The Co-Curricular Programme forms a core part of the College experience, providing a platform for pupils to develop skills, experiences and self-reliance by pursuing their passions, being challenged and having the opportunity to try out new activities.

Here three of our senior pupils reveal why their Co-Curricular experiences have been so important.

I HAVE LEARNT TO CHALLENGE FEARS AND FEEL COMFORTABLE BEING WHO I AM. I HAVE BECOME A MORE DEDICATED INDIVIDUAL WHO KNOWS WHAT MY PASSIONS ARE, WHERE MY STRENGTHS LIE AND HOW TO HELP OTHERS IN THEIR PROGRESSION.

Elise Golding (K)

 

I used to be intimidated at the thought of singing or even speaking in public. My hands would shake and I’d feel like crying, even after speaking I’d feel suffocated or anxious about what I had just done.

By involving myself in Drama from the beginning, I have learnt to challenge these fears and feel comfortable being who I am, so that when I become someone else in a role I have no hesitations.

I started Music slightly later, when I went into Year 10, taking jazz lessons with a professional musician who taught me to sing what I feel and encouraged me to take risks. After a couple of shaky performances I learnt to use the flair I had acquired from Drama and become another character when I sang.

This does not mean I am not myself when I perform. If anything, by embracing the co-curricular offering, I have seen what I could be, and I strive to become that or better. That philosophy is applicable to all areas of my Bradfield life, whether it is enjoying the performing arts, studying in the classroom or competing on the sports pitch.

Before Bradfield, I considered myself a sprinter and a netball player and a football player to some degree… that very quickly changed. I started hockey and with the help of some excellent coaches I reached the 2ndXI. I am glad I continued my football, as I am now the proud Captain of the 1stXI and excited for the season ahead.

The great thing about the about the Co-Curricular Programme is that it is never really too late. Why not perform in a play in your last year at Bradfield? Why not take charge of House Song because you are passionate about doing well and improving as a collective? And why not use the skills you have learnt since your very first day at Bradfield to become an ambassador for a global charity, focusing on community and self-improvement?

What I have learnt about myself in this process is the need to find the right balance between co-curricular and academic studies. I have become a more organised person and, truthfully, I have become a more dedicated individual who knows what my passions are, where my strengths lie and how to help others in their progression.

NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT BRADFIELD’S CARE AND ATTENTION TO ALL THE SPORTS ON OFFER.

Christina cuming (M)

 

When I joined Bradfield I took the traditional major sports route, playing hockey, netball and tennis. I was happy to take part in the sports but knew that I would not be in the top teams.

That’s when I discovered target rifle shooting.

The first time I tried shooting in Faulkner’s I liked it but it was not a sport I thought about continuing with until I was in the Shell. As soon as I became part of the team that year I learned to love it.

The co-curricular offering at Bradfield allows you to flourish, but only if you are willing to put the effort in yourself.

I appreciated that with the right environment, coaching and support, I was able to keep improving.

We would not have enjoyed the successes we have had in the last few years without that top level teaching and the support of the staff.

I do not doubt that there are coaches of this quality across the other sports that Bradfield offers.

Shooting has taught me so much. I have learned how to handle responsibility and had the chance to teach and coach others.

The best thing about Shooting for me though has been the opportunities to compete abroad.

A year after touring Jersey, I enjoyed the incredible opportunity of representing Great Britain (The Athelings) on tour in Canada, shooting alongside some of the best shots in the world.

Competing among a group of 200 shooters, the vast majority of whom represent their senior national teams and included Commonwealth Games Gold medallists, and to be able to talk to them all day and learn new things the whole time was special.

None of this would have happened without Bradfield’s care and attention to all the sports on offer, not just the major ones.

When I started shooting I did not know where it would take me but I tried something new, and it is never too late to do something like that.

IT WILL BE BETTER TO LOOK BACK ON YOUR TIME AT BRADFIELD THINKING, ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE I DID THAT’, THAN TO LOOK BACK AND SAY ‘I WISH I HAD DONE THAT’.

James Taylor (A)

 

Cross Country running is not something that I had previously imagined doing but now it is one of my favourite pursuits which has provided me with countless lasting memories.

I did not fare well in the major sports; I did not like football and I stopped hockey after accidently hitting a friend in the face with my stick. All of which left me in a bit of a predicament as I did not know what sport to do.

It was at that point that I just felt like running. I cannot explain why but I felt it was what I wanted to do so I joined the Cross Country club.

My first run started off pretty well, or so I thought. Being new I had no idea how far along we had actually run and I assumed we had covered quite a distance before I realised it was just the warm up.

I thought to myself ‘what have I just signed up for? This cannot get any worse’. After what seemed like a good five miles my lungs felt like they had collapsed and I got lost.

Half an hour later the coach came running by to inform me that I had only run just shy of a mile.

This might not sound like the ideal start to a sport but for me, that mile was a great achievement.

From that mile, I would eventually manage to complete the Huxham Ten Mile Run in tie worthy time (sub 90 minutes) and go on to complete my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Bradfield offers so many co-curricular activities and when you feel like doing something new, you should just do it. Even if you think it will be hard you might find something you really enjoy.

You will benefit from trying different things, because it will be better to look back on your time at Bradfield thinking, ‘I can’t believe I did that’, than to look back andsay ‘I wish I had done that’.

Co-educational Independent School of the Year

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