In which year group did you join King’s Ely?
I joined Kings Ely in Year 4 having moved to the UK from Sydney, Australia.
What GCSE grades did you achieve this summer (2019)?
I achieved two grade 9s, one grade 8, five grade 7s and one grade 5.
Were you pleased with your results?
There is no better feeling then achieving something you have worked so hard for! I was so pleased with my results. I am by no means academic and therefore putting in the hard work and determination just goes to prove that anyone can do it. I was not expecting to come out with the majority of my results being grade 7 and above. The feeling of opening my results was so overwhelming and my confidence has grown massively.
Were you well supported by your teachers in the lead up to your exams?
My teachers were honestly amazing – motivating me, challenging me and most of all, supporting me. They all went above and beyond to help me this year. They arranged one-to-one tuition slots, either after school or during their free periods, where we would focus on my individual and personal targets; we would try and perfect specific areas that were bringing my grades down. After our mock GCSEs, teachers also supplied each student with an exam paper breakdown, which split each section of the paper up and pin-pointed exactly where we lost most marks or gained the most marks. On top of this, we were supplied with revision files filled with past papers, revision packs, revision activities and links to useful revision YouTube videos. Our teachers really went out of their way to try and find methods to suit everyone’s needs to help them revise. Away from the academic support, I had a lot of extra support from other members of staff too. GCSEs are tough and overall Year 11 is a challenging year. However, King’s Ely has a learning support team who not only offer academic support but also help you find ways to deal with exam stress and pressure. The learning support department also teaches you how to approach your exam papers, which includes time management and exam techniques. As I’m Dyslexic, this was invaluable to me. I never felt I could not approach a teacher for help. Every single teacher was committed to supporting me in the best way possible and I really, really could not have done my GCSEs without them.
Why have you chosen to stay at King’s Ely for Sixth Form, and what are you most looking forward to?
I have chosen to stay at King’s Ely because I am so well supported by my teachers, both academically and pastorally. I am looking forward to Sixth Form as it is based in the Old Palace which is a beautiful building specifically for Sixth Formers.
What A Level subjects are you going to be studying and, if you know this yet, what sort of career are you hoping to pursue?
For my A Levels, I am taking Photography and Textiles. I am not exactly sure what my university or career choices will be yet but I am certain it will be within the Arts.
What extra-curricular and enrichment activities are you/have you been involved with at King’s Ely, and how do you feel this enhances your experience of school?
During the last academic year, I involved myself in lots of extra-curricular and enrichment activities to help take my mind off GCSEs. I played in the first team for Hockey and also took part in the King’s Ely Swimming team. I did Aerobics and Zumba on a Thursday, as well as Running Club some lunch times. I loved being part of the Drama production of ‘Grease’ and, very excitingly, I went to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer with the school’s King’s Company to perform ‘Ugly Youth’. I loved every minute of it!
In what ways do you think King’s Ely is different to other schools?
King’s Ely has an amazing sense of community. The House system enables students to mix with pupils in different year groups and Sport, Music and Drama also offer the chance for different year groups to interact. I never feel any sense of pressure from my teachers to achieve top grades. Of course, all teachers want every student to achieve the best they can but that doesn’t always mean straight 9s because some people find exams harder than others. This is one reason I love King’s Ely. My teachers never told me I could not achieve highly but they never pressured me to feel I had to get those top marks. They supported me, encouraged me and helped me to build the confidence to achieve highly.