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Trailblazing Careers of South Hampstead Alumnae Working in the Creative Arts

At South Hampstead, we believe confidence grows through creative expression. From Reception until Upper Sixth, students have the opportunity to perform in music, drama, poetry or public speaking. In the Senior School, students can step up to be the writers and directors of their own plays,Sgiving them leadership skills and PLU allowing them to shape and influence their own performance.

Transforming As alumnae, you know that Desert South Island Poetry Hampstead has a long tradition of valuing Waterlow Hall Alumnae Helena Bonham

Volunteering Abroad

Two alumnae write about creative expression alongside academic V ICK Y BIN GHAM Allie Esiri visit in Ghana The newand creative and and musicCarter South Hampsteadtheir Highexperiences School work, drama haveandHeadmistress, South Hampstead High School and South Africa cultural heart of our school

IS S UE # 3

Next year, we look forward to welcoming you all back to experience our new Waterlow Hall and celebrate our successful reputation in the performing arts. As alumnae, you are always welcome here and always part of the South Hampstead community.

Shining Back

As Headmistress, it is my aim that all students leave school having developed the absolutely critical skill and quality of confidence. With confidence, girls are curious and resourceful, they are fearless and encouraged to take risks, and most importantly have voice PERFE C T IN G Ptheir ER Fown ORM A N CtoEspeak up and speak out in their careers and everyday lives.

This is why at South Hampstead we are investing in our performance spaces. Our vision is to transform the existing Waterlow Hall into a new cultural and creative heart of the school. On the site of the 1980s sports hall, we soon hope to have a flexible, contemporary performing arts space, giving students an environment that matches the quality of their intellectual thinking and talents, and enabling them to stand up and be heard. It will be a place to welcome back our alumnae, to welcome in the surrounding community and to encourage and inspire our students for generations to come. You can read more about our plans for the hall on page 22 and how you can help be part of this project.

Resplendens

In a profession known for being highly competitive, we are proud to hear inspiring stories from alumnae who, through dedication, ambition, hard work and commitment, show that it is possible to have rewarding careers in this industry. In their stories, many attribute their success to the confidence and experience they acquired from their education at South Hampstead. I also know of many alumnae who have pursued successful careers in other industries and continue to enjoy a love of music, singing and theatre because of their participation and leadership in concerts and plays at school.

always been a central part of the school community. In today’s environment, creative skills are becoming increasingly important in the workplace and employers are demanding creativity, critical thinking and decision-making skills, in addition to good grades. It is these abilities that cannot be replaced by AI or computers. Furthermore, it is the confidence that comes from performing that translates directly into presentation skills, emotional intelligence and resilience that are so crucial to success in our professional lives.

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

W

elcome to the 2019 edition of Resplendens, our magazine for South Hampstead alumnae. In this issue we highlight the careers of our alumnae who have excelled in the arts – drama, music performance and theatre production.


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Resplendens 2019

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

“It is the confidence that comes from performing that translates directly into presentation skills, emotional intelligence and resilience that are so crucial to success in our professional lives.” — Headmistress, South Hampstead High School VI CK Y BI NGHAM

CO N T E N T S

South Hampstead High School Alumnae Department 3 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SS Fiona Hurst Alumnae Manager Email alumnae@shhs.gdst.net Phone 020 7435 2899

Message from the Headmistress

3

The Year at South Hampstead Performing Through 2019

4

Become a Role Model South Hampstead’s Careers’ Programme

6

Inspirational Mentors

8

Alumnae in the News

10

Desert Island Poetry Alumnae Helena Bonham Carter and Allie Esiri reflect on friendship through poetry

12

Alumnae in Theatre

14

Interview with alumna Clio Gould Professional concert violinist

18

Interview with alumna Despina Tsatsas Executive Director at the Young Vic

20

Transforming Waterlow Hall The new creative and cultural heart of our school

22

Spring Alumnae Reunion 2019

24

O Joyful Light 100 Years of the School Hymn

26

Alumnae volunteering in Africa

28

Remembering alumna Jennie Buckman and former teacher Miss Mary Elliott

30

Profile of former Junior School Teacher Frances Wilton

32

Reunions for the Classes of 1968 and 1970

33

Networking events

34

South Hampstead in the News

35

Dates for your Diary

36


As alumnae, you know that South Hampstead has a long tradition of valuing creative expression alongside academic work, and drama and music have

V ICK Y BIN GHAM

Headmistress, South Hampstead High School

IS S UE # 3

At South Hampstead, we believe confidence grows through creative expression. From Reception until Upper Sixth, students have the opportunity to perform in music, drama, poetry or public speaking. In the Senior School, students can step up to be the writers and directors of their own plays, giving them leadership skills and allowing them to shape and influence their own performance.

Next year, we look forward to welcoming you all back to experience our new Waterlow Hall and celebrate our successful reputation in the performing arts. As alumnae, you are always welcome here and always part of the South Hampstead community.

Shining Back

As Headmistress, it is my aim that all students leave school having developed the absolutely critical skill and quality of confidence. With confidence, girls are curious and resourceful, they are fearless and encouraged to take risks, and most importantly have their own voice to speak up and speak out in their careers and everyday lives.

This is why at South Hampstead we are investing in our performance spaces. Our vision is to transform the existing Waterlow Hall into a new cultural and creative heart of the school. On the site of the 1980s sports hall, we soon hope to have a flexible, contemporary performing arts space, giving students an environment that matches the quality of their intellectual thinking and talents, and enabling them to stand up and be heard. It will be a place to welcome back our alumnae, to welcome in the surrounding community and to encourage and inspire our students for generations to come. You can read more about our plans for the hall on page 22 and how you can help be part of this project.

Resplendens

In a profession known for being highly competitive, we are proud to hear inspiring stories from alumnae who, through dedication, ambition, hard work and commitment, show that it is possible to have rewarding careers in this industry. In their stories, many attribute their success to the confidence and experience they acquired from their education at South Hampstead. I also know of many alumnae who have pursued successful careers in other industries and continue to enjoy a love of music, singing and theatre because of their participation and leadership in concerts and plays at school.

always been a central part of the school community. In today’s environment, creative skills are becoming increasingly important in the workplace and employers are demanding creativity, critical thinking and decision-making skills, in addition to good grades. It is these abilities that cannot be replaced by AI or computers. Furthermore, it is the confidence that comes from performing that translates directly into presentation skills, emotional intelligence and resilience that are so crucial to success in our professional lives.

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

W

elcome to the 2019 edition of Resplendens, our magazine for South Hampstead alumnae. In this issue we highlight the careers of our alumnae who have excelled in the arts – drama, music performance and theatre production.


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Resplendens 2019

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

S C E N E S F RO M T H I S Y E AR’ S S CH O O L P RO DU C TIO N O F ‘ INTO THE WO ODS’

TH E Y E A R AT SO UTH H A M P S TE A D

Performing Through 2019 South Hampstead continues to celebrate highly successful exam results. At GCSE, 2017 and 2018 saw the school’s best results on record with over 70% of entries awarded at the very top grades (A* or the new 9/8s). In a year group of 97 girls, 25 students achieved at least nine or more 9s/A*s. At A Level in 2018, two thirds (67%) of entries were awarded A*/As, with over a third of students achieving a clean sweep of straight A*/As. Students excelled in the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) again this year – the independent research project that allows students to explore their interests and abilities beyond the A Level curriculum and prepare them for university study. Over a quarter of Upper Sixth students took the EPQ last year, all achieving A*/As and an impressive 81% gaining the top A* grade. Over 21% of students have secured offers to Oxbridge for 2019 to read a wide range of subjects. Students have also received offers from

Russell Group universities, medical schools, art colleges and overseas destinations including Ivy League universities. In 2019, a typical school day is buzzing not only in lessons, but in all co-curricular activities where students develop new skills, thrive, work and lead, preparing themselves for tomorrow’s world. Here is a snapshot of everyday life at South Hampstead today.

FIND OUT MORE Have a look at our new website www.shhs.gdst.net and our twitterfeed @SHHSforgirls to see how our students thrive, academically and otherwise.


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OUT R E AC H

D E B AT I N G

Over the last two years, South Hampstead has worked on numerous outreach projects with the local community. In September 2018, we began a partnership with Spear, an organisation based on Finchley Road that runs a coaching programme to transform the lives of unemployed young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and prepare them for the workplace. Sixth Formers have been assisting at our local centre, with parents conducting mock interviews with the trainees, many of whom have battled with anxiety or depression.

South Hampstead is becoming a debating hub, with a newly appointed Director of Debating & Public Speaking running successful workshops and competitions with local schools. So far this year, students have competed in the LSE Juniors competition, the ESU Schools Mace Regional Final, the Oxford Schools Finals Day at the Oxford Union, Debate Mate and humorous friendly fixtures with local schools.

Girls throughout the school volunteer and give back by visiting elderly residents at local care homes via our Pensioners’ Link programme or teaching IT novices how to master technology through the JW3 Into the Loop programme. Our Sixth Form-led choir sing and raise funds at the Royal Free hospital, and the whole school community supports local charities, including Mitzvah Day. This year students voted to support the charity Action Breaks Silence which empowers and supports women and teenage girls across the world. We have also forged links with Eastbury Community School in Barking, a borough where the leader of the council is particularly keen to raise the attainment of girls. So far, the partnership has seen us support Eastbury’s applications to Russell Group universities, perform a joint music event to celebrate women’s suffrage and provide collaborative workshops and competitions for debating and public speaking. We also invite other local state schools to participate in a range of activities to which they might not otherwise have access, for example Classics talks, debating training and Junior School Mathematics workshops. D R AM A This year our Senior School production was Sondheim’s Into the Woods – a sell out show over four nights performed by 91 students from across year groups consisting of cast, backstage crew and musicians. The Sixth Formers’ independent play, directed and performed themselves, was an immersive, promenade performance of the Importance of Being Earnest around Oakwood, their Victorian grade II listed home. Other productions performed this year include Euripides’ gruelling Trojan Women and a Junior School production of Tinsel & Tea Towels.

