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Presidents' Page


Kathrin Hodgson
State Organisation President
September 2017



Well – here we are again – another biennium, and two more years of opportunity. I feel more blessed than burdened, and look forward with enthusiasm; I know I will have the support of you all. Already two of our most eager beavers – Evelyn Goodsell and Joan Carroll – have launched themselves into organising next year’s state conference. For those who haven’t checked their emails, the conference will be at the Antoinette Hotel in Kingston from Friday 13th – Sunday 15th April.
     But, on to vistas further afield - twelve intrepid travellers ventured to Tallinn in July for the European Regional Conference; sadly, Diana Bell and Liz Malik were unable to attend due to personal reasons. Liz, happily, is recovered. Diana, as you will all know, lost Brian – we all extend our sympathies and love to Diana.
     Tallinn was all that was promised – and more. You can read many comments of our feelings from the link to be found on the Home Page. I had preconceptions about Estonia – how wrong could anyone be? In my ignorance, I had expected a slightly downtrodden, quite poor country – still recovering from almost 50 years of Russian occupation toward the second half of the twentieth century. What I experienced was so far removed from this; Estonia is vibrant, forward thinking, positive – and can certainly teach us about the education of the whole child. Their musical traditions are wonderful; the whole conference was peppered with examples of singing and dancing, often bringing me to tears. The power of music.

Very apparent during the conference was the great esteem in which Kate York is held by our European friends. It was lovely to see her and Tony there, and witness the joy of so many of her friends in being able to meet with Kate again, and to be able to see how well she is recovering from her stroke.

 So, what for our future? Membership is an issue, and increasingly so; with most of our members having retired from full time work, our contacts are reduced, especially with younger potential members. So, we know the challenge ahead – we simply have to rise to it. 

Barbara Kern
President of Alpha Chapter

September 2017

Alpha Chapter has had an interesting series of outings this summer.  In June we rounded off our year’s programme with a visit to the Woodberry Wetlands – a newly established wetland area converted from reservoirs in Stoke Newington. This is fascinating site, an absolute haven in the midst of a built up area which has a lot of new build development.  The next outing was our annual visit to the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition. This never fails to thrill, buzzing with cutting edge and forward-looking techno stuff. Among other interesting things I managed to impersonate a crow. I had a copy of my footprint made – (hopefully not to be used by any forensics team) and, amazingly – held my beating heart! OK – it was a rubbery plastic, technologically connected to a monitor on my wrist. It had a good steady beat and, I was glad to know, no major murmurs there.  Finally our main summer outing was a trip to Cambridge. We visited the Classics faculty where Rosanna showed us round the Cast Gallery. Hilary has written about this. After an enjoyable lunch at Brown’s restaurant, we ended our Cambridge visit with a foray into the Fitzwilliam Museum.

A highlight for me during the summer was meeting Lillian Villafuerte, who had been given a Lucile Cornetet Award to take a Professional Development Course in Portsmouth on Life coaching for Primary education teachers. We met at Waterloo Station on 4th July, and she was due to fly back to Madrid that evening.  The Spanish government has a scheme where they select a certain number of teachers to go teach in the States, for 2 years, and she had 2 years in Austin!  She was mentored during this time, introduced to DKG, and initiated into Epsilon Chapter there. She has been back in Madrid for 1 year.  30 years ago she was at Goldsmiths College for 2 years, which is how she came to be staying with a friend at Hither Green.

For more information contact me on  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Jess Curtis
President of Beta Chapter 
September 2016



It was with great sadness that owing to increasingly difficult life circumstances, the  decision to close our Chapter was reached at a meeting, attended by State President, Kathy Hodgson. on Saturday 24th September. Two members have chosen to become reserve members of  Gamma.


Liz Malik
President of Gamma Chapter 
September, 2017

There has been quite a lot going on lately which has made me realise how many connections we make during our teaching careers. Both the Tunbridge Wells Teachers’ Centre and my school Bishops Down Primary celebrated the fiftieth anniversaries of opening. The present Chair of Governors at Bishops Down spoke in her address about the freedom of curriculum and adventure that the children experienced in those days. Even the nursery class children were allowed to play in the woods. The Teachers’ Centre was a great asset. We went there after school for courses, support and to work with others on curriculum ideas before heading home to bring up our own children. Grandparents and others at the reunion all agreed however that children are still very happy to go to school.

    With Gamma this summer we have enjoyed three outings. It was so good to visit Bettina at Normans Bay having read her excellent booklet on the history of the area. Only an hour away from home we felt that we had been to another land and sitting on the beach in the beautiful weather was a real treat. The Jerwood Gallery in Hastings was well worth going to. The large paintings of Quentin Blake on “The Only Way to Travel“ were very impressive as were other works displayed there. Our third outing was to the Art and Craft Museum in the charming village of Ditchling which is surrounded by beautiful countryside. We were fortunate to see the Eric Gill “The Body” exhibition of sculpture, drawings and wood carvings and to have an introduction by one of the staff. I was very interested in the remarkable calligraphy. At each venue we were able to find good coffee, cake and lunch and to have relaxed time chatting to each other.

We now look forward to the new year at Beechwood School where we are lucky to continue to hold our meeting. Please look at Calendar page for details.