EXCHANGES Trailblazer at Tonbridge
When everyone was winding down for summer, Sam Dickie
The 14-year-old wore his Christ’s College uniform with pride at the prestigious secondary school which was established in 1553. “It was a really good experience. I wasn’t expecting the standard of their high academic students. They were really clever! Some of them would study during morning tea break, and others would stay in school during the holidays to do intensive mathematics tutoring, for example.” Sam and Hamish Patterson, both in Year 10 at the time, were College’s first two students to go on exchange to Tonbridge in an arrangement through the International Boys’ Schools Coalition. With 750 students, seven boarding houses and five dayboy houses, the school’s 150-acre campus wraps around Tonbridge town, and encompasses nine rugby fields, three hockey pitches, a double decker sports hall, racquets courts, the school itself, a massive library and a brand new world-class science block. Living as a boarder, Sam found himself readily accepted by the boys and quickly slotted in to classes – History, Drama, French, Graphics, Mathematics and English. packed his bags for seven weeks in England under a new exchange with Tonbridge School in Kent.
It was the winter term – dark at 3.45pm – but he loved it. “It was cool. On Wednesdays we’d have school until 1pm, and then sport from 2–4pm and then you’d go back to the House for lots of prep. They regularly did one and a half to two hours prep a night,
and they had morning school on Saturdays.” Sam also loved the compulsory military training. In full camouflage gear, he was in the Army section and found the weapons handling training with real guns, to his liking.
College Issue 36 2019
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