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HIGHLIGHTS Summer Term 2013


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Fond Farewells At the end of the school year we bid a very fond farewell to two much valued, long-standing members of Junior School staff, Barbara Sochocka and Ruth Munro, both who have now retired. Here they reflect on their time at Blackheath High School and we take the opportunity to thank them for their service to the school and to our girls and wish them a very long and very happy retirement.

“The first person I met at Blackheath High

delightful place to work. I was not wrong.

was a smiling Mrs Coles who, in her warm

The years brought many changes which

and welcoming manner, led me down

included new personnel, new buildings,

to the library to wait for my tour of the

landscaping, re designing and updating all

school before my interview. Little did I

areas within the building (the rainbow ceiling

know how many hours of my life would be

in the hall still being an amazing spectacle),

happily spent in that room over the next

computer suites and fantastic new

fourteen years. Sitting patiently, reading

technology. But one thing has remained

the welcome pack that I had been given,

constant and that, I hope, will never change,

I heard a quiet tap tapping sound coming

‘our girls’. They have always been special

from the hall. Curious, I peeped out and

and unique, and long may that remain. My

saw a long line of silent, smiling little girls

years of teaching went by very quickly; they

and their teacher, all in their PE kits, running

were hard work but we had a lot of fun and I

on their tip-toes across the hall and up the

have a wealth of fantastic memories to take

magnificent staircase and out of sight. I

with me into my retirement. Thank you to

knew then that this school was going to be a

everyone and take care. “ Barbara Sochocka

opening and our guest of honour was the TV

‘Mr Tumnus’s’ house when, to my horror, I

presenter and newsreader Moira Stuart. She

discovered that I had been trapped inside the

spoke to the girls about aiming high in life

structure, behind copious layers of fabric!

and not being afraid to meet new challenges

I had to find a discreet way to extricate

- as she put it “There ain’t nothing to it,

myself without being noticed, before the

you’ve just got to do it!” - words I’ve often

next scene started - quite a “Morecambe

remembered since.

and Wise moment”! I feel very lucky to have

During my time at Blackheath High I’ve

worked in classrooms near the main hall

been on several school journeys to places

as I’ve been able to enjoy the wonderful

such as York, the Isle of Wight and Devon. I

sounds of the choirs as they rehearsed for

always thoroughly enjoyed the company of

various performances. I have a copy of the

the girls and watching them participate in

CD “The Choirs of Blackheath High School”

all sorts of activities such as rock climbing,

at home and take great pleasure in listening

abseiling, and something very scary, called

to it. There have also been many memorable

“the leap of faith”. The girls displayed such

assemblies and Nativity performances but I

courage, resilience and determination that

particularly remember the “Volcano Dance”

I found myself full of admiration for their

and “Halo” - expertly choreographed by the

“I joined Blackheath High Junior School,

efforts and achievements. I have always been

Skevington family! The staff later performed

Morden Road, in September 1994. I had

amazed at the ability and talent of our girls.

“Halo” in front of the school and parents – an

been interviewed by the then Head, Tricia

We have seen superb drama productions, and

occasion we all enjoyed.

Norton and her deputy, Maureen Wilson.

music concerts as well as wonderful class

I remember the lovely atmosphere and

assemblies, which have been a source of

Blackheath High, talented and dedicated

thinking how much I’d like to work there.

great enjoyment and pride for both parents

staff, kind and supportive friends, delightful

The end of that first term was rather hectic as

and teachers. I remember however, on

girls full of talent and potential and parents

we were busy preparing for our move across

one occasion, when I was helping with the

who work so hard for the school. It’s no

to Wemyss Road. Once we had settled into

scene changes in “The Lion, The Witch and

wonder 19 years went so quickly!”

our new surroundings we had a grand re-

the Wardrobe”. I was rearranging items in

Ruth Munro

I have so many fond memories of

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GOING FOR GOLD Our Duke Of Edinburgh Gold Award Winners


he Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a programme girls at BHS can enrol on from Year 9, through to Year 13. We offer all three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards. You achieve your Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections (five if you’re going for Gold) - Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition and for Gold, a Residential. The expeditions are organised in house, and range from the Bronze expeditions in Kent, through to Gold expeditions to a range of UK National Parks. In 2013, the sixth formers hiked through Exmoor, and they are currently training and planning for their expedition to Snowdonia, to include a hike to the top of Mount Snowdon at an impressive 1085 metres! Through the extensive extra curricular clubs programme and enthusiastic staff, the students are offered a wide range of activitites in school to fulfil the commitments of the award. “On the 27th of August, 17 BHS pupils piled themselves (and their enormous rucksacks) onto the minibuses and set off for Exmoor national park, where we would be spending 4 days walking and 3 nights camping as part of our Gold Duke of Edinburgh Gold award. After a 4 hour coach journey we reached a youth hostel where we stayed the night. We were not treated to an easy first morning of walking, as we soon found ourselves walking up Dunkerry Beacon which, with its rocky terrain and steep relief certainly woke us up! After admiring the views at the top of the beacon, it was onwards (but thankfully not upwards) as we continued the day’s trek, which turned out to be a beautiful route over the hilly moors which, although windy and exposed, provided us with some stunning views of Exmoor. At around 4pm all the groups arrived at the campsite where we swiftly set up the tents and started cooking dinner. Unfortunately, it started raining so, after the washing up, we quickly retreated into the relative warmth and dry of our tents and went to sleep – despite the fact it was only 6:30pm! The next day’s walk proved to be the longest and certainly the

