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What Will I Be in 20 Years' Time?

01 March 2019

Last September Miss Margaret Winfield, first Head of the Royal High School, joined us for our 20th anniversary assembly and told us about the many challenges that were overcome to create our wonderful school as it is today, and helped as us reflect on how much we have achieved in the 20 years that have passed since 1998.

Following on from this and linking to our ‘future’ theme this week, we have asked the girls to think about the next 20 years. So in Monday morning’s assembly the ‘What will I be in 20 years’ time?’ competition was launched inviting students to consider where and what they might be in 20 years’ time. With three fantastic careers-related experiences as prizes, students from across the school have been asked to submit their ideas in any medium of their choosing be it artwork, a poem, a piece of writing or a video. Entries will be allocated to the prize categories of STEM, Medical and Creative according to content. Winning entries will demonstrate creativity and passion!

Three alumnae, all of whom would have been sitting in assembly in the Sports Hall 20 years ago, have generously arranged the prizes whilst alumna Maxine Harle, Class of 2003, has kindly contributed £20 book vouchers to the Medical and STEM prizes. Following some sage advice for the students from Mrs Lu Scott, Head of Careers, each one of them joined us for Monday’s assembly, in their own way, to explain what they had arranged:

Alumna Chloë Somers, Class of 1999, is currently Director UK Research and Innovation USA and spoke to us from her office at the US Embassy in Washington. For the STEM prize Chloë has arranged tours of two world-leading laboratories; the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source and the Central Laser Facility near Oxford. The ISIS Neutron and Muon Source is a state-of-the-art research centre in materials science performing hundreds of experiments every year and leading to advances in engineering, medicine, clean energy, nanotechnology, archaeology and many other areas. The Central Laser Facility’s unique lasers are used to replicate extreme conditions only naturally found in space enabling scientists to look at the complex chemistry behind climate change, peering inside cells, developing new ways of producing clean energy, and improving the detection and treatment of cancers. CLF is also home to Vulcan, one of the most powerful lasers in the world. With the added opportunity of chatting to a female scientist about her career path this will be an opportunity not to be missed for anyone interested in any aspect of science and engineering. Chloë also explained how 20 years ago she had no idea what she wanted to do but found her way by following what interests her and told us she’d ‘made a point of taking every exciting opportunity offered.’

A more locally based alumna, Katie Binns, Class of 2001, joined us in person to tell us about the Medical prize she has generously offered. Katie is a GP and looks forward to welcoming the winner to her Shepton Mallet practice where they will enjoy an in depth tour behind the scenes experiencing a clinic, meeting the practice manager, spending time with the nurses and more. They will also visit the local community hospital and learn about community medicine spending time in the minor injuries and physio units. Katie herself always knew she wanted to be a medic and from her the winner will gain a broad career insight from applying to medical school to choosing from the wide range of career openings for Doctors.

Lastly, alumna Ellie Stidolph, Class of 2002, sent us a video message recorded backstage at the Brit Awards last week where she was working with one of her clients, this year’s presenter of the Brits, Jack Whitehall. Ellie is an acclaimed Fashion Stylist and looks forward to inviting our Creative winner to spend a day with her in London seeing her in action in her studio, accompanying her on appointments and visiting a TV show or shoot. Ellie had no idea what she wanted to do 20 years ago but will be delighted not only to give an insight into how she found her vocation, but also describe the experiences that have led her to finding success working to the highest standards all over the world dressing some incredible musicians, actors and private clients. Furthermore, as well as gaining knowledge of the creative side of Ellie’s world the winner learn about the business side too.

So whilst our leaders of tomorrow get their thinking hats on, a huge thank you to the alumnae supporting this initiative both with prizes and as judges. An enormous thank you too to the Friends of RHS who are so generously providing funding to cover the travel costs associated with the prizes.

Overall, I believe that this project will enable our students to further celebrate the 20th anniversary in a forward-looking, encouraging and inspiring way, whilst strengthening their links with our highly valued and impressive alumnae, and I hope that you agree.

All entries to Mrs Francesca Orr by Friday 26th April 2019.

Francesca Orr

Development and Alumnae Coordinator


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