Head’s Blog 21st September Friday 21st September 2018

Last week with my “Headteacher for the day” companion, Lucy, over lunch the discussion turned to whether she was enjoying herself and Lucy explained that she would very much like to be the most important person in the school which she believed the Headteacher was. It was interesting to hear this because that is not how I perceive myself and I explained to her that actually that’s not what a Headteacher is. Everybody in the school has their role to play and every role is important and every single person matters to the school including pupils, teachers, all kitchen, estates, learning support and admin staff as well as parents and governors. As we set out this year to really think about inclusion, equal opportunities and diversity as a focus, for me this is a fundamental truth about how a strong community thinks and behaves.

This week I know many of you have enjoyed meeting senior staff and teachers in Pre-Prep for the coffee mornings to settle you all in to your new year groups and in Prep we enjoyed meeting the Year 7 parents.

I’ve enjoyed watching a lot of football, firstly at the Saturday tournament, which was a lovely occasion and thank you to all the sports department for their participation and organisation of this, and secondly on my trip to The Hawthorns where I was delighted to share lunch with the Head, Adrian Floyd, a former colleague and see two out of our three teams winning.

It was lovely to see so many gathered together for a positive and fun P and F meeting with Oliver Schneider in the chair surrounded by women! Thank you for agreeing to fund generously some exciting projects and we look forward to them gathering pace. Thanks to all who work tirelessly to arrange the events and to those who will come forward and do their bit .

Bishop Jacob’s visit on Tuesday was a colourful affair and his thoughts on the contrasts he was experiencing in England compared to his home in Tanzania were very clear. Our children and the children in Shoreham Village School are incredibly lucky to have everything they need to support their learning, whereas the children in the new schools they have built in Mpwapwa, Tanzania still may only have to write resting on their knees or not even have anything to write with or on at all. Their class size is officially 45 but can be much more and there are classes that take place under trees or on dirt floors. For me certainly attending the partnership service on Sunday, the reception in Shoreham for Bishop Jacob on Monday and hearing him speak and reflect thoughtfully on the strengths of the partnership, it will be amazing to have a personal relationship with such an influential leader and to make friends in this distant place. Having the opportunities for learning and working together and making a difference, is really incredibly exciting.

Reverend Diane is now hopefully in Tanzania and she and Gillian Lovatt-Young from Shoreham Village School have begun their Tanzanian adventure.

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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