What opportunities does Ashford School offer that you feel are extending your skills and helping you prepare for life after School?
- I cannot think of a better place where I can be stimulated as much as in Ashford School. Sixth Form is all about developing yourself as a whole person through academics and extra-curricular activities. As a science student, I had the opportunity to take part in various chemistry workshops at Greenwich University, as well as preparing for the chemistry Olympiad. Maths allowed me to benefit from an amazing day of workshops at Royal Holloway University, as well as taking part in UKMT senior Maths challenge and achieving a bronze award. My French classes have allowed me not only to develop my language skills, but also to immerse myself in the culture during visits to Nice and through the extra-curricular French film club.
- You can easily challenge yourself at Ashford School by trying something you’ve never done before as lots of opportunities are on offer. As an individual who thrives on challenge, I have tried netball and even been offered the prize of most improved player, as well as playing for 2nd hockey team. Ashford School has given me the courage to step outside my comfort zone and this is a skill which will undoubtedly come in very useful at university.
- The senior leadership responsibilities I have been given at school have allowed me to develop transferable skills which will hopefully stand me in good stead in future employment. I have learned to evaluate situations in order to find the best solutions, to build confidence in my peers. I have also improved my teamwork, time-management and goal-setting skills which will be indispensable in my future working life.
- The wide range of topics presented during Wider Horizon lectures helped me to gain understanding about the world and shed the light on aggravating worldwide issues as well as present unique human experiences. Added to this is the wealth of charity events which take place in school and my participation in these has really helped me to understand how much we need to think about those less fortunate than ourselves.
- I have been offered excellent support for my next stage in life- university, which is an extremely important step and requires thorough preparation. The staff at Ashford School have been there at every stage, from helping me to decide on subject choices, advising me on the different courses available in the UK to supporting me in writing my personal statement and overseeing the UCAS application.
- From holding the archery bow in my hand for the first time to growing into a responsible prefect and peer mentor, Ashford School has offered me opportunities at every turn to be the best version of myself.
What clubs do you take part in after School and what do you enjoy about them?
- When I first joined the school, my biggest challenge was to choose the extra-curricular activities because of the vast variety of opportunities. In my first year of A-levels, I was involved in Eco-Schools that enabled me and my team to create an accurate environmental review about our school with the goal of making it more sustainable. I have really enjoyed my time as the people involved were of different ages and was very surprised to see how my peers are willing to improve our school on an environmental level, save our planet and become more useful not only for themselves but also for the world. I am passionate about sports and being active. This is why netball was without doubt my favourite extra-curricular activity as it boosts body image and confidence, as well as helps to learn how to deal with adversity. At the same time, I love to challenge myself so this year I have decided to try hockey, as well as continuing being part of Sustainable Engineering Project which allowed me to develop my science skills and try accounting without having done it before.
As a boarder from Moldova, what helped you settle quickly and easily into the School?
- I reckon being ready to challenge myself and expect the unexpected. I was excited to make new friends, to meet new people, to study in a completely different environment, to be independent and confident. I experienced mixed feelings as I faced different challenges, but I could see myself growing and discovering how to adapt and thrive. I was willing to get involved and participate in the large variety of activities which run every day in order to develop new skills, to gain a greater understanding of the international community in which I live and to become a more independent thinker.
- The very strong support network like my house parent and the tutor team helped a lot to settle quickly and easily into the School. Without doubt, the people I met here are fellows that I will keep forever. My best friends, Anja and Minnie, supported me a lot and made me enjoy my time here even more and made me understood that I am spending the time of my life here. P.S. I could never think that thanks to my friends back home, I could adapt easier to a new environment. Talking to them and sharing my new experience had a great impact.
Who is your favourite teacher and why?
- All the teachers of our school know how to bring out the best in students. All the teachers have an upbeat mood, a sense of energy and their positivity breeds creativity in all the students. What I truly love about our teachers is that they are passionate about what they are doing, they are so dedicated and love their subject.
- I do think humor is an essential quality a teacher should have and I am so glad that all my teachers possess it and share it with us. They break out the box and challenge every student in a positive way. I remember once I told myself that ‘I will never be able to understand it” and a teacher replied back with “You will, I promise”. Not least, they teach in a variety of methods and they just believe in us.
- “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” –Albert Einstein
Favourite thing about being a boarder:
- There is an endless list of things I most enjoy about being a boarder, such as the 3 minute walk to school which lets me get enough sleep, but having to share a room in my first year of A-levels with my absolutely lovely roommate is the most special one to me. I have always wanted a sister to share room with, to chat about everything and eventually help each other with work. Giving advice, from clothing to school stuff, having the same routine, sharing different cultures helped us to build a powerful bond.
- Besides it, I have learned to be responsible for myself which is an excellent preparation for university, I have learned to be more tolerant as I live in a community, I have experienced activities for the first time as we have great facilities as well as learned to be more appreciative of my family.
- The people from the boarding house became my extended family and I am very thankful for having them by my side. I always think that the day students should have this opportunity to get a better understanding of how unique boarding life is.
Do you think you have the power to inspire your friends and teachers at school? How?
- I think everybody can inspire by focusing on their strengths and I do actually consider that in order to inspire individuals, a combination of strengths should be used, which eventually will unlock higher performance through empowerment. And yes, definitely, I always try to focus on my strengths so that I have the power to inspire my peers and teachers by showing my enthusiasm for everything I do. I am always seeking to develop new ways of operating, to take enough time to communicate with the others to ensure that everybody is moving forward and to drive people to reach success. I know people tend to look up to someone who tells the truth and does their best and this is what I am always willing to do, be who I am, be honest and positive. When talking about inspiring teachers, I have to say it’s quite of a challenge. I reckon my strong personality who always stands up for what I believe and looking after everybody is the way through which I can inspire them.
What do you like to do in your free time?
- Being around my friends and my family, watching documentaries, doing sports, cooking, dancing, staying outside, breathing fresh air, reading books about society and culture and always learning something new are just a few of my favorite activities in my free time.
- I love doing something spontaneous and I think travelling is all about it. This is a big passion of mine as I have the opportunity to enjoy some exciting experiences and memories, to learn about new places and new cultures.
What are your ambitions for when you leave School?
- Be a student at a prestigious university is definitely my biggest ambition after I leave school.
- Pursuing a degree in chemistry is without doubt my biggest desire because this will let me follow my heart by studying what I truly enjoy. This is my favourite subject as it is all around us: we wear chemicals, we eat them and we even breathe them. It is the heart of the environmental issues which concerns me significantly and I do want to solve this problem. Chemistry classes at Ashford School gave me the opportunity to see how real reactions occur in a lab and accomplish the goal of an experiment as well as analysing data. On the other hand, I am really keen on following some volunteering projects through which I can dedicate my time to people in need.
What are you most excited about for the year ahead?
- Everything. Absolutely everything. I still cannot believe it is my last year of school and have to share it with my friends, my teachers, the prefect team and other staff. I am excited for the upcoming trips, leavers assembly, to see what difference can the prefect team bring to the school and obviously A-levels. I am sure it is going to be an amazing year, full of accomplishments and success.