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18/08/17

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

It's been a sunny, fun and busy morning so far! The girls are having a well earned lunch break before we head out f… https://t.co/28G8Ppaj7J

18/08/17

Ditches, fossils and Eco club - find out more in our 60s interview with Laboratory Technician, Mrs Birkett:… https://t.co/7LP8zCozw7

17/08/17

A record-breaking year for Blackheath High School: https://t.co/3XmLsslXPi

17/08/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

39% A and A* for our Year 13s and a great range of courses this year, from Theoretical Physics to Middle Eastern St… https://t.co/0W1ptetFoO

17/08/17

Another great result - 88% A/A* in Extended Project Qualification AS-level https://t.co/a2BXYUsPpJ

17/08/17

Brilliant result from our hard working English Literature students - well done! https://t.co/EaAZ9eyvTU

17/08/17

75% of our university applicants have secured places universities - well done girls! https://t.co/jRlaOO7Q4k

17/08/17

A good year for our scholars including Lexey (pictured right), off to read French & Russian https://t.co/LfI5DuiSDw

17/08/17

Well done to all our girls, we're very proud of you! https://t.co/vDEeuDbR4M

17/08/17

Our linguists proudly bucking the national trend for decline in modern language study https://t.co/ecFCMxcxGS

17/08/17

Congratulations Nadia with an A* and two As - amazing achievement! https://t.co/MtvOKeOyXE

17/08/17

Big well done to Ella with an A* & two As, off to read Middle Eastern Studies ! https://t.co/WjyJpPCozJ

17/08/17

Congratulations Maya with a jaw dropping four A*s! https://t.co/IILsA6a0b3

17/08/17

They're here and we have our fingers crossed for you all! https://t.co/mzNwMsd1Yz

16/08/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Look what happens when Florence dog bumps into old friends in https://t.co/5fSqxsmaUZ

15/08/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Dropped into camp. Very happy girls having a break after full on morning… https://t.co/YwxDO3owPj

14/08/17

"Traditionally, Science is not seen as a girl’s subject but we're proud to be bucking that trend". Read more:… https://t.co/7Jbj1353u4

11/08/17

Mini beasts, sticks & mud pies? Our Nursery Nurse & Forest School Leader on the joys of learning:… https://t.co/DRuJAQGzxc

10/08/17

"Your mind is a palace". Our Head, Mrs Chandler-Thompson speaks about the mind, our one true constant:… https://t.co/GLtvnUbHrB

09/08/17

"Always follow your heart and chase your dreams". Lyra, Year 6, recounts her mum's words of wisdom:… https://t.co/qEAMyxs4g9

08/08/17

She was born over 250 years ago but there’s still something about Mary Wollstonecraft & her legacy lives on with us… https://t.co/KEU7gcdNz6

07/08/17

It's not all psychoanalysis and mind reading. We put the Spotlight firmly on the subject of Psychology:… https://t.co/6wt6NadGPq

04/08/17

What does our Deputy Head of Junior School really think about teaching? Mrs Gilfedder-Bonnar tells all in 60s:… https://t.co/pTobbd5NxC

03/08/17

Algorithms, boomerangs and custard for Maths? Hannah, Year 9 tells us more: https://t.co/0wQEXQTZlQ

31/07/17

It was Midsummer Madness in the build up to this year’s Equinox. Ashvini, Year 8, tells us more!… https://t.co/p6Fofk9NEM

29/07/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Girls due home first thing tomorrow after a wonderful experience in Tanzania Thanks fo… https://t.co/m1Ln5R6ARI

28/07/17

Get to know our teachers in our series of 60s interviews. First up, our Year 2 Teacher & Junior School Librarian:… https://t.co/XYnhMMEd70

27/07/17

A touching moment as our girls visiting Tanzania prepare to say goodbye by hanging words of wisdom & memories with… https://t.co/r3cmzvim6g

26/07/17

Retweeted From BlackheathHighDrama

How wonderful - she has inspired A level students of ours over the years with her amazing work - we look forward to… https://t.co/rt6uqNxDqC

26/07/17

Retweeted From Cheryl Giovannoni

. we are so proud of you all. Keep on making a difference for women in the world. https://t.co/fu8cszQdEj

25/07/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Latest pics from - star-gazing, stove building and birthday celebrations… https://t.co/FnKLwqEgq7

