Summer is the time of the year when school graduates are celebrating their exam results and at the same time are preparing for a new and exciting stage in their life – their university studies. As graduates receive their A Level results, many use this time to reflect back on their time at school, and in how their school supported them in achieving their goals. We interviewed Miss Abbie Wood, a graduate of an independent school in Tetbury that is renowned for its high Added Value ranking, Westonbirt School, to share with us how her school added value to her experience beyond her academic studies.
What are your future plans?
I am going to study international relations at the University of Birmingham, with the aim to work for a charity such as Save the Children, or the Red Cross.
What do you think a school should be able to offer to a Sixth Former to enable them to succeed?
The atmosphere and relationships are the best things about my alma mater, Westonbirt School, as they create the perfect place to master the balance between work and downtime. The atmosphere, in my opinion, is the best thing about the school, as I have never experienced such a unique sense of togetherness and teamwork than I have at Westonbirt. Therefore, I would recommend Westonbirt sixth form because it gives everybody the opportunity to flourish in every aspect of their life, including personal development. The school moulds young people into courageous, respectful and forward-thinking members of society. If you decide to join the school, be yourself, and embrace every opportunity that arises, because the more you put in, the more rewarding the experience will be. There is a place for everyone at Westonbirt, as long as you throw yourself in as much as possible.
Why did you decide to join Westonbirt Sixth Form instead of attending any other school?
I decided to join Westonbirt School sixth form because it has a unique family atmosphere, and has supportive staff that I knew I could rely on in order to succeed in my A Levels. It has enabled me to feel comfortable in order to blossom into a confident and articulate individual, teaching me vital life skills so I can move on and pursue my chosen career. The small class sizes, and proactive teachers that are willing to go above and beyond for each individual. It also offers outstanding pastoral care which is vital in what can be a stressful two years in the lead up to exams. They kept an eye on all aspects of my academic life and were quick to respond if I reached out for extra support at any time. Personal support was also key, and helped me maintain a healthy and conducive attitude to sixth form life.
What skills have you gained at your school inside or outside the classroom?
I have gained self-assurance which is key in dealing with the pressures of the 21st century and furthered my academic ability. Westonbirt has also taught me the valuable lesson of being proactive in certain situations, something that I know will stand me in good stead in the workplace. My proudest achievement was becoming deputy head girl as it gave me the opportunity for my voice to be heard, but also to gain valuable diplomacy and leadership skills. I will miss the relationships I have formed over the years I have spent here, alongside the endless opportunities in an environment of security that Westonbrit has given me.