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OUR ALUMNI FAMILY

We encourage students to keep in touch with us after they have moved on to pastures new. It is a delight to catch up with them to find out what wonderful things they have been doing since they left.

We are thrilled to have an ever-increasing number of past students joining our alumni. They have fond memories of their days at Northallerton School & Sixth Form College and like to keep in touch. Many kindly offer to come in to talk to our students about their lives and careers, or even share their expertise by occasionally getting involved in the classroom too. Students find listening to former Northallerton School & Sixth Form College students sharing their experiences very inspirational and these visits have had a very positive effect on the motivation of students across the whole school.

If you were a student at Northallerton School & Sixth Form College formerly Northallerton College and would like to be part of our school alumni group and inspire our young people, please telephone: 01609 773340 or email:  enquiries@northallertonschool.org.uk  We would love to hear from you.

Adam Pearson

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‘Since leaving Northallerton College (as it was called!) in 2007, my career has evolved gradually. Upon finishing my GCSEs I decided to pursue my interest in sport. This led me to Darlington College, where I completed a BTEC National Certificate in Sport, Development, Coaching and Fitness. I particularly enjoyed learning about human physiology and the mechanisms that work to keep us alive and functioning. This in turn steered me to the University of Sunderland where I undertook a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences. I enjoyed my time studying in Sunderland greatly.  During the summer holidays, I travelled to the USA to work at an outdoor education centre and children’s summer camp. Working in the US was a fantastic experience!  I made some great friends, had a brilliant time travelling, and enjoyed working with the children. This encouraged me to seek work experience in schools. I volunteered in a primary and secondary school before securing a job as a teaching assistant. I subsequently completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and qualified as a primary school teacher. Whilst I enjoyed teaching and gained many valuable experiences, I was keen to pursue my scientific interests. This took me to King’s College London where I studied Human and Applied Physiology and earned a Master of Science (MSc) degree. More...

ALEX WICKENS

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‘I attended Northallerton School from 2005 to 2012 for all my secondary school education. I left with A-levels in Art, Biology, and Physics. Funnily enough I dropped out of French A-level on the first day and was tempted to take graphics instead but then switched to biology, which was quite convenient as I then went on to pursue that at Oxford University for my undergrad degree. I think this gives a sense of how uncertain I was of what I wanted to do with the rest of my life let alone career.

Whilst at Oxford I found myself specialising in animal behaviour and ecology with a highlight being a field trip to Borneo to study tropical forest ecology, but the vast majority of my time was spent in University theatre productions. I acted on stage as well working behind the scenes in costume design and stage management which gave me the opportunity to work on west end stages as well as touring Japan twice. I also had a brief stint as a drag queen and event planner.

After leaving Oxford I moved to London and continued to work odd jobs in theatre and film projects but was struggling to make ends meet. More...

Daniel Kemp

Daniel Kemp

‘I left Northallerton College in 2002 with A-Levels in art, biology and physics. I went on to do a BTEC Art Foundation course at York College. It was an essential qualification to get into university to study a Fine Art (BA) degree at Nottingham Trent.

 

The three years I spent studying Fine Art in Nottingham were brilliant. This was a really important step on my career path because it taught me some key skills. I also met some talented creative people along the way and made some life-long friends. At Uni, I did lots of extracurricular activities, one of which was learning how to video edit. This inspired me to make videos and started my love of story-telling using video.

 

After graduating, I volunteered to work on some independent film projects in Nottingham and was soon helping out on the edit side of things. I was mentored by a local film editor who gave me further insight into professional editing and advice on how to begin my career in television. More...

DR. JOE SILMON

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‘I was a student at the Allertonshire School from 1992 to 1995, and then Northallerton College from 1995 to 1999 (both now parts of Northallerton School). My favourite subjects were modern languages, maths and technology. I took my German all the way to A-level, along with Maths, Physics, Chemistry and General Studies (meaning a pretty full timetable for my final two years!).

 

I come from a low-income background but by taking up all the opportunities the school provided, I got a good enough education to get into a good university and I now have a very successful career as an engineer in the railway industry.

 

For most of my time at the school, my career plan was fixed on becoming an officer in a technical part of the Army, like the Royal Signals or Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. This ambition was driven by my involvement in the Yorkshire Army Cadet Force, in which I trained from 1994 to 1999. It led me to select those STEM subjects for my A-levels and to apply for university courses in electronic engineering at several universities. Shortly before I finished school, I successfully applied for entry to the Army’s officer training programme, to begin after I graduated from university. More...

