Elliot is in the Lower Sixth and a Boarder in Stud House. He is studying French, Geography and Business Studies at A Level and is a Tennis Scholar. Elliot has recently been appointed Head of House and a School Prefect.
My day begins bright and early in House at 7.10am. After roll call at 7.40am, we all walk down to the Dining Hall together, where we enjoy a good breakfast and a chat to get us ready for the day ahead. There is always plenty of food options to choose from at breakfast, lunch and supper, and the wide variety of healthy options is great as I play a lot of sport, so it’s easy to balance my nutritional needs with fitness training.
After breakfast, we all head back to House to meet the Day Boarders at 8.10am, and after a quick catch up we collect our books and head off to the first lesson of the day at 8.30am. Today, my first lesson is French with Mme Ganivet, which is a class of only nine pupils (at my previous school in Brussels, most classes had more than 30 pupils).
It’s brilliant having smaller class sizes in the Sixth Form – it means that you get a lot more focused contact time with the teachers, which is so helpful when you’re studying at this level.
At break time today we have our School Prefect meeting, which is something I am really excited about. The Prefect System allows pupils to have a real voice in the School, and is a big part of school life for everyone – not just for Sixth Formers. We take on board feedback from our fellow pupils and report it to Senior Management to initiate change, as well as head up sub-committees of the School Council covering areas such as Boarding, Sport, and Service and Wellbeing.
As Head of House, I have set up similar formal meetings in Stud where pupils from all year groups can feed back their ideas specifically related to Stud House. This has been really well received, and we have already received some great ideas.
After the School Prefect meeting, I head to a Business lesson with Mr Rimmington where I have to give a presentation. The amount of work you are expected to do as a Sixth Former ramps up dramatically; there is a big focus on doing lots of extra reading around the topics outside of lessons. This is where the few “free” periods we get every week come in really handy – it’s great to be able to study more independently and manage our own workload a bit more. If I’m on top of all of my work, I head to the gym for a strength and conditioning session created by Mr Morriss during my “frees”, but academic commitments always come first.
It’s one of our activity afternoons today, which means that I get to do my favourite thing of the week – play tennis! After a quick lunch, I head to Falmer for a two-hour training session. Although there are lots of activities to choose from every term, I always opt for tennis; it’s a sport that I have been passionate about since I started playing competitively at the age of 9, and I have played in a Bede’s team since I started in First Year. I’m hoping to go to a university in the US on a tennis scholarship and pursue the sport professionally when I leave school this year, so it’s important that I continue to improve my rankings in international tennis over the coming months.
When I get back to Bede’s from my tennis session, I head straight to House for prep until we head down to the Dining Hall for supper at 6.45pm; this is a great opportunity to relax with friends after a busy day. We go back to House at 7.30pm and do some more prep until 8.30pm. Part of my role as Head of House is to help supervise the evenings and make sure that the younger pupils are happy, comfortable and getting ready for bed on time. It’s really important that I make an effort to talk to everyone in House and make sure that everyone feels included.
I have an open-door policy, and am available to talk to any of the Stud boys whenever they need advice – whether it’s about academic work, homesickness, friendship issues, or anything in between. It’s great to be able to help them and make a difference to their school experience.
Once prep is finished and the House is settled, I head to the MPH and do some more fitness training. This can range from a football match to a gym session. Today I am going swimming, which really helps me to relax and clear my mind. Finally, it’s back to House and off to bed for a good night’s sleep before we start again tomorrow!
Interviewed in the Summer 2019