James Baldwin, Upper Fifth

Physics and Maths are my thing. I want to know why stuff works.

I've always been like this, but my life really changed when one of my teachers was talking about the Large Hadron Collider. I started thinking about a group of people watching something that happened 13 billion years ago. Suddenly, everything I thought was true wasn't necessarily, and me being me I had to know more.

When I was younger, if something didn't interest me I would stop paying attention. I've always liked learning, but a good teacher makes all the difference. Bede's is not all about getting a million A*'s - it's about nurturing you.

There is definitely a focus on Academics. After school I learn Latin once a week, but I also play Football and Squash. The main thing is that the teachers let you do what you're good at and always suggest things you hadn't previously considered.

I also like the community element. The diversity. There's amazing artists and some of the best musicians I've ever heard here. Not just guys sitting around studying.

This year I helped the First Years during their team-building day. They kept asking questions about what it was like to go to school here, and I remembered that feeling, wondering if Bede's could ever live up to the hype.

It felt great to tell them how nice everyone was to me and still is, because let's be honest, at most schools being a Physics and Maths nerd isn't cool.

Luckily, at Bede's it genuinely is.


This interview was conducted in the Summer Term of 2012. James went on to become a Deputy Head of School before achieving straight A* grades in his A Levels. He is now studying Physics at St Andrew's.

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