Anne Holdorph

“I’m very pro GDST, it’s a good thing for girls to have a safe space to be able to learn and be themselves in a girl-friendly environment.”

“I think the thing I remember most fondly about my time at Portsmouth is probably the friends that I made, most of whom I am still in contact with, more so than for university friends or anything else, just because we were together for five or seven years – it’s a long time.

My Mum and my Aunt went to Portsmouth High School on assisted places as well. My mum never went on to University and my Dad left school at 14. I didn’t come from the sort of family where they had experience of dealing with university and further education so, it was quite a contrast to a lot of other people at the High School. I think probably we were also a little less well off than most of the other people at the High School, or at least a large chunk of them.

I think mostly my time at Portsmouth taught me how to be a well-rounded person. There is obviously the maths, the science and the English and all of that, but I think there is something about being part of a close knit team, getting to know people and learning about the importance of relationships. I learnt how to relate to adults, as there was a level trust with teachers. I’m very pro GDST, it’s a good thing for girls to have a safe space for them to be able to learn and be themselves in a girl friendly environment. What’s quite interesting is that I’ve met several other people that have been to GDST schools and there is a sense of camaraderie there, you don’t know them but you’ve got that shared experience.

One of the biggest things for me that shaped my life, particularly when I was in the Sixth Form at Portsmouth High, is that I wasn’t necessarily keen on going to university, but the school very much encouraged it. Now in my thirties, I have four degrees and have spent a significant amount of my adult life in a university and I think a lot of that was because of the influence of the High School. I think if there hadn’t been that, I probably wouldn’t have pursued that as an option to start with, so I think that is one of the most tangible ways that my school has influenced my life.

I think that young people should not be disadvantaged based on their family background, based on how much money they have, and that the bursaries, scholarships, assisted places, and other funding support can make a real difference. A friend of mine (not from school) has a daughter who is currently at Portsmouth High School in Year 8. She is only there because she has received financial assistance, and you can see the difference that it has made in her life already. This shows how important bursaries are”.

Anne Holdorph
Growth and Development Officer
The Scout Association
Alumna, Portsmouth High School
Class of 2002

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