24/07/17

Retweeted From Blackheath High Sch

Music is never boring https://t.co/e0iHyWrbjo

24/07/17

Retweeted From Inspire Worldwide

Overseas Project-connect your girls with the of a lifetime!See more here:https://t.co/xxemQZ9hwE 🌍👭

24/07/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Safari day today for memories https://t.co/QUDQVvmrTO

24/07/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

BBC Radio 4 - Bringing Up Britain, Series 10, How to Help Children to Feel Happy https://t.co/neupbOT3a5

23/07/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Great pics of our - brilliant project https://t.co/Ewa16P41nR

23/07/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Good work Maddie ! Stove building in Babati - but if a change from cupcakes https://t.co/psmLzMn5cf

21/07/17

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

In the last few days of term raised £320 for Well done Mira and all who contributed

21/07/17

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Team Tanzania have been laying a concrete floor, making raised beds and sharing experiences today https://t.co/9wzJ0a63nt

18/07/17

Retweeted From UN Women

“Gender equity starts with education.” - https://t.co/cNc5H62Cd5

Alumnae Profiles

We are always interested to hear from BHS alumnae, both in the UK and across the globe, with news about their careers, lives and achievements. We would be very happy to hear from any BHS alumnae who would be willing to help our current students, either by speaking about different careers paths, mentoring students and/or BHS alumnae on career development, or to arrange work experience for our Sixth Form students.

Please contact Corrie Rafferty in our marketing department (c.rafferty@bla.gdst.net) if you think you might be able to help.

 

CHRISTINA OKELLO - Investigative Journalist

christina okello

Following Sixth Form study at Blackheath High, Christina read English, French and Politics at Leeds University before moving to Paris to read for an MA in Journalism.

Since this time, Christina has been based in Paris having worked as correspondent for Israeli news channel JN1, Assistant Producer at France 24, a TV journalist at Africa 24 and a video journalist at Telesud. With extensive experience covering French national news, focusing in particular upon human-interest stories, her current role as investigative journalist at Radio France Internationale keeps Christina busy reporting on areas of particular interest, including human rights, environmental issues, disaster and humanitarian relief, specialising in the Middle Eastern and African regions.

In a recent publication Christina condemned the escalating violence against journalists, and the failure of governments to do anything about it, exposing the cycle of impunity that exists linked to the fact that often the killers are the ones in power. We were delighted to welcome Christina back to the school to give a speech at the 2015 Prize Giving ceremony.

FARAH CASWELL - Environmental Engineer

Farrah Caswell

"My time at Blackheath High provided me with the necessary skills, support and confidence so that I was ready to face the world after school. From the very first time I entered and decided it was the school for me, to the last time I left, I enjoyed every minute and still look back fondly! Blackheath High and its teachers have a way of helping you find your strengths and building on them. Not to mention, friendships that stand the test of time. The warm and nurturing environment offers every and any opportunity it can so that when you take that first step after school, you're ready for what may come your way. Looking back, I realise how fortunate I am to have had such a great start to my education and my career. This comes at a particular stage as I am just finishing my Civil Engineering degree at Imperial College London and starting anew at Foster + Partners as an in-house Environmental Engineer."

CHARLENE WHITE - Journalist and Newsreader/Anchor

Charlene White 2

Charlene White is a journalist and newsreader/news anchor and currently employed by ITN, where she presents national news on ITV News and regionally on ITV London. She has previously presented radio news and entertainment shows at the BBC, including BBC London 94.9, Radio 5Live, and BBC 1Xtra.

After leaving Blackheath High School, Charlene graduated from the London College of Printing. She worked as a newsroom journalist for Meridian TV in Kent, then as a presenter and senior broadcast journalist at BBC Look East, Radio 5 Live Morning Reports, BBC Three 60 Seconds and BBC News.

In 2008, she joined ITN - as a newscaster for the ITV News at 5:30 on ITV, during which time she became a regular presenter of ITV London News. She also started presenting the ITV News Weekend Daytime bulletins on a rotation basis. In April 2014, Charlene White became the first black woman to present ITV's News at Ten. Since 2016, Charlene can be regularly seen hosting the evening ITV News programmes, and ITV News at Ten.  

Charlene also makes a valuable contribution to the school in her role as a Blackheath High School governor.

