Head’s Blog 23rd June 2017 Friday 23rd June 2017

I probably would be rocking the boat if I did not start my blog this week expressing my delight, pride, amazement and excitement at the two performances of “Guys and Dolls”. This ambitious production was carried off with energy, skill and commitment by a huge team of children and staff. Thank you doesn’t quite seem a strong enough response to what happened at the Stag theatre on Tuesday. From the opening cityscape scene bustling with life and focused performances from almost everyone in Year 5, to the rousing big numbers and finale, so much talent was showcased. The audience became completely absorbed in the intertwining stories of Nathan and Miss Adelaide and Sky and Miss Sarah. I congratulate Ollie, Josh, Camille and Megan for their  incredibly accomplished solo rôles. Polished, professional, at ease on stage, no-one present could really believe that these pupils are all 13 and under.

Many many other stars brought humour to the show through their focused performances, revealing the total personality of characters developed just as much when they weren’t speaking as when they were. In the acting, we also saw the talent of our Head of Drama, whose direction and teaching enabled the whole show to happen. Alan Powell should be extremely proud.

As for the costumes, they were magnificent and Ali Chugg has to be congratulated on masterminding the wardrobe as well as the props for this show. It has been almost a full-time job.  Down in the orchestral pit, on the hottest day of the year, the heat was definitely on and not just because Big Julie was in town. A marvellous band of peripatetic teachers and their colleagues impressed everyone with their energetic and lively playing under the talented baton of our very own Mr Baird. We were delighted in turn by the clever scenery and set, complete with flashing Hotbox signs, whole stage cabaret lights and revolving scenery, all made by our very own Darryl Edwards. Into this magnificent set came beautifully choreographed dancing and show scenes, eye-catching, clever, and beautifully performed. Congratulations to Mary Bridges, the choreographer for these exceptional moments.

And then of course behind the scenes were rafts of others without whom this would not have happened; Carol Bent who produced the show, Rachael Newton the prompt, Jack Bennett who played piano in all the weekend rehearsals at school. Supporting them were scores of parents and other staff on the green room and backstage duties, hair and make-up, some of whom made a fleeting appearance as giant chickens during the show!

Congratulations to every single person involved in any way in the show. Thanks guys you’ve made one Headteacher doll very happy indeed.

Bromley High

A couple of weeks ago, I very much enjoyed a visit to Bromley High.

Its distinctly 80s exterior hides within it an impressive, beautifully designed and visually stimulating learning environment. There was a very creative buzz about the school and having been judged exceptional in its last ISI inspection, I understand why. Girls looking for an adventurous and forward-looking single sex school should definitely go and meet the head and find out more.

It was fantastic to have all the staff celebrate our inspection with governors yesterday at school. Governors entertained the staff to drinks and thanked them for the excellent results obtained in March.

We in turn thanked them for everything they give to the school and in particular we thanked Alex Glenister, former parent and governor at the school for 13 years for her unstinting support and practical help as she retires from this position at St Michael’s Prep. Knowing her, she’ll be back soon for the next play! She will always be welcome and a part of the school.

It has been nice to have feedback from the Prep parents, whose children are winning prizes next week, that they are excited to know this in advance. All parents whose children will receive an award individually or as part of a team have had an email today. We look forward to welcoming Alex Caan to talk to the children about his mentoring work with international athletes.

I am delighted to congratulate Ishwar Sharma on winning two gold medals in the ISC World Games in Nepal. 1000 people took part from 16 countries. He won gold in the individual yoga Under 8 category and in the open group artistic yoga with his father, representing Great Britain. We look forward next term to another presentation from Ishwar in assembly about the experience of travelling to compete at the world games and all that he learnt about Nepal itself.

If you’d been down to the woods today, you sure would have had a surprise. Polar bears, snakes, lions, flamingos and a menagerie of other fantastic beasts have trotted about the Saint Michael’s lands in pursuit of fundraising efforts for animal-related and other charities; the Worldwide Fund for Nature, Battersea Dogs and Cats home and Demelza House.

With excitement building up for the overnight camp out tonight and the barbecue and evening fun ahead, this is a delightful end to a crazily busy week.

If you’re not here this weekend I hope you enjoy it, if you are you’re bound to.

See you soon.

Jill Aisher

Latest News

 

 

 

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

Weekly eNewsletter