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Meet our Careers Team: Claire Ellis

By | Course News

Meet Claire, our fantastic new Careers Officer. Claire joined Wyke’s Careers Team in January and is a great addition to the team bringing a wealth of experience and fresh ideas. Claire will be working with students one to one, providing careers advice and guidance. She will also be helping to promote all of the fantastic opportunities available to them post Wyke. Learn more about Claire and what she is most looking forward to over the coming months.

What did you do before Wyke?

My working background is quite varied. I worked in an administration role for Social Services, Hull City Council for 7 years, during which time I completed my LLB Law degree with Nottingham Trent University. I then worked as a Legal Secretary for Andrew Jackson Solicitors, before moving on to a HR role at the University of Hull, where I completed my Level 5 CIPD in Human Resource Management. In March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, my role was made redundant. I was, however, lucky enough to then experience the care sector, working as an Activity Coordinator for the Old School House, a home for residents with advanced dementia. In December 2020, I was very excited to find out that I had been offered my current role here at Wyke College as a Careers Officer.

What are you most looking forward to over the next year?

I’m excited about the new Careers Programme we are launching. The Careers Team are putting a lot of hard work into making sure students have every opportunity possible to gain the right skills and access excellent advice and guidance, ready for the future.

 Do you have any interests outside of work?

Getting out! Camping, walking, anything that takes me to nature. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting around a campfire, eating and drinking after a 10 mile hike with the dog. I also love to go on lots of mini adventures with my 2 year old son.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I am a qualified Doula! Although it’s not something I have done for a long time now. I also lived in Tenerife for 2 years when I was a young and exciting 21 year old.

Why do you believe that National Careers Week is so important?

National Careers Week is all about getting to know the different careers and employers that are out there. It’s important to look at some of the different events taking place as you may come across a career that really interests you that you had never even considered before. It’s also a great opportunity to talk to employers, ask questions and learn about different companies and what they have to offer.

Thanks Claire and welcome to Wyke. If you see Claire around campus, say hello!

An Entrepreneurial Spirit: Benjamin Underwood

By | Course News, Film Studies, Graphic Design, Media

As part of National Careers Week 2021, we have been lucky enough to catch up with some of the wonderful members of our Alumni Community.

Benjamin Underwood, former student and Owner of the amazing animated video production company Squideo was one of these. Benjamin studied A Levels in Media, Film, Graphic Design and English Language and progressed onto study Broadcast Media at Leeds Met University.

Inspired by his passion for video production, creativity and year in Japan, Squideo was brought to life 6 years ago. The company has since achieved outstanding success growing from a one-man band to a highly professional team of ten who work alongside clients all around the world including the FA, Unilever and Barclays – impressive!

Benjamin gives us a great insight into his journey, along with providing some valuable advice for students aspiring to a similar career.

What is your current position?

Owner of Squideo – Animated video company

What did you enjoy the most about your subjects?

Learning a range of skills that could be of real benefit graphics, editing, filming etc. Having the opportunity to see which one I liked best and finding out which I was strongest in.

Did you take part in any enrichment activities at Wyke?

Media trip to New York which was EPIC! Made me realise I wanted to do and be something big. What is your favourite memory from your time at College? Shooting and editing this music video: Media Studies Video. What a masterpiece.

Please give a little bit of detail about what you progressed onto do after College

University course in Broadcast Media at Leeds Met based at Hull College. I had a year in Japan and came back to set up my own animation business 6 years ago. Grown from just myself to a team of 10 working with clients from around the world including the FA, Unilever and Barclays.

Tell us a little bit about your current role.

I work mainly on developing the business now and managing the team. I do occasionally dip back into production when we get super busy as it’s something I really enjoy. What do you find the most enjoyable about this position? I love creating concepts and ideas as well as learning new creative skills as much as I can. I also enjoy creating opportunities for other people which is something I’ve been able to do through the business.

Has there been a particular highlight for you so far?

Not being told what to do is the biggest highlight. It’s nice to go into the office with a great collaborative atmosphere with motivated people.

How did your sixth form studies help you in your current role?

