Hello! My name is Mía and I joined Thomas Tallis Post 16 in September 2019. I remember being very excited and looking forward to joining a school that seemed to share my values and would hopefully encourage me in my decisions for the future - I was not disappointed.
I am currently studying for a degree in Astrophysics at Queen Mary University of London and am very proud to be a Tallis alumni. I have two younger siblings both of whom are Tallis students and I often find myself recommending Tallis to other potential students.
Although I can be quite naturally shy, I always felt confident approaching teachers for help. They made me feel comfortable from the beginning by being friendly and relaxed even while upholding behaviour and expectations in lessons, which seemed to command a very genuine form of respect from students and added to the sense of community at Tallis. Having the perspective of attending a different secondary school beforehand, really helped me to appreciate Tallis in its style of education and I always noticed the great sense of community that was there, even before I had made many friends or got to know my teachers very well, which I think is the best environment to be comfortable and focus on learning.
Tallis allowed me to pursue my interests and actively encouraged me to do so. I am a person who is passionate about a variety of subjects and I appreciate being given the opportunity to study a range of them rather than being prescribed a specific pathway, while still under the advisement of the Sixth Form team about possibilities for potential careers. I was also encouraged in the projects I was part of outside school, such as the National Youth Folk Ensemble, where I was met with enthusiasm by the music department, and even asked to share some English traditional music with my peers.
Although both of my years at Tallis were affected by the pandemic, I always noticed that there were still many enriching extracurricular activities and trips proposed to help engage students in their subjects, especially to motivate younger students but also in Post 16. In Physics a trip to CERN was proposed and in History another to Berlin. I also remember how despite lockdown, the Tallis orchestra was still able to produce a video with us all playing together.
When applying for a music degree at Cambridge, I remember being very supported by the UCAS team as well as my music teachers specifically. And although I ended up not passing the extensive process, it was a highly valuable experience from which I emerged having gained skills in interviews and having prepared my CV in advance for further UCAS applications.
I finished studying at Thomas Tallis in May 2021, and left with four A Levels in History, Music, Physics and Maths. Although I did not go on to study it, I am very proud of my A Level in History as it was a subject I had not studied at GCSE and was able to really enjoy and do well in thanks to my teachers.
I have gladly returned various times to offer my help, which I would be more than happy to continue doing in future, and that is the greatest testament I can make to my time there.
-- Mia Iles Pérez