Former Head Girl Eleanor K joined us in 2011, and left in 2016 with A-Levels (at A* and A grade) in English, Government & Politics, and History. From Reading University she achieved a BA in English Literature, and is now in the final stages of an MA in English, here we find out what’s next.
Did you know what career you wanted to follow when you were at Langley?
No! I knew I wanted to be in a job where I could be creative and wouldn’t be stuck behind a desk.
Which extra-curricular activities/societies/sports teams/trips were you involved in?
As Head Girl, I was responsible for interacting with different audiences, speaking publicly at events and behaving as a role model for my peers. I was also a Girls’ Ambassador, promoting gender equality throughout the school. My involvement in Debating included participating successfully in the Cambridge Union debate and, with Model UN, I worked on a project with local schools. I played for the netball 1st team in Sixth Form, and in rounders and hockey teams, and attended Easter tennis camp.
First Aid took me to competing in UK-wide competitions, coming second nationally and getting a qualification to be able to teach others. I attended the ‘Lessons from Auschwitz Project,’ visiting the camp itself, and I conducted a Remembrance service at school to share my experience with others. I went on two French Exchange Trips, visiting a family in Rouen. I also edited the school magazine and was a leader in the school labour party around election time.
When it came to Music and Drama I did anything and everything! I was a fairy in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ when I was in Year 9, I performed in every cabaret night while I was at the school and choreographed dance numbers too, I played Nancy in ‘Oliver’ when I was in Year 11, performed with the school choir at various events including the Christmas Carol Concert, and was a member of the Function Band at performed at a variety of school events.
Linking to the above, do you think these activities have helped you?
Every activity I participated in has helped to shape me in some way. Music and drama is my greatest passion and encourages my creativity. Model UN and debating made me a confident public speaker and has made me feel less nervous about teaching a class. Sports was great for my overall health and taught me to be competitive (in a good way!) and work hard to achieve success. Finally, being Head Girl taught me a lot about myself. It equipped me with the organisational skills that are necessary to be a teacher and showed me the inner workings of a school.
How did your career begin and what happened next?
My career began when I realised that I wanted to be a teacher. I had always wanted a job where I could inspire others and work creatively and actively and, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I had the skill set to pursue this career path. I applied for an unqualified English teacher position at a secondary school in London and after a zoom interview (due to Coronavirus) I got it! I will be doing my teacher training through the Assessment Only route and will achieve QTS status in two years.
I am currently in the middle of a two-week induction period, in which I’m learning about what makes a great teacher. I’m also finding out a lot about the school and I’ve had a wonderful first impression. The staff are incredibly friendly and welcoming, and they really care about teacher wellbeing. The students that I have met so far seem eager to learn, which is so exciting for me!
On reflection, did your time at Langley help inform your career choices?
Definitely! We had lots of careers events at the school, including Women in Business events, which got me thinking about what I may want to do in the future. The teachers were all incredibly supportive of the decisions that I made and offered me lots of advice and guidance.
What advice would you give to students currently considering joining Langley, their A Levels and career choices?
My advice would be to choose subjects that you truly enjoy. If you are interested in – and care about – what you are studying then you will put more effort in and, consequently, get better grades! Pick things that excite you and make you want to learn more outside the classroom. In terms of career choices, I would suggest that you don’t narrow things down too quickly. You should keep your options open and try out different things to see if they’re right for you! For example, I did two separate stints of work experience in marketing firms and hated it, therefore I knew that it wasn’t necessarily the right vocation for me.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
It would be impossible to narrow down my fondest memories as there are far too many, but what I would say to current students is ‘don’t take your time at Langley for granted!’ They were the happiest of years and I was so well looked after and supported at school. I was offered innumerable opportunities and took as many of them as I could without completely overloading myself! These were the most formative years of my life and have shaped me into the person I am today. I think perhaps my love of school is reflected in my decision to enter the teaching profession, because I want to try and give my future students the same experience that I had at Langley. I was encouraged to be bold and brave, I was constantly challenged and I was allowed creative, academic freedom. So, make the most of it!
Shout out to the English, History and Politics departments for giving me the subject knowledge to equip me for university. Also, shout out to everyone who has ever taught me at school for showing me what a great teacher looks like!