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Meet Will (Willow, Year 13)

Date Posted: Friday 13 October 2023

Tell us a bit about your experience of Ashford School until now. 

In 10 years either I’ve grown or the school has shrunk, probably not the latter. It’s been my life and I’ve never really thought of it as an experience before, I’ve just lived it. All of the important moments of my life so far have been shaped by my time at Ashford School and I wouldn’t change a moment. Everyone here has always been so supportive, both students and staff.

Is there a particular teacher who has inspired you and helped you to reach where you are today? Who and how?

To choose feels unfair on everyone who has helped me get here, there would be so many honourable mentions for both past and present staff for everything they’ve taught me and supported me through. I must say Mr Vafidis has had a huge impact on me, from showing me round on induction day in year 7 to teaching me politics today. He was my head of house from year 7 to 10 and gave me my full house colours, a tie I still wear every Monday with immense pride (1 of 1 left in the school). He also believed in me enough and convinced me to join AYJO playing electric bass. I now have a grade 8 distinction and a new appreciation for jazz, not to mention great friends and memories from our many gigs nationally and internationally. Without that opportunity and encouragement, I don’t think I would have pursued music the way I have. I don’t see myself leaving the band any time soon.

What clubs do you take part in, and what do you enjoy about them most?

I’m a colour sergeant in cadets, I play bass guitar in jazz band and AYJO, double bass in orchestra and I’m currently working towards my gold DofE too. All of these have been great experiences in their own way, enabling me to make great friends and try things that I might not have ever pursued or experienced.

What has been your most rewarding moment at Ashford School?

Receiving my full house colours in year 10 after house music before summer, it was the first time I’d been awarded something big and it meant the world to me.

As School Captain, what does it mean to you to be a leader at School? What do you hope to achieve in your year in post?

When I’ve been able to, I’ve given it my everything, from school concerts to my GCSEs. Being recognised and honoured for it in this way means more to me than I dare let on. I made my mum and dad proud and I hope to keep doing that, as well as supporting the school and making improvements where and when I can, still giving the school and everyone within it my everything.

What are your ambitions for when you leave Ashford School?

I’m taking a gap year and then going onto university to do a Bsc in Physiotherapy, hoping to leave university as a chartered physio. I hope to then go back later in my career to study musical therapy as an Msc and combine both, to set up my own practice. I’ll continue to play the bass guitar and gig with AYJO… as long as I’m still considered youth.

 In three words, how would you describe your time at Ashford School?

Supported to endeavour.