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‘Millfield makes people not students’: Head of School Freya’s Millfield story
Head of School for Spring term Freya Platts Costeloe

From apprehensively starting in Lower Sixth having never boarded before, to becoming Head of School and thriving as an Art and Academic Scholar, Millfield’s Head Girl for the Spring Term, Freya Platts Costeloe explains how Millfield has supported and encouraged her throughout her Sixth Form journey so far. Hear Freya’s insights into her experiences being a scholar, a first-time boarder and how she found her passion for squash, a sport she’d never tried before.

What made you choose Millfield?

After spending five years at a state day school in Devon, my parents wanted my brothers and I to see the bigger picture and the world of possibilities available to us. Millfield was one of six schools that we went to visit, but as soon as we drove on campus, I knew that I didn’t need to look any further. This was the place I wanted to be. Watch our campus tour to see our facilities here.

How did you find the scholarship process?

I attended several days undergoing scholarship testing. After character references, computer tests, practical art examinations, portfolio submissions and interviews with potential subject tutors, I was told that I would hear back soon whether or not Millfield would accept me. To my astonishment, I was lucky enough to be offered both an art and academic scholarship to start in the Lower Sixth, I was ecstatic! View our scholarship page for more information here.

What were your thoughts before starting Millfield?

I was worried that as an artist and academic I wouldn’t be ‘sporty enough’ for the school and that I would struggle to find friends. Of course, I was mistaken on all fronts! There is no single ‘Millfield type’; everyone here is accepted as a unique individual, and their differences are embraced by everyone. As a friend once said, ‘Millfield makes people, not students.’ Although coming here was a huge change in terms of everything I had experienced before, I believe that I have fully immersed myself into everything the school has to offer. Watch our This is Millfield video to learn more about our school ethos here.

What is it like being an art and academic scholar?

As an Art Scholar, I have been able to progress my own artistic abilities through enriching workshops, lectures and having the opportunity to enter competitions such as the Black Swan Arts last year, where my piece was one of the winning outcomes. I’ve been able to explore different mediums and processes and, in recognition of my efforts, I received last year’s award for Art and Academic achievement. I am grateful for the Bennet Family Scholarship and the support of my teachers. As an Academic Scholar and as part of the Academic Society and as a Top Academic, I was encouraged by my mentor to explore the possibility of studying at Oxbridge. Although Oxford couldn’t offer me a place, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and it’s been an incredible experience I’ll never forget. Read more about our academic enrichment programme here.

What do you do outside of lessons?

I enjoy getting involved in sports and extra-curricular activities, I appreciate the facilities and enthusiasm towards sport as I never had that at my old school. Along with hockey and running I took up squash which I had never played before. The whole game was entirely alien to me at first, it was many weeks before I could even hit the ball! Throughout last year I improved massively and have been invited to join the squash squad training sessions. Learn more about sport and co-curricular activities here.


What is it like being a part of the Millfield community?

It’s really rewarding and inspirational. I’ve become a member of the Millfield Development Committee where I’ve helped out at some unbelievable events such as Millfield Polo. Last year I was accepted as one of the school prefects and within this role I am able to help out at whole-school occasions such as the Millfield Colour run, Open days and other charity initiatives. As a prefect I have had the amazing opportunity to attend Governor events where I’ve met some incredibly inspiring people. I was voted as Head of my boarding house last term, it has been really rewarding to be a part of the wonderful community in Abbey boarding house and help others enjoy boarding life as much as I have. This has also developed my confidence and leadership skills in the process. Read more about our boarding houses here.

What does studying at Millfield mean to you?

I have endless gratitude for this school, Millfield really is a unique and life-changing place. There have been countless times where I’ve been nervous to try something new or volunteer to speak in public, but Millfield has encouraged and supported me through any worry and self-doubt. The school has shown me that challenge is not something to be feared or avoided, but instead something to embrace and learn from. Words fail to describe how fortunate I feel to be a part of such an incredible school and to have had such an inspirational experience here. This school, it’s community and values have taught me so much about myself and have given me more than I could have ever dreamed was possible in every definition of an education. Without Millfield, I would not be the person I am today. Read more in our purpose, vision and values document here.

What’s next for you after Millfield?

I’m very happy to have been offered places to study a range of courses including Sociology, Biology, Human Sciences and Biomedical Sciences at four different universities. I know that I definitely want to go to university but I want to consider an opportunity to embrace something different but equally exciting, like a gap year. I am currently researching various volunteering programmes and work experience opportunities that I could embark on (e.g. conservation/ humanitarian projects abroad). It will be an amazing chance to explore the world, learn more about myself and find what I’m most passionate about. See what destinations our Sixth Formers go to here.

If you would like to read more stories, read our Sixth Form Experience brochure here.