Message from the Head Girl and Head Boy

Florrie Antoniou

I look back on my arrival at Tring Park as a huge step in my personal development and, more particularly, my training in Performing Arts. From the moment I learned about Tring, I had no doubt that it would be the perfect place for me, but had no idea quite how much it would exceed my expectations. 

I arrived, somewhat nervous and excited about what lay ahead, but had no time to allow anxiety to grow as I was immediately thrown into the wonderful maelstrom that is life at Tring. Auditions for choirs began almost as soon as my bags were unpacked and this was a forerunner to what would follow. A life of hard work and even harder play. Academic obligations followed by vocational training followed by auditions, rehearsals and performances. Not a second to be homesick!

One of the huge joys of life at Tring has been the feeling of family that exists throughout the school. Other schools I have attended have a very definite hierarchy where years would not mix and courses would not interact. Here, we live together and work together, sharing our failures and successes and supporting each other wherever we are able. Staff and pupils alike are there to encourage and assist in all our endeavours. There is great pride in all that we achieve as a school and as individuals.

At Tring, we are not just about vocational ambitions. Academic success is just as important, which is clearly demonstrated by our A level and GCSE results. Tring also enables you to have opportunities you could only dream of. I have been lucky enough to travel to Java with Tring completing a World Challenge Expedition where we joined a community in educating them on environmental pollution issues; performed with them and achieved personal challenges such as climbing volcanoes and managing budgets. This academic year I will be travelling to Singapore to perform and introduce Tring Park to the Singaporean community.

My previous schools had been highly sporty and it was taken most seriously. My first Sports Day at Tring was a complete revelation to me with pointe shoe throwing competitions and dance opening numbers being the order of the day. Not what I had been used to but a wonderful and refreshing change. All courses undertake dance training and fitness to help mould you into a well-rounded performer as well as focusing on your chosen vocation. No matter what course you are on there are opportunities to do extra singing, dancing and acting. Every corner you turn you witness a snippet of top-class performance. If you were to start singing in the corridor you would quickly hear an entourage of angelic harmonies; yes, it is exactly like a scene from High School Musical or Fame.

The most important thing about your time at Tring is to take every opportunity which presents itself. As you can see, there are many. The time is flying by and I cannot believe that I am already entering my final year here. I will make sure that I treasure every last performance and show in which I am involved as I know it will be over only too quickly. I recommend that you do too!

 

Louis Swanepoel

As I race into my 5th year at Tring Park I feel truly honoured to take on the responsibility of Head Boy. It feels strange writing that as, conventionally, I was never the type of person who would enjoy school. Before my time at Tring I spent more time standing outside the class than in and the only part of school that interested me was the shrill sound of the bell to go home. Upon arriving at Tring my inside narrative had the attitude of the children from Nanny McFee about getting a new nanny – “I’ll get rid of this one too!” Little did I know I was going to be proven wrong. I don’t know whether it was the hectic 8 hour day, the friendly teachers or the joyous atmosphere that the school is drenched in, but after a matter of days I was a part of the tapestry and completely at home. I spent a year on the Theatre Arts course before spending two years on the Performance Foundation course. These three years of a young person's life are of utmost importance, with GCSEs looming and a sudden realisation of growing up. During these years Tring was the safe playground where I could experiment, fall off the monkey bars if you like, and learn from my mistakes. Dancing in Sir Matthew Bourne’s “Lord of the Flies” was ultimately part of what led me to Tring and gave me a flavour of performing. Having sung Jackson 5 songs at the Christmas fair and featured in a 6th Form play three years early, among many other shows of different calibre and genre, I can safely say that I got a chance to try more than just the monkey bars in the playground and so of course it was time to move on…

Just as Tring Park has allowed me a safe environment to find what interested me, it also allowed me to spread my own wings and gain independence. In 6th Form, I joined the Acting course, a close-knit community that has given me countless opportunities to do what I love with various performances throughout the year at an increasingly good standard. I have not spoken much about academics but I believe this to be one of Tring Park’s greatest assets. Not only does the school provide fantastic vocational training but also a full GCSE and A Level education to a very high standard… I found that even though I was doing less academic hours, my grades improved and I ended up with the GCSE grades that I wanted. This allowed me to study the subjects that I love: Maths, Physics and Chemistry at A Level. I was also not the only one to get good results with 12% of pupils achieving a grade 9 (three times the national average). This message would be incomplete and hollow without me mentioning the fantastic friends I have made during my time at Tring Park who will no doubt last much longer in my memory than any grades. I am happy to say that the shrill sound of the bell has been replaced by singing that echoes down the corridors (with the occasional harmony). Tring Park is a bubbly, open-minded and inspirational place, which has made me and hundreds of others ready for a world, which is more volatile and fast moving than ever before.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Life at Tring Park

 

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