Section 5 (Reading)
Read the text and choose the correct words to complete the sentences.
They say that your schooldays are the best years of your life. But that certainly wasn’t always the case with me. When I was 11, I won a scholarship to a private school near my home. It was a very traditional, all-girls school and it got excellent exam results. My parents were very proud of me, but it didn’t suit me at all. It was a boarding school, but I was a day-girl because we lived in the same city and I went home every day, and so I didn’t really make friends. Most of the girls came from quite wealthy privileged backgrounds, and I think they looked down on me as I was just an ordinary, albeit clever, local girl. Also, the teachers were really strict, and I was scared stiff of most of them! Although I was doing well academically, I was deeply unhappy for the whole of my time there.
Eventually, after two years, I persuaded my parents to move me to the local comprehensive school. They were really against it at first. They had always wanted me to go to medical school and be a doctor, like my dad and my grandfather before him. They didn’t expect me to do well at the comprehensive, which, unlike the private girls school, was full of students of all different abilities, and didn’t always get the best exam results. But I was desperate to go there. I knew lots of friends from primary school who were there. I was sure I would be happy there, and I was determined to work hard and do well in order to prove my parents wrong.
And I did! I had a great time at my new school, with lots of friends. I can honestly say that I think I learned more about life than I would have done if I’d stayed in my first school. When I left school I got a place at university to study history. I decided that I’m not going to be a doctor, after all. I am going to break the family tradition and do my own thing. I’m training to be a teacher. I think my dad was a little disappointed, but Mum was thrilled, as she’s from a family of teachers. My own experiences have made me determined not to be like the teachers I had at my first school. I’m going to be much less strict, for one thing.
By this time next year, I’ll be a qualified teacher, and in my first job. I really hope I’ll be teaching in a comprehensive school, just like the one I went to.