IT was fantastic to welcome Old Elean and former Ely Cathedral Chorister, Harry Joel, back to King’s on October 4th.

Harry, 22, is a Lieutenant with The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, also known as The Tigers. He gave a brilliant talk to our Year 12 students, which explored his time at King’s (Years 7-13), the skills he learnt during his years as a Chorister, and his journey at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and with The Tigers so far.

Sean Quinn, who organised Harry’s visit and who is Head of Psychology at King’s Ely Senior, said: “Harry delivered a very interesting and lively talk. He took the students through his journey, how he experienced some challenging times after King’s as a result of lacking direction and confidence, but how he picked himself up by gradually coming round to the idea that no matter what he did, he would do it to his maximum ability. He spoke about his time at Sandhurst and the importance of supporting and being supported by those around you, before discussing transferable skills.

“He touched on the importance of positive thinking, goal setting, controlling the controllable, the need to tolerate, manage and enjoy pressure, the importance of accurate self-evaluation and always bringing all you can to whatever it is you are doing. He finished the talk by discussing character using the question ‘Who do you want on your helicopter?’ to engage the students in thinking about their own qualities and what they bring to the school and each other. This was Harry’s first time speaking to an audience. He captivated the students and for those of us who had taught Harry, it was fantastic to see his personal growth, hear about his journey and appreciate his fondness for King’s.”

Speaking about his time at King’s, Harry said: “Nearly all of my memories of King’s are fond ones but I always smile when I drive past School House and remember the collective spirit of the House! I took every opportunity I could with Ely Scheme and learnt so many skills which have certainly come in useful in my new career. Music was a big part of my time at King’s too, with groups like Jazz Band and the King’s Barbers. I studied Philosophy, Geography and Psychology at A Level, all of which I still find myself recalling information from my lessons at King’s.”

When asked how he thinks King’s helped prepare him for life after school, Harry said: “Life after school, especially for those leaving and not attending University straight away, can be quite a challenging year. Although everyone dreads hearing another ‘gap yah dit’ from someone about their time back-packing across South East Asia, that time can actually be quite challenging for people straight out of school as they are having to make big decisions about their future. The thing I think King’s does really well is provide you with a support network and social group that the majority of people who attend seem to stay connected to. Kings, like the Army, seems to forge quality friendships which remain over time as you always see that friends from King’s remain friends long after they’ve left. The staff are really diligent at getting students ready for University by helping them with their UCAS and have also been ready to help me several years after leaving. They’re good people to call upon as the staff at King’s are real subject matter experts on what they’re teaching.”

Thank you so much for your talk Harry!

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