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A REVIEW OF 2013


CONTENTS — 2013 REGULARS

ROEDEAN REVEALED

24 Classics trip to Rome

02 Flashbacks 2013 A quick reminder, month by month, in case you missed anything

06 Two Views Life at Roedean as seen from the Inside and Outside of the school 08 Roedean’s incredible breadth of sporting talent Games Captain Phoebe Tomlinson’s passion for sport of all types (even cricket!) 40 The Last Word Head Girl Jess Roper on why she won’t be tap dancing any time soon

FEATURES 10 The man behind the title Headmaster Oliver Blond on what lies ahead for Roedean, his favourite moment at the school so far and his childhood ambition to be Spiderman 14 Camila Batmanghelidjh The founder of Kids Company on the children that inspire her 16 Parents’ Club How the Roedean Community and Sports Club is strengthening relationships between parents and the school 18 Weekend Programme Why a weekend programme is the perfect complement to the teaching week

25 House Plays

26 Roedean Day 28 House Refurbishments 29 Trip to New York

ORA

30 ORA Review New ORA President Annie Sheaf on the rhythm of the OR year

32 Gap Year New OR Emma Alexander on balancing backpacking adventure and social purpose in her Gap Year 34 Entrepreneurship BuggyTug, Rock and Ruddle, Fine+Candy – how Roedean encourages an entrepreneurial mindset 36 OR Profile Dr Eugenia Cheng OR – serious mathematician, talented pianist and cream tea expert 38 Obituary A tribute to Roedean Old Boy, Dickie Dunn

20 Shanghai Art Exhibition An exhibition of twenty current and former pupils’ work is exhibited in Shanghai to showcase talent and imagination 22 Culpavinum The all-girls’ collective Culpavinum was set up to promote a creative culture influenced by a variety of cultures and backgrounds

Front Cover Camila Batmanghelidjh, social campaigner and founder of Kids Company, being interviewed on Speech Day for the Boudicca Bulletin. Full story: page 14.


10 18 22 32

2013

was a big year at Roedean.

Following the departure of Frances King and Sylvia Brett, we were delighted to welcome new Headmaster Oliver Blond and new Deputy Head Helen Semple to Roedean. Also, the first phase of the House refurbishment was completed, meaning the girls in Houses 3 and 4 could move into their long-anticipated ‘boutique chic’ rooms. These changes took place against a back drop of some incredible individual achievements. Did you know we have a national-record-holding athlete, a flautist with the National Children’s Orchestra, an actor with the National Youth Theatre, and a dancer with the Southern Youth Ballet in school? Their talents, and those of their friends, enrich our school community beyond measure. Thank you to all the contributors to this year’s magazine. You can email comments and suggestions for the 2014 edition to info@roedean.co.uk Happy reading!

Zoë Marlow Editor

www.roedean.co.uk 01


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Flashbacks

FLASHBACKS — 2013 writer

JAN

Internationally acclaimed writer Malorie Blackman gave an inspiring talk to Roedean girls. Malorie’s passion for writing, infectious enthusiasm and natural comic talent blazed around the room for over an hour. She treated everyone to some fabulously entertaining anecdotes about her early life, including the negative careers teacher who would not let her apply to university, being terrified by evicted mice on the loose in the hairdressers salon, and receiving over 80 rejection letters before finally getting the big ‘Yes’ from her publisher. Malorie also talked about the inspiration for her phenomenally successful Noughts and Crosses series, recounting some shocking experiences of the racism she encountered whilst growing up as a black girl in London and explaining the creative process which brought the stories to life. After a rapid-fire round of Q and A Malorie left to attend the Southern Schools Book Awards presentations in the library where she swept the board to emerge as the winning author.

02

Jessica Ash

FEB MAR

A cherished painting known as ‘The White Lady’ was returned to Roedean, following its restoration by local art conservator, Mr Stig Evans. The portrait is of a former pupil, M A Brunner (Mrs H P Lowe) who attended the school from 1887-1889, and was painted by artist Thomas Benjamin Kennington (1856-1916), a London based painter who specialised in portraits of the middle classes. Kennington was an artist of some repute and exhibited internationally in Paris, Rome and throughout Europe, as well as prestigious venues such as the Royal Academy in London. The painting, which dates from 1898, was desperately in need of conservation work as it was extremely dusty and the frame needed reinforcing. It is now restored to its former glory and looks fabulous, with lots of lovely detail, particularly on her dress, now clearly visible. The painting is now hung on the Mezzanine floor of the library, in place of the portrait of former Headmistress Norah Horobin.

Current parent Mr David Nathan-Maister, an expert on early printing, gave a talk on ‘The History of the Book’. Mr Nathan-Maister explained the origins and history of print, including the materials used prior to the invention of paper, such as papyrus (made from reed growing on the banks of the Nile and used to make scrolls as far back as 3000 BC). The girls were then shown how to handle antique books, always opening the book from the middle first in order not to damage the spine. Using this technique, they were then able to gently handle some of the books, including a set of five volumes of children’s books, printed in the late 18th century. Roedean’s Chinese Culture teacher, Mrs Wu, was thrilled to see some ancient Chinese scrolls, some with their original silk covers. Unlike English, Chinese script has not changed over thousands of years and the students were still able to translate sections.


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Flashbacks

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JUN MAY APR The sun shone for the conclusion of an exciting cross-curricular project – a performance in the Cloisters of The Odyssey.

Francesca Amewudah-Rivers won a place on the National Youth Theatre’s (NYT) highly regarded summer acting course.

Upper Three girls Zarbanu, Tallula and Rafal competed in the national finals of PA Consulting Group’s Raspberry Pi competition. The brief was to use the Raspberry Pi to design something which would make the world a better place. The three girls, known as Roe Raspberries, connected their Raspberry Pi to a circuit board and programmed it to turn the lights on and off in a predetermined order. They did all of the programming themselves, using a combination of C++, Python and Linux. Head of IT, Mrs Bakhtiari, said, ‘The girls have worked really hard, have achieved a lot and deserve to be thoroughly congratulated on their enthusiasm, skill and ‘can do’ attitude. I was very proud of them.’

The course leads to official membership of the National Youth Theatre and the chance to star in productions in the West End. Francesca said, ‘The audition consisted of a group workshop followed by an individual audition and interview. I tried not to think how many other people were applying for each NYT place, and I just did my best on the day. I was shocked but excited when I heard I’d got a place!’ Over 4,200 young people auditioned for a place from across the UK, and 500 were selected. The NYT, founded in 1956 as the world’s first youth theatre, is committed to the creative, personal and social development of young people. It has built a reputation as a training ground for renowned British actors such as Matt Smith, Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig and Orlando Bloom.