Helped me through giving me access to the editing suite and equipment. Allowed me to focus my time on doing what i wanted to do with the support i needed around me. Do you have any hobbies or interests in your spare time? I enjoy learning Japanese, Boxing, Weight Lifting and creating other businesses. I always need something to do.

Do you have any advice for Wyke students aspiring to a similar career?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get your foot in the door where you can. If you want something bad enough it will happen. Never stop learning and do things for free. Your skills and portfolio are your biggest assets in this industry

Thanks Benjamin! We are excited to see where your business takes you over the coming years. #MakeItHappen

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Spring Term Newsletter 3

By | News

We have reached the final week of the Spring term and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone for all their hard work in keeping the college open and each other safe.

This is the final newsletter of the term, and it’s full of information about Health and Wellbeing, Student Finance, and the Student Executive elections.

We hope you all have a great Easter break and we look forward to welcoming you back next term.

Access the newsletter here: Spring Term Newsletter 3.


Wyke partners with Flex Health

By | News, Physical Education

Wyke Sixth Form College and Flex Health have partnered up to create a work experience programme designed to give PE and Sport students on the college’s Pre-Physiotherapy Enrichment Programme an insight into the world of physiotherapy.

Flex Health is the region’s leading provider of Musculoskeletal (MSK) and Neurological physiotherapy, offering expert care for clients suffering from sports injuries, spinal, joint and degenerative conditions and neurological conditions including acquired brain injury, strokes and MS.

PE & Sport teacher, Hollie Rhodes, said: “This partnership offers endless opportunity. It is giving invaluable experience to our students at the very start of their potential career in physiotherapy/sports rehabilitation industry.

“It’s making them stand out from the crowd for university and job applications; along with gaining extended knowledge linking to the CTEC Injuries and Massage modules and Component 1 for A Level.”

Despite the pandemic, Flex were able to offer placements to two of Wyke’s PE and Sport students, Will Huyton and EmmieLou Fenton.

Will, who aspires to become a physiotherapist, said: “I took part in work experience to gain a greater insight into the world of physiotherapy.

“It showed me the almost miracle-like work of physiotherapists. The staff at the clinic managed to get a woman, who had suffered spinal injuries after falling from a horse, walking again. To see it first-hand was incredible.

“This work experience has only enforced my desire to become a physiotherapist.”

EmmieLou, who also aspires to become a physiotherapist, added: “Taking part in the Flex Health work experience allowed me to gain a wider appreciation for how varied the profession is.

“I have learned some of the crucial qualities required to be a successful physiotherapist.”


Meet our Careers Team: Vicky Riseham

By | Course News

We are kick-starting our National Careers Week celebrations by introducing our amazing Careers Team. We start by introducing our fantastic Careers Lead, Vicky Riseham;

Tell us a bit about your working life background

I started my career as a Business Apprentice at BAe Systems and worked there for 16 years ending up in the supply chain department, planning the delivery of aircraft parts and monitoring their progress and delivery. After taking voluntary redundancy, I was approached by The Children’s University to be their employer co-ordinator, helping employers to mentor young people in schools. I was then asked by Hull City Council to run a project called the Skills Fund offering funding to employers for academic courses, which I did for 4 years. This then led to me working for the training provider linked to the Council, Hull Training and Adult Education, delivering apprenticeships and ended up as their Engagement Manager. I was recruited by Wyke College as Work Experience and Careers Co-ordinator for Wyke College and in 2019 was promoted to Careers Lead.

I have recently completed the OCR level 6 Careers Guidance Course and the OCR Careers Leader Course.

How long have you worked at Wyke?

I have been at Wyke 5 years in June and still feel like I am learning every day.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Watching a child walk into my office at the start of their 2 years at Wyke and leave as a young adult prepared to take on the world 2 years later. I will always shed a tear when a student comes to see us to say they have been successful in achieving a great university place or apprenticeship – I can’t help it!

What is your best memory of working at Wyke so far?

Singing karaoke “How Deep is your Love” with the Major of Phitsanulok in Thailand on a college trip.

What are you most looking forward to over the next year?

We have just created a brand new team, with two excellent Careers Officers and lockdown has given us a chance to reflect and look at how we deliver our service. I am most looking forward to delivering a careers programme that is absolutely suited to our students, so they leave the college with a full understanding of the exciting opportunities ahead of them.

