Georgia | Streatham & Clapham High School

"The trauma of UCAS was surrounded with extensive support and a guiding hand whenever it was needed"

SCHS Pupil

‘First Year. Law. Durham’. These three statements quickly began to represent the limited questions asked of me during fresher’s week. For so long I had associated myself with Streatham; proudly labelling myself as a ‘Streatham girl’, and I felt myself unwillingly separated from this comfort zone. One year on, I have come to realise that I have never stopped being a ‘Streatham girl’. My time at SCHS was not a finite experience; the things that Streatham allowed me to experience, as well as the people that I met, have stayed with me. I have no doubt that being a ‘Streatham girl’ was the very thing that has allowed me to become a ‘Durham girl’.

I never felt as though I was being coached to get into university. The mentor system in Sixth Form and the program of speakers who came to talk to us had much subtler ways of giving us an insight into what to expect. Sixth Form was not simply a transitional period between the lower school and University; it was an experience within itself. I was given once in a lifetime opportunities; from travelling to China with the GDST to taking part in breaking a world record, I never had a dull moment. Similarly, the trauma of UCAS was surrounded with extensive support and a guiding hand whenever it was needed and yet I never felt hounded into ‘ticking the boxes’ in order to get a place at University.

Whilst the prospect of University was undoubtedly daunting, because of my time at Streatham it never seemed impossible. The opportunities and encouragement in Sixth Form to organise my own timetable and free-periods were complemented by being shown how to find a balance between working hard and playing hard. This has helped me to handle the copious amounts of seemingly free time my university timetable now affords me. With only six hours of lectures a week it could be tempting to become lethargic and underestimate the amount of private study that’s required. A key aid in structuring my day is the fervour with which I have thrown myself into societies and clubs such as the Mooting Society, Wine, Dine and Debate Society and the Law Society and the demands they have on my time. I feel certain it is easier to pick up extra-curricular activities as Streatham had always encouraged me to get involved with every aspect of school life.

Happily, this has also meant that I met a lot of people very quickly. Certainly Streatham’s ethos of interaction between years, and not pigeon-holing the type of student they admit, meant that I found it easier to relate to people from all walks of life. I found my future housemates quickly and felt at home in the community atmosphere created by the Durham collegiate system.

I will always reminisce nostalgically about my time spent at SCHS, in particular recalling the fun I had in Sixth Form. I have no regrets; the friends I made, I made for life and the wisdom of the staff will never be forgotten.

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