Solly’s Interview

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

I joined Christ’s Hospital as an LE (Year 9). I had always planned on coming to CH, as my older sister was already at the school, my Mum and Uncle are also both Old Blues, however I waited till LE to join as I was nervous about becoming a border. My first term wasn’t particularly easy as I didn’t understand some of the cultures at CH, but with the guidance of Mr Farnfield I began to settle in.

What activities have you enjoyed at CH and what have you accomplished in that department that you are proud of?

My favourite activities have always been those out on a sports field, cricket and hockey in particular. I have really appreciated the support I have had from the school in both these sports, enabling me to push myself further, especially with hockey not being a major boys sport. I was driven to regional training every other Monday for three winters as well as being allowed to play for Horsham’s men’s sides on a Saturday. These extra opportunities allowed me to really develop my hockey, and I was rewarded last summer with a selection in the Home Nations tournament were I played against Scotland and Northern Island. I’d like to thank all the staff involved in giving me these opportunities, but in particular Mr Messenger and Mr K-D, your time has been hugely appreciated. It has been great to see an increase in numbers in boys’ hockey the last couple of years, with there being more Grecians involved this last year than there were total players when I first started. As anyone who knows me would say, I also love CH cricket; spending the majority of my summer term out on big side playing or training. I have been somewhat disappointed that I was unable to have my final cricket season, missing out on the chance to get a 1st XI hundred (have to settle for a top score of 94). For me, whilst at school, there was never anything more relaxing than going to training and batting for up to 3 hours in the nets with Mr Jestey and Mr Messenger throwing balls at me, once everyone else had got bored.

Tell us about your academic achievements, what subjects you have studied and what you’ve enjoyed about your CH education.

Academics at CH have been a good challenge, with the teachers always managing to find the right level to push me, whether it be setting extra work off the curriculum or being able to explain things in way that makes more sense to me. For my A levels I studied maths, further maths and physics, whilst also taking a BTEC in sport. My biggest challenge with these was finding the right balance between sport and academics, at times the balance shifting too far towards sport… Despite most of my academic success coming in the sciences, my proudest academic achievement is actually my B in GCSE English, as this is a subject I have always really struggled with, and if it wasn’t for Mr Holdsworth it would have been a lot worse.

What are your future plans?

In September I am looking to go to the University of Birmingham to study Maths. I think CH helped with my application through all the extra time that was set aside for UCAS applications, and in particular the help I got with my personal statement, as writing isn’t a strength of mine. With the help of the 5 different teachers, that each checked my writing, I think it must’ve have ended up being quite good as I got an offer below what they typically give out. CH has also helped me to grow, as I was quite ignorant when I first joined, and didn’t feel comfortable in new environments but I believe that now I am well prepared to leave the school “bubble”.

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

I will really miss the constant, easy access to sport. Having to pay for a gym membership is going to be a weird experience. My happiest memories aren’t just out on the sports pitch though, the end of GE, after I finished my exams, when I was able to stay in school without the pressure of work was great fun. The two terms I did have in Grecians were also amazing, not having to worry about what any juniors were doing, or why they weren’t asleep at midnight, as well as spending more time with people from all across west side. One of the other things I’ll miss is the routine, not having to overly plan each week as I know what to expect, in particular being able to turn up at tea at 6 each day and without having organised anything have a full table of friends to sit with.