Head’s Blog Friday 10th February 2017

It is always a privilege to spend time listening to children, (well almost always!) . This week I have had a veritable feast of listening. Year 5 form captains came to have lunch with me and tell me how much they loved learning and how stimulating they found their lessons. Their wisdom and ability to articulate, reflect and offer opinion and their insight, combined with their discernment and manners made me proud. We were also able to pinpoint a couple of follow up actions for me for the very small number of children in their group who don’t always display such qualities. ! I am on the case.

 

I have also found my one to one interviews with scholarship candidates really quite exciting. Their ability to talk with eloquence and political awareness about bigger issues impresses me and I have noticed a shift in the quality of pupils’ responses from the year I first interviewed children for these awards.

 

I enjoyed enormously listening to the students who played at the Performers’ Breakfast on Thursday. It was a most moving occasion and I think it was a mixture of pride and amazement at the quality, the confidence, the standards achieved as well as a great sense that the relationships between teachers and performers are so positive and encouraging.

 

To round my week off I was delighted to hear Ishwar in Y2 explaining all about Yoga and as current UK U11 Yoga champion, doing a demonstration of incredible positions, holds and balances. Pupils were delighted by watching him and he finished with a performance of acro-yoga (yoga gymnastics) with his father which was extraordinary.

 

We are very lucky to be able to learn from him and his father. It was lovely to welcome Ishwar’s granny too. Ishwar has his own website www.iyogasolutions.com

featuring photos and videos of him competing and we are delighted that he has been selected to represent the UK in the European Championships in Prague later this year. All that by the age of 7. We look forward to what the future holds.

 

Security at School

Can we remind all parents that the protocols for entering the school are there to keep children safe. Access to the school is via the front entrance for all parents during the day, except for those attending match tea. Parents are expected to sign in and out and to wear a badge to show they are a visitor. At no time are parents allowed inside the changing rooms for any reason.

 

Feedback for the Survey.

It’s been brilliant to have such a speedy and high response rate to our trial run ISI Inspection questionnaire. I will be writing about the results and follow up to that in the coming weeks . Obviously, when the real email comes we want you to do exactly that again and we are confident that inspectors will be impressed by the parental support evidenced in the number of respondents and the comments made.

 

Half term

Our edition next week will be on Thursday. We hope you enjoy a pleasant half term break. Staff are doing a mixture of offsite and on-site training next Friday and children are not expected at school. I have had a few requests for next Friday off , which as you will imagine I was pleased to agree to! We will look forward to seeing children back safe and sound after the holiday.  

 

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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