Head’s Blog 3rd May Friday 3rd May 2019

I don’t know about you but I find the drive to school at the moment is really so beautiful. The arc of trees with their fresh green leaves marking the route brings a great deal of pleasure to me as nature bursts into its summer vitality.

Our trip to Salzburg last week was just as special. The young singers and musicians that we took with us grew in front of us in their understanding of teamwork, resilience, adventure, performance and relationships.

Inspired by the landscapes immortalised in Hollywood, they sang and played and laughed and shared with so much energy, vitality, talent and commitment.

It would be difficult to pinpoint particular performances as so many were standout and offered from the heart.

My Twitter feed went into Austrian overdrive and the reaction to the glimpses of what was happening was so very positive.

If you’re not a Twitter person, you may truly be missing out!

The concerts in Itzling church and in the school next door were particularly memorable, both because in sharing and learning and teaching each other songs to perform together there was a great deal of understanding and respect and because there was successful and moving music making.

Our own attendance at two fine concerts of classical music, the children’s focus and concentration and their clear enjoyment and respect for their performers were all highlights for us, not to mention the opportunities to glimpse incredibly beautiful architecture from both outside and inside and relive the dream of the Sound of Music.

To Gordon, Emily, Jack, Jackie and Jacob, congratulations for the magnificent musical moments. To Rob, Sally, Debbie, and Becky, thanks for all your hard work in supporting this incredible tour.

Congratulations to every child, who took part, for all that was achieved and massive thanks to Gordon who dreamed it all up and made it happen.

It’s been good this week to be back amongst my colleagues and pupils and today the Chair of Governors and I have sat down to review how I’ve been doing this year.

I’m blessed, I have to say, with an excellent team, fabulous parental support and dream children and with huge opportunities and trust that I will continue to take the school forward.

As some of our students prepare for their last term at St Michael’s, we ask each of them to give us feedback on how we are doing and what we could do better. I hope that you know that this is always welcome and it doesn’t have to be when we part company!

It was fabulous on Monday to see a Bugzi in assembly and to be able to ask questions about who would be using it and how it would help. Thank you to all children who raised money to make this possible. We look forward to seeing our St Michael’s branded Bugzi in due course.

Don’t forget your bleu, blanc, rouge for French Day on Tuesday.

I trust that all of you will enjoy the extra long weekend this week and that the sun will shine on all of us.

Have a great bank holiday weekend!

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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