most difficult. The morning did not go too well for my group as, after climbing up one of the fells, the footpath mysteriously disappeared, and we were forced to climb straight down and then up the other side of another, leaving us scratched, soggy and exhausted when we finally reached the checkpoint. The rest of the day thankfully improved, for part of it we were even followed by a herd of inquisitive Exmoor ponies, and we were happy to reach the next campsite on our route at the end of the day. The third day of walking was a completely different, but equally beautiful environment, as we followed a river in a forest at the bottom of the valley. Grateful for the shade provided by the trees, we spotted deer running across the river right in front of us, and we relieved our aching, blistered feet with a paddle in the cool water. After an exhausting climb up a very steep hill we were relieved to reach the final campsite, eat a hot meal and get into our sleeping bags. On the final morning, we were eager to get going, as we knew that at the end of that day, a minibus, rather than a field with some toilets in would be waiting for us - luxury! This day definitely provided some of the most stunning views, as all three groups followed the coastal path along the cliffs, accompanied by the occasional herd of mountain goats! In the afternoon, shattered after 4 days of walking, we dragged ourselves up and down the frustratingly steep coastal path which seemed to go on forever. To top it off, just when we thought we had reached the final checkpoint, we realised that the minibuses could not drive down to meet us, so we had to climb up the side of a cliff to reach the finish! This part of the trip, out of all others, I think demanded the most team work, empathy, resilience and determination, as we encouraged each other to get to the top and waited for those at the back, and demonstrated just how far we had matured as a group since the first day. Nevertheless, we were thrilled to see the minibuses at the top of the hill, and even more thrilled at the prospect of being allowed to sit down for five hours! The expedition was certainly one of the most challenging things we had ever done but we learnt a lot about how we work in our groups, and the strengths and weaknesses of others. Thank you so much to Mrs Stevens, Mr Laber and Mrs Rose for taking time out of their summer holidays to take us. Next year – Snowdonia!” Dot Mundt-Leach, Year 12 Summer 2012 Blackheath High School 3

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Blackheath High School Girls a Charity Fundraising at Junior School At Juniors we have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and resourcefulness of the girls in their bid to raise money for worthwhile causes. Rather than disappoint them and also to avoid a constant request for money we piloted the idea of holding a ‘charity marketplace’. We picked a day in the term and invited the girls to produce a business plan for their ideas and, if approved, they would take part in the charity day. We have followed this plan a couple of times now and it has been most successful. An amazing amount of money was raised each time and we were able to divide the proceeds between the featured charitable causes. We aim to follow this arrangement throughout the year, tying in the smaller fund-raising efforts with the national ones, such as Children in Need and Comic Relief. As always, we are very grateful to the

girls for their enthusiasm and to the parents for their generosity in supporting the various charities. Cancer Research was the main

beneficiary of the summer charity bake and sock monster sales. Mrs J Donnelly, Head of KS1

Charity Fundraising at Senior School Summer Term at Seniors was yet another busy period of fundraising. Year 8’s Action Aid Appeal, emerging from groups researching the charity and competing to produce the business plan in PSHE, generated an impressive £191 to sponsor various children in the developing world. Mrs Hrebien’s (Examinations Officer) charity, The Nasio Trust, also benefitted from £126 raised by our girls which will be spent on their two day care centres in West Kenya. The biggest fundraiser, however, was the Cancer Research UK Race for Life 5k sponsored run which saw over 80 of our girls, from both Juniors and Seniors plus parents running in blistering heat to play their part in the fight against 4 Blackheath High School Summer 22013 013

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s are Community Spirited Supporting our local community SHINE – Serious Fun of Saturdays ( We are so pleased that Shine will recommence in November 2013, and very excited that the Royal Observatory is keen to get involved and deliver a session! ‘Serious Fun on Saturdays’ is a programme hosted by us for children from local state schools who are unlikely to be able to access additional educational support at home. The feedback from our teachers who participated has been very positive: as one of our DT teachers, Mrs Rose, said, “I participated in the project as I wanted to ‘make a difference’ in my local community. I already volunteer locally: at a breastfeeding group in Deptford, designed the window displays for the local Salvation Army shop, run creative workshops at a women’s refuge in Deptford and overhauled the reception area at a drug rehabilitation centre – it seemed a natural thing for me

Providing Latin and Classical Greek lessons Nine Year 10 students from St Matthews Academy were successful in gaining the WJEC National Award Level 1 Certificate in Latin Language in August after attending weekly classes run after school by our Classics department in 2012-13. Another student from St Ursula’s Convent School gained the Short Course GCSE in Classical Greek after attending after-school classes alongside our own students over two years. The Latin and Greek partnerships with maintained schools were established in 2011 and are now entering their third year. Several of the successful Latin students from last summer plan to continue their Latin studies this year with a view to gaining the Level 2 award (equivalent to a GCSE) in 2014.

to volunteer in my work environment for the community. I think my sessions went well and were well received. The children seemed to really enjoy them; they were motivated and focussed throughout. They particularly enjoyed having a product at the end to take home. It was so rewarding to see them progress in using the equipment and learning to use professional software, such as Photoshop, in a creative way. I am very much looking forward to my next sessions.” Even more importantly, the children who participated had a fantastic time, they made new friends and their confidence grew enormously – no mean feat when they were working with different teachers each week! Bring on Shine 2013!

