New Sixth Form student Abigail describes her experience of joining Pangbourne College.

I joined Pangbourne in September 2022 at Lower Sixth into Illawarra and what an experience it has been! The marching is certainly a new experience, but you get used to it after a while as after practising it becomes second nature. I have loved getting involved in divisional events such as Div Music and various things to represent the house.

The socials are a fave – nothing can beat Domino’s pizza! A top tip that I have learnt is that as the days are very long, make sure you have lots of chocolate with you to keep your energy up, and manage your prep time well to make the most of each day…. Just think of the long Christmas and Summer holidays!

What I have learnt at Pangbourne is that academic work is very structured, as well as the whole school experience. That doesn’t mean strict, but make sure when you are in class or doing prep, you are focused, but when you have free time, make the most of it.

Pangbourne is very different to my old school as there are more co-curricular activities, but it also allows more freedom, especially in the Sixth Form. Chapel is also new to me, as I was only used to a couple of assemblies each week, and not singing many hymns. 

Pangbourne focuses on the individual achievements of each individual which definitely makes the person feel good. Relationships with teachers are definitely stronger in the Sixth Form, as we see each other more as equals. As one of my English teachers, Dr Harraway said, ‘I’ll work hard for you, if you work hard for me’, when mentioning not giving us an essay to write over Christmas. If we work flat out during the term, we can have a rest over the holidays, which is what it’s supposed to be for. 

Once I got used to the way Pangbourne works, I realised that it makes sense for me to do bigger preps, such as essays, on the weekend, and other prep such as exam questions or finishing notes in the week.

What surprised me the most at the start is that Pangbournians don’t carry bags around school to lessons, but now it makes sense as people board so they can keep stuff in their rooms. I love when we can leave early for Exeat weekend – extra sleep, yes please!

It was always going to be a big shock when joining a new school, but it feels like I have been at Pangbourne forever and now I can’t wait to get my A Levels over and done with! What I like about having three subjects, is that there is no subject or lesson that I wouldn’t want to go to, as I have chosen what I want to do.

This article first appeared in Pangbourne College's student magazine, 'Student Voice' in December 2022.


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