Maria de la Torre studied Spanish and politics at the University of Bath. She teaches Spanish and lives at the College with her husband, Oscar, and their two daughters, Ana and Marta, who both attend St Andrew’s Prep. Her interests include spending time with her family, taking their Labrador for walks on the Downs, enjoying the culture and cuisine in southern Spain and playing netball.
Blackwater provides a safe and happy place for the girls to complete their work, socialise with their friends and to seek support from members of staff when they need it.
The friendly and inclusive atmosphere that Blackwater House has fostered is in no small part due to our emphasis on participation and enthusiasm. While the house does very well in all inter-house sports competitions, competing in or supporting at a whole host of inter-house events encourages a camaraderie that helps girls to form strong friendships and build a sense of belonging. Girls are asked to volunteer in events such as debating, chess, chapel-reading, biathlons and singing. They are given a great deal of encouragement by their peers. Sixth form girls play an important role in the lives of the younger girls as house prefects, year group mentors and peer counsellors, each with a specific job description.
I encourage the girls to make the most of the many opportunities on offer at the College so that they try new activities, explore their potential and strive to achieve their goals.
There’s a great spirit among the girls: all years integrate, helping each other when necessary, and friends are made from across all year groups. Girls who join often remark on just how welcoming and friendly Blackwater is; it serves as something of a second home and a second family to all those within it.
I very much look forward to welcoming you and your family to Blackwater and to showing you around our house.
Maria de la Torre
About the House
Situated on the corner of Grange Road and Blackwater Road, Blackwater House is one of two day houses for girls at Eastbourne College, providing a home from home to the 65 girls in the house.
Originally built as a boys boarding house in 1873, Blackwater was rebuilt as a purpose-built girls day house, opened by Virginia Bottomley MP in 1996.
The house has an open, friendly layout offering excellent facilities for the girls. The large Common Room and adjoining kitchen forms the focal point for the house community, with a liberal scattering of beanbags , cushions and throws and a baby grand piano. A separate music practice room has a second piano. The house has a kitchen on every floor for the girls to make light snacks. Girls have either separate or paired rooms from year 11 onwards; lower years share spacious studies in threes or fours.
House events; These include Cake Friday, Easter tea party, House Christmas lunch and secret Santa, Christmas Pizza Express evening , Year 11 working lunches (to revise maths) and barbecues.
House charity: The Chaseley Trust
At the end of each term the housemistress produces an informal newsletter for distribution to parents of girls in the house. An example is Blackwater Newsletter Easter 2018.