Pupils meet Brian in the Wilkie Room, named in his honour in the school’s new Sixth Form Centre

This week The Portsmouth Grammar School was delighted to welcome Mr Brian Wilkie to meet the two Mayfield pupils who are this year’s recipients of the Sixth Form scholarship generously funded by Mr Wilkie.

Lucy Burroughs and Faith Menkah will join The Portsmouth Grammar School this September as the fourth round of recipients of the Wilkie Scholarship.  Mr Wilkie attended Mayfield School from 1960 – 1966 when it was known as the Northern Grammar School and set up the scholarship in 2012 to help young people from Mayfield School to succeed no matter what their financial circumstances.

“It has always been my dream to come here,” said Lucy Burroughs about The Portsmouth Grammar School.  “I had looked round before when I was younger and knew I wanted to come here one day.  The scholarship is really great and means that with hard work hopefully I can achieve my aspiration of going to university.”

“My aim is to help young people to become successful,” said Mr Wilkie, “and I hope that both Lucy and Faith will enjoy the opportunities offered at The Portsmouth Grammar School and go on to fulfil their own expectations.”

“It was too good an opportunity not to apply for it,” said Faith Menkah.  “I want to go on to be an Architect and coming to PGS will definitely help me with that.  I’ll be the second person in my family to ever go to university and they are all really proud that I’ve been offered the scholarship to come here.”

Lucy and Faith will join former Mayfield pupils James Butler and Finlay Cookson, now in their final year of the Sixth Form.  Alex Todd and Cameron Hall who were the previous Wilkie Scholars leave PGS this year.   Alex is going to Bath to read Natural Sciences and Cameron is going to Queen Mary London to read Biomedical Sciences. 

“I think the biggest difference that PGS has made to me is that it has increased my confidence about what I can achieve,” said Alex. 

“Getting to know so many new people has been great over the last two years,” added Cameron.  “Also the advice you get on university applications and having the University Fair here at school that so many universities come along to is really helpful.”

More than 80% of PGS pupils go on to Oxbridge, Russell Group or equivalent universities to study a wide range of subjects from Art to Engineering, Medicine to Musical Theatre or to pursue vocational qualifications such as Nursing.

“It is tremendously exciting, given the challenges that exist in Portsmouth, to be able to offer young people the chance to come to the Sixth Form at PGS and to progress to the university and career of their choice,” said Mr James Priory, Headmaster at The Portsmouth Grammar School.  “Brian Wilkie’s support has been invaluable in making this happen and we are delighted to see the scholarship programme proving so successful.  We look for pupils who are excited about the opportunities here and who will themselves contribute to the life of the Sixth Form, which I know Lucy and Faith are looking forward to doing.” 

Headmaster at Mayfield School, Mr David Jeapes, believes that being able to offer the Wilkie Scholarship to Year 11 pupils is inspiring for those following in their footsteps.  “Over the last four years, the Wilkie Scholarship has really motivated our pupils throughout the school. Mr.Wilkie’s story is one of hard work, determination and aspiring to be the best that you can be. This resonates with our school motto; your only limitation is your ambition” he said. “We feel very proud to be the only school in Portsmouth offering this type of scholarship and are grateful to Brian Wilkie for his support and vision.”