The Power of Introverts
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The unique provision of our schools and the network which they are part of enables us to equip our girls with the skills, qualifications and confidence they need for adult life. I feel that this is especially true for our Sixth Form students, where being part of the GDST network offers exceptional opportunities which are not necessarily available in other schools. One of the ways in which this is demonstrated is through the exclusive prizes offered by the GDST for our most capable and tenacious girls. Prizes and other awards are often made in subject disciplines, or to support travel or development in other areas such essay writing and supporting a student’s studies at university. Applying for these prizes helps to build students competitive mindset as well as re-enforcing the need for rigour and a can-do attitude.
A few of the many awards offered are noted here. A full list of scholarships available to Sixth Formers, with closing dates, is available here.
The Frederica Lord University Scholarship - For Year 13 students pursuing a recognised course of academic study at one of the universities specified by the founder. The Frederica Lord University Scholarship was set up by Christopher Fildes in memory of his wife, Frederica Lord. Mr Fildes is an occasional adviser to the Trust and was for nine years a Trustee. The scholarship is tenable for three years and will support the holder in pursuing a recognised course of academic study and in making the most of university life and contributing to it.
Somerville and Gurney Awards - For Year 12 students, awarded for exceptional essay writing ability on a range of subjects. Students sit a two-and-a-quarter hour general essay exam paper. In 2018 Emerald McLaughlin performed exceptionally well in this highly contested and challenging award area, receiving a Highly Commended.
Travel scholarships are available for GDST Sixth Formers planning a Gap year or to travel before university. Historically, we have had many Blackheath students winning this award; here is a short excerpt from Saina Hydara’s report about her travels having been awarded this scholarship:
“In summer of 2016, I was given the honour of receiving a GDST Travel Scholarship. With this generous donation, I went to Morocco for five weeks, arriving on 27 June. Upon arrival, I immediately knew that I would learn and experience such a plethora of life changing experiences during my trip.
Before setting off, I first tried to think about what I wanted to get from my trip, other than a wonderful time away from the stress of exams, UCAS and some much-needed Vitamin D. I eventually came to two conclusions; I wanted to help alleviate the experience of those living in poverty or other forms of hardship but also to experience a culture that was simultaneously different to mine yet increasingly similar...”
I would encourage all Sixth Form students and also those who will be joining us in the next academic year to pursue the prizes which are available to them. Many are worth a significant amount on money and they are all fantastic opportunities through which students can showcase their talents.