A Millfield skier is celebrating achieving outstanding GCSE results today alongside a successful international competition schedule on the slopes this year.
16-year-old Katie Saunders kept on top of her considerable academic workload during Year 11 while travelling internationally for competitions. The U16 girls British Champion skier completed schoolwork set by her teachers while on the road, using classrooms in local schools and hotel conference rooms to study in where available.
That hard work came to fruition today, as she received seven grade 9s and two grade 8s.
Katie was crowned Champion at the English Alpine Championships in Bormio in 2023, before going on to claim victory at the British Championships in France.
She became one of only three U16 girls from Great Britain to be selected for the world’s pre-eminent children’s ski race, the Alpe Cimbra FIS children’s cup in Folgaria, Italy. Katie came 20th in the Slalom and 10th in the Giant Slalom, racing against the top Alpine skiers in the world, and helping the GB team to finish seventh overall against the 45 ski nations, which is their best result ever.
Katie said “The school is really good at setting me the work that I would be doing in class. While travelling I have school from 3-6pm every day so that I can stay on top of my work while still focusing on my skiing. My teachers were always helpful in my studies, providing help and support at every turn. I can always find the work I need to do on OneNote, however it’s also very easy to send an email asking my teachers for help or if I have any questions. I did also have some Teams meetings with my French teacher for extra help with the speaking part of the course! It has been a challenge to balance my skiing and school at the same time, but Millfield has given me amazing support through it all.”
Katie started skiing at the age of three at her local ski race club in Aldershot. She skis with the Millfield team every Wednesday in training sessions held at the Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre, and regularly represents the school in competitions.
Katie said “When I first I joined Millfield, I was completely overwhelmed with the sheer size of the campus. I had previously only been to much smaller schools, so it was a daunting move. However, I soon managed to adjust to my new life, finding interest in my new subjects, and joining the Millfield Ski Team. Being able to compete in the English and British Ski Championships this year, whilst simultaneously studying for my GCSEs has been made possible by Millfield, and I am massively grateful for these opportunities.”
Katie also had access to tutors when she was away skiing for additional help, taking time off from her studies during ‘race weeks’ and then catching up in the weeks following. Millfield helps support student-athletes when competing internationally off site through flexible and virtual academic support that ensures students stay connected to tsporheir learning.
Following today’s fantastic results, Katie will continue at Millfield in the Sixth Form, where she will study Biology, Chemistry and Psychology at A level, and hopes to continue with these interests into university.