Funding GCSE Astronomy The astronomy GCSE course is a really exciting course that runs every year and is open to a few of our most highly performing students in physics in Y10 at Blackheath High. It is a great opportunity to study an interesting and thought provoking subject that very few other pupils across the UK will ever get the chance to experience, which also takes place at an amazing location – The Royal Observatory, Greenwich. We also fund the course for our partner schools (usually about 4 pupils per school), giving their gifted and talented science pupils this unique opportunity. The course runs every Saturday at the stunning location of the Royal Observatory and involves theory and lots of practical work with telescopes as well as the highly engaging coursework elements. The course requires great dedication from the pupils as it takes much of their free time and is also a very challenging yet rewarding area of study. Our girls and the students of the partner schools work together and many of them become firm friends by the end of the course. Last year 3 of our girls completed the course and achieved good GCSE grades in the subject with special mention to Yasmeen Cooper who scored an A* which is no mean feat!

cancer. It was fantastic to see mother and daughter teams of up to 5 females. In addition to promoting cancer awareness and getting fit, we raised in excess of £3000 in school, through the school fundraising page and via BHS participants who established their own pages. Next year I expect there’ll be in excess of 100 participants. My only regret is that being male I can’t join the 5k fun! I know that 2013-14 is going to be ‘big on fundraising’ and have already had discussions with 6th formers about raising money for the Syrian refugee crisis. Seniors raised an outstanding £4,828.32 this year bring our whole school total to £9,319.21. This was a magnificent achievement and I applaud all those who were involved. Mr Parsons, Assistant Head Summer 2013 Blackheath High School 5

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Blackheath High School girls are environmentally aware Junior School The academic year of 2012-2013 was an exciting time for us at the Junior School. Our Eco Prefects known as The Green Team had fantastic ideas and were the driving force behind some wonderful initiatives. We had a hugely successful year in raising the profile of the Green Team and promoting eco matters and wish the new members of the 20132014 team all the best continuing the excellent work Many different activities and events took place throughout the year, including: • An assembly where the Green Team spoke about why eco matters are so important. They encouraged the younger girls to speak to them if they had any suggestions, questions or ideas. During this assembly they encouraged the girls to enter the Being Eco Friendly poster competition. • We also held an assembly highlighting the importance of protecting our oceans and seas. • Mrs Cornwell visited the school and delivered an informative presentation on Food Waste, giving useful tips and advice. • We were also visited by Sixth Form students who delivered a lovely assembly on honey bees and their importance and role in nature. • Year 5 were visited by Mrs Irena Hill. She addressed the topic of plastics and their effect on our environment, in particular how our oceans, seas and waterways are damaged. The topic

has strong links to the work we do in PSHCE, Science and Humanities. The girls in Year 5 were given the challenge of designing a logo for a reusable cotton carry bag. The bags will be judged on “best slogan” and “best art work”. • Year 6 held their annual ‘Plastic Fantastic’ assembly, where girls in Year 6 designed and modelled their exquisite creations. • At our Green Team assembly on ‘Saving Energy’ all girls were asked to enter a competition to design ‘Switch Off’ reminder labels. The winning entries have now been used around the school. • Girls in Year 4 were kept busy during the Spring and Summer, planting flowers and using the greenhouse.

Plastic Fantastic Assembly

Senior School This has been an exciting year for the Green Team at Seniors, with growing numbers and increased presence around the school. There have been regular eco weeks which have included a range of activities including Swap Shops, a debate about the future of plastic bags, a guest speaker on the topic of reducing our reliance on disposable plastic bottles as well as our annual No Cars Day. We have not been afraid to get our hands dirty either with various green-fingered activities taking place, such as bulb planting, a sunflower growing competition and our ever popular ‘form flower boxes’, resplendent outside the Dance Studio throughout the summer term. We have even started to supply the dining room with home-grown onions! Next year promises to be even bigger and better with lots of girls signed up to continue the vital work of the Green Team at Blackheath High; and there has never been a better time to

get involved – with environmental issues become increasingly important on a global scale, it is vital that we do our bit locally.

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Acrylic on Canvas Alex Slater

Paper Leah Morris

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Sixth Formers have stars in their ‘As’


ur sixth formers enjoyed another bumper set of A level grades on results day in August. On a day that is faced with trepidation by students across the country, it was fantastic to see so many happy smiles here in school. The results were especially pleasing as they bucked the national trend of falling grades. I am very proud to say that our girls achieved 44% A*/A and 73% A*/B. This was coupled with an increase in those gaining places at Russell Group universities. It is satisfying that our students go on to study a wide range of subjects at university and it is a testament to the girls and their subject teachers that they have enjoyed such success across all aspects of the curriculum. To mention just a few of the diverse university courses that students have gone on to this year: Natural Sciences, Cambridge, Buffy Eldridge Thomas Medicine, Exeter, Amy Hough Music, Oxford, Lata Nobes English and Philosophy, Bristol, Bea Paterson Achenbach Management, LSE, Kaya Raveendran Animation, Edinburgh, Grace McKeith Needless to say, I am immensely proud of all the girls; they all worked very hard and achieved their best. It is very pleasing to know that they are set on the right paths for successful futures. K Elliot, Head of Sixth Form

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Sixth Form Ball T

he Sixth Form students and many of the staff enjoyed a buoyant evening at this year’s Sixth Form Ball, which was held at the Greenwich Yacht Club. The Social Events Prefects had worked hard to ensure that the evening was a fitting send off for our Year 13 Leavers and their efforts more than paid off. All the girls looked very glamorous and having tucked in to a three course meal, proceeded

to dance the night away, showing the same enthusiasm on the dance floor that they had shown for their studies in the preceding months. They were obviously more than pleased to be able to finally let their hair down! It was also great to see some teachers who had recently retired; Mr Denton did a sterling job as the official photographer and the students were especially pleased to see Mrs Clements our previous Deputy Head. As the photos show, much fun was had by all!

