It’s the family that makes CH unique for me. When you first join CH you have all these ideas about what it’s going to be like, questions that you want to ask your mentor and things that you want to see and do. But the thought of joining an extended family never usually crosses people’s minds, and I think that is what makes CH unique. Your house parents become your “parents” and friends eventually become your “siblings” – you have a sense of always having a family at school that you can rely on.
The impact of CH on my education and life experience has been extraordinary. The School has taught me to open myself up to new experiences, meet new people from around the world and challenge myself academically and physically. I would say the biggest skill I have learned whilst being at CH is teamwork, which I use both on the sports fields and in classrooms.
Being at CH has provided me with many opportunities such as: being able to learn fives, a sport I have won many awards in; having the opportunity to gain work experience with British Airways for a week; challenging myself physically by going mountain hiking; experiencing the thrill of flying a glider plane at an RAF base, and more. The School has many opportunities that they throw at you – it’s up to you to take these opportunities forward and experience as much as you can.
One of my greatest achievements at CH has been to do with my year group (sisters) in my boarding house. At the start of 2nd Form we were all very different and didn’t have much in common. We went through our ups and downs, but now it is clear to see that our differences between each other have made us closer. We all went through the struggle of GCSEs and adjustments to A-levels together and that has made us stronger as a unit. My greatest achievement is having a group of “sisters” who I know will have my back no matter what.
Another of my achievements are my sporting successes. Before coming to CH, I had set sports which I focused solely on, which were usually single person sports, and as a result I never had to open myself up to teamwork. CH has allowed me to experience other sports and develop that skill of teamwork. These include sports such as fives, athletics, hockey and netball, which I enjoy just as much as my other sports now. So much so, that I have represented my school in national and county competitions.
Another of my greatest achievements is getting into CH. Coming from an area in East London where you see certain things happen to your friends, you can sometimes think that there is not a way out and you’re stuck. However, CH allowed me to escape and experience the possibilities that an education with support can get me, and for that I am very grateful.
As a sports scholar I have received most of my support at school from the sports department and house parents. I have had the opportunity to create a one-on-one relationship with the coaches, which I believe has benefited me. They have guided me through my struggles of balancing sport and academics by creating a personal extracurricular timetable for me, as well as supporting me in anything I do. My house parents and the sports staff have been there when I haven’t performed to my best, have helped me through injuries, and have taken the time to drive me to my external sports clubs. The biggest things I have learnt from them are the power of resilience and perseverance, and the importance of enjoying yourself in the moment. Academically, my teachers have supported me a lot too. We are able to contact them whenever we need to via email or teams. They make time for us and schedule 1-to-1 sessions if we are struggling on a topic, as well as providing further materials that can help us.
CH has shown me that not everything will always go your way, but you shouldn’t let that stop you. The teachers at the School have seen everything and anything, so are always prepared when I throw a curveball in their direction. They are able to guide me, calm me down and help me see other routes to achieving what I want. The education at CH has made me realise that whatever goal I want is attainable as long as I work hard and smartly for it.
CH has, without a doubt, improved my education and opportunities. The School has many students from all over the world, all with different abilities. The competition to be the best you can be at school is high and as a result everyone pushes themselves to try their hardest. Coming from a deprived area in East London, you don’t often see people push themselves to get the best in the education system, so having this opportunity has definitely benefitted me academically and improved my confidence.
If I hadn’t had the opportunity to attend CH I believe that I would still work as hard but there would be less support in overcoming obstacles. I wouldn’t have the 24hr teacher support that CH gives, the online resources and the external competition. I think without CH, I would believe less in my goal and just hope for the best, rather than go out and get the best.
CH has made me dream big and, as a result, my hopes for the future are also big. I want to become a pilot and then own my own luxury hotels. With the help of CH and their links with British Airways, I have got closer to my dream of becoming a pilot by attaining a week’s work experience with BA at Gatwick. The School has supported me with this and pointed me in opportunistic directions. I hope that in the future I will be in a position to give back to CH.