Head’s Blog 2nd February 2018 Friday 2nd February 2018

For five days my schedule has been exceptionally full, extraordinarily rich and extremely enjoyable. I have spent about eight hours interviewing potential scholarship children and their candour and spirit has been joyful to behold. I look forward to more of the same in the creative context of tonight’s Drama Duologue competition. The stage is set, the lights on and the performers are warming up for a feast of talent, showcasing independence and collaboration.

Another feast took place yesterday when Bishop Michael came to welcome C Mottram and C Kern into the church through confirmation. With prayers written and lead by Year 7 pupils and the support of family and friends, we enjoyed revisiting the story of Jesus remaining behind in the temple because he loved to learn about God. We commend both pupils to you in your prayers this week. All of us, whether confirmed or not, love to learn and grow and in our journey together at St Michael’s there is a huge amount of support from friends and colleagues every day in all that we do.

You will read later in these pages of our chef, Mark’s, two-day Ritz experience. Di Birmingham and I were very generously treated to lunch at the Ritz on Monday to celebrate Mark’s special time down in the kitchens and it was great to talk to them and see how many people are employed and how ordered they are. The food presented to us at lunch was artistic as well as delicious; we would very much like to thank publicly Brookwood caterers for taking us out and treating all three of us in these different thoughtful ways.

Zerrin and I enjoyed meeting parents from Pre-Prep again for a coffee morning and presentation on our plans for developing St Michael’s. It’s been good to be able to adopt ideas offered at our first meeting and the decision has been taken to put a new third Reception class next to the existing two, move the Year 1s into the Year 2 classrooms and put Year 2 in the basement music room and the current Year 1 room.

It was good to see our governors back at school for the Staffing and Remuneration Committee meeting on Thursday night. We appreciate all the guidance and support we get in making the experience of working at St Michael’s the best it can be.

On Tuesday night I had great good fortune to attend the Kent College production of “Phantom of the Opera” involving two of our former pupils, S Chappell Salmon and L Myburgh.  From the opening notes of the band to the final descent of the cleverly projected luxurious curtain, the performance reached exceptional standards and was worthy of any West End theatre.

The theatre had been transformed into a magnificently opulent Opera.  Glittering costumes, fabulous sets, gorgeous choreography, inventive staging and impressive lighting all served to set a wonderful backdrop to some excellent singing by leads and ensembles. It really was fabulous, an incredible achievement. I commend it and the school to you as a dynamic experience.

Next week, the pupils will all enjoy a four-day week to allow us to travel out on Friday to other schools and learn through observation, dialogue and exchange.

Enjoy your weekend and your time with your family.

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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