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Student telephone callers

In July a team of student callers will be contacting Old Edwardians to give them an update on school news, gain their feedback on recent events and publications and talk about the school's Assisted Places Fund, which has been set up to ensure that the school remains accessible to all boys of outstanding ability, whatever the financial circumstances of their family. Below two students tell us why they have decided to get involved:

John Tsopanis, Divisions

John Tsopanis

Now in his penultimate year at King Edward's, John vividly remembers looking around the school for the first time and knowing that it was where he wanted to study. However, despite having his heart set on it, his parents made it clear that it would not be possible without some financial assistance.

"Luckily, I came top of my entrance exam and was awarded a 50% scholarship - the highest available - and an assisted place," he says. "The scholarship alone would not have been enough so I am incredibly grateful for the financial support that was offered to me." Since then John has excelled, having achieved 10 A* at GCSE and won various academic and sporting awards. He is planning to study economics and management at Oxford University next year.

John looks forward to speaking to Old Edwardians this summer and finding out about their time at King Edward's. He hopes he might be able to gain valuable career advice for his own future but also sees it as a chance to give back to the school that has offered him so many opportunities and allowed him the freedom to establish who he is.

"I wouldn't have achieved what I have if it wasn't for King Edward's," he says. "Teachers are willing to put in so much time out of the classroom and I know they do it because they want to, not because they have to. I am taking part in the telephone calling because I hope one day I might be able to fund someone to come here myself. If you're able enough to come then you should. It's the best environment for those who want to get on in life."

George Hims, Sixths

George Hims

George is taking part in this year's telephone campaign to show his appreciation to the school that has helped him achieve so much, "I myself have an assisted place and know that without that financial support I couldn't have attended this school and have the opportunities that I do," he says.

Up until quite recently George was unsure of the career path he wanted to follow. He credits the gentle persuasion of his drama teacher, Jenny Herbert, Director of Drama, who convinced him to get involved in the school's junior production of Les Petits Rats three years ago, for him finding his chosen vocation. Since then, George has not looked back and has taken part in two senior productions of Great Expectations and Hairspray, a musical in which 60 pupils took part. Following a performance as Corny Collins in Hairspray which had rave reviews, George has decided he would like to pursue a career in the technical side of theatre production. He has been offered a place at RADA next summer to study stage management and technical theatre.

Jenny Herbert's guidance is typical of the exceptional support that George feels he has had from all his teachers at King Edward's. "The teachers here have so much passion that you can't help but think this is an exciting place to be", he says. "If you're interested in a certain area, they will really help you take it further. I wouldn't have got that kind of direction elsewhere."

As George prepares to leave King Edward's, he is looking forward to speaking to Old Edwardians about their own memories of the school and telling them about the Assisted Places Fund.

"I appreciate my education more and want to help give the same learning opportunity to boys who, like me, wouldn't otherwise have it. Hopefully the vast majority of Old Edwardians are like me - thankful for what King Edward's has done for them and appreciative of where they are now as a result of the school."