Last Year’s Year 13 Leavers
Girls who leave sixth form at HMSG go on to have wonderfully varied adventures. From gap years in Ghana to reading engineering at the University of Cambridge, our leavers are constantly surprising us with their drive to make a difference in the world. We recently caught up with just a few girls who left Year 13 last year.
Here are the notes they left us:
Reem is studying medicine at Bristol University
She said: “The city is amazing, I love it.
“It’s like a mini London, and I live a 10 minute walk away from everything.
“I was quite worried about living in halls with seven new people because I’ve never lived away from home, but we just clicked straight away and we’re all good friends now.
“It’s mixed accommodation, but I was used to being around boys because of the joint lessons we had at HMSG in Sixth Form. The mixed lessons and events were a really big factor in making sure we were prepared for university – as well as the quality of teaching.
“In fact, I went up into the attic at home to find my old biology notes from Miss Woodburn’s lessons to help me understand what we were learning at uni.
“She used to give us all this extra information we didn’t need for A levels, and now it’s helping me so much because I understand the concepts and thought processes behind what I’m learning. I’m so grateful she took the time to do that. I’ve been wanting to thank her – she’s given me such a good foundation.
“It’s only now we’re away from school that I appreciate the extra time and effort our teachers put in. I’m so happy I came here.
“My course at Bristol is brilliant. We’re in the lecture theatre from 9am to 5pm and we do so much practical work.
“In my second week we walked in and there was a whole human body on the table. At first I didn’t want to touch it, but I quickly realised you have to get hands-on to learn. Now I’m completely used to it.
“Each week is themed. If one week is about lower limbs, there’ll be so many legs lying around!
“The course is five years long. It’s a long time, but when you do GP placements or home visits throughout, you realise what a big difference you’re making to people’s lives even though you’re just a student.
“The main reason I wanted to come to Bristol is their Society, Health and Medicine unit. We discuss stigma around disability, ethics, how you can help people in terms of society – it adds a real human element to the course; it means you focus on whole person care.”
Ellena is studying psychology and philosophy at Oxford University
Ellena is studying psychology and philosophy at Oxford University’s St Edmund Hall
She said: “It’s very busy! I am set about three essays a week and I’m reading a lot of books.
“I love the city, there are always things to do. I go to lots of debates and talks, and it’s really nice to work in the university’s beautiful library.
“I’m also in the choir and have been doing some stage management for productions at The O’Reilly Theatre in Keble College. It’s really nice to experience life at another college.
“I’ve really enjoyed the social aspect of university. I’ve made really good friends; we have movie nights and help each other through late nights in the library. It helps that the work is very interesting.
“Taking four A levels at HMSG meant I was quite busy, so I was ready to take on a hefty workload. I was also involved in lots of extra-curricular activities at school – I did dance and theatre, sang in the choir, and was in the debating club. That definitely prepared me to multitask and balance things well.”
Jasmine has just returned from volunteering in Africa
Jasmine has just returned from Africa, where she volunteered at an orphanage for six weeks
She said: “It was hard work, but fun too. I was based in an orphanage on the outskirts of Tanzania, teaching maths and English to 3 to 5-year-olds. I went for the experience, and it was a really rewarding thing to do.
“I shared a room with eight people when I was there. I’d been to Africa before, but only with family.
“I think I really grew up a lot, I’m much more confident to do things by myself now.
“I’m travelling to New Zealand and Vietnam for three months soon and then going to university in Sussex to study social sciences.”
Jemima is studying German and Italian at Royal Holloway
She said: “It’s going really well – I couldn’t dream of being anywhere else.
“I’m in the dance society, competitions teams and the cheerleading squad. I loved dance at HMSG, and if I wasn’t able to carry on at university I wouldn’t be able to be there.
“Cheerleading can be very difficult, but I’ve made such good friends – we’re so close because we support each other through everything.”
Bethan is reading psychology at Bristol University
Bethan began reading psychology at Bristol University in September
She said: “The course is really good and definitely a new challenge. We do lab reports, which are big write-ups about experiments, and everything we do in the first year counts towards our degree.
“I’m in self-catered accommodation. Cooking for yourself is a massive change, but it’s really fun being independent and deciding what you’re going to eat and when.
“I live down by the river. My flatmate does psychology as well and I’ve got a big group of friends. I’ve adapted to life at university quickly and I’m really looking forward to going back after the Christmas holidays.
“The help I got with my UCAS application at HMSG was amazing. And my psychology lessons, which were joint lessons with the boys’ school, really helped to prepare me for university.
“I love being in Bristol. I would never want to be anywhere else now.”