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Adam Phillips (Divs, 2012)

"Moving to secondary school seemed quite a scary prospect but once I started at King Edward's it instantly became apparent what a nice place it was to come to every day. Getting to know my way around such a large site I discovered lots of new and interesting parts of the school, which made me realise what an exciting seven years I had awaiting me.

"Although my year group was made up of boys from a large range of primary schools, it surprised me how quickly I and everyone else made friends throughout the school. The teachers are so friendly and supportive, and seem genuinely dedicated to providing the best learning experience for us, both in and out of the classroom. They make lessons as enjoyable, but also as productive, as possible which really encourages us to try our best.

"I've really enjoyed the choice of such a large range of extra-curricular activities and believe everyone will find something of interest. As every boy who comes to this school is different, it gives everybody a chance to shine in something they enjoy doing, and also discover things you had never tried before. I've taken advantage of the excellent standard of music here and taken part in a variety of concerts, from informal lunchtime recitals to energetic Christmas concerts. As well as experiencing opportunities you may never get another chance at doing, the extra-curricular activities provide a great change from academic work, and often help you come back to it with a fresh and open mind.

"I don't think boys on assisted places come across as different to the rest of the pupils at KES, nor are they treated differently. However, I think they have an even greater sense of being proud of where they are and are therefore stood in good stead for making the very best of what they have been given. Whilst I feel a personal sense of responsibility for trying my best, it can only be a good thing. I am grateful for what I have been given, and try my best to take advantage of the opportunities available and make the most of them.

"KES has been terrific for me in so many ways, but if I had to name one thing in particular it would be the atmosphere amongst the boys and the teachers. It has been such a nice place to come to every day, knowing that everyone here is willing to help you achieve your best. Be it getting advice from a friend, or extra help from a teacher, the care and responsibility that everyone takes for each other is so supportive and encouraging.

"KES has encouraged me to aim for my absolute best and given me the incentive to pursue what I want. It's not just been a case of trying to get the highest grades, which of course is very important, but the way in which we are taught has inspired me to take a real interest in what we study.

"An assisted place is a great opportunity, which I am so pleased that I took. I can't emphasise how worthwhile it has been for me, so I can't recommend one enough.

"When I finish at KES I'm keen to explore something scientific, but there's a wide range of things I want to do, because I've found most things I've studied very interesting."