Pursuing a dream of the Royal Air Force

Theo Stickland has just begun an A-level course at Kings Bournemouth after previously studying at a state school in the area. Here, he reflects on being at a new type of school, and shares his exciting plans for the future.

Hi Theo. What subjects are you studying with us?

I would like a 4th A level after a disappointing end to my first two years of college where I didn't quite get the grades I wanted in my other subjects (Maths, Physics and Design). Geography is a subject I have always had an interest in, so I figured I’d give it a go for this year.

How would you describe your experience at Kings Bournemouth so far this term?

"I’ve really enjoyed it. I come from a state school so Kings is a different experience to what I’m used to, but I only have good things to say about the school. Everyone is kind and friendly and organised."

Have you adapted well to school life with social distancing, masks, etc.? Do you feel safe?

Yes, I feel safe due to there not being that many students at the school, and the fact that there are effective COVID precautions.

Have you joined any clubs or attended any activities yet? How were they?

I am in the Student Council and the UWS [United World Schools] fundraising committee. They are really fun and will be good for my CV/applications etc. It’s a great way to make friends and expand your social skills in a variety of ways.

Have you met many new friends? Where are they from?

Yes, they're from all over the world! Albania, Hong Kong, France, Mexico.

"There are students from the UK too, which is nice as you have a full spectrum of different cultures and social norms and it is really interesting to compare them — especially with doing Geography, I learn about real-world issues and it’s great to discuss this with people from so many backgrounds."

How is the experience of being in an international school? Have you studied in an international environment before?

No, I went to a state school before. It’s a very different experience but in a good way. I feel fortunate that I've got to experience both as I have many friends and memories associated with my education before Kings. An international environment is great fun though — as I mentioned before it has given me a new global perspective which I feel very lucky to have gained.

Are you planning on going to university next year? Which unis or subjects do you have in mind?

Ideally, I would like to join the RAF as an Officer but that is very competitive. I have a few universities in mind such as Manchester and Southampton and I would like to study Engineering of some kind. This is only a backup though, as joining the RAF is my dream.

Do you live locally? Or are you staying in a King's residence?

I stay at SPQ [St Peter’s Residence] 2 nights a week. I live about an hour and a quarter away from the college so most nights I’m at home. 90% of my lessons are in person but I attend the extra-curricular stuff as well as the last 10% of lessons via Microsoft Teams.

Would you recommend Kings Bournemouth to other students?

Yes — if you come from overseas or live in Bournemouth, I would recommend the school.

"I can say that the teaching quality is very high, the lessons are engaging and the school is well organised and clean. It has adapted well to COVID too. I look forward to the rest of my time here."