S P O RT At South Hampstead, we have an ethos of ‘sport for life and sport for all’ for every girl. There are plenty of sporting activities on offer so everyone can find their niche, from athletics and British Military Fitness, to badminton, table tennis and yoga. Each year we hold a ‘Sports for All’ week where students are encouraged to try new sports such as handball, rugby and acroyoga. Our U15 and U16 netball team qualified for the Middlesex County Finals, our U14 gymnasts achieved third place at the British Schools Gymnastics Association Floor and Vault Competition and our dance team competed at the Camden Schools Dance Competition, winning their section and going on to represent Camden in the London Youth Games. MUSIC The music department puts on more than 40 concerts each academic year. So far this year, we have listened to our orchestras and choirs perform repertoires ranging from Telemann’s Suite in A minor, a Remembrance Sunday Performance to reflect on the Centenary of Armistice Day, Songs of Empowerment at the Broadway Theatre in Barking and songs composed and sung by our music scholars. We currently have over 40 music scholars, from percussion to voice, who regularly perform at weekly lunchtime recitals for students and staff, as well as teatime concerts for parents. Approximately 350 music lessons take place each week and half of students play at least one instrument to a minimum of Grade 5. One family recently donated a Steinway D Grand Piano to the school which greatly enhances the quality of our performances.


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Resplendens 2019

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

B ECO M E A

Role Model INSPIRE A SOUTH HAMPSTEAD STUDENT TODAY DR R AC HE L OS BO R N E

Director of Careers and Higher Education

W

e strive to provide an educational arena that empowers girls to prepare for life and work in a rapidly changing world. While outstanding academics can open many doors, attitudes and experiences can drive our students to the very top of their careers. You only have to look at the varied achievements of our alumnae to appreciate the confidence, creativity and ingenuity that a South Hampstead education provides.

The major aim of the Futures Programme, our careers and higher education offering, is to promote thinking beyond the stereotypical career path. This ability to think creatively will be key in an ever evolving work place, where our students need to be equipped with resilience and adaptability. Understanding how different everyone’s pathways post-Sixth Form have been makes up a large part of this. As alumnae, your own stories will strike a chord with our students. You are the role models that will inspire and shape the next generation. The importance of positive role models is well documented and it can be the smallest of actions or helpful words of encouragement that can make a huge difference. Career choice has been shown to be influenced by family, peers, personality and opportunity. We want to provide our students with as much opportunity to explore their future as possible and we know that alumnae can provide a wealth of invaluable experiences and stories. As former First Lady Michelle Obama recently said, “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.” GET IN VO LV ED We are always delighted to welcome back alumnae to support the Futures Programme by talking about your career, offering work shadowing or offering master classes in key skills. To be part of our careers progamme for 2019-20, please contact us: South Hampstead Alumnae Office Email alumnae@shhs.gdst.net Phone 020 7435 2899

How can you be involved in the Futures Programme? Mentor a Sixth Former This year, South Hampstead and the GDST have partnered with rungway.com, a mentoring app, to enable every Sixth Former to connect with alumnae in the GDST Alumnae Network. Students can post a question any time, any place, from a computer or smartphone, and have it picked up and answered by one or more of the app’s mentors – which could be you! This was a direct response to our student council requesting a casual and personalised way of getting relevant careers advice. The app is a closed community of GDST Sixth Formers, alumnae and staff. All questions are anonymous and all responses are named, and can be private or public, giving accountability to the advice given. As members of the GDST Alumnae Network, you will have received an invitation email from GDST head office, asking you to click on the link to register and download the app to your tablet or phone. Do get in contact if you have not received the invitation and would like to get involved.


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N I C KI S P R IN Z ( C E N T RE ) WITH S O U TH H A MP STEA D STU D ENTS AF TER AN I N S P I R IN G TA LK D URIN G STEM WEEK

Nicki is a prominent figure in the technology sector. She is Managing Director of ustwo, a leading design, technology and games company, and co-founder of Ada’s List, a community designed to support women working in the tech industry.

Work experience

Lunchtime speakers

Our Futures Bulletin

Work experience is always a soughtafter opportunity for our students. Many companies offer opportunities and if your company has a career insight event or work experience programme, we would be more than willing to advertise these to our students. Alternatively, if you are able to offer one student a week’s placement, we can facilitate their application and selection. This gives us an opportunity to coach them on CV and cover letter writing and we will be able to select the students that will gain the most from the placement.

We always welcome lunchtime speakers to talk to our students face-to-face for our “Careers In...” events. These events involve a small group of girls who want to hear about your particular career. They are relaxed affairs, and our students are always buzzing with questions. We can set up a panel of alumnae in related roles or simply invite just you. In recent months we have hosted a wide range of industry sectors, including Law, Journalism, Design, Medicine, Digital Marketing, Finance, Investing and PR.

We also have a termly publication, the Futures Bulletin, for students and parents. This showcases the latest in careers and higher education research and looks to highlight different professions. If you have an idea for an article, then please do get in contact and we can discuss the best format for your message.

Thank you!

Ann Kirk (née Kuhn)

1946

Nicki Sprinz

1999

Dame Prof Carolyn Hamilton

1970

Despina Tsatsas

2000

Baroness Lynne Featherstone

1970

Victoria Jossel

2000

Sanchia Berg

1981

Rachel Logan

2000

Fiona Lowry

1983

Sarah Sackman

2003

Helena Bonham Carter

1984

Jessica Tucker

2004

Allie Esiri

1984

Malvika Kapoor

2005

Tamar Kasriel

1988

Laura Elvin

2006

Hilary Freeman

1989

Rebecca Siddall

2007

Laura Barclay

1992

Lindsey Noakes

2008

Claire Lemer

1994

Nicole Harvey

2009

Alison Naftalin

1997

Lois Salem

2009

Lara Feigel

1998

Natalia Abramovich

2014

Laura Cullen (née Fishman)

1998

Lilly Glucksmann Cheslaw

2014

A huge thank you to all South Hampstead alumnae who have inspired our students with their university and career stories in 2018 and 2019. The following alumnae visited the school to speak about their careers, ran mock interviews, spoke at our alumnae networking events or were interviewed as part of our SHHS Motivational Monday series.

Our students have always appreciated the time and effort that the alumnae network have put into careers advice. If you have any further ideas on how you can help, please do get in touch.


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Resplendens 2019

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

Inspirational Mentors

through the GDST Alumnae Network

GDST has been running its hugely successful mentoring scheme since 2014. Experienced former pupils help other alumnae at critical stages in their personal or professional development, and the feedback from mentors and mentees alike has been overwhelmingly positive. South Hampstead alumnae Laura Barclay and Victoria Rennoldson share their experiences of participating in the scheme.

M E N TO R: L AU R A B A RC L AY

Class of 1992

I found my first GDST mentoring experience in 2016 very rewarding so I decided to apply for a second year. Although my career path has been less conventional than most, I felt that the experience I had gained could be helpful to others. I studied at Boston University and have worked in the UK, US and Australia developing and implementing HR and communications strategies for large companies undergoing major organisational change. In 2013, I set up my own business, Getting Ahead Australia, allowing me to have greater flexibility to manage family life without any local family support. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to mentor Victoria who, after having had a successful career in marketing, had recently set up her own business called Perfect Cuppa English. After reviewing her website, I was excited to meet her as it sounded like she was doing similar work to myself but with a greater focus on sharing British culture with professional expats and their partners. Due to our different locations, we held our meetings via Skype or WhatsApp in my evenings and her daytimes. She was very friendly, easy to get to know and keen to learn as much as she could about how to grow her start-up, while also remaining a hands-on mum for her young children. At the start, she had a handful of clients and was continuing to do freelance work for other friends. Soon after our first meeting, where we explored her vision and her “why”, she began to implement some of the changes we had discussed. This resulted in her letting go of her freelance work and focusing 100% on building Perfect Cuppa English, including improving her business processes to prepare her company for growth.

I always looked forward to our meetings and hearing about what was going well for Victoria, what was not going so well, and what new opportunities she had. We usually spent about an hour online and I enjoyed being able to share with her some family/work-life balance/well-being ideas, as well as some start-up strategies I had learned through my own experience and by completing The Entourage Program in Sydney. After each meeting, Victoria would email me a brief summary of what she planned to implement over the following month and, by being held accountable, she felt even more motivated. Once the programme came to an end, I felt that I had not only built a great friendship with Victoria but also had allowed her to feel more confident in herself as a strong, independent mum, wife, friend and businesswoman. Perfect Cuppa English has been featured in several high-profile UK magazines and has grown significantly. Victoria’s team of trainers is now delivering high-quality educational and cultural programmes to both individuals and corporates. I would highly recommend taking part in this great initiative as it is not only rewarding to participate in someone else’s development, but it has also helped me with my personal development and given me networking opportunities.


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“I have developed my confidence, self-belief and trust in my path, even when there are setbacks.”

V IC TO RIA REN N O L DSON

— Mentee

M E N T E E : V IC TO R IA R E NN O L DS O N ( N ÉE SWIN G )

Class of 1996

I decided to change careers in 2013 after 12 years in FMCG brand marketing. I had enjoyed it but I was looking for a new challenge and something more flexible with my family. I re-qualified in teaching general and business English, and set up my company, Perfect Cuppa English. We offer bespoke English language and British culture courses to professional expats and their partners in London. It was an exciting time setting up the business and building my own brand. I had some great clients initially, but was also freelancing to help balance the books. After six months, I hit a major stumbling block when some clients finished their courses and moved on. Suddenly, I felt I had lost momentum, questioning everything and disconnected, as I had no colleagues. Fortuitously, I then received the GDST email about the mentoring scheme, and decided I needed a mentor to support me as I was transitioning from my old corporate life to entrepreneurship and the growing pains of my business. I was lucky enough to be matched to Laura, who is also a South Hampstead alumna and working in the English education sector. As Laura is based in Australia, all our sessions were conducted by Skype and WhatsApp, which I was comfortable with as I regularly use it for my business. I was very impressed by the variety of her business and education experience, and it was helpful that she had established her own business and studied entrepreneurship, so I could learn plenty from her. Laura was very easy to speak to. I appreciated her encouragement, her probing questions and the focus on my goals which helped me see the broader landscape, my potential blind spots and get beyond the day-to-day list. We discussed many subjects including

marketing, systemising for efficiency, setting the business up for growth, networking and balancing family and work. I found our conversations inspiring and motivating. During every mentoring conversation, we aimed to set expectations and objectives upfront. I also took away actions from every meeting, and this really helped my accountability. Even after the scheme formally ended, we decided to continue our meetings. We had a great connection and I always appreciated Laura’s insights and questions. As a result of the scheme, I have developed my confidence, selfbelief and trust in my path, even when there are setbacks. I now work exclusively on my own business, offering courses to both individuals and corporates, and have a team working for me as we have grown significantly. I would highly recommend the scheme, whether you are looking for support as a mentee, or can offer your experiences and skills as a mentor.