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Spectacular Summer Concert W

e were all excited about singing at the Old Royal Naval College and were really looking forward to the evening. The rehearsals were a lot of fun and it was good to practise as a whole school with both Juniors and Seniors. The theme for the event was ‘African Music’ and all of the music and songs were really upbeat and uplifting. On the day of the concert we were all really excited but nervous at the same time! The evening of the concert was amazing! The Chapel in the Old Royal Naval College is magnificent and we could not believe how lucky we were to be singing there. Just before the concert was due to start, we were all led into the Chapel and we took our seats. All the parents and guest were already seated. Everyone was smiling and excited, nervous and tingling. Once the orchestra started to play and we all started to sing, the atmosphere was explosive! I couldn’t believe how wonderful it sounded; it was so uplifting. My eyes were fixed on Mrs Ridgeway conducting and I could not help bursting into the songs! The Orchestra, the Choirs, the teachers and Mrs Ridgeway’s conducting made it a truly special occasion and spectacular event - one I will never forget. I would like to say that it was one of the best evenings of my life and I felt so happy

and privileged to have taken part in such an amazing night. My Dad couldn’t stop saying what a wonderful night it was and how well the children and teachers had done! By Olivia Antoniou Yr 7 The venue for the Tea Time Concert in the Summer Term was the Dance Studio; this is a lovely venue and the audience was so big that the room was packed. Tea Time concerts provide an opportunity for students to improve their performing skills. This time, it was also a chance for the Year 7s, who had taster lessons, to perform pieces which they have learnt in a short space of time, and for their parents to hear what they have achieved. I had the opportunity to perform ‘Revolutionary Etude’ by Chopin. Chopin was a Polish composer, virtuoso pianist, and a music teacher; he was recognized as one of the great masters of Romantic music and I really enjoy playing his music. The Revolutionary Etude was written as a response to the Polish revolt and he poured many of the emotions that he was feeling at the time, into the music. I think I played the piece well. The audience seemed very impressed and it was a very enjoyable way to end the school day. By Rei-Lin Tran Yr 9

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“The concert at the ORNC was one of those spine tingling moments in life when I thought to myself 'that is why I became a teacher'. I was extremely proud of the way so many girls from a cross section of years, came together to perform such a diverse work as Songs of Sanctuary. The choir sang beautifully, the percussion were rhythmical, not too loud and played in time, and the audience gave rapturous applause. I can't wait until next July for the next ORNC concert.� Emily Gunton, Head of Music

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Senior School Sports T he mini marathon started off the summer term. Students took to the Heath, along with several hundred parents to compete for their Houses and beat the opposition. We are not sure which part we enjoyed watching more, the students or the parents. We went straight into a term of Rounders fixtures, in which we saw some great performances from all our teams, and our students once again took to

Danson Lake for canoeing and sailing courses. Our athletics continue to develop with further extensions to the track events, with students keen to do well in the middle distances of 800m and 1500m. Building on our developments, we took a squad off to the GDST Athletics Event, held at Bath University, for a day of personal bests by the students that took part. The pinnacle of the summer calendar

is the much anticipated Sports Day. House rivalry was extremely strong this year and the scores too close to call. Alongside the athletics events were the House rounders and tennis attracting large numbers of students! The girls pushed themselves to the limits of their competitive performances, over the course of the day and new records were set in 19 events! Miss Holland, Director of Sport

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Junior School Sports


e enjoyed another busy term over the summer, with much better weather than last year and some new competitions and events. The term started with the year 3 – 7 mini marathon. The girls were well prepared and ran with vigour and enthusiasm. It was quite a sight with all the girls, parents and staff out on the Heath cheering and running. A special mention has to go to year 3 who delighted everyone with their competitive performances; they are definitely ones to watch for the future! The parents’ race did not cause disappointment to spectators and was as fiercely competitive as we’ve come to expect, with Mr Marcus winning 1st place this year. The overall winning team was Meridian. The Year 6 played some excellent rounders and year 2 and 3 girls took part in the annual Farrington’s School Cross Country event, with our Year 3 team being placed 2nd overall. Junior Sports Day went without a hitch, once again a fantastic event supported by pupils, staff and parents alike. This time the winners were Paragon. Other highlights of the term were


the superb Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 Biathlon achievements. The Year 3s managed to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in their event, Year 4 finished 3rd and 4th overall. Year 5 and 6 gained 1st overall with the year 6 team 1st team too. A most impressive set of results for all of the girls involved. The sporting events of term finished with The Summer Sports Partnership Festival. James Wolfe, John Ball, Invicta and All Saints Primary Schools were invited for a day of sports fun led by our Year 9s. One school commented “I just wanted to send you a quick thank you for a lovely day. The pupils and staff thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were well looked after by the staff and the Year 9 girls. I have to say the Year 9 girls did a fantastic job and represented your school extremely well”

