eNews: Friday 18th October 2019

From the Head

In a week such as this one, I am reminded daily of what a privilege it is to be leading this magnificent school. The fact is I’m surrounded by talent, both in your children and in those who teach them and work alongside them.

Whether it’s the richness of provision on offer, the trips out to interesting places, or the meetings where our main focus is on supporting the children, there is a life and a buzz and a general sense of deep respect for what each child can do and where they are on their journey. Each day in Prep this week there has been a concert for a specific age group. Sadly I have only been able to attend one of these in full, but I know that there has been enormous pleasure derived on each occasion both from the parents and supporters of children performing and from the audience as a whole at the feast of musical offerings and there’s been respect for the variety showcased and for the confidence to share something quite personal with others. Meanwhile in Pre-Prep, children have been excited to visit Godstone Farm and Knole Park and enjoyed the adventure as much as the destination.

We heard the following from the children:

“I loved the piglets because they were so small and cute!”

“I loved the tractor ride when we saw the duck pond and all the ducks”

“I loved the pigs’ butts”

“It was the best day ever!”


This week draws to a close with the fantastic Senior Schools Fair which, as those of you who were here will know, was a truly impressive occasion with incredible benefits to both the schools present and the parents who came. I’d like to thank Karen Voce, Jenni Lovell and Jane Thornton for meticulously masterminding the whole event, the many staff who came and helped, Ian and the Estates Team and Mark and the catering team. We had a great deal of wonderful feedback.

This week also brought news to our Year 6 pupils of their results in the 11+ exams for Kent County Council and, for some, this will have brought huge pleasure and pride and for others perhaps anxiety. I spoke to all the children this morning about being sensitive to the needs of others this week on Friday after 11+ day, which is often a tricky day for some children. My own beliefs are that it is an exam that suits fast-working bright children and that there are plenty of bright children who prefer to work quietly and slowly and it alas does not suit this particular style. So if your child has not managed to get over that hurdle, please do come and talk to us about the next steps and be as positive as you can about the future, because I can assure you there are plenty of fantastic alternatives.

I hope you all have a wonderful half-term. Don’t forget to buy your fireworks tickets for Friday 8th November; see our Message Board for details.

Jill Aisher

Staff News

We are sorry to be saying goodbye this week to Vikki Pinnock, our Teaching Assistant in both Prep and Pre-Prep, as she moves on to a role within the insurance industry which she is excited about. Vikki joined us as our front desk receptionist and quickly settled into making fabulous connections with the children and learning about all the families that make up the school.

She connected well with parents phoning and needing help with something and passed on messages reliably and efficiently in that role. It was her love of working directly with children that led her to consider the role of Teaching Assistant and she has found happiness and fulfilment in this role and we thank her for all the work she has done.

Her new role allows her to be working from home, thus enabling her to see her own children, and we wish her the very best of luck in this.

News from Pre-Prep

• Poppies for sale in school in Pre-Prep Reception for Remembrance Day Assembly on 11.11.19
• Fireworks Night Friday 8th November

Today we were a sea of red in assembly, as we wore red instead for our local Air Ambulance charity. Paul Butt had spoken to the children in Monday’s assembly about the vital work that the air ambulance does. In Pre -Prep we managed to raise the sum of £372.25, thank you all for your generosity.

This week our Reception children went to Godstone Farm and our Year 1 children went to Knole House. They all had enjoyable trips and according to their teachers behaved beautifully. They are a credit to you and to St Michael’s.

Don’t forget your tickets to Firework Night. If you are new to St Michael’s, this is an event not to be missed. It is a great family occasion on the terrace at Prep school together with hot dogs.

Overheard: Teacher: How can we show kindness?
Child: Don’t push someone down a waterfall.

Have a lovely half term and see you all back on Monday 4th November.

Zerrin Leech

Staff Contact Lists

We are pleased to let you know that our staff list, with names and email addresses, is now available within our secure Parents’ Portal. If you wish to find the email address for a member of staff, please log in to the Portal and click on “Staff List”, which can be found in the menu on the left hand side of the page.

Short-term let accommodation required

Our contractors are looking for accommodation on a short term let until Christmas. They would need minimum of two bedrooms.

If anyone can help or knows someone who can offer accommodation for this period, please contact Di Birmingham, Director of Finance and Operations on dbirmingham@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk. Thank you.

