Pupil Focus

Find out more about the busy and varied lives of our Senior School pupils.

 

Isabelle Matharu (Middle Fifth)

2017_ws_Strictly St Eds -465Isabelle Matharu is as much at home in the arts as she is the sciences, and as happy on the sports pitch as in the Chapel’s stalls.  Joining the dots of her various and numerous talents reveals the clear outline of Renaissance accomplishment.  She lends her voice to the Chapel and Chamber Choirs, as well as the a cappella group, yet her contributions to school life are not limited to such ethereal sounds: they extend also to the physicality of the sports pitch.  Isabelle represents the school in netball, hockey and rounders, enjoying each for the challenge it brings.  Outside of school, and when her busy schedule allows, Isabelle pursues her love of drawing and opera and is not averse, in true Renaissance fashion, to composing poetry.

Such an array of talents (and have we mentioned the study of GCSE French off-timetable?) means Isabelle has yet to decide on her Sixth Form subjects.  She is keen to maintain a balance between the arts and sciences and the possible choices of Mathematics, Chemistry, English and Drama would keep the productive tension between the academic camps, as well as doors open to university courses that would allow Isabelle the cerebral breadth she rightly holds so dear.

2017_ss_bioscience _matharuIsabelle’s wholehearted engagement with all aspects of school life is testament to her firmly held belief that life is about experience.  A narrow view, she argues, means missing the whole world.  It comes as no surprise, then, that what Isabelle considers of especial value at St Edmund’s is its cultural diversity, the perfect complement to its academic and extra-curricular breadth.

May 2017

William East

2016_ss_william_eastVice Captain William East is a pupil whose ambitions are given laser-like focus by rigorous discipline and organisation.  A highly successful fencer with Olympic aspirations, William knows the value of structuring his time to meet priorities.  Indeed, dealing with the cut and thrust of demands, parrying one to deal with another, is a skill he has derived from his swordplay.  It is, as he so insightfully puts it, a matter of either/or algorithms: choices cannot be sidestepped or priorities deferred without inviting the inevitable damaging implications.

William’s success is gauged easily: he has appeared numerous times on the international stage and last year made the top sixteen in a European circuit event, took third in the British Under-17s Championships and first in the Public Schools’ Championships at Crystal Palace – the first winner from Kent in approximately four decades.

What William enjoys about the sport – apart from abundant success – is the mental challenge.  Fencing demands of its participants timing, strategy and style, all of which make the sport a kind of physical chess in which the fencer, both in the action and observing it, is at once piece and player.

Fencing is such a part of William’s life – he has been on guard since the age of eight – that it is of no surprise that he brings to his academic studies the lessons of the piste.  The rigour and discipline of training have taught him that practice and effort are the alchemical means by which raw passion is transmuted into award-winning élan.  The sport has taught him to aim high too: a student of Art, Physics and Product Design, William has his eye on design in London, a career in which we are confident he will succeed, applying himself as he does in all things: to – what else? – the hilt!

August 2016

Since the time of writing William has now secured his place in the U20 GB squad and has already participated in his first World Cup competition. (October 2016)

Jacob Titterton, Upper Fifth

2016_ss_jacob_titterton_cinderellaJacob Titterton is an Upper Fifth pupil possessed of academic ambition and scholarly virtue, a cocktail made all the more potent by his irrepressible intellectual curiosity.  Keen to listen to others’ ideas, he is equally keen to express his own and it is of no surprise to those who know him that he has contributed to inter-House debates, where he has made a name for himself as a passionate and engaging speaker while wrestling – verbally! – with others.  This creativity has also found expression in school drama productions, such as ‘The Dream’, ‘Cinderella’, where he appeared as the notoriously prickly Brian the Hedgehog and, more recently, brandishing pistol, Irish accent and Shakespearean lines, ‘As Kill A King’.

Of great importance to Jacob, in and out of St Edmund’s, is music.  He is involved with the Chapel and Chamber Choirs, was recently awarded grade 8 ’cello (with distinction), and before that grade 6 piano, and plays in St Edmund’s Symphony Orchestra as well as the Kent County Youth Orchestra.  Jacob currently has his sights set on a career in music production, an ambition fuelled not only by his love of music but also by the attention his own compositions have received including several broadcasts on BBC Radio Kent’s Introducing show.

Jacob has yet to decide which A levels to pursue, but he is already thinking beyond them to either Guildhall or Goldsmiths, possible staging posts on his journey toward a dazzlingly creative future.

February 2016

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Bella Ford, Upper Sixth

2015_SS_PupilFocus_Bella Ford 2Bella Ford, School Captain, is certainly an excellent role model for any aspiring Lower Fifth pupil at St Edmund’s School Canterbury. Just as she herself was inspired by her predecessors in the role, Bella has proved to be someone to look up to, a real all rounder. Bright, courteous but fiercely determined, she leads the pupil and prefect body with vitality, charm and a clear loyalty to St Edmund’s. Bella is involved in all the major school activities, cultural, sporting and academic. A star for the hockey team, she is heavily involved in house activity too. Her fine voice is a regular feature in concerts, most recently delivering a sultry ‘Skyfall’ at the Michaelmas concert and energizing the house song for Watson house. Bella has the ability to sing all styles and is an experienced member of the School Chapel and Chamber Choirs.

