21st June 2019 Friday 21st June 2019

In a term in which my assembly theme has been based on words removed from the junior Oxford dictionary, I thought it would be appropriate to invent one to add to it this week. We have entered a period which I shall call “trip-a-thon” time.

In what can perhaps be described as an overload of enjoyment, all year groups have been out and about, experiencing new things in the last 10 days. The Year 3s on Friday enjoyed their trip to Chiddingstone, despite the rain and this week they have been enjoying the company of pupils from Shoreham Village School on Monday for the spectacularly successful Tanzania day and the Year 2s, who have been up here being creative and collaborative in a variety of workshops designed to settle them and give them confidence as they move around the Prep school. My colleagues’ quality thinking and planning came up trumps as this logistical jigsaw has fallen into place almost seamlessly over the week. In just two days, the Year 2s have grown in confidence and familiarity with the routines of Prep.

Superimposed onto this activity we welcomed 25 pupils from Plaxtol Primary School, who joined in the Year 5 Codathon, masterminded by Jamie Booth, all day Tuesday, while parents in the library enjoyed another mental health first-aid course delivered by West Kent Mind.

The end of last week came to a most joyful conclusion when Year 8 presented their “play in a week”, “Melon City” which was a delightful ensemble piece enabling them to have fun, work strongly as a team and deliver an impressive and enjoyable story, word perfect, by heart. Their particularly moving finale involved a rewrite of the song “When all is said and done” which was touching and beautifully performed with each pupil having a solo moment.

I’m very proud of all the Common Entrance results secured by Year 8s and it was great for them to celebrate at the end of the week feeling proud of all their achievements.

It’s been fun to get daily updates from Suffolk, where Year 8s are now enjoying an action-packed week and from Paris, where the Year 7s are enjoying “la belle vie Parisienne”.

Yesterday’s challenge project in my group taught me about the invention of the telephone and the invention of the ballcock and U- bend. One of the nicest things about the challenge project group sessions is that we all learn from one another. A steady trickle of excellent and original projects is passing across my desk and I very much enjoy taking a moment to look at the work these children have created with inventiveness, style, commitment and talent.

Today you will receive the class lists for your children next year and on Monday they will be experiencing a taste of things to come. We are welcoming in all our new staff for their induction day and we very much look forward to the next phase in the development of St Michael’s Prep.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend, enjoy it.

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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