Rowan Lewis, Upper Fifth

One of the reasons I love writing is because it's so versatile.

I'm aiming to study English at University, but I keep getting distracted by things that make me feel passionate. Before I realise it, I'm writing about them.

Luckily, Bede's has the capacity to deal with someone like me, who is a bit obsessive.

My English teacher, Mr Oliver, is really easy to get along with. He's quirky and obsessed with weird things. He always finds ways to accomodate me. I did GCSE early, then AS Language, and I'm now working on a Pre-U Literature course.

The courses themselves are something I appreciate, but the bigger deal is the way teachers draw out of you something you didn't know was there. Like three years ago, when I came to Bede's, History wasn't my thing. Then we had a lesson with Mrs O'Hara that I'll always remember.

It was a court session where she split the class and we debated whether America should pay compensation for the war in Vietnam. When I came to revise months later, I discovered I already knew the material, because in that lesson I'd learned without realising it.

When you consider that, and the extra-curricular stuff like the Chamber Choir, which took me on tour to New York, and the fact that at this school the stuff that's discussed in the School Council is actually acted upon, it's pretty amazing.

That's not what you expect, because Bede's seems to be located in the middle of nowhere. It's the most beautiful place in the world, but it's not cut off. It's really connected.


This interview was conducted in the Summer Term of 2012. After achieving top grades in her A Levels, Rowan is now studying English at the University of Exeter.

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