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Bella is also a talented actor, playing the leading role in the Michaelmas production, ‘As Kill a King’, having been a key member of many productions over the years. Bella won a much sought after place in the National Youth Theatre in 2015. On a lighter note, she added glamour and gravitas as an effortlessly incisive judge on the Strictly St Edmund’s panel! Bella was also a key member of the Schools Challenge Quiz team in 2015 which reached the regional final, only narrowly beaten by Westminster School. A natural academic, Bella hopes to go on after school to study history at university and with A grade predictions, she is rightly aiming at a top five institution to read Ancient History.

November 2015

Alastair Feeney, Lower Sixth

2015_SS_FeeneyAlastair Feeney joined St Edmund’s as a very tall member of the Lower Fifth and made his name immediately as a mine of information as well as a leading intellect.  He rapidly established himself as the doyen of quiz teams both at school (Baker House are clear favourites to retain the trophy – again!) and in the National Schools Challenge competition.  Alastair, when a young Middle Fifth, led the team single-handedly to a close defeat against Sevenoaks and Westminster in the regional finals.  In 2015, and now even taller, Alastair captained the team this time to victory over Sevenoaks and to second position in the South East region, just behind Westminster, a remarkable achievement.

Alastair has also reached remarkable academic heights in recent times, coming second in the prestigious P. C. Vellacott Historical Essay Prize Competition run by Peterhouse College, Cambridge, alma mater of some very famous historians.  Alastair wrote about architecture and politics in Renaissance Italy, conducting his own research, which equips him well for his A level study of Jacobean drama, which is nothing if not Machiavellian in design.  In addition to English Literature, Alastair studies A levels in History and Spanish as well as Geography off timetable. The groves of academe are often swapped for the copses of East Kent when his duties as a sergeant in the School CCF extend to helping supervise overnight exercises.  An admirer of Laurie Lee, he nominated ‘Cider with Rosie’ as one of the most enjoyable books he has read.  He is formidably organised and a true gentleman, a courteous, modest and well respected member of a talented year group.  Alastair plans another assault on the scholastic front this year in entering an essay for the Robson Prize, administered by Trinity College, Cambridge.  He is returning to Florence this summer, the ideal place to sharpen his perspectives before setting his sights on a history degree at Cambridge, Edinburgh or St Andrews.

June 2015

Pip Bradley, Lower Sixth

Pip has just completed an outstanding Canoe journey for a charity to support injured or disabled ex-servicemen, raising nearly £9000 for The Poppy Factory in completing the Westminster to Devizes International Canoe Race, the second longest marathon event. Her 27 hours on the water has not put her off attempting the overnight version in future. Pip, who had already raised funds with cake sales at school with the help of two friends, is a formidable organiser. She has been at St Edmund’s since Year 6 and is now studying Biology, History, Photography and Philosophy for AS level.

Pip is active inside and outside school beyond her academic studies, a true all-rounder, being corporal in the CCF as well as assisting the form 5s with their reading and, not least, being goalkeeper for the 1st Netball team. At home, Pip is an active equestrian, owning two horses of her own (a Connemara and a miniature). She enjoys working at a local livery yard training and breaking in and her skills helped her qualify for the ‘Barrett’s Summer Showjumper of the Year’ where she came a very impressive 9th out of 32. Pip hopes to use her knowledge and hands on expertise to gain a degree from the Royal Agricultural College and then to complete a Diploma at The National Stud and, as she says, ‘see where all this leads me!’

May 2015

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Eleanor Booton, Upper Sixth
Eleanor as Peter Quince in 'The Dream'

Eleanor as Peta Quince in ‘The Dream’

Stage star, stalwart goalie and, not least, sterling academic, Eleanor Booton is an unmissable figure in St Edmund’s School, at the centre of events in and out of class.  Eleanor has a conditional offer for a place at Homerton College, Cambridge to read Classics, a formidable achievement for such a competitive course.  She is following, in addition to A levels in Theatre Studies, Classical Civilisation and English, a course in Latin at AS level, off timetable, and still found time earlier this year to present an Extended Project on the Sutton Hoo helmet.

No stranger to headgear, Eleanor is not infrequently seen in her goalkeeper’s helmet – launching herself fearlessly at hockey balls!  Eleanor is a superlative actress, too, starring in plays throughout her time at St Edmund’s, ranging from a mad Scottish Professor to Peta Quince in the School’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, from an uproarious Lady Bracknell in a vignette from Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest to, last December, a formidable Fairy Godmother in the School Musical, Cinderella.  Equally outrageously, she was the mother-in-law in a homegrown farce written by the upper sixth pupils, which was exceptionally well received.  Eleanor plays saxophone and sings in two school choirs, holds an All-Rounder Scholarship and distinguishes herself in a variety of roles, as a School Prefect, vice-captain for both her house and for the hockey team as well as being a Chapel Warden and Library Monitor.  In her spare time as amateur archaeologist she was thrilled to find a bit of Roman Wall in Faversham.

Eleanor is enterprising, enthusiastic and extraordinarily energetic. Above all, she is fun, a fantastic team player who takes part in all that school life offers, carrying her many talents with genuine modesty.

March 2015