PROFESSOR ANNA CRAFT (1961-2014)

Annacraft

Professor Anna Craft was a pupil at Blackheath High School from 1976-80. Anna went on to Cambridge University from the Sixth Form, and after graduating with a BA in Social and Political Science, obtained the Postgraduate Certificate in Education and an MA in the Philosophy of Education at the London University Institute of Education.  She was a successful primary school teacher in London, became a Teacher Fellow at the Polytechnic of North London, then a Project Officer at the National Curriculum Council.  In 1991 she joined The Open University, in due course being appointed to a Professorship in Education there, combining this with a Professorship in Education at the University of Exeter.  She also became a Visiting Scholar in the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the United States.

Anna argued that a problem-solving, “possibility thinking” capacity is now a fundamental requirement in modern living, and that today’s complex and fast-changing world requires creative abilities which need to be cultivated from the earliest years.  She presented her ideas in well over 100 books, book chapters and journal papers, and became an internationally recognised and highly respected leader in the study of creativity in education.

Her colleagues and students regarded her as a warm and wise friend, combining commitment and intellect with exceptional vitality, diligence and humour.  And the distinguished Harvard Professor, Howard Gardner, has written that “...she deserves much of the credit for reinvigorating the study and understanding of creativity and play in young children ... (she) was one of those rare individuals whom it was always fun to be with, to learn from, and to be inspired by ... she was the epitome of life and high spirits”.

In the summer of 2014, Anna sadly died from cancer, aged 52. She is survived by her husband, Simon, and their teenage children, Hugo and Ella, her sister Naomi, and her parents.

FLORENCE REEVES - CEO of Buqa 

Florence reeves

Florence graduated from Blackheath High School in 2003 and initially worked in the City for around ten years, before leaving to set up Buqa, an Ethical Lifestyle Brand for Inspirational Women.

Buqa has two divisions; Buqa Couture (ethical, sustainable fashion) and Buqa Woman, a philanthropic women’s network. Buqa Woman aims to connect inspirational women via events, publishing unique stories/profiles, promoting women’s charities and promoting women’s work within cultural, corporate and public organisations internationally.

EMINE ALI RUSHTON - Health and Wellbeing Journalist

 Emine ali rushton

“I had a really fantastic time at school, I made many friends for life and had some phenomenal teachers.  I recall the continual laughter and high spirits in the Sixth Form common room, competing in the Kent County Championships with the netball team, acting in school plays, directing the Sixth Form revue, attending a leadership conference with Nicola Horlick. With other GDST head girls... I'd be keen to visit when my little girl reaches school age, to see if Blackheath High still possesses it's unique laid-back, warm and welcoming spirit!” says Emine.

Born and raised in London, where she still lives, Emine Ali Rushton graduated in 2002 with a first class BA degree in English Literature, from Durham University. After two years of work experience across various titles, including Vogue, Harvey Nichols Magazine and SHE, she began freelancing as a beauty writer. Now, with eight years of experience across beauty, health, trend and wellbeing journalism, she has written for a wealth of different titles that span the publishing spectrum – everything from ELLE, i-D, NYLON and ZEST to Weekend Magazine, Metro and The London Lite – the latter was home to her health and beauty column ‘Spa Secrets’ which ran daily for 2 years.  She is also a keen blogger and is founder and author of ‘Miss Malcontent Seeks Truth in Beauty’, ‘we make up as we go along’.

 Her most recent staff role is as the Health and Wellbeing dierector at the Hachette monthly, 'Psychologies'. She is also the founder of The Balance Plan, a brand that celebrates living kindly, well, and slow; and has now published her first book 'The Body Balance Diet Plan'.

DR SARAH JL PAYNE  - Specialist Registrar (SPR) in Medical Oncology

Sarah payne

After completing A-levels, Sarah went straight on to study Medicine at UCL, achieving a first class Honours in her Intercalated BSc and final MBBS exams. She went on to complete her junior doctor training in a number of London hospitals, during which time she made a decision to specialise in Oncology. She started her specialist registrar (SPR) training in Medical Oncology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 2003. She was awarded an MRC grant to complete a PhD in breast cancer during her training, which she successfully completed in 2010.

Sarah most recently transferred to Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in March 2014, to gain valuable experience working in another centre of excellence. Sarah successfully completed her training in January 2015 and was appointed a post CCT fellow at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital with a specialist interest in education. She was simultaneously appointed as undergraduate lead in clinical skills development for the Trust and oncology lead for undergraduate curriculum development. Sarah is currently an Honorary Medical Oncology Consultant at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital and Medical Affairs Manager at Pfizer.

