Head’s Blog 29th March 2019 Friday 29th March 2019

As this Lent term draws to a close I wish you all an excellent and restful Easter holiday.

The pace of the final week of term certainly lends itself to being a great contrast to the upcoming period of rest.

The explosion of talent showcased in the school production of “Emil and the Detectives” met with universal acclaim from all those who were privileged to attend.

Our drama room, with its intimate, raked seating installed became a space transformed to take the audience back to Berlin pre-war.

Parents, siblings, friends of the school, governors and guests were all astonished by the standards achieved by all the children. The ensemble work, the theatricality, the physical techniques, the soundscape, choreography, lighting, set, music and direction were all of the highest quality. As I said to staff, one phenomenal imagination was at work to create this piece with the help of some phenomenally talented children. What was created revealed hours and hours of care, time and commitment from everyone involved and a huge amount of learning. The bringing together of the whole company of supporters and backstage assistants, costume changers, make up and hair artists, bar tenders, and backstage crew, reunited many old friends and we thank them for being part of the team that put on this extraordinary show.

The children were energised, focused, joyful, talented and very mature in their interpretations of their roles. Our pleasure in seeing what they achieved cannot be underestimated, whether in extended, sustained solo performances, such as the roles of Emil, Pony and Mr Snow, or part of the group of children or adults, whether creating movement in a crowd or on a tram, or creating a mood or emotion, the ensemble work was tight and extraordinarily accomplished. Particular thanks go to all those who built the set, designed the programme, procured props and clothes and a particular mention to Rachael Newton who assisted and prompted at all rehearsals, Ali Landgrebe, our wardrobe mistress, and her team, Mary Bridges who choreographed the dancing sequences and ably stood in for a pupil, Emily the producer and congratulations and thanks to Alan Powell for being the best Head of Drama anyone could wish to have and for achieving and enabling something so spectacularly special. Congratulations to every single person involved.

The Cast of Emil and the Detectives

Director Mr A Powell
Producer Miss E Aisher
Stage Manager Mrs R Newton
Assistant Stage Manager Mr J Sabin
Choreographer Mrs M Bridges
Sound Mr T Everett
Lighting Mr J Mitchell
Wardrobe Mistress Mrs A Landgrebe
Assistant Wardrobe Mistress Mrs G Dandeniya
Hair and Make-up Mistress Miss B Campbell
Hair and Make-up Miss H Campbell, Ms K Woods and Mrs O Begg
Set Design Mrs A Begbey
Set Construction Mr B Buggs and the School Estates Team
Props Mrs A Begbey
Programme Mrs L Andrade
Poster and Programme Art Mrs A Begbey
Front of House Manager Mrs L Shield
Bar Mr B Seath and Mr C Shield
The Cast
Ida Tischbein S Edwards-Matthews
Mrs Wirth A Moore
Mr Snow J Crossley
Grandma Tischbein E Ward
Miss Zeittel/Miss Closs T Elliott
Man from the 177 O Goodwin
Mrs Gans A Anglin
Mr Tuesday R Friis
Mrs Tuesday O Crane
Station Master T Sales
Emil Tischbein T Bulley
Pony I Davies
Toots H Soper
Professor R Landgrebe
Tuesday L Blincoe
Hilde E Collings
Helga E Jones
Arnie F Smith
Archie H Plank
Silent Isaac E Hudson
Petzold S Parker-Swift
Gerda S Friis
Berlin Street Kids
N Brown
S Andrade
N Dandeniya
M Lewis
S Ward
V Medlen
Mlle Dubois F Ashdown
Mme Mimi Miss E Balcombe
The Dancers
M Noorpuri
C Prongué
L Fraser
C Sinclair
K Fryer
A Ogle
G Schneider-Price
S Fraser
A Bowyer
L Summers
C Sturges
S Williamson
C M Pape
O Neave
F Arduino
I Gascoyne-Day
Mrs M Bridges
I Neave
L Shi
D El Angbawi
P Singh


Thank you to Mrs S Maltarp, Mrs R Winter, Miss H Darlington, Mrs R Baisch, Mrs J Poracchia and Mr O Chugg.

Thank you to Mr I Smith and the estates team, the office staff, the marketing department and all our parents and members of staff who gave up their time to help with the production of the show.

Last week I gave my last assembly on how to get rid of plastic and took as my theme the birthday party.

I’ve asked the team to put my assembly PowerPoint on the Parent Portal for anyone who would like to see it. Certainly there are some good ideas about recycling wrapping paper, using ribbon instead of Sellotape, so that re-use of the wrapping paper is possible, creating your own decorations, and some funky videos of people doing just that, considering using normal plates and glasses as opposed to themed plastic or waxed paper ones, making your own party bags and putting in them something small and environmentally friendly like a packet of seeds for the child to grow and finally specific advice for parents.

So parents could consider….

  • Getting together as a group to buy or make decorations that don’t use plastic and it could be shared by the year group on a loan basis
  • Abandoning party bags altogether or, if you do have them, making them out of recycled paper
  • Considering cupcakes to take home or something to plant in the garden that attracts insects
  • Asking some parents to come and help wash up your real plates and cups so that the end of the party is not the beginning of your nightmare!

It’s been nice to have such positive feedback from the parents who have taken the time to be in touch about my plastics theme and I know that the children take seriously some of the ideas and wish to incorporate them in your household routines. Later this year I intend to run a short survey about changing plastic use in your house so that I can gauge the impact of talking to children week by week about things that matter to me and to our world.

My theme in my final assembly will touch upon the miracle and the shock of Easter.

The virgin birth and the resurrection are two of the most astonishing stories of all time and in re-visiting them year after year we still can find something fresh to say and to think about from within the depths of these stories. For me, I think my sense of what Easter is about is the bringing of hope. In the depths of despair and at a time in which it seemed that everything had come to a final end, there arose such a miracle that brought new hope, new life and regeneration to the disciples learning from their great teacher.

I hope that Easter is a time for new hope for you and that you can rejoice in the time that you have together.

Our Salzburg trip sets off the day before term starts and I shall be away enjoying the music and culture of this beautiful city and the companionship of your talented offspring. In my absence, my deputies and my secretary Helen will be pleased to help anyone who needs it and I hope that many of you will follow our travels and adventures on my Twitter feed.

I wish you all a very happy Easter holiday.

Jill Aisher

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

Weekly eNewsletter