All 45 girls in Year 9 participated – writing their own script in English, executing it in Drama and taking a Homeric-inspired approach to Biology with a scientific experiment. The Odyssey is the story of a ten year journey to reunite hero King Odysseus with his wife Penelope following the Battle of Troy. The King is accompanied by loyal men, but encounters a number of challenges from various mythical creatures en route. These include the Cyclops (which our heroes blind and escape from by hiding under sheep), Circe (who turn the men into pigs) and sea monsters toothless Scylla and tentacled Charybdis. However, the brave King reaches Ithaca at last and is reunited with his Penelope. The whole performance was absolutely outstanding, with an incredible vocal performance from Aimee, and some priceless comic timing from Tasha and Izzy in particular.

They were the only team in their age group to make it through to the national finals, and the only all-girl team in the whole final.

www.roedean.co.uk 03


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Flashbacks

2013 We were thrilled to announce the best GCSE results for a decade at Roedean.

AUG SEP

JUL We were thrilled to announce the best GCSE results for a decade at Roedean. Among the 62 candidates A* – A increased from 62% to 68%.

July saw the departure of Headmistress Mrs Frances King, who left Roedean to take up the post of Directrice at Collège Alpin Beau Soleil, Switzerland. During her five years as Headmistress, Mrs King made an enormous contribution to the success of Roedean, including the strategic plan for the school’s continued success, with major initiatives in Teaching and Learning and the refurbishment of school facilities. We also said goodbye to Deputy Head Sylvia Brett, who joined Harrogate Ladies College to take up the post of Principal.

04

Fifteen girls achieved A*s and As in all their subjects – well done to Francesca, Aanya, Maria, Hindy, Caroline, Allenis, Amy, Cherrie, Maria, Cynthia, Onton, Marisa, Kitty, Tamsin and Julia. As ever, academic success is only one element of life at Roedean and the girls above also perform to impressive standards in Roedean’s packed sport, drama and dance programme. In the Art, Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Music departments, 50% or more students achieved A*s. The results were a completion of a superb summer for the Music department, who had two leavers going to the country’s leading conservatoires (Royal Academy of Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance).

September saw 27 very excited and enthusiastic new Upper Threes join Roedean from a variety of local prep and primary schools across Sussex and beyond. The new intake included a number of weekly boarders from surrounding counties, and international boarders, as well as a particularly special cohort of St Aubyn’s Prep School girls, who joined us after the sad closure of the school in the summer. Upper Three are pictured here on their first day, meeting new Headmaster Oliver Blond for the first time. The induction saw the girls taking part in a number of exciting challenges and activities to acclimatise them to their new surroundings and make new friends along the way.


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Flashbacks

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OCT

roedean revealed

NOV

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OPEN DAYS — 2014 Come and experience Roedean at one of our Open Mornings:

Saturday 1 March 2014, 10am

The 2013 House Play Festival had some outstanding performances from all four Houses. Each year, the plays are written, directed, produced, and performed by the girls, giving older and younger pupils the opportunity to work together with their peers and learn new skills in time management, compromise and negotiation. House 4 performed ‘East Wing: My night with Isla Dubois’, a classic murder mystery, described by adjudicator Harriet Mathers (OR) as ‘somewhere between Annie and Columbo’. House 2 performed ‘One in a Million’ – ’X Factor turned into a play’, said Harriet. House 3 performed ‘10.44am’. A hospital error results in the mix up of two newborns, and fortunes are changed forever. House 1 performed ‘True North’, about Sharon’s search for happiness and her true self.

Jess Roper, Head of School, and Saffron Amis, Second Head of School travelled to Murcia, Spain, for the COBIS (Council of British International Schools) Head Boys and Girls Conference. 20 Head Boys and Head Girls heard speakers from all over the world share incredible experiences of their careers: some directly related to their own positions as Heads of School, and others that were focused more on personal development or experience. The girls found the most useful part of the conference was the opportunity to work with peers from other international schools right across Europe and Africa. They arrived back at Roedean full of inspiration, and ideas that they are keen to implement over the forthcoming year.

Bank Holiday Monday 5 May 2014, 10am Saturday 4 October 2014, 10am To book a place please email: hch@roedean.co.uk Or alternatively scan the QR code below with your smartphone:

Jess commented, ‘We were given some startling examples of things that Head Boys and Girls had done, but in particular what we took away from it was a real sense of inspiration and change that we can bring to our positions, in ways we hadn’t necessarily thought of before.’

The Becky Clarke Cup for Best Overall Production was won by House 2 for ‘One in a Million’.

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Two Views

‘I think being proud of their surroundings makes the girls stand tall and want to be more involved in the life of the school.’

TWO VIEWS — Inside, in the Houses writer

Chris Sinden, Senior Housekeeper

photographer

Larry Bray

M

y mum, who is now 82, worked for many years in Roedean’s catering and domestic departments and my sister works here too, so Roedean is a big part of our family life. No two days are ever the same. My work takes me all over the site, to all five boarding houses and there’s lots of walking involved – that keeps me fit. Each day I liaise with the Domestic Bursar, as well as my team of Domestic Cleaners to discuss our tasks for the day ahead. Then I may be involved in a particular cleaning job, checking the houses to see that everything is as it should be, or doing the worst part of my job – administration. Answering emails and setting rotas is not as rewarding for me as being out and about making sure the school is looking as good as it possibly can. Ensuring the school is kept at its very best can be quite challenging. Do you know how many cobwebs can collect in all those nooks and crannies around the school? They are a nightmare! We have to dust places and objects you would never think of; even the music stands in chapel are dusted on a regular basis.

06

I really like the newly renovated boarding houses. I think being proud of their surroundings makes the girls stand tall and want to be more involved in the life of the school. After 23 years at Roedean, I have very many other stories and tales to tell, but I’m afraid those are going to stay with me for now…


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Two Views

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— Outside, in the grounds writer

Ali Polawski, Head Groundsman

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Larry Bray

I

’ve been at Roedean for five years. In summer everyone wants our job; they say we’re lucky to be out enjoying the views and getting a suntan. In the depths of winter, when we’re clearing snow, everyone thinks we have the worst job; they wouldn’t swap their cosy offices and classrooms then! I think first impressions are essential. That initial view of Roedean’s grounds as you drive through the main gate sets the tone for the whole school. We have 45 acres to manage, which isn’t always easy. There are lots of jobs around the estate that nobody really notices, but if we didn’t do them then everyone would. It’s all the little details – like strimming the signposts and bollards – that together make the difference. Growing plants and grass on a cliff-top can be difficult. Our flowerbeds are grown from seed and we have introduced salt– and wind-tolerant plants. It’s a challenge that’s taken years of practice to perfect. Our secret weapon in the fight against the weather is a giant cauldron containing a ‘witches’ brew’ of garden compost and grass clippings. As that matures, we spread it over the lawns and pitches.

