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On Wednesday 26th January, Academic Scholars from all year groups attended the annual Dinner for Academic Scholars in Top Hall.

Our guest speaker was Laura Doel, a Calne Girl and Academic Scholar. Since leaving Calne in 2013, she excelled in her degree in Social Anthropology at The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and has thrived in her role as Group Marketing Project Executive at City Football Group.

There were pre-dinner drinks for Sixth Form students, where they enjoyed the opportunity to meet Laura and to discover more about her journey since her time here at Calne. The girls then had a delicious supper provided by Mrs Thomas and her catering team, and enjoyed the opportunity to mix with Academic Scholars from other year groups.

After the dinner, we enjoyed listening to Laura tell us about how her career has progressed and what she has learnt along the way. She opened our eyes to the power of Social Anthropology to understand how people act and how societies work, as well as how those skills are valuable to so many organisations, from big tech firms to football clubs. She spoke of the value of the networks she developed in her time at Calne, telling the story of how a chance conversation with one of her peers sparked a chain of events that led her to being awarded a prestigious internship. Furthermore, she inspired us with her self-awareness and courage, recognising the importance of finding meaning in our work even when that involves going against conventional wisdom. Finally, the fact that she herself was in attendance at the Dinner for Academic Scholars 10 years ago inspired the girls to think about what they might achieve in the next 10 years.

The event was a most enjoyable evening and an excellent way to celebrate the contribution made by our Academic Scholars to everyday school life here at St Mary’s.

Mr Mark Cleaver, Head of Economics and Academic Award Co-ordinator