Zoe was in the Upper Sixth and a boarder in Dorter House. She studied Animal Management BTEC, Photography and Media Studies.

I usually wake up at 7am and then head down for roll-call before breakfast after which I will usually grab a coffee in the kitchen back at Dorter before heading out to my first lesson which yesterday was Animal Management BTEC. We are really lucky to be able to spend a lot of time at Drusillas Zoo which is close by and today we were there carrying out ethograms on the red pandas – which essentially means monitoring their behaviour over a 30 minute period.

Back at school, my second lesson today was Photography and with the end of the year approaching, I am focussing on finishing off my final pieces for assessment. It can be quite a stressful time but Mrs Excel and Mrs Walpole have both been such a support – they have really helped me stay calm.

At morning break, I head back to house for a quick snack and then as I had a “free” I headed up to my room to crack on with revision. 

I still have some essays to get done as part of my final assessments and before lunch I was able to squeeze in a quick visit to the Learning Enhancement Department to get some advice on essay structure and research. It’s so helpful to be able to use them as a sounding board.

At lunchtime I always head to the Old Dining Room – I love it in there in the summer when the windows are all open and the sun comes streaming in. As well as my friends Julie and Frankie from Dorter, I also caught up with friends from other houses – Michael from Dicker and Alex from Charleston.

I’m a vegan and the chefs make such an effort to provide good options – today was a jack fruit, bean and lentil curry with rice and guacamole and vegan jelly and popcorn which was all delicious. 

After lunch, I had a bit of time to check-in back at the House before heading off to Hove Lagoon for a wake-boarding session – one of my activities options this term. There are 13 of us in the group – all different ages and houses so it’s a good opportunity to mix with different people. Mr Hickman, my Media Studies teacher, takes the group and it’s great to spend time with your teachers in a more relaxed environment. It might sound strange but I also like the bus journey to the Lagoon as life at Bede’s is so busy and sometimes it’s nice to just sit and daydream for a while and listen to some tunes. 

Back home at Dorter, as the Head of House, it was my turn to take the roll-call which still feels very grown up! Mrs Murphy, our Housemistress, will then give out some notices and reminders before our first prep session.  Most sixth formers choose to work in their rooms but as a prefect, you sometimes work downstairs with the junior girls to help supervise junior prep which isn’t too hard as the girls knuckle down to study pretty well. 

I like supper as it’s really chilled and sociable and another chance to catch up with friends in other houses.  After dinner, whilst some of the juniors are relaxing, most of the senior girls get stuck into another session of prep and so I headed straight from supper over to the library.  My friend Gabriel, who is Head of School was already up there and he’s a great “study mate” as he is super-focused which really helps motivate me. 

Once prep was over, I headed back to house and with things beginning to wind down for the evening; it was a chance for me to catch up with Mrs Murphy and my Tutor, Miss Ganivet. I can’t believe that I will be leaving in a few weeks’ time. I will miss them both so much. 

By this time, the juniors are beginning to head off towards bed so it was a chance for the seniors to hang out and we decided to have an impromptu Netflix movie night.  Having stocked up on some snacks from our charity tuck shop, we settled down on the sofa to watch Isle of Dogs – a Wes Anderson film which was great fun.

Then it was time to check in with my family for some group chat and finalise arrangements for my mum to come over the following evening.  She often come over to take me and my friends Julie and Frankie out for dinner at our local pub, The Plough, and me and my mum had a bit of a moment when we realised this would be the last dinner before we all leave. 

Before bed, I will often help settle the House down and check that phones are given in and that sort of thing and then it’s off to bed – maybe it was the wake-boarding but I was out like a light!

Interviewed in the Summer 2019

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