I’m passionate about my job. I’m proud of the improvements we have made to the pitches and love to see them freshly marked out with white lines and looking smart. It’s lovely to have a job where you feel a sense of achievement, as well as keeping fit. Having a good team to work with – and of course, my dog Floss – who all share the same commitment to beautiful grounds makes coming to work a pleasure.

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Sporting talent

ROEDEAN’S INCREDIBLE BREADTH — of sporting talent writer

Phoebe Tomlinson

photographer

Larry Bray

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’ve always tried to make the most of my opportunities at Roedean by getting involved in as many activities as possible. Especially when it comes to sport – I have a passion for all types. I’m a member of Roedean’s cross-country team and was subsequently selected for the Sussex Cross Country Squad two years running. I’ve also beaten the school, intermediate and junior record for the 800m and represented Sussex on several occasions. You could say I enjoy a challenge!

Grace Swann (6.2) recently started rowing, following in her cousin Polly Swann’s footsteps, and won the 2013 World Rowing Championships, so watch this space! Charlotte Burrows (U4) competed in the Junior Women’s Cambridge Rowing Regatta this year; her team won the Coxed Quad 650 metre race. Finally, Isabella Swann, Grace’s younger sister, has just been invited by the Lawn Tennis Association to a regional training camp for U12 girls – a great end to the season.

Overall I think my strongest sport is hockey and I’ve been lucky enough to represent Sussex for six years and play for the South of England for four years. I’ve made so many friends through sport and learned so much, and now I’m looking forward to continuing to play at university.

My predictions for the coming year? The Under 14 netball team are definitely one to watch. When I see them play I’m always astonished by their performance. As for the 2014 Sports Day trophy, it’s got to be House 4, of course! It would go against my competitive nature if I were to predict any other house winning...

Personally, I have always found that Roedean will support you no matter what your personal ability or overall goal. I’ve grown in confidence with my hockey, largely due to the Sports Department putting me forward for county and regional selections. The staff always encourage everyone to try lots of different sports, so that you can find the one where you will be the most successful.

In terms of inspiration, after her performance in the 2012 Olympics it would be ridiculous to suggest anyone other than Jessica Ennis. Not only is she a wonderful track athlete but is also very professional, and she’s a role model for so many female athletes across the world, including me.

There are so many gifted young sportswomen at Roedean, who are really talented in their field. Amber Pennington (U4) has shown her adaptability both on the field and track with regular successes in Athletics, Amber Anning (U4) is also incredibly speedy on the track, and has already won several titles. She has just been named Young Sports Personality of the Year by Brighton and Hove City Sport too. 08

My best advice to younger sports enthusiasts would be to have a go! You never know until you try. I always thought cricket was like watching paint dry (sorry, dad!) until I tried it myself. The majority of the time sports aren’t what you expect them to be, so try something new!


‘My best advice to younger sports enthusiasts would be to have a go! You never know until you try.’

www.roedean.co.uk 09


features

The man behind the title

‘A good school should provide girls with the opportunities to find out who they are and what they really care about.’ 10


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The man behind the title

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HEADMASTER OLIVER BLOND — The man behind the title photographer

Larry Bray

What did you do before Roedean? My degree was in English and European Literature and Philosophy, so I have spent a lot of time reading, thinking and writing. Along with talking, these are my four favourite things. I started out as an English teacher but also taught Drama and Philosophy in various schools. I loved English teaching and directing plays. More recently, I was Deputy Head at North London Collegiate School, an academically selective independent day school for girls. After that, I was Head of the Henrietta Barnett School for nearly eight years. I love the role of Headteacher as it allows me to get involved in all aspects of school life. My previous schools were all academically very successful but committed to a rounded education and the spirit and the atmosphere was very similar to Roedean. What lies ahead for Roedean? I have now met so many of the girls and staff here that my overriding plan is to try to capture all of the enthusiasm, ideas and goodwill and direct it towards a shared future. I simply want this to be the best school it can be and I have every confidence that it will be. If you think of what you want for one individual girl, then it is simple to imagine what you want for the whole community. Every individual girl who comes to Roedean wants to be engaged, excited and challenged inside and beyond the classroom. Every girl wants to feel valued, supported and encouraged. Every girl

wants to develop a love of her subjects and a love of all the other extra-curricular activities she is offered. I also know that Roedean has a special atmosphere and understand that is as important to its future as anything else. This is a very informal, happy and friendly school and I want it to remain that way. What do you see as the most important asset a girl leaving Roedean should possess? I would hope that we all should possess a sense of humour whatever else we manage to achieve. It can help in almost all circumstances and helps us to keep good relationships and keep ourselves grounded. For me, girls should seek a love of learning, independence of mind, resilience and self-confidence. But if I were to choose one asset I would want my own children to have above all others, it is voice – their own unique and uniquely expressed character and their confidence to express it. Voice is about integrity, authenticity, self-determination and self-belief, and a good school should provide girls with the opportunities to find out who they are and what they really care about. How do you relax? I like to get out into the countryside to walk. I love art galleries and the theatre. I enjoy opera and ballet. I most of all enjoy spending time with my family and just spending time with the children, although this is quite an energetic form of relaxation. I enjoy reading, restaurants, gardening, writing, watching and playing sport, swimming and conversation.

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The man behind the title

Some of the Upper Threes who joined Roedean at the same time as Mr Blond really wanted to know... When you were a child, what did you want to do as a job when you grew up?

Clara

Most boys wanted to be footballers. I wanted to be Spiderman. I thought he was real, I thought it was a job and I liked climbing.

Darcey What has been your

Lulu

Interesting question. It feels like you must make a difference every day and that every day is completely different. You are partly a figurehead, seen at public functions, partly a teacher, partly someone to hear everyone’s problems, partly an advisor, partly a leader, partly a communicator… I could go on, but you get the picture.

Sahar

favourite moment so far at Roedean?

When the school spontaneously gave rapturous applause to Camila Batmanghelidjh at Speech Day. It is so moving to hear her speak and the whole school community responded to her warmth and the dignity that she gave to the children she works with.

What does it feel like being headmaster?

What’s your favourite animal and why?

An elephant. Because they seem so wise and ancient. You can’t not love an elephant.

Zara

What’s the funniest joke you have ever heard?

