students playing sports

The Head’s reflections on the week

Posted: 22nd May 2023

Tickets for our Upper School production of Fame – The Musical are now on sale. A hugely important part of any theatre production is the team backstage, who you may never glimpse, but make the show run smoothly. St Christopher’s productions at The Barn Theatre have Stage Manager Ms Laatz and her ASMs and stage hands; Mrs Browning heads up Hair and Makeup; and Mr Holt presides over the Tech Team in the Tower of Power.

This put me in mind of our school as a metaphor for a theatre production – if I am the Director, and the Senior Management Team are my Producers, who are the backstage team? There are far more people than it is possible to celebrate here who contribute to the running of the school, and of course every member of our staff plays an important role in their own way, but I thought I would highlight three particular individuals this week. They may not be in the limelight as often, but do take time to thank them for what they do next time you see them.


The Summer Term is a welcome one for Jackie, as she can at last hope to arrive at work in daylight. Many, many hours before all our alarms go off, Jackie is opening up the building, sweeping leaves off the playground, fixing radiators, and innumerable other tasks to make sure school is ready for us each morning. This is of course on top of her ongoing battle with Lost Property; she has a Jedi-like ability to find things when they are reported to her as lost. Jackie says her favourite part of her job at

St Christopher’s is welcoming the children in at the Gate in the morning.  One of her roles on a Friday is to help the House Captains raise the flag for the winning House, and she is particularly pleased when the blue one is on the flagpole, as she is a proud member of Howe Dolphins.


Chef Dean is one of the newest members of the St Christopher’s family. I don’t think many of us can envisage cooking for nearly 350 people each day, and Dean and his team are at work long before the children arrive at school. With four Lunch sittings one after another, plus food to be cooked for Reception at Glebe Villas, it’s a Herculean task. It’s all the more remarkable that, whilst he’s in possession of some pretty big saucepans, he and his team work out a kitchen not much bigger than many of ours at home. Chef Dean says his favourite part of life at St Christopher’s is seeing the children try new foods, and seeing happy faces when it’s a particular favourite that day.


Mel is another early riser, out on the School Minibus route to Newhaven at 7am every day. Every time St Christopher’s moves children from Point A to Point B, Mel is involved in the logistics, organising her team. Even when she’s not driving, Mel is in charge of booking coaches big enough to get everybody where they need to go. It’s always great to come back from Wednesday and Thursday matches with a win, but getting everybody there in the first place is another victory for Mel and her team. She says her favourite part of life at St Christopher’s is starting the day driving the coast road, with all of the beautiful scenery, and the warm, family feeling that accompanies walking through the gates when she arrives.

Ms Elizabeth Lyle, Head

Categories: Head's Reflections