Meet the Head Girl & Deputy Head Girl
Our Head Girl, Ellie, and Deputy Head Girl, Jenny, share their experience of life at St Gabriel's, their leadership roles and their plans for the future.
When did you join St Gabriel’s?
Ellie: I started in the Nursery, when I was three years old, and I have honestly enjoyed every minute.
Jennifer: I joined St Gabriel’s in Year 3 and stayed for two years before leaving to live abroad. On our return to the UK, I re-joined St Gabriel's in Year 9. As much as I loved my other schools, I always felt St Gabriel’s was the best fit.
What are you studying at A level?
Ellie: Maths, Biology and History as well as Further Maths to AS level.
Jennifer: English Literature, History and Politics at A level. I also completed my EPQ in April.
What made you choose those subjects?
Ellie: It was a difficult choice as I liked all my subjects at GCSE. I love learning about the lives of people in the past as well as the events that have shaped the world so History was a given. I grew to enjoy Maths more and more throughout Year 11; originally, I was not confident, but as the year progressed, I could really see myself studying the subject at A level. I felt that these two subjects, partnered with Biology, gave me a wide variety of options for my future education as they cover both science and humanities.
Jennifer: English and History were by far my favourite subjects at GCSE. I have always found them both fascinating, and they pair very well together with lots of curricular overlap. I chose politics because I have always been interested in, but knew very little about, the subject. Taking it as my third A level was definitely a good decision, I am really enjoying it and it combines well with my other subjects, too.
Tell us about securing the role of Head Girl/Deputy Head Girl?
Ellie: I was really pleased when I found out that I was Head Girl. There have been 14 Head Girls since I have been at the school but I can only remember about four of them. I hope someone will remember me!
Jennifer: I applied for the role as I wanted to become more involved in the school. We were asked to write an application letter and had individual interviews with the Vice-Principal and Head of Sixth Form. The appointments were announced in the beginning of term assembly and we took over the roles right away, which was quite nerve-wracking as we had a lot to live up to following in the footsteps of Cosima and Charlotte, last year's Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl.
What duties will you be performing as Head Girl?
Ellie: My duties as Head Girl will be quite varied. I may be asked to do speeches at formal occasions or assemblies in the Junior and Senior Schools, be present at school events and interact with both pupils and parents.
Jennifer: We meet regularly with the Principal, Mr Smith, and Vice-Principal, Mrs Chapman, to discuss ideas we have for the school. We are starting a battery recycling drive in the Junior School as we are keen to introduce more sustainability across the coming year.
What qualities do you think are important to bring to the role?
Ellie: It is important for a Head Girl to be approachable, inclusive, ambitious and determined. On top of this, a Head Girl should be a good communicator and work well in a team, especially with the Deputy Head Girl. Luckily, Jenny and I are very good friends and work extremely well together so that is a great advantage.
Jennifer: I think that an open mind and a willingness to get involved are key to both roles, as you may well be asked to step outside your comfort zone. Being open to every opportunity will make the role far more enjoyable.
Do you have any particular hobbies or passions?
Ellie: I have been a competitive swimmer for over nine years, swimming at national standard for the last five. For four years I have been training for around 16 hours per week in High Wycombe. As you can imagine, this huge commitment has created many challenges, the biggest one being juggling school and swimming which has been immensely difficult. Although swimming has been an amazing experience and allowed me to achieve a lot, I have recently decided to take a break and focus on other priorities. Over the summer I am taking two courses to qualify as a swimming teacher; I am really looking forward to filling my free time with this new activity as it will be very rewarding to see how the children progress on their swimming journey.
Jennifer: I am a self-professed bookworm above all, which takes up the majority of my time and is what I would consider my true passion. My favourite book is 'The Secret History' by Donna Tartt and I am currently reading 'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley.
What would you say to anyone joining St Gabriel’s?
Ellie: Firstly, you have made a brilliant choice. St Gabriel’s is a school that not only focuses on allowing each student to fulfil their academic potential, but also on developing the person as a whole. You will come out of your journey through the school confident, hard-working, ambitious and ready to tackle the next step in your life, no matter what that may be. St Gabriel’s is more than just a school, it is a place for students to grow in a happy environment where both teachers and fellow students are friendly. If I could give one piece of advice to a student joining the school, it would be to never be afraid to ask for help; the teachers are extremely approachable and will happily answer any questions you may have.
Jennifer: Get involved with as much as possible. The school offers such a variety of activities and opportunities; there really is something for everyone no matter what you enjoy. I believe you will always appreciate the school more if you are an active part of it, so take advantage of everything that is on offer!
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Ellie: There are some teenagers who know what they want to do as a career and some that do not. I fall into the latter group! I do not currently have a plan beyond university but I am sure it will involve travel and a career. I do know, however, that I will work very hard to create the best possible life for myself and I am excited to see what the future holds.
Jennifer: After university, I always imagine myself becoming a teacher as having found my true passions at A level, I would really like to share them. If not a teacher, then maybe a writer or a journalist. I do not see myself ever leaving English Literature or History behind.