A bear goes into a bar and asks for a drink and then stares at the barman for a time. The barman says ‘What’s with the big paws?’

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PERFORMANCES — 2014 GALA CONCERT Superheroes Extravaganza — Friday 28 February, 7.30pm Roedean Chapel

SCHOOL PLAY The Matchmaker — Thursday 13 – Friday 14 March, 7.30pm Saturday 15 March, 2.30pm Roedean Theatre

BRIGHTON FESTIVAL FRINGE CONCERT Best of British Gala — Saturday 3 May, 4pm Roedean Chapel

LUNCHTIME RECITAL — Tuesday 11 March, 1pm Chapel Royal, Brighton (Tickets available on the door)

Please email hde@roedean.co.uk for tickets www.roedean.co.uk 13


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Camila Batmanghelidjh

A CONVERSATION — with Camila Batmanghelidjh Julia Masli, Aisha Arden and Boudicca Bulletin

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Camila Batmanghelidjh is founder of Kids Company, which works with some of the most traumatised young people in London. It reaches 36,000 children and families a year. Earlier this year, she was named as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK and awarded a CBE for her work on behalf of underprivileged children in Britain. She was the guest speaker at Speech Day, ‘the perfect choice for a school,’ said the Head, ’which should have social purpose at its core.

‘The children are my source of inspiration because they are so courageous and so amazing.They’ve had terrible things happen to them and yet they get up every morning and get going.’ 14

G

rowing up in Iran, I knew I wanted to open an orphanage. I used to leave food on people’s doorsteps without telling my parents. I ended up in England aged 12 – my father was imprisoned during the revolution in Iran – and at the age of 15 I began to work in nurseries in London. I started working with disturbed children who would calm down around me, and so I very quietly started getting booked in to people’s houses to deal with toddlers who were problematic. These were toddlers who were biting their fingers and drawing on the walls with the blood. They were very troubled children. It was intense for a teenager, but I was quite mature. I’d read a lot of psychology and was already very interested as a young child. I studied psychotherapy and then psychoanalysis, and then I wanted to use puppetry with disturbed children, because children talk to puppets when they won’t always talk to a person. So I went to the University of Warwick to study drama and learnt to use drama techniques therapeutically. I have a genuinely deep love for children and they interest me! They are such individual and unique characters. Disturbed children have an added layer that you have to peel away to discover their core. So often people pay attention to their difficult behaviours and get stuck at that level, but I like to go a bit deeper. Find the baby in the violent individual and eventually you get there.


This excerpt from the interview shows how quickly Camila, Aisha and Julia found themselves on the same wavelength. Julia: When we were researching you we found you went to an all girls’ school [Sherborne]. Camila: Oh yes! Julia: Do you feel that shaped you in any way? Camila: [laughing] Yes, I learned how to disagree, disobey and sort of debunk authority, all politely. Aisha: I think that’s on par with what we’ve learned here. Camila: Exactly, I think you only get that at girls’ schools, you can be smiley and very courteous whilst saying it as it is. Which I tend to do. Actually, I’ve really challenged a few ministers, but always while smiling very politely [laughs]. Aisha: Definitely! We’ve read the things you say which can be powerful and controversial and they are always so well received. So, we were wondering how Roedean could be more actively involved with Kids Company?

I’m often asked how I stay so positive and full of energy. You know what? I think you get miserable when you can’t transform the bad things. At Kids Company, when we get children out of bad situations, we are able to transform their possibilities. My staff take care of the children as though they were their own. We get them things to eat, clothes, an education, so I have this energy that comes from transformation. The children are my source of inspiration because they are so courageous and so amazing. They’ve had terrible things happen to them and yet they get up every morning and get going. So whenever I think “Oh no, not another fundraising cocktail party!” I think about them and their futures.

Camila: I’ll tell you what it is, our children don’t get to see anything. For example, out of a group of 400, 300 of them would have never been to a zoo. A lot of them have never seen the seaside. What would be really good would be to organise a sort of fun day here. Aisha: Of course! And we have the space and the spirit to do that. Camila: Yes exactly. The more sporty girls can do some sport, the arts girls do the arts, something for everyone, and when the kids arrive we could give them a passport of experience and we could give them a Roedean stamp, they would love that. Aisha says: ‘At this point the formal interview was over, and Camila was, as she had said, intrigued to know about us both. She gave us her business card, and we carried on talking for a good half an hour about our different interests and hopes for the future. Never had Julia or I felt we could be so open with someone we had known for less than an hour.’

I want them to move away and lead their lives, leaving behind the memory of what they were like, when they didn’t have shoes, or even underpants. You know, 18% of them don’t have underpants when they arrive. And when you think you’ve got a sixteen year old boy worrying about whether the only pair of shoes he owns is going to get even more holes in, you think, “I can’t believe this is Britain.” But it is, it’s just another side. Actually, though, I want Kids Company not to exist. Success for me would be changing the system, to eliminate the need for this charity, and then I can put myself out to grass. I keep threatening the kids that I’m going to sit as an old lady in a rocking chair and spit my false teeth out. And then they’ll need to bring me soup!

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Parents’ Club

PARENTS’ CLUB — Strengthening relationships between parents and the school

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ne successful development in the last year is the establishment of the Roedean Community and Sports Club (RCSC) – which is always happy to welcome new members, so read on. The Club was established as the result of an idea put forward by a parent, who has also now become the Committee Chair, David McMaster. With the intention of fostering relationships within the community between parents and the school, the RCSC was launched to organise relaxed, informal socials and events, to encourage people to talk to each other and to benefit the girls at Roedean.

writer

Jane Faberij de Jonge

‘Our aim is to reach out to more current parents, as well as new and prospective families, and we intend to put forward regular information on forthcoming community events and activities so everyone can take advantage.’ 16

A committee was formed and meetings are held, usually on school premises, on a monthly basis to discuss developments and plan future projects. There are currently 20 members, a cross-section of parents, teachers, school staff and friends. No subscriptions are charged and tickets for events are kept at affordable prices. Despite its short life, the team has organised a range of events and activities which have proved most successful and which have been met with enthusiasm by all concerned. There was a quiz night with around 80 parents, staff and pupils joining in and two ‘swishing’ evenings where guests bring and exchange quality clothing, shoes and jewellery. There have been sports events including golf, hockey, netball and badminton tournaments, a triathlon – even a Zumbathon.


