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Blackfen School for Girls

Blackfen School for Girls

Raising aspirations - releasing potential

Class of 1960 - 1989

Christine Firmin (Parker)

Year leaving Blackfen School: 1965

Subjects I studied at Blackfen School: English, Maths, Music.

What have you achieved since leaving Blackfen School?: Have achieved quite a few things.

What are your fondest memories of Blackfen School?: Having good teachers and classmates.
- December 2019


Sharon Dene (nee Sparham)

Year leaving Blackfen School: 1980

Subjects I studied at Blackfen School: 'A' level - English Literature, Zoology and Sociology.

What have you achieved since leaving Blackfen School?:                                         
Registered General Nurse
Registered Midwife
Bsc Humanities
MBA (merit)

What are your fondest memories of Blackfen School?: Friends and teachers.
- December 2019


Vicki Hamilton (nee Barton)

Year leaving Blackfen Sixth Form: 1982

Subjects I studied at Blackfen School: A level History, English Literature and Language.

What have you achieved since leaving Blackfen Sixth Form?: HNC business studies. Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (Graduate) Head of Procurement, Head of Contracts & Performance NHS. Mother!

What are your fondest memories of Blackfen Sixth Form?: Times in the common room, Speech day and being Head Girl.
- December 2019


Hazel Bird

Year leaving Blackfen School: Around 1983

Subjects I studied at Blackfen School: Myself and school didn’t really get on, many people didn’t understand me or my disability, so sadly I didn’t go in much, I only really enjoyed child care. Now looking back I do wish that I concentrated more on other subjects as I would have like to become a child paediatrician. If only I knew then what I know now!

What have you achieved since leaving Blackfen School?: I went into Nursing for 10 years. I’ve done a 3-year counselling course along with a NVQ 3. I am now a foster parent and still continue to be one. I look after many children in need though therapeutic parenting. The funny thing of all I help children get back into school after exclusions.

What are your fondest memories of Blackfen School?: Our lunchtime discos to help raise money for our school. A teacher called Mrs Dawson, I’m not sure why she must have been kind. And I liked working on my own and was often put in the little room upstairs. Wonder if it’s still there. I enjoyed the lunch hall and our food was amazing.
- December 2019


Pauline Evans

Year leaving Blackfen School: 1985/86

Subjects I studied at Blackfen School: English studies
Community care, Maths, Child care

What have you achieved since leaving Blackfen School?: I worked as a nanny in America for 2 years
Worked in Tesco for 11 years
Now work for Great Western Railway our of Paddington as a Customer Host onboard the fast service to the West Country

What are your fondest memories of Blackfen School?: The teachers pantomimes at Christmas time and the friends I made.
-April 2020


Tracy Ann Strevens

Year leaving Blackfen Sixth Form: 1987

Subjects I studied at Blackfen Sixth Form: The rather quaintly named 'Junior Secretary' course!

What have you achieved since leaving Blackfen Sixth Form?: As you might expect, when I left I was qualified as a clerical secretary, but have had a myriad of jobs since including firefighter, Florist and Fork Lift Truck Driver! I am a writer now though, publishing historical factual books under the pen name 'Summer Strevens'. Just completed my third book focusing on 18th-century female poisoners.

What are your fondest memories of Blackfen Sixth Form?: None of my teachers could ever pronounce my surname correctly - when the register was called, the classroom would ring to the cries of my classmates shouting the correct pronunciation! That and Mrs Cammish's determination to turn out girls who would be 'a credit to any office', and Headmistress Mrs Meagher's impeccable French Pleat hair-do!! Still convinced she could probably breathe fire...!
-April 2020


Lesley Droney (nee Rugg)

Year leaving Blackfen School: 1972

Subjects I studied Blackfen School: A level zoology and English
O level maths, English language & literature, biology, geography, history, general science, French & art.

What have you achieved since leaving Blackfen School?: Trained as a physiotherapist at Guy's Hospital. MA in Ethics of Health Care. Diploma in Amputee Management. Managed in-patient teams of physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists. Served on Professional Practice & Equal Opportunities committees of Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Served on disciplinary panel hearings at Health and Care Professions Council as professional member. Worked for Macmillan as Allied Healthcare Professional at Sussex Cancer Network.

What are your fondest memories of Blackfen School?: All the staff and fellow pupils. Still in touch with some of my classmates. Miss Statham was an inspirational Head (though we didn't always think so at the time) and every girl was encouraged to achieve to her maximum potential whatever her academic, or otherwise, abilities might have been. We were one of the first upper sixths, only eleven of us, and included those of us doing some of the first A Levels and some staying on to do O levels and CSEs.
-April 2020


Sarah Attfield

Year leaving Blackfen School: 1986

Subjects I studied at Blackfen School: O levels - English Language, Eng Lit, French
CSE integrated science, Biology, Geography, Secretarial studies.

What have you achieved since leaving Blackfen School?: BTEC national dip in Beauty therapy.

What are your fondest memories of Blackfen School?: My friends, and some lovely teachers.
-April 2020


Diane Grist

Year leaving Blackfen School: 1968

Subjects I studied at Blackfen School: History, music, commerce, typing.

What are your fondest memories of Blackfen School?: The friends I made and who are still friends today. The school play under the direction of Mrs Denny when I played Prospero in The Tempest. Mrs Mersh who taught Commerce and Typing and who inspired me.
-April 2020


Elizabeth Mathias

Year leaving Blackfen School: 1986 - lower sixth

Subjects I studied Blackfen School: All the usual and did a mixture of O levels and CSEs and typing.

What have you achieved since leaving Blackfen School?: Two-year PA course at Erith College of Technology, plus Spanish O level and French A level. Au pair in France for two summers while at college. Secretary for 3 years. Worked on a mountain farm in Austria, a Hotel Rep in Tyrol, Language Assistant in the east of Austria. Worked my way through a bachelor's in German/English and German/French translation at Graz uni - worked in schools & companies - and through MA in Education. Taught at university in Slovenia. Now teach at university in Graz.

What are your fondest memories of Blackfen School?: I loved learning French.
Having to do the Merchant of Venice for English and nobody understood a word and Mrs Roberts was rolling on the floor laughing at how 'witty' Portia was, and we were desperately trying to find the funny bit.
Sports days and the smell of freshly cut grass.
-April 2020


Judith Bonell

Subjects I studied at Blackfen School: I was in the first cohort of students to be included in the newly established sixth form to do A levels - Religious Education (with Miss Peddler), English language and literature (Mrs Swain and Miss Austin). I can still recall the name of the (only!) 4 other students. I think Pamela Statham was the Head Mistress at this time. Mrs. Ayres was our form mistress.

We were well looked after - bit of prestige attached to this first 6 form!

What have you achieved since leaving Blackfen School?: After graduation I was accepted into Leeds University (Carnegie College). Deferred after first semester.
Moved to South Australia - started nursing.
Later took a B Arts (Archaeology/History) at Flinders University. I worked in archaeology (Australia) for many years.
Later graduated from Adelaide University (Grad Dip Education) and worked as a senior school teacher at Yankalilla until 2021 (History/archaeology/English).
Retired in 2021; now volunteer teaching for ESL adult students locally.

What are your fondest memories of Blackfen School?: Music with Mrs. Davin-Looby - who encouraged us to join the Bexley Music Centre. Fantastic experience!
I loved the English teachers; Mrs. Swain was an inspiration, and Miss Austin invited my friend Moira and I to her flat for extra study to push us through our A-levels. Very thoughtful teacher.
Mrs. Ayres who treated us as adults and provided us with tea and coffee in our own 'common room'!
- January 2022

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