Head’s Blog 6th October 2017 Friday 6th October 2017

I have found myself again this week marvelling at the maturity of our children when interacting with their peers and visitors to the school. As we come to the close of another busy and full week, I reflect on another successful Open Day that saw 36 visiting families join us for a taste of the St Michael’s experience. The feedback from our visitors was warm and generous and they reinforced what we feel about our school.  I am delighted to share the following comments with you:

“It was such an uplifting experience to see St Michael’s yesterday and the pupils genuinely seem to enjoy their learning experience there.”

“I came out very impressed and enthusiastic about the opportunity of our son joining your school next Sept in Year 5.”

“My husband and I absolutely loved St Michael’s and both agree that it is our first choice school for our son (and our second child – due to be born in February 2018).”

“My tour guides were wonderful and they gave me a good idea of their schedule and work spaces. The art room and swimming pool were really impressive as were of course the grounds. The junior school looked well organised and I loved speaking to the teachers, hearing their view and seeing the children in their normal routine.”

My thanks go to Jane Thornton, Sara Martin and Karen Voce for flawless organisation, Laura Shield for assistance with our guides and to our speakers from Years 3 to 7 who so eloquently put into their own words what being at St Michael’s means to them. I would also like to thank Mary Bridges for stepping in and being my ‘voice’, as I had carelessly lost mine over the weekend and Mr Wiseman for picking up several areas of my work behind the scenes! Our splendid new prospectus, which was distributed to our visitors on Wednesday, seamlessly linked to the reality presented on the tours around both the Pre-Prep and Prep school. Please do look at a copy when you are next in either part of the school. We are very proud of it. Congratulations to K Denny, whose drawing of the school has been selected for the envelope.

Last weekend, under another morning of glorious sunshine, the Games Department hosted their second annual 5-a-side football tournament, this time for the U10 age group. Both the St Michael’s A and B teams reached finals, with the A team sharing the spoils with Sutton Valence in the Plate final, finishing on a draw, and the B team losing 1-0 in a closely contested B team cup final against Russell House. My thanks to Mr Thomas and Boys Games Department for a well-run tournament and to Mrs Wade for running the scorer’s table.

On Monday and Tuesday, Years 3 and 4 respectively, were visited by Making Mini Medics to learn the basics of first aid. Starting these essential life skills early will give all the children the confidence to react positively when faced with what can be a frightening situation, at any age.

On Tuesday evening, we hosted both current and prospective parents for our senior years’ information evening. Mrs Shield, along with current and past pupils, delivered an engaging and informative presentation about life in Years 7&8, including the opportunities for scholarship, responsibility and personal growth. It is always an enriching experience to see our children grow and thrive as they reach the senior years at St Michael’s and then to also invite them back to share their experiences once they have made that confident stride to senior school at 13. An e-book was created by Darryl Edwards, whom I also thank, for the evening and this will soon be available from iTunes to download for any parents, who missed the presentation.

I do hope to see many of you at the evening talk about Mental Health by Natasha Devon MBE on Monday at 7.00 pm. We are lucky to have her here and I’m really looking forward to how she will kick-start our renewed focus on mental health.

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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