Staff and boarders respect and value each other.
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Andy, 18, from Moscow, joined the Sixth Form in September 2012. He was previously at a school in Reading.He decided to make the move because of Plymouth College’s reputation for A Level Economics and Business Studies.
Settling in quickly, Andy is now in the Upper Sixth and is a boarding prefect. Very focussed on his studies, he has a place at Kingston University to read International Business. He likes that fact that the school is in the city centre and enjoys going out with his friends, in particular Tsengel from Mongolia and Justus from Germany.
Andy enjoys mixed martial arts, football, gym and writing his blog on his life at Plymouth College – he has 5,000 followers!
Sarah, Year 11, joined Plymouth College in September 2014. She came to the school on the recommendation of her older brother, Matthew, who was already here.
As for anyone away from home for the first time, Sarah took a little while to settle in but says the staff and other boarders were really good and helped her a lot. She says that joining in with activities was a great way to get to know people. She shares a room with Isobel from Germany and her friendship group is now made up of both day and boarding pupils of various nationalities.
Sarah counts maths as her favourite subject and intends to stay for Sixth Form to do maths (of course!) and science at A Level. She would like to work in healthcare in the future and is going on the Medic Malawi trip this summer to gain some valuable work and life experience. The trip to Malawi will see students working alongside medics in clinics as well as helping to build facilities at a village school.
Away from the classroom, Sarah likes to join in with a game of basketball or badminton in the sports hall, particularly in the evenings when she has done her homework. She is also a talented musician and plays violin in the school orchestra. At weekends, going to the cinema, laser tag and clay art are favourite activities but she also really enjoys just chilling out in the boarding house with her friends.
Year 8 pupil, Max Symes, 13 from Germany, only came to Plymouth College for a term but has enjoyed it so much he is coming back for another! He chose Plymouth College after meeting Headmaster, Dr Wormleighton, in Munich.
Max, who shares a room with Oscar and Sean, both from England, said: “Of course I miss my family but boarding is really nice and I have made lots of friends. I am really keen on sailing and Plymouth is great for that. We had a fun day out on Dartmoor recently and I’ve been enjoying rugby and hockey. I am looking forward to playing cricket next term.”
Jonah, who is now in Year 11, joined Plymouth College when he was in Year 6. His father is a dentist in the Royal Navy and has had various postings in the UK and abroad during Jonah’s time at the school.
Older siblings, Olivia and Toby, were already boarding, making it much easier for him to settle in. “I was really excited about joining Plymouth College,” said Jonah. “Of course it helped having my brother and sister here but even so, I never really felt homesick. Boarding is normally from Year 7 upwards but there was another Year 6 boy here and we became really close friends.
“What I’ve always really liked about Plymouth College is that as it’s quite small, you really get to know everyone. The boarding staff are great and become an extended family – there is always someone to turn to.”
Jonah believes that boarding has really helped him become independent. “My parents noticed how independent I had become after my first year,” Jonah continued. “We have regular room inspections so I’ve learnt to tidy up after myself! When I finish school I come back to boarding, unpack my sports bag and put my washing in the laundry basket – it only takes a few minutes and my routine has become second nature. If I want to make a snack outside of the main meal times, I go to the boarding house kitchen and make it myself. I really enjoy being able to do that.
“Living in the boarding community has also really helped my social skills. We have boarders from all over the world and it’s great getting to know everyone. One of my friends, Simran, is from Bangladesh and when he first came I was able to help him with his English. Also, a Year 8 boy from a Forces family I know really well has just joined the school, so I have been helping him to settle in.”
Jonah’s favourite subjects are art and geography. He’s a keen sportsman and is in the 1st teams for rugby and hockey. He plans to do A Levels and go to university, before undertaking a career in the military.
With her family living in Kuwait, Lizzie came to the school as a boarder in Year 10. She became Head Girl and Head of House in boarding.
Lizzie said that lessons were dynamic and students often had the opportunity to lead practical sessions. After taking her exams, Lizzie took a gap year, in which she studied a TEFL course, travelled and undertook volunteering work.
Lizzie loved her time at Plymouth College and will always be incredibly passionate about the school. She settled really quickly into boarding because everyone made such a big effort to welcome her.
Her other passion is music and drama, passing BTEC Level 3 in Performing Arts and Grade 7 Singing. She performed in many school productions such as Les Miserables and Much Ado About Nothing, and choreographed Bugsy Malone for Year 9.
Simran, 14, from Bangladesh, joined the school in September 2013. The Year 9 pupil, who says maths and geography are his favourite subjects, has never lived away from home before but found it really easy to settle into the boarding house.
“Everyone was really welcoming,” said Simran. “I have made lots of friends and share a room with Peter from England. We enjoy playing rugby and football together. At the weekends there’s lots of activities like mountain biking and golf but it’s also nice being close to the city centre so we can go to the cinema.”
Staff and boarders respect and value each other.