The GDST Alumnae Network is an ideal community to support a mentoring programme, especially given the “common bond” so many tell us they have with other former students from South Hampstead and other GDST schools. Alumnae continue to learn and develop throughout their lives, long after leaving school. With an Alumnae Network of 70,000 there are many ways that former students can support and guide one another, both professionally and personally.

If you would like to find out more about being a mentor or a mentee, please contact: mentoring@wes.gdst.net


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Resplendens 2019

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

SO UTH H A M P S TE A D A LU M N A E

In the news 2019 A DV E R T I S I N G

L AW

Victoria Fox

Professor Jennifer Temkin

Championing women in business in the Financial Times’ HERoes List

Awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to criminal justice

This is the second year running that Victoria has been nominated by her peers and colleagues, and selected by Financial Times judges, as one of the UK’s top 100 leaders supporting women in business. Victoria was recently appointed CEO of AAR Group, a communications consultancy. A RC H IT E C T U R E

Alumna and former governor Jennifer’s work as a legal scholar specialising in the law and policy relating to rape and sexual violence has been pioneering and of national significance. It has brought about a transformation in law, procedure, attitudes and practices in the criminal justice system.

Madeline Kessler

MUSIC

Representing the next generation of infrastructure leaders

Sara Mohr-Pietsch

Madeline has been selected by the National Infrastructure Commission to ensure a strong voice for the next generation of infrastructure leaders for the UK.

Appointed Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School & Festival for 2020 Sara will take over from Joanna Macgregor, who is also a South Hampstead alumna, and will be responsible for shaping a programme that offers exceptional music tuition for amateurs and young professionals in a warm and friendly festival atmosphere.

FI L M

Naomi Alderman

Sreenplay of her award-winning book Disobedience released in November 2018 Highly reviewed by Empire as “an understated yet profound examination of identity and selfsacrifice, this honest depiction of repressed romance will unashamedly tug at every heart string.”

Anna Mohr-Pietsch

Produced her second feature film comedy, Swimming with Men The film closed the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2018, was released nationwide in July that year, and is now available on Netflix.

C B E I N L AW

Professor Jennifer Temkin


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REPRESENTING THE U K I N I C E S K AT I N G

Lilah Fear

SPORT

SCIENCE

CHARIT Y

Hannah Viner

Dr Jess Wade

Laura Marks OBE

Representing England in long-distance running

Publicly recognising every Special award and female achiever in science message from Home with a Wikipedia entry Secretary Sajid Javid recognising the impact Jess has generated a wealth of media coverage for this initiative of Mitzvah Day since it and has created more than 550 became a charity in 2008

In 2018, Hannah represented England at the Rennes 10k International team competition and made the UK under-23 top 10 rankings in several distances. She also won the Susan Halter Elite Athlete award, part of the Maccabi GB Sports Awards.

Lilah Fear

Representing the UK at ice skating world championships Lilah and her skating partner Lewis Gibson continue to represent the UK in world skating championships. During the 2018 – 19 season, they have already competed in five tournaments, including European Figure Skating Championships 2019, and achieving new personal bests.

entries for women scientists in the past year. “The more you read about these sensational women, the more you get so motivated and inspired by their personal stories,” she says. “It is my hope that these stories will encourage more girls to study science.” BIOGR APHY

Sophie Pedder

“Quick-paced, witty and elegantly written... a breath of fresh air for the calmness and intelligence with which she deciphers and dissects the man and the politician.” – The Times Paris Bureau Chief of The Economist, Sophie Pedder’s second book Revolution Française on Emmanuel Macron’s presidency was published to critical acclaim.

Laura set up Mitzvah Day 10 years ago. Today, the annual day of social action brings together people of ‘all faiths and none’ to volunteer side-by-side in 30 countries to build more cohesive neighbourhoods and make a difference to the community around us.

RUNNING FOR ENGL AND

Hannah Viner

P S YC H I AT RY

Dr Olivia Fiertag

Thought leader in the national media on adolescent mental health Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Olivia regularly comments on issues such as supporting teenagers for exams, antidepressant use in children and appropriate screen time.

R E C O G N I S I N G FE M A L E AC H I E V E M E N T I N S C I E N C E

Dr Jess Wade

TELL US YOUR NEWS If you or one of your school friends has a success story, we would love to hear about it. Please contact us on alumnae@shhs.gdst.net


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Desert Island Poetry Alumnae actress Helena Bonham Carter and poetry curator Allie Esiri reflect on their friendship through poetry.

A

t our November Speaker Series event, we welcomed back two former pupils, Helena Bonham Carter and Allie Esiri, to speak to parents, staff, fellow alumnae – and some very excited pupils. During the evening, the two best friends led the audience on a mesmerising journey, punctuated by performances of specially selected poems that have guided them through life.

Allie (who has compiled several poetry anthologies including A Poem for Every Day of the Year) and BAFTA and Emmy awardwinning actress Helena cited a diverse range of poets who have provided a backdrop to, and defined, their enduring friendship. Side by side on stage, they read their first choice together – a touching rendition of “Us Two” by A A Milne: “It isn’t much fun for One, but Two, Can stick together.” Other selections included I am by John Clare, Does it Matter? by Siegfried Sassoon, Valentine by Wendy Cope and Human Family by Maya Angelou.

BOOK SIGNING

Helena signs copies of Allie’s poetry anthology, ‘A Poem for Every Day of the Year’

Throughout the evening, Helena and Allie revealed how poetry can express the inexpressible, for not only the important things in life, but the little things as well. “A poem can transport you into somebody else’s shoes,” said Allie, whose passion for poetry was contagious. “It can also remind you that you are not alone.” Helena and Allie Esiri (then Byrnes) met aged 11 on their first day at South Hampstead High School in 1977. “I am indebted to letters,” remarked Helena. “We had to sit in alphabetical order… all my best friends have a surname beginning with B!” Theirs is a friendship that has endured 40 years of life’s ups and downs. When asked what her desert island luxury item would be, Helena responded “Allie” in a flash. “Allie is a professional and conscientious friend. We chat, we FaceTime, we holiday, we shop, she is my phone-a-friend. We couldn’t function without each other.” Reminiscing about their time as teenagers at South Hampstead, Helena highlighted that there was “no envy or one-upmanship. Friendships were a cornerstone – what a gift. I was very happy here. I think I was more adult when I was child than I am now.”

P O E T RY R E C I TA L

Allie recites poems that have guided her through life


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L I FE LO N G FR I E N D S

Allie and Helena with other friends at South Hampstead

“We certainly weren’t competitive at school,” added Allie, who remembers Helena as being hard-working, diligent and “law-abiding.” During the evening, Helena recalled that she was slightly intimidated by poetry in her younger years. However this did not stop her from winning a small sum of money in a poetry writing competition, which she spent on her first listing in the actors’ directory, Spotlight. “I was wearing my yellow school shirt in my first professional photo!” laughed Helena as she showed the picture to the audience. She also drew parallels between poetry and acting: “They can both transport you to new places and you don’t even need a passport.” When considering what advice to give current South Hampstead students, Helena and Allie urged the girls to be true to themselves, to be bold. “Do something you love. Work hard at it, do your prep... but then jump and trust that you can f ly.” They also highlighted the need to take responsibility, to make your own interior weather, illustrated by the poem, Thumbprint by Eve Merriam: “I make my own sun and rain. Imprint my mark upon the world whatever I shall become.” In her parting words, Helena reiterated the importance of learning to accept your vulnerabilities and to have a sense of humour about yourself. “Remind yourselves that you’re special, unique – and that no one can be better at being you than you.” At the start of the evening, Helena had asked if anyone was not a fan of poetry. A few brave souls raised their hands, confessing to ambivalence (at best!) But the buzzing crowd, clutching signed copies of Allie’s poetry anthologies after the event, including the aforementioned cynics, was clearly testament to the transformative powers of hearing poetry read so beautifully aloud.

S P OT L I G H T

Helena’s first professional photo taken wearing her yellow school shirt


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Resplendens 2019

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

Alumnae in

Theatre


Resplendens 2019

Shining Back

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HANNAH MULDER

Artistic Director and Writer/Director at The Wrong Crowd (Alumna 1998) My education at South Hampstead gave me the opportunity to discover what I loved doing and to value the creative work alongside the more academic work. There were some amazing members of staff who taught me so much about the creative process. Whether it was singing, plays, musicals, music or visual art – all were approached with such craft and commitment. As a child, I always thought I would be an actress. However, I was discouraged from doing it straight out of school and I loved art so, after a gap year, I studied Fine Art at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art. After graduating, the collaborative nature of theatre was still really calling to me, so I enrolled in a physical theatre course in Spain. It was then that I started to think seriously about making theatre the focus of my work. I did a postgraduate course in Acting at Oxford School of Drama. At the same time, I started to write and direct. I realised this was an area I was more suited to in all sorts of ways. I worked on projects in many different contexts, in theatre and opera, and worked extensively with young people and on community projects. Eight years ago, I co-founded a theatre company called The Wrong Crowd with two brilliant women. We make visual, imagination-provoking work, often for crossgenerational audiences, with a strong steeping in myth and story. Over the past few years, I’ve taken a step back

as Artistic Director while having young children and am now a Creative Associate, where I focus on directing and sometimes writing the shows we make. We’re based in Devon and are the resident company at the Theatre Royal Plymouth. We’ve co-produced and made work in association with Opera North, Soho Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Ovalhouse and the Southbank Centre, as well as toured our work nationally and internationally. I am passionate about telling stories and love to touch people with those stories. I hope that they inspire people in all kinds of ways. I also love the completeness of theatre. So many different elements come together in our work – the storytelling and language, the visual elements, the music and sound, the actors’ process and the collaborative dynamics of a creative team. In the end, sitting back in a theatre and watching the audience’s reaction to a show is the most terrifying, but ultimately the most satisfying, experience. For me, working as a theatre-maker requires tenacity, imagination, energy, sensitivity, bravery and a clear vision or willingness to keep looking – and love. Someone wrote a review of a recent show in which they said that I directed with “flair, consideration and love.” I thought that was such an interesting thing for someone to have seen in my work and I take it as the highest of compliments!