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Rewarding Residentials YEAR 8’S PERFECT PGL WEEKEND On the 21st June, Year 8 girls set off on their PGL weekend at Marchant’s Hill. The girls arrived in perfect time for lunch and after, went straight into their activities. The programme consisted of the extremely popular Power Fan, The Giant Swing, Zip Wire, Sensory Trail, Assault Course and, for the first time this year, ‘The Hike’, which proved highly successful with the girls - building resilience. They all worked amazingly in their teams and openly encouraged and supported each other to achieve their best when some of the activities were more challenging. On their return, 8PR focussed their assembly upon the importance of teamwork, reflecting on what they had experienced during the PGL weekend. The teachers who attended the weekend, were all proud of our girls’ achievements and their impeccable behaviour throughout the weekend. Mrs Rose, Head of Year 8

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On Monday 24th June 2013 year 5 set off for a wonderful break away. We were all extremely excited and a tiny bit nervous because girls in the year above had told us all about it! When we finally arrived everyone was going crazy with excitement! Our guide instructor ‘Tilly’ came onto the coach and introduced herself, then we found our suitcases and were shown to our rooms. After an enjoyable packed lunch, our activities began. We were split into different groups and were sent to do various activities. The activities that were included during our stay were Tree Top Study, Quad Biking, Giant Swing, Zip Wire, Trapeze, Problem Solving, Crate Challenge, Jacobs’s Ladder, Aeroball and Abseiling. On Wednesday we went to visit SS Great Britain museum, as we have been studying the ship in our humanities lessons. It was a very interesting morning because we had a tour guide who gave us information about each room in the ship. We then had a lovely dinner with our friends and teachers followed by some fun games which we all enjoyed very much. During our stay we did lots of team work and supported one another in trying out new challenges. We had a fabulous week and bonded so well with our friends and teachers. We hope the year fours enjoy this trip next year as much as we did! Ela Dourmoush, Year 5

I especially loved the giant swing. Imogen and I went to the top. When I pulled the blue string, I wasn’t expecting to go down so quickly! It was terrifying, but really fun at the same time. For me, the most challenging activity was abseiling. I was a bit scared when I got to the top of the tower but when I started to go down, I started to enjoy it lots. I also loved quad biking, even though I went too fast round one of the corners, and crashed into the tyres! Elena Zeeven, Year 5

One of my favourite activities was the zip wire. I was really high up, and I had to jump. It felt like flying! Sensory trail was cool too, because you had to use all your senses except sight to get under (and through) the obstacles. I also had loads of fun on the giant swing – Sancia and I went right to the top! Hannah Edwards, Year 5

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Breathtaking Borneo Trip


t’s hard to squeeze an expedition as varied and full as the Summer trip to Borneo into a few paragraphs as there are so many memories of all things we encountered and conquered, but I’ve tried! On landing in Kota Kinabula we booked hostel accommodation and straight away, in small groups, began organising essentials. It’s surprising how hungry travel makes you and the group, although a bit nervous of the new, unusual foods, soon got stuck in at a local eatery where we made arrangements for our transfer to the first stop, the Jungle Camp. Arriving at the foothills around Kinabalu, we were seized upon by all things creepy crawly, especially leaches. Sleeping on raised platforms in 35°C heat but 100% humidity, with torrential downpours, the group quickly gelled together. Making fires, bamboo cups and blow pipes using traditional methods, the girls impressed the local guides with their willingness to get stuck in. We worked up appetites that weren’t even hampered when frogs and bugs were served up as a tasty treat covered with soy sauce! One we were acclimatised, we set off to climb the first part of Kinabalu itself, arriving at the famous base camp, ‘Laban Rata,’ we bedded down early after a day of clambering uphill steps. We started at

1:30am the following morning for our group attempt on the summit. We were very lucky with the weather. A break in the rain meant conditions were good enough to make our way up the sometimes treacherous sheet granite and we were on course to reach the summit in time for sunrise. I don’t think any of the students will tell you that it was easy; it was a tough 6 hour trudge, with several very difficult rope scrambles to the top. However, once again the students showed determination, resilience and grit to be the first group to the top at around 6:30am. The views were absolutely stunning - beyond words. We all sat quietly for some time looking out over the rain forest and the coast line, delighted with our achievement. The climb down was perhaps the hardest part, many of the group walking around like John Wayne for days afterwards! It was then onward to Sepilok to spend a couple of days in contrasting searing heat, visiting the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. They may look friendly but they are wild animals and roam freely around the area surrounding the centre, only actually entering for feeding. It was a wonderful opportunity, seeing these magnificent animals close up and learning how they

are cared for and rehabilitated. We then headed back to the capital and started preparing to transfer out to the Tarp Islands for our dive training. During the first day of dive theory, we had to run for cover from an unseasonal tropical storm and the girls got to see their first ever ‘Twister!’ So, with soggy dive books, it was back to study, then an exam by torch light and then finally onto the practical. All kitted up, the students wasted no time bonding with their instructors, learning their kit drills and safety elements. No longer can I use my dive signals as a secret language as they caught on far too quick!! Over three

