Mr Brian Wilkie with recipients of the Scholarship

We were delighted to welcome Mr Brian Wilkie this week to meet the two Mayfield pupils who are this year’s recipients of the Sixth Form scholarship generously funded by Mr Wilkie.

Courtney-Leigh Hardyman and Danielle Todd will join The Portsmouth Grammar School this September as the fifth 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.

“I’m really pleased to be coming here for Sixth Form,” said Courtney-Leigh Hardyman. “I’m hoping to do well enough at A Level to get in to a really good university and think the support and opportunities I’ll have at PGS will really help with achieving this.”

Danielle’s brother Alex was also a recipient of the Wilkie Scholarship, leaving in 2015 and having just completed his first year at Bath University where he is reading Natural Sciences. “I’m really looking forward to get involved with as much as I can while I’m here,” says Danielle. “My brother has told me about all the opportunities available so I’m planning on making the most of it.”

“This year we’ve had an overwhelming response to the Scholarship with over 30 pupils expressing an interest in being considered for the award,” says Headmaster at Mayfield School, Mr David Jeapes. “Over the last five 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. 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.”

Danielle and Courtney-Leigh will join former Mayfield pupils Lucy Burroughs and Faith Menkah, now in their final year of the Sixth Form. Lucy has just become a member of the Senior Prefect team for next academic year, whilst Faith this year took part in the successful PGS Come Dancing event that raised over £5000 for their United World Schools Partner School in Chai Thom, Cambodia. James Butler and Finlay Cookson who were the previous Wilkie Scholars leave PGS this year. James is going to Leeds to read International History and Politics and Finlay is going to Nottingham to read Biochemistry.

“My aim is to help young people to become successful,” says Mr Wilkie, “and I hope that both Danielle and Courtney-Leigh will enjoy the opportunities offered at The Portsmouth Grammar School and go on to fulfil their own expectations. It has been wonderful to catch up today with James, Finlay, Lucy and Faith to hear the positive impact Sixth Form here has had on them.”

This year two further pupils from Mayfield, Bradley Jackson and Jasmine Searle, will also be joining The Portsmouth Grammar School for Sixth Form having been awarded bursary support from the school. Bradley has already made a big impact before officially joining the school in September having successfully auditioned for the Senior School Musical, Crazy For You, and landing the lead male role. “When I looked round the school the Drama department did spark my interest,” says Bradley. “I couldn’t believe it when I found out I had the lead role after my audition, I can’t wait to get in to rehearsals.”

“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 are also incredibly grateful to other members of the community who contribute to our bursary and scholarship programmes so that we can continue to offer support to other pupils joining the school. 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 Courtney-Leigh, Danielle, Bradley and Jasmine are looking forward to doing.”