R EBECC A BA IN BRIDGE

Actress (Alumna 1999)

I always wanted to be an actress and my world was fuelled by performance for as long as I can remember. For me, there was no other path I should be on. While at South Hampstead, I have fond memories of appearing in plays and once performed in Mother Courage with Hannah Mulder (see above). When I reached the Sixth Form, I only applied to drama schools and was fortunate to gain a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to study drama, singing and violin. I then continued my training at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, the independent performing arts school based in North London. My career as an actress has always been fulfilling, always varied and never dull. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I love the escapism of theatre, not just for the audience but for the actors too. It is an incredible feeling to totally immerse and lose yourself in a role for a few hours. It may seem like a frivolous career at times, but the unbridled pleasure it can provide is priceless. I have had the opportunity to perform in films, in the West End and in commercials. This year, I’m taking a short hiatus from long-running theatre projects and working in television as I have two small children. My current role is playing Dr Slavin, a semi-regular role on Hollyoaks.

My biggest standout career moment was around 12 years ago when I spent two and a half years as the understudy for the role of Sally Bowles in Rufus Norris’ original production of Cabaret at the Lyric Theatre in the West End. There were many opportunities to perform as it’s a tough role to sing eight shows a week, and the main actress needed recovery nights. I definitely had moments of ‘What-Am-I-Doing-Here?’ when the spotlight hit me and the orchestra started playing the opening bars of Cabaret. I also played the Queen of Hearts in an immersive production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that ran at The Vaults under Waterloo Theatre. One night, we performed in a private show for a number of high profile celebrities and a major royal was in the audience. She became very involved during the show and curtseyed to me on her way out! I know it’s a cliché, but if any South Hampstead students or alumnae are considering a career in acting, I would advise them to have incredibly thick skin and a resolute belief that there is nothing else you could possibly do. Make sure you have a strong, dependable support unit too, and a good sense of humour will help in virtually any situation.


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Resplendens 2019

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

K AT E YO U N G N OW OV E R S E E S T H E U K A N D I R E L A N D TO U R O F K I N K Y B O OT S

Photo credit: Matt Crockett

K AT E YO U N G ( N É E C A M I L L E R)

General Theatre Manager (Alumna 1999) When I arrived at South Hampstead in Year 7, I was incredibly shy and a bit of a wallflower. School gave me the confidence to believe in myself and pursue my dreams. In my career today, knowing that I am part of the South Hampstead community gives me the strength to forge forwards in a male-dominated industry and not give up when I hit glass ceilings. I come from a theatrical family so theatre has always been a big part of my life. As a child, I remember going to see The Woman in Black with my dad, who is an actor, and being hugely inspired by how powerful theatre could be with the simplest of story-telling; I think that sowed the seed for me. I love the energy and electricity in the atmosphere of a theatre, even in an empty auditorium, and the echoes of all the stories that have been told in that space. It gives me butterflies every time. I started my career in opera working for the summer festival Opera Holland Park. It gave me a great foundation in the performing arts and I had the opportunity to work on a massive range of art forms and scales of work, from solo recitals through to epic operas that included ballets, circus acts and children’s choruses. I then moved to The Old Vic where I worked across a number of plays and musicals including Hedda Gabler with Sheridan Smith and Sweet Bird of Youth with Kim Cattrall, expanding my knowledge of theatre. It was at The Old Vic that I discovered my passion for commercial theatre and I moved across to Old Vic Productions (now Greene Light Stage) to work on West End shows, starting with Private Lives at the Gielgud Theatre, starring Anna Chancellor and Toby Stephens.

I love producing work that reaches large audiences and run for longer periods. I’ve not looked back since. I now work for Playful Productions, one of the UK’s largest independent theatre production companies, managing and producing shows in the West End, New York and on tour. During my time at Playful, I’ve worked on the West End productions of Wicked and Kinky Boots. I am now overseeing the UK and Ireland tour of Kinky Boots, so my world is very much filled with glitter and high heels! There are a few moments that stand out as my biggest career achievements for different reasons, from producing and directing my first opera as a student, to joining the worldwide Kinky Boots family. A particularly special moment was taking over the running of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria and the show winning the Olivier Audience Award in 2015. I’ve been lucky enough to attend the Olivier Awards a few times, but being part of the team that won the award that year was an incredible honour. For me, the key to success is teamwork and never for one second taking anyone or anything for granted. You can have the most talented director or a Hollywood A-lister signed up for a show, but without the hundreds of people working behind the scenes, you have nothing. My role is making sure that every one of those people is working to the best of their ability, and as a team. My role also involves attention to detail, multi-tasking and being calm under pressure. You never know when you’ll get a phone call saying there’s an emergency you need to resolve. A sense of humour is essential too!


Resplendens 2019

Shining Back

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K AT E O ’ C O N N O R

Theatre Director (Alumna 2005) During my time at South Hampstead, theatre felt like a place where we could have creative independence, whether in drama lessons, school plays, or the time when a group of us decided to put on our own production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons. Our teachers always encouraged us to take ownership of our own projects and were keen to teach us the styles of many different practitioners. All through school and university, I performed in plays whenever I got the chance. I knew I wanted to work in theatre from very early on – it was just my favourite thing, from rehearsing through to putting on your costume and going out in front of an audience. While studying English at Cambridge University, I began to direct plays and discovered that I was more suited to this area. Since graduating, I’ve had an extremely varied career, working on a variety of different styles of performances. I’ve worked on interactive theatre shows involving computers and barcode scanners, shows with young people, devised theatre, West End shows and been part of a company who make multi-sensory work for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. More recently, I’ve become involved in a group of theatre translators based at King’s College London and concentrated on international work where texts are translated from other languages. This led to one

of the biggest moments in my career to date where I directed a new Spanish play called Cuzco at Theatre503 in Battersea. This was the first time I had my name to a four-week run at a London theatre. I’m also very proud of my work as Researcher on Minefield, which was at the Royal Court, as part of the biennial London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) in 2016-7. This show brought together six veterans of the Falklands War, three from Britain and three from Argentina, to tell their stories onstage – no actors, just the guys themselves. One of my favourite theatre artists, Argentinian director and writer Lola Arias, directed it. For me, this kind of documentary theatre is so exciting because it tells us about the world in a way that no other art form can. If you want to succeed as a Theatre Director, I’d say one of the most important attributes is perseverance. I can’t pretend it’s easy at all. As a freelancer, you have lots of ups and downs, and you will definitely need second jobs for a long time into your career. This can feel disheartening when your friends are on more stable paths, but if you are passionate about theatre, then it’s all worth it. The ability to collaborate is also key. One of the most brilliant things is working with a team of other artists towards a shared vision. It helps when we all have a sense of humour too.

S UZ A N N E B U R LTO N

Costume and Set Designer (Alumna 2009) I joined South Hampstead for the Sixth Form so that I could take Theatre Studies A Level and really valued the space the arts had in the culture of the school. A Headmistress can say how important the arts are, but the real litmus test for me was the enthusiasm of the students who were involved in all sorts of artistic projects, and the ‘yes’ culture that accompanied every endeavour. If you wanted to do a theatre project and could figure out how to make it happen, you could. All this was alongside our academic studies.

I’ve worked on many new writings and devised pieces which are challenging, because things keep changing. I love being a major part of the process of a new piece coming together, and as these shows have never been performed before, my designs can never be compared to anyone else’s. In recent years, I’ve designed sets as well as costumes and recently took a short course in model-making to help me bring my creative ideas to life. Unusually, the last project I worked on was the design for an escape room!

I was keen to go into theatre after school, but my parents persuaded me to go and do a real degree. So I studied Theology and Religious Studies at Cambridge University and spent as much time as possible involved in student theatre. It was here that I found my passion for costume design, which combined my interests in fashion and in social history. I looked at the graduate schemes in my final year, but none of them appealed. My passion was theatre and, at the last minute, I applied to RADA. Amazingly, I gained a place on their two year PgDip Theatre Costume course.

One of my biggest achievements was helping to found the Oxfordshire Theatre Makers, an organisation that promotes professional theatre in Oxfordshire. I loved being part of something that brings theatre makers together. We achieved so much in a short space of time, including receiving an Arts Council grant for a touring production showcase, helping to bring our members' work to a wider audience outside Oxfordshire.

I started my career in London, working part-time as a dresser for the English National Opera while juggling work as a costume supervisor for various companies such as Headfirst Productions and the Soho Theatre. I got my break in costume design when I moved to Oxford. People liked my work, introduced to me to their friends and one job led to another.

Having a successful creative career is not just about the ideas you generate. You need a good business head to be able to manage your own money, juggle multiple projects at once and make sure they’re all delivered properly. You need to be able to put yourself forward for work, negotiate contracts and show that you are reliable. If you can’t be trusted to get the job done, it doesn’t matter how fabulously creative you are. Creativity is so nebulous and hard to define, but if you can show you are always on time and on budget, you will always be appreciated.


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Resplendens 2019

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

Clio Gould A LU M N A 19 8 6

Mentoring young musicians, leading orchestras and defining a good piece of music – alumna and concert violinist Clio Gould speaks to Resplendens. BY F I O N A H U R S T

Alumnae Manager


Resplendens 2019

Shining Back

Clio has held major and longstanding positions as Concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Violin of the London Sinfonietta and Artistic Director of the Scottish Ensemble, directing from the violin. She has appeared as a concerto soloist with most of the UK’s leading orchestras covering a wide-ranging repertoire, and is known as one of Britain’s foremost interpreters of contemporary music. Clio is also a Campaign Ambassador for Waterlow Hall. She reflects on her career, her time at South Hampstead and her music tastes for Resplendens. “I am delighted to be able to help the school create even better opportunities for a truly broad education,” explains Clio when we caught up in between her busy performing schedule. “Putting a dedicated Arts space – especially one as flexible and inclusive as Waterlow Hall – right in the centre of daily school life will make creative work a constant and tangible presence for the girls.”

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(RPO), a post she held for 14 years. “When I joined the RPO, I stood out because I was both young and a woman. And by the time I left, I was surrounded by younger women, which was fantastic progress. Like many workplaces, the demographic of the music industry has changed dramatically, and I hope that I’ve been able to contribute to this. I’ve always tried to be a mentor to younger women and I’ve done a lot of appointing in my various positions. At all times, I try to be absolutely, scrupulously fair and promote the best talent.” Today, Clio enjoys a huge variety in her career as a violinist and performs as a soloist, chamber musician, director and concertmaster internationally, and at home in the UK. “I’m very lucky that I now have a lot of choice in the work I do, although inevitably it involves lots of juggling, especially with family life,” she says. And indeed it does. Her schedule over the next few weeks involves solo concerts with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and trips to Sweden and the United States. We are delighted that she will be supporting the Waterlow Hall Campaign too, playing at South Hampstead’s Music in the Garden concert, an exceptional fundraising event bringing together a selection of talented alumnae and parent musicians to create a magical afternoon of music.