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Parents’ Club

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The Club also ran a raffle on Roedean Day this June which, along with other fund-raising activities, resulted in £1,300 being presented to Roedean South Africa’s ‘Stop Hunger Now’ appeal. Amongst the most popular activities however are the weekly Saturday morning swimming and gym sessions where the school pool and fitness room are open for girls and their families. In future, the committee would like to stage events twice a term where possible. A cheese and wine evening is currently being planned for January 2014 and, later in the coming spring or summer term, a fashion show and another quiz night to test our wits. David McMaster summed things up: ‘The Club is an active community for parents, organising a number of enjoyable evenings and events throughout the year. It has benefitted from the full support of the school. ‘Our aim is to reach out to more current parents, as well as new and prospective families, and we intend to put forward regular information on forthcoming community events and activities so everyone can take advantage. Anyone who wishes to be involved with the organising team is very welcome. Please do get in touch.’

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There have been sports events including golf, hockey netball and badminton tournaments, a triathlon – even a Zumbathon.

Contact the organising team on parents@roedean.co.uk

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Weekend Programme

WEEKEND PROGRAMME — at the top of the agenda Jane Chandler, Weekend Programme Co-ordinator and Head of House 2

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he Weekend Activity Programme provides an opportunity for all pupils to enjoy the fantastic range of trips and activities available, which are designed to be educational, stimulating, and above all fun!

It is essential for a school of Roedean’s calibre to have a thriving weekend activity programme. Firstly, each trip, show and activity enhances all that is on offer in the teaching programme. History became reality for pupils and staff at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, The Tower of London, The Brighton Pavilion, Hampton Court, The Mary Rose and British Museums, to name but a few. The Natural History museum brought to life creatures great and small, and scientific minds were buzzing after a day out at the Science Museum. The artists marvelled at the great views photographed from the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.

‘The programme broadens pupils’ horizons, and encourages them to look beyond the school boundaries and really stretch themselves.’ 18

Theatrical pupils thoroughly enjoyed seeing Starlight Express in Southampton and, locally, over forty girls saw Les Miserables. The Harry Potter Studios tour is a perennial sell-out. The Flamenco Festival at Sadler’s Wells was a joint venture with the Language Department and both the dance content and costume were marvelled at. Secondly, the programme broadens pupils’ horizons, and encourages them to look beyond the school boundaries and really stretch themselves.


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Weekend Programme

Adventurous activities which captured hearts ranged from sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, paddle boarding (in character-building heavy rain!), mountain biking, shelter building, rock scrambling, abseiling and a night hike and camping. In every challenge along the way, the girls faced their fears and overcame them with a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.

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We think there is literally something for everyone, but the girls are encouraged to put forward new ideas in case there is anything we have missed. A Lower Four student did just that earlier in the year; so after exploring the venue, costs and availability, indoor karting now has a place in this year’s weekend programme. Our pupil says, ‘I am so excited about this trip, I just can’t wait and it will be great fun’.

Finally, every activity gives pupils further opportunities to socialise and interact with those in different year groups and across the five houses. And there is plenty happening on campus too: every weekend there are three Saturday cookery sessions (full every week), two recreational swim sessions and an open badminton session.

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Shanghai Art Exhibition

SHANGHAI — Art Exhibition writer

Sue Stanway, Head of Art

‘I hand-picked a wide range of work from 20 incredibly gifted current and former pupils.’

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ea breezes and the company of teachers and schoolmates are vivid memories, but what I learnt at Roedean is about art as a gift for a lifetime.’ Jane Yang OR was thus inspired to invite Roedean to hold an exhibition titled ‘Roedean: Now and the Future’ in her mother’s elegant art gallery in central Shanghai this summer. I immediately saw a wonderful opportunity to show a wider audience the very exciting art we do here at school. It is different from much school art in that it caters entirely for the individual and is based in Design as well as Fine Art, so that a variety of paths may be taken in future. So, together with fellow coordinator, Bryony Allan OR, I hand-picked a wide range of work from 20 incredibly gifted current and former pupils and we set off for China.

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Jane, Mrs Yang and her team were incredibly dedicated, intelligent and creative and by the time the exhibition opened we couldn’t have been prouder of the range of work on show. The private view attracted 150 very well-known people including Liu Dan, the legendary Chinese artist, and Mrs Julian Lloyd Webber. Among our Old Roedeanian exhibitors were the botanical artist Rosie Sanders, freelance glass engraver Katharine Coleman and interiors designer Clarissa Hulse. Exhibiting current girls included Dana Sobhanpanah and Magdalene Lam. ‘Quite a few visitors mentioned that the Chinese art tradition has a lot of rules to follow in creating ideas of beauty and perfection, whereas what was shown at our exhibition seemed more personal and creative and therefore very different,’ says Bryony.


Our girls often tell us there is little art taught in schools in China. Instead, if a child is recognised as talented, they tend to go to private lessons with a specialist teacher outside school. Over the course of a very hot week – for Shanghai was gasping its way through the hottest summer for over 100 years – a team of current and former girls took it in turns to host the exhibition, enthusiastically discussing the context of the work to visitors, and explaining how nurturing artistic talent can lead to great success. Alongside the public, there was considerable press interest from the professional art world, including interviews with Harpers Bazaar Art and China’s Tide magazine. Valentino sent a ‘scout’ to the exhibition, as did Burberry, to meet Anabela Chan OR and Becky Wong OR. All were impressed by the inventiveness of the work.

The other measure of success is the sale of the exhibits. The mother of Betty Fang (Six One) has a bakery in Shanghai and bought three of Magdalene Lam’s ‘Decorative Cakes’ pictures. Rosie Sanders sold several of her pieces and others are still in Shanghai ready for buyers. A diamond merchant is in talks about supplying stones to Anabela Chan. Looking back, the exhibition showcased the work of our girls brilliantly. We showed that to really succeed you must be a player on the world stage and be prepared for that. I was thrilled by the way the girls worked together to make it all happen. ‘At the Shanghai exhibition I was proud to have represented the school, which I so enjoyed attending, as well as the OR diaspora which is an amazing thing – global, successful, interesting, hospitable, caring and always growing. On a more personal note, we had some wonderful Shanghainese soup dumplings too!’ adds Bryony.

Bryony adds: ‘The feedback we had at the exhibition was great – from the number of old girls who made the trip over, to those who contributed, to excited new girls visiting before the term started. It was all positive.’ www.roedean.co.uk 21


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Culpavinum

CULPAVINUM — the new Bloomsbury? writer

Aisha Arden

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oedean is a hub of diversity, Brighton a hub of expressive creativity. The combination of the two inspired the creation of a blog called Culpavinum.

