STORIES OF PRIDE
MEET ELLA-MAE, A YEAR 12 STUDENT. SHE TELLS US ABOUT HER LOVE OF ART, THE LIVERY AWARDS & THE IMPORTANCE OF CARING FOR MENTAL HEALTH
What are you currently studying and what do you want to do in the future?
I am currently studying art, psychology and biology. I know I want to attend university but I have started looking into specific ones yet. Career wise, I would like to be a psychologist or perhaps an art therapist because I would like to tie art in as it’s something that I always want to do.
Can you tell us a bit about your love for art?
Art has always been something I have loved since I have been able to draw. The art department offers access to things that might not be available elsewhere and I can do lots of experimenting with different medias.
In art lessons, we are currently looking at the Tate online. We had to choose an artist to study from there. I am doing a personal study on Jacob Epstein. There is an online exhibition that we had to look up in our free time. I have learnt a lot of independence by having to do this but it’s also a shame because it would be nice to visit the gallery and take it in in person. I am working on refining my watercolour painting and taking inspiration from Epstein's work in the process. There are so many different artists who have inspired me. I feel like along the way they have guided me to what I like doing now. For example, my love for finger painting is rooted in the work of Cluck Close. He suffered from prosopagnosia (face blindness) which means he can't remember the faces of those close to him, so he replicates that through finger painting.
Have you been involved in any extracurricular activities at Crayford?
I am part of Crayford's team in the Haberdashers' Livery Awards. I was tasked to design the logo which I created using Procreate software. Unfortunately, it has been delayed because of COVID but it was going really well. The team was very productive and we had our plan ready. We decided on the name ‘Sphere’ and our pitch is renting office space to the public. The biggest challenge was coming up with the idea that we all agreed on. Once this was sorted, it was just a matter of working out who did what and how we can use our skills to come together in the team. It has been interesting and fun to work with people who were not in my friendship group and I have got to know them better throughout the project. The livery awards different genius minds coming together and creating this idea as a group and running with it!
I am also part of the Sixth Form newspaper team. I recently wrote one of the leading articles for the Black History month. I have really enjoyed taking part in different groups and teams at Crayford.
What makes you feel proud of Crayford Sixth Form?
I’m proud of how dedicated the teachers are to their jobs. The teachers surrounding me are very supportive of what I do and try to encourage me, especially in the art department. Miss Prior, the Head of Sixth Form, really cares about our mental health and makes sure that we keep ourselves in check, not just academically. There is a strong element of care at school which is so important, particularly during COVID and remote learning.
Letter received from Ella-Mae September 2022
I just wanted to thank all of you again for the help and support I received in A-levels, especially in my final year. It wasn't an easy time for me yet I still managed to find my way and there is so much credit to give!
Whether it was by challenging me, providing new perspectives to see or even just a simple emotional well-being check in, it meant a lot. I will always be grateful for it, and the care, teaching quality and opportunities I had here were unmatched. I can definitely say I was given space to grow here, in my time at Haberdashers (not literally though, I stopped growing in year 8).
I'm proud to say that I got into my first choice to study Psychology at University of Reading! And I will be moving away soon but I noticed I wasn't able to see everyone on results day. So, this is most definitely not a goodbye from me but my "see you later" and good luck in the new (school) year!
Thank you so much for everything!
Kindest regards always,