March 12

Blackheath High School is truly a place where girls learn without limits

International Women’s day (IWD) is inevitably going to be an important date in the calendar for any GDST school, but particularly so at Blackheath High School. Indeed there were so many events we wanted to run that celebrations had to run to the entire week. The theme this year was ‘Balance for Better’ and this was picked up in a number of different ways in school.

Feminist Society ran a number of events at Seniors, including a film showing and fundraiser of ‘He named me Malala’ and a talk from Magda Oldziejewska from the Feminist Library, both of which drew lots of interest from girls in all age groups. The theme of balance in all its guises featured centre stage at our impressive inaugural careers event for Sixth Form: ‘Women in Leadership.’ Organised by by Ms Day, Head of Careers and graciously hosted by our own Sixth Form, we welcomed delegates from fellow GDST schools and neighbouring Sixth Forms. It was an incredibly impressive line-up of guest speakers who were extremely generous with their time and advice. You can read more about the event here or on the GDST website but there was much food for thought about what makes effective and inspiring leadership and balance in the boardroom. The importance of building a strong network of relationships and helping lift up those around you was a strong theme that came through. I know the girls gained a huge amount from this unique event and its certainly something we will look to develop and grow going forward, to make the most of our unique network.

Also launched this Half Term at Blackheath High School, was the GDST Rungway App featured in The Times. Initially for the benefit of Sixth Formers, the app enables girls to pose questions about career pathways that will be answered by one of the 70,000+ GDST alumnae around the globe. Again this unique opportunity that comes as a GDST school, will provide our girls with information and connections that are unparalleled in other schools.

I was fortunate enough to be asked to take part in a panel at the House of Commons on the theme of ‘social media: force for good’? It was a really engaging and wide-ranging discussion, not least for the opportunity it provided to meet the other panellists, all fascinating in their own right: anti-upskirting activist Gina Martin; creator of Netmums, Siobahn Freegard OBE, BBC Radio host Salma El-Wardany and Jess Phillips MP. It was particularly good to be able to take some of the Year 12 students along to be part of the audience. Their views on social media, as digital natives, are far more sensible and reasoned than much of the hysterical coverage that we read in the press. Two things are for certain: education does not exist in a vacuum and social media is here to stay. You can read my comment piece on social media and the importance of making it a force for good, in The Independent here.

Finally, a huge amount has been going on in school over the past fortnight: highly successful GDST sports rallies at Condover for Year 6 and Year 8 and at Bromley High for Senior Netball and cross country; a wonderful ‘Pop Fest’ concert at Seniors and a host of exciting STEAM week activities at both sites. As ever, my thanks to staff for organising, and parents for supporting this range of exciting opportunities for the girls. If you happen to have caught the latest GDST advertising campaign at Waterloo and Canary Wharf, starring Lois from Year 9, there is no doubt that at Blackheath High School we truly are living out the values as a school ‘where girls learn without limits’.


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