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

 

 

 

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

Weekly eNewsletter