2023 Head of School, Bo, is Heading to the US With a Hockey Scholarship

Bo of Lupton House is the 2023 Head of School and, together with her twin sister, has chosen to accept a scholarship to study and play hockey at a university in the United States. Bo explains her choices and also talks about the experience of being Head of School and the value of leadership roles.

Bo has studied PE, Geography and BTEC Business at A-level.

Have you always wanted to study overseas?

When we were in Year 9, in Lupton House two past students came in and talked to us; they had gone over [to study in the USA] for Hockey and they loved it. My twin sister and I had a really good relationship with our Hockey coach and he told us, “you girls could go and thrive over there.” So we looked into it and went with it. After that we didn’t look at any UK universities.

How has being at Sedbergh helped with your preparation for your US college application?

We had a lot of help from the Head of Year, Miss Rowland and Mr Lucas. Mr Lucas helped us with the SATs, which we didn’t actually end up taking because of COVID. We just gave in our GCSEs, but before we knew we could do that, Mr Lucas did loads of sessions with us on SAT exams and how to prepare for them. Miss Rowland helped us with all the forms that we had to fill in. Mr Davey [Director of Hockey] helped with the clips because we had to send in a video of us playing from loads of different games. Then Mr Harrison [Headmaster] and Mrs Macdonald, our Housemistress, wrote my references which I put in my application. So, everyone did something.

What was the biggest challenge for you when applying to the Universities?

Picking which one [University] we wanted to go to, because obviously it’s a long way away from home and there is a big time difference. We went over and visited three [Universities] and when you are there is when it hits you that this is where you’re going to spend four years of your life.

It’s quite a big decision to make; they all had pros and cons.

What are you going to study at University in America?

I’m going into the business school, but I’m not sure which part of the business school yet. In America you can go undeclared, and then once you’re there, you try different things and then you major. I have no idea what I want to do after I graduate. I’ve never been able to answer that question even from being really small.

Did you ever imagine that you would be Head of School?

No! Even at the end of Year 12, I had no idea that I was going to be it [Head of School]. When I found out I was excited, but I was also very nervous because it is such a big thing, especially at Sedbergh.

Do you feel that as Head of School you have created a legacy, something that people will remember?

I hope I’ve left something that will be remembered. I think you always remember your first Head of School – what they did; seeing them on stage or speaking in Chapel, you look up to them and think, ‘that’ll be us one day, guys’. I’d say that, to me, they were a role model. I hope I’ve had that impact on Year 9s that have come in.

What do you think’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned being Head of School?

If you don’t ask, you won’t get! I think being Head of School, you’re the voice of the pupils. You represent the pupils to say what’s maybe not going well, or what they like. Obviously, there are some suggestions that come forward where you just say “no”, because it’s silly, but other things that you just have to convey it in a way that Mr Harrison, Dr Burns and Mr Gunning might say yes.

Do you think that being Head of School has provided opportunities and experiences that you might not have had otherwise?

Oh, I definitely think so. Speaking in Chapel – public speaking – was something I was most nervous about, but you get used to it and it’s fine. I’ve been able to go to the Prep School a couple of times, interacting with the younger year groups, which is really nice. I’ve also attended the Open Days and spoken to parents. I’ve been in to each Boarding House for formal lunch so, I’ve seen how each Boarding House works. I wouldn’t have been able to do those things if I wasn’t Head of School. I have taken a lot from it and I think I’ve learned a lot of skills.

Would you recommend taking on a leadership role to other pupils?

Yes, I think it is very rewarding. You do get a lot out of it, but what you put in, you get out. Mr Harrison, Dr Burns and Mr Gunning don’t put a lot of pressure on you because you’re in Year 13 and you have exams and a lot of work.

What will you miss most when you leave Sedbergh?

The Boarding House. 100%. Living with my friends; it’s a little community. You go back to your Boarding Houses for lunch, for break, it is a home away from home; it feels like a family. I have loved it and I wouldn’t change any of it.

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