I felt like I could belong here
I started at Badminton in Year 9, but the first time I visited was for an Open Day the year before. Badminton was certainly very different: I’d never been to a campus school before (I’d always been at city schools, in Moscow and St Petersburg). I saw the school gate the grey walls and I realised that this was a campus school but that it was also in the city, and that made me really excited.
I remember going into the Sixth Form Centre for tea and seeing all the girls. It was break time, so everyone was switching classrooms and I saw the uniforms, and I actually got really excited about coming here because it gave me such a sense of community. It was the first time ever I’d seen that in a school. It made me really happy and it made me feel like I could belong here.
I felt like I was at home and I had a family
I remember lots of things from my first few years at Badminton. At the start of my first year here I wasn’t that child who was always homesick but I certainly did feel a little bit different. By the end of the year I had definitely settled in, because I felt like I’d found a new home. There was never a moment when I felt incongruous. I always felt that this was where I was supposed to be. I felt like I was at home and I had a family. I remember all of our trips: camping, going to Harry Potter World (one of the best things I’ve done. I love Harry Potter!) and visiting Cheltenham, Bath and Cardiff. I remember how much fun we had working together on our engineering project, and I particularly remember my Food and Nutrition lessons because they were by far the best lesson! I went on to study Food and Nutrition at GCSE and there were classes where we would just experiment with recipes and our teacher would let us try things out. I would say that it was my happy subject!
I studied French, History, Food and Nutrition and Art as my GCSE options in addition to my core subject. Currently I’m studying English Literature, Politics and History, and I also took French to AS Level. I love Humanities because of the freedom it gives you to do your own research in such a wide range of areas. History is full of stories, and I love Politics because it’s constantly changing, constantly different. You’re talking about and studying something which is happening right now, and to me that’s absolutely fascinating.
Bristol is always moving, always changing, and I love it
In my downtime I like to catch up on my work and go to the gym. I also really enjoy just spending time with my friends. We love heading into Henleaze or into town for a nice meal and to go to the cinema. It’s great to enjoy a really chilled out weekend and you get such a lot of freedom in the Sixth Form to go out and live your own in life. No one needs to tell you what you can and can’t do because there is a level of trust within the community that everyone is very loyal to. I love Bristol to bits and I think it’s a great city. When I reached the Sixth Form, I felt like a whole new world had opened in front of me because I realised that this fantastic city is in my hands and it was fascinating. I’ve seen amazing things like the crane dance performance, and I so much appreciate the diversity there is in Bristol, not only in terms of the people who live here but also in the different areas of the city. I’m so happy that I’ve been to a campus school that’s set within a stunning, vibrant city because it expands your opportunities. Bristol is always moving, always changing, and I love it.
You might think that boarding school is a
sheltered life, but not at Badminton.
I’m looking forward to going on to university to study History when I leave Badminton because I’m in love with the subject (hopefully I’ll get to take some Politics modules as well). I chose History because it’s such a versatile subject and it will give me the skills to work with people. I’m interested in the idea of working as a researcher for a Law firm, but I’m not looking that far ahead yet.
Whilst at Badminton, I’ve met people that I never want to lose touch with. They’re my family, because I grew up here, with them. I’ve learned everything I know here and it’s been a fantastic journey. You might think that boarding school is a sheltered life, but not at Badminton. I’ve learnt how to talk to people, how to be with people, how to be responsible, how to get on with things and get things done but also when to seek help. Badminton’s given me that healthy balance between needing help and support (because all of us do), but at the same time being independent and confident enough to be myself and go in the direction I want to go in.