Do you have any hobbies/ interests outside of work?

I used to play netball to a reasonable standard until I became too fat and old!! In the last lockdown I did the couch to 5K and really enjoyed it, so I try and keep that up a few times a week (once a week really)!! I also have a one-eyed mental dog that needs walking every night.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I have had the same group of girl friends since I was 15. We worked together at my Saturday job when I was at school and we have been best friends ever since. We have gone through so many fantastic times together from engagements, marriages, children and all the bad stuff. I am so lucky to have these friends, they have saved me thousands of pounds on therapy!! A boring fact to other but really special to me.

Why do you believe that National Careers Week is so important?

There are so many career opportunities out there for our students, many that we don’t know about as careers is ever evolving and it is about our student knowing how to not just plan, but manage their career and National Careers Week is a great platform for highlighting this and some of the great career paths that are available.

Thanks Vicky!  We can’t wait to see how the careers programme develops over the next year.

Got an enquiry about careers or supporting our students? Contact:

Careers Newsletter #2

By | News for Parents

National Careers Week 2021 (1st-6th March) is a fantastic celebration of all things careers guidance, which aims to support young people leaving education and moving on to employment. We have set out some of the main events and activities which are taking place throughout the week.

This has been circulated to all students and we are encouraging students to regularly check the Careers and UCAS Microsoft Teams Page for updates.

Parents/ Guardians can find this in our latest careers newsletter at: National Careers Week Newsletter 2021

Empowering and Advancing Careers Education

By | Course News, News for Parents

Here at Wyke, we are committed to providing a high level of careers education for all of our students. We have a fantastic careers provision at the college and work hard to ensure our students are inspired and well-informed of the fantastic opportunities available to them.

We are extremely excited to announce that we have teamed up with our Venn College Partners for a large-scale Virtual Careers and Progression Event. The event aims to further empower our students in walking confidently into their next steps; whether this be further education, higher apprenticeships or employment.

We look forward to welcoming a wide range of exhibitors on the day including many of the top local companies such as the City Health Care Partnership, KCOM, EY, Bae Systems, RSM, HICA, Orsted and RB, to name a few. There will also be some of our most popular universities offering talks to students and supporting them with any queries they may have.

The event will take place on Thursday 25th March, 4pm-7pm and is open to students and their parents/guardians from the Venn Colleges Group alongside Year 11 students from our Partner schools.

We will be sharing lots of exciting information in the run up to this event over the coming weeks – please do stay tuned. #MakeItHappen

Applicant Update Virtual Event

By | Community, Course News, News, On Campus

Applicant Update Virtual Event

Thursday, 4th March, between 4.00-5.00pm, Facebook Live

In this online session we will be celebrating “World Book Day” with English, understanding the career boost offered by Further Maths, and getting to know the Criminology, Psychology, Sociology and Law curriculum. There will also be an update on our transport, with a guide to selecting your best route.

During the event there will be an opportunity to post questions on our Facebook page or through our website virtual chat. The Wyke Liaison team will be online to answer your questions and concerns with helpful advice and guidance.

The invitation to attend this virtual event is open to all applicants to Wyke Sixth Form College. We look forward to meeting you online, on our Facebook page, on Thursday 4th March between 4.00-5.00pm.


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.

Leah Runs for Cancer Research

By | News

Wyke’s own Leah Darvell is undertaking a marathon challenge for a cause close to her heart. Throughout February, Leah is running two miles a day, 56 miles in total, to raise money for Cancer Research UK and has so far raised over £3,000 for the charity.

She said: “Cancer has dominated the last 10 months of my family’s life, with my mum being diagnosed at the beginning of Lockdown in March.

“A group of us decided to do something to fundraise for Cancer Research, as it is something close to a lot of people’s hearts. None of us are runners, so this is a real challenge for us.

“We set our fundraising goal to £150, hoping that people could spare a few pounds, so to have raised over £2,600 on day 4 of our challenge was very overwhelming.”

Well done Leah, we are all supporting you!

If you would like to donate to this great cause, click here.