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Ruth Walmsley

Employee of the Year

By | Awards, Course News, English, Graphic Design, Media

Congratulations to former Wyke student, Ruth Walmsley, on winning her nomination for “Employee of the Year” at the recent Hull Daily Mail Business Awards.

Ruth came to Wyke from Wolfreton School and studied A levels in Media Studies, Graphic Design, and English Language & Literature.

Starting as an Apprentice Designer at Blab digital design agency back in 2019, Ruth made an outstanding amount of progress and worked hard to complete her apprenticeship six months early.

Jessica Clark, Creative Director at Blab, recognises Ruth’s fantastic contribution to the agency. “We are so impressed with her attitude to knuckle down, despite the challenges faced due to the pandemic and shifting to work and learn remotely. It was a no-brainer for us to keep her in the company after her studies finished and now she shines as one of our full-time Designers.

A true team player, Ruth shares her ideas, leads creative brainstorms and organises social events to get everyone together. She is a huge part of Blab and we couldn’t be prouder of her!”

Ruth modestly replied, “I’m super chuffed to have been shortlisted for Employee of the Year. I couldn’t have done it without Courtney and Jess believing in me every step of the way. Bring on the awards night with the best team!”

Well done Ruth, you’re a great example to students who want to progress into the workplace once they complete their Wyke studies.

anna-obrien

An Absolute Inspiration

By | Awards, Community, Course News, English, Health & Social Care, Sociology

Congratulations to former Wyke student, Anna O’Brien, on winning the “Newly Qualified social worker of the year” gold award.

Anna came to Wyke from the Marvell College and studied BTEC Health & Social Care alongside A levels in Sociology and English Language.

Anna joined Hull City Council as a social work student and completed her placement in a Locality Safeguarding Children’s Team. She qualified with first class honours in social work and then applied for a permanent position with the council.

Pauline Turner, Director of Children’s Services, said: “During her assessed and supported year Anna has gone above and beyond and demonstrated outstanding social work practice. She continues to be professionally curious when working with children and seeks to understand the impact of harm they face.

“Her enthusiastic approach to her role as a front-line social worker results in better outcomes for children and families, and she is a fantastic role model for others who are new to the role.”

Anna’s manager, Claire, describes two of the ways Anna has gone above and beyond. Claire said: “During the pandemic, Anna co-ordinated a community response to helping those families who were isolating due to ill health and had no extended family support.  She called local charities and businesses who could help fund activities, food or general help. Over the course of the lockdown she delivered food parcels, activity packs and booklets around Covid to help children who were worried and parents who struggled to explain this in a child-centred way. Anna did some of the activities on FaceTime, she dropped off colouring pens and games in gardens, and this helped those families living in poverty stimulate the children during those worrying times.

“Anna also went the extra mile working with a young person by working flexible hours and being on-hand for advice and support. She booked to see the young person most days and at least twice a week on an evening she would go running and allow the young person to let off steam and improve her moods.”

Councillor Shane McMurray, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services said: “Anna is someone who has come into the profession because she has an inner desire to help others; she is an absolute inspiration to the profession. Her achievements to date have all been down to her determination to make society a better place and to help children and young people, and she is fully deserved of this award.

business-student

Exploring the World of News Reporting

By | Course News, English, Media

Recently, a group of Year 12 students who take part in the Wyke Media Hub Enrichment had the opportunity to listen and participate in an interactive journalism session, lead by Taylor Umland, the head of the Sports Journalism department at Leeds Beckett University, the leading university in the country for journalists. The students were contacted by Jamie Farrow and invited to W12 to begin their exploration into the world of news reporting.

The session gave the students a first-hand glimpse into the subject from a professional perspective, where they discussed what it means to be a ‘great’ journalist and how to create not just a news piece, but an ‘original’ story. They then put this into practice, creating their own articles in focus groups and ‘pitching’ them to Taylor, and receiving effective feedback which enabled them to consider what else they could include, how their angle should look and how ‘far’ a story could be developed. All stories produced received brilliant feedback – the class was incredible with their knowledge of current affairs and the effort put in was amazing to witness. It provided the students with the key skills and knowledge they need to start independently exploring the field of journalism (which was highly encouraged by Taylor) and see how the world really works from behind the scenes. Questions were asked in detail about how the career works, how it benefits them and how to pursue it, as well as what Leeds Beckett has to offer with the courses of journalism. Overall, the environment of the session was full of energy and aspiration – it was great to see such enthusiasm in the subject!

