Rachael Woods

Rachael WoodsYear of leaving?

2012

Favourite subject in school and why?

My favourite subject in school was definitely biology! I’ve always been fascinated by how things work , especially the human body. I loved practical classes, especially dissection classes as it meant I could get up close and personal with what we had been learning, which I found to be really helpful in strengthening my knowledge

What have you done since leaving KEVI?

From leaving KEVI, I moved to Scotland to study animal biology at Stirling University. As Scotland offers 4-year courses, I’m still there, currently finishing off my dissertation and I am due to graduate this June. I’ve also held several part-time jobs, from pharmaceutical work to fundraising!

What has been your biggest achievement in life and how did your experience at KEVI help you to achieve other successes?

My biggest achievement in life so far has definitely getting the courage to embark on a research trip during university. I spent 3 weeks in the South of France with a group of like-minded scientists to help data collection for a research topic. This meant I had to travel by myself and help carry out research from my own knowledge – you don’t get much wifi coverage in rural France! I feel KEVI has helped me achieve my successes by giving confidence in my knowledge and abilities, and always encouraging myself and other students to pursue our dream!

What one piece of advice would you give to current students?

Don’t wory about your future! I know it sounds super cliched, but I was always so stressed about what I was doing with my life, and as a result I sacrificed my favourite subjects, my personal life and my health in a bid to secure my future as much as possible. Now that I’m where I am, I’m happy with how far I’ve come and where I can take myself. You do not need to have an idea of what you are doing with your life by the time to choose your GCSE’s, A Levels or even university! Do what makes you happy and you will be successful in whatever you decide.

What’s your next big goal?

I have just been accepted to Edinburgh Univeristy to study Veterinary Medicine, so I’ll have another 4 years at uni! It sounds crazy, and my friends tell me so, but when it’s something you’ve worked towards your entire life, you will do anything to reach your goals (at least I know I will!).

Michele Stewart

Michele StewartYear of leaving?

1981

Favourite subject in school and why?

Drama, Art, History, Biology, English Literature- I loved the creative studies, and biology& history were interesting

What have you done since leaving KEVI?

I have been a lecturer in FE. Owned my own salon employing 8 people

Owned my own hairdressing training academy(worked with KEVI students delivering hair qualifications to them when government funding was available- for  4 years)Worked as a technician with an Italian hair company, doing seminars and shows throughout Europe.

Worked for Toni & Guy as an Internal Verifier and assessor for NVQ qualifications in hairdressing

What has been your biggest achievement in life and how did your experience at KEVI help you to achieve other successes?

Personally – having 3 beautiful children (all studied at KEVI) now aged 27,24,15

My biggest achievement academically was running my own hairdressing academy delivering apprenticeships and hair qualifications to schools and salons throughout the county.

At 15 I went on 2 week work experience to a local salon –Hair at the workshop- sought out by my head of year – Doreen Condliffe- I was kept on as a Saturday girl and then offered an apprenticeship when I left school. I eventually ended up being Doreen Condliffe’s next door neighbour!

What one piece of advice would you give to current students?

Follow your dream and work hard in school – I had to resit my English language O Level when I wanted to teach, and eventually did a degree at Sunderland University in further education!

What’s your next big goal?

To re-open a hairdressing training academy- when government funding improves!!

Matt Bailey

Matt BaileyYear of leaving?

2001

Favourite subject in school and why?

English, because it involved talking…something I’m pretty good at! I also used to struggle remembering facts for exams so English was good as you could come up with any answer as long as you could back it up! I also loved biology as I love everything nature. I genuinely think that one day I could be the new David Attenborough

What have you done since leaving KEVI?

After sixth form I went to uni in Leeds. During my time there I did a work experience at Metro Radio in Newcastle. Following this I pestered them to give me more work and eventually they let me do some freelancing on the news team. From this I produced sport, made adverts, made a lot of tea, then moved to produce a nighttime talk show. I then started producing breakfast at TFM Radio, then Capital FM, before eventually landing my dream job as a breakfast presenter

What has been your biggest achievement in life and how did your experience at KEVI help you to achieve other successes?

I’ve won a few radio awards and stuff but I think my biggest achievement is actually getting the job that I always dreamed about when I was younger. KEVI obviously helped me get the qualifications I needed to get to uni, however, I was head boy in my final year and it also helped me massively build confidence. My ability to speak in public, and now on the radio, was hugely helped from this experience.  

What one piece of advice would you give to current students?

This sounds proper cheesy but if you’ve got a dream then just go for it! Don’t let anything get in your way as it’s totally possible. Oh and buy enough pairs of pants and socks so you can survive for two weeks without putting a wash on!

What’s your next big goal?

I’d like to continue on the breakfast show for a bit and hopefully win another award, then after that i‘m really not sure!! I quite like the thought of going into management…but then I’m not sure it would be as much fun as hanging out with my mates being stupid every morning!