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BORNEO TRIp days, we tried out a variety of dive sites, improving each time. Once again the students proved their worth by becoming the first group this summer there to all pass and become Padi Open Water Divers! Well done girls. Finally we spend a few days using the diving skills in the marine conservation phase of our trip. We studied different types of coral and fish and learned from the local instructors about turtle and shark conservation and why it’s so important. The girls’ beach clearance efforts were superb, handing over huge bags to the dive centre to be disposed of properly. It was a wrench to leave the island after all our fantastic experiences but it was time to return back to the UK. So, after a morning’s shopping and clearing up our kit, we boarded our plane home, and slept! Miss Holland It feels like a long time ago that girls from the years above were telling us about their experiences during a three week long expedition to Namibia, I can remember thinking how amazing it looked and thought it would be something I’d definitely want to do. So when the opportunity came around to go on a similar trip to Borneo with Outlook Expeditions I wanted to sign up straight away. I was worried about the cost of the trip as we had to fundraise all the money to go ourselves. But my friends were determined to go so I decided that I would somehow raise the money. Most of us got jobs and set up charity events in order to get the money and we had team building workshops where we decided what we would be doing on our trip with our expedition leader. We even went on a training weekend to the New Forest where we brushed up on our camping skills. Then, before I knew it, we were in the Dance Studio checking all of our gear and packing up to finally leave for the small Malaysian Island. After fourteen hours

flying we landed in Borneo’s capital Kota Kinabalu. The second we landed we had to organise ourselves with very little intervention from our leader or the teachers. It was a challenge handling foreign money and trying to communicate with non-native English speakers, but I believe we worked brilliantly as a team. There wasn’t a day’s rest throughout the trip, every day we were doing something challenging that took us out of our comfort zones. We trekked through highland jungle and slept on an open platform during a rainstorm. We were shown how to make traps and tried many new foods, from fresh jungle fruits to fried frog. We also saw amazing creatures from Orang-utans to a spider much bigger than the palm of my hand and even creatures that glowed in the dark! All this, with the most physically demanding aspect of the trip yet to come climbing Mount Kinabalu the highest peak in South East Asia, with a total height of 4092m. This was by far the most challenging thing I have ever done, but making it to the summit to watch the sunrise was more

rewarding and satisfying than I can put into words. We spent a whole week camping on a beach while learning to dive and at the end we were all presented with our PADI Open Water Diving certificates to show we are now qualified divers. We saw incredible things underwater, clown fish, angel fish, puffer fish, barracudas and many more. We participated in a marine conservation project which involved cleaning up the beach and counting the fish and corral we saw in the reefs. We learnt about how sharks were becoming rapidly extinct and how we could all make a difference just by refusing to eat at restaurants that serve shark fin soup. The things I learnt and the memories I made on this trip will stay with me forever, I have definitely changed as a person as a result, even if it’s just in my new

found ability to have patience with the weather because at least I know I won’t be sleeping outside in it. But the whole group agree that we have become much more confident and sure of our abilities as well, not to mention the bond we now share from experiencing so many different, wonderful things, is something we will always have. Alice Uggles, Head Girl

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GCSE / A Level Art Exhibition -

A bee’s eye view T

he 2013 GCSE AS and A Level exhibition was a thorough success. It showcased all the hard work that the girls had put in over the year and stood as testament to the intellectual engagement, skill, innovation, talent and creative audacity of the exhibitors. The work was remarkably diverse and spanned all media; from film and photography to sculpture, painting and printmaking. The rich and thoughtful poetic nature of the work was enjoyed by excited crowds of visitors, who discussed the work on display with the artists and Art teachers into the evening, until the last of us were dragged away by the caretakers! At one point, I even remember a bee veering in through the open window and bumbling around the exhibition, seeming to linger before the works of Art and droning with pleasure. I asked it to write down its impressions… Mr Whitfield, Head of Art On Thursday, 20th June I flew into the most peculiar place after my antennae detected a strong sent of lily flowers. As I zipped through the main gates, the name ‘Blackheath High School’ was written on a large sign and my senses were even more overwhelmed by the grand entrance of the school. Although it was lily pollen which

Farrah Morgan - Gloss on Board

was on my mind, it wasn’t long before I was distracted by the astounding art pieces which were being displayed within what seemed to be their Centenary Room. This seemed like a good way to start my exploration…. I circled around the corner and noticed the sign that read ‘GCSE’, what this means I am not sure but I know that the artwork I saw was a lot for a small bee like me to take in. Although the room seemed big to me there were so many humans I had to weave in and out of the huge crowds, which had collected in groups to discuss the techniques and skills that were shown within each piece. It was apparent by their reactions, that they were astonished by how brilliant each piece was. As I flew to the end of the room, I noticed a large painting, which had the name, ‘Elara Shurely’ printed next to it. The painting showed a great amount of skill; the way in which it was painted was not using a paintbrush but using hands. It was very impressive, seeing each stroke and blush of the paint she has put onto the canvas. The painting created a girl’s face squashed in-between two mattresses causing the girl to have an expression of what seemed to be grief and pain, and perhaps terror. It was

Lara Laeverenz-Schlogelhofe - Glass Wax

obvious that Elara wanted to portray an idea of force on the subject, which created a force on us as viewers also. After a little while spent admiring Elara’s work, I knew that there would be a great extent of beautiful pieces exhibited. As I zipped across the room, I saw a mixture of artistic medias, from painting, film, sculpture and installation pieces, all of which managed to have individual impact. As I headed for the exit I noticed that there was a string of humans walking further into the school. I followed them towards a room named the ‘Resources

