eNews: Friday 28th February 2020

From the Acting Co-Heads

The start of a new half term is always a chance to re-set. After a little break and the opportunity for rest and reflection we are ready to go again. In Monday morning’s assembly we talked about aims for the new half term and some pupils shared what they hoped to accomplish. It was lovely to hear excitement about the opportunity for the children to develop their hockey skills, to make progress in a particular subject or to plan to do something for charity and, in turn, help others.

When you have a clear goal or aim, no matter what it is, once you’ve acknowledged it then your next step is to make a plan. It is the actions that we commit to, day in, day out, that will determine how close we get to achieving our aims. We had a great conversation with a child this week about what they feel school is all about. They had lots to say and it was very positive, with a clear focus on learning and succeeding in exams. We concentrate so much on the daily routines, working hard to do well in the final assessment but, in reality, there’s much more to it than that. As staff at St Michael’s, we are here to get your fantastic children to the best place they can be in the next steps of their life. To figure out who they are and how they can be the best version of themselves. It’s the building of the skills that will make our pupils be able to cope with the curveballs that life will throw. Resilience, kindness, empathy, commitment and the ability to work collaboratively. Grit and determination. Looking at life with the wonder of a two year old, as Einstein said, can fill our lives with joy and an infallible energy. And isn’t that what makes the whole thing worthwhile? So, whatever your children hope to achieve this half term, I hope that they can figure out some strategies to get there. And even if they don’t quite make it then we can be pretty confident that they will benefit from developing the commitment and resilience that will bring later success.

Mr Bridges wrote to the parents of the boys in the Prep school this week to explain why we are still looking longingly down on the oh-so-nearly finished AstroTurf, as we have hockey fixtures in the calendar that we have been unable to fulfil. We really have had unprecedented bad weather over the previous months, but we are pleased to say that the end is in sight. We are still reliant on a period of good weather to allow the sand to be evenly distributed, but we are hopeful that the children will be able to get on the new pitch soon. We are looking forward next week to the music scholars’ evening performance at Shoreham Church. We are sure it will be a fantastic event and wish all the performers well this weekend with their final preparations.

We wish you a lovely, restful weekend.

Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman

News from Pre-Prep

• Parents’ Evenings Tuesday 17th March and Thursday 19th March; sign up on Parents’ Evening System from 21.00 on Monday 2nd March 
• Thursday March 5th World Book Day
• Author Alan Durant Wed 4th March. Books available for sale at the end of the school day

We have been into recycling this week. I’ve enjoyed watching Kindergarten children tapping pins into the polystyrene cushioning that packed our new smart board screens and I was delighted to see Reception children making a soft play area for bugs out of all sorts of rubbish. Your cardboard boxes are always being put to good use with our younger years. I know you are all delighted to get them back once a transformation has taken place!

On Wednesday Mrs Briggs has organised for author Alan Durant to hold workshops on writing stories with your children. He will have some of his books for sale at the end of the school day and these can be billed to your school account if you find this an easier payment method.

Thursday is World Book Day and, in common with a lot of schools up and down the country, we will be dressing up as book characters. Please make sure that children still have their school coats and that they can still play outside comfortably in their costumes. Any characters with weapons will of course need to leave those at home on the day.

Coronavirus I know is a concern for you all. Please rest assured that as a school we are taking advice from Public Health England daily and we will continue to ask their advice about any individual family concerns. Meanwhile please help to reinforce our message to the children about washing their hands properly with soap and water.

I will be at the Pre-Prep Heads’ conference next Thursday and Friday so if you have any urgent concerns please contact Miss Jo Salmon who will be looking after Pre-Prep in my absence.

Overheard: Mrs Leech, how many different costumes do you have at home?

Have a lovely weekend,

Zerrin Leech

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:

  • Mr Lopez’s Archway Easter Football Camp
  • Mr Thomas’ Easter Hockey Camp
  • Small number of tickets left for Little Shop of Horrors
  • Channel 4’s Junior Bake Off – applications open to bakers aged 9-15

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.

News stories

Our news stories can be found by clicking “News” and “Latest News” on our website. To see our latest articles please click here

Pre-Prep Awards

Gold Stars

Lawson for perseverance in swimming and showing huge improvement this week
Adam O for always trying his hardest in swimming and for making brilliant progress
Miranda for lovely independent writing about tigers
Dylan H for excellent listening and participation during all our learning
Grace L for beautiful handwriting
Isla B for good understanding of subtraction
Elodie for trying so hard to read with confidence and expression
Rui for excellent effort in our Maths work this week
Thomas G for good recall of information when exploring non-fiction texts
Grace P for showing resilience in Maths lessons and always trying her very best even when finding things tricky
Nik for settling back into school life beautifully
Elizabeth S for being kind and considerate to others
Sebastian G for good work with odd and even numbers
Sophie N for sharing some interesting facts about owls
Kayla for always working exceptionally hard, especially with her writing
Xavier for an improved effort with the speed at which he works, showing far more resilience
Nia for creating a fantastic model of a rocket, based on the Apollo II Saturn V
James L for working hard to plan and write a letter home from Neil Armstrong while he was in space

House Point Cup

Dover House with a total of 119 points
Eliza collected the Cup on behalf of Dover House

100 House Points

Dover: Eliza
Leeds: Herbie F

Times Tables Certificate

Bronze: Raven

Silver: Eva F

Music Awards

Music Practice Cup: Adam J
Music Practice Award: Walter
Star Violinist Cup: Taran

Pre-Prep Assembly

Well done to Finley and Olivia, who played “Train Ride” and “Footsteps in the Snow” respectively, in our Assembly.

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

L Shi For having art work displayed at school
T Vafai For having art work displayed at school
S Edwards-Matthews For having art work displayed at school

Players of the Match, week commencing 24th February 2020

Team Name Given for: –
U13 Hockey
U12
U11 A
U11 B
U10 A No Matches for any boys this week
U10 B
U9 A
U9 B
U8 A
U8 B
U8 C
U13 A Netball No Matches
U13 B No Matches
U13 C No Matches
U11 A A Ogle

M Noorpuri

For good all-round play

For making great interceptions

U11 B S Cook For showing good all-round play and skills
U11 C K Fryer Voted for by the opposition
U10 A A Mitchell

E Newton

G Owen

For great defending

For super shooting

For displaying great sportsmanship

U10 B M Amure

N Stinson

Voted for by the opposition

For energised and effective play

U10 C T Carman Voted for by the opposition
U10 D T Bax Voted for by the opposition
U9 A M Pape Voted as player of the tournament by all of the schools
U9 B No Matches
U9 C No Matches
U8 A No Matches
U8 B No Matches
U8 C No Matches

Senior School Open Days, Scholarships and Events

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include Oakwood Park Grammar School, Roedean School and Skinners’ School.

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