After leaving Hartsdown with my applied Science A levels, I went on to do a HNC at Pfizer’s, in Sandwich. This experience enabled me to continue my studies at Plymouth University where I studied for a Degree in Human Bioscience. As this is where I was studying, I moved to this area and met my partner. I continue my studies now and I am the proud mum to two young children. My motto to anyone thinking about further study is “It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it.”
After leaving Hartsdown in 2012, I chose to continue my studies at Chatham and Clarendon Grammar Sixth Form, where I studied Biology, Psychology and Spanish for two years. Despite having to retake my Spanish AS level alongside my other A-levels in Year 13, I managed to excel in languages and secured a place at the University of Hull to study Spanish with Translation Studies. In my third year, I had the amazing opportunity to spend 9 months in rural Spain teaching English to Spanish children. Now, in my fourth and final year of University, I am due to graduate this summer with a 2:1 (or hopefully higher!) and move on to a career in the field of Translation and Localisation.
Once I finished my two years, I then decided I was ready to begin my journey as a nurse and applied to several Universities within London. I began studying which was completely terrifying but I pushed myself and stayed positive.
I am now in my second year at Greenwich University, working in the local hospital. Hartsdown taught me to believe in what are capable of and enjoy the experience, I wouldn’t be where I am today, without the input from my teachers six years ago.
Since leaving Hartsdown, I now work as a stand-up comedian working all over the UK whilst I study Comedy Writing at Salford University. Without Hartsdown, I would have never have been given the opportunity to do this, through their Performing Arts programme and great support from the staff. I took my love for comedy and learnt how I could turn it into a career.
My plans for the future are to just make Comedy, a stable a living, and the big dream goals are to break into TV work and perhaps go on my own small tour.
Since I left Hartsdown four years ago, I have been studying Aerospace Engineering with Space Technology at University and I am aiming to work in the Space industry to help expand civilization towards the stars. Soon my degree will be finished and I can begin my path to distant worlds.
I am definitely grateful for my years attending Hartsdown Academy, I learnt a lot about how to improve myself as a person as well as how to be the best student that I could be. I felt that I did very well with my GCSE’s and other responsibilities, such as being a Senior Prefect and a School Council Representative. Then at the end of my final year, I was very happy to be voted Prom King of 2012. Since leaving school, it has taken me long time to decide which career I wish to pursue, I am now in the process of applying for University to study Primary Education and I hope to become a Primary School Teacher. I very much hope to be as good of a teacher as the ones who taught me at Hartsdown Academy.
After completing A levels at Hartsdown Academy sixth from (2012), I went on to study a combined honours degree of Education Studies and Business Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University. At the same time, I worked part time in the Hartsdown Academy PE department to help fund my studies.
After completing my second year at university, I interrupted my studies to work for the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner. The high profile role of Youth Commissioner gave me a vast range of experiences and was an exciting challenge. I enjoyed working across the county and meeting young people, police officers, staff and PCSOs as well as various stakeholders of the community to undertake my research. I am very proud of producing a youth engagement report of which the recommendations were used to inform the Police and Crime Plan.
I then went on to work for Ashford based charity CXK, on the National Citizens Service programme in a variety of roles from team assistant to programme coordination.
Following on from graduating in 2016 with an upper second class (2:1) (Although my personal highlight of university was winning a dance off in the SU bar!). I have stayed with CXK and now work as a Specialist Mentor on the Talent Match programme. I support a caseload of long term unemployed young people across Kent and Medway to help them overcome barriers and get into employment.
Outside of working, I keep active in the local community from being on my local resident’s association and political party association committees to being a member of a local running club. I am also very proud and appreciative of the privilege and opportunity to stand in both district (2015) and county (2017) council elections.
I really enjoyed my time as a student at Hartsdown as it gave me so many different opportunities that helped me develop a variety of skills and valuable experience that has become incredibly useful. If I could give a piece of advice to any student it would be to get involved with as much extra-curricular activities as you can; sports teams, volunteering, school council. It is all worth it!
Since leaving Hartsdown I’ve been caring for vulnerable adults and the elderly. I enjoyed 2 girl’s holidays with my best friends Beth, Sarah and Lucy before having my daughter; Ava, when I was 19. She’s now nearly 2 and I couldn’t be happier.
My last few months at Hartsdown are what lead me on to the career path I am on now. With the help of my tutor Mrs Buchanan I was able to single out my major interests in life. Since Hartsdown I have attended Canterbury College, where I studied Level 3 Extended Diploma Animal Management. Through this course, I was able to connect with amazing, like-minded people. I made friends for life and got the opportunity to travel to South Africa, this is when my passion for Animal Conservation sparked. After another trip to South Africa in 2015, I started my degree studying Animal Conservation and Biodiversity through the University of Greenwich. I am in my third year now and completing my dissertation, I see lots of opportunities for myself which have come from doing what I enjoy, and of course, working hard!
Since leaving Hartsdown in 2016, I have been at university. After spending pretty much my entire secondary education studying and focusing on history, I studied a Science Foundation Year at the University of Leeds, aiming to progress on to medicine. I aspire to be a doctor. When I didn’t meet the grades required to move straight on to medicine, I applied to do Biomedical Sciences. I am currently studying this with a route in Pharmacology and Physiology at Leeds Beckett, refusing to let my inexperience in science dissuade me from what I want to do. Since being at university, I’ve joined the Dancesport Society, competing in Ballroom and Latin competitions around the UK. Through this society, and university, I have met so many people and made some really good friends. I still visit home often, coming home to see my family and friends, as well as working as a part-time waitress at a local cafe. After finishing Biomedical Sciences, I aim to progress onto Graduate Entry Medicine.
I attended Hartsdown in which can only be described as “The Golden Years”. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, due to the strict discipline along with pure determination, it made me what I am today. Back then teachers pushed you to the limit, we didn’t have the support that students have today, but it made a better person, stronger and tested me to the full with regards to my academic abilities. I only took C.S.Es as they were then known.
At 7 years old I knew what my chosen career would be, having set my goal from day one at Hartsdown I concentrated on the subjects I would need, at 14 years old I attended an interview for the Railway as my ambition was to be a Train Driver- it never changed, I took the entrance exam and passed, something Hartsdown had prepared me for, and the day after I left school -25th May 1978 I started work for British Rail as Junior Porter at Margate Station.
Two years later I was accepted into the “footplate grade” for Trainee Driver – 3 years hard graft ahead saw me travel the UK Rail Network gaining experience as a Trainee Driver, and in February 1984 I qualified as a fully-fledged Train Driver. 1985 saw me based at Ramsgate, 1989 saw me promoted to “Schools Safety Advisor”, and in 1991 I was voted the Top Train Driver on The Network, soon after promotion to Quality Manager at Management level lead to my holding the post of Assistant Health and Safety Manager at Divisional Headquarters covering the whole of the South East England. A move to Devon in 1997 lead to me becoming the Top Retail Service Manager for The South West and promoted to “Virgin Trains Ambassador” for Virgin Cross Country Trains.
Now back in Thanet, I am an accomplished Photographer, two of my daughters attended Hartsdown, and my eldest son Jamie, is a student there, he himself an accomplished and highly respected photographer for his age, who is destined to better things in the future. I still work closely with Hartsdown, and could not be prouder than I am today. I am extremely passionate about Hartsdown and am grateful for the education I received all those years ago. What did it teach me? “Do your best – and you can exceed your own expectations.” I look forward to the future of the Academy in the years to come.