Culpavinum is an all-girls collective, focused on promoting creative culture. The diverse backgrounds that make up Culpavinum have inspired a unique approach in our art, film, literature, fashion, and photography. Ultimately, the main idea is to bring together innovative and artistically stimulated people: Aisha, Valerie, Mira, Julia, Momo and Ify. It started with six of us feeling a need for a creative outlet, one without a set criteria, one which could be, in every sense, our own. Our contrasting backgrounds and cultures influence our art in its various forms. Art can only get more interesting when your friends are such an eclectic group; Russian, Estonian, Kenyan, Nigerian and English.

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At school there are always opportunities to be imaginative, with free use of the stage, the school newspaper and much more. Nevertheless our own blog allows us to have complete control. It sets the foundations of something we hope to be a permanent part of our lives; a form of expression. We can meet new people with a shared enthusiasm for creativity and have the opportunity to share our own work with those interested. It could be said the main focus of Culpavinum is fashion – outfits we have put together and want to share. Typically, these are influenced by the places we have travelled to, or by each other and the people we have met. Less than a year into the blog, our social circle has extended to professional photographers, well known musicians, writers, and artists. The mistake often made when we talk about creativity is the assumption that we lack interest in topic areas such as science, or politics. Though our blog does not feature these topics heavily, they are key aspects of our lives, and we see the creativity within such topics too. Valerie’s art in particular depicts her political views. With three of us doing science subjects and all six exposed to global issues daily, these topics are essential in allowing us to have a wider vision of a world we will soon be set loose upon. Though the blog has become a key aspect of our lives, in our final year of A levels school takes priority. After exams, we plan to strengthen the connections we have made and continue blogging whether we are separated by university, drama school, or a gap year. It won’t be easy, but the fact we live in different countries now and can still make it work gives us resolve. We hope Culpavinum can only become more successful with the newfound independence that comes with university life.

An extract from the blog Daydreams And she sat there whilst the world continued. Completely still apart from the occasional flutter of her eyelids. She watched as the the guests stood up and left the table. She continued to watch as the plates gradually disappeared until the table was empty and she was left in solitude watching the wild cinematic vision that was her imagination. She saw men and women making love with a frightening abandon that was freedom. She saw a beautiful old woman with a streaming mane of white hair smile. She smiled until the wrinkles of her eyes became deep chasms in which exotic trees grew; twisted and wonderful, the flowers that blossomed from the trees were curled and brown and on closer inspection they were not flowers at all but foetuses created by mahogany coloured lovers who flew above the universe with celestial wings. And she continued to sit there. While the world moved on. She sat there alone. At the empty table and as the streaming sunlight became the seductive light of the moon she sat there alone. And the world continued and dawn began to break. Then her soul longed for the touch of moonlight to seduce her again because it was easier to embrace the night than it was to wake up.

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Classics trip to Rome

ROEDEAN REVEALED — Classics trip to Rome

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t Easter, the Classics Department Roadshow went on tour. Thirty five excited students and five members of staff hit the streets of Ancient Rome. They fought with gladiators, shopped in the Roman Forum, paid homage at several temples, threw coins in the Trevi fountain, ate an awful lot of pizza and ice cream, and then escaped to Tivoli to admire the wonders of Hadrian’s Villa. After all the sightseeing, the tranquillity of the Villa d’Este, with its spectacular fountains was just what they needed. One of the biggest hits with the girls was the day spent exploring the former harbour town of Ostia, which was beautifully preserved.

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House Plays

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Roedean Day

— Roedean Day

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he showcase at Roedean Day is the moment for stunning dance and drama performances and the pictures speak for themselves.

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Roedean Day

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House Refurbishments

— House Refurbishments

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Trip to New York

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— Trip to New York

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ast March Miss Stidson and Mrs Ellis took a group of girls ranging from Lower Five to 6.2 to New York. The five day, performing arts themed trip enabled the girls to take part in a number of dance and art related activities. The girls were able to visit art galleries, see Matilda the Musical on Broadway and participate in dance workshops, as well as take in the sights of New York in a tour of the city including a trip down the Hudson River.

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ORA Review

OLD ROEDEANIANS’ ASSOCIATION — Review

‘I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time in a place which I know meant a great deal to my mother.’

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Annie Sheaf (Clowes: House 2 1968-1974)

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he ORA year has a rhythm which I had not fully appreciated before becoming President this spring. Key events give the ORA its continuity and help to ensure the vitality of the organisation, by maintaining and strengthening links between old friends who meet at these occasions. All of you, present pupils and parents, are now making the friendships which will last long after energetic hockey and netball matches are a fond memory!

Reunion Day is obviously the great highlight of the year, especially for ORs keen to come back to Roedean and catch up with their friends. Last June, some 130 ORs came back to see how the school is developing and to admire the refurbishment of the Houses. When it is your turn to become an OR, we do hope you will visit the school on Reunion Day. It is a uniquely entertaining occasion to revisit the buildings and pitches where you had your own successes, and to hear of the school’s ambitious plans for the future. Our annual Founders’ Day service in the Roedean Chapel had a very special resonance for me as new President this year. There is nothing in our calendar which so closely binds the whole Roedean community, gathered to remember our Founders and their values, and more immediate past members of the community who have sadly recently passed on. Working closely with Rev. Graeme Rainey, we filled the service with much-loved hymns and focused a little more on the people being commemorated by lighting a candle as each name was read out.

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Many relatives attended; one man came all the way from Australia, as the service was remembering his late wife. He wrote afterwards: ‘I would like to express my deep gratitude for a truly wonderful and moving day. Members of the ORA and teachers, girls et al – you were true friends and the service made me very happy, as well as sad.’ One son wrote to me: ‘It was the first time I had ever visited the school – and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time in a place which I know meant a great deal to my mother and particularly to sit in the chapel where she must have sat on many, many occasions, speaking some of the same words she must have spoken.’

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ORA Review

So this brings me to my final reflection of my first year as President. Until you are very involved in the ORA it is hard to understand just how wide our network is, in terms of geography, of experience and of age. It begins with eleven-year-olds and extends beyond a telegram from the Queen! It is remarkable that ORs in their nineties, like my mother-in-law, are still interested in what we are doing at Roedean and can easily identify classmates in photographs from the 1930s. Roedean has been a popular and successful school ever since the Lawrence sisters founded it and its reputation is unsurpassed. You, the present pupils, and all of us ORs together have a duty to maintain this, and actively publicise the school whenever we can.

www.roedean.co.uk/friends-and-supporters Meanwhile, in the background, I am very pleased that ORs (no doubt like present pupils!) were taught IT so well that they are fully abreast of all the social media useful to keep old friendships alive. My Committee has been terrific in continuing to build our platform for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as we are increasingly using these web services to keep you all in touch and encourage a dialogue with our widely scattered community of present pupils and future ORs.

