Open Evening Speech by Year 12 student

I have been at the school since year 7 and am currently studying for A-levels in Chemistry, Maths, Biology and French as well as for an IB Ab Initio standard level qualification in Italian. In the coming months I will begin applying to Universities and hope to study Natural Sciences or Biochemistry.

Throughout my time at CCHS my interest in academia has been well nurtured and all the while I have definitely had a lot of fun. Some of the best memories from the past several years have included house events. There are now 5 houses at CCHS, each named after an influential woman in history. I’m part of Hepburn house, named after the actress Audrey Hepburn. There are plenty of house events each term, such as House Show in the summer, for which each form from years 7 to 10 put together a 10 minute condensed performance of a musical. I’m pleased to be able to say I have taken to the stage as both Danny from Grease in year 7 and Amber from Hairspray in year 8. Another house event that is particularly unique to CCHS is house cakes, which takes place on the school’s birthday each year and points are awarded for both the quality and quantity of cakes brought in by members of each house.

Aside from house events, something else I think CCHS does extremely well is the enrichment programme. Each academic year there are 5 enrichment days, and these have included spending a day with my English class writing a newspaper, a day learning languages such as Russian and Swedish, and going on an overnight trip to Bath in year 10, where we of course visited the Roman Baths and had a very informative tour of the city. On the subject of trips, in my time at CCHS I have seen groups travel to Beijing, Iceland and Russia, as well as Kampala, Uganda, where around 20 students every other year visit The Living Hope Orphanage, a school with which CCHS has worked closely for many years. Not every international visit is as long-haul as these examples however, just last week I was in Normandy accompanying the year 7 3-day visit for French, history and art (another enrichment activity). During our time there we looked at the Bayeux Tapestry for example and each of the girls bought and wrote a postcard and ordered an ice cream in French. In this way CCHS is excellent at providing its students with cultural enrichment and teaching them how to make to most of visits abroad.

As I have moved through the school I have increasingly become more grateful for the vast knowledge and passion that my teachers possess for their subjects. It isn’t unusual for students to go to see their teachers during lunchtimes to ask for help or for answers to questions beyond the curriculum. As well as the teachers, the students themselves are also keen to aid younger students in their subjects. Many students run societies open to younger years, examples of which include Dentistry and Medical societies, my personal favourite Biology and Chemistry society and even Arabic society.

CCHS has also opened me to subjects I would have never thought I’d enjoy as much as I did, such as Latin and more recently Italian. As I mentioned earlier, Italian is an IB Ab Initio certificate, which means I only started studying the language at the beginning of year 12 but will hopefully speak enough Italian to spend 5 days with my exchange’s family in Venice in October. I opted to take this course solely because I enjoyed French and the opportunity was offered to me, and turns out I really enjoy it. Some of my peers study Mandarin, which is the most popularly spoken language in the world but it is rare that students have the chance to study it. CCHS certainly goes above and beyond in terms of academic opportunities offered to its students.

More specifically to year 7, I remember feeling nervous about starting at secondary school; although being a relatively small school, CCHS was much bigger than my primary school. However, the school ensured that we settled in well, inviting us for welcome meetings with teachers and arranging hockey, netball and athletics sessions a few months before we were due to start where we met other girls and got to know each other. By the time September arrived I was really excited to get involved with CCHS life, and having spent 6 years here I can assure that I was right to have been.

My time at CCHS has been everything I could have hoped it would be, and with only just under a year left I can genuinely say that it is a great school in which I have had a lot of fun, been encouraged to reach my potential and do what I enjoy.