Sarah is married to Iain Soulsby, a local dentist, and they have two daughters, Charlotte who is still at nursery, and Emily, who is at Blackheath High Junior School. Both Iain and Sarah are very active on the BHS Parents Association and Sarah is also Vice-Chairman of our Old Girls’ Association.

My interest in teaching and education has very much been influenced by my time as a pupil at BHS, and the extensive opportunities I had to lead and teach. I particularly remember organising the Science Society and seeing the enjoyment of the other pupils when we ran sessions on “Bubbles” and the “Science of the Flame”.

“It is lovely to see that the atmosphere is still warm, friendly and personal as well as supportive of individual development and achievement. It has been fantastic to stay connected with the school and watch Emily, and soon Charlotte to have the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful school community” says Sarah.

GERALDINE COOPER – Broadcast Journalist 

Geraldine cooper

“Blackheath High is a friendly, warm school and although I left more than a decade ago, I still have fond memories of Blackheath High and regularly meet up with lots of the old girls from my year, many of whom are very close friends to this day.

After taking 10 GCSEs, I went on to study for 3 A Levels in French, German and English.  I was also the Deputy Head Girl. The teaching and support I got at Blackheath High - particularly from my Modern Languages teachers - helped me to achieve the best possible grades and I went on to study French and German at Exeter College, University of Oxford." says Geraldine.

After leaving Oxford, Geraldine completed a post-graduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism and started work as a radio journalist, working primarily for Capital Radio and its affiliate stations.  She then moved over to work in TV at ITN, where she reported on the US presidential election and the death of Michael Jackson.  After this she moved to Sky News, as a member of the World News team, covering international stories for a global audience. She currently works as a Freelance Journalist and Blogger.

JO TONGUE – TV and Radio Producer and Talent Agent 

Jo Tongue

"The friends I made at Blackheath High are the friends I will have for life. The experiences and confidence instilled in me while I was there were second to none. How I miss schooldays!

You learn things at BHS which stay with you for life – an inner confidence you didn’t know you had, a drive to be the best at whatever you turn your hand to and most importantly – lasting friendships.  My neighbours and holiday companions now, are the friends I made in the Upper Third in 1989!”


Jo left Blackheath High in 1996 and she went on to join the BBC through BBC Talent in 2000. Jo was a Producer at the BBC for eight years and has worked on numerous programmes. Jo moved into radio and was an Executive Producer on BBC Radio 5 Live before going to Tanzania for the World Service to teach media skills to footballers.  She is now the CEO of Tongue Tied Media which is a talent agency for ex-Footballers and Broadcasters. The company also produces TV programmes and features, such as documentaries for the BBC.  

RUTH TONGUE - Nutritionist, Health Content Specialist, Online Editor and STOTT Pilates Teacher

Ruth tongue

Ruth is an MSc qualified nutritionist and has worked in health and wellbeing for over eight years.

She regularly features as an expert and contributor on health, lifestyle and wellbeing in national and international publications such as Grazia, Glamour, OK! and Running Fitness.

As a media spokesperson, Ruth has worked with BBC Radio Five Live and is currently the health expert and ambassador for various food, health and lifestyle brands including Clipper Teas, Sports Stylist and Wellicious. As brand ambassador for these companies she does regular public speaking and media work. She is also a consultant nutritionist for skin care companies, football clubs and works with the Children’s Food Trust.

Ruth runs corporate workshops, seminars and health events. Current clients include Laing, Crossrail, Yahoo and the Sports PR company. 

http://www.ruthtongue.com/index.html

JOSIE DELAP – Political Journalist 

Josie delap

“My time at Blackheath High was an overwhelmingly positive experience.  I was delighted to be invited to become a Governor and make an on-going contribution to the life of the school.  I am, therefore, looking forward in particular to assisting the school in its continuing engagement with the local community and the broader world.” says Josie.

After leaving Blackheath High School in 2006, Josie studied Arabic and French at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge. As part of her course, she spent a year studying in Cairo. Following graduation, she worked for the Arab International Women's Forum, an organisation that promotes women's political, economic and social involvement in the Middle East. Josie went on to do an MPhil in Modern Middle East Studies at St Antony's College, University of Oxford where she focused on Iran. As part of her studies, she learned Persian and spent several months in Iran. On leaving Oxford, Josie started work at The Economist as an Assistant Editor and then as the online Middle East and Africa Editor. She now works as the British Home Affairs correspondent at The Economist and writes regularly for the magazine.

