Transformative, inspirational and fun; just so much fun.” Jeevan Singh (C 16 -18), former Royal National Children’s Springboard Foundation (RNCSF) Scholar, is reflecting on his Bradfield experience as he approaches the final months of study for a degree in International Business at Leeds University. “Once you immerse yourself, you get lost in this world with almost endless potential.”

After already securing himself a job in the City of London to kickstart a post-graduate career in the business world, Jeevan eulogises about this time at Bradfield throughout our chat and keenly explains how his journey to and through the College enabled him to turn his life around.

HAVING SOMEONE SEE POTENTIAL IN ME MEANT SO MUCH.

Jeevan grew up in North London where he attended the outstanding Gladesmore Community School. He admits he wasn’t making the most of it as his behaviour inside and outside of the classroom held him back, but this all changed when his Assistant Head Teacher floated the idea of going to boarding school for his Sixth Form years. Jeevan explains that his motivation soared once the concept was fully explained to him, noting that he truly began focusing on his education as he became determined to earn a place at Bradfield.

“I mentally set aside the challenges of my socio-economic circumstances and decided that they would not dictate my life and my ability to take advantage of this opportunity.” Such was his desire to attend Bradfield that he didn’t even apply to any other colleges and he prepared extensively for his interview.

Asked about the impression that Jeevan made during that process, Andy Golding, Jeevan’s Housemaster in Army House, could see that he was ambitious, keen to make a change and likeable. “I wanted to give him the chance that I felt he deserved, I was delighted to recommend him for a place,” says Andy who knew instantly that Jeevan would be a great addition to the House.

Having the validation of his future Housemaster was ultimately very humbling for Jeevan. “Having someone see potential in me meant so much and I felt that I owed it to him to perform.”

Feeling ‘part of it’ was not an instant thing for Jeevan who explains that you can’t underestimate the radical change that is moving to Bradfield. “There was this long build-up then I got the grades and was in. The next thing I knew I was in West Berkshire smelling manure and living in Hogwarts.”

 

GOOSE SHOWED ME THAT I BELONGED. THE SHARED ENJOYMENT AND SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT WAS INCREDIBLE; A GREAT ICE-BREAKER.

 

Having never stayed away from home he was homesick and wondered whether he’d made the right decision, but the infamous Goose Weekend proved to be a turning point. It taught him what it meant to be part of a boarding house, the House spirit, the loyalty and the bond with your housemates. “Goose showed me that I belonged. The shared enjoyment and sense of achievement was incredible, [it was] a great icebreaker for the year and I was gutted that I only experienced two years of it.”

Whilst Bradfield has a policy of not formally naming its bursary recipients, Jeevan was very open about his status and felt he received more respect because the other boys were aware of it. “I think they were genuinely impressed and proud of me and my desire to make a change to my life. They also wanted me to achieve.”

It is fair to say that Jeevan fitted into House life well and Andy Golding was impressed by both his dynamism and ability to deal with the many challenges of moving into an alien environment. “The Army House boys took to

him and he quickly developed a tight circle of friends. His presence was refreshing in many ways and we all appreciated his different perspective.”

Bradfield aims to provide a home-away-from-home environment so in developing a new Bradfield family it is not to say that Jeevan became distanced from his own. Jeevan’s Mum is one of his biggest fans and motivators, she was delighted to see him start to take an interest in his education and was extremely supportive of his move to Bradfield.

She took great pleasure in dropping him off at College whenever possible. While the move was potentially quite an intimidating experience, Mr Golding always made the family feel totally at home. “He offered outstanding pastoral support throughout my time and, looking back, he was the male role model that I had been missing in my life.”

IT INSTILLED A MASSIVE CONFIDENCE WITHIN ME THAT IS STILL WITH ME TODAY.

More often than not Jeevan chose to board at weekends, something that in retrospect he appreciates even more. “The peacefulness of the countryside and all those amazing facilities at my disposal, gym, swimming pool and more, these things are just not as accessible in normal life.”

Asked about his best moment at Bradfield, the response was instantaneous “Becoming Head of House. It instilled a massive confidence within me that is still with me today and I felt incredibly proud to see my name on the House board.” More than that, he enjoyed being responsible for 53 boys, advocating for them publicly as well as helping them to confront private challenges, which he felt in an almost unique position to do by virtue of his background. “I felt that people found it easier to talk to me because they knew that I wouldn’t judge them.”

Choosing Head of House is not a decision that Andy Golding took lightly, Jeevan demonstrated that he really wanted the role, he had the respect of the boys and Andy knew that he could work with him. “Army House gave Jeevan the opportunity to shine and in return, he gave us his energy, positivity, and that invaluable sense of perspective.”

 

Bradfield certainly gave me the best possible grounding to allow me to achieve.

 

As Head of House, Jeevan had the opportunity to talk to prospective parents and pupils during our Saturday tours and the Headmaster often quotes a line from the former Army House boys’ tour speech during his own welcomes. “Bradfield hasn’t just taught me how to make a living; it has taught me how to make a difference.” I’m interested to know what difference Bradfield has made to him.

“It’s difficult not to be a product of your environment. It’s not that you put yourself in bad situations intentionally, but it’s impossible to avoid them. Coming to Bradfield meant that I didn’t encounter those issues. It gave me the opportunity to wipe my slate clean and re-write my narrative. Bradfield certainly gave me the best possible grounding to allow me to achieve.”

Jeevan believes that you must listen to your gut instinct. He wants to publish advice to share with other young people from similar backgrounds to give them confidence in their convictions. “I listened to my inner voice and decided to make a change, I want others to be able to make that step.”

Jeevan has a plan to go places and we are all behind him in his mission.

If you are interested in supporting pupils like Jeevan through their time at Bradfield, take a look at Bright Futures, our bursary campaign that supports transformative bursaries at Bradfield. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact Kirsty Perkinson on 0118 964 4846 or email development@bradfieldcollege.org.uk

Bright Futures Bursary Campaign