Head’s Blog Friday 20th January 2017

It has been a busy week in both parts of the school. Up in Prep we have been celebrating Global Citizenship Week and woven across all the curriculum have been glimpses of lives elsewhere in the world to help make greater sense of our good fortune here. Looking at children and the beds they sleep in around the world provided the pupils in Year 5 and some of Year 6 with the shocking realisation of the inequalities in a very effective way that led to a great deal of debate in PSHE and RE. With a stimulating visit for Year 3 to Bore Place and from an array of specialist speakers over the week I commend to you the full article later in this edition of e-news.

 

We’re committed to developing a generation of passionate, articulate young people who feel moved and driven to make a difference,  not only in school or the local community but also in the world as a whole. In my assembly on Monday, Martin Luther King day, we learnt about the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama and the actions of Rosa Parks in triggering this powerful movement for change. It was fabulous later in the week when,  exploring the use of child labour and slavery in the fashion industry,  a pupil suggested people could boycott brands that permit this to continue. Our study of Martin Luther King taught us how much his faith was bound up in his political action. His relentless and intelligent pursuit of equal treatment for all, which ultimately cost him his life,  was rooted in his Christian beliefs about peaceful protest as being the only form of legitimate protest and when Mr Powell powerfully delivered part of his “I have a dream” speech in assembly it was perhaps no surprise that it included text from the bible, also familiar to us through Handel’s Messiah.

 

On Thursday when Bishop James came to St Michael’s to confirm the nine candidates who chose to make their vows, he spoke of the kind of love we might offer to one another as being the kind of love that might include a readiness to die for others. Whilst I very much hope for this never to be something any one of us might actually be called to do, he captured again some of the passion that Martin Luther King lived with and asked us to think about how we might show love to those who do not treat us well. That is a challenge we can all think about regardless of our faith.

 

It was lovely that the confirmands had so much support as they made their vows and took their first communion and we look forward to the ways in which they will show their faith in their actions and lives. Please hold in your thoughts this week, Charlotte, Harry and Harry, Oliver, Gabriel, Luke, Danny, Oscar and George.

 

The week both started and finished on a distinct high. The digital leaders had a personal training session from the Apple Experts in Bluewater and impressed the trainers with their bright, quick and insightful comments and questions. A wonderful trip to Brighton College for a strings day for 16  of our musicians was a highlight which you can also read about here.

 

Mrs Chugg’s assembly at the end of the week gave a fascinating insight into what has been an exciting and meticulously planned cross-curricular extravaganza and I think my only regret is that I’m not actually 10 again and a pupil at St Michael’s.

 

I hope you enjoy a special time together with your family this weekend. Perhaps it might include your children teaching you some of the things they have been learning about this week at school.  

 

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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