Although Clio has made a name for herself in the classical music “South Hampstead was incredibly supportive to me and I was world, she says, “all sorts of music gets played in our house. My given lots of space and time to grow as a musician,” says Clio as husband is a great forager for new and interesting music. We she reflects back on her school days. “Unsurprisingly, some of my listen mainly to music that we don’t then go off to work and play standout memories involve music. I loved performing in Benjamin – lots of folk music, jazz – I’m always keen to hear what music my Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde at Hampstead Church, directed by children (aged 10 and 13) bring home. They love Ed Sheeran. He’s the then Head of Music Daphne Middleton. I also remember being a local hero as we now live in Suffolk – our babysitter used to make absolutely blown away, aged 14, when we prepared and performed fan bracelets to help his mum!” Dream of Gerontius with the UCS Choral Society. It was the first “I think it would be helpful if we stopped seeing music in strict time I had ever been part of a huge, iconic work. Our chorus sang categories,” she adds. “It doesn’t matter about the genre, the only alongside professional soloists and an orchestra. Term finished important thing is if it is good work. Jacob Collier, Bach, Icelandic and I spent the holiday listening to the recording obsessively, re- electronic music, a songwriter with a new take on Scottish folk – I living the heady experience on various Norfolk beaches. It was think it’s great to listen in a fluid way to lots of different music definitely formative!” and not worry about categorising it. If it’s good, it’s getting played Clio left South Hampstead in 1986 and went on to study violin at in our house!” the Guildhall School of Music and post-graduate studies followed When she reflects back on her career path and her experiences, in Switzerland. “I was very lucky to be offered an amazing Clio believes her time at school helped her achieve her goals and opportunity straight out of college, becoming the Artistic Director get to where she is today. “South Hampstead managed a pretty of a fantastic string ensemble called the Scottish Ensemble,” she wonderful thing, which I only properly realised in hindsight. says. “It was an enormous learning curve – leading the group The message was conveyed – though I don’t remember anything in rehearsals and concerts, but also being part of the planning explicitly being said, it was just in the ether – that if we went out process. It allowed me to enter the profession in a leading capacity, there and did our best, the world would absolutely give back to which I’ve continued doing throughout my career.” us what we put in. I’ve tried to pass this message on to the young In her late twenties, Clio went on to lead the London Sinfonietta, a world-renowned new music ensemble. Building on these experiences, in 2003 Clio was the first woman to lead one of London’s major orchestras, the Royal Philamonic Orchestra

violinists that I work with too.”


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Resplendens 2019

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

Despina Tsatsas Executive Director, Young Vic Theatre A LU M N A 20 0 0

Pushing boundaries, challenging conventional theatre and representing London’s diversity at the Young Vic Theatre – alumna Despina Tsatsas speaks to Resplendens. RO S I E M E N NIS

Upper Sixth student

In July 2018, Despina was appointed as the Executive Director of the Young Vic Theatre, working alongside Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah and producing theatre for some of the most engaged and diverse audiences in the UK. Prior to this, she held positions at numerous theatre production companies including Ambassador Theatre Group, Almeida Theatre, the West End general management company Mark Rubinstein Ltd, Punchdrunk International and Frantic Assembly. Despina is also proud to support the re-development of Waterlow Hall as a Campaign Ambassador. Upper Sixth student Rosie Mennis met with her to find out more about her career and her creative vision for one of London’s most contemporary and unconventional theatre spaces.

Located in Southwark, and only a short walk away from one of the UK’s leading theatre institutions, the National Theatre, the Young Vic sits unimposingly on The Cut, the area’s local high street. The building may look inauspicious, yet this is a theatre which continually and successfully challenges the status quo by representing its diverse audience on stage. Despina greets us in the café at the front of the theatre and warmly shows us to the set of the current production, a contemporary Twelfth Night. In keeping with the theatre’s relaxed attitude, we begin the interview sitting on the steps of the vacant auditorium. “Theatre at South Hampstead laid the groundwork for my career, which is why I am proud to support the creation of a new performing arts space at the school,” says Despina as she looks back on her school days. “Through the leadership of our drama, music and art teachers, we learned vital lessons about the collaboration and joy of making something in a group, as well as experiencing first-hand the impact of creative expression.” After A Levels, Despina studied English at University College London. “I spent quite a bit of my time producing shows,” she says, fondly recalling her time as a university student. “We were fortunate to have access to the Bloomsbury Theatre for a couple of weeks a year, where we did some Stoppard, some musicals, as well as lots of experimental things in our black box studio.” University taught Despina about the possibilities of being a producer. “I didn’t imagine I would become an actress, but I assumed that the only thing I could do was perform until I was exposed to the other part of the puzzle,” she says. “At UCL, I became President of the Drama Society which taught me so


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A LU M N A D E S P I N A ( L E F T ) A N D S O U T H H A M P S T E A D STUDENT ROSIE (RIGHT) ON THE SET OF T WELFTH N I G H T AT T H E YO U N G V I C

Set design: Rob Jones

much about the organisation of different groups of people all with different needs. A major part of my role involved making the case to UCL as to why the arts are so important. I would lobby university staff saying that the drama society needed another £5,000 for the year, and canvassing for more time in the Bloomsbury Theatre. All of this is (essentially) a direct translation to what I do now. At the Young Vic, I feel I’m making the same cases albeit on a national level. For example, only yesterday Kwame (the Young Vic’s Artistic Director) and I met the Arts Minister Michael Ellis to explain how Brexit is causing us issues in terms of forecasting, funding and movement of artists.” As Executive Director, Despina feels that diversity and equality should be reflected in theatre on the basis that it creates the platform for the best works of art and often the most fruitful innovation. “We are custodians of a world-class institution here, and the driver for all decisions about commissioning are led by what will unlock the most significant creative potential. I would never advise anyone to make decisions motivated by anything other than the question: How can we make world-class art and reflect the environment that we are in? At the Young Vic, we’re located in a huge metropolis of cultures. We must make sure that our work feels connected to and reflective of the city we live in and all the people around us – not just a small proportion of them.” If she feels she owes something to her audience, does she ever feel limited about how politically-charged she can make a piece? “You always want to be performing right at the point of kinesis between what feels comfortable and what is challenging. It is our responsibility to present that and make it palatable for our diverse audience who pay hard-earned money and taxes to see themselves

or their stories represented on stage,” says Despina. “For example, we’re proud that the Young Vic produced Wild Swans at a time when not many other theatres were producing Chinese stories.” I wonder if she enjoys working on contemporary work or more traditional plays. Despina tells me of a production of Hamlet at the Young Vic. “We did a production of Hamlet with Michael Sheen, in which the audience entered through the back of the theatre building through the storeroom,” she recalls. “The Set Designer had designed a pathway that made you feel that you were entering a psychiatric institution. We created a paranoid environment, which was a meta construct in which to think about the impact of trauma. I felt proud of that combination of classic and contemporary – it’s hard to reinvent Hamlet!’ Despina feels that her time at South Hampstead shaped her innovative side, as there was always a need for girls to play male parts. She says, “I always got what I would now call a featured comedy role – ‘the drunk bishop’ or the comic relief in Journey’s End. I was Gonzalez in The Tempest, but never the hero or heroine.’ Despina is clear that the broad, left-wing feminist values instilled in her at school gave her the confidence to pursue an unconventional career path in theatre, although her father proposed she follow him into shipping. “I feel so proud that I went to South Hampstead,” she says of her education. “I tell people this all the time. It was an environment in which nobody was cynical about education; our teachers were approachable and passionate about their subjects. Even among my friends, who were teenagers in every possible way, nobody neglected the need to be educated. It was a wonderful place to begin a cultural education.”


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Resplendens 2019

Shine a Light — on future scholars

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

WAT E R LOW H A L L D E V E LO P M E N T

This spring we stepped up our fundraising campaign to raise £3 million towards the development of The Waterlow Hall. The hall stands on the site of the original Waterlow House and was built in the 1980s as a sports hall and gymnasium. Over the years, it has become the centre of activity at South Hampstead and our vision now is to transform the space and create a new cultural and creative heart for the school and local community. Key elements of the transformation will include proper acoustic lining for the ceiling and walls, a technical gantry and lighting, video and audio equipment and retractable tiered seating. Most importantly, we want to create a space which will be inspiring, beautiful and flexible – a place to welcome back our alumnae, and welcome in our surrounding community – a fitting venue to showcase the talent of our girls and encourage and inspire them for generations to come. The hall will mark the first stage of our master plan as we look towards our 150th anniversary in 2026. It will provide the foundation for our future plans which include doubling our current bursary provision. Once the hall is complete, any additional revenues generated from it will be put towards our bursary funds. We wrote to some of you about this project earlier this year and your response has been overwhelming. We have received support from all areas of the school community. We are particularly grateful to members of staff and our alumnae, who are ambassadors for the project, for joining us at events and making generous contributions. With over 80% of the funds secured, we hope to start work this summer and look forward to welcoming you all back to celebrate the opening of our new Waterlow Hall next year.


Resplendens 2019

Shining Back

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Compose yourself

Take a seat

Shine a light

The Hymn of Light, to the tune of the Londonderry Air, has been part of life at South Hampstead since the 1920s. It is a celebration of our history, music, drama and performance.

Our tiered retractable seats will transform the audience experience and how we are able to use the hall on a day to day basis.

The ceiling of the hall with be adorned with hundreds of LED tubes to create a fully adaptable and sculptural lighting system. Help us to illuminate our ceiling and shine a light on our performers by making a donation.

Your gift can be recorded on the back of one of our retractable seats:

Those making an extraordinary gift of over £10,000 can have their name ‘noted’ on our school song frieze in the new entrance to the Waterlow Hall.

M ON A B AYA RD

Alumna 1963

Mona Bayard left South Hampstead in 1963 and contacted us to find out how to support the campaign after receiving Resplendens last year:

“It is wonderful, and surprising, how easy it has been to take part in this project which is so close to my heart – my heart as a student, with fond memories of directing our class entry in the drama competition (‘Noah’ by Andre Obey Act 1) and enjoying the small role of Polixenes in the school play of the ‘Winter’s Tale’.”

