What’s it like being a Fletcher Scholar?

James was the 2016 recipient of the Fletcher Scholarship. The Fletcher Scholarship is offered to a boy or girl from a local state school to attend Fletcherites, the Sixth Form House at Charterhouse as a boarding or day-boarding pupil. Here James reflects upon his first year at Charterhouse.

Having arrived here in August last year, I have finally adjusted to life at Chouse. After spending five years at your bog-standard comprehensive, I was heading for real change when I was awarded the Fletcherites Scholarship- little did I know just how different it would be.

Before arriving at Chouse, I never had thought that I would be where I am today. My goal was simple: just train and play football under a scholarship program and see how far I can take it. That was it- no plan B or even any aspirations to get into a university. That was until my head of year at my previous school put me forward for a scholarship at Charterhouse. I myself never applied or even contemplated it, however fortunately she did, and I found myself succeeding in each round of which candidates were eliminated. This was until I was emailed and to my surprise I had been offered a place as a scholar.

At first, the differences between the two environments were huge and in turn, difficult to come to terms with. I had gone from previously finishing school at 3:20 and then going home, more often than not, to play FIFA with the lads. I then found myself working late in to the evenings here at Chouse and waking up early for a full day’s work. Not only were the hours of work hard to get to grips with but so was entire mentality of the school. Despite being a good school, during classes at the comprehensive, it would not have been unusual to find yourself as a target for a paper aeroplane or even to walk in to the toilets to find large groups of lads bunking class to play a game of “New Star Soccer”. At Chouse however, I found myself surrounded by focused and independent individuals who were here to work and indeed further their studies. Despite initially struggling to move away from old hobbits and attitudes towards school, my outlook changed completely as Charterhouse began encouraging me to be more disciplined and indeed driven to succeed in the sixth form.

After finding my feet now, I am enjoying myself here. Playing football during OQ and LQ has contributed massively to my enjoyment, along with the mix of people I have met and indeed the opportunities Charterhouse has opened up for me already (such as representing the ISFA National team). Since joining in September, I have been awarded the role of “proto-monitor”, a prestigious title that the old me would never have thought possible. Whilst there aren’t many moments of rest, I can only describe this as a good thing because I constantly feel not only involved in the school but also feel as if I am making the most of such an unforeseen yet amazing prospect.

 

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James (second from left) at Founder’s Feast in CQ 2016.