15th May 2023
Chadsley Atkins was a Windsor student from 2008-2015. Chadsley has been a
great ambassador for Windsor High School and Sixth Form, speaking at events
about his time here and, more recently, becoming a Governor at the School.
Here is what he had to say about life at Windsor and how being a student
here has helped him be the person he is today.
Were there any school trips that had special memories for you, and
if so why?
The first time I learnt to ski was with Windsor on the Austria Ski Trip. A large group of friends went who were in our final year(s) and it was a brilliant trip with lots of laughs. I loved skiing so much that I ended up going on the trip again when I joined the Sixth Form. I have continued to keep up with skiing after leaving Windsor and am so grateful for that opportunity.
What was your favourite subject at school and how did it impact you?
As someone with a physics degree, it would be odd of me to say that it wasn't my favourite subject. Although I had brilliant teachers who got me fascinated with the world around me, in retrospect, I actually think that German had the most impact on me. Particularly at A-Level, we had a really small group, which meant we got to build great relationships with each other and our teachers, which made it easy to fail and look stupid in front of each other. It prepared me to be a global citizen and empowered me to live, study and work abroad - an experience that gave me incredible life skills and strong friendships across the world.
Which of your teachers were most influential and why?
This is where physics comes back in. My physics teachers lit the fire inside me to be curious and question how and why things are the way they are. They taught me how to break down some really difficult problems - skills that I continuously use in my job. Most importantly, they managed to make every lesson as entertaining as possible, no matter how dull some of the content might seem! Making things silly is a great way for things to stick in your head, another trick I still deploy today. Finally, my form tutor was incredibly influential. Although they didn't teach me a subject, their counsel, life advice and support carried me throughout my time at Windsor and I have huge respect and appreciation for them.
How did Windsor prepare you for the career path you took?
Windsor not only managed to release my academic potential to its fullest, but also provided a multitude of opportunities outside of lessons and exams that are the foundation of who I am as a professional today. Whether they were large or small, direct or indirect, with everything from team building outdoor activities to teaching primary kids about natural disasters, I managed to build a really strong set of 'soft skills'. Leadership, confidence, relationship building and management, empathy etc. the list goes on. Good exam results might get you through the door, but in my opinion, it's the people-based skills and emotional intelligence that have really made the difference in my career so far.
Why do you think being part of the Alumni Network is important?
I think it's important to recognise how much Windsor invests in its students. I can trace a lot of my skills (both hard and soft) right back to when I started developing them at school. For me, the Alumni network is about providing a platform to give back where you can. Current students respect the opinion, perspective and advice from former students a lot more than their teachers. At the end of the day, we've been in their seats and gone through what they're going through! Even by simply having an alumni profile, you are indirectly role-modelling for anyone who comes across it, showing where Windsor students have ended up and where they're going.
If you had to sum up Windsor in one word, what would it be?
Thank you to Chadsley for sparing his time to talk to us. If you would like to come back to Windsor and inspire our students, please contact us at email@example.com