February 8

Head's blog - February 2023

It has been a time of reflection at Blackheath High School over recent weeks. At Senior School, we paused in assembly to think of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust and devastating wars since then. We feel it is incredibly important to remember the atrocities and to understand prejudice and discrimination. I also spoke to the girls about how on some level, we can all contribute to reducing hate and building tolerance across the many different cultures, faiths, and backgrounds to celebrate the differences that make our community so much richer. 

The devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria are very much at the forefront of my mind and I know that some of you have family there. We have reached out to the girls we know may be affected, but please do let us know if your daughter needs additional support. It will be a long recovery period and I know our students are keen to raise some money to help the relief efforts.  

The GDST family has been in shock this week as we process the tragic news of the death of one of our recent Heads, Emma Pattison, and her daughter Lettie, 7. Emma, who took up a new post at Epsom College in September, was an energetic, innovative and truly inspirational leader who made massive contributions to the GDST.  Her daughter Lettie was a student at Croydon High Juniors and our thoughts are very much with our colleagues and students at Croydon. 

There have been many wonderful examples of our community coming together over the previous weeks; too many to mention. On Tuesday, I was lucky enough to be able to watch the GDST Sing Junior event at Woolwich Works. This was a collaboration between a number of our schools, spearheaded by our very own, Ruth Coles, Head of Music at the Junior School. It was a joyous event with over 300 enthusiastic singers under the watchful eye of renowned composer, Lin Marsh. I couldn’t help but smile from start to finish. 

Wednesday brought our annual Fashion show at Senior School and again it managed to blow me away, as it does every year. I am particularly grateful to Mrs Gilbert for providing this amazing opportunity for our girls to innovate, push the boundaries of what is considered normal, and to take risks with their choices. It was a wonderful display of creativity and commitment, as students have been working hard on their creations for months. Add to this, the collegiate approach between students across seven years to coordinate catwalk models, make-up artists, musicians and technical expertise.  This does not even touch the scope of events, class assemblies, and opportunities from the last few weeks, but I hope you will take time to read about them in this issue of Highlife. 

Finally, I would like to thank you for the many good wishes I have received since being appointed as Head of Blackheath High School. As you might imagine, it is an enormous privilege and I couldn’t be more thrilled; it is a responsibility which I undertake wholeheartedly. I look forward to sharing my vision with you for our wonderful school and to educating your daughters for years to come. 

I wish you the very best for a restful half term. 

Best wishes, 


Mrs Natalie Argile 

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