Emma Higginbotham is an award-winning freelance journalist: https://www.emmahigginbotham.com/

“I joined King’s Ely in the Third Form (Year 9) in September 1985, and left after the Sixth Form in July 1990. I came into school on the train from Cambridge every day, and some of my happiest memories were those laugh-out-loud journeys with my fellow commuter pals. Even today, getting on a train gives me a rush of nostalgia.

“After King’s, I read Ancient and Modern History at Oxford University, then worked in TV production throughout my 20s, mainly on comedy programmes such as Reeves and Mortimer and The Frank Skinner Show. I moved over to journalism in my early 30s, and found my happy place. I’m now a freelance feature writer – no hard news reporting for me, thanks – specialising in celebrity interviews. Recent favourites include Steve Coogan, Dame Floella Benjamin, Heston Blumenthal and Gary Barlow (twice!).

“I loved my time at King’s. I sang (loudly) in the choir, strutted in school plays and pantomimes, played my flute in concerts and generally embraced every chance there was to show off – and there were plenty. I desperately wanted to do performing arts after school, but was strong-armed by my parents into doing an academic degree which, looking back, was probably a good thing.

“King’s definitely set me up for a writing career as the standard of teaching, particularly in the Sixth Form, was exceptional. My wonderful English Teacher, Mrs Bowyer, and matchless Class Civ Teacher, Mr Gordon-Jones, really pushed us all to polish our sentences and write engagingly.

“What I really remember, though, was that King’s wasn’t just about academic success and league tables. Every pupil, bright or not, was encouraged to discover what they were good at and what they enjoyed – whether it was art, athletics or playing the triangle – and then they were allowed to shine.”

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