Head’s Blog 7th September Friday 7th September 2018

Shiny black shoes, smiles and some nervousness greeted me yesterday aplenty. The admissions team masterminded a fantastic transition into St Michael’s yesterday for all our new pupils whom we very much look forward to getting to know better, along with their families. We are delighted to be working alongside such a fantastic new team of staff who are extremely well qualified and incredibly good at what they do.

The school is looking fabulous. It’s been gorgeous weather so we can enjoy the great outside facilities that we have and the organisation this year has surpassed all previous years. I thank every member of my team for the work they’ve done to prepare for this year, welcome new colleagues and children and for the work they will do with your children and you.

I hope you received or extracted from your child’s bag on Thursday or today the envelope containing the handbooks for parents in Early Years, Pre-Prep and Prep.
There is so much information in these booklets, which are re-published each year, and we really hope that we still have everything you need to know. Children in Prep and Pre-Prep receive one handbook per family (two if they have a child in each part of the school). Children in the Early Years receive both the Early Years handbook and the Pre-Prep one. The oldest child is the one who is given the book(s).

Alongside this newsletter this week is a separate document for those who are new to the school to introduce all the staff who are also new.

Today you will be receiving a letter to explain our new online homework system which will be using the SIMS parent app. I’m sure there will be a few teething problems but nothing we can’t sort. Homework starts next week for the whole school and, from Monday, if you download the app and follow the instructions you are given over the weekend, you will be able to log in and see homework that has been set and know when it is due and if it is late. We are excited about how this will streamline communications between us and enable parents to support their children in their organisation.
Technical support will be given by Emily Aisher and the letter goes out today to explain everything you need to know.

Please remember that group emails are sent from a program which does not receive replies. If you press reply no one will look at it! Please do communicate with the normal full email of the person you need to contact.

From next week we will be starting our welcome evenings for different year groups and coffee mornings in Pre-Prep. If you’re a parent of a child in year three we very much look forward to seeing you on Thursday evening at 7 pm. Please read the letter from Mrs Bridges and Mrs Dodd about this which is coming out today. We hope that we will see as many of you as possible and that you will feel encouraged and confident of what a special place you and your children are part of.

The Year 7s are getting excited ahead of their camp out tonight. It’s a wonderful evening of fun and bonding and adventure. It’s going to be a glorious evening and I’m looking forward to joining them later on.

Clubs and activities and music lessons start next week and interventions and support groups the week after that.

Year 8 are off next week for their three day residential geography trip to the Olympic Park and Bore Place. We don’t stand still at St Michael’s!

I hope for parents, with the 11+ out of the way and just two days of school belongings to manage, that this week has been a happy and productive start to the Michaelmas term.

Children in Prep and Pre-prep have been thinking about ways to behave and things to say that make people feel good so I do hope they’ll be practising on you this weekend!

Have a good one.

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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