Close

Twitter Wall

25/05/18

Retweeted From GirlsDaySchoolTrust

What's the future of school sports? , Head talks to about alternative spo… https://t.co/MM9MEshuhL

25/05/18

Retweeted From BHS Junior English

Excellent creativity by Year 5 for the innovation challenge. Good luck girls! https://t.co/PzM5fj1baX

25/05/18

Retweeted From BHS Junior English

Excellent creativity by Year 5 for the innovation challenge. Good luck girls! https://t.co/XMAQjA8osK

25/05/18

Retweeted From Year 6 BHS

The international prefects selling mittens for the Malawi schools project https://t.co/ns4YBJUPJq

25/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Hey ! We’ve made a start Juniors. First pic of for your… https://t.co/59vZCsa76g

25/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Reception gave us a joyful assembly today . Only 4 and 5 years old but so https://t.co/kQhoMubOxX

25/05/18

Retweeted From Natalie Argile

Glad to see the message has got through https://t.co/E74gHnl9f8

25/05/18

An inspiration talk and a special thank you from Dame following the efforts of our amazing J… https://t.co/mCItTuq3WR

25/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

KS2 choir practising at 8am mesmerising our younger girls- zoom in on those faces! https://t.co/XS4on7QGps

25/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

And two of our gymnasts.... https://t.co/IFuwHH9ZmL

25/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Some of our fab 💃 https://t.co/j82uw1J9If

25/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

And the winners are..... https://t.co/iBFEwK50GP

25/05/18

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

https://t.co/KNBYiKXyPZ

24/05/18

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

Who needs strictly come dancing when you have the BHS gym and dance festival? https://t.co/cMl8TvgRU7

24/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

gym and dance festival- brilliant to have our “old” Junior girls back! https://t.co/2efFV1afLn

24/05/18

Retweeted From IE Today

TOP BLOG: Carol Chandler-Thompson discusses introducing new sports https://t.co/Ef3WqedOWs https://t.co/OrsdgmOTkw

24/05/18

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

A fascinating assembly from Dame Esther Rantzen this morning thanking us for the money raised for the NSPCC.… https://t.co/cGwSMokpFf

24/05/18

Retweeted From BHHS Sport

Great day at the DIrectors of Sport conference today. Thank you to for your hospitality and… https://t.co/jz93Tx5BPj

24/05/18

Introducing our Year 2 ! Our girls loved sharing ideas and learning what it was like to be a Victor… https://t.co/06ryYrIgrG

23/05/18

Retweeted From Oxford High Sport

Fantastic GDST Sport conference today... lots of fresh ideas coming to OHS. Thanks to for hosting

23/05/18

Retweeted From Norwich High Sport

Thank you for an informative and enjoyable day at the GDST PE conference today 🏏🎾🏐🏑 https://t.co/GzLzEZHX9o

23/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

So enjoyed the first Junior Science Conference . Look out for Matilda taking about… https://t.co/pOSMlBBt7x

23/05/18

Retweeted From Squadkit

Today at Sports Conference - Lucy talks about the importance of helping girls stay active & Squadkit's missio… https://t.co/cS9CV1BJoo

23/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Can you spot dog Florence sunbathing in beautiful ? (Authorised absence- been to th… https://t.co/81MvmTuDGI

23/05/18

Former England captain and PE teacher Amanda Newton puts our staff through their paces a… https://t.co/8uJKDRSYQ3

23/05/18

Top tips for our staff at this afternoon's cricket session with . Looking forward to shari… https://t.co/YBtPp42K9b

23/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

How many PE teachers can you fit in a hall for lunch? Lots! https://t.co/5dVZN1lKAj

23/05/18

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Top coaching sessions with Amanda Newton 🏐and from at the https://t.co/9HxlMiqTpv

23/05/18

Retweeted From M-C Bonnar

A very informative assembly on Malawi this morning. Our enterprising charity prefects are selling mittens this Frid… https://t.co/6uQtWcqwqZ

23/05/18

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Proud to be hosting the conference https://t.co/bsAbPw1vk1

23/05/18

Retweeted From Newcastle High Sport

An exciting morning at the Sports Conference and is leading an… https://t.co/pTSIqG7hsJ

23/05/18

Getting stuck into learning fun, new ideas for teaching EYFS & KS1 dance! https://t.co/RIOg6iQi5A

23/05/18

A warm welcome to the family from our Head . https://t.co/E0OwbX8jdQ

23/05/18

The stage is set for today's Sports conference... let's put the spotlight on PE & how we can share our love o… https://t.co/6QVK157SLJ

23/05/18

to us . Looking forward to sharing ideas & expertise with GDST Directors of Sport at today’s… https://t.co/xMZWVqrF18

