Tel: 01482 346347 Email: office@wyke.ac.uk Moodle Parents Email
Category

English

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.

Student working in the library on her Extended Project Qualification

Calling all aspiring screenwriters!

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

Writing is a great creative outlet, especially during times like these. So how about turning to script writing as a way to channel those creative energies?

The BBC Writer’s Room is currently running a competition called ‘InterConnected’.

They are looking for original short-form scripts whose characters are now in isolation but connecting with each other via video conferencing.

The deadline for this competition is Monday 30th March.

Do you want give it a go? Here are a few guidelines:

  • Scripts must be between 5 and 10 minutes in length (around 5-10 pages)
  • Scripts must contain between 2 and 4 characters
  • Characters must be over the age of 16

For more information, follow the link to the main page: https://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/opportunities/interconnected

The winning scripts will be produced with professional actors and released on BBC platforms throughout April. The selected scripts will each receive £300.

You don’t need to have previous experience of script writing, and if you’re thinking “I’ve never written a script before” don’t worry, the BBC Writer’s Room website has plenty of advice and an archive of published scripts to help you get an idea of how to format your work.

Head of English, Jamie Farrow, is happy to read your work and provide feedback. If you’d like him to do this, please make sure you email him your submission by the morning of Saturday 28th March.

Good luck!

#MakeItHappen

World Book Day

Leave A Book You Love

By | Course News, English, News, On Campus

The English department at Wyke are encouraging students to share their passion for reading.

On World Book Day which take place on Thursday 5th March, students have been asked to bring in a book they have loved, add a note saying why they love it (either written inside the front cover or inserted on a slip of paper), and leave it somewhere in college to be found by someone new.

Jenny West, Head of English Literature, said, “Finding a real book, left by a real person who loved it, could really make someone’s day, or more.”

Discover more about our excellent English department at the next open event, Saturday 29 February, 9.00am-12.00pm.

Oxbridge Logos

The Oxbridge Eight

By | Biology, Chemistry, Course News, Economics, English, Law, News, Physics

Wyke Sixth Form College is celebrating students receiving Oxbridge offers for September 2020. This year, eight students have received offers, on courses such as English Language and Literature, Law, Natural Sciences, Economics and Veterinary Science.

Paul Hamer, Oxbridge Programme Coordinator said, “All the staff at Wyke would like to congratulate the eight students who have got offers from Oxford or Cambridge. This prestigious offer is a testament to the hard work, dedication and tenacity that they have show throughout their time here at Wyke.

It is also proof that anyone from any background can be successful at Oxford or Cambridge. Here at Wyke we will help you to achieve this success.”

Discover more about Wyke’s bespoke Oxbridge and Flyer programmes at our next Open Evening, 23rd January between 5.30-8.00pm.

“You could have a heart of stone and Paris would still melt it”

By | Course News, English, French, Geography, German, News, Uncategorised

Whether it’s the buzz around the iconic Eiffel Tower, the spare, tranquil beauty of the Place de la concorde, or the Sacre Coeur, you could have a heart of stone and Paris would still melt it.

The trip was an opportunity to experience this beautiful city in its fullest sense: whether by foot or by Metro, we saw famous landmarks and uncovered hidden gems.

Those students studying French, got lots of practical experience, speaking French whenever possible. (One particularly moving day was when students translated Charles de Gaulle’s address to the French people inscribed at the Arc d’Triomphe.) French-speaking was optional for English students, whose focus was to explore the context behind some of the texts we study in our Paris Anthology.

So, if you like the idea of eating crepes, soaking up the view from the Eiffel Tower, or having a Dan Brown-inspired dash through the Louvre museum (OK, more of a gentle walk, really), then you would probably have enjoyed the Paris trip as much as we did!

Jamie Farrow, English Teacher and Head of Faculty

James Hendry

Love Music, Love Life

By | Community, English, Music, News

Great to hear that former Wyke student James Hendry has recently taken up post as a conductor at the Royal Opera House.

In 2008, James came to Wyke to take A levels from Winifred Holtby School before studying BMus (Hons) Piano at Royal College of Music. He is now recognised as an Honorary Associate Artist by the RNCM in recognition of his outstanding achievements after graduation.

A video clip on Wyke’s Facebook page reveals James’ passion and knowledge of opera at a Royal Opera House Insight event discussing “La Traviata”.

James is returning to Hull on Saturday 23rd February as part of Hull Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets are available at https://www.hulltheatres.co.uk/