Secondary school: Brighton College
University destination + subject studied: UCL, English
Being given a tour of the school by the school rugby captain and vice captain. I was only 14 at the time and, to me, they looked like giants, but they were incredibly kind and made me feel excited to be joining.
I have too many memories to choose from, all of which are highly treasured: from performing in plays and musicals, to rugby tours, Duke of Edinburgh hikes, cultural trips abroad, Combined Cadet Force camps, ski trips – life at Brighton was a never-ending succession of activities.
The sports fields where we trained twice a week were a 20-minute walk away (and taking the bus or catching a lift was forbidden!) so I would like to move them closer.
Not especially – although the school was very big on commemorating historical events. There was always a big ceremony for Remembrance Day, and there would be a number of compulsory Sunday chapel services throughout the year. On the last day of term, the school leavers all sing ‘Jerusalem’ and process from the chapel – always an emotional day.
Excellent. Each subject ran a variety of ‘clinics’ for different abilities outside of ordinary lesson time. I was terrible at French and remember having regular afterschool one-to-one sessions with my French teacher, who worked desperately hard to help me through my GCSE at great personal cost.
Yes, we had chapel services most days, but these were more of a mixture of a school assembly and hymn singing – great fun once you get into it.
Helping stage an independent production of The History Boys was a personal highlight, along with performing at the Brighton Theatre Royal, and the Corn Exchange.
For those who wanted to apply, there is a great deal of support available, but it’s not considered the be-all and end-all. Many students follow a different path, such as dance school, art college, or professional sport, and increasingly they are winning places at US universities.
Yes, there is an excellent alumni network.
Of course! Plenty in my first couple of years from Mr Rad, the formidable ex-army Chemistry teacher.
The boarding and house masters and mistresses are the most important form of pastoral support, along with your personal tutor. I also remember the school nurse, and a number of counsellors.
I think it might be a fox? Sleek, urban, and an extremely canny operator – but it’s also highly versatile and lets nothing go to waste.