Head’s Blog 29th September 2017 Friday 29th September 2017

The highlights of my week have been with children. I walked round the Prep school for an hour yesterday afternoon and dropped in on some fascinating lessons. The register-taking in the history lesson was combined with children recapping learning facts from the previous lesson. In a science lesson, children were busy classifying bugs they had observed last week in the woods and making charts to help younger children to classify. In geography, Year 7 were learning the difference between Oceania and Australasia, while next door in the RS lesson children were drawing and labelling Puja trays. There was a verb test going on in French and pupils in Year 8 were reading Lord of the Flies, which is also our school production this academic year. Every lesson I visited was characterised by high levels of engagement and really interesting things to learn. This morning’s assembly told me more about the role of poet laureate. I was interested to hear the history of how poets used to be awarded this role for life, which now no longer applies. I look forward to seeing in a couple of weeks’ time the competitors from Years 5 & 6 in the poetry reciting competition, launched in the assembly.

Over lunch with Year 8 earlier in the week, I was pleased to hear so much positive feedback about their experiences and some sensible suggestions about how these years might develop in future. Asking pupils for their views is central to understanding how to develop St. Michael’s.

 

In Prep and Pre-Prep this week we have celebrated harvest through giving, storytelling and singing.
The bible story of Ruth for Harvest in Prep had resonances for today; displacement and refugee status in search of food is sadly all too familiar in today’s world. The story of The Little Red Hen in Pre-Prep, with its moral about teamwork and helping, also showcased some fine speaking and singing from Year 1 and Pre-Prep today.

Pupils have also been offsite this week with Year 4 travelling to Butser Farm to explore Celtic life with a hands-on day, while ten singers journeyed yesterday to King’s Canterbury for a choral prep day, finishing with a concert in the cathedral, which they found an inspiring experience.

It was good to see some parents benefiting from Miss Booth’s talk on e-safety this week. There was a lot of literature to take away and parents were grateful for what they learnt.

Next week we look forward to our Open Morning on Wednesday 4th of October. Parents in Pre-Prep are most welcome to join visitors from outside the school if they wish to re-acquaint themselves with Prep school life.

Next Tuesday we welcome parents of Years 7 and 8 to their welcome evening. Parents interested in finding out more about Years 7 and 8 are also most welcome. It starts at 7.00pm.

As the sports department gears up for another football tournament this weekend, I look forward to seeing some of you on the touchline tomorrow and whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, enjoy your weekend.

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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