Longcross, Class of 1992

Emma Veiga-Malta (Downes)

Emma shares her first memory of sitting her 11+ examination in Mrs Brocklehurst's classroom, making lifelong friendships and learning within Claremont's unique environment:

“Time is a strange concept because school feels equally an eternity ago and just yesterday. But I have very happy memories of Claremont – excluding the Wednesday morning double maths or swimming in the freezing cold pool!

I think the beauty of the place sits at the heart of my memories; the mansion, the rolling lawns and playing fields, the landscape gardens and the stunning interiors. Aesthetics have always been important to me and Claremont ticks every box. I do remember walking into school each morning from Top Carpark and loving the view as I rounded the mansion and ducked into the Games Box entrance.

Then there’s the happy memories of friends, many of whom I’m still in contact with today. We had some fun – the house Drama Days, the yearly plays and musicals, D of E, the ski trip to Serre Chevalier, playing lacrosse, the U6 Leadership course, the relative freedom of the 6th Form Common Room….so many activities and school trips. I even look back fondly at the inevitable friendships and relationships ups and downs. All part of growing up!

My first memory of Claremont was in 1985, sitting my 11+ entrance exam in Mrs Brocklehurst’s classroom in the Middle School building. It was a sunny day and I was sitting by the window with a very blonde haired boy. It’s etched as clear as day in my mind. Today Richard M and I are still friends, as are so many others – too many to list here, but they know who they are and I cherish their friendship after all these decades.

Teachers play a pivotal role in our childhoods. And recently I emailed two teachers who had the strongest impact on me at Claremont; Miss Bradley my German A level teacher and Mrs Abbott my art teacher. I wanted to say Thank You because much of what I think, feel or do today can be traced back to their influence. When I’m designing or illustrating for my clients, I still use the foundational principles Mrs Abbott taught me. And when I feel like bucking the status quo, which I’m prone to do, I feel Miss Bradley quietly egging me on!

I haven’t lived in England since 1997, but had we stayed in the area, I would absolutely have sent my children to Claremont. I think that’s the most powerful testimonial anyone can give a school.

Happy Centenary Claremont!”