Helen Clements, Lower Sixth

I remember when I came to Bede's from St Aubyns. I was so shy and nervous, but I had a really warm reception.

It's strange when I think back. I used to really hate History and English, and now I love them and am taking them both as A Levels.

It sounds really cheesy, but I don't know how else to say it - I found myself here.

The thing I'm most known for is Tennis. I'm currently ranked fourth in the country, and one of the reasons I came to Bede's is because the school provides the opportunities you need as a specialist. My coach, Julie Salmon, for example. She played at Wimbledon when she was younger and has basically dedicated herself to me since I arrived.

I'm extremely competitive, but Miss Salmon wants me to be a better person, not just a better player. The outcome of my matches isn't as important as how I play, and that's a life lesson really.

The teachers here raise your expectations of yourself, whether that's Mr Jones in History, pumping us full of information, or Mr Peattie's Maths lesson, which I will never forget, when he stood on a chair and had us chanting sohcahtoa and laughing like idiots.

Now I'm having to think about the future. Part of me thinks I should head to Cambridge and study law, but if I do then Tennis has to fall by the wayside.

More likely I'll head to Exeter, which is an amazing university and I can keep playing while I'm there.

The alternative is that I become the most competitive lawyer in the world.


This interview was conducted in the Summer Term of 2012. After another successful year of Tennis, during which she was also a Deputy Head of School, Helen went on to achieve brilliant results in her A Levels and is currently studying Law at the University of Exeter.

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