Ella’s Interview

What was it like coming to CH and how did you adapt?

I started at CH when I was eleven years old, not really knowing at all what it would be like. My mum had heard about the school by chance in a magazine article, and as soon as she told me about it, I decided I wanted to go. I don’t remember much about my first few days at school, apart from that I was very busy with lessons, sport, and other extracurricular activities, but I know that for at least the first month, a lot of emphasis was put on making sure that all the new people knew each other, and there was a lot of time set aside for us to build strong friendships.

In terms of adapting to life away from home, this is different for everyone, but I found it reasonably easy. The atmosphere in my house, Coleridge B, was very friendly, and I particularly remember getting invited into the tutor study with the rest of my year group for hot chocolate and a chat many times in my first year.

What activities have you enjoyed at CH?

During my last year at school, I started volunteering every week to go and help out in the school museum, which displays some very cool objects connected to the School’s history. I enjoyed this very much, as everyone at the museum was kind and interesting, and all the tasks I did would give me little insights into parts of the school’s history that I had not considered before.

I have also enjoyed doing the Duke of Edinburgh Awards for a few years. I started with the Bronze Award, and because I found it both challenging and fun, I decided to take my Silver Award too. I began doing my Gold Award, which I have unfortunately not been able to finish yet because of COVID, but I am still very proud of what I have achieved so far in my Duke of Edinburgh.

Tell us about your academic achievements and what you’ve enjoyed about your CH education.

Looking back, I think that my GCSE exams were a major turning point in my education. I had never had to push myself so far academically before, and I was very proud to get a result of nine A*s and one A at the end of the year. Although I already enjoyed classes before my GCSEs were over, I began to enjoy learning much more the next year, when I started my International Baccalaureate course. This course was much more nuanced than anything I had learnt before, in that it actively and constantly required students to weigh up differing opinions, and to question every piece of knowledge that the course was teaching.

I particularly enjoyed learning History and English during my last two years at School.

What are your future plans? 

My time at CH has definitely nurtured my interest in history, not only in the classroom, but also in the museum where I volunteered during my last year. I even have tentative plans to pursue a career working in museums. I think that the way the School allowed me to put my academic interests to use in this way is testament to how good the School is at developing the individual interests of every student.

I am planning to study English and History at university, and I think that the skills I have gained from my time at CH have been what has brought me to this decision.

What will you miss most and what are your happiest memories from CH?

I think I will most miss having discos with all of my friends on Saturday nights, or going on long bike rides around the site in the summer time.