The North’s leading state school has appointed new officers to lead the student body following a challenging year in education.
Head girl Eloise Hopkins and head boy Marcus Bartlem will lead a team of thirteen deputies at Ripon Grammar School and aim to focus on student wellbeing, along with opening up a wide range of activities and events as restrictions ease.
Community volunteer Eloise, who wrote letters and delivered artwork to local care homes to brighten residents’ lives in lockdown and hopes to study medicine at university, said: “My aim is to further enhance the sense of community within school and encourage all students to seize every opportunity.”
The 17-year-old, from Ripon, who enjoys intermediate ballet lessons and works part-time in a local GP surgery alongside studying for A-levels in biology, chemistry and maths, added: “I also want to promote a focus on everyone’s wellbeing, following the unprecedented circumstances of the past year.”
Aspiring Army Air Corps helicopter pilot Marcus, from Carthorpe, near Bedale, who led the school’s Prince’s Trust fundraising to help improve the lives of vulnerable young people and enjoys rugby, climbing and mountain biking, said he wanted to helpcreate a greater awareness of mental health issues.
The 17-year-old, who is taking history, chemistry and economics at A-level and plans to study history at university, added:“I also aim to reintroduce and improve the school activities and traditions which have been heavily restricted during the COVID pandemic.”
Eloise and Marcus’s 13 deputies have all been given individual responsibilities, ranging from boarding, community and environment to enrichment, publicity and student equalities and welfare.
They are: Olivia Whild, Sam Fawcett, Francesca Armer, Tristan Paris, Imogen McMurray, Ted Dant, Bertie Wood, Daisy Hynd, Henrietta Jarvis, Molly Acton, Josh Simpson, Alice Milburn and Alex Gilhooley.
All the candidates were interviewed for their roles, following a selection process which included written applications.
Headmaster Jonathan Webb, who interviewed head boy and head girl candidates, said: “Given the calibre of all those who applied and were interviewed, it was a very difficult decision.
“With the honour of the position of school officer comes great responsibility: to uphold the values of the school, to direct and support the prefect team and to represent the views of the student body.
“I would like to congratulate all those students appointed for their achievements.”
Eloise, an active member of the school’s biology and healthcare societies and working towards an extended project qualification (EPQ) on treatments for depression, concluded: “The RGS community has helped me establish strong foundations as I build my future and previous school officers have been key role models who instilled much inspiration.”
Marcus, who is hoping to win an army officer scholarship and is working on an EPQ on the strategic purpose of Britain’s nuclear missile programme, added that the student officer team would also be working towards increasing the school’s engagement with the local community over the coming year.