Reg Banner

A Nostalgic Visit

Posted: 23rd August 2023

Family with child standing on steps

In a heartwarming moment that joined the past and the present, Ekaterina Smirnova, accompanied by her husband Arslan, grandmother Lara, and daughter Lia, joined us for a journey down memory lane as they visited St Lawrence College.

Ekaterina’s Schooling Journey

Ekaterina’s connection to the school traces back to her A Levels, where she spent the years between 16 and 18. Commencing as a boarder in Bellerby, she soon transitioned into a day boarder living with her uncle locally. Her time here was marked by remarkable achievements, as she earned the coveted title of head girl during the 2004/2005 academic year, a testament to her leadership and dedication.

After bidding farewell to the school Ekaterina attended Oxford University, studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE).

Revisiting Familiar Spaces

The school’s physical landscape has evolved since Ekaterina’s time, but the past remains on the Newlands site, where Bellerby House once stood. Mornings were a communal affair in the hall, with rows of tables stretching out, and the top table being reserved for the staff educators. Sixth Form prefects occasionally graced the head table, a privilege they cherished.

Spiritual enrichment was a cornerstone of Ekaterina’s experience, with chapel prayers on Mondays to Thursdays, fostering a sense of unity. Fridays were marked by grand assemblies resounding with announcements.

Inclusivity as a Guiding Principle

A distinctive quality of the school was its inclusivity, a sentiment that resounded with diverse religious beliefs. Students were not just respected for their faith, but encouraged to practice it, showing a harmonious coexistence of faiths.

Eco-Friendly Evolution

The school’s growth is visible, with new structures like Kirby House. Ekaterina reminisced about the eco-friendly ethos that underscored the construction, where rainwater was reused, and the roof was carpeted with a layer of grass.

A Modern Facelift

The family’s visit showcased the school’s latest additions – Taylor Hall, Canon Perfect Centre, and the Sports Hall. These state-of-the-art facilities left Ekaterina and her family impressed, especially the boarding rooms that now boast en-suite amenities for each room, a far cry from the simpler arrangements of earlier boarders.

Continuing the Legacy

Lara, Ekaterina’s grandmother, holds her own connection to the school, as her son attended St Lawrence College and completed his studies in 1996.

Intriguingly, the Smirnova family themselves have entered the realm of education. With daughters Anna (10) and Lia (5) in tow, the family’s commitment to education continues to shape lives.

As Ekaterina, Arslan, Lara, and Lia walked through the corridors, memories painted a vivid picture of a school that played an instrumental role in Ekaterina’s journey from a student to a successful individual.

We would like to thank the family for their visit, and look forward to staying in touch with them as part of the Old Lawrentian community.

Categories: Alumni

Click here to book your place at our Open Week from 16th – 20th September.

Open Week advert