23/05/18

Retweeted From Year 7 @ Blackheath

A wonderful sunny start to my Primary School visits. I have received warm welcomes and met some outstanding new stu… https://t.co/7hdsYyokWU

23/05/18

Retweeted From GirlsDaySchoolTrust

The Positive Schools Programme at schools aims to promote a positive mental health culture among staff & stud… https://t.co/eNOk5jiJ3f

23/05/18

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

Starting our week right, Monday morning rowing! https://t.co/RoxtAwJAcR

23/05/18

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Directors of Sport, we are ready to welcome you https://t.co/5ROyObKQI0

23/05/18

Temperatures may have soared but our resilient girls were fully prepared as they explored High Elms Environmental C… https://t.co/2znsCKAak3

Latest news

February 3

Creating change in schools

Matilda (a Year 11 student and member of the Blackheath High School Feminist Society) and Ms Retallack (English teacher and Co-ordinator of Girls First) talk about intersectionality, feminism and creating change in schools. 

We are part of a new wave of feminism – intersectional feminism. It is no longer just women's fight for equality, life is so much more intricate than that - we need to consider the ways that categories such as race, gender identity, ability and class overlap. We also need to understand that these cannot be separated from one another. We need to connect up the dots. It is all too easy to not see how one form of prejudice intersects with another. Your experience of your gender is affected by other factors such as race, class, disability and sexuality.

Schools face many challenges in becoming truly fair places where all young people are treated equally. If you look at the national figures on issues such as sexual harassment, gender and sexuality education as well as homophobia and transphobia in schools, you will see figures including:

  • A 2010 YouGov study that found that 71% of 16 to 18-year-olds hear sexist name-calling such as ‘slut’ or ‘slag’ used towards girls at school on a daily basis
  • A Global Early Adolescent Study published in 2017 which says gender stereotyping can be established by the age of just 10 or 11, with children 'straitjacketed' into gender roles in early adolescence

It is clear we have a long way to go. We are, however, hopeful. Bringing schools together to discuss these issues and come up with ways to make our schools more equal is part of our optimism.

Gender inequality in schools

We too often assume that schools are neutral sites where students of all genders and sexualities have equal opportunities, however, according to research in the field of sociology and education, gender inequalities (amongst others) are not only reflected by schools but produced by them. Schools (often without realising) will not just reflect inequalities outside the school walls but literally create them for students.

Schools are sites where gender stereotypes and roles are produced and created. For instance, when we praise girls for being neat, quiet, and calm, and praise boys for thinking independently, being active and speaking up, we reinforce what we value in being a boy or girl.

But how can we even notice these problems when it isn’t compulsory to learn about systemic sexism, classism, homophobia and racism and how they operate in society? Understanding systems and how they operate helps us make sense of what is going on around us every day, both in the news and in our personal lives. 

And our official school curriculum has been proven to impact upon bias and inequality, often in hidden ways. In 2016, research found that female writers were represented by an average of just 31 per cent of texts across exam board reading lists. It also found that texts by writers from black, Asian, and ethnic minority backgrounds were marginalised with some courses only having five per cent of texts represented by authors of these backgrounds.

Creating change

There are ways that we can all begin (or even continue) to create change in our schools and work for a more equal environment. Firstly, Intergenerational activism - activism between age groups. In schools, this means that students – if you’re in the older years, include the younger ones! And, just as importantly, include one or two teachers! It can be very difficult to get a campaign off the ground or even an assembly on a specific topic you care about to actually happen without the support of a teacher who is on board and takes you and your ideas seriously. But just because they’re an adult, this doesn’t mean they should take over. It is really important to create an alliance where you can listen to each other.

Secondly, teachers please be this person! Even if your support is simply booking them a room to host a meeting or sending an interesting article their way – it matters to have you on side. And, if we really want to change schools for good, the pressure has to come from both students and teachers.

Thirdly, Feminism groups. Spaces where you can learn about structural inequalities, raise your consciousness and operate a ‘safe space’. Not a space where no one disagrees with anyone but a safe space for all the intersections of your identity, where you are accepted, where you can ask questions, have discussions and start campaigns around the social justice issues related to gender that matter to YOU.

Finally, believe in the power of your activism. As teachers and students, we can affect change in our schools. The more we share ideas, raise consciousness and network with one another, the more possibility there is for this. We also need to remember to keep linking up the dots. Forms of oppression are more linked up than you can imagine.

To finish with the words of Reni Eddo Lodge, a black British journalist and activist, “If you feel the fire coursing through your veins then it’s up to you. You don’t have to be the leader of a global movement or a household name. It can be creative. It can be informal. It doesn’t matter what it is, so long as you’re doing something”.