Head’s Blog 29th March 2018 Thursday 29th March 2018

As Easter approaches with all the celebrations of new life and promise, I suspect there are many of you, along with many of us, who are ready for a new life rhythm for the next two weeks and the promise of time to refresh en famille.

The Easter story is very much gory and glory and presents unique challenges each year for what we tell our very youngest pupils.

Our whole school assembly this Easter took the theme of trying not to let people down as Jesus’ disciples did to Him. But as failing is a very human condition we must also take time to understand that forgiveness and moving on are an important part of healing and growing.

The music department kicked off the week with a wonderful inclusive orchestra day for all our own pupils and pupils from Amherst, Otford and St Thomas’ primaries. They made a glorious sound as they showcased their talent, and the large sections of brass and percussion added a lot of oomph to the swelling sound.
The lighthearted animal theme made it fun for all and I almost thought I could see the elephant clumping through.

Congratulations to Gordon, Sally, Emily, Jackie, Jack, Matt, Rob and honorary peri for the day Becky and the marketing team who masterminded invitations and logistics. The children were beaming.

On Tuesday the Easter bunny visited Pre-Prep and we thank Jason for donning the outfit not for the first time.

Jason leaves us during the Easter holiday to take up a residential estates role at Ashford School, which we congratulate him on. In his two years here he has proved a quick thinking, courteous and committed colleague and I know he will miss us just as we will miss him. We thank him for his contribution to the team and wish him well in his new role.

On Wednesday, Year 1 led a wonderful Easter concert performance, set in a chocolate shop, exploring the themes of rivalry and repentance and reprised their “With New Hearts” song in our whole school assembly.

We are sorry to lose Amy Owen as one-to-one assistant in Pre-Prep. We wish her well in her new role as cover supervisor at Otford primary thank her for all her work here. We hope that our links with Otford will enable our paths to cross again.

Our final assembly is celebrating all that has been achieved in so many areas of school life this term and as we do so,  in the Italian mountains another group of children will be coming towards the end of a fantastic week skiing. As soon as term starts after Easter the music tour will be away and I with them. Do keep in touch with us over the holidays and send us your Easter photos. We like to keep in touch with our families and celebrate all the unusual and interesting things they do.

I wish to congratulate J Hudson on his gold and bronze swimming medals in the National Schools Association swimming Championships last weekend. It was wonderful to see these outstanding achievements at a national level.

In thinking about the busyness of the summer term we have taken the decision to have the campout following on from Sports Day and not as a separate event. Please put the date in your diary Friday 29th of June and prepare for the epic event of the season all in one go! The calendar is live online and you can download it to your phone filtered or unfiltered.

Whatever you’re doing, I hope your holiday is filled with happy times together and that you all rest and are refreshed.

Happy Easter!

Jill Aisher

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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

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