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Gap Year

GAP YEAR — A Year of Adventures Writer/photographer Emma Alexander

Since its birth forty years ago, the gap year has gone from a rare occurrence to an everyday rite of passage. Last year, eight Roedean leavers had a gap year; here is the story of one of them.

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he thought of escaping and having adventures for a whole year was a very exciting prospect as I grew up.

But as I gradually realised how competitive my other dream was – of getting into medical school – I was afraid that applying to university as a deferred entry student would decrease my chances of success. So when I found out I had a place at Imperial College I immediately saw the chance to ask to defer, and the acceptance of my request gave me a life-changing, incredible year. 32

I started with three months teaching English in Chile, and travels in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. I then went to Australia and from there jumped on the classic backpacker trail – Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia. Day after day, I explored beautiful scenery, met fascinating people, and swapped traveller’s tales, ticking off the big highlights on any gapper’s To Do list. The purpose of my year was not only to relax, travel and explore new places, but also to combine some voluntary work with my future in medicine. So, although they were the three most difficult months of my life, the last part of my year, volunteering in India and Nepal, were definitely the most fulfilling. I was absolutely in at the deep end as soon as I arrived in India, working in a cancer hospice in the Chennai slums. Here, uncontrolled tumours had people in excruciating pain, with little hope of relief. Though I was just a volunteer, I was effectively doing a nurse’s job – dressing wounds and so on – and it was a steep and emotional learning curve.


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Nepal was the perfect balance for the colour and chaos of India. It’s a small country with a community feel, where every region lives together in harmony. Unfortunately, working in a remote orphanage, I picked up a nasty stomach bug which put me flat out in the travel hospital for a week. I felt so emotionally drained, ill and weak, that, after months on the road, I just wanted to go home. Somehow, I finally decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and dragged myself up. I don’t think I will ever receive a greeting like the one I received on walking through the orphanage doors. Suddenly all my negativity melted away as I realised how much these children appreciated my care. My problems were nothing, compared to how difficult their lives are and knowing that I was helping these amazing children was one of the best feelings in the world.

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Gap Year

Now back in the UK, I can see that my year gave me many things. The first thing is confirmation that medicine, travel and voluntary work is what I want my future to be full of. Also, after a total of five months in South America, I can finally say I really am fluent in Spanish. I have also learnt a great deal more about different cultures whilst in parts of Asia I had not been to before. But most importantly, this year has taught me to relax and enjoy the moment – something I used to find extremely difficult to do! Emma started her MBBS/BSc Medicine at Imperial College, London, this September

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Entrepreneurship

ENTREPRENEURSHIP — Encouragement leads to business success writer

Caroline Donald, Young Enterprise Coordinator

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% of the members of our ORA LinkedIn group are either owners or directors of their own businesses. How is Roedean creating an entrepreneurial mindset? A recent visit back to school reminded Di Mayze (No.2, 1986-91) of the role that Roedean played in her business success. ‘I went on maternity leave in 2009 and bought a second hand buggy as part of an economy drive. When it arrived it was in terrible condition so I quickly ordered a new buggy more suited to the hilly area where I live. However, this new buggy didn’t have a wrist strap – which I realised I had come to rely on – so after an unsuccessful search in various shops, I set about making my own. ‘Things quickly escalated and through contacts I was put in touch with a manufacturing agent, a PR agency and a distributor. Before I knew it I was on the stage at a trade show as part of a Dragons’ Den style competition pitching BuggyTug to buyers from Asda, Amazon and JoJo Maman Bebe. ‘BuggyTug is now in its third year and has been joined by ToddlerTug for toddlers to hold onto and TeddyTug to make sure teddies stay on the journey too. TugTrio can now be bought in twelve countries in most supermarkets and nursery retailers.’

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45% Last year 45% of eligible pupils took part in the Young Enterprise programme and wiped the floor with the competition in the Brighton and Hove Area Finals


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Entrepreneurship

‘If you can survive a lacrosse game in a short skirt on the playing fields in a howling gale, you really can survive anything.’

So where did Roedean make a difference for Di? ‘Firstly, Roedeanians really can talk to anyone at any level, from a warehouse team to ‘must schmooze’ buyers at Boots and John Lewis. Being down to earth and approachable is a great trait to have. ‘Second, and most important, Roedeanians don’t quit when the going gets tough. In the three years I have been doing this I’ve had to do informal recalls, hand repack 8000 units (whilst holding down a full time job) and spend my son’s education fund on stock that’s not moving as fast as it should. But if you can survive a lacrosse game in a short skirt on the playing fields in a howling gale, you really can survive anything.’ As the numbers show, Di’s not alone in setting up a small business. Other OR-owned companies include: • Fiona Egerton-Warburton’s confectionery business Fine + Candy (www.finecandy.co.uk) • Alexandra Rock’s natural hairbrush business Rock and Ruddle (www.rockandruddle.co.uk) • Daisy May Downe’s promotional merchandise company, Daisy Chain Merchandise (www.daisychainmerchandise.com)

Our teams – Purity, On Nine, A Star and Instinct – competing against Brighton College and BHHS, scooped awards for: • Best Company Report (A Star) • Best Governance (Instinct) • Best Accounts (Instinct) • Best Customer Service (A Star) • Best Branding (On Nine) • Young Achiever of the Year (Dana Sobhanpanah – Instinct) If you would like to get involved in supporting Young Enterprise at Roedean, please contact Caroline Donald (cdo@roedean.co.uk) The full version of the piece about Di Mayze appears in the ORA Magazine 2013 (available to buy from the ORA section of the school website www.roedean.co.uk/ora-magazine)

What about the current girls? Well, we have some serious entrepreneurial talent in the school. Last year 45% of eligible pupils (ie those from 6.1) took part in the Young Enterprise programme and wiped the floor with the competition in the Brighton and Hove Area Finals, picking up 6 out of 10 awards, including the only individual award. www.roedean.co.uk 35


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OR Profile

OR PROFILE — Dr Eugenia Cheng writer

Jane Faberij de Jonge

If Eugenia’s name sounds familiar, it may be because her latest research project – to identify a mathematical formula for the perfect traditional afternoon tea – attracted worldwide interest earlier this year.

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‘I made some fantastic friends from all over the world; we remain staunch supporters to each other.’


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OR Profile

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r Eugenia Cheng is an Old Roedeanian (House 4, Outside work, Eugenia regularly gives classical 1994); she is also a serious mathematician and concerts. ‘Music helps me balance everything’ she said recently. a talented pianist of considerable repute.

