Beechwood School was founded in 1915 by the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
The society was founded by Madeleine Sophie Barat in 1800 whose insights and vision have inspired the goals of Sacred Heart education. We are proud of the tradition set by the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
Calm Amidst the Waves, written by local author and journalist, Jane Bakowski, traces the story of Beechwood School from its opening in 1915.
The Centenary Edition of the School History was launched at the Former Pupils Centenary Day. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the latest edition, please contact the Head of Marketing Department at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
The school, originally a convent run by nuns from the Sacred Heart order, has been an independent lay school since 1973. ‘I set out to tell the story through the words of those who lived and worked there through the 20th century,’ said Jane. She added: ‘However I also wanted to tap into the rich strand of social history which an institution like Beechwood represents, from early pupils’ descriptions of ‘hailstones the size of walnuts’ smashing hundreds of windows during the great Tunbridge Wells storm of 1922 to later reports of girls sneaking out to try and phone The Beatles at a Paris hotel.’
- Fatima Akilu, Nigerian psychologist and author
- Deirdre Clancy, costume designer
- Julia Cumberlege, Baroness Cumberlege (nee Camm), politician
- Miatta Fahnbulleh, economist
- Pauline Gower, aviator
- Louise Mensch, author and former MP
- Libby Purves, journalist
Libby Purves, a pupil during the 1960s, describes Beechwood as,
‘A homely, kind, sensible institution where the only real deprivation was not being allowed records by the Rolling Stones because the lyrics were thought rather rude.’
Libby PurvesFormer Pupil, 1960’s