Matilda Crafter, Head Girl

Hello everyone, I am Matilda Crafter and I am the Head Girl at Biddenham International School and Sports College. Welcome to our school Open Evening. I am going to explain why Biddenham is not like other schools, and why this is a special place to be.

I entered this school in year 8 and out of the whole school year I knew one person. To say that the transition process was daunting was an understatement, especially since I was a person who was rather introverted and who found the idea of beginning a conversation terrifying. However, it turns out I did not have to worry. On my first day I was sitting on my own, on the floor, texting my mum and feeling quite scared when a student in my class came over to me and invited me to eat lunch with her and her friends. That one small act of kindness was truly inspiring. Once I was established into a kind, comforting group, I found that I had much more confidence and it has only grown with time and with the support given at Biddenham. Biddenham is not just a school, it is a home for even the shyest students. If it had not been for Biddenham’s teachings about friendship and compassion and the kindness of my first friend at this school, I do not think I would have found the confidence to be Head Girl today. Starting secondary school can be a daunting process but I hope this story made you feel better about the kind of school you will be entering if you choose to come to Biddenham.

Over my six years here I have come to realise that Biddenham is a place where many students become the teachers because they simply do not want to leave, and the teachers are people who truly care that the students complete their work to the best of their ability. They nurture and they make a lot of effort to ensure that every student gets their chance at a great education. I cannot stress enough how much these teachers have helped me and built my confidence around a subject. For example, when I came here my Maths grade was at a ‘D’ and by the time I finished my GCSEs I had a ‘6’ which is the equivalent of a high ‘B’, or as I like to put it, almost an ‘A’!

However, the perks of Biddenham do not stop there. One of the best things about our school is its extra-curricular activities. Biddenham offers loads of clubs throughout the year, these span from rounders, rugby and futsal, to more arts-based clubs such as choir, Dance company and Drama club. As I gained confidence at school I found myself going to many of these clubs. I remember coming home one day and telling my sister that I was going to be in a netball tournament and… I cannot even describe the shock I saw on her face. Before joining the school, I had not been a person who joined in with sports, at all. This just shows the inclusivity that Biddenham has, with many of these sports I had no idea what the rules were or how to play but the staff and the students took the time to talk me through everything without judgement. I truly think simple acts of kindness such as these helped me become a more spirited person who enjoys joining in and working as a team.

Biddenham is a school that I truly care about. Along with Matt, the Head Boy, other members of the prefect team and the sixth form, we support students through mentoring schemes, do activities to raise money for charity, contribute to the school through the Student Forum, which is open for all year groups. No matter what your age, there is always something for you to do at Biddenham, like creating pieces for our school magazine. I hope that when you come to Biddenham, note that I did not say ‘if’, I said ‘when’, you will love it just as much as I do.