“Being able to explore the opportunities Bradfield had to offer: the high quality of teaching, the time I had to develop friendships and the chance to take advantage of the first-class sporting and recreational facilities, that was the true impact of the bursary I received.”

Piers was already a pupil at the College prior to receiving bursary support after he and his family decided Bradfield could be a good option based on its growing reputation of providing a well-rounded experience and its proximity to the family home.

“I had applied for a scholarship and when I visited the College for the tests and to take a tour it seemed like a great place to learn. Everyone had their own interests but the underlying culture and ethos of Bradfield was genuinely positive and supportive making it an enjoyable place to be.

“Fundamentally, receiving the bursary later on meant that I was able to stay at the College, providing a layer of financial support that would not have been otherwise affordable.”

For me the best thing [about Bradfield] is the people. Everyone was friendly, willing to learn and, most importantly, supportive. Those factors made it a great place to be educated.

Piers Unsworth-Neil (D 08-13)

The former Dr Gray Exhibitioner’s hard working nature is something that has helped Piers go through university and into full-time employment and it is a trait that stood out to his teachers at Bradfield. His Leavers Yearbook Tutor comment states that ‘nobody works harder than Piers, his work ethic is admired and respected across the College’. Piers explains that his work ethic stemmed from his desire to seize the opportunity that was in front of him, both inside and outside of the classroom.

“I was enjoying what I was learning and that applied across the subjects that I had chosen for GCSE and A Levels and I knew the support was there when I needed it. On the co-curricular side, I enjoyed the variety as it helped keep me fresh for studying. I tried to put my energy into these wider co-curricular activities where possible and all of that helped develop wider skills such as teamwork, being competitive but demonstrating sportsmanship.”

Piers studied Maths, Economics and Geography at A Level, a combination he hoped to utilise at university. He praises the College’s help in discussing his best options as he began thinking about what to do next. In the end he went to the University of Manchester to study Business Management, with a specialism in Sustainability. “I thought would be interesting and put me in good stead for the future.”

After university, Piers joined a two-year graduate scheme with a UK financial services provider. He has since rolled off the scheme into a full-time role where continues to learn and build on the skills that he began to develop at school.

“My education helped shape the foundations of how I apply myself in my work. It taught me to work both hard and smart as well as the value focusing time on the important things. I have been studying for a professional qualification alongside my role, using similar tools and approaches I used at Bradfield. Additionally, on this graduate scheme I travelled across the country working and living in a few different cities so having the boarding experience and going through university made that transition easier.”

Having developed a robust approach to learning, understanding his strengths over key milestones like GCSEs and A Levels and being open about areas in which he could improve, Piers states that his education for life helped him identify areas which he needed to work on to close those gaps.

“These are the same types of challenges, decisions and considerations I had at university and now at work, just in different contexts. Bradfield provided an environment for me to continue to grow in self-confidence and so meeting new people, developing positive relationships and wider soft skills were all something I developed there.”

As he prepares to continue his development in the world of work, Piers has one final thought on where the College’s strengths lie.

“For me the best thing is the people. Everyone was friendly, willing to learn and, most importantly, supportive. Those factors made it a great place to be educated.”

Co-educational Independent School of the Year

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