Student of the Week
Now that the new academic year has begun, we are pleased to welcome back SOTW and this week we are celebrating Jenni from Whetstone, who came to us from St. Michaels Catholic Grammar School. She has recently passed the audition and won a place at prestigious French drama school Les Cours Florent in Paris.
Jenni is currently studying German, Philosophy and Theatre Studies (AS), having already completed both AS and A2 French in her first year at Woodhouse (getting an A - which she's having re-marked!). Her impatience for being excellent in French will become very clear as you read her story...
"In year 10 or 11, I was studying French and my teacher suggested I listen to a French radio station to improve my grammar. Whilst doing so I heard a French song and something just clicked with me. I loved it so much I had to find out more about it and discovered that it came from a French musical called "1789: Les Amants de la Bastille". I was hooked and listened to the soundtrack constantly.
I loved this musical so much that in September of 2012 I went to Paris to see it live. It was amazing... but I could hardly understand much of what was being said, my French just wasn't good enough. I decided it was time to get serious.
I started really working hard on my French and at the same time, I was getting more and more into music and theatre. I had already been playing alto sax and piano from a young age, but I started to learn guitar to accompany myself singing. I joined the Garden Suburb Theatre (an amateur dramatic group) and appeared in their production of "A Chorus of Disapproval" at the Bull Theatre.
I went back to Paris in January 2014 and saw the musical again in it's final run, and this time understood it completely.
Since starting at Woodhouse I thought I'd apply to Oxbridge but then decided that drama is all I really want to do. So I made the decision to apply to a French drama school."
The Cours Florent is known as one of France's most prestigious drama schools and offer students not only the chance to refine their dramatic acting skills but also to experience full immersion in the cultural and artistic life of France. It's long list of alumni includes highly successful actors such Isabelle Adjani, Eva Green, Sophie Marceau and Diane Kruger.
In the summer, Jenni took part in a week-long intensive workshop in Paris culminating in an audition. Despite all the classes and performances being in French, she won her place.
"I can't wait to go, especially as my offer is unconditional. It will cost a bit living in Paris (she hopes to share with a friend on a gap year) but on the other hand the fees are around £3000 a year so much cheaper than in the UK. And I'm trying to save some money now from tutoring GSCE French students."
As ever with SOTW there's often another story and Jenni is no exception. She is also a successful synchronised swimmer!
"I got into synchro through my family. One of my Dad's Thai relatives runs the Thai national synchronised swimming team and when I was around eight years old Dad took me to see them. I loved it, became interested and joined a club in Potters Bar.
I really enjoy it and have done well but I can't train as hard as I once did because of the time commitments and my A levels.
I competed at the national competition in 2013 in Gloucester and in 2014 I won three golds at the East Regional Finals - in figures, solo and duets - which I guess makes me the reigning regional champion.
Obviously I'm off to Paris next year but I'd hope to do masters synchro in a few years."
And her feelings about Woodhouse?
"I came to Woodhouse for a fresh start, to be somewhere bigger than school with more independence and freedom to be myself. It's a place where you will always find others who appreciate you for who you are.
The languages department have been incredibly supportive in letting me take the risk to try and complete my A level in one year. The teachers here are always willing to help with extra stuff and they want you to do well for YOU rather than the college. They really care."
An inspirational story from a very dedicated student, we wish Jenni the best of luck in Paris next summer and hope to see her in a West End show in a few short years.
09 November 2016
Class of 2016
22 March 2016
13 January 2016
Theo Cox Dodgson
10 December 2015
26 November 2015
12 November 2015
28 October 2015
08 October 2015
01 October 2015
17 September 2015
10 September 2015
25 June 2015
30 April 2015
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16 April 2015
12 March 2015
05 March 2015
26 February 2015
19 February 2015
12 February 2015
05 February 2015