Head’s Blog 23rd March 2018 Friday 23rd March 2018

To say that last week’s school production of “Lord of the Flies” was exceptional would be an understatement. Eleven talented young people aged from Year 5 to Year 8 evoked an intense journey through a panoply of emotions, as the youngsters crash landed on a beautiful but remote island and jostled for position in their new tribal environment.

The set, stunningly designed by Mr Edwards and assembled by a team over days can be seen on our time-lapse video on Facebook.

Onto that site strode some self-assured performers who, with maturity, created a sense of intensity and violence and explored fully and dramatically and with great talent, tribal behaviour.

As a reflection on society, leadership, the nature of followers and social manoeuvring, the play’s themes would have been well placed in a senior school environment. It was all the more impressive that these children created such mature characterisations at such a young age.

Congratulations to every child and adult involved in making this production happen and especially to Mr Powell and the cast.

This week has again been intensely packed with goodies for all year groups. It was lovely to see the support for our mental health charity day today through our home clothes wearing in Prep. Perhaps more lovely were the conversations between year groups who were mixed together over lunch to discuss various aspects of well-being and chew the fat across the year groups.  I was lucky enough to do some chewing of another kind as I tasted the scrumptious scones and cakes at the Year 2 afternoon tea. We all sat down to a beautiful spread baked by the children, served by the children and masterminded by our very own Sally Beesley. What a treat.

Sadly I could not make the swimming gala, the Year2/3 transition maths challenge morning nor the Macbeth workshop led by West End in Schools.  All these treats bring learning to life and I just wish I was a pupil here very often!

We shall be sorry that Mrs Halfacre is leaving us from Reception this Easter. We thank her for the work she has done and wish her well as she returns to full-time mothering. We are delighted to welcome back Anna Collier in her place. She is a most experienced practitioner and wonderful team member, who gave first class teaching in Kindergarten during the Michaelmas term.

Anna has been teaching in Early Years for 10 years in a variety of schools in Kent.  She spends the summer months working some days at the local “Castle Farm”, where she works in The Hop Shop or with the lovely lavender, hops and apples.  In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, running and swimming, as well as travelling to many interesting countries around the world.

As the term draws to its close, the ski trip will be setting off this weekend and we wish them a safe and sporty, snowy stay.

Our next newsletter will be on Thursday, the last day of this term and we look forward to the many treats ahead of us next week. I’m looking forward to our primary school orchestra day on Monday and perhaps even spotting the Easter Bunny.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend enjoy yourselves.

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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