LIBBY RICHARDSON – Dentist 

Libby Richardson

“I spent 11 happy, challenging years at Blackheath High in an environment in which I felt wholly supported and encouraged.  The academic support and Higher Education opportunities available to us all were fantastic.  Another benefit was the eclectic mix of extracurricular activities on offer, especially the Duke of Edinburgh Award.  The teachers were able to pass on invaluable advice and guidance which has undoubtedly helped me get to where I am today.  I cannot express how well this set me up for the exciting prospect of University and the wider world beyond.” says Libby.

Libby graduated King's College London after studying Dentistry in 2015. She was also the winner of the Souyave Prize in Endodontics in her final year. She would like to thank her teachers for all their encouraging words and advice with mock interviews, work experience and careers guidance which all helped to cement her determination to follow this path. 

LINDA AYOOLA –  Accounting and Financial Management graduate 

Linda ayoola

“Being Head Girl made me realise that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to.  I can honestly say that BHS was indeed a stepping-stone for university life and my career. It provided me with the study skills I needed to attain a 2.1, as well as instilling the spirit of endurance, determination and willpower I would need to go far in my career.” says Linda.

Linda is an Accounting and Financial Management graduate from the University of Sheffield; she was very eager to break into the world of Banking and Financial Services.  This ambition and motivation led her to apply to the graduate programmes offered by banks and various companies and she started her career at RBS, where she worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions team. She is now a lifestyle and writer, writing about stories from her life.

LOIS EDMETT - Magazine Editor

Lois edmett

“Staying at Blackheath High for Sixth Form was honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Being in the Sixth Form is completely different to the lower school and offers many new challenges.  I benefited from a freedom to manage my own studies (which put me in good stead for uni) and from the smaller class sizes meaning I received almost individual tutoring and mentoring. 

I had so much fun at Blackheath High! It really felt like a family in the Sixth Form area rather than a school. There's a relaxed intimacy to the environment which really made me feel safe. For the rest of your life you'll be competing with large crowds for everything- make the most of the individual attention Blackheath can afford to give you. You won't have it again!

I discovered that one of the easiest ways to make friends in freshers week is to mention you're a GDST girl! I bonded with so many people over the shared experience of studying under the GDST banner- it was a great ice breaker!” 
says Lois. 

After leaving Blackheath High in 2010, Lois studied English Literature at Durham University.  Once she had graduated from Durham, Lois interned at a number of magazines including ELLE and Grazia. She then went onto work at The Sunday Times as a Production Assistant and Time Out as a Freelance writer. Lois is currently working at IN London Magazine as an Assistant Editor and Digital Editor.

MARY QUANT OBE, FCSD (born 11 February 1934)

Mary quant

Mary Quant is a Welsh fashion designer and a British fashion icon, who was instrumental in the mod fashion movement. She was one of the designers who took credit for inventing the miniskirt and hot pants.

Mary was born in Blackheath, London to Welsh parents, where she attended Blackheath High School and later graduated from Goldsmith’s College.

As creator of the mini skirt and hot pants, she showed a generation how to dress to please themselves. Her instant success made traditionally cautious designers change their attitudes and make their designs appeal to the newly important youth market.

Convinced that fashion needed to be affordable to be accessible to the young, she opened her own retail boutique, “Bazaar”, on the Kings Road in 1955, introducing the 'mod' era and the 'Chelsea Look.'

In her quest for new and interesting clothes for “Bazaar”, she was not satisfied with the range of clothes available and decided that the shop would have to be stocked with clothes made by herself. Knee-high, white, patent plastic, lace up boots, and tight, skinny rib sweaters in stripes and bold checks, which came to epitomise the “London Look”, were the result. Along with trendy fashion shows and window displays, she secured her reputation through the production of original clothing, sold in affordable boutiques, for the new youth-orientated market.

Following on the success of the first Chelsea store, a second Bazaar opened in Knightsbridge in 1961. By 1963 Mary was exporting to the USA, going into mass-production to keep up with the demand, and the Mary Quant worldwide brand was born.

In 1966 Mary was appointed OBE for her outstanding contribution to the fashion industry. She accepted the award in her inimitable style, arriving at Buckingham Palace in a micro-mini skirt and black cut-out gloves. In 1990 she won the Hall of Fame Award of the British Fashion Council. Mary was made a Dame in the 2015 New Year Honours List.