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£1,000 — Back rows £2,000 — Middle rows £3,000 — Front rows

£150 will light up 1 light. The names of all those who donate in this way will be recorded on a ‘map of stars’ at the entrance of the hall.

ALUMNA BET T Y ARNOLD

JENNY STEPHEN

(1915 – 2000)

Eight members of the Arnold family have attended South Hampstead and, thanks to the generosity of Ruth Levy née Arnold (class of 1957) and Joan Arnold (class of 1966), there will be eight seats in our Waterlow Hall bearing their name. The seats are in memory of Betty Arnold (née Haley), the second member of the family to attend the school in the 1920s.

Former Headmistress

Jenny Stephen was Headmistress of South Hampstead High School from 2005 until 2013 and was instrumental in the redevelopment of the Senior School site.

‘It is so exciting to see this project, which we dreamt of years ago, coming to life. I am delighted to support the pupil led ‘shine a light’ appeal – my small contribution to a project I feel very passionately about.’

Mona lives in the US and made her donation through the British Schools and Universities Fund which allowed her to make a tax free gift from the USA and secure her note on our Hymn of Light.

G E T I N TO U C H If you would like to know more about the plans, help with the fundraising campaign, or find out how you can be remembered in our Waterlow Hall, please visit www.waterlowhall.com or contact development@shhs.gdst.net To view our master plan, ‘Towards and Beyond 150’, please visit www.shhs.gdst.net/support-us


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Resplendens 2019

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

2019

Spring Reunion

On Sunday, 10th March we welcomed back over 130 alumnae and former staff to South Hampstead for our Spring Alumnae Reunion. Waterlow Hall was buzzing with guests catching up and re-kindling friendships over a buffet lunch and wine.

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Resplendens 2019

The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

O Joyful Light... Alumna and parent Michele Martin fondly recalls singing the school hymn ‘Hymn of Light’ and the memories it evokes in alumnae. BY MI CHELE MARTI N

South Hampstead alumna 1983

For the first two years of my daughter’s time at South Hampstead Senior School, I would ask her the same question at the end of each term. ‘Did you sing the song?’ I’d say and she’d stare back at me blankly. On netball runs, I’d ask her friends in the back of my car the same thing and none of them knew what I was talking about either. I was at South Hampstead between 1976 and 1983 and one of my strongest memories is singing the ‘Hymn of Light’ at the end of each term. I remember sitting cross-legged on the darkly-polished floor of the old hall, waiting for the piano to play the opening chords. And when it began, the sense of emotion was palpable, as if the teachers loved it as much as the girls. I don’t remember being taught why the song was important, but it obviously still resonates with a lot of us. In the last issue of Resplendens, Class of 1982 alumna Liz Lefroy wrote movingly about a reunion where everyone gathered in a friend’s kitchen and sang it, until ‘there was hardly a dry eye between us.’ Another former student played it at her wedding. Part of it might be the tune. We will never know whose idea it was to appropriate ‘Danny Boy’, but it was stroke of genius. And then there are those words: beautiful, shimmering with religious imagery without being religious. When you sang: ‘So shine in us our little love reproving/That souls of men and kindle at the flame’, you felt that your actions might actually change what was around you. And yet my daughter and her friends didn’t know it, which got me wondering what had happened to it. Had the school decided it was too old-fashioned and discretely side-lined it? The only thing we know for certain is that the ‘Hymn of Light’ was inspired by the reputed final words of writer and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Goethe declared ‘Mehr Licht!’ on his deathbed in 1832 and it has been the school’s inspirational motto for decades (although, ironically, there is some dispute about whether he was asking for spiritual enlightenment or for the shutters to be opened in his darkened room.) Other than that, its composer and the date of its composition are unclear. One story says that it was the work of a former pupil, while a Google search reveals that a student called Betty Sutton composed a very similar ‘Hymn of Light’ for her school

in South Africa in the 1930s. Maybe there was a little plagiarism at some point, but who borrowed from whom, we’ll never know. Hopefully, it went in the right direction. Former students and teachers both remember singing ‘Hymn of Light’ by the late 1950s. Jean Middlemiss was South Hampstead’s first Director of Music between 1957 and 1972 and she recalls it being something she inherited. ‘I didn’t invent it,’ she says, ‘it was thrust upon me. We always sang it at the end of term and there was always twice the volume for it compared with other hymns. But we never thought of it as a school song.’ Perhaps that was because it wasn’t the only school anthem. According to the programme for prize giving on March 18th 1971, the final song of the afternoon was not the Hymn of Light but ‘Let Us Now Praise Famous Men’, a song taken from Ecclesiasticus XLIV and set to music by composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Class of 1970 alumna Lorna Hawtin (nee Dixie) remembers that its call to praise men ‘reknowned for their power’ never sat well with the girls. ‘Even back then, the school felt quite feminist,’ she says. ‘There were a lot of teachers who had lost their prospective husbands in the war and who’d had to make a life for themselves. I thought it was extraordinarily odd at the time, but didn’t have the courage to say: “What the hell are we doing singing this?”’ But evidently somebody did, because in 1976, the ‘Hymn of Light’ had moved up the rankings. On the title page of ‘The Kindling and the Flame’- a history celebrating the school’s centenary in 1976 – former headmistress Prunella R Bodington included a quote from the ‘Hymn of Light’ and underneath added that the words had been: ‘Translated from the 4th century Greek, adapted for the Jubilee Service and since used as a school hymn’. A school hymn, note, not the school hymn, but significant enough to have made it to the front of the book. Certainly, I don’t remember singing ‘Famous Men’ at all when I joined the Upper Third in 1977. Instead, the ‘Hymn of Light’ grabbed my imagination from the beginning as a call to empowerment. I believed the song when it said that ‘the whole world’s hatred’ could be ‘broken by our loving’ and that this love was non-patriarchal and non-religious. Liz Lefroy agrees. She says: ‘I remember we sang the ‘Hymn of Light’ as the last event of each term and I found that very


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Shining Back

emotional. You were about to be released into freedom and there was a sense of solidarity in that moment, whatever had happened in the term. There were 450 girls all sitting there crosslegged, watching everyone else get prizes and this was the bit for everyone. And because we often had separate assemblies (for the Jewish girls) it was something that joined us together. The fact that it was secular was really important.’

Hymn of Light

So what had happened to the ‘Hymn of Light’? Was it still being sung by my daughter and her friends? I asked Jess Chorley, the school’s current music administrator. She was herself a pupil at South Hampstead between 2000 and 2012 and she seemed surprised by the question.

Strength of the tempted, Father of the lonely,

Yes, of course it was, she told me. Students sang it at the first assembly of the year in September so that the new girls could hear it and then again at the end of each term. ‘We don’t teach it to the students,’ she added, ‘because after four years of singing it four times a year, you pick it up.’ But not my daughter, I said. Well maybe your daughter hasn’t been paying as much attention as she might, Miss Chorley said.

Sundered – united, dying but to birth;

Fast forward to the last day of autumn term, 2018. My daughter is now in Year 9 and has just come home from school, exhausted, more than ready for the holidays.

That souls of men may kindle at the flame:

Knowing I’m writing this, I give it one last throw of the dice and ask her: ‘So what happened in assembly today? Did you – sing anything?’ And to my utter astonishment, her face lit up and she said: ‘Oh yes.’ And she started to sing the Hymn of Light, almost word perfect, and I felt tears welling up.

Shall bow to Love, Thine everlasting Name.

‘So what happened?’ I asked when she’d finished. ‘How come you’ve always said you don’t know it? Have you only just started singing it?’ ‘No,’ she said, ‘we’ve always sung it, but I didn’t really pay any attention until the end of Year 8.’ So Miss Chorley was right. Eventually they really do just pick it up – and take it with them, like the rest of us, into their future lives.

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O Joyful Light, for in Thee only In trust we seek, and seeking find a way: From out our darkness bringest Thou the day. Lo, having Thee, we lose not one another, All worlds are one in Thee, O more than brother, And one our family in Heaven and on Earth. So shine in us, our little love reproving, The whole world’s hatred, broken by our loving, Therefore to Thee be praises and thanksgiving, O Holy Father, Energy Divine: We lift our hearts and sing, with all things living, O Light of Life, the Glory that is Thine.


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The Magazine for South Hampstead Alumnae

Empowering Ghanaian Girls Through Sport Eva Hammond writes about her experience with the charity Akwaaba Volunteers.

E VA H A MMO N D

South Hampstead alumna 2015

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left South Hampstead in 2015 to study Veterinary Science at the University of Bristol, a job I was interested in for both its opportunities to help people and animals, and to travel. South Hampstead had always encouraged me to question and enquire, which ingrained in me an eagerness to explore, and perhaps in some way make a positive difference at the same time. So in the summer of my third year of my Veterinary course, I was extremely excited to be able to travel to Ghana and volunteer at a Veterinary clinic, with the charity Akwaaba Volunteers. Akwaaba Volunteers is a small charity that works in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Once I arrived, I realised housing volunteers for the Veterinary practice was only a tiny portion of the amazing work the charity founders do in Accra. Akwaaba runs numerous innovative projects aiming to improve the health, education and future of young people in Ghana. For example many children in Accra love to play football, but are unable to read and write. By pairing sports training with a homework club, Akwaaba has managed to reintroduce many disenfranchised children in the community back into the education system, and keep them engaged and off the streets. Akwaaba also runs netball teams for girls in Accra, aimed at empowering women within the community. The teams not only help to create strong and confident women by challenging local gender norms, but they also provide a safe space to teach the girls about sex and health education. As 21% of girls, and 41% of girls from the poorest families are married before they are 18 in Ghana, this is crucial work. When I think back on all the resources I had access to at South Hampstead – sports teams, societies, inspiring speakers, mental health teaching – I am grateful that my education taught me far more than just the curriculum. My school years taught me about cooperation and leadership, determination and ultimately the kind of woman that I wanted to be. These important traits are consolidated through the netball project, which can then be used as a tool for female empowerment. I also had the chance to go to another one of Akwaaba’s projects, the Underprivileged Children’s Centre (UCC). This school gives totally free education, including transport, food and books, to children who otherwise would not be able to go to school. I was at the school at the beginning of the term and watched a crowd of desperate parents trying hopelessly to sign their children up for the year. However the school is already terribly overcrowded, and

these parents had to be turned away. Akwaaba is currently trying to raise money to extend the school, and give more children the chance for an education. 65% of children under 18 do not attend school in Accra, so although the UCC helps hundreds of local children, there is still a long way to go. Education is a human right. It is the surest way to reduce poverty and increase health and development within a country. In fact, educated women are likely to have children later, have healthier and better-educated children, thus passing on the benefits through generations. UNESCO found that each extra year of schooling increases an individual’s earnings by 10%. The benefits that my education at South Hampstead have brought to me are undeniable, and something I will always be incredibly thankful for. Beyond giving me the opportunity to study a course I love at university, I was able to grow up in a place I felt safe. I was able to explore my ideas, chat to my friends and simply enjoy being young – a reality every person should experience. Akwaaba Volunteers needs help to raise money to extend the Underprivileged Children’s Centre, and double the number of children who can receive an education who would otherwise live in extreme poverty, or on the streets. The sports teams also rely heavily on donations to purchase sports kit, books and equipment for the homework clubs. Finally if you would like to experience the amazing work that Akwaaba Volunteers does first hand, and have a role in making a difference, you can volunteer at the underprivileged school, or to coach football or netball teams. I can promise that it will be an unforgettable experience. If you’re interested in donating or volunteering with an incredible charity, please visit www.akwaabavolunteers.org.uk.


