Student Blog: Contagious enthusiasm – academic life at King’s

Written by Mia Hard Af Segerstad-Smith, Sixth Form student and Head of School

Period 1: Painting portraits. Period 2: Solving trigonometric graphs. Period 3: Analysing volcanic hazards. Period 4 & 5: Investigating the scandalous life of Marie Antoinette. This is just one example of my academic day.

I have decided to study four A Levels, not only because I am genuinely interested in the subjects, but also because of the contagious enthusiasm of teachers who strive to enhance our independent interest in each subject.

My four chosen subjects, Maths, History, Geography and Art, may seem like a haphazard jumble of disciplines at all ends of the academic spectrum, but it is this ability to retain my vast academic interests which motivates me to learn each day.

At the weekends, my geography coursework is based upon the impact of Storyhouse which takes statistical methods learned in maths outside of the textbook; I conduct geographical research independently in Chester, sketching field studies and comparing these to historical pictures to evaluate change.

Most recently in October, I embarked on an art trip to Venice (luckily before the 1.6m floods hit; we enjoyed sunshine and temperatures around 20 degrees!). From 7.30am each morning we became immersed in the city, and had the opportunity to visit galleries, churches, glass-factories and market squares while working on our own sketch books, all on a diet of Italian pizza. Despite the busy days, my peers and I often stayed up till close to midnight to finish our own artistic interpretations of Venice. Back in the UK, the international element of study continued, as last week my peers and I attended a University of Chester lecture about the impacts of climate change in the Arctic. Now, we are planning an internal geographical debate about the global impacts of transnational corporations.

Outside of my immediate studies, I am the current Head of School. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with teachers and students to present new ideas and represent the voice of the student body, especially in School Council.

I think King’s helps to develop our own ideas about wider debates that has led me to want to study Geography at university, with such wide opportunity for research into contemporary ideas. After A Levels next year, I am planning to take a year to work and explore different regions across the world, such as South Asia, after being so inspired by my current studies to learn more about the world we live in.