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February 21st 2018

60 Seconds with Mrs L Stevens, Head of Geography

From the complexity of squatter settlements in India to the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, Mrs L Stevens loves sharing her interest in the world with her students. Our Head of Geography and Educational Visits Coordinator tells us more. 

Tell us about yourself.

I am the Head of Geography and Educational Visits Coordinator. As the Head of Geography, I manage the running of the Department as well as teaching from Key Stage 3 through to 5 (Sixth Form). As the Educational Visits Coordinator, I am responsible for ensuring all Senior school visits meet the Girls' Day School Trust (GDST) policies, procedures and requirements. I also take an advisory role by helping staff with the organisation of school trips, in particular with overseas trips. 

Tell us about your career path.

This is my 12th year working at Blackheath High School. After leading KS3 Humanities at a grammar school for four years, I joined Blackheath High School as Head of Geography in 2006. The following year, I took over the running of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and organised the Bronze, Silver and Gold expeditions for 10 years. In 2016, I was promoted to Educational Visits Coordinator. 

How does your previous experience benefit the school?

I have organised and led over 60 Duke of Edinburgh's Award expeditions in my career, together with many Geography residential field trips. I have also been lucky enough to visit Iceland, Venice, Switzerland, France, Italy, Belgium and Nigeria. This has given me a wealth of experience in being a competent trip leader. 

What do you like most about your job?

I love sharing my interest in the world with students. Whether it be the complexity of squatter settlements in Dharavi, India or explaining why the ash cloud of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano caused such disruption. The subject is constantly evolving and offers many opportunities for discussion. Only this week I was demonstrating how many earthquakes have occurred in UK, following the quake in Wales over half term. 

What makes working at Blackheath High School so rewarding and enjoyable?

The students want to learn. I continue to be impressed with the questions the students pose in my classes and the determination they have to succeed. I am also surrounded by a talented and supportive group of teachers.

What has been your biggest achievement at Blackheath High School?

The unique opportunities that I have organised for students over the years. I have just returned from the 3rd Blackheath High School Iceland tour; all of which have been hugely popular and oversubscribed. I doubt students will remember my lessons in great detail in 20 years, but swimming in the Blue lagoon under a blanket of stars, or walking 50 kilometres through the stunning Lake District scenery will hopefully be etched in memories forever. 

What has been your biggest challenge?

Fulfilling the roles I have at Blackheath High School and bringing up two small children is always a challenge. As a working mum, I hope I am being a good role model to Finlay, 6 and Isabella, 3. 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

As a geographer, I enjoy travelling and seeing the world of course! I will be adding two new pins to my world map this year. I will be spending a week in Montenegro with fellow Geography teacher, Miss Reed and also hiking the National Parks of Turkey. 

Tell me something surprising about yourself. 

At the moment I am training for the 2018 London Marathon. I completed it in 2007 and 2008 but with a milestone birthday coming up, I thought it would be a good personal challenge to try to get a personal best, 10 years on from my last marathon!

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