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Kindness in a Place of Adversity and Extreme Fatigue Tatiana Zhelezniakova shares what she learnt from her medical elective in emergency medicine in South Africa. TAT IA NA ZH EL EZN IA KOVA

South Hampstead alumna 2013

I was never one of the “die hard” medicine applicants – those who played with pretend first aid kits from the age of four, and started working on their medical CV from Year 7. Truthfully, I fell into medicine. I liked science. I liked people. I wanted to travel. This route made the most sense. I’m furious at my 16-year-old self for not understanding the implications of my choices. I’m astounded by the luck that a teenager who made those choices gave me a career I love. The things I love the most about medicine find their common centre in the specialty of Emergency Medicine. A&E is also where you see people from all backgrounds, ages, cultures – every day is different. It’s also what I imagined medicine to be as a child – if someone is ill, you make them better. Of course, in reality it gets a lot more complicated, but the immediacy of giving aid to a human being in need is still what drives me. A&E is also one of the most general specialties, allowing for a breadth of knowledge applicable to many circumstances. I never appreciated this more than when I got the opportunity to work in a township Emergency Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. The medical school’s elective period allows students to work abroad, in a placement of their choosing. South Africa is notorious for trauma, and unparalleled in its doctors’ knowledge of trauma management. There is also a pronounced dissonance between a first world medical education and third world resources. Cape Town is a city of incredible divisions. You can drive for 10 minutes and get from beach front houses to expanses of townships. One is a safe place for an ambulance to go, the other will likely put paramedics under fire. The private hospitals and their ambulance companies cater to all with health insurance, while the designated government hospitals and ambulances take on the population who are not able to afford this care. Beyond the obvious medical experience this placement would bring, I was desperate to experience a different healthcare system, and to carry forward what I could to my practice back in the UK. The Emergency Department at Mitchell’s Plain mainly serves the nearby townships, and to say my time there was a baptism of fire would be putting it lightly. I arrived a short time after the original Emergency Department had burned down, so the space currently used was a former outpatient clinic, putting construction workers less than two metres from patients in the ‘resuscitation’ area.

By the end of my first day I had taken a history from a patient who had been stabbed (and was still treated in ‘minors’ because he could sit up) and seen a first-presentation diabetic who had to be told they will need a double below-the-knee amputation due to their advanced disease. There was no time for surprise, you had to get with the situation pretty quickly. By the time I was doing my weekend night shifts, I had to accept that we were moving on from a stabbed abdomen to a gunshot to the chest because the second patient was dangerously unstable, while the first still had an acceptable blood pressure. There is so much I learned in South Africa that I know will stay with me throughout my career. For example, how careless we can be in the UK with tools that seem disposable to us, such as surgical instruments. How in adversity and fatigue, doctors still have kind things to say to a stranger, and will come back in the middle of a night to support their team in an overwhelmed A&E. Beyond medicine, this challenged me to always remember my humanity. I am now in my final year of medical school and, sometimes, when piles of textbooks are desk-high, it’s hard to think of a future beyond exams. However, this experience, and my clinical years in the UK have made me determined to pursue an Emergency Medicine career, with sub-specialisation in pre-hospital medicine, which allows the delivery of critical care outside of clinical environments. Beyond this, my aspiration is to work in the field of humanitarian aid. Healthcare is a fundamental human right, and we are privileged enough to be receiving it freely, and to be trained in evidence-based medicine. My medical education allows for me to be a part of ensuring more people have access to medical aid, and it’s not something I could ever ignore. There are a few things I want to thank South Hampstead for: some small, some huge, all invaluable. Thank you for giving me the passion for learning. Thank you for never making ‘nerdy’ uncool. Thank you for teaching me to spell medicine (that would have been a highly embarrassing personal statement). And, finally, thank you for making me a woman confident in her own intelligence, ability and future.


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19 4 9 – 2 019

Jennie Buckman Alumna Jennie Buckman, acting coach, teacher and playwright, has died of cancer aged 69. A LU MNA HELEN MACKI NTOSH

South Hampstead alumna 1968

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hese days it is rare to sit in the theatre, the cinema or in front of the television without watching one of her former students, among them Sophie Okonedo, Adrian Lester, Matthew Macfadyen, Andrea Riseborough, Tom Hiddleston and Ben Whishaw. “She’s my girl” or “He’s my boy”, Jennie would declare with pride. Through her company, Giants, Jennie also worked with people whose voices are rarely heard in theatre: from Kurdish women to members of the traveller community, from military veterans, to prisoners and council workers. Born in London (to a Jewish family originally from the East End), Jennie began her South Hampstead life in the Junior School where I met her in 1960. On my first day, an old-fashioned bell suddenly rang – da-dung, da-dung – and the class parted. A girl with masses of copper-red hair and the bluest eyes came up. Are you Jewish or Christian? I hesitated, unsure. I think that means you’re Christian, she guessed. Which means you go in that line and I go in the other and I’ll see you after prayers. Thus, separated by religion but united by Jennie’s emotional intelligence and unerring ability to identify those in any kind of need, began our 59-year friendship. And just as compassion was forever integral to her way of dealing with the world, at school she honed other lifelong traits: a rebel and risk-taker, she loathed conformity and was often far too spirited for the highly-regulated South Hampstead ethos of the day – she was frequently in detention though that never stopped her speaking out against perceived injustices. She also possessed a prodigious sense of humour which she used to disarm and delight.

Jennie developed her coaching talents at school, where she started a lunchtime drama club. South Hampstead very actively encouraged drama even then and theatre soon became Jennie’s realm, encouraged by parents who regularly took her to Stratford, where she built her critical skills and her passion for Shakespeare. After A Levels (English, French and History) Jennie went to Kent University (1968-1971) where she read English and American literature. She returned to London in 1971 and for eight years taught English and Drama. In 1979, Jennie joined Common Stock, a community theatre company dedicated to collaborative practice. There she set up their Youth Theatre and in 1984 became their artistic director. While at Common Stock she met Nick Blatchley, her lifelong partner. They had three children, Michael, Zoe, and Joshua; and Jennie became stepmother to Joseph, Nick’s son by a previous marriage. They married in 1991. After Common Stock, Jennie worked with the National Theatre and Guildhall School of Speech and Drama among others. In 1986 she was invited to RADA as acting teacher and in 2003 became their head of acting. Renowned for her inclusive approach, she created a refreshingly open environment in which students felt able to experiment and develop their talents. While at RADA she also began writing, starting in 1999 for BBC Radio for whom she wrote more than 60 episodes of the World Service drama Westway, as well as numerous plays for Radio 4, including Cuba Mi Amor which was nominated for best radio play in 2007.


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1927 – 2 018

Mary Elliott Remembering South Hampstead cello and music teacher. JEAN MI DDLEMI SS

Former Head of Music at South Hampstead, 1957-1972

That year Jennie left RADA and in 2008 she founded Giants Theatre Company. Giants represented the fruition of 40 years’ work. Using her empathetic approach, the company produced plays to reach new audiences and change the lives of those who entrusted her with their stories. For Pandora in 2010 she worked with older women and teenage girls to explore what ills might come out of Pandora’s box today. In SNAFU (2016), she drew on Homer’s Odyssey to encourage military personnel to explore their experiences of coming home after war. The award-winning Piece of Silk (2016) evolved out of discussions with women survivors of domestic violence, while the same subject was dealt with in Never Going to Beat You with women from the Traveller Movement. Jennie’s final play, Lilith, completed shortly before her death, explores the grief of stillbirth. When not writing or coaching, Jennie would often be found at the theatre. She was a wit and entertainer to the end and enjoyed reducing friends to helpless laughter. But what she most loved was spending time with her family round the kitchen table, preferably at a meal prepared by Nick. He and their children and nine grandchildren survive her, as does her older brother, Peter. The original version of this obituary appeared in The Guardian and is available at: theguardian.com/stage/2019/jan/10/jenniebuckman-obituary

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t is with sadness that we announce the death of Mary Elliott, who taught cello and academic music for O Level, and A Level at South Hampstead High School from 1957 until 1972.

She was a combination of dignity, diplomacy, delightfulness, dedication and diligence, wearing her academic knowledge, teaching skills and musicianship very lightly yet firmly and utterly reliably. Lucy Wilding, a pupil of Miss Elliott’s during the 1960s, fondly recalls the support she gave her, not just at school, but also encouraging her to pursue a career as a cellist. “Mary was my first cello teacher and gave her pupils a very stable technical grounding while encouraging independent musical thought,” says Lucy. “In our academic work she passed on a good and enthusiastic understanding, particularly of four-part harmony which has been most useful. She remained a great support in my role as cellist in the Bridge Quartet, introducing us at Dartington Summer School and once suggesting that I should dye my (white from an early age) hair to enhance the look of the group!” She will be remembered with affection and gratitude by all those fortunate enough to have enjoyed her teaching.


