St Peter's School
Emily hopes to study aerospace engineering at university. “In Fourth Form the school helped me get onto a Physics Week for Women at York University. I wasn’t even 100% about physics at that point, but the experience, especially going down to Oxford University for a couple of days and seeing the particle accelerator and space systems they had there, made up my mind.”
Emily has been supported further in Sixth Form to gain experience and build a stellar CV. The School funded her to attend a weekend engineering course at Loughborough University, and it doesn’t stop there: “The school suggested a scholarship, called the Arkwright Scholarship. Thousands of people apply, but I was lucky I got the scholarship and then I got the RAF as my sponsor. My CV has improved so much. I’ve had eight weeks of engineering experiences in the holiday. I’ve looked round various RAF bases and been inside Typhoons, Chinooks and C17s.”
One might wonder how Emily finds time. “The school is great. The teachers will help you catch up, they’ll sit with you separately and explain the lesson. Especially as a boarder, you have your House Parent and the Pastoral team looking at things for you. They always say, don’t worry if it clashes, we’ll make it work, don’t miss out.”
The huge range of activities at Peter’s has been perfect for an all-rounder like Emily. “I’ve picked up rowing, swimming, tennis and hockey. I’m in the wind band. I’m head of Combined Cadet Forces. Before, my life and my school were separate. Now my life orientates around the school. This term I had one of the lead roles in As You Like It and rehearsals were on a Sunday. Rowing is often Sundays. So if I wasn’t boarding I would either miss out on things, or I would be travelling back and forwards all weekend.”
Emily and her House Mistress Dorothy Gilles both remember Emily in Third Form as a slightly diffident, reserved girl. Though she has blossomed into a chatty, confident young woman she is very conscious of it being the mix of personalities that makes for a successful boarding experience.
“Looking at Peter’s from the outside, you’d think it’s just sporty and academic, because of the results we get. But when you get in, there are lots of opportunities. Look at the timetable: there’s a choice of 20 activities each day so you’re going to find something you like. If you’re not a team player, there’s yoga, there’s body con, there’s swimming, there’s dance.”
Upper Sixth-Former Emily’s advice to new boarders comes from experience: “When you start, throw yourself into things. Even if it’s out of your comfort zone, put yourself in different social situations, because you’ll always have the girls back at Rise to support you.”