With a daily commute on top of schoolwork, extracurricular sports clubs and socialising with friends, SoGlos caught up with day girl Hope to discover what life is like for her as a Gloucestershire-based student at leading independent girls’ school, Malvern St James.
About the student – Hope, Year 10 at Malvern St James
Living in Gloucestershire, Hope catches the minibus to and from Malvern St James every day. She’s passionate about school life, as well as spending quality time with her family, and believes the commute is completely worth being at a school where she can thrive.
The Malvern St James minibus operates routes throughout Gloucestershire, making the independent girls’ school a good option for local families seeking an enriching education for their daughters.
Hope – you travel into school from Gloucestershire every day. What is your morning routine like?
I get on the Malvern St James minibus at 7.05am in the morning and I’m greeted by the friendly face of my minibus driver – she always welcomes us with a smile! The journey to school takes over an hour, as I am the first person on the bus.
I enjoy getting the bus because my class friends catch it too and I can talk and have a laugh with them before and after the school day. I get the bus every morning and evening as it is easy and accessible for me.
At the moment, the journey is a little different. We have to wear a face mask when we are on the bus and we each have a designated seat so we are socially distanced from each other. The minibus drivers deep clean the bus after each journey to ensure we are safe.
Describe a typical day at Malvern St James.
Having caught the bus to school, I arrive at 8.20am ready for form time, where we are informed on the school day or have assembly. I then have my first lesson, followed by a 20-minute break to catch up with friends, followed by two more lessons.
At lunch, I enjoy a fabulous meal followed by a break from classes. My favourite lunch of the week is always fish and chips, which we have every Friday.
We finish the school day with two more lessons and then we have prep or homework time to make sure we stay on top of our workload. We also have clubs and activities – I do lacrosse and hockey.
I catch the bus back home at 6.10pm and arrive home around 7pm. I rarely have homework to take back with me because we are given plenty of time throughout the week in the school day to get everything done. So, I can relax and enjoy a good night’s sleep ready for the next fun-filled day!
In your experience, what are the pros of being a day girl at Malvern St James?
In my opinion, the biggest advantage of being a day girl instead of boarding is still having family time, which I value. Otherwise, you can’t tell the difference between boarders and day girls during the day.
What sorts of extracurricular activities are available to you at school?
Extracurricular activities range from sports to music to arts – there is no shortage of activities that you can take part in. I really enjoy sport and take part in hockey and lacrosse team practice.
It’s really easy for me to participate in clubs and activities as they take place either at lunchtime or after lessons finish at 4.15pm, so I can always get the minibus home on time.
What made you – or your parents – choose Malvern St James over schools that might be closer to home?
The attitude to teaching and learning. There is never a boring lesson and all the teachers are enthusiastic about their specialist subjects and love to teach them.
The school supports us in both schoolwork and out of school activities, striving to give us all the best opportunities in life.
What advice would you give to other Gloucestershire girls thinking of coming to Malvern St James?
Do it, I love it! It’s really not that far and it’s worth it to be at a school you love. I manage to get everything done while I’m at school – lessons, homework and clubs. My parents also appreciate the fact that there is a minibus so they don’t have to drop off and collect.