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Our Academic Scholars - spotlight on Ned

As one of our Academic Scholars, we asked Upper Sixth Former and Head Boy Ned, who has been a student at St Benedict's since the age of 3, to describe the opportunities that an academic scholarship has provided him with, giving him the motivation to pursue his academic interests further.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a scholar as “a person who is highly educated or has an aptitude for study”. For me, this definition doesn’t paint the whole picture of what being an Academic Scholar at St Benedict’s is all about. I’d like to think that I’ve made a start on my journey to being highly educated, mostly due to the tireless work of Mr Sciniski, Mr Codrington, and all the other members of staff who have helped me enormously during my time here. But, more importantly, through my scholarship I have found and fostered a love of learning. It is this curiosity and desire to know more about the world around me that drives me in all that I do.

My passion for physics and maths didn’t exist when I joined the senior school back in year 7. If you’d have told a 12-year-old me that one day I’d be sat in a Further Maths class learning about complex numbers, I’m not sure if I’d have laughed or cried! But, after nearly 7 years of hard-work, commitment, and unending support from my teachers that is exactly what I am doing now, and I love it.

Ned W

However, none of this would have happened without the opportunities given to me as an Academic Scholar. Whether it be guest lectures by experts in Civil Engineering, Meteorology, and Medicine, or the fascinating philosophy workshops where I’ve learnt how to think critically and formulate my own ideas: I am so grateful for everything I’ve received during my time here.

Furthermore, I’d like to extend my thanks to Lord Patten. Through his generous scholarship grant, I have been able to learn a vital skill which hopefully will help me greatly in the future. My education in computer science stopped after year 8, and I’m ashamed to say I can barely use an Excel spreadsheet. But thanks to my scholarship grant, I was able to build a PC from scratch, learning about each component and its unique role, and learn the basics of coding with Python. It was during this process where I stumbled across the marvels of semiconductors. Each Central Processing Unit can have upwards of 10 billion of these microscopic transistors that are responsible for every calculation done inside your phone, laptop, car, and anything else with a computer. I further researched their properties on a course run by the “Engineering Development Trust”, where I became captivated by holes, the empty spaces where electrons could occupy, and their role in promoting a flow of charge. Without the generosity of Lord Patten none of this would have been possible.

Ned talking to younger pupils

Finally, I’d like to say a few words to my fellow scholars.

We are all incredibly lucky to not only go to such an outstanding school, but also to have access to the fantastic opportunities that we do through our scholarships. Please don’t take them for granted. Throw yourself into all your academic work, challenge yourself and take enjoyment out of pushing yourself to the limits of your capabilities. Don’t give up on a certain subject because you find it tricky, it’s overcoming these hurdles that make you into a hard-working, resilient person later in life. But most importantly; find something you love! Motivating yourself to do the extra work, can be tough, but it’s much easier if you’re doing what you enjoy. 

Tagged  Senior