Ros was part of in the second intake of girls to study at Trinity’s co-ed Sixth Form and held a scholarship as well as a Whitgift Foundation bursary. She graduated in 2014 and has since started studying for a degree in Experimental Psychology at New College, Oxford. Here she talks about her experiences of Trinity and the support she received in getting to Oxford.
How would you describe your experience at Trinity?
It was a really really good experience. From my previous schools, there’s a real difference with regards to facilities, attention to detail and in the classes you get a lot more attention. There’s more of a push to achieve, and you are more inclined to push yourself to achieve because you see other students who are also achieving such high results.
What have been your highlights?
I enjoyed taking part in the shows. They were an opportunity to make friends with pupils from other years and spend time with people you might not otherwise meet. I was a background dancer and chorus singer in two shows. It’s not as much pressure, just fun – you do it for the fun!
I also really enjoyed our ‘skills and service’ time. For half the year you do a skill – I did pottery. For the other half of the year you’re allocated a role in the community. I went and helped out at Oasis Academy in Ashburton. I helped with literacy; it was great to see the pupils’ progress. Over the weeks I got to see one girl improve so much at writing and grammar, she was practising as well, that she really came to like doing it.
Have you got involved in any extra-curricular activities?
I did netball which I’d never played before - anyone could go to pre-season training. It was professional and strict but really good and we all improved! I was on the third team and we still got to play matches against other schools. The first team were near the top of their division, but the school organised friendly matches for us. If you were better you could just move up into the higher teams. It was really fun!
What have been your key achievements at Trinity?
I think probably my grades because I did quite well in both years and then got into Oxford which I don’t think would have happened if I had gone to any other school. I hadn’t really thought about Oxford before Trinity. The teachers encourage you to apply if they think you have a chance which was good for me, because I didn’t really want to apply – I was a bit too scared! I thought there’s no way I was going to get an interview, then I thought – there’s no way I’m going to get an offer, and then when I got an offer I was really surprised.
What do you think sets Trinity apart from other schools in the area?
It has a strong community spirit. Everybody at Trinity loves Trinity and everyone’s proud to be here. You see all the boys looking really smart – they’re not embarrassed to go to Trinity, on the contrary. It’s high achieving, has great facilities, great music - great everything!
How have the Teachers helped you?
I was inspired to study Experimental Psychology at Oxford by my psychology teacher, who was so good. She was so inspiring that my best friend and I are both studying Psychology at University. We loved her! Other teachers would help by giving us sample essays and it was hard to believe the standard.
How do you think your education at Trinity has shaped your future?
Obviously going to Oxford is a big deal for me. I don’t think I would have achieved that if I hadn’t had the push, the teaching, the drive or grades that I got from going to Trinity.
In what way has bursary support from The Whitgift Foundation helped you?
Well I wouldn’t have gone to Trinity if it had not been for a Whitgift Foundation bursary. I did apply for other private schools in Croydon but there was no way I could ever have gone there because of the fees. Trinity helped so much with my education and getting to Oxford. Originally my parents were against me going. It wasn’t until my Dad realised that the bursary was such a help that he actually turned his views around completely from saying absolutely no to a definite yes. My parents now always talk about how great Trinity and The Whitgift Foundation are for helping me. My dad is now the number one supporter of both.
What advice would you give to someone who was looking at sixth forms?
Definitely apply to Trinity. Especially if you need financial support, there’s so much help they can give you. Trinity really works to your needs; if the school wants you to come then they’ll make sure you can come.
What are your plans for the future?
I don’t have any exact plans for after university. I’m quite arty so I’d be interested in advertising and media. At the moment I’m really open minded.
Final words on Trinity?
It’s so happy, friendly and fun but also hard work!