Helen Bradley "exciting and original lessons"
I began Thomas Tallis as that sheltered and mild-mannered private schooled one that the Sixth Form always seems to be lumbered with every year. Bored with attending a small girls’ school for five years, I wanted to experience something bigger, more dynamic and less conservative in its ethos. I tell people I was attracted to Tallis because of its reputation in the arts, and whilst this was certainly a contributing factor, I think in all truthfulness, my decision was mainly based on the fact that several of my friends were already there.
My transition to Tallis was delivered with relative ease. I won’t deny I had initial reservations (let’s be honest, Tallis in its former physical state was pretty intimidating - someone referred to it once as a “concrete jungle held together with chewing-gum” and I think there is something to that), but thankfully these concerns were quickly dissolved. My time at Thomas Tallis was fantastic. I met some really great people (the kind that would later vote me “Most Likely to Marry a Royal”), and experienced countless exciting and original lessons (recording an audio class ensemble of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”, method acting in John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger” and borrowing texts on 17th century insanity to write history coursework, will be remembered for years.) Yet what most impressed me about Tallis was the encouragement I received from my teachers. From the first day I arrived, it was clear they were determined to develop my full potential. They made me see that the whole concept of “realistic goals” needed to be reassessed, and that essentially, with a steely determination (and a revision of my lazy approach to coursework) I could achieve results that I had thought were completely unreachable.
Since leaving Tallis in 2006, I went on to study history at the University of Leeds, and, after a year of work experience (and a brief hedonistic turn of painting in Florence), I returned to academia by studying a Masters in History at the University of Edinburgh. I have now completed this and (to the surprise of many, but not myself) am seriously considering a career in education. I am still in touch with several former teachers who continue to offer me guidance and encouragement on career life choices. I may not have married Prince William, but really, I think I’m ok with that.