Marc Tully

Marc TullyYear of leaving?

2013

Favourite subject in school and why?

Economics because it was something I had a natural talent for. I also liked how the early skills I obtained could be transferred and used in a range of different tasks, improving both my numerical and analytical skills.

What have you done since leaving KEVI?

I have completed 2 years of University and I’m currently on placement at HM Treasury as a student economist with my final year left to do. I have also been lucky enough go travelling across Europe and the less visited places of Asia

What has been your biggest achievement in life and how did your experience at KEVI help you to achieve other successes?

My academic record and securing a placement at HM Treasury. KEVI encouraged me to work hard whilst having a goal in sight. The resources in terms of the quality of teachers helped me improve vastly. The teachers went above and beyond what would be expected from their job role. Specifically the Maths department!

I can’t stress how important the teachers were in academic performance, they really cared about you as an individual.

What one piece of advice would you give to current students?

Just because you’re not doing the thing you thought you would be at the current time, it doesn’t matter. Academic ability is important but so are experiences such as meeting new people, travelling and working in different environments.

What’s your next big goal?

Short term to maintain my academid record and finish university with a 1st class honours. More long term, to embrace and try new things. I don’t know what I want to do but im going to do as many things as I can along the way.

Lee Redpath

Year of leaving?

2011

Favourite subject in school and why?

My favourite subject in school was Economics. Yes, I went down the Science route and have a degree in Biomedical Sciences (BSc) but I enjoyed the comradery enjoyed there! I was good at it and seemed to always do exceptionally well at AS and A level. Before my A-level days I’d say my favourite subject was Biology, the teaching was great and the subjects studied and their application in human and natures mechanisms excited me.

What have you done since leaving KEVI?

Since leaving KEVI I have done charitable voluntary work over in the Republic of Georgia for 2 years, I mastered the language and loved the culture there. I’ve finished my degree in Biomedical Sciences and now I’m starting my studies as a postgraduate on a postgraduate dentistry course at the University of Central Lancashire (BDS).

What has been your biggest achievement in life and how did your experience at KEVI help you to achieve other successes?

I’d say my biggest achievement thus far, putting aside my academic life, has been my 2-year success in Georgia as a missionary. I’d say the school experience I had helped me because I was able to develop and open and considerate mind to all whilst at KEVI. The academic standards there lifted my sights to greater things

What one piece of advice would you give to current students?

One piece of advice I’d give my 16 year old self? I’d say to have a little more recreational time, work hard and make sure you get the A’s by all means. But don’t stress, relax, things will all work out, you don’t need to stress over GCSE’s they’re just a step on the ladder and the ladder has so many other rungs to it! Enjoy sports, enjoy friends and work hard!

What’s your next big goal?

My next big goal is to graduate dental school with honours!

Kinley Johnstone

Kinley JohnstonYear of leaving?

2014

Favourite subject in school and why?

I had no clear favourite during school my preferred subjects where PE and physics as they were subjects I was good at, and overall most interested.

What have you done since leaving KEVI?

Since leaving school I have had two jobs, first farming, then moving onto outdoor instruction and education, I have also got a house and I’m not even 20.

What has been your biggest achievement in life and how did your experience at KEVI help you to achieve other successes?

Gaining  a chance to take part in an amazing career, with opportunity to progress in many directions

What one piece of advice would you give to current students?

Don’t think you won’t make it, if you really want something bad enough you’ll work for it – if you don’t want to work for it, you don’t want it bad enough.

What’s your next big goal?

Level 2 UKCC BCU coach and go through sailing instructor training

Helen Norris

Year of leaving?

1984

Favourite subject in school and why?

English, my teacher Mr Ramsey was brilliant and made English interesting. I also enjoyed Professional and Business English with Mr Boothroyd.

What have you done since leaving KEVI?

I joined the Police YTS scheme , I was also a Special constable within Northumbria Police for 2 years. I  was given a full-time civilian role in the Central ticket office at Police Headquarters, I then went on to do Youth work qualification and became a youth worker, I then ran my own business, then started working at Northumberland College as a learning support assistant. I did my teaching qualification and set up a programme within the College to educate 14-16 learners on a vocational programme with maths and English, I then was promoted to management and I am now Senior Manager. My role is Director of 14-16 and Career College.

What has been your biggest achievement in life and how did your experience at KEVI help you to achieve other successes?

My biggest achievement in life is to have worked towards the position I have at Northumberland College over a number of years, I feel that making a difference in young peoples lives is the most satisfying job you can ever do. I feel that the teachers at King Edwards taught confidence and resilience as well as subject specific lessons, going above and beyond.  Teachers instilling good values and morals and life skills also.

What one piece of advice would you give to current students?

Work hard and never give up even if you feel that it may be too difficult if you ask for guidance and support you will achieve your goals.

What’s your next big goal?

To continue to work as Director of 14-16 and Career College at Northumberland College and to instill the values, morals, life skills, confidence and resilience  into another generation of young people.

