Head’s Blog 8th June Friday 8th June 2018

In Prep it’s been heads down this week. Year 8 have been doing CE and Year 7 getting used to the rhythm of that by mirroring the same pattern for their exams.

It’s been difficult for the children going downstairs to the new basement ICT room to contain their delight at the newly refurbished and relocated ICT1, which now provides an adjacent office space for Miss Booth. The children have been delighted as has Miss Booth. I’d like to congratulate the estates team who have been working for months on this to transform a space that was configured differently to deliver a very smart and calm environment, with fine exposed brickwork paying homage to the gorgeous building we are in. Our ICT team in Ben and Tom also worked really hard to deliver the set up and installation of the hardware over half term. Congratulations to everyone involved.

I showed the children in assembly some footage about the incredible variety of methods, locations and materials that birds around the world use to make nests for their young. Since then a steady trickle of people have come back to me to share their stories of discovery in their gardens. Today I showed Pre-Prep “Bird Movie I” not available in a cinema near you but the result of three weeks observing my camera nest box! I hope you enjoy looking out for birds with their beaks full of food in your gardens and near your houses. If they are flying with food it means there are babies nearby. See what you can spot with your children this weekend.

I’m delighted to introduce some of our new staff team for September.

Head of Geography

 

 

 

 

 

We’re pleased to welcome Miss Kathertine Lambert as our new Head of Geography.  Katharine has been teaching for 10 years. She has a BSc (Honours) degree from Gloucestershire University and later completed her PGCE at Canterbury Christchurch. Katharine has always been passionate about Geography as it is something we see around us all the time and was inspired from her experience of Geography as a student at school. Having worked at Sackville, Weald of Kent Grammar School and Swadelands, most recently Katharine has taught at Cobham Hall for the last 9 years and across that time has been part of all aspects of the school, she has taught Geography, Physical Education, been a housemistress to all year groups, lead the Duke of Edinburgh programme and also fully participated in extra-curricular activities such as Eco club. Watching her pupils overcoming challenges and achieve in areas they used to find impossible is one of Katharine’s greatest pleasures as a teacher.

In her spare time she enjoys badminton, tennis, hiking and travelling all over the world. Katharine recently completed seven UK National Walking Trails during her holidays. Katharine is very much looking forward to working at St Michael’s.

Head of Year 3 and Head of Initial Teacher Training and NQTs

 

 

 

 

 

A very warm welcome to Yvonne Dodd, our new Head of Year 3.  Yvonne was born and educated in Northern Ireland and, despite having not lived there for more than 20 years, her accent is still clearly in evidence. Having attained a BA in Education at the University of Ulster, Yvonne won her first teaching job in Sevenoaks and made the brave move to England. In the two decades since, she has taught and led to deputy head level across the primary age range in the Maidstone area, Melbourne and Dubai, gathering a wealth of experience along the way. As a lifelong learner herself, Yvonne recently completed her MA in Education and, when not studying or working, she loves to read, run and relax by the fire. She is very much looking forward to joining the St Michael’s team and meeting the children.

Head of Year 4

 

 

 

 

 

We’re delighted to announce the promotion of Rhys Morgan to the position of Head of Year 4.

Rhys has lived in Kent from a very young age, being educated at Langafel Primary School in Longfield and later Gravesend Grammar School. Here he developed a love for History and the Classics which prompted him to study Historical Archaeology at the University of Sheffield. Returning to Kent, Rhys was employed at St Michael’s as a Trainee Teaching Assistant. Here he decided he loved teaching and took on the decision to train as teacher at Canterbury Christchurch University. He qualified in 2016 and was employed as a Year 4 teacher at St Michael’s. Rhys loves his sport and follows cricket, rugby and football as well as American sports such as baseball, ice hockey and American football. He plays cricket to a high standard during the summer and loves the challenges that brings.

Rhys is looking forward to his new role and the increased responsibilities that this will bring.

Head of Art and Design Technology

 

 

 

 

 

We’re delighted to welcome Ross Patrick to the school as our new Head of Art.

Ross is a passionate artist and arts specialist based in Folkestone, Kent. After graduating from the University for the Creative Arts and winning a student of the year award he then studied for QTS. Shortly after qualifying as a teacher Ross joined The Folkestone All Age Academy where he has worked happily for the last 11 years. During his time at The Academy Ross has had the opportunity to teach fine art, graphic design, photography, textiles and Interactive Media to ages Year 6 up to A-Level. Ross has held a number of additional responsibilities during his time at The Academy which have included roles as an Examiner, Quality Nominee for the school and more recently Captain of the Art Society.

Outside of the classroom Ross continues to work as a practising artist and has taken part in a number of exhibitions and festivals both locally and internationally. One of Ross’ proudest artistic moments has been when he has the opportunity to work alongside famed artist Antony Gormley in the production of his ‘Waste man’ sculpture shown as part of the Margate Exodus in 2006.

Ross lives by the seaside in Folkestone with his girlfriend and beloved cat Sid. He enjoys attending live music events, making his own artwork, DIY and digital design projects.

David Hooper

David Hooper comes to join our Estates Team from Dartford Grammar School for Girls, where he had worked for 3 years as a maintenance assistant. Prior to this David ran his own fencing and property business. David has been married for 33 years to his wife Peggy and has 2 sons. His interests include old cars, loud motorbikes and dancing (Ceroc).

David is part of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship and can often be found performing in the streets at the Dickens Festival and Sweeps Festival. He said if you see him say “hi”, but he’s terrible at remembering names! Keep an eye out for his 1953 split screen Morris Minor in the car park.

More staff news to follow over the next few weeks.

Have a great weekend.

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

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