Elara Shurely

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Centre’ where the other half of the GCSE pieces were displayed. It was the work that the GCSE Students had completed in year 10. The work was very impressive, such a vast array of techniques and skills being demonstrated in each of the pieces. It was apparent that the humans were particularly impressed with the handmade dresses, proving to look very professional and made to the point of perfection. Most of the dresses managed to include aspects of laser cut acrylic and applique enabling the theme of ‘urban’ to be depicted in many different ways. Suddenly a glimpse of light caught my attention. Instantly I flew so I could absorb as much of the light as possible, it almost felt like I was outside as I noticed that the light I flew to was created to have 3mm thin sheets of Perspex plastic arranged in different colours like a lotus flower. Along with this light were a whole array of more beautifully crafted lights; in particular, I was attracted to a chair also being displayed next to the collection of lights. This chair had been made by Rachel Jordan, who had created it for what seemed to be the smaller humans known as children. The chair featured a whole range of activities on it like shoelace tying and a clock with moving handles. Not so far from this display of Design and Technology work were more pieces but done by A- level

students. I was particularly impressed with the beehive made by Georgia Risley-Billingham. Of course I couldn’t drop any pollen because I hadn’t found lily flowers yet but never-the-less I was astonished by how well put together it was and the small minimal designs which were added to the edges of the two boxes. After zipping in and out of the rest of the Design and Technology work I decided that I should visit the A level students art pieces which seemed to be located in the school’s art room. Unsurprisingly, the work was outstanding, each piece managed to explore its own individual story as well as show a completely different aspect of air the themes ‘mapping’ and ‘covert & obscure’. The - DT - Child’s Ch Rachel Jordan pieces ranged from paintings to sculptures and film, I was particularly drawn to a piece by Kate York who managed to recreate her dad’s shed using a range of pieces which he had horded over his life. Flying back through the room there was a range of pieces by the year 13’s who had explored their own themes. The artist Emma Falk created an extravagant range of textiles, which were printed using a mixture of colours and extra DT - Department Store techniques like gold foil detail and puff binder making the print puff up. These textiles were added to vintage chairs found from different places, like local pubs. For the other half of their course it seemed that the girls explored the theme of inside and outside. Luckily for a bee like me there was a beautiful piece, which was by Lara Laeverenz-Schlogelhofer, who included flowers captured within glass and wax, which had then been shadowed with trapped paper shapes lying on the shelf. After exploring all of the pieces I managed to come across the lily flower I had been searching for before I discovered the strangely astonishing pieces by the work of the Blackheath High school art students. Consequently a small bee like me was obviously going to suckle on it with the thought of the work running through my mind at the same time. By Lucy Morris-Thomas Y13

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ART EXHIBITIONS This year’s DT work within the Art Exhibition featured the Year 11s exploring a new design brief for their Design and Technology GCSE; to design a flat pack product. The girls successfully rose to the challenge. The exhibition displayed products that were far more reminiscent of a designer store that you would see in trendy Shoreditch than an exhibition of student work in a secondary school. Many teachers from other schools were present and asked to take photos to inspire their students. The products were all successful and ranged from a successful engineered base light by Danshu Zhao and Ai Lena’s light that enables the user to personalise the colour scheme to Rachel Jordan’s multi-functional educational child’s chair. I was not the only person to think the girls’ work was exceptional either, as the AQA exam board also described their work as highly creative and innovative and they particularly enjoyed seeing the use of real products for their Product Analysis as well as commercially viable products. The Y11 design students really excelled themselves and I was extremely proud and impressed by the professional and unique products they made. Mrs Rose, Design Technology Teacher Lucy Morris - Textiles - Textiles Jane Englefield

“Georgia Risley-Billingham’s ‘Beehive’ was one of the high points in the DT exhibition. Her project for her A2 was a fully functional beehive, plus 3 bee houses for bumble bees and seed packets. She fully deserved the A grade she achieved for her exam. The AS students completed creative and effective packaging using traditional and CAD/CAM techniques. As always the DT students are able to use industry standard software and machines. I was very proud of them all.” Mrs Aspden, Head of Design Technology

Sorcha Liston-Smith - Acrylic Paint

Georgia Risley-Billingham - Beehive

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Junior Art Exhibition


his year the Junior School Summer Art Exhibition had the theme of “Africa”. The much-loved story ‘Handa’s Surprise’ formed the basis of Nursery’s work. NAM made masks of the African animals in the story; NPM used pastels to draw pictures of the fruits that Handa planned to take to her friend Akeyo and NFT used the brushes app on their iPads to create portraits of Handa. Reception looked at patterns and designs in African fabrics. The girls made a range of their own African inspired designs and then selected the one they liked the best to transform to print and dye their own piece of fabric. They used a technique called Adire Lecko, which involves painting the pattern onto the cloth with a flour and water paste. Year One drew on their visit to London Zoo for inspiration, creating an African sunset silhouette relief picture featuring the African animals they saw on their trip. Influenced by artists such as Mariaan Maritz Krog and Shirley Shelton, the girls used ripped layers of tissue paper for the colours in the sky and cut the African animals out of black card to create the silhouettes. Enthused by an energetic African workshop, Year Two looked at different African drum designs and made their own vibrant creations while Year Three provided fabric drapes using relief prints based on repeated Ancient Egyptian patterns. The


main pieces of art work were profiles based on Ancient Egyptian Gods and Pharaohs. A silk screen press was used to paint the design onto the fabric. As a final touch, a cardboard frame was decorated with an Ancient Egyptian border and modroc Ancient Egyptian masks. Year Four designed and constructed African masks based on the rock art of the San People. Twigs, fingers or pieces of plants were used to paint their designs. Year Five’s collection of African Fabric Rag Dolls was striking in the individuality of each doll and sat beautifully alongside the Year Six installation of a series of embellished bowls. Paper bowls were decorated by the girls, using hand printed fabric made in response to ‘African’ fabrics. The piece was inspired by an artwork entitled Sun, Sea and Sand by artist Yinka Shonibare. Visitors to the final evening of the exhibition were serenaded by the Year 6 Quintet and the Samba Drum group from Seniors. It was lovely to see so many parents using their smart phones to access the QR codes which linked to video footage of the girls creating the exhibits. A fantastic effort by Juniors; a true celebration of colour and media. Mrs Skevington, Head of Junior School

