December 7 2013 Latest news:
by Imogen Blake
Friday, October 11, 2013
Barely a month into their roles as head boy and head girl at Hampstead School, two close friends are already making waves with their big plans for encouraging inter-year interaction.
Year 13 students Ricki-Lee Mills, 17, and Eden Henry, 18, were chosen for the top positions at Hampstead School, Westbere Road, Cricklewood, following a rigorous process which headteacher Jacques Szemalikowski described as almost exactly like recruiting a member of staff.
Despite having university applications to send off and A-levels to study for, the articulate teenagers are wasting no time in working hard on their ideas for the school.
“I feel very proud and very happy that we will be a part of leaving a legacy at this school,” said Eden, who has lived in Priory Road, West Hampstead, all his life.
“The arts are something the school does really well and I want to get students involved in art subjects because of how important they are. They are invaluable in encouraging you to have brilliant ideas.”
The newly-appointed roles of head boy and girl are not the only changes taking place at the school.
A sixth-form leadership team made up of those interviewed for the positions of head boy and girl has been established as a gateway between the school council members, who raise issues they would like to see changed, and the staff.
Ricki and Eden are both fighting for more inter-year links at the school, and are hoping that both the leadership team and their approachability will encourage pupils from the lower years to talk to them about their worries.
Fortune Green resident Ricki, who will study English with creative writing at university, said: “Sixth form can feel like a spaceship at the top of the school, so we are trying to incorporate more links with the lower years.”
Eden, who plans to study medicine at university, added: “We want to get sixth-form students being mentors to younger students and the sixth-form leadership team will be really good for the younger students.”
Both teenagers praised the school’s “diverse” and “happy” atmosphere, with Eden revealing that the school encouraged him to apply to more expensive universities by showing him scholarship opportunities.
He said: “The school has made me feel so comfortable and has given me the chance to celebrate my sexuality as a head boy, being gay. The diversity of the school has made me a more rounded person.”
Ricki, who only moved to Hampstead School from Maria Fidelis School, Euston, for sixth form, said it was a “great achievement” to be selected above girls who have studied at the school since Year 7.
Mr Szemalikowski said: “The head boy and girl were selected in a process just like how I would recruit a member of teaching staff. We are passionate about creating leaders of the future because we don’t want to produce people who just cope with life, we want movers and shakers.”