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Recent leaver and Senior Grecian (head pupil), Maddie, talks about her time at Christ’s Hospital
Being Senior Grecian does bring added pressure, as it takes time away from other things, including academic studies. However, it has absolutely been right for me. Because of the events I’ve attended as Senior Grecian, and the people I’ve met along the way, I am a far more confident person now and have life skills that cannot be taught in the classroom.
I have even met the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. I asked him what he would say to people who have lost faith in politics, to which he replied that he was working hard on rebuilding trust in the Conservative party. It was a politician’s answer – one he might give a journalist – but it was still interesting to see how he responded to different questions and communicated to young people. I have also met many Old Blues and enjoy hearing their stories. Some were also Senior Grecian during their time at CH and they all talked about how the school changes your life.
An annual highlight for any Senior Grecian is Speech Day. Speaking in front of so many people, including distinguished guests, was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I thought I was going to be nervous, but when I stepped forward, I actually felt excited; I was surrounded by friends and family, and I really wanted to make the most of the opportunity. After all, how many 18-year-olds have the chance to speak at such an occasion? My speech was about expectation versus reality, contrasting my pre-conceptions of Christ’s Hospital at the start of my secondary education with the reality of everyday boarding school life. But I also talked about the opportunities CH has given me and how grateful I am. As is tradition, I included a touch of Latin, and the Lord Mayor did likewise in his response. This showed just how invested he was in the occasion.
I was also secretary-general of the Model United Nations (MUN). We meet every week to debate on different topics, using the same terminology as the United Nations. When you are a delegate, you need to do lots of research to get an insight into the nation you’re representing. We have debated on refugees, LGBTQ rights, and the war in Ukraine; sometimes, you might need to present a view you don’t personally agree with. This makes MUN even more fascinating, as offering different perspectives on issues is part of the challenge.
Big Band Concert is special. At Christmas, I sang Valerie by Amy Winehouse and people loved it! The more times you perform a song, the more confident you become, and CH provides lots of time to rehearse as the staff are very supportive. At the summer concert, I sang Tom Jones’ It’s Not Unusual and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrews Sisters, where we dressed up in war-time outfits. One of the nice things about Big Band is that you get to be on stage with friends. When I’m singing and see friends playing drums or piano, it gives me even more confidence, as it feels like a celebration.
Art has been a massive part of my journey at CH. The teachers are amazing and give you the confidence to explore and expand on your ideas. For my final A level concept, I created a breakfast scene inspired by the fantastical world of Alice in Wonderland. It was great fun spending months making a breakfast table with giant spoons and cereal bowls! Although I have a university offer to study politics, the idea of taking time out to travel and visit art galleries is tempting!