Badminton School

Mollie (Upper Sixth)

The down-to-earth openness and quiet confidence
of the students that I met that day caught my attention

What first struck me about Badminton was the beauty of the campus and the warmth of the staff and students. I cannot overstate how welcomed I felt upon my first visit. With the rose bushes and majestic Northcote building, I remember the atmosphere being calm and intimate, despite Badminton’s central location in Bristol. 

… the mindset of Badminton students is to embrace opportunity
without being inhibited by fear of failure

An Upper Sixth student gave me a comprehensive tour of the School and I was impressed by her approachability and honesty as she gave me an insight into the opportunities that Badminton has to offer and her own experience entering in the Sixth Form. The down-to-earth openness and quiet confidence of the students that I met that day caught my attention and led me to aspire to be a part of this community. My first impression of Badminton was that of a school in which each student is valued, stretched, and empowered to make a difference to the School, local, and global community, whilst having fun and making friends along the way.

My first year of Badminton was filled with new activities, friends, and experiences. In the tight-knit, supportive community of the Sixth Form Centre and Boarding House, making friends was not a challenge, particularly as you get the chance to share a room in Lower Sixth. At the start of the year, I felt fully immersed and welcomed into Badminton Sixth Form. I remember the Waterfalls Walk in early September of Lower Sixth very fondly; an experience that brought me closer to my new classmates and sowed the seeds for my future D of E adventure…

I got the sense that the mindset of Badminton students is to embrace opportunity without being inhibited by the fear of failure. There are so many chances to put yourself out of your comfort zone and for me, this meant signing up to Gold D of E, despite having no prior D of E experience. The memories of my days in Dartmoor and the Brecon Beacons and the challenging expedition conditions will stay with me forever, along with the friendships we strengthened and life skills we learned.

I’d learned the importance of resilience and that it’s ok to ask for help

I was drawn to Badminton by the breadth of experiences and activities that are available in the Sixth Form. I loved having the chance to give back to the School and local community through initiatives such as Peer Mentoring and Horfield Readers; we volunteered to help pupils with their reading at Horfield Primary School. Participating in Medics, Law, and Science Research Club helped me explore and clarify my degree and career options and developed my confidence in delivering presentations and reading widely around my subjects. By the end of my first year at Badminton, I’d formed close friendships and grown in confidence both academically and personally. I’d learned the importance of resilience and that it’s ok to ask for help; your form tutor is your first point of call for academic and pastoral advice and always makes time for you. I felt ready to embark upon university applications and embrace the new opportunities and responsibilities of Upper Sixth.

The teaching is brilliant

One of my main reasons for joining Badminton Sixth Form was the opportunity to continue to study German at A-level, along with Biology, Chemistry and Maths. More than just exploring the German language, learning German has broadened my horizons and enriched my time at Badminton – I will never forget to win the interschool German debate and to deliver an assembly on German literature.

The teaching is brilliant; my challenging, interactive, and engaging lessons motivated me to select a degree course that encompasses each of my A-level subjects. Knowledgeable, approachable teachers coupled with small class sizes mean that we are always offered individual attention and support and are encouraged to articulate our own ideas. My enjoyment of the practical experiments that are integral to A-level Biology and Chemistry inspired me to join the Science Research Team to work towards completing a Gold CREST Award and apply for work experience in medical research.

I’ll look back fondly on evenings spent deliberating over our futures

After a long day, I look forward to spending time with my friends; mostly we venture out into Henleaze to visit a café, pick up some essential supplies and make the most of the evening sunlight. What I love about Badminton are the people. Forging friendships with and learning from my peers from across the world makes for a stimulating and inspiring environment to live and work in. We all have such diverse backgrounds that we each bring our own unique perspective to learning and living together. I’ll look back fondly on evenings spent deliberating over our futures and setting the world to rights over a cup of coffee.

When you need to let off a bit of steam, the sports facilities are open in the evening and last year I enjoyed being in the Netball and Basketball club. Playing and listening to music are also some of my favourite ways to spend my downtime at Badminton. As a member of the Orchestra, performing at St George’s was an unforgettable experience and I have brilliant memories of participating in The Sound of Music.

I plan to study Natural Sciences at university

I plan to study Natural Sciences at university ahead of a career in science research or medicine. I would love to travel and spend some time studying at a European university during my degree. My time at Badminton has inspired me to follow my interest in science beyond the A-level curriculum. Through Medics, Science Research and Law Club, I have been able to explore the wider issues of science and ethics in the context of society. This broader understanding led me to consider a future career in science communication.

The stimulating weekly Higher Education programme in Sixth Form opened my eyes to careers and opportunities that I had never previously contemplated – from engineering to journalism. Studying A-levels at Badminton has equipped me with essential skills in critical thinking, academic independence, collaboration, and presentation that I will be able to draw upon at university. Aside from our A-levels, Badminton Sixth Form is incredibly supportive in ensuring that each of us has the experience and ambition to reach our goals as we progress to the next stage in our education.

Badminton has given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone

My time at Badminton has given me the strength to be myself, the curiosity to continue learning throughout my life, the confidence to pursue my ambitions, and the motivation to give back and support others. At Badminton, I am constantly inspired by my peers and teachers and love being a member of a community that cares about the individuality of each student and draws upon our unique strengths and experiences. As a diverse body of students, our voice is valued and I feel I have learned to express my views, take a proactive role in improving the community, and aspire to make a difference. Badminton has given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone, embrace new challenges, risks, and opportunities, and adopt a more global mindset.

Badminton is also the place where I have had
the chance to make mistakes and try new things
just for the fun of it; we don’t take ourselves too seriously

What I’ve learned through living away from home has improved my independence and facilitated my transition to university. Yet Badminton is also the place where I have had the chance to make mistakes and try new things just for the fun of it; we don’t take ourselves too seriously. I will always carry with me the diversity, energy and determination that Badminton nurtures, along with lifelong friendships and the spirit of getting involved and caring for each other.


The location of Badminton in the lively, leafy heart of the city means that it’s easy to pop into Henleaze or down to Park Street and make the most of what Bristol has to offer. I’ve enjoyed attending public lectures held at the University of Bristol, studying at the Central Library, and volunteering at a local charity shop. Through programmes such as Science Outreach, Horfield Readers and Sports Leadership, Badminton has forged connections with local schools and I’ve valued feeling part of the surrounding community in Bristol.