Following the teaching Taylor provided, the students took notes and were encouraged to send their work to him for feedback and improve the confidence and attitude the students have towards journalism. The students will be taking a trip to Leeds Beckett university after the Christmas break, to see the infamous newsrooms and reporting equipment they have available, and participate in realistic activities that will develop their skills and truly set them on the path of journalism.

A massive thanks goes to Taylor for coming in and giving our students such a fantastic first experience to the subject, and to Jamie Farrow for setting up the session. Well done Y12.

(A big thank you to Wyke student Jessica Hirons for this excellent write up!)

Abode

Festival Award

By | Awards, Course News, Drama & Theatre, English, Film Studies, Media

Huge congratulations to former Wyke A Level Media Studies, Drama & Theatre and English Language student Anna Bant who’s short film, Abode, won ‘Best Student Short’ at The London Short Film Festival and has been nominated for two more festivals this week.

Anna, who came to Wyke from Beverley High, produced her film as part of her studies on the BA (Hons) Cinematography and Film/Video Production degree at the Northern School of Arts, Leeds.

Abode is a drama short film following a young girl, Becky Bromwell, escaping her abusive partner. After confronting her friend, she finds herself venturing the streets in rejection from society. This leads to her questioning where her humble abode really is. Anna says, “As a crew we worked hard in preparation and production for this film, including the isolation of cast and crew members at different times due to Covid. We were able to overcome this and continue to create a cinematic film.”

Discover more about filming making and media production opportunities at Wyke by visiting our Media and Film courses.

Homecoming

Alastair takes the Top Prize

By | Awards, Course News, English, News, News for Parents

Congratulations to A level English Literature student, Alastair McLelland, on winning the E-Magazine Close Reading Competition 2021. Alastair’s 500 word entry was selected from over 200 entries, the first time a student from Wyke has won the top prize.

The competition centred on an extract from the award winning novel “Homecoming” by Yaa Gyasi.  Published in 2017, the book has received numerous awards and much critical acclaim. The Stylist magazine named it as one of the decade’s 15 best books by remarkable women. Their review highlighted the power of the text. “This incredible book travels from Ghana to the US revealing how slavery destroyed so many families, traditions and lives – and how its terrifying impact is still reverberating now.”

Wyke’s Head of English, Jamie Farrow, encouraged Alastair to participate and was very pleased with the judge’s decision. “Well done, Alastair! You have managed to do what no student at Wyke has before you!”

Alastair has been very modest about his success and he does acknowledge that he has learnt from the process. “The competition definitely improved my essay writing skills. The 500 word limit meant that I spent most of my time trying to improve the efficiency of my language.”

Alastair’s A level English Literature teacher was also happy with the awarding of first prize. “I was thrilled to hear the news. Alastair is an excellent student and thoroughly deserved the win.”

The competition judge and education consultant, Dr Jenny Stevens, was full of praise for this year’s submissions.While a successful competition response inevitably requires strong reading skills, it also requires strong writing skills. All of the interpretations I read were lucidly and accurately expressed. What put some writers ahead of others, however, was their ability to condense an idea or comment on stylistic technique into a telling phrase of their own, without relying on an armoury of literary terms. Alastair’s observation that the third-person narrative was ‘repeatedly slipping away from the present and into Ness’ memory’ was a notable case in point.”

Listen to Alastair read from his winning work on the College YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKhsV9mTsKA

James Hendry

Enjoying my Life and Music

By | Awards, Course News, English, German, Music

From Winifred Holtby Academy to Wyke, from Wyke to the Royal Northern College of Music, from RNCM to the Royal Opera House and more. Former A level Music student, James Hendry has achieved so much since leaving college. He is now working in Hannover, Germany, as Principle Conductor for the country’s state opera house. With so many questions to ask, we are thankful to James for keeping in touch, to share his Wyke highlights and to offer some excellent advice to our current students.

What are your best memories of Wyke?

My best memories of Wyke must be the seasonal concerts we did at the end of each term. When I was a student at Wyke, the college had a really great choir made of students and also staff members. It was a great way to mix with other people who didn’t study the same subjects, as everyone was welcome to come and sing. I would also say that I made some excellent friends at Wyke, and I wouldn’t be able to explain every one of the memories otherwise I would have to write a book.

How did your Wyke studies help shape your future?

The music department at Wyke has always been known for its high standards. Wyke gave me a great grounding in my musical studies, and my other subjects included English Literature and Language which really complimented my musical studies. Wyke also helped me grow as a person into an adult whom was responsible for my own learning and my own future prospects, this must be the most vital thing that Wyke gave me. It enabled me to go to university with a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve and a focus that was self-driven.

What advice would you give our current students?