SOPHIE ALDRED - Actress and TV Presenter    

Sophie.Aldred

Sophie attended Blackheath High School from 1973 until 1980, before enrolling as a drama student at University of Manchester. She graduated in 1983 and decided to embark on a career in children's theatre.

In 1987, she was cast as Ace in Doctor Who. Her tenure on the show spanned the last nine stories of the programme's original run, which ended in 1989.

Both before and since Doctor Who, Sophie has had a varied and busy television career, particularly in children’s programming where she has presented educational programmes such as Corners, Melvin and Maureen’s Music-a-grams which ran from 1992 to 1996, long-running BBC series Words and Pictures since 1993 to date and also CITV paranormal show It’s a Mystery in 1996. She also played the character Minnie The Mini Magician from Series 8 onwards on CITV’s ZZZap! between 1999 and 2001.

Aldred has also presented on radio and perfomed in the theatre. She has also reprised her role as Ace in the charity special Dimensions in Time, the Doctor Who audio plays and the Doctor Who Online Adventures. Throughout the 2000s she has worked extensively as a voice-over artist for television adverts and has also provided voices for animated series such as Bob the Builder and Dennis & Gnasher, and most recently voiced Tom in Tree Fu Tom.

MARGARET ANN JAY, 
BARONESS 
JAY OF PADDINGTON
PC - British politician for the Labour Party

Margaret ann jay

 

After finishing her education at Blackheat High, Margaret studies at Somerville College, University of Oxford.

Between 1965 and 1977 she held production posts within the BBC working on current affairs and further education television programmes. She then became a journalist on the BBC's prestigious Panarama programme, and Thames Television’s This Week. She went on to present the BBC2 series Social History of Medicine, as well as being a contributor to Newsnight, Any Questions, Question Time and other current affairs programmes. She has a strong interest in health issues, notably as a campaigner on HIV and Aids. She was a founder director of the National Aids Trust in 1987. She is also a patron of Help the Aged.

In 1992, she was appointed a life peer in 1992 with the title of Baroness Jay of Paddington, and acted as an opposition Whip in the House of Lords.  In association with the shop workers' union, she led opposition to the liberalisation of Sunday trading hours.

After her party's election victory in 1997, she became Health Spokesman and Minister for Women in the House of Lords. From 1998 she was Leader of the House of Lords, playing a pivotal role in the major reform that led to the removal of most of its hereditary members. She retired from active politics in 2001.

Among numerous non-executive roles that she has taken on since retiring from politics, she was a non-executive director of BT Group.  She is currently co-chair of the cross-party Iraq Commission (along with Tom King and Paddy Ashdown) which was established by the Foreign Policy Centre think-tank and Channel 4.

Baroness Jay has three children: Tamsin, Alice and Patrick.

HELEN LEDERER - Comedian

Helen lederer

Helen Lederer (born 24 September 1954) is a Welsh comedienne, writer and actress who emerged as part of the alternative comedy boom at the beginning of the 1980s.

She made her name at the Comedy Store, the starting point for many of her comic contemporaries during the 1980s.

Lederer's earliest TV work was with Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson in 'The Young Ones', and it was with this new breed of comedians and comic actors with whom she was most linked.

Throughout the mid-1980s, Lederer began to establish herself as a comic actor on a series of BBC comedies such as 'Little Armadillos' and 'Happy Families'. The latter was the launch pad for a relationship with Jennifer Saunders which would result in worldwide success.

In 1986, 'Naked Video' arrived on television, having orginally been a BBC Radio Scotland success. Transferred to the screen, Helen Lederer was one of just two additions to the programme's cast. It was a big success, running for four series, and showed Lederer's expressive skills as an actor, slipping into the charicature-like personalities she played.

She starred in 'Hello Mum' in 1987, and appeared in 'French And Saunders', 'The Harry Enfield Television Programme' and 'Bottom' at the turn of the 1980s.

Then in 1992, Lederer was cast as the role of Catriona in 'Absolutely Fabulous' which would take her to an international audience.

Lederer has always been a guest or supporting actress on programmes devised by or starring her alternative comedy contemporaries and as such has made a good, consistent career. She has branched out into many 'serious' acting roles too, and was reviewed favourably when she took part in 'The Vagina Monologues' on the West End stage. As a presenter, she has hosted and voiced lifestyle, religious and children's programmes. She has guested on numerous radio panel games and writes columns for newspapers and magazines.