Faye Gullon

Year of leaving?

2014

Favourite subject in school and why?

Design and Technology (Textiles). It was always so creative and open to your interpretation, so any ideas I had I was able to express with confidence. It was such an enjoyable lesson and the teachers I had at the time made it fun and engaging. There was always something new to learn and the fact I enjoyed the subject so much made it feel effortless.

What have you done since leaving KEVI?

I studied at Newcastle College for one year before going to University. I did an Art and Design Foundation Diploma, and looking back it was my best year in terms of achievment and learning. I worked in retail for 3 years at New Look when living at home. I now work for Links of London; a high-end Jewellery brand, at the well-known department store Selfridges in Manchester’s iconic Trafford Centre part time alongside being a student. I am a first-year student at Manchester Metropolitan University studying Fashion Buying and Merchandising. I also have completed lots of work experience relevant to the career I wish to pursue, which included working with the head buyer for Very and Littlewoods for a short period of time in Liverpool.

What has been your biggest achievement in life and how did your experience at KEVI help you to achieve other successes?

My biggest achievement so far is getting a place on my dream course at University, and along with it securing a relevant and exciting part time job. Another big achievement for me is actually the fact that I have moved to a brand new city. I have gained so much confidence and changed so much since the big move, and for me that is a huge, successful achievement. King Edwards helped me become a more confident and independent person which both skills have contributed greatly towards my current success.

What one piece of advice would you give to current students?

My main piece of advice would be to not rush into University and make sure that you are 100% set on your career choice and that you are passionate about and love the subject that you will go on to study. I went to University one year later than all of my friends, and I was worried that I would have missed out but everything has lived up to my expectations, actually even better! Taking one year to decide was the best thing I ever did as I was more prepared and ready than I was the year before. Also moving to a new city has been the most exciting thing ever, so I would definitely recommend that too!

What’s your next big goal?

My daydream goal is to become a buyer for my favourite brand Valentino and travel the world… However my realistic goal is to finish University with a First Class Degree and become a buyer for a desirable fashion brand, preferably in London.

Daisey Fitzpatrick

Daisey FitzpatrickYear of leaving?

2013

Favourite subject in school and why?

My favourite subject was Design Technology. I really enjoyed learning about materials as well as completing the coursework independently. We could choose what to make and design it  using a long process of surveys, development, market research and drawing. I found the combination of creativity and organising and researching really fun but also really interesting and satisfying.

What have you done since leaving KEVI?

I did an art foundation year at Newcastle College, this was necessary to study at my preferred university but it turned out to be one of the best things I have done so far. Its an extremely packed course, there was a total of 12 projects in 8 months. You either sink or swim as its so intense, but I have never learned so much. I gained confidence, motivation and skills. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone!

I then got a place at UAL: Wimbledon College of Art to study Costume design, and I am currently finishing second year. I have worked with many professional designers and makers as well as choreographers and directors. They encourage work placements and experience. Also moving to London was a big change and has also given me confidence and independence.  

What has been your biggest achievement in life and how did your experience at KEVI help you to achieve other successes?

Getting into UAL: Wimbledon college of art was a massive achievement. At the time I never thought I could get in. One project my tutor and interviewer was most impressed in was my A-Level DT coursework. All my art foundation work was creative and showed my drawing skills, but my A-level DT was hugely organised and in depth. They were impressed with the volume and extensive research.

What one piece of advice would you give to current students?

If you want to follow an art and design career, do an art foundation! I had no idea costume design was a degree nor had I heard of UAL. It helped with the university process and creating a portfolio, as well as giving me so many other skills. It is also a great step to take between school and university.

What’s your next big goal?

Im currently looking for and hoping to carry out full time placements for my final term, so carrying that out will be a new and enriching experience. Then finishing uni and hopefully becoming a freelance costume designer!

Anna Rodway

Year of leaving?

2012

Favourite subject in school and why?

I studied French to A-level and really enjoyed it as the languages department at KEVI has such great staff.

What have you done since leaving KEVI?

Since leaving I have studied a BA in Modern Languages at Newcastle University. During my 3rd year I completed a placement year, during which I worked as a translator in Paris and as part of the reception and concierge team in a 5* hotel in Seville, Spain.

What has been your biggest achievement in life and how did your experience at KEVI help you to achieve other successes?

I’d say my biggest achievements were working and living abroad on my own as I came across so many challenges on a daily basis and I learnt so much. I think my experience at KEVI gave me the confidence to tackle these things.

What one piece of advice would you give to current students?

My advice would be to not limit yourself by telling yourself you can’t do things, and to not worry too much about the future as there is always time to change your mind.

What’s your next big goal?

Following graduation I am going to move back abroad to work in the hospitality industry in either France or Spain, and I then hope to study either a Masters in Interpreting or do a Graduate Scheme in Luxury Hospitality Management.