Head’s Blog 24th May 2019 Friday 24th May 2019

To say this has been a busy week would be an understatement. We kicked off on Sunday with a really fun and brilliantly organised day with circus and side stalls, including the very tempting stall from the International Club with cakes and desserts from around the world, traditional BBQ and other delicious food and lots of fun side stalls and inflatables, all organised by the terrific P&F, to whom many congratulations and thanks from everyone who attended.

Highlights for me were the atmosphere of the day, which was big on family fun and the wonderful duo working on the high ropes doing what can only be described as airborne ballet, which was both intimate and powerful.

With the permission of Happy’s Circus I gaily tweeted some little extracts so you can see just a glimpse of what happened.

Congratulations in particular to Oliver, Daisy, Jo, Tracey, Anna-Marie and the whole team of planners and doers and clearer uppers!

Over the weekend we were delighted to learn that E Powell, Year 7, who only started playing hockey when she joined St Michael’s in Year 6, was part of the Sevenoaks team to become National Champions. We were also really delighted to learn that a painting submitted by the school to the National IAPS art competition won first prize for E Schwark in the Year3 & 4 category. Click here to see our full articles in our News section

On Tuesday evening we celebrated in style the achievements of our scholars, present and future as they embark on the pathway towards what we hope will be scholarships into their senior schools. The combination of inspiring motivational speaking by Gavin Henry, Head of Drama at Sevenoaks School and our own leaving scholars, followed by delicious curry and cheesecake (not simultaneously!), the great company of parents, scholars and colleagues who joined us and of course the meticulous organisation of Mary Bridges made for a wonderful evening of celebration and happiness. Thank you to Mark and his team for all the extra work, to Mary, to Gavin and every child and adult who came and celebrated with us.

Tonight we have experienced the extravaganza that is the summer concert! I was proud of every performance and it is wonderful to showcase so much great ensemble work. It’s a huge thing to have such a strong team who enjoy each other’s company and who go the extra mile almost every day to help us to put on concerts like this. It certainly felt good to be a tiny part of it for the first time and I’m sure everybody who was doing that for the first time felt, as I did, something very special is happening. The repertoire, ranging from sacred to very secular and a bit cheeky, included some fine individual performances as well as much teamwork and joy. Congratulations to Gordon, Emily and Emily, Jack, Jacob, Debbie, Jackie, Rob and thanks and congratulations to every child who took part.

As we race towards half-term and the football tournaments that many children are going on over the bank holiday weekend, it was nice to be outside for much of Friday enjoying the Pre-Prep school sports day. To those of you who were able to join us, thank you for taking the time to come. It means such a lot to the children to have a supporter there with them. Congratulations to Jenni Rawlinson and all the team in Pre-Prep. It was a great occasion.

So many of the elements of this week have had the common theme that is our motto: perseverance, wisdom and gratitude. I am always moved to see the energy and commitment with which children sing, run or perform.

For some of our pupils, this half-term is the final push towards their important exams and to all our Year 8, as they face the last focus on revision, I wish you a pleasant week with a good balance of working, studying & learning and some relaxing.

Friday in Prep finished with a day’s fundraising for the charity Our Kids, working to support children and young adults in Bosnia Herzegovina https://ourkidsfoundation.org/ and a wonderfully prepared and witty assembly from 3C on all things Egyptian.

As you help your children switch off this week may the sun shine where you are. Enjoy…

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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