Ambition: to study Medicine at university
The appeal of girls-only
‘I started here in the Nursery. My parents were sold on the idea of a single-sex education. They felt that there would be fewer distractions without boys and less stereotyping in subjects. They also liked the size of the school; it is much smaller than some of the other options in Edinburgh.
‘I’m happy they chose here. If I had been at a co-ed school, I’m not sure I would have gone down the science route. It is just not as common to see girls doing all the sciences as it is here. In my year there are lots of us studying the sciences and maths. Many girls are going into STEM subjects.
Subject choices and careers
‘Going into my Highers, I was all set to study Law. After a week’s work experience at a large Law firm in Edinburgh, which was organised for me, I decided this was not for me. I changed plans and got a week’s work experience at Border’s General Hospital which was brilliant, and it made my mind up to do medicine.
‘Fortunately, I had kept my subject choices broad at Higher and I was taking Chemistry, Physics, Maths, English and Chinese. This meant I could easily specialise in the sciences for my Advanced Highers. Doing GCSEs and then Highers and Advanced Highers set me up well. There is not a big jump between GCSEs and Highers and my science courses have all worked well together. The time management skills and my depth of knowledge from
having studied GCSEs stood me in good stead for my Highers.
‘It’s the overall ethos that makes the school stand out. Teachers take an interest in you personally. Some of my friends at other schools are in a year group of over 200 students; here I am one of just over 80. At a larger school, you are one of many; here you are an individual. In some of the larger schools, friends tell me that teachers lose interest in you if you are not going to get straight As as they have so many other students who are. Here they
don’t lose interest.
‘Teachers here really do care. If you are sitting on a grade B, they will do everything in their power to get you up to an A. Give it your all, and the school will give its all back. Work hard, have fun, and the school will get you where you want to be.
‘Make the most of the opportunities offered as they are limitless. Go to NASA and Chile, study Advanced Higher Mandarin, Greek and Latin. Run with as many opportunities as you can. Get involved in the musical productions, wardrobe and everything else.’