Meet the Head Girl & Deputy Head Girl
Our Head Girl, Oluchi, and Deputy Head Girl, Lily, both joined St Gabriel's in Year 7. Emily, from the Marketing Department, took time to interview them to understand their experience of life at St Gabriel's, their leadership roles, and their plans for the future.
What is your favourite memory of your time at school so far?
Oluchi: There are so many amazing memories. My favourite would have to be the science song in Year 11. We did a rendition of "Don't stop me now" called "Don't drink the acid". Participating in the creation and execution was so much fun. I'm proud to say our entry won.
Lily: My favourite memory was the Parc Astérix trip in Year 8.
What are you studying at A level?
Oluchi: Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry.
Lily: I am studying History, Politics and Classics.
What made you choose these subjects?
Oluchi: I really enjoy Science; I love learning about the way things work and going deeper into the mechanics of different systems, particularly biochemical ones that play roles in the human body. For me, Mathematics has always been a favourite because there is something weirdly satisfying about trying to solve a problem 50 ways and finally getting the eureka moment three scribbled out pages later!
I plan to study Medicine at university, so my subjects are a perfect fit. I will admit that I did love all my GCSE subjects and letting go of some was quite sad.
Lily: I chose these subjects because I enjoy learning about the past and I enjoyed these subjects at GCSE.
Tell us about securing the role of Head Girl/Deputy Head Girl?
Oluchi: It was a two-step process. The first step was writing a formal application letter detailing what I thought would make a good Head Girl, why I would be the right fit and what the role would mean to me. After this, I attended an interview with Mrs Chapman and Mrs Trevis where I answered questions about what I wanted to do in the role and how I would make a positive impact. The interview was a bit nerve-racking as I did not know the specific questions that would be asked but, in the end, I just answered as naturally as possible demonstrating my dedication to the school and to the role.
Lily: To get the role of Deputy Head Girl, I had to write a letter to Mrs Chapman and Mrs Trevis explaining why I thought I would be a great fit. This was followed by an interview where I outlined what I hoped to achieve as Deputy Head Girl. I thought this process was very important, even though I was nervous, and was thrilled once I got the position.
What duties will you be performing as Head Girl/Deputy Head Girl?
Oluchi: As Head Girl, I will be attending many school events such as Open Morning and Speech Day, representing the student body to parents both prospective and those whose children already attend the school. Within the school, alongside Lily, I will be running the School Council and attending regular meetings with Mrs Chapman, acting as a mediator between the student community and the school leadership to ensure everyone's voice and opinions are heard.
Lily: As Deputy Head Girl, I will be meeting with many different people and attending Open Mornings along with other school events.
What are you excited about achieving as Head Girl/Deputy Head Girl?
Oluchi: Covid has meant that year groups have been very isolated, and the younger years especially have not experienced the vibrant St Gabriel's community. My main aim as Head Girl is to strengthen inter-year group relationships by meeting with year groups in a more informal setting and engaging them in activities, such as group discussions and team building activities. I would love to set up a support network, which would put pupils in contact with other students who have had a similar experience. I would also like to extend the number of end of term activities to include events such as themed quizzes within year groups or Houses to allow for friendly competition and boost pupil morale after a strange couple of years.
Lily: I am excited to get to meet the younger years as it has been difficult due to Covid. I would also love to plan more school events which would allow different years to socialise together and have fun.
What qualities do you think are important to bring to the role?
Oluchi: I think being a good team player is essential to the job. As Head Girl, you work with the Deputy Head Girl as well as the wider Prefect Team and Senior Management. Listening skills are also important; the role requires talking with lots of different groups, taking on board their ideas, understanding them and passing them on. Being able to listen well allows people to feel important to the conversation (which they are). Other attributes, such as being an approachable figure and good communication skills, are equally important.
Lily: I think it is essential that the Deputy Head Girl is approachable to the younger years, a team player and a good communicator.
Do you have any hobbies or passions?
Oluchi: I like creative writing (a long-time hobby of mine) and I am writing a fiction novel. I find it a relaxing thing to do and allows me a break from my very intense science-based subjects. I play the violin and participate in the Friday Judo Club, which is a great way to relieve any stress at the end of a busy week. I love debating/discussing topics, whether it be with my parents at home or in the Debating Club run by Mrs Archer. It is always fast-paced and engaging (also slightly daunting), requiring you to take a motion and prepare an argument to debate your side passionately. I love to take in the plethora of ideas around me and use them to refine my own views.
Lily: One of my hobbies is playing the piano even though I do not take grades. I also love listening to music, along with playing it, as it helps me relax.
What would you say to anyone joining St Gabriel’s?
Oluchi: Time really flies by when you are having fun. I remember joining the Senior School in Year 7, getting my first key fob, and finding my way around the school. Now I am planning my university choices and have less than three full terms left. I would advise anyone joining St Gabriel’s to take full advantage of all the opportunities offered to you and to strive to be the best you possibly can be. Work well in everything and be open, don't limit yourself to what it appears you are good at. The teachers are always available to help (and convince you to fall in love with their subject); do not be afraid to fail because they are there to support your progress. With all this said, you only pass through the Senior School once so enjoy the journey as much as possible.
Lily: My advice to someone who is joining St Gabriel's would be to take every opportunity they are given. There is so much on offer with a huge variety of activities, clubs and clinics, which are a great way to de-stress and meet new people. I would also say that the teachers are so supportive and encourage you with your studies.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Oluchi: Maybe with a scalpel in hand, carrying out life-saving brain surgery or sitting in a clinic diagnosing a condition. I have always wanted to study Medicine at university, not just because of my personal interests in the subject, but also to make a difference to the lives of many people.
Lily: In the future, I hope to be working in a job that I love hopefully doing something that relates to history as it is one of my favourite subjects.