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Presidents' Page


Kathrin Hodgson
State Organisation President
Decemberr 2017



Another year has flown by, and by the time you read this, 2018 will have descended upon us – where does time go? My theory is that we spend so much time planning for events in the future, that we sometimes forget to enjoy the present. However, these things do need preparation, and much hard work is undertaken on behalf of our organisation, both at chapter and state level.

 Not least of this is the planning for our state conference in April, in Kingston (London – sadly not Jamaica!). The theme of the conference is Specialist Provision in Education and we have a wide range of speakers and performers.

 As always, we have to pay deposits to secure hotel and restaurant bookings – several months before the event. Therefore, I would ask you if you would book early. To this purpose, you will also find a registration form enclosed with the latest edition of GB News, newly printed and desperate to be used.

 The hotel where we intend to hold the conference is central, comfortable and, for London, surprisingly inexpensive. So, what better excuse for a weekend away? Bring a friend or a spouse (that could even be the same person!). Mid-April could be just the time to enjoy a run in a London park before breakfast – I’ll see you there.

 At this stage I have to thank four extremely hardworking individuals for their unceasingly hard work in organising the conference: Evelyn and Joan, for finding and visiting the hotel and locating speakers; Diana, for her never-ending ideas and willingness to take on writing activities so that I don’t have to; and finally, Gloria, for being my guide and mentor and keeping me – mostly – on the straight and narrow.

 Since this is an even numbered year in the DKG calendar, we need new chapter officers – presidents, vice-presidents and treasurers. Please consider taking on one of these roles. Nominations need to be sent to Mary Wardrop by February 10th and full training will be provided at the State Conference, where we will be announcing the names of the new officers.

 The biggest event in the biennium is the International Convention, this year in the birthplace of DKG – Austin, Texas. The cost of attending may be proving to be prohibitive for many of you; however, your contribution to the proceedings there are invaluable. In the new year, DKG News will be sent to you. In that edition you will find proposed changes to the constitution. I would urge you to read through them and, particularly if you feel strongly for or against any of the proposals, please let me know; one of my roles at the International Convention is to vote on behalf of GB. I know one or two matters to be discussed concern me – not least possible changes to our voting system – so please tell me what you think.


I hope to see many of you in April.

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.