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Onwards and Upwards – our Year 6 enjoy their Prize Giving and Graduation Ceremonies A

s ever the Year 6 girls made the most of their last days at Juniors. The festivities began with a superb party organised by the parents on the theme of “I’m a celebrity; get me out of here!” The gym was transformed into a jungle disco, with bizarre refreshments laid on. Even Ant and Dec (in cardboard form) made an appearance. A few days later, the girls hosted lunch for their parents in the dining room before giving their final assembly to the school. It was lovely to see so many photos of the girls – many going back as far as Nursery – and to hear their memories of happy times at Blackheath High. The Year 6 Prize giving had a new look this year. Whilst we retained the core prizes recognising outstanding academic achievement and effort, we introduced school colours to reflect the breadth and variety of activity which takes place at Juniors. As so many girls take up the opportunities on offer in Sport, Music, Drama and Art we thought it right to reward those talents. We also wanted to celebrate those girls who had shown initiative and drive, which we did through colours for Responsibility and Resilience. The enthusiasm

of the girls for, and commitment to, charitable causes were also acknowledged with colours for the organisation of charity events. The string sextet introduced the event with a selection of classical pieces and Quinn Ready impressed with a beautiful guitar rendition of Marchinha de Carnaval by Celso Machado. All the girls contributed to the ceremony in some way, describing the events and achievements of the year. The prizes and colours were presented by Sydney Thornbury, the Director of the Conservatoire. Blackheath High School has established an excellent relationship with the Conservatoire and was proud to be a contributor to the highly successful campaign to save this much-loved institution. We are excited that Sydney has now also become one of our governors. But the event belonged in every sense to our Year 6 girls; a true celebration of their hard work and talents. They conducted themselves with their usual confidence and maturity and, as ever, made us proud. Mrs Skevington, Head of Junior School

“Our year 6 Prize Giving was fantastic. Many prizes were awarded to many worthy girls! This year we introduced badges for excelling in particular lessons, which included Music, Sport, Academia and Drama.” Matilda Marcus

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Pencil Mia Ryder

Ceramic and Paper Charlotte Kerr Summer 2013 Blackheath High School 23

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BHSA Family Fun Day and Camp Night


nce again the end of the school year was celebrated with the junior school Camp Night and Family Fun Day in July, at the school playing fields. This year we were blessed with perfect weather; warm sunshine and no wind – a very welcome change from last year! As the forecast improved, orders of ice cream and cold drinks were increased in anticipation of a fantastic weekend! There were lots of activities for all to enjoy, from bouncy castles for our youngest visitors through to ‘Dads’ football matches for the older ones. The tennis courts were open for everyone to use, and once again Uptown Experience organised tennis games for the children. The Barbecue and Bar were busy serving delicious food and drink all day, and the incessant sale of ice creams reflected the sunny weather. Paddling pools, buckets and a water spray were brought to the event, so the children could have a splash and play to keep cool. Although originally planned for the younger children, it was great to see the older girls letting their hair down and getting soaked too!

This year the camping was fully booked, with more pitches sold than in recent years. Tents started going up from noon, and by 6pm the far end of the field looked like a very civilised Glastonbury offshoot. Once the sunset and evening set in, hot chocolate was served to the 100 younger campers, and wonderfully gooey marshmallows were toasted around the fire and enjoyed by all. The larger Campfire burned through the night, as always tended by the hardier parents, intent on getting the true camping experience until the small hours! In the morning, some campers were up with the larks, some a lot later, after a long night! Hot drinks, fruit juice and breakfast were served throughout the morning, and it was lovely to take the tents down this year in good weather, rather than the torrential rain of 2012! Camp Night is a great end of year party for parents and children alike. We would like to express our thanks to all of the parents who helped organise and run the event – it went very smoothly, was a complete success and, by Sunday lunchtime, the field was clear and tidy. Put 5th July 2014 in your diary now!” BHSA

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Multi Media Kathryn Doran

DT piece Ai Lena

Acrylic on Canvas Julia N’Damoi Summer 2013 Blackheath High School 25

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Forthcoming Events NOVEMBER TUESDAY 5th NOVEMBER Year 7 Tea Party 4:30pm, Theatre THURSDAY 21st NOVEMBER Key Stage 4/5 Performance of ‘Dracula’ 7.00pm, Theatre DECEMBER WEDNESDAY 11th DECEMBER Autumn Music Concert 7:00pm, Theatre FRIDAY 13th DECEMBER Reception and Key Stage 1 Nativity 1.45pm, Junior School

MONDAY 16th DECEMBER Key Stage 2 Carol Concert 6.00pm St Michael’s Church, Pond Road, Blackheath WEDNESDAY 18th DECEMBER Senior Prize Giving 6.00pm, Theatre FRIDAY 20th DECEMBER Christmas Carol Service 2.30pm, St John’s Church, Blackheath

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BHS Summer 2014  

The Termly Magazine of Blackheath high School GDST