Remember the good old days when “secret sauce” meant, um, sauce? These days, it’s a buzzword for businesses, entrepreneurs and millennials, referring to an element, quality, ability, or practice that makes something or someone successful or distinctive.

Now, we all know that sometimes your brain needs a break. No matter how passionate, determined and tenacious you are, repetitive focus on your regular curriculum can actually limit brain function, increase fatigue and be detrimental to your health.

There have been many studies conducted on the relationship between extracurricular activities and academic performance, showing that students who participate in activities outside of school generally have higher grades, more positive attitudes towards their studies and higher academic aspirations.

From improved leadership skills to time management, analytical thinking to creative expression, we met some of the Head Boys and Head Girls of the island’s sixth form colleges, to see what “secret sauce” makes them the model students.

Tanguy Billet-Masters

School: Victoria College

Position: Deputy Head Boy

Secret sauce: Table tennis charity event

“I started playing table tennis in year 7 and when I was in year 10, I decided to incorporate charity work with my hobby. I set up a fun doubles table tennis tournament in aid of the Love Hearts Appeal, which has since become an annual event; this year being my third time in organising it. Overall, I have raised nearly £8,000 so far. This charity initiative has definitely helped me to develop as a person and I look forward to continue using my charity organisational skills at university.”

Madeleine Jowitt

School: Hautlieu School

Position: Head Girl

Secret sauce: An interest in the history of humanity and diversity

“I believe the Eurocentrism of our learning in the majority of our schools across the UK really limits our understanding of the wider world, and we miss out on an array of cultures and history. It’s for that reason that I think it’s so important to broaden my horizons; last academic year, I studied a years’ worth of Mandarin alongside my AS subjects and I recently completed an online course from Harvard on World Literature. This summer, after I sit my A-Levels, I plan to take a course on Understanding Africa from SOAS University of London. In this modern and diversifying age, I think it’s vital that we place more emphasis on a more worldwide perspective. Given my own mixed heritage, this sits very close to my heart.”

Eva Patterson

School: Beaulieu Convent School

Position: Head Girl

Secret sauce: Musical Theatre and Performance

“I’ve been performing since the age of 3 and it’s something that I’ve completely fallen in love with. Performing is a form of escapism for me; whenever circumstances are stressful or challenging, it is something which is guaranteed to motivate and excite me. For me, performing is an outlet for creativity and self-expression and I’d be lost without it. In terms of the future, I hope to go to University to study performance and obtain a BA Honours Degree in Musical Theatre.”

Phoebe Over

School: Hautlieu School

Position: Deputy Head Girl

Secret sauce: Music

“I’ve always been a massive music lover and picked up guitar from a young age as a secret hobby. I’ve recently started writing and singing my own songs, creating music which I love to listen to and then performing at a few small gigs to get my name out there. I really never thought I’d be able to play in front of people, as I used to keep my hobby hidden, but now the thought that people will be able to download my songs on their phone amazes me. It’s something new and I’m learning a lot along the way, but I finally feel as though I can express myself through song, being creative with my ideas in the process. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes and I hope to go onto study music at university next year, or even make a career from it.”

Samuel Moore

School: Victoria College Jersey

Position: Head Boy

Secret sauce: Tennis coaching

“I started playing tennis when I was in Year 7 and began coaching as part of my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award. After completing the 3 months of volunteering as an assistant coach, I was inspired to take it on as a part-time job, and have since completed 2-3 hours of paid coaching per week. Assisting younger students in developing their tennis skills whilst following their progress is enriching and encourages me to do more. Having just come to the end of another 12 month period of volunteering for my DofE Gold award, coaching has further proved to be very rewarding. I believe the communication, organisation and leadership skills exercised in the job have equipped me with the relevant experience to excel as a prefect and prepare me for future life.”