Take every opportunity that the college gives you. Try something different and challenge yourself whether that be joining a musical group/lunchtime club, sports or drama. Do something outside of your subjects to give you a balance. Also, set your goals and don’t give up on them, but remain open to the twists and turns that may come along the way that may lead you down an altered path, that can be jarring but also very exciting. When I was at Wyke I didn’t think I would be working in Hannover, Germany as the Principle Conductor for the State Opera. I knew I was interested in working with people and singers but conducing was something that came much later for me. It was a path that I explored and it worked out for me, you have to be willing to take the chances.

Describe your time at Royal Northern College of Music?

I had a great time at the RNCM, first I studied Solo Piano and gained a first class Honours degree, I then went onto do a master’s degree there in repetiteur skills which I passed with distinction. RNCM was an extremely exciting place to be with many opportunities to take part in and also see a wide range of music and other performances. Manchester as a city is the best place to be a student! I worked extremely hard at the RNCM and was constantly busy both with my own studies but also playing for other peoples lessons on the piano or conducting local student theatre groups. RNCM gave me not only the skills but also the contact to the people in the music business.

Discuss the highlights of your professional life and the awards you have received.

I was lucky enough to get a full scholarship to study for my masters at RNCM, otherwise it really wouldn’t have been possible. I then went onto the prestigious Jette Parker young artists programme at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. I would say my time at the ROH is one of my highlights so far, Working with Antonio Pappano, who was a great mentor, really inspired me and taught me so much, but everyone who I worked with there was absolutely fantastic both on and off the stage, it really is a place of the highest possible creative standards.

Other highlights would include making my debuts with ENO and Opera North and now gaining the post of Erster Kapellmeister at the Staatsoper Hannover. My awards include being the winner of the degree category of the British Education awards for the amount I achieved during my master’s degree, and most recently being made an Associate of the Royal Northern College of Music. Of course receiving awards is great, but for me I am just doing my thing and enjoying my life and music.

 

Congratulations Ruth

By | Course News, English

This week, we caught up with former Withernsea High School student Ruth Chapman. Ruth recently found out that she was successful in her interview for The University of Cambridge, impressing all of the staff on the panel.

Ruth is a fantastic student with a real passion for English. She plans to study Linguistics at the Corpus Christi College this Autumn. Read all about her journey below.

How did you feel when you found out that you had been successful?

It felt pretty great when I found out, though it did take a while to sink in because I’d been waiting so long. I got the email while I was in a lesson, so I couldn’t really do anything right away, but celebrated as soon as I could.

What subjects do you study at Wyke?

A Level English Language, English Literature and History.

Do you take part in any enrichments at Wyke?

Yes, I take part in the Creative Writing enrichment, where I have participated in several writing competitions.

What inspired you to apply to Cambridge?

I was inspired in part by my teachers and the Flyers program, because of the case studies that we were told about. However, I was also inspired to apply to Cambridge because I didn’t see any reason not to and wanted to see if I would actually be able to secure a place – there wasn’t anything that stopped me and I wanted to prove to myself that it was possible.

How did you find the application process and what did you do to prepare for it?

The application process was a longer one than the other universities, and it required more work, but it was also incredibly rewarding when I finished my application and did the application assessment. A lot of emphasis is placed on wider reading, but I really enjoyed learning outside the course, and was a good sign that I was applying for the right course.

During the application process I had to submit written work as example of my working standard, and after consideration I submitted English Language coursework. Though it was somewhat stressful, I liked the choice of what I could submit and felt I was able to demonstrate control over what the university would be seeing about my work and the effort I put into it.  Along with this, I had to do an application assessment that was like a diagnostic test. There were several parts to it and I really enjoyed it, I was able to see what the course might be like, but also because the sections were real applications of what I had been learning. For example, the section was a made-up language that I had to analyze and translate.

How did you feel your interview went on the day?

I did two interviews, and I had wildly different feelings about them both. I felt the first one went much better than the first, and I walked out of it feeling much more confident than I had felt going in. It was a fun interview, and I would’ve probably enjoyed doing it for much longer because it was like a lesson and a chance for me to prove to both to the interviewers and myself that I was confident and capable, and that I enjoyed my course as much as I had said in my personal statement.

I found the second interview a bit more stressful, because of a few factors, and in the end, I felt liked it had destroyed the impression I’d put forward in my first interview. Afterwards I just burst into tears because it felt like the end of the world, but after I’d talked it over with some teachers and my parents, I felt a bit more confident. Overall, there was a sense of relief that I’d done.

Can you remember a particularly tricky question that was asked by the University? Or any questions you feel you answered really well?

