eNews: Friday 19th June 2020

From the Acting Head

We’ve reached the end of another successful week; well done to everyone both at home and at school! I continue to be impressed and inspired by the superb engagement of our pupils. I thank everybody involved in embracing the learning with ambition and creativity. Those of you that joined the whole school assembly zoom on Monday will have seen our Year 5 pupils share their recent poetry work. It was wonderful. Not only were the poems beautifully written, but the pupils performed with sensitivity, confidence and flair. Thank you also to our two young pianists who played beautifully. Well done to you all.

We were delighted earlier this week that the government acknowledged the importance of including Year 7 & 8 in their guidance for primary schools, enabling Prep Schools to invite their seniors back before the summer break. We are excited that we can enjoy the final few weeks of term with many of our pupils back together in the company of friends and teachers. Preparations have been in full swing; we have new timetables with staggered breaks and lunches, white lines painted on the grass banks to identify group areas and lots of exciting outdoor activities planned. It will be new and different, but our aim is for the children to feel happy and connected and have a positive end to the school year. You may have noticed that we’ve also arranged for the weather to be amazing! Please ensure that your children come in with sun lotion already applied so that we can enjoy the beautiful grounds and time outside together.

 

For those children coming into school, there will be a lot of change and need to adapt, and for those remaining at home, there may be different feelings as well. I will be moving my zoom assembly to 9am on Monday morning just for those children at home, and I look forward to starting the week with them all.  There will undoubtedly be mixed feelings for those staying at home, and the most important thing is that we keep communicating. Form teachers and co-tutors are here to help and support the children through the emotions of change and new routines so please do keep us informed if there is anything we need to know to support the children over the final few weeks of term.

 

Mr Wiseman is busy pulling all of the Prep School logistics together, and it will be essential to look out for communications from him over the weekend. He aims to keep the number of messages to a minimum, but please be aware that, if you do receive a few different emails, this is simply to enable you to be fully informed. I will be out at drop off on Monday morning and cannot wait to see many familiar faces. Until then, have a fabulous weekend.

 

Mary Bridges

From the Head of Pre-Prep

Dear Parents,

The children who are in school have been enjoying as normal an experience as possible. Year 1 have turned into pirates with their own pirate names and pirate hats bobbing up and down the corridors throughout the day. In Nursery it’s been all about teddy bears. They have had a wonderful teddy bears’ picnic, luckily on the warm dry day and have been out to hunt for the teddy bears that the fairies had taken to the woods overnight. Thank goodness the children found them!

Kindergarten have also been hunting, but for treasure. The children have been able to follow the stick arrows left as clues and luckily were able to recover the hidden gold coins.

Our Reception children are writing so much more now. I have noticed just how much they are writing about their dads prior to Father’s Day. Your secrets are out gentlemen!

Another plea to please send your children in with their coats if it is raining. We do have spares but not in large quantities.

I am looking forward to Monday when our Year 2 children return. Even better, I am going to teach one of the bubbles.

Overheard: My daddy wears my sister’s clown costume!

 

Best wishes to you all,

Zerrin Leech

Staff News

A warm welcome to Mrs Helen Yarrow, who will be joining us in September as our Prep School Library Assistant.

Helen has worked in education in Kent for twenty-five years in various roles including class teacher and English specialist subject teacher, covering an age range from 7 – 13; she was also a Head Librarian in a previous Prep school.

She is married with three grown-up children and enjoys a range of outdoor activities as well as reading, interior design, the ballet and travel. Although she enjoys life in and around Sevenoaks, Helen’s preferred environment is the Suffolk coast, where you will find her during the summer holiday period.

She is very keen to meet all the St Michael’s team in person and is looking forward to inspiring the pupils to share her love of the English language and her passion for reading during their regular visits to the library.

 

School News

Appeal for a doll’s house and accessories

Pre-Prep Reception are in need of a doll’s house, so we thought we would ask if any of our older children have one that they have grown out of and would be happy to donate to St Michael’s 5 year olds. We would also be looking for doll’s house furniture. Mrs Leech is at the top of the bridge each morning and would be happy to accept any donation if you have any of these items you no longer play with.

Many thanks,

Pre-Prep.

Headteacher’s Stars

S Cameron For superb effort in remote learning
E O’Dwyer For excellent effort and commitment to reading during remote learning
A Ravalli For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French
E Bingham For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French
T Maltarp For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French
E Williams For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French
E Green For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French
G Owen For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French
T Carman For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French

 

G Bashford For outstanding effort and progress with remote learning in French

 

J Gagg For excellent effort, perseverance and progress with reading during remote learning
I Pennington Legh For a superb poem, written about swimming during remote learning
J Vanderlanh-Mckeown For making a fantastic computer as part of his “Parts of a PC” IT & Computing project
E Williamson For a superb science presentation, with clear and purposeful delivery
W Deacon For consistent virtual engagement in PE and sport
E Ukwu For consistent virtual engagement in PE and sport
S Chen For a beautiful piano performance in our online whole school assembly
P Gulihar For a beautiful piano performance in our online whole school assembly
J Pathiwill For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
T Bax For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
G Owen For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
B Hayward For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
A MacRae For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
C Hunter For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
E Schwark For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly
E Newton For some lovely poetry work which was shared with confidence and flair in our online virtual assembly

Drama Gallery

We’re so impressed with the puppets Mr Powell’s pupils have made in response to their study of Beauty and the Beast, that we’ve made a special gallery to show them to you. Click here to see their incredible creations.

 

Follow our day to day news on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Sports News

Congratulations to St Michael’s swimmers on some wonderful IAPS swimming results. The following children would have qualified for the finals that were to be held at the London Aquatics Centre this year. Unfortunately this is not happening due to the current situation but well done to all the IAPS swimming 2020 finalists:

A Green- Boys’ U11 50 metres breastroke-  16th position out of 136 competitors.

I Pennington-Legh – Girls’ U10 25 metres butterfly-  7th position out of 136 competitors

The Girls U10 4 x 25 metre freestyle relay team- I Pennington-Legh, E Newton, G Owen, A Mitchell-  qualified in 10th place out of 133 teams.

Such brilliant results- well done to all those who swam. Fingers crossed things are different next year.

Mrs Denton

 

 

Senior School Virtual Tours and Open Days

Many Senior Schools are offering virtual tours and Open Days at the moment. We’ll be updating our Senior Schools Information page as we hear about them. Most of the schools are offering traditional Open Days from September and booking forms for both traditional and virtual open events are available on their websites. Links to the schools are available on our Senior Schools Information page.

The following schools are currently offering virtual Open Days or Tours:

Ardingly

Bethany School

Brighton College

Caterham School

Christ’s Hospital

Cobham Hall

Dover College

Eastbourne College

Haileybury

King’s Canterbury

King’s Rochester

Lingfield College

Radnor House

Sevenoaks School

Tonbridge School

Wellington College

Whitgift School – click here for your Virtual Open Event Invitation

In addition, a new school has been added to our page:

St Catherine’s School, Bramley is a GSA Day and Boarding School near Guildford. They will be holding Open Mornings throughout the autumn.

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