Many of us are familiar with the Scarborough Scholar. The concept was developed with the College’s founding principles at heart: to provide a top class education for boys of the area who demonstrated obvious academic potential. It was almost 50 years ago when this philosophy was carried across to both boys and girls in the area. Years later, Scarborough College started its first Assisted Place scheme that we now know as the Scarborough Scholar; a Day or Boarding place awarded to a family from Scarborough or the surrounding areas with fees reduced by up to a full 100%.
What about real Scarborough Scholars? How did it go for them and how did their lives change? We decided to meet up with two Scarborough Scholars and ask them how they fared on the day, what their lasting impressions are, where they are now and how they see their futures after Scarborough Scholar.
Eve, a Scarborough Scholar in November 2017, is currently in Year 12. Rachel is in Year 13 and the current Head of School. She was the Scarborough Scholar in 2016 and entered in Year 10.
There are two things I remember most. One was how friendly everyone was. I was really impressed with how friendly the teachers were with the pupils. Everyone seemed to know each other and I really enjoyed it. Second was how nervous I was. I came in looking for a hockey scholarship and I fluffed almost every single shot. I couldn’t believe it. Each time I tried to hit it, I just missed it.
I was really fortunate to know quite a few children through the Stephen Joseph Theatre and we stuck together throughout the day. A lasting memory for me is how well prepared everyone else seemed. We’d been asked to bring our favourite book and I brought the Hunger Games. When I saw the others had brought Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens, I got a little worried. My dad had said just to be myself, which is what I did and which is why I brought the Hunger Games. I remember not being nervous for the tests but I hadn’t done any GCSEs either, so I had no idea. I enjoyed the creative writing piece and the interview with Mr Wilson the best. He asked me what I find most challenging. It was geography and it still is. I get lost during my driving lessons.
How did you find out you were the Scarborough Scholar?
It was quite funny. We got a phone call to go to the College and we all thought this was the second stage. Then the Headmaster sat us down, said congratulations and that was it. We weren’t expecting it at all.
I found out on my nephew’s birthday. We went out for a meal with the family and my dad had printed the email we’d received. We sat at the restaurant celebrating my nephew’s birthday, my dad showed me the email and I just cried. My nephew won’t let me live that down either; stealing his thunder.
Both of you decided to stay for the Sixth Form. Can you tell us why?
For the teachers. I knew who my teachers were going to be in the subjects that I wanted and I knew I wanted to carry on. They are great teachers and it was a pretty easy decision. The second reason was my hockey. If it hadn’t been for Covid, then I would have only played school hockey and my Performance hockey in Leeds. I have learnt a lot from hockey at school. I got to change my game from being a very defensive-minded centre back to a more attacking and all-round centre back. I knew I could carry on developing if I stayed on.
I always knew I was going to stay and do the IB, so long as my offer would carry forward. I had no idea what to do and so I knew A-Levels wasn’t the best option for me. I still applied for Scarborough Sixth Form, just in case. I was told I needed at least five A*s in my GCSEs and the rest As to keep the Scholarship offer. I wasn’t sure I would get that but it was good motivation nevertheless. I got nine A*s, so I guess it worked.
What about life after Scarborough College?
We recently had a visiting speaker from a company called Edge Health. They work in economics and health care, which are two areas I am interested in. After the talk, just before half term, I contacted the company and they said they did work experience. I am looking at doing a summer work experience in London with them, so I am really keen to see how that develops.
I have applied to read English Literature at Oxford University and at the same College as T.S. Eliot and J.R.R. Tolkien. Ever since I was young, I have wanted to be an actress but I also have to be realistic. Through my being accepted by the National Youth Theatre, I can keep acting as a very serious hobby. Actually, I wasn’t going to do English literature. My aunt is a magistrate and she said I’d make a good barrister, seeing as it’s 80 percent acting anyway. My dad, who’s a police officer, starting taking me to court and it looked really interesting. I took some time during lockdown to look into the academic demands; I did some free courses and lectures online and realised that I was going to be reading law all my life. So why start right now? English literature is what I love and I will do that first. I can then do a gap year and use my degree as a springboard to something else. I have enough time – I want to focus on something I love first.