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RE M E M B E RIN G

Miss Frances Wilton

South Hampstead Junior School teacher and pianist. HI L ARY TODD

Miss Wilton’s niece

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all, spare, straight-backed and with what one Headmistress described as a ‘commanding presence’, Miss Frances Wilton (my aunt) was quite a force in the Junior Department of South Hampstead High School where she taught from 1937 to 1946 and again between 1955 and 1969. When I recently visited the school, it was a pleasure to meet current Junior School Librarian Tania Volhard who had actually been taught by her and I had the feeling she also agreed that Miss Wilton was not someone to be messed with. Frances was a local girl, born in Fellows Road, NW3 in 1911. She was the eldest of three girls and was brought up in Fitzjohns Avenue in a house that remained the family home until the late 1960s. After gaining a Froebel certificate at St Mary’s Paddington, and a first teaching placement at Bromley GPDST, she came to South Hampstead Junior School where she was one of the teachers evacuated to Berkhamsted on the outbreak of war in 1939. That much I knew. The South Hampstead archives revealed further details of the organisation involved in that exercise, and the lists of the girls Frances and the other teachers had accompanied, each being responsible for some eight-to-ten pupils. Even better, I was able to read about the girls’ experiences in wartime editions of the school magazine. Frances’s National ID, ration and clothing coupon books with her Berkhamsted address, and the girls’ accounts together paint a vivid picture of life then. On one occasion, the train for Berkhamsted ended up in Northampton and the girls waited late into the evening for a bed for the night. They described the billets and the people, quite unlike what they were used to, but most of all the kindness of their hosts in taking them in. One girl wrote of the experience, it was “the end of a tiny hope that perhaps after all we might go back to normal life.” But of course that was not to be. South Hampstead shared premises with Berkhamsted School for teaching, an agreement which lasted until July 1944, by which time most of the pupils had returned to London. It must have been hard for Frances to return home in 1944 and her Headmistress’s letter of recommendation in 1946 agreed with her that she needed ‘a change of experience’. The letter describes her teaching ‘the usual Froebel subjects in the upper forms of the Junior House, but also Geography, History, Needlework and Singing in the Senior School.’ Apparently her lessons were ‘delightfully clear and

interesting’ and she handled the girls with ‘that quiet sureness of touch which makes for happy and sound discipline’. Clearly, there was no nonsense in her classes! She was also a fine games coach, in charge of Junior House Netball and Rounders. From South Hampstead, Frances went to Oxford High School GPDST in 1946, and again, she proved her worth. Her Headmistress’s reference referred to her leaving in 1955 being ‘necessitated by family circumstances.’ This was the marriage of her youngest sister, our mother, in 1954 which had left her other sister, also a teacher, alone in looking after their then very elderly parents. Frances retired in 1969 at the same time as a Miss Fuller. The Junior House Report said ‘they have given so much to the school in enthusiasm, hard work, gentle firmness, common sense and good humour that our sense of loss is only slightly diminished by their promises to visit us in the future.’ Frances was then free to pursue her real love: music. She was a wonderful pianist, duettist and accompanist. She also sang with the London Bach Choir and loved going to concerts. She had taught singing and percussion, and was always ‘ready to accompany at Prayers or for lessons in Country Dancing or Singing Games’. She and her sister travelled widely, visiting Mexico, Peru and Canada amongst other places. Frances’s Christian faith was of enormous importance to her. She attended St Mary’s Church in Primrose Hill, and for some years was also treasurer of the local Church of England Children’s Society branch. We found her slightly forbidding as children, as maybe her pupils did too, but I became fond of her as I grew up, learning a lot from her, particularly on the music front. It was lovely to find her in the school photographs as not many pictures of her have come down to me. Many thanks indeed to South Hampstead for allowing me to look and find, and now to write and share. I would be delighted to hear from anyone who remembers her. Her death in 1986 came as an enormous shock to us all (I was only 29 at the time) and I miss her still. The family association with South Hampstead continues today with Frances’s great niece who is a student in the Senior School.


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Reunions

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Class of 1970 On 8th November, we were delighted to welcome back 18 alumnae from the class of 1970 to a reunion at South Hampstead High School. The evening was arranged by Caroline Brill, a former governor who was keen to bring her school friends together again. One alumna had travelled from Massachusetts, USA for the reunion, and some had not seen each other since they left South Hampstead 48 years ago. The alumnae started the evening with a tour of the building, which has changed dramatically since they went to school. This was followed by drinks and canapés in the Sixth Form common room. Alumnae were also able to view old school photos of themselves and messages from many in their year group summarising their life and achievements since they left school. “It was amazing to reconnect with so many familiar faces after such a long period of time,” said Caroline after the event. “Thank you South Hampstead for providing the facilities for us to meet up again.”

Class of 1968 BY ALUMNA GI LLI AN CLOSE

On Saturday 6th October 2018, 32 members from the year of 1968 met up for lunch to celebrate 50 years since leaving school. We had a great time talking to as many as possible, catching up with old friends and bonding with classmates with whom we realised we had shared so much. The reflection on the happy and sad memories of those days was therapeutic, and the shared joy in the room was palpable. Our group started reunions 21 years after leaving school and almost all members have joined at least one of the gatherings.


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Networking Events

Passion, creativity and thick skin – essential ingredients for entrepreneurs On 25th September 2018, we held our inaugural alumnae networking event, where our panellists agreed that passion, creativity, thick skin – and knowing when to ask for help – are some of the essential traits required to succeed as an entrepreneur. Thank you to Victoria Jossel (class of 2000) co-founder of Lola’s Cupcakes, Fiona Lowry (class of 1983) CEO of her third business The Good Care Group, Alison Naftalin (class of 1997) CEO of charity Lively Minds, Lindsey Noakes (class of 2008) founder of non-profit group Gather and Jessica Tucker Egerton (class of 2004) founder of Urban Food Fest for sharing the successes and setbacks they encountered while setting up their own businesses or charities. The panel event was chaired by GDST CEO Cheryl Gionvannoni and was followed by a drinks and canapé reception where South Hampstead and other GDST alumnae were able to network and share their expertise.

A profession with a sense of purpose – campaigning for human rights in the UK and abroad On 5th March 2019, we held our second alumnae networking event on Human Rights chaired by alumna and public and environment law Barrister Sarah Sackman. The four panellists, made up of alumnae across generations, spoke and debated about how they protect against injustice and strive to make society fairer and more equal in their professional work. Thank you to Human Rights and Child Rights Lawyer Professor Dame Carolyn Hamilton (class of 1970), Liberal Democrat Peer and Spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change Baroness Lynne Featherstone (class of 1970), Barrister and Amnesty International UK Programme Director Rachel Logan (class of 2000) and NGO worker Lilly Glucksmann Cheslaw (class of 2014) for sharing your views on what motivates you to campaign and strive to improve other people’s lives. During the evening, the panellists debated numerous issues such as public perceptions of human rights, how human rights can advance the rights of women and self-care in the profession. The panellists concluded by agreeing that “human rights doesn’t always have the answers, however it provides you with the analytical framework to deal with issues.”


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35

9

ools Guide 28th February 201

The Week Independent Sch

The importance of speaking up and speaking out

ently appointed a Director At South Hampstead, we rec aking to help champion of Debating and Public Spe vide more opportunities for oracy at the school and pro to develop confidence, nity pupils in the local commu argumentation. In The critical thinking and skills of Guide Spring/Summer 2019, Week Independent Schools and m explains why speaking up Headmistress Vicky Bingha . speaking out is so important

y-debating-matters Full article at: tinyurl.com/wh

ember 2018 The Independent 13th Dec

ed Physics Teacher shortlist for best teacher award

S O U TH H A M P S TE A D

In the News The school continues to hit the headlines with Headmistress Vicky Bingham emphasising the importance of debating in schools, our physics teacher Miss Emma Russo continuing to break down barriers for girls in STEM and South Hampstead students’ family phone pledge making the front page of The Times.

cher and Head of Year 10 South Hampstead Physics Tea rs as one of the top 50 teache Emma Russo was selected re mo from s list fina ee UK in the world – just one of thr across the globe – for the from s ion inat nom 000 10, n tha e to promote opportunities significant work she has don e Theresa May found the tim for girls in Physics. Even PM to congratulate Ms Russo.

st-teacher-awards Full article at: tinyurl.com/be

The Times 30th November

2018

Sixth Formers curb phone use y A Level students and A number of our Psycholog headlines recently for their the Deputy Head Girls hit ne Pledge – an initiative work in creating a Family Pho all to be more mindful of developed to encourage us our digital habits. hone-use

rb-p Full article at: tinyurl.com/cu


DATE S F O R

Your Diary S AT U RDAY, 1 6 T H NOV EMBER 2019

South Hampstead

The Waterlow Hall Gala Dinner

Speaker Series Alumnae are welcome to join us for the South Hampstead Speaker Series events which take place every term. Previous speakers have included alumnae actress Helena Bonham Carter and poetry curator Allie Esiri, renowned philosopher Professor A. C. Grayling, journalist Mishal Husain and GDST alumna Dame Stella Rimington. Look out for details in the next alumnae newsletter.

An evening for the whole community to come together, celebrate, socialise and support the Waterlow Hall Campaign. This black tie event will be held at the fabulous Banking Hall in the City of London. Tickets include a drinks reception, three course dinner, entertainment and an after party with the king of dance music – Judge Jules. If you would like to book a ticket or sponsor a Patron’s table, please visit www.waterlowhall.com/galadinner

S U N DAY, 8 T H MA RC H 2020

Spring Alumnae Reunion 2020

Join us for this very special reunion as we celebrate the opening of our new Waterlow Hall. We will be welcoming back the classes of 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, 2014 and 2018 who are all celebrating anniversaries since leaving South Hampstead. We will have specific reunion group tables for these years but everyone is welcome and we will make sure you are seated with friends and contemporaries. We are looking for year group reps to encourage their friends to come to the event. If you would like to help out, please get in touch. We are also seeking participants for our ‘Come and Sing’ event on the day. If you would like to join our Alumnae and Staff choir rehearse in the morning and then perform at the reunion lunch, please make a note in your diary and look out for further information in our alumnae newsletter.

Keep in touch South Hampstead Alumnae offer so much to the school and our students. We truly value your insights and the valuable connections you provide.

Do we have your email address? We have your postal address to send you Resplendens each year but we may not have your email address, our preferred method of communication. If you would like to receive regular alumnae news and invitations to alumnae events by email, please contact us on alumnae@shhs.gdst.net @shhsforgirls

Please let us know if you would like to be involved with the school, or simply to find out more about forthcoming events. Fiona Hurst Alumnae Manager Email alumnae@shhs.gdst.net Phone 020 7435 2899 South Hampstead High School Alumnae Department 3 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SS

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Resplendens 2019  

The Alumnae magazine for all those associated with South Hampstead High School

Resplendens 2019  

The Alumnae magazine for all those associated with South Hampstead High School

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