Secondary school: St Paul’s School – Sixth Form
University destination: Oxford – Keble College
Being welcomed into my tutor group with a quiz which focused mainly on cricket. My tutor was obsessed with the sport and never missed an opportunity to bring it up! He was a really friendly and good-natured tutor, and this really kicked things off well.
Winning a debate in the school’s debating society. The debating society was a really vibrant part of the school that took place in the school’s grand ‘Monty Room’. It was a great way to engage with topical ideas in a fun and upbeat atmosphere.
There was quite a focus on rugby and, as my previous school didn’t play this, I felt as though I was missing out a little. I’d choose to change this.
Once a year we were taken on a coach to St Paul’s Cathedral for ‘Colet Day’. This was a celebration of the founder of the school, John Colet, who established the school in the 16th century. There was a service in the cathedral and it was great to have a day out in London afterwards.
The school’s academic support was excellent. All my teachers were engaging, supportive and friendly. The school places a great emphasis in discursive learning and going beyond the syllabus. I really think I benefitted from this approach.
I didn’t find the School particularly religious. Although I was there when they were doing building work and they had just demolished the school’s modernist chapel! I think it’s been rebuilt but don’t think that chapel is compulsory.
I really enjoyed the history society. It was a great forum in which to chat to academics about their research and learn about a range of different, often quirky, periods. In my final year, I was on the committee of the society and it was incredibly rewarding to help organise the talks and reach out to academics across the UK.
The school was very supportive with Oxbridge applications. It ran classes which were aimed at the interview process. They gave us an opportunity to discuss theoretical ideas and historiography in considerable depth. They were also incredibly enjoyable and friendly sessions which helped with nerves. The school also had a strong emphasis on American universities and was supportive of all types of student.
The school has an extensive alumni network and it regularly organises talks and events for ex-students. I’ve gone to a few talks. The best was probably one given by the diamonds expert at Sotheby’s, really fascinating stuff!
The pastoral support system was very strong. Each tutor group consists of two students from each year. This really allowed students of different ages and stages in their school careers to mix with each other and support each other.
A deer because the school’s sporty, classy and intelligent. Oh, and there are deer on the school crest!