Lederer has a daughter, Hannah Lederer-Alton, who began her television career in the ITV series Echo Beach in January 2008. She is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and works also works with UNICEF.

KATIE STEWART - Cookery Writer

Katie stewart

Katie attended Blackheath High in the late 1940s and early 1950s. She trained at The Westminster Hotel School and moved to work in Paris, discovering food as a lifelong interest, and going on to gain a cookery diploma at the Cordon Bleu School.

Inspired by French and other international culinary influences, she moved to work for Nestle in the United States and subsequently worked as a cookery writer. Returning to Britain, Katie was appointed cookery editor on Woman's Journal, where she remained for 32 years. She wrote hugely influential cookery columns and recipe books, including the ever-popular Times Cookbook. Katie was one of the first cookery writers to become a household name in postwar Britain.

She retired to Cuckfield, West Sussex where she was appointed Mayor in 2001. She sadly passed away in 2013, aged 78.

BEVERLEY HODSON - Business Woman

Beverly hodson

 

After attending Blackheath High School, Bevereley studied at Newnham College, University of Cambridge studying English Literature.

Beverley's career in retail started with Boots the Chemists PLC, where she was Business General Manager for 17 years. She then became Managing Director at a number of companies, including Sears, Childrens World (now Mothercare World). In 1994 she was made Midlands Business Woman of the Year and in 2003 she was awarded an OBE for services to retail.

Her non-executive career started with the Regional Development Agency for North Yorkshire & Humberside, and GWR on the local board of Trent FM. She was then appointed to the boards of M&G Investments (Prudential), Legal & General PLC, The National College of School Leadership, Robert Wiseman Dairies PLC, First Milk, NFU Mutual, iForce PLC, and Randstad NV. She also serves as a member of various Audit, Remuneration and Risk committees and as a Pensions Trustee.

Beverley is currently Vice-President of Newnham College Associates, council member at the University of Gloucestershire, an Associate of the Girls Day School trust, Secretary of the A-T Medical Research Trust, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

She is married, with one son and three step daughters, and loves tennis, skiing, music, opera and reading, and has lived in Gloucestershire since 1997.

OLIVIA JACKSON - Lawyer

Olivia jackson

On leaving Blackheath High School, Olivia studied Law with Law Studies in Europe at Jesus College, University of Oxford (including a year spent in Paris studying French law).  She then worked in The Hague as a legal intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and as a law clerk in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court.  

Olivia then returned to London, where she trained as a solicitor at a leading City law firm, spending six months in the Paris office and qualifying into the corporate department. Olivia began working as a Judicial Assistant in the Court of Appeal. 

After this, she moved to the United States in 2012, where she attended Stanford University Law School, achieving a Masters of Laws in Corporate Governance and Practice. Olivia then began a career at Ebay, where she is currently their Legal Director. She is now living in San Francisco, California.

SHARON MASSEY -Bexley Councillor and Mayor of Bexley (2013-14)

Sharon massey

Sharon was offered an assisted scholarship at Blackheath High School. She says: "That wonderful opportunity has remained with me throughout my life. I will forever be grateful for the education opportunities that gave me."

After leaving school, Sharon headed for the City in a clerical role, and at 23 years old, she was appointed to the management team of her organisation as a financial adviser. Sharon takes an active interest in Health and Social Care issues within Bexley Borough. Sharon was Bexley's Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care (Adult Social Care) from 2006 to 2009, and this interest was furthered when she graduated with a BA Hons in Social Care from Greenwich University in 2010. Sharon then trained as a teacher where she taught the subject to students at Northfleet Girls School.

After focusing on raising her family, she decided to stand as a local Conservative Councillor in Bexleyheath and was subsequently elected. Sharon entered politics to help make her community a great place, where people could be proud to raise their families. Sharon now represents Danson Park Ward, and became the London Borough of Bexley's 50th Mayor in 2013 until 2014. In her year as Mayor, Councillor Sharon Massey raised £55,000 for local charities and confirmed her determination to support her residents to remain well and independent in their own homes.

Following her year as Mayor, Sharon embarked on a new venture, opening Supreme Home Care in Bexley, as Director of Care. Supreme Home Care provides professional home care for people who wish to live as independently as possible at home. Sharon is currently Director of Training at Training Tank, where she trains Health and Social Care students as well as carers across London and the South East.

