for a place
Retweeted From Blackheath Science
A group of our Year 8 students enjoyed a really inspiring day at the inaugural @GDSTEM conference at Imperial College London. They've come back buzzing with ideas and plans. @BlackheathHigh #WomenInSTEM #thisgirlcan https://t.co/sSLtn9e47J
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Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp
So much food for thought from our first #Wollstonecraft lecture of term by @carrissima - I particularly liked the thought that ‘Plan B doesn’t have to suck!’ Thank you so much for visiting @BlackheathHigh and sharing your wisdom. https://t.co/RVtshTkKfT
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Retweeted From GDST Skills
Fantastic day @Cambridge_Uni with students from @NorthamptonHigh @NorwichHigh @BlackheathHigh @bromleyhs for our Inspire Conference. Thank you to all our speakers, and especially to our new sixth formers for being so brilliant. #WhereGirlsLearnWithoutLimits https://t.co/VZ3ubvX1Cz
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On Thursday 2 May, Blackheath High School GDST opened the doors of its £18 million redevelopment for a Grand Opening evening welcoming parents, teachers, alumnae, students and a star-studded line-up of speakers
Among those invited to address the school community was prominent women’s rights campaigner and writer, Caroline Criado-Perez who gave a Wollstonecraft Speaker Series talk, and CEO of GDST, Cheryl Giovannoni, who officially opened the new school.
Criado-Perez, who led the campaign to put Jane Austen on the £10 note, praised the school for ignoring gender stereotypes saying: “With girls here doing ballet, football, science and art – they are taught that the glass ceiling may exist but it is there to be smashed.”
Channelling Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, the campaigner concluded her address by saying she hoped the all new Blackheath High School would provide the necessary space for Blackheath girls to flourish for generations to come.
Delivering the closing remarks was Head at Blackheath High School GDST, Carol-Chandler Thompson who said: “These amazing new facilities are going to provide our girls with the very best learning environment for them to grow and become leaders of the future. It was only fitting that an unstoppable woman like Caroline was here to deliver a keynote speech that will inspire our girls to really make the most of these wonderful new surroundings.”
Joining Caroline and Carol was GDST CEO Cheryl Giovannoni, who said: “Blackheath High’s ethos of inspiring individuality is made more real, more concrete in these incredible school buildings.” She officially opened the new school by illuminating ‘Take Flight’ - an art installation created by the students and the school’s Artist in Residence and Art Teacher, Imogen Gilbert. The symbol of a bird was chosen as one of freedom and possibilities, working both individually and as a collective. The flock of birds represents the students launching out into the world and flying high. The finale of the grand opening ceremony saw the spectacular performance of the ‘Datchelor Fanfare’, a stunning piece of music composed and performed by the students, Ms Leo and Mrs Gunton, especially for the occasion.
The speeches, which were all centred around the evening’s Pioneers and Rebels theme, struck the perfect chord chiming with Blackheath High’s long history of empowering and inspiring girls to smash glass ceilings.
As guests arrived, they were welcomed to the school by a string quartet before taking in an extraordinary fashion show performed by the students. Those in attendance then congregated in the heart of the school at the beautifully designed courtyard which features a “Mini-Louvre” for the keynote speeches.
From “Pop Cabaret”, to Romeo and Juliet, and the ‘Beat It’ Band, everywhere you looked, students were putting on highly entertaining musical and dramatic performances showcasing the school’s creative talent.
TV screens throughout the school displayed a pre-recorded parody news clip of ITV News Anchor and Blackheath High alumna Charlene White saying “Hello” to her old teachers from the News at 10 studios where she now presents.
It truly was a night that had something for everyone and showed off just some of the potential of the brand-new school.
Amongst the new facilities unveiled were a brand-new library and resources centre; specialist teaching environments for Art, Design & Technology and Music; cutting-edge Mac suite; the wellbeing sedum roof garden for girls to relax and enjoy; and ‘The Pod’, a contemplation space for meditation and idea generation.
While some on the night remarked that the event was a fitting conclusion to the years of planning and hard work that went into completing the school redevelopment, in many ways it was much more of an introduction: An introduction to the new facilities, an introduction to the new opportunities, and an introduction to the all-new Blackheath High School.
A huge thank you to all the inspiring students, teachers and staff that worked tirelessly to put this magnificent celebration together, and of course a special thank you to all our guests for coming and making it an occasion to remember.