Evie Brenkley, Bowes House

Evie (right) was named Barney’s Young Musician of the Year for the last two years

Evie Brenkley secured three A* in her A levels and wants to read for a degree in music.

But because of the disruptive impact of the pandemic on university learning, she felt it was prudent to defer for a year before applying to Oxford, Manchester, Durham and York universities.

After discussing various options for her future with headmaster Tony Jackson and director of music Richard Dawson, Evie was offered a one year contract at Barney as residential gap year music assistant, further bolstering the School’s thriving Music Department.

“I had a very attractive offer of a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, but because of the pandemic, all open days were online and I didn’t feel I could make a true decision until I could stand in the space and see myself there,” said Evie, who was deputy head girl and head of choir last year and learned the tenor saxophone over lockdown.

“It was such a generous offer from school where staff have been there for me every step of the way along my journey so far.

Moving from student to staff will be the biggest change. “After years of calling teachers Sir and Miss, I’ll be using their first names which will take a while to get used to, as will the students calling me Miss,” she said. “But Barney is very good at fostering a community atmosphere, so I’m not daunted.”