Longcross, Class of 1985

Marie Louise Petersen

Marie Louise joined Claremont Fan Court School in its first year as a newly co-educational school. She remembers learning how to knot a tie, hastily changing after games classes and the sports teacher's dog:

“My name is Marie Louise Petersen, I am from Denmark and I was a pupil at Claremont Fan Court School from 1978-1980 in Lower and Upper Third when I lived with my parents and sister in England.  

I have many (good) memories from that time! I have actually visited the school once after I left, as I kept – and still have – contact with Penny T. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t keep my lacrosse stick and I only have a few items such as my Hymn Book (I can see that it’s originally from Fan Court School) with lovely good-bye notes from class mates. I still have the scarf and my Cookery book.  

I am a trained teacher and sometimes I refer to my years in England – and I use the recipe from my cookery book to make lemon curd and I have taught Danish pupils to tie a tie! 

My first day at Claremont Fan Court School I was very scared and I was in tears when I came home. I did not speak nor understand much English and I was all on my own because my sister went to another (also co-ed) school. It was a bit of a ‘culture shock’ e.g.; having to wear a uniform, getting up when teachers entered, morning assembly. To begin with I felt very much alone, because we were many new pupils (including all the boys from Fan Court School) so I think I sort of walked around being unnoticed.  Fortunately, Penny later ‘discovered’ me and slowly I began to learn the language and understand more.  Penny would teach me to say ‘pencil sharpener’ before lending it to me etc.”  

“I remember Mrs. Hudson reading “The Wind in the Willows” and I hardly understood the story, only something with a toad, and when the pupils laughed or had other reactions, I could not follow them and would sit and feel like an outsider and I might even have laughed along pretending that I understood. Actually, I have promised myself to read the book one day!

Games was my absolute favourite subject and I really admired the two teachers we had. One of them had her dog along with her, which I thought was so cool and since then I’ve always thought that all teachers should be able to bring their dog along in class! I remember very clearly the cloak room where our lacrosse sticks hang. We would hastily change to our Games uniform in and then hurry up to the mansion to be on time!

I still play tennis which they taught, and I was very proud to be on the Swimming and Lacrosse team and to get a “S” -pin for Swimming.” 

“My last day at Claremont Fan Court School, I was in tears again… I ended up being very fond of the school and all the people there! 

When I look at the homepage and the video it seems as if Claremont Fan Court School is still a great school to be at, and it’s fantastic that Claremont Fan Court School can celebrate its centenary – Congratulations!”