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Facing the future with confidence

PUBLISHED: 10:06 22 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:55 20 February 2013

Facing the future with confidence

Facing the future with confidence

Former head girl Becky Banatvala credits her time at Ipswich High School with giving her the self assurance to take on the world

Former head girl Becky Banatvala credits her time at Ipswich High School with giving her the self assurance to take on the world




Six hundred words to describe eight years of my life! Where to start? I thought I could mention Ipswich High Schools academic record, the lessons spent exploring subjects in depth, but although the teaching is fantastic and the academic achievements are outstanding, it is not this that I miss most.
I miss the warmth. I miss water fights in the grounds, chatting with my friends, the Christmas pantomime starring our thespian teachers, the moments when you cant breathe for laughing.
And I think it is this happiness that has shaped me most and that best encapsulates Ipswich High.
When I arrived at Ipswich High I was a pudgy, insecure 11-year-old who would never speak up for fear of getting it wrong.
Eight years later I left full of confidence and with the grades I needed to start at Oxford University.
Last August I enjoyed a month in Mexico and Belize with a group from school, putting my Spanish into action. An incredible 32 days immersed in Mexican and Belizean culture; visiting local street markets, trekking through mountains, swimming in waterfalls and building an obstacle course for a scout camp.
As I sat in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Mexico, on a precarious lurching bus that was dodging cars and pedestrians, with the sound of music blasting from a man standing at the back advertising CDs, I thought about my confidence. Confidence to explore the world, to travel, to excel: because it takes a lot of confidence to achieve what you are capable of. This is what Ipswich High gives its pupils.




Now that Ive left Ipswich High I definitely intend to continue to take advantage of all that life can offer





One particular incident that struck me occurred when I was in year 11, when I travelled to London to take part in the GDST Crystal Public Speaking Competition.
After a frustrating journey with train delays and bus replacements in the pouring rain I arrived late, soaked and terrified. I honestly felt there was no chance I would be able to stand up in front of the packed hall and talk on my chosen topic Can breaking the law can ever be justified.
But I forced myself up on the podium and as soon as I began to talk I felt a real thrill. A room full of people were listening to what I had to say!
From that moment, I really began to relish the performance opportunities made available to us at Ipswich High, be it in theatre productions, performing the flute in concerts or through the responsibilities of being head girl, talking to parents on open mornings and giving assemblies. And now that Ive left Ipswich High I definitely intend to continue to take advantage of all that life can offer.
My dad always used to say how he liked Ipswich High with the fields of sheep that frame the long school drive up to Woolverstone Hall. I think that for him, it conveyed safety and security.
But dont let the pretty exterior fool you; the girls at Ipswich High are ready and raring to take on the world!

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