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

Whether to open… Weather to close. The dilemma all headteachers faced this week has been challenging. Each day the site team has worked during the day to clear the snow and make pathways and the drive and car park safe. Each night the elements have conspired to cover up their work and present fresh challenges. It has been very helpful to have Ian, our Estates manager, on site to give us sensible advice when making the decision to open or close and a combination of access, potential staffing levels and government warnings have led to the decisions this week. Thank you to Peter,  Barry, Ian and Simon, who did a stalwart job on Tuesday and Ian and Simon working hard together all the other days this week; they’ve spent more time outside than anyone else I know in these freezing conditions. Thank you to parents who helped us by supervising children at home and helping them explore snow work, sit mock exams, take part in World Book Day’s extreme reading challenge and sent us photos and engaged on our Twitter feed. Have a go, it’s fun! We have a few new signups and followers this week. All of this has been done with immense good cheer when presumably many parents were being obliged to take days off work. We are grateful for your positivity and flexibility.

It has been fun to see children and parents sledging on our perfect slopes, to have pictures of snowmen proudly built and hear from staff who sent us pictures of their exploits in the snow and the beautiful places they have been able to explore and enjoy.

I hope that most of you have been able to be warm and safe. The news of those who have really suffered, got trapped or had terrible accidents has been very sad to read.

Evidently there have been many cancelled meetings and we will do our very best to reschedule all of these as soon as possible.

Next week there is a great deal to look forward to apart from one another’s company again. Some pupils head off for Orchestra Day at King’s Rochester or the rescheduled IAPS netball tournament. Our Chair of Governors, Paula Carter, is spending a whole day in school talking with all the Leadership team about their work and mine. The Year 8 pupils will head off to Jersey, Year 4 will enjoy Roman Day, Year 7 will be off to hear a talk by the brilliant Professor Winston and the Drama room will soon become out of bounds as it transforms itself into our “Lord of the Flies” set.

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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