After Roedean, Eugenia studied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, completing her PhD in 2002. Since then she has completed a post-Doc for a Fellowship at Cambridge, followed by another Fellowship at the University of Chicago, as well as the Marie Curie Fellowship at the University of Nice. She is now a senior lecturer in the Mathematics department at the University of Sheffield and is currently on a year-long sabbatical back in Chicago, a city she loves.

‘Maths is an extreme and rather lonely pursuit; you tend to sit in a corner directing your brain for long periods. Music gives me total release, I think it complements my mathematical activity. People understand me better when listening to me play the piano.’ Through her music, Eugenia believes she has learnt other invaluable lessons for life: communications, leadership and participation, sharing knowledge and love.

‘You have to learn to be open to criticism and to benefit from it; to carry on and improve, not to If Eugenia’s name sounds familiar, it may be because her latest research project – to identify a mathematical be offended by harsh words.’ formula for the perfect traditional afternoon tea Eugenia remembers her years at Roedean with – attracted worldwide interest earlier this year. fondness. ‘I made some fantastic friends from all over the world; we remain staunch supporters to Eugenia concluded that the important criteria are the thickness of the scone, the density of the cream... and each other even though we now work all over the place. Our bonds are deep-rooted, more so, I think, the size of the mouth of the person who’s eating it. than girls I know who attended other schools.’ This research caused huge interest, with radio and In closing, Eugenia said that the school enabled television interviews requested from all over the world. Subsequently, Eugenia has agreed a publishing her to understand the importance of contributing to, and being part of, a community. deal, for a book to explain mathematical principles through food. ‘Roedean gave me a better awareness of the responsibility that comes with a privileged upbringing This is Eugenia’s signature teaching method; she and the teachers gave me the confidence to strive feels that using such everyday comparisons takes to achieve what I wanted for myself. Thanks to our away the fear some people have of maths, making Headmistress, Mrs Longley, we had a great start.’ it less daunting.

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Obituary

OBITUARY — Mr Richard ‘Dickie’ Charles Dunn

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Jackie Sullivan, School Archivist

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remember that the front quad was known as the Quarterdeck, and the Commanding Officer’s horse was turned out there to keep the grass neat!’ This was just one of Dickie Dunn’s memories of Roedean during his time here in World War II. Following the evacuation of Roedean pupils and staff to Keswick, the school site became HMS Vernon, home to the electrical branches of the Royal Navy.

‘The front quad was known as the Quarterdeck, and the Commanding Officer’s horse was turned out there to keep the grass neat!’ 38

Dickie attended two short courses at HMS Vernon, gaining valuable experience which provided a foundation for his career in the electrical industry. After the war he carried out contract electrical work for a local company, Fellingham’s, at Roedean on several occasions. This involved working in many parts of the building, such as the heating and ventilation areas, not usually accessible to visitors.


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His connection with Roedean was re-established in 1994, when the Roedean Old Boys’ Association (ROBA) was formed to celebrate the 30,000 men and women who had passed through HMS Vernon. Dickie attended many of the annual ROBA reunions accompanied by his wife Megan and very much enjoyed the opportunity to reminisce. He was also a familiar face at school concerts and plays over the years and enjoyed telling people that he was an ‘Old Boy’. In 2009 he was invited to speak about his wartime experiences at the school as part of the Heritage Open Days festival.

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Obituary

‘Roedean will always be grateful that he was so willing to share these fascinating memories of a fast changing social landscape with us.’

His talk included the story of how, when on guard duty at St Dunstan’s, a sentry spotted bayonets in the moonlight. ‘The Commanding Office was all for firing at them, until I suggested challenging them first. It was a good job we did – they turned out to be the local Home Guard on exercise!’ Dickie brought various props with him from his collection, including notebooks from HMS Vernon days with diagrams of how to tie various complicated knots. He also revealed he had been mentioned twice in Dispatches. Dickie lived in Brighton and then Shoreham for over 80 years and witnessed many changes during his long life. Roedean will always be grateful that he was so willing to share these fascinating memories of a fast changing social landscape with us. Dickie passed away peacefully during a short spell in hospital, aged 92. Mr Dickie Dunn (1921 – 2013), proud member of the wider Roedean family, will be remembered at the 2014 Founders Day service.

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The Last Word

THE LAST WORD — Jess Roper writer

Jess Roper, Head of School

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Larry Bray

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his is a special year. The whole Senior Prefect team knows we are all very lucky to be at the top of the school with a new headmaster.

We’re seeing the school go through lots of changes, and being an open minded team, we’re enjoying taking the school through those changes as decisions are implemented. Most importantly, as Mr Blond’s first point of contact for the girls, we are enjoying the role that we play in maintaining the aspects of Roedean that mean the most to us. The Head Girl is a bridge between the students and the staff and to be in touch with the students’ opinions and feelings is imperative. As I start planning my gap year, it’s natural to feel slightly nostalgic. Obviously we don’t know how our characters would have developed were we at other schools, but what have I learnt in the past six years? I now know that I’m abysmal at trampolining and softball, but that the adrenaline rush of performance is something that I will always love. I know that I can orchestrate forty girls in a re-enactment of the London riots for a House Play, but that I can’t – and should never again, for the sake of my own dignity – tap dance to an audience.

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I now know that I’m abysmal at trampolining and softball, but that the adrenaline rush of performance is something that I will always love.

In Sixth Form especially, I have learnt to adapt to difficult situations and make quick decisions: we need to make sure Roedean keeps challenging our students both inside and outside the classroom. House competitions, in particular, are the most incredible way for students to develop such attributes. Working together as a spirited team, but also coordinating events and people, are the kind of things that girls get out of House Plays, Music, Sport and Dance competitions and they are vital for developing personality. My memories will be many – and varied. Watching, for the first time, the House Play that I had co-written and co-directed; drying two hundred tea stained programmes for a house competition with hair dryers; playing with the new Upper Threes at the playground; and … hiding in other peoples’ rooms after lights out in Lower Four (sorry, Mr Orys!). So, the last word. Get involved in everything Roedean has to offer. Don’t join clubs or activities because you want to say you have done this or that on your UCAS application: join it because you’re enthusiastic and because you want to give something back to Roedean. After a gap year, Jess plans to study Middle Eastern Studies and then live and work abroad.


‘Get involved in everything Roedean has to offer. ’


Design Carr Kamasa Design Print Gemini Brighton Roedean School Roedean Way Brighton BN2 5RQ T: +44 (0)1273 667500 www.roedean.co.uk @RoedeanSchool

The independent day and boarding school in Brighton for girls aged 11 to 18


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