BORN and bred Norfolk girl Lucy Pearce will be remembered for her infectious smile and enthusiasm for every opportunity that came her way during her time at King’s Ely.

After achieving an A* and two A grades in her A Levels last summer, Lucy, 19, is now at Durham University studying Psychology and is “absolutely loving it”. She is adamant that the valuable life skills she learnt while studying at King’s Ely – and being a boarder in particular – have contributed to the ease in which she has settled into university life.

Lucy, whose family live near Downham Market, joined King’s Ely Junior in Year 5, meaning she was able to reap the benefits of the all-through education that King’s Ely offers.

She said: “I joined King’s Ely in Year 5 as a day girl and I will forever thank my parents for sending me. I then moved up into King’s Ely Senior and became a chorister through being a member of Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir, which meant I then became a boarder.

“Etheldreda House and the Choir have both shaped who I am today and I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to both my housemistresses and all the staff for their support, for making King’s Ely feel like home and for teaching me such valuable life lessons, which have without a doubt helped me settle into university life so quickly.”

Lucy studied Psychology, Geography and Religious Studies at A Level, and Music at AS Level. Her hard work paid off and she achieved the grades she needed to study at her first choice university, as did more than 90% of King’s Ely Sixth Form students this year.

However, like the majority of King’s Ely students, school was about much more than academic success for Lucy, whose sister, Anna, is now in the Sixth Form.

Lucy said: “During my time at King’s Ely, I threw myself into as many extra-curricular activities and opportunities as possible. I was particularly encouraged to join the various sports teams and music choirs and ensembles, as well as taking up the flute and singing.

“I was fortunate to be part of some of the top sports teams but particularly loved netball and was lucky enough to represent the school in the 1st team throughout Sixth Form – and I was awarded captain of the 1st team in Upper Sixth.

“The Director of Music at King’s Ely Junior is, I believe, one of the core reasons for my musical passion and I am so grateful for the encouragement and enthusiasm that he gave me. Becoming a chorister was the best decision I and my parents made as I learnt skills that I shall carry wherever I go, as well as making friends for life.

“The Music Department at King’s Ely is one of the strongest around, offering some of the best performance and technical training in a variety of instruments, as well as enabling students to be part of many different types of ensembles and taking part in some fabulous concerts and events. Without King’s Ely and the staff’s passion and encouragement, I would not be the musician I am today and I couldn’t imagine a life without music in it!”

When the time came to leave King’s Ely in the summer, Lucy says she was excited for the future but sad to leave behind a school she loved. Reminiscing, she said: “I am studying Psychology at Durham University and I absolutely love it, but I would relive my years at King’s Ely all over again in a flash!

“The school never failed to offer me the best support. The staff and teachers were always there to help me when I needed it, be it academic, pastoral or personal. I owe a lot to King’s Ely and will always look back on my journey there with fond memories.

“The school is like one big family where community really is at its heart. King’s Ely is a school for everyone, where each individual is able to flourish in whatever field they excel in. I found my love for music and sport at King’s Ely and if it wasn’t for the school and my journey there from King’s Ely Junior through to the Sixth Form, I wouldn’t be the person, musician or have the passion for my subjects that I do. I made friends for life and wish I could do it all again.”

As far as the future is concerned, Lucy said: “The Sixth Form at King’s Ely taught me a lot about working independently, determination, hard work and most importantly believing in myself. I don’t really have a specific career path that I’m set on yet, but I want to do something that makes a big difference in the world.”

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