Emily Grace

School: Jersey College for Girls

Position: Deputy Head Girl

Secret sauce: Ballet

“I’ve been dancing since I was three years old and it’s a huge part of my life. I’ve made lots of friends through my dance school and took up tap dancing for the first time last year. A-levels can be very stressful, so it’s nice to take a break from studying and take time to relax from busy college life. I enjoy how challenging ballet can be and it has helped me in other aspects of my life, such as choreography for improving your memory! I’m fortunate to have had some amazing dance teachers too, and I know their insightful advice will continue to help me in the future.”

Joel Turner

School: Hautlieu

Position: Deputy Head boy

Secret sauce: Outdoor physical “Adventuring”

“Ever since I was a child I’ve loved the outdoors; exploring, adventuring and challenging myself. It’s something I’ve been passionate about developing ever since. Through rock climbing, surfing, kayaking, freerunning, coasteering and scuba diving, my love for being amongst our island’s nature is an invaluable experience every time. A big upcoming event for me is a kayak expedition that I’ll be going on this coming summer, where a team and I have three weeks to live out of kayaks, as we paddle from Ilulissat to Saqqaq, stopping only for water in remote villages. I hope to continue being adventurous and daring for as long as I can, for there is always more to explore.”

Rosie Nicholls

School: Jersey College for Girls

Position: Head Girl

Secret sauce: Running

“For me, running is the perfect escape! If I ever feel stressed, going for a run helps me to stay focused and keep a clear head. Even when I feel tired, it’s amazing how energised and refreshed I can feel after getting out in the fresh air. I’m not a particularly competitive runner; I just do it because it makes me happy and I like being able to improve on my times and distances. It’s more of a personal competition to see how much I can challenge myself. I find running incredibly rewarding, both mentally and physically, and it’s something at which I hope to continue to improve!”

Thomas Whitney

School: De La Salle College

Position: Head Boy

Secret sauce: Boxing

“I haven’t been boxing for too long, however, as soon as I finished my first-ever boxing session with my cousin, Brandon, I fell in love with the sport. Since then, I’ve been hooked and both my Mum and Dad would come along and partner with me if my cousin couldn’t make a session. At the end of a busy day, I can go to the BoxInBusiness gym and escape all of my worries with people that enjoy the sport as much as me. I’m really looking forward to continue working with my trainer, Alan, as he continues to help me expand my knowledge of the sport.”

Lily Dobber

School: Jersey College for Girls

Position: Deputy Head Girl

Secret sauce: Archery

“I have wanted to do archery for years, inspired by Artemis, Greek goddess of the hunt, and I finally fulfilled my wish earlier this year. Archery makes me feel powerful and in control, as well as being a practical strengthening tool to keep me healthy. It’s instilled in me that you have to treat every arrow like a new start; not thinking about how well or badly the last shot was, learning with every attempt, and I’ve been able to apply this ethos of focus and perseverance to many other challenges in daily life. It’s also taught me the value of patience and how to trust myself.”

Eoghan Spillane

School: Hautlieu

Position: Head Boy

Secret sauce: Music

“I play the piano and flute, which provides me with a break from my busy timetable at school. All of the subjects I study fall within the realm of maths and science, so music really adds balance to my life. It’s allowed me to develop skills and disciplines when it comes to practicing things you struggle with, which I would say has really moulded me to be the person I am today. Recently, my music has allowed me to perform in a band with some of my friends. It’s an amazing sense of achievement when you can stand up and play a song that you didn’t know 4 weeks ago!”

Ross Laurent

School: De La Salle College

Position: Head Boy

Secret sauce: Tennis coaching

“I started playing tennis aged 3 and have been really keen ever since, playing in many tournaments and competitions. When I moved into the GCSE years at school, I didn’t have the time to play competitively anymore, and so asked if I could help out wherever was required. Within a short period of time, I had moved on from being an assistant to taking individual sessions and squads. Coaching has allowed me to become much more confident and aids me in my role at school. It helps me to be authoritative and empathetic at the same time, so that I can communicate my point to others in the most effective manner possible.”