Highsted Old Girls’ Association
Nicola Apps - another High Flyer!
Nicola Apps, fomer student of the school, has recently completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Birmingham, receiving a first class degree in Ancient and Medieval History. She will be returning to the University in September to begin a Masters course in Ancient Near Eastern and Cuneiform Studies. To read more about Nicola's experiences, please follow this link.
If you are a former student of the school and would like to share your experiences with us, we would love to hear from you. Please send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lifelong friendships from Erlangen exchange
As most former students are aware, the Highsted-Erlangen exchange scheme has been running for more than thirty years, with enduring friendships built on the challenge and experience of speaking a different language and living with a family from a different culture to our own. To read how the exchange influenced Sarah Franklin's ambitions and career choice, please follow this link. If you have memories of the Erlangen exchange visit and wish to share your own experience, please send us your story and photographs for inclusion on this page.
Old-school values meet new-school opportunities
On 15 October 2014, students at Highsted Grammar School welcomed back seven ex-pupils, who had started their secondary education at the school fifty years before.
Highsted class of 1964 welcomed by current pupils and headteacher Anne Kelly
The former students were able to look back on their own careers to explain how Highsted (originally Sittingbourne Grammar School for Girls) had helped them to make successes of their lives, and to compare today’s educational approach with the one which they had experienced themselves.
The pupils, who started in 1964, were Anne Tucker, Margaret White (née Hough), Eileen Rees (née Holmes), Sue Rowe (née Molony), Lesley Johnson, Jane Holt (nee Nicholas) and Angela Curtis (née Braithwaite). Delighted to find that the school had many of the characteristics that they fondly remembered, ranging from its familiar aroma to its traditional grammar school values, they were also interested to note that the environment is now much more open to personal discovery through interaction and involvement, reflecting the changes in today’s employment market. “Teaching was very different then,” commented Anne. “We were simply given information and made notes in our books: there was no talking or questioning.” Biology lessons sometimes included dissection too; now the focus is on nurturing animals, and students are taught animal husbandry techniques in looking after exotic creatures ranging from tarantulas to bearded dragons.
Fond memories of the school included the uniform: the distinctive blue blazer was already a feature in 1964, but was supplemented by a contrasting red tie and matching thick red scratchy woollen stockings. “The Headmistress was very strict, and would pick out any student wearing stockings of the wrong colour”, said Lesley. “Points would then be deducted from that girl’s house.” Highsted hats had to be worn all the way between school and home, protected where necessary by a highly unfashionable plastic rain hood. Margaret admitted: “We used to take them off as soon as we got to the station!”
Current headteacher Anne Kelly commented: “It’s been a pleasure to welcome back our former Highsted girls. The careers they have followed, ranging from Education Advisor to European Parliament interpreter and psychotherapist, are inspiring examples of how Highsted has helped to nurture aspirations. It’s so rewarding when past pupils stay in touch and come back to give us a personal insight into former life at the school.”
Former Highsted pupils who want to keep in touch can join the alumni group by contacting the school by email (email@example.com) or through the ‘Highsted Old Girls’ Association’ Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/highstedoldgirlsassociation?fref=ts).