Picture above: Sam Oxborrow, Diego, Hannah, and Emily
In the spring term of Year 11, I had no idea which career area I wanted to follow. I applied for the Sixth Form at KEVIGS but also knew a little about apprenticeships and what a good opportunity they are. I thought that I may like to go into a Mechanical Engineering as I thought I would enjoy the practical side of it and that it was mainly based around my two favourite subjects - Maths and Physics. I thought that this would be a ‘backup plan’ in case I didn’t achieve the required grades for A Level study.
I decided to go through the recruitment process with HETA as it seemed the best way into a Mechanical Engineering apprenticeship. After passing an aptitude test and an interview with HETA I was invited to attend an open day where I could meet different companies such as Phillips 66, Total LOR and Centrica who were offering engineering apprenticeships. Unfortunately I didn’t hear back from any of them. However, I went to a second open day with ECITB at which I spoke to IRISNDT, Jacobs Engineering and ABP. I managed to get interviews with all three and was eventually offered a Mechanical Fitting Apprenticeship with Jacobs Engineering.
I finished Year 11 having achieved the grades I wanted. I was then presented with the option of continuing onto sixth form or starting on the apprenticeship programme.
I spent a week of going back and forth over the two options and weighing up the pros and cons of each opportunity.
The apprenticeship opportunity was a job with training up to Level 3 which is the equivalent of A Levels. I would have received training at British Steel in Scunthorpe for the first year and would have had to be in Grimsby for 7am each morning. My pay would have been £120 per week for the first year. In the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year my pay would have increased and I would have been based in Grimsby - but could have been working anywhere in the country!
My second option was to study A Levels at KEVIGS in a supportive sixth form environment with teachers who knew me whilst studying the subjects I like and that I am good at - Maths, Physics and Music. A Levels would also keep my career options open and apprenticeships would still be open to me after A Levels and perhaps at a higher level. They will also lead on to university if that is the route I eventually decide to take.
My main reason behind staying on at KEVIGS was that I could have time to find out what I wanted to pursue in the future and if it was Mechanical Engineering I could go to university and study a more specific area which I may prefer in the long term.
Choosing a college to attend is a difficult task and one I thought over very carefully for years even before starting my GCSEs. I wanted somewhere that would push me to be the best person I could, that would push me to broaden my horizons and achieve more than I thought would be possible. It was because of this that I ended up deciding King Edward's would be my best option. I believed that attending sixth form in a grammar school would push me to better myself and reach high levels of academic achievement. After being enrolled for almost a month now I know I have made the right choice.
I took History, English Literature and Government/Politics at A level and have thus far been enjoying the subjects immensely. The work is extensive and requires careful thought but has yet to feel like a burden. Rather each and every task I am given presents itself as something worthwhile, something with real relevance to the courses that I didn’t always find in work at GCSE. While classes are less frequent the teachers are no less supportive. In fact as a student who is new to the school I have found an extensive support network through the staff who have not, as I had feared, shown any judgement towards me for coming from a school that is not regarded as highly as King Edward's. If anything I have found respect and celebration for having bridged the gap in education.
Work aside, the general experience so far has been one that is very different to what I had known at my last school; a change that I welcome whole heartedly. Things like a general sense of pride for the school have been great to see because when everyone cares about the place they attend it tends to reflect in their behaviour and efforts, which it does in King Edward's. Everyone in the sixth form has been incredibly kind and made an effort to include myself and the other new comers which I had not expected at all. I find myself genuinely enjoying my time at school which I hadn’t really been able to do in years previous. From the perspective of a once outsider King Edward's is truly a wonderful place to be in. My previous school gave me my beginning but King Edward's is giving me my future. The facilities, staff and students have shown me the incredible standard education can reach and I am incredibly happy to now count myself among the students. I truly believe this school will be the gateway to a future I can be proud of.
A Level Physics was not offered at my previous school (which is required for the career I want to pursue), so I decided that I needed a change. Out of the schools I had a look at, I saw KEVIGS was the highest achieving one and one which had good transport links. As it is a grammar school, I knew students would want to do well and that there would be a higher motivation to get good results because of the high standards that they set and expected.
So far, the experience has been great.
I have made many good friends, but I have also improved a lot in my studies thanks to consistent effort and the help of the teachers. I started off Year 12 achieving a U in my first Chemistry test, and thanks to all the progress I have made whilst being here I am now achieving A grades. In Maths I have also made very good progress, achieving an A at AS. In addition to this, I have further developed my understanding of Physics, where I got an A as well and I am working towards an A* for the end of the year. I am currently applying to Cambridge for Engineering.
The sixth form block is a very good area because you have computers and space to work and can complete your homework and update your notes. It also has a social area which you can use in your free periods or at lunch and break to relax or get food. Furthermore, the Sixth Form Team was very supportive at the beginning, and I can now rely on them to solve any issues or problems that I may have.
I have been a student at Kevigs since year 7 and decided to stay on for sixth form.
Ever since I started at Kevigs, I have been challenged to be the best that I can be and I have been prepared not just to do well in my studies but in life. The excellent working environment and dedicated teachers have helped me to continually succeed. They have encouraged me to work hard and aim for a bright future as well as offer a helping hand and advice. Since joining Kevigs in year 7 I have been able to take part in many opportunities such as D of E, school holidays, educational visits, the many music groups the school has to offer as well as allowing me to mentor a younger student. This helped me to flourish and really find what I enjoy doing.
When it came to choosing a place to take my A-levels; it became clear to me that remaining at Kevigs was the best choice. I knew I would receive a brilliant education as well as guidance to help me achieve a future career of becoming a barrister. I decided to take history, politics and maths for A-level as well taking on the opportunity to do an AS in classical civilisations. So far all my teachers have helped me to perform at the best of my ability but also they have offered a huge amount of support on my journey here at Kevigs. They know my weaknesses and my strengths which helps them to provide advice and information which is tailored to benefit me. I was originally worried about the stress A-levels would bring however, the sixth form team have helped me to get into good practises in organisation and time management. I can honestly say I no longer have anything to worry about.
Coming back to Kevigs for A-levels has meant that I have been able to continue with extra-curricular activities as well as try new and exciting things such as becoming a prefect. It has made the transition from GCSE to A-level easier. I am pleased to say I’m glad I stayed for sixth form as the support I have already received I believe I would not get elsewhere and will encourage me to achieve great things.
"My previous school gave me my beginning but King Edwards is giving me my future".
"I decided to stay in a supportive sixth form environment with teachers who knew me."
The excellent environment and dedicated teachers have helped me to succeed.
I have made many good friends, and have improved my studies thanks to the consistent effort and the help of my teachers