A HISTORIC SCHOOL
Blackheath High School opened the doors to its purpose-built site in Wemyss Road in the heart of Blackheath village. 68 girls studied a curriculum of English, Mathematics, French, Latin, Art, Needlework and Nature Study under the guidance of founding headmistress, Miss Allen-Olney.
Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Louise officially opened the school. In the same year, Miss Olney left to start another school, and legendary headmistress Miss Gadesden arrived. BHS became the largest school in the GDST, well known for academic achievement and engagement in social service for the less fortunate.
Miss Gadesden appointed the school's first professionally qualified Games mistress, and a year later, the Trust leased a playing field in Kidbrooke for the school.
In keeping with the strong feminist ethos of the school, Miss Gadesden and her staff were in strong sympathy with the suffrage movement. Staff members, ex-pupils, and Miss Gadesden supported the London Society for Women's Suffrage.
With the arrival of the Great War, girls knitted clothes for servicemen and packed parcels of food. The playing fields were turned into allotments and eventually requisitioned by the Army in 1916.
The formidable Miss Gadesden retired and her successor Miss Gale arrived with the focus of expanding the school facilities and buildings. New netball and tennis courts and a brand new Playing Field in Kidbrooke Park Road were purchased. This is still the location of our impressive floodlit Sports Campus today.
Miss Gale took over the headship of fellow GDST school Oxford High, and Miss AK Lewis, classicist and modern linguist, arrived to guide the school through challenging times.
In the year that Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, BHS girls debated the proposition that the true spirit of nationalism is a menace to world peace.
With tensions high in Europe and war expected imminently, girls were evacuated to a 'sister' school in Tunbridge Wells.
With Tunbridge Wells under the flight path of German V1 rockets, the school relocated to a safer home in Taunton until September 1945.
Miss McCauley, historian and Somerville graduate, arrived to lead the school's return to Blackheath Village. The annual Gadesden competition, which is still in existence, was a regular feature on the calendar by this point.
Our girls regularly achieve superb academic results. In 1960, one third of those going to university went to Oxford or Cambridge.
Miss Abraham joined Blackheath High as headmistress from sister school, Belvedere High.
School opened its Sports Hall, with 40% of the cost raised by the whole school community. Social service was still an important feature of life at the school. 'Task Force' was a scheme focussed upon visiting disadvantaged children in Deptford. At this time the Senior Citizens' Party became an annual event.
Blackheath abandoned their direct-grant status and became fully independent. Four years later, the introduction of the Assisted Places Scheme enabled the school to continue to admit girls whose families were less able to pay fees.
Mrs Williams was appointed headmistress and the school celebrated its centenary two years later. A service of commemoration was held in Southwark Cathedral and a tapestry created, which hangs prominently in the Centenary Room at Vanbrugh Park today.
Miss Musgrave was appointed as headmistress and she presided over the most dramatic development in the history of the school's estate; the Senior School's move across the Heath to Vanbrugh Park in 1994-5.
Our wonderful parents' association, the BHSA, became a registered charity and continued their fantastic work supporting the school through fundraising events and activities, and contributing significantly to our lively community spirit.
With the new millennium, came a new headmistress, Mrs Laws. Not only did she develop and expand the pastoral and co-curricular provision of the school, but she also focused on the superb communication and relationships with parents that now exists. A new floodlit AstroTurf pitch was built by the Trust in 2004 and the Theatre was installed at Vanbrugh Park.
Arrival of Mrs Chandler-Thompson as Head and the commencement of the £18 million-pound major redevelopment of the Vanbrugh Park site.
Completion of the major redevelopment of the Senior School. The girls were delighted to start the Autumn term in the all-new Senior School, now with brand new state of the art facilities - ensuring the school environment matches the excellent standard of teaching.
2020 saw Blackheath High's 140th anniversary. To celebrate, the school launched the 'Year of Promise'; a year-long project devoted to sustainability and caring for our planet.
Mrs Argile is appointed as Head, bringing with her a wealth of experience in girls' education, and an ambitious vision for the future of the school.