Story/Interview October 14, 2019
Anna Louise Hursey
The youngest athlete in the history of any sport to compete in the Commonwealth Games, Anna has found the flexibility of King's InterHigh has had a great effect on both her training and education.
"King's InterHigh allows me to continue with my education whilst developing my table tennis career. The teachers always explain things very clearly, meaning I can progress with my education alongside my training."
What inspired you to study with King's InterHigh?
The main reason for studying with King’s InterHigh was the flexibility of learning. I am an athlete, based in Tianjin China. Due to my table tennis commitments, I needed to have a more flexible way of learning than with mainstream school. I knew King’s InterHigh had a good reputation, it looked professional and I could adapt to this learning style as I was already used to working independently on the internet at high school. It has made a difference to my life. I could continue with my GCSE’s whilst being able to maintain my training and international tournament commitments.
You are the youngest athlete in the history of any sport to compete in the Commonwealth Games. How has King's InterHigh helped with the challenge of fitting your studies in around your table tennis career?
At the moment, I’m training with the Tianjin regional squad in China, this means my time is limited when it comes to education. I always try to utilise my spare time for studying as it is really important to me.
King’s InterHigh allows me to continue with my education whilst developing my table tennis career. I enjoy studying using the online platform, if I’m busy with table tennis I can just go back and listen to the recorded lessons, so I don’t have to miss out on anything. The teachers always explain things very clearly, meaning I can progress with my education alongside my training.
What were your educational experiences before studying with King's InterHigh?
I have always enjoyed studying! I previously studied at Cardiff High School in Wales, a mixed comprehensive school. It was a brilliant school and I did well. Pupil’s achievements at the school have been amongst the highest in Wales over recent years, but my achievements were not as good as they could have been because I missed lots of lessons.
I liked the teachers, had many friends and it was a great learning experience. However, as I was often abroad training or competing, I found it difficult to do well.
How has King's InterHigh online schooling improved your education in comparison to a bricks and mortar school?
King’s InterHigh has given me the opportunity to catch up with lessons which I couldn’t previously do. At Cardiff High School, I missed a lot of lessons but with King’s InterHigh, the flexibility of learning fits with my table tennis career. I am often abroad and would usually be unable to attend mainstream school, whereas the online education system is easy to use. I can utilise my time better, being able to have lessons anywhere, from the training hall or when I am travelling.
Was there anything that surprised you at King's InterHigh?
I didn’t realise I could continue my GCSE’s in this way. King’s InterHigh is similar to attending school, but without the need of physical attendance as the learning is online.
From your experience, can you talk us through a typical day at King's InterHigh?
At King’s InterHigh, I log in to the online portal in the morning. I have a lot of lessons, which is hard work alongside my training, but there are breaks during the day. I do have to study hard at King’s InterHigh, but I have already learnt a lot.
After my online lessons, I go and train. If I’m having a break during training, I can also get my computer, log in and start studying because of the 24/7 accessibility of the King’s InterHigh online portal.
As an online learning platform, King's InterHigh required students to do a lot of independent learning. How have you found this type of studying?
What has helped me is that I have to take responsibility for my learning, helping me to develop a stronger commitment to work. I believe this type of learning will help me in my future, in everything I do. When other students aren’t around to distract me, I can focus on my studying better. My Mum is also helping me develop a good work ethic as she makes sure I complete my work with King’s InterHigh.
Why should people who may be going through similar experiences to you consider King's InterHigh?
King’s InterHigh is excellent for any students, not just athletes or people who already have a career. It is particularly good for those who have high career ambitions, enabling them to use more time for training with the flexibility that King’s InterHigh offers. King’s InterHigh saves time too as you don’t have to travel to school and can have lessons anywhere with an internet connection.
In sport, everyone is competing to be the best they can be, meaning a lot of training is required. With King’s InterHigh, I can do my studies effectively while utilising my time for training and competitions.
Do you have any advice for potential and existing King's InterHigh students of how to get the most out of their time at King's InterHigh?
Check out the system and use the notebook before you start the year. Get used to the online system and ask questions before starting.