"My first half term has been incredible" (Sebastian)

I found my first half term to be extremely fun and successful. The most important thing for me was the fact that the fear of being the “new kid” never happened, since from the very first day I was welcomed into a group of friends who are nice and caring. The fact that Emanuel school is such a friendly place allows new students like me to settle in very quickly.

Another thing that made my first half term successful was the amount of progress I have made in my subjects. I started off being very skeptical about how I would do academically in a new school, and although I started the term off roughly, I have since had many successes. This is due to the incredible teachers that are here at Emanuel. They are all extremely helpful and knowledgeable and always help if a student is stuck or doesn’t quite understand what they are learning. 

    So overall, my first half term has been incredible. I’ve met some amazing people, developed academically and really found my place at this wonderful school. 

"One of the best decisions I've made" (Harry)

Before the year started, I had the feeling that joining Emanuel at Sixth Form would be tough, but I have never been so mistaken. Coming from a smaller school I thought there was going to be a huge step up, especially from the social aspect of school life, however all the staff and students have been very helpful and friendly. Within a week or two it felt like I had been at Emanuel for months.

For me, getting involved with the rugby squad has really helped because I have been able to meet people outside of my classes and form. There are also other co-curricular options available from Music to Art to Drama as well as a whole range of sports to choose from.

    I think moving to Emanuel has been one of the best decisions I’ve made, and I can’t wait to take on new challenges throughout my time here in the Sixth Form.

"A surprisingly smooth move" (Emily)

Having come from an all-girls school, the move to Emanuel seemed exciting yet rather daunting. Like most other students joining a new school, I felt anxious that it would be hard to find my feet socially among people who had known each other for years. These feelings quickly dissipated within the first week of starting Emanuel.

    From the very start everyone, including teachers, made an effort to make me feel included and welcomed.

The teachers don’t hesitate to offer their advice on topics or general school life, which feels comforting as it has formed a good student teacher relationship, therefore I never hesitate to raise any concerns that I may have.

It is common knowledge that the leap from GCSE to A Level is difficult, but the teaching staff make it as straight forward as possible, offering various after-school help clubs and opportunities for further support if required.

I have also attended netball squad sessions after school, and would usually participate in weekly matches if it weren’t for the pandemic. Joining a team sport offers great social opportunities, and I strongly recommend taking one up. Alternatively, there are plenty of other extra-curricular activities to participate and the facilities that the school has are incredible.

Overall, I would say that my move to Emanuel has not only been surprisingly smooth but also very enjoyable and is a choice that I would thoroughly recommend.

'The perfect school for me' (Charles)

Having attended an all boys’ schools from the age of eight, at first attending Emanuel seemed both daunting but exciting.

I remember the feeling of nervousness as I approached the school’s entrance. What was going to happen? Where was I supposed to go? These are all questions that were running through my mind on my first day, but I needn’t have been nervous at all. From the first day, both the students and staff were incredibly friendly. They were happy to answer any questions that I had and show me around all the different parts of the school. This made settling into Emanuel and making new friends much easier.

I am now approaching the end of my first half term at Emanuel and feel very settled, with a lot of new friends as well as many new opportunities for me to enjoy. The teachers are very supportive and passionate about the subjects they teach, which makes the lessons enjoyable, challenging and interesting.

    It is a great luxury to know that if you are ever struggling with a subject, your teacher or form tutor will always make time to help you in every way they can.

Since attending Emanuel I have also taken up a new sport in rugby – something that I am now able to look forward to each week. Playing in the rugby team has also been a great way to socialise and make new friends, including those in the year above who have been able to advise me on how to make the most of my time in Lower Sixth. I have also taken part in the Primary Ambitions project in which I have been teaching gymnastics to primary school children. This has been both a very enjoyable and rewarding experience that I am sure I will look back on with only fond memories.

I feel that despite the relatively small amount of time I have attended Emanuel so far, I have already learned a lot of new things that I may not have learned elsewhere. These new skills will benefit me in whatever future path I choose to venture into after Emanuel.

I am greatly enjoying my time at Emanuel and am very pleased that I chose to attend Sixth Form here, as it is the perfect school for me.

'An amazing community' (Lucy)

Starting at Emanuel was originally incredibly daunting. Coming from a small girls’ school I was worried about the big transition, but within days my nerves disappeared.

The staff were beyond welcoming and so many students were incredibly friendly. Within days I already knew my way around thanks to the help of my classmates and within weeks made great friends across the year group. Activities such as the netball squad, senior play, musical and the epic integration party for the whole Sixth Form gave so much opportunity to meet new people and form great friendships.

    Overall, I have, like all the people who have joined this year, had a great start to my school career at Emanuel and look forward to all the exciting opportunities this amazing community will present to us all in the future.

'An extraordinary experience' (Leo)

Having studied at the French Lyçée for twelve years, moving to Emanuel School was a huge shift for me, both culturally and academically.

From my very first day at Emanuel, I realised what an extraordinary experience this school was going to be for me. I felt a flood of companionship with fellow students as well as teachers and staff members. In a matter of days I had already formed friends that I am certain I will keep for life.

    From day one the school has enabled me to unlock skills that have previously been unchallenged.

I am currently taking Drama, French and Spanish as my three A level subjects, as well as an EPQ project. My main motivation for moving to Emanuel was the outstanding Drama department, which continues to impress me every day as I move forwards in my training as a student. However, I enjoy all my subjects equally, which is clearly owed to my teachers – my Spanish teachers manage to even make preterite verb endings amusing.

My most loved subject, however, is my EPQ project which is a performance. I have chosen to adapt and translate the script from the French film Le Scaphandre et le Papillon by Julian Schnabel in order to perform it on stage. The aim of the performance is to pose the question “whether non-verbal communication is more important than dialogue, in order to convey characters’ emotions within the structure of a play”. This project would not have been possible to prepare if it weren’t for Emanuel’s exceptional facilities in Drama and Tech.

Now, having spent many weeks rowing during Games sessions on Wednesdays (and eating fish and chips on Fridays), I realise that I am the happiest I’ve ever been in and outside of school, and I owe this to Emanuel.

'An ever-growing family' (Erica)

Having come from a state Catholic Girls’ school, joining Emanuel has been an eye opener for me.

Entering the big open gates and crossing over the bridge to unchartered territory as a drama scholar, I wondered what was waiting for me. Hogwarts meets High School Musical, or something more severe maybe?

Many people say moving to a new school for sixth form can be tough; settling into an environment of teachers and students who have already spent six years together. I needn’t have worried. In a matter of days, thanks to incredibly supportive friends and teachers, I knew my way round (just about!) and had built strong friendships within a matter of weeks.

    Within months, I had settled in and felt part of an ever-growing family with opportunities I would have only dreamed of at my old school.

The immense amount of support, care and dedication given to students builds the foundation for a growing passion for the History, English and Drama subjects I had chosen for A level. I know, if I ever have a problem, my form tutor and my subject teachers would welcome me with open arms and willingly help.

Within months, I had settled in and felt part of an ever-growing family with opportunities I would have only dreamed of at my old school. From volunteering at a local primary school, to participating in the musical ‘Made in Dagenham’, taking part in scholar events and even running our own Year 10 play ‘Heritage’.

I feel I have already grown as a person, learning new topics and life skills that will aid me in entering the world of work as an adult.

In the future, I know I’ll look back at my time at Emanuel (sadly for only two years) with fond memories and of my best friends and teachers, and know that it was the perfect choice for me.

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