eNews: Friday 27th March 2020

From the Acting Head

Remote Learning and Inspection Success

I have appreciated more than ever over this last week all those at St Michael’s who make it such a special place. The creativity, dedication, flexibility and empathy that the whole community has shown has been extraordinary. Remote Learning was always going to provide huge challenges, but I am impressed with the way that the community has approached it as more of an opportunity. The chance to develop our skills and expand our knowledge of IT is somewhat daunting but when it works it’s somewhat exhilarating! We will continue to have some fun, try new things and, most importantly, stay connected ahead of the Easter break.

I am pleased to be able to share our Regulatory Compliance Inspection Report following our January visit by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). The Regulatory Compliance Inspection Report provides a summary only of whether a school meets or does not meet the minimum standards required. We are delighted that this recent inspection reaffirms that we meet all the criteria and fulfil the vast range of independent school standards. Although the report by its very nature is brief, we are proud to tick every box and have our processes officially approved.  Thank you to every single member of staff who enables our school to run effectively and for providing a superb level of commitment to maintaining the highest standards.

I wish you all a healthy, happy and restful weekend.

Mary Bridges

From the Head of Pre-Prep

Well what a week! We’ve had a handful of children in school. Their parents are key workers. The weather has been glorious, so we have played outside a lot. On Tuesday the children who were in painted some stones which we then hid in our woods so when life gets back to normal it will be fun to discover our little painted stones as we walk through the woods. This might be a good idea to try at home and as you go out for your daily walk you too can position them in places for others to discover. 

If you have been struggling at home with teaching your children, you’ll be pleased to hear that we have all found it harder to teach with just a few children of differing ages than our normal class size of 18 or 20. I hope this makes you feel better. 

As a staff we have been really pleased with the amount of work the children are doing and sharing with us on Tapestry or Seesaw. I know Tapestry had some problems coping with the demand on Monday morning, but I understand things are now sorted out. If you have any concerns about your child’s learning please contact your child’s teacher. The staff are still working from home during normal teaching hours. Spare a thought for their children who are now beginning to learn what a disadvantage it is to have a parent who is also a teacher! 

My best wishes to you all, 

Zerrin Leech 

Inspirational teachers, inspirational families, inspirational community

Click here to see our gallery of photos from the week and don’t forget to keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages for daily news updates!

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