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News > School News > History enthusiast and school archivist celebrates A Level success

History enthusiast and school archivist celebrates A Level success

7 Sep 2022
School News

A PASSIONATE historian and school archivist plans to travel to deepen her cultural knowledge ahead of studying history at university, having achieved an A* in the subject at A Level.

Anna Morris, from Alnwick, who is a keen waterskier and competes at a national level, also wants to develop her language skills, particularly German and French, to help her study primary source material when taking a history degree.  

The 18 year old celebrated an A and A* in A Level Biology and Philosophy, and achieved an A* in an EPQ at Dame Allan’s Schools, in Newcastle.

Anna said:  “I’ve always loved history, but it wasn’t until A Levels that a realised just how passionate I am about it and wanted to study it further. I’m thrilled with my results and excited to continue history at university next summer.

“I’ve chosen to take a gap year to support my studies – to travel and visit historical sites abroad, in order to develop my cultural understanding and improve my language skills. This will be really beneficial when studying historic primary source material at degree level.”

Anna was appointed Chief Archivist in Year 13 at Dame Allan’s Schools – a collection of independent schools founded in 1705, in the reign of Queen Anne. The Girls’ School is believed to be the eight oldest independent girls’ school in the country. Her keen interest saw Anna transcribe wartime letters from old boys, create detailed records of former pupils who served in both World Wars, and work closely with the Schools’ Allanian Society.

She said: “Having access to the Schools’ archives has really broadened my historical outlook and enthusiasm. It’s given me the opportunity to study primary source documents first hand and definitely instilled in me a greater curiosity.

“My role as Chief Archivist has allowed me to study letters written by old boys serving in World War 2, some of which were particularly emotional, and transcribe the headmaster’s log book from the late 1800s onwards, which gives a fascinating insight into the daily activities within the school.”

Anna is also a successful waterskier and last year competed in the 2021 British Waterski Nationals, placing 5th in the slalom Under 17 Girls division and 12th in the Women’s Open category.

She started slalom skiing in 2018 at Merlin Brae Waterski Club, on Kielder reservoir in Northumberland. In 2020, she also started skiing at CN Watersports, at Pine Lake, in Carnforth, Lancashire.

Anna said: “I wasn’t able to train as much as I normally would, due to my A Level commitments, but I definitely intend to keep waterskiing and competing both in my gap year and while at university. I really enjoy the sport; it balances well with my academic studies.”

Will Scott, Principal of Dame Allan’s Schools, said: “Anna’s passion for history is evident not only in her fantastic result but in the time she has dedicated to working meticulously on the Schools’ archives.

“We encourage students to grow, develop and learn outside of the classroom as much as in it through co-curricular enrichment, and Anna’s commitment as Chief Archivist has provided her with skills and knowledge that will support her history studies going forward.”

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