SOOSAN LOLAVAR - Composer

Soosan lolavar

Soosan completed her study at Blackheath High in the early 2000s. Her early musical exploits were firmly based in the classical tradition as an oboist and composer. On embarking on an undergraduate degree in Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge, she began to explore computer-aided composition and the musical potential of electronic and ambient sounds. Later, while reading for a masters in Musicology at the University of Oxford, she continued her compositional work and focused her academic interests on the social and cultural study of popular music.

Soosan then undertook the MMus composition course studying with Dominic Murcott at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She is the recipient of the Gladys Bratton Scholarship and TCM Trust Scholarship 2011-2012 and also received the John Halford Prize for composition 2012 (http://www.soosanlolavar.com/?p=934).

Soosan's recent classical Anglo-Iranian composition, 'Only Sound Remains' was featured on the BBC News website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-27439043). She then had the honour of being selected as one of two Embedded Composers in residence at the Southbank Centre for two years.

She has recently completed her Advanced Music Certificate at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, USA, and she now is working as a Composition Teacher at Trinity Laban. 

DOMINIQUE OLIVER - Managing Director and Producer

Dominique oliver

Dominique was at both the Junior and Senior School until 1996 when she went on to Royal Holloway, University of London to study Classical Studies.  Upon completing her BA, she set up her business, Resource Productions (a film and video production company which is still in business today), becoming a Member of the Institute of Directors at barely 30 years old.  

Through her film & video production company, and youth services in conjunction with the Local Authority, she has dedicated a lot of time, not only helping community groups in her local area, but also spends considerable time helping and supporting young people. Dominique runs workshops and trains young people into the film industry leading to awards at Film Festivals as far away as Australia, and has also set up a Youth Film Charity. 

Two years running she made Top 100 Apprentices Employer of the Year in the UK, winning regional last year in the Small Business Category, and she then become a member of the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network.

Despite this busy workload, her voluntary work, and lecturing at University, Dominique also found time to pursue her personal development by completing an MBA at the University of West London in 2014.

Dominique was named in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, receiving a BEM for her services to young people, community groups and the Arts. She continues to be the Managing Director and Producer of her company, Resource Productions.

SHIVON SUDESH - Student and Author

Shivon Sudesh cropped

As one of my teachers from BHS recently reminisced, I barely knew how to string two words of English together when I first joined the junior school in Year 6 – now I’m somehow the author of a novel, ‘Wolves Within’! There’s no doubt in my mind that a large part of this feat is due to my eight years spent at BHS. It was the constant support and encouragement from my wonderful teachers and the warm, friendly and intellectually stimulating environment that is a unique characteristic of Blackheath High which instilled in me the self-confidence I sorely needed. I’m eternally grateful to all those at BHS who encouraged and helped me to achieve this dream opportunity, especially to Mr Parsons, Assistant Head, who first taught me the joy of writing. Those years at BHS were the best of my life, and my only complaint is that they passed by too quickly!” says Shivon

After leaving Blackheath High a few years ago, Shivon is at King’s College London studying English Language and Literature, and is incredibly happy with her course. Alongside English, she is also reading BSc Psychology at the University of Derby as a distance learning course and has completed a diploma in Reflexology.

Shivon has self-published her first book 'Wolves Within', a story of a young girl looking to avenge the death of her mother. After doing five A-levels, Shivon developed a morbid fear of having any free time on her hands. By plunging straight into the first of her trilogy ‘Prism of Truth’, Shivon not only avoided boredom, but also discovered a way to tell the story of the harsh realities of our society; of merciless wolves and innocent sheep.

Shivon's first book was released in August 2014 and is available to buy at www.shivonsudesh.com

The 'Prism of Truth' Facebook page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/prism.of.truth.trilogy

BETH WILLIS - Head of Drama at Channel 4

Beth willis

Once leaving education, Beth (born in 1978) worked as a script editor on Agatha Christie's Poirot and The Amazing Mrs Pritchard. 

Beth then moved into producing at the BBC, where she worked on TV shows such as 'Ashes to Ashes' and the BAFTA winning 'Eric and Ernie'. She was also Executive Producer of the fifth and sixth series' of 'Doctor Who', working alongside Stephen Moffat.

After her success at the BBC, Beth moved to Channel 4 as their Deputy Head of Drama, working on critically acclaimed shows such as 'Humans', 'No Offence', and 'Indian Summers'. In July 2016, Beth was appointed as Channel 4's Head of Drama.

 

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