Remembering Mrs Margaret Smithers
HEAD TEACHER 1977 - 1986
When Mrs Smithers was appointed Head Teacher in 1977, she was ideally suited to the job in several ways.
Varndean was in the process of converting from a girls’ Grammar School to a mixed Comprehensive High School. A variety of new skills were required to educate a broader range of students. Mrs Smithers possessed these, having already been a Deputy Head at Dorothy Stringer (then a secondary modern school) and Head of Knoll Girls’ School in Hove.
However, she also understood Varndean’s traditions. As Margaret Stonor, she had been a student here herself, serving as School Captain in 1942-3. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she remained in Brighton and described war-time schooling, including having to race to the air raid shelters at the back of the school when the sirens sounded for a day-light raid.
She successfully guided the fortunes of the new mixed comprehensive for 9 years until her retirement, when she passed the baton on to Pam Bowmaker.
Great to reconnect with Y7, 8 and 9 yesterday and today. Lots to celebrate with off site learning and even more to look forward to for enrichment and planning for our school community to be back together in September #teamVarndean #reconnecting https://t.co/ch6PYeA26E
The English Department Proudly Presents... An Inspector Calls... #whatateam #literacyinlockdown https://t.co/kC12ZDfr1d