On this week’s Message Board

Please log into our Parents’ Portal and click into the Message Board to see new important information as follows:

  • Notes to St Michael’s families from senior schools
  • Lost property in Prep
  • Catering changes at St Michael’s
  • Poppies now available at the reception desks in both Prep and Pre-Prep to support the Royal British Legion charity
  • Mr Thomas’ half-term hockey camp – spaces still available. Booking form on Message Board

On this week’s Community Events page

Please log into our Parents’ Portal and click into the Community Events page to see important community information as follows:

  • Sevenoaks Pumpkin Hunt in Aid of Demelza Hospice
  • Family Fun Run in Aid of Demelza Hospice
  • Mr Thomas’ half-term hockey camp – booking form now available

Pre-Prep Awards

Gold Stars

All of RJ – well done for listening carefully and being brilliant on our first school trip
All of RM – well done for being amazing on our first school trip to Godstone Farm
All of RRS for making our trip to Godstone Farm thoroughly enjoyable
All of 1FG, 1P & 1W for fantastic behaviour on our trip to Knole House
Max H for working hard in maths
Jessica H for working hard in writing, using good imagination
Lottie E for working hard in maths and good explanations
Sophie N for her enthusiastic approach to school work
Tom K for working exceptionally hard on multiplication problems
Eva V for taking great care when recording facts for her lapbook
Alice O for creating a fantastic interesting information book
James L for showing excellent maths skills while working on multiplication and division

Iris L for trying really hard with her spelling in her writing
Taran M for careful work in mathematics, thinking about how to solve calculations

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup: Grace P
Music Practice Award: Adam J
Star Violinist Cup: Sophie F

House Point Cup

Rochester House with a total of 170 points
Elisa F collected the Cup on behalf of Rochester House

Times Tables Certificates

Bronze: Elisa F / Finley S / Clara H / Florence B / Eva V

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

J McDonnell For learning all times tables and division facts so early in Year 4
C Sinclair For a fantastic fish fact poster
T Bax For a fabulous poem about school, which won a ‘Highly Commended’ award for National Poetry Day
J Collings For giving a speech at Open Morning
P Mahil For giving a speech at Open Morning
A Sharp For giving a speech at Open Morning
E Gage For giving a speech at Open Morning
L Bowen For giving a speech at Open Morning
I Pennington Legh For giving a speech at Open Morning
L Poracchia For giving a speech at Open Morning
A Ogle For giving a speech at Open Morning
N Staples For giving a speech at Open Morning
E Collings For giving a speech at Open Morning
E Wilcock For excellent results in your summer maths work
O Scott For excellent results in your summer maths work

Players of the Match, week commencing 14th October 2019

Team Name Given for: –
1st Football H Soper For running himself into the ground, always with a smile on his face
2nd F Smith For good passing and scoring a hat-trick
3rd W Sherry For making some great saves in goal
Colts A M McLaughlin & T Smith For great passing and showing responsibility
Colts B B Cosgrove For being a solid defensive player
Colts C A Green

J Pathiwill

For scoring 4 goals

For great mid field play

Colts D R Brown & E Green For all-round good play
Colts E I Premachandran For an all-round good performance
Colts F No Match
U9 A J West For scoring a hat-trick
U9 B J McDonnell & H Brown For great dribbling and scoring goals
U8 A T Staples For scoring a hat-trick
U8 B C Thornhill For great defending and awareness
U8 C E Wilcox For giving 100% effort in the rain
U13 A Hockey P Parker-Swift

E Powell

For excellent tackling

For great defending

U13 B Hockey E Jones Voted for by the opposition
U11 A Hockey A Ogle Voted for by the opposition for great play
U11 B K Fryer For scoring 4 goals!
U11 C E Brewer

S Andrade

For very solid defending

For driving forward from a mid-field position

U10 A G Owen For demonstrating good, hard passing
U10 B A Ulens For making some great saves in goal
U10 C D Patel For having great energy and attacking play
U9 A Netball No Match
U9 B No Match
U9 C No Match
U8 Green Netball No Match
U8 Black No Match
U8 Blue No Match

Senior School Open Days

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include Bromley High School Christ’s Hospital, Haileybury, Kent College Pembury, Oakwood Park Grammar School, Radnor House, Sevenoaks School, Skinners’ School, Tonbridge Girls’ Grammar, TWGGS, Whitgift School and Wilmington Grammar School for Boys.

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!