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

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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