During the second interview there were a few questions about inference that I struggled to answer but managed to remain calm and figure them out. The first interview had a few questions that I felt that I’d worked out quite well and I ended up enjoying them.

It was a test of my critical thinking skills and my knowledge surrounding grammar – since I’d applied to study Linguistics – but there were a few questions about language features that I’d learnt within the classroom that were fun to discuss with leading academics.

Do you have any advice for upcoming students who are considering applying to Oxbridge?

It will be a tough process, because they want to see the best that you can be, but it’s incredibly rewarding. It’s also best to prepared in advance because the deadlines creep up on you. If you ever feel unsure of any parts of the application, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your tutors and teachers – they want to make this as easy as possible for you.

How has Wyke’s Oxbridge Programme helped you in your application?

The programme ran days that provided support on the process and explained explicitly what we should expect when applying. They also provided a lot of support in making sure my personal statement was strong enough, and mock interviews – which I felt really helped my pre-interview nerves.

My tutor and English language teacher both offered to do mock interviews with me, and these were key to my confidence going into the interview. We went through questions that I might be asked, and I was able to put into practice the knowledge that I’d been learning in my wider reading.

Congratulations Ruth. We are really proud of everything you have achieved so far and can’t wait to follow your journey.

Lucy Tessier

Mind the Gap

By | Course News, English, Music, News, News for Parents, On Campus

Former South Hunsley student, Lucy Tessier is busy planning her gap year after successfully achieving her A Levels in Music, English Literature and English Language.

Lucy said, “With a place confirmed reading English and Music BA at Liverpool University the following year, I believe a year out of education will provide me with valuable industry experience before I enter education again. Needless to say, Wyke have always been supportive of any decision making regarding future plans but also my personal career aspirations in music.

I would also thank my teachers, peers and everyone part of the community for two unforgettable years studying here, as not only have I gained a plethora of knowledge in these disciplines but also a treasure chest of life skills and memories that I will take forward into my adult life.”

 

Poppy-Shotts

Soprano Star

By | Course News, Drama & Theatre, English, Music, News, Performing Arts

In 2010, former Beverley High student Poppy Shotts performed at the Wyke Christmas Concert, which is still available to view on our YouTube channel. Listening to Poppy sing was one of the highlights of the evening, showcasing her amazing talent and foreshadowing a great career to follow.

Poppy has fond memories of studying at Wyke.”My time at Wyke built my confidence, and nurtured my passion for the Performing Arts. I went out into the world with the drive to create meaningful work, and with the necessary tenacity to keep pursuing my dreams.” 

After studying Music, Performing Arts, and English at Wyke, Poppy was inspired to train in Classical Voice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), gaining a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in 2017. She then went on to gain a Master of Performance with Distinction from the Royal College of Music (RCM), in London, where she trained as a Derek Butler Scholar. In London, Poppy worked with a wide range of directors, conductors, and vocal coaches, including Alison Wells, Caroline Dowdle, and Gary Matthewman. During her training in London, Poppy was supported by a number of awards including the Countess of Munster Award, the Il Circolo Italian Cultural Association Award, and the Mario Lanza Trust.

Performance highlights from recent years include performing with Roger Vignoles in the Britten Theatre, RCM, and making her solo debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Cadogan Hall in a performance of Grieg’s Peer Gynt. Opera credits include Barbarina, (RCM Opera School), Léïla (RCM Opera Scenes), Nedda (RCM Opera Scenes), Cleopatra (RCM Opera Scenes).  Further credits include Pamina with Ensemble OrQuesta, Susanna with Matchbox Opera, Abigail Williams in Robert Ward’s The Crucible and Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte with the Berlin Opera Academy.

In between time performing at venues across the world, Poppy regularly returns to Hull to perform with Hull Urban Opera.

Since graduating in 2019, Poppy continues to work as a performer in a wide range of projects, and as a private voice teacher. To listen to her performances, visit Poppy’s website www.poppyshotts.com

class of 2016

First Class Education

By | Awards, Biology, Chemistry, Course News, Economics, English, French, Geography, German, History, Mathematics, Spanish

An official report shows that 33% of former Wyke students, who graduated in 2019, achieved a first class degree classification.

The HESA report, published by the Sixth Form Colleges Association, reveals that the academic performance of Wyke students, who progressed onto university, achieved higher than any other sector average. That includes the independent school sector ( 30.4%) and school sixth forms (28.1%).

For more information about our Oxbridge and Flyer programmes, visit https://wyke.ac.uk/wyke-flyers/. Both these Wyke programmes are designed to further support our students in achieving outstanding success and preparing them for transition to highly competitive universities such as the Russell Group and Oxbridge, further study or progression into competitive industries.