Local meteorologist and BBC South East weather presenter Kaddy Lee-Preston dropped in to meet students at Helenswood Academy this week to talk about her love of science, maths and the weather.
She gave a special assembly to mark the start of the new term at the high-performing ARK school talking about how she made it into a career in television. The girls’ school, in St Leonard’s, has a focus on core subjects such as maths and science, ensuring that students are well prepared for university or work when they leave school.
Kaddy praised the atmosphere of the school: “As soon as you arrive at Helenswood you feel the buzz of energy from the girls and their sense of pride in their school. The individuals that I met all had a humble self-assured confidence and maturity that you don't always get at other schools.
“They were exactly the kind of girls you would have wanted to befriend when you were at school or have as a daughter once you left school! It was a pleasure to be invited to speak at their opening assembly and I wish all the girls a successful and exciting year ahead.”
Head Girl of Helenswood for 2014-2015, Annie Starr, aged 15 said: “I felt Kaddy was inspirational in her speech to us. She taught me about standing out and being different, not following the crowd.”
The outlook is bright for students at Helenswood as they celebrate another good set of results this year, with the number of GCSE passes at A or A* up by 7 percentage points from last year.
Suravi Devkota, aged 16, was able to deal with the high pressure, getting 11 GCSEs with 1 A* and 6 As and wants to continue her education at sixth form. Suravi is keen to study English literature at a top university, like Columbia in New York City. She is keen to pursue a career in the media like Kaddy, possibly working in publishing or film. “I feel very supported at Helenswood and the teachers are good," said Suravi. "I think that’s one of the reasons I want to stay here, because I like a lot of the teachers.”