Helen Goodwin

Afghan Natioanl Army Officer Academy Quarga_ Helen Goodwin

‘I attended Northallerton College from 1988-1992 completing my GCSEs and A Levels.  I didn’t quite make the grade to study at my first choice of university and whilst initially disappointed, it enabled me to reconsider the available options and I was accepted for a BSc degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Sunderland; a course which combined the two subjects I enjoyed, biology and geography, along with a breadth of other topics.

 

Between the second and third year of my degree, I took a year out to take part in an expedition to Lake Baikal, Siberia with the First Battalion The Green Howards.  Advertised in the local press, the regiment were looking for civilians to join the small team of military personnel to assist a group of Russian Scientists complete a survey of the Nerpa Seal, an endemic species to Lake Baikal. The lake is frozen to a metre thick from November-May and we would be riding along its length on quad bikes to complete the survey.

 

Following 3 months of navigation, first aid and survival training in Germany, we travelled to Siberia to consolidate  More...

 

Jamie Christon

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“I attended both The Allertonshire and Grammar Schools between 1983 and 1990, leaving with GCSEs (was a GCSE guinea pig) and A Levels in History, Geography and Sociology. I then went onto Leicester University where I graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Political Government and Public Order.

 

I wanted at that time to stay in North Yorkshire and gained a place with the police on their graduate course. At the last minute I switched to retail management and stayed in that sector until the late 90s when I joined Manchester Airport Group. I became Commercial Director there before heading to Devon to become Managing Director of Exeter Airport.

 

Five years in beautiful Dartmoor was ahead of me and my partner and our two dogs. Post the banking crisis in 2007, I moved out of airports and into ferry transportation until settling in Chester, where ironically I had started my career some twenty years earlier. More...

John Radcliffe

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John Radcliffe : (1650 – 1 November 1714) was an English physician, academic and politician. 

 

But where did it all start? John Radcliffe was born in Wakefield, in our beautiful Yorkshire. He went to Queen Elizabeth Grammar school as well as our very own Northallerton Grammar School. Later on he graduated from the University of Oxford. He obtained his MD in 1682 and moved to London shortly afterwards. There he enjoyed great popularity and became royal physician to William III and Mary II. He was so well-regarded that a number of landmark buildings in Oxford, including the Radcliffe Camera (in Radcliffe Square), the Radcliffe Infirmary, the Radcliffe Science Library,] Radcliffe Primary Care and the Radcliffe Observatory were named after him. The John Radcliffe Hospital, a large tertiary hospital in Headington, was also named after him.

 

This year, we have created a house system, where houses are named after a former student. Radcliffe house, couldn’t have Dr John Radcliffe writing about himself for obvious reasons, but if you are interested in finding out more about this Northallerton Grammar School former student, please read More...

Professor Emily Rayfield

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‘I attended Northallerton School from 1989 to 1993. After taking A-Levels in Art, Biology and Chemistry, I studied for a degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford. After graduating from Oxford after a fun three years, I wasn’t sure what to do. I got a job as a lab technician at University College London (mainly so I could live in London with some of my university friends) where some of my duties involved growing cells from human skin samples.

 

During my year in London I decided I wanted to return to university to study for a PhD. During my degree, I particularly enjoyed courses on whole animal biology – studying the anatomy, physiology and evolution of animals. After applying to a few universities, I was accepted as a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge I started researching how we can apply physical principles to understand how past animals functioned and that is how I embarked on my career as a palaeontologist. I use a mixture of maths and anatomy to test long-standing often arm-waving theories about fossils and past life. At Cambridge I developed how to use computer software typically used in engineering to test the strength More...

Scott Dodsworth

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‘I attended Northallerton School for my GCSEs and Sixth Form, leaving in 2000 for university in London. My time at the school set in motion my interest in politics and community – whether through the student council or the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. It was in my late teens that I also developed a love of travel, taking a summer out of North Yorkshire for a month Interrailing around eastern Europe was my first taste of independent travel aged 17. Since then, my career and personal life have been defined by adventures all over the world, even ‘interrupting’ my degree to squeeze in another year in India and south east Asia.

 

During university I worked in the House of Commons, a place I still often visit for work, taking most interest in foreign affairs and defence, joining the Atlantic Council for the Istanbul NATO summit and supporting their work to promote NATO in the UK. When I left my studies, (in Anthropology), I stayed in London working in public affairs, a career that makes the link between government and parliament and the interests of other governments, business and other third sector organisations. More...

SOPHIE HALLIDAY

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'I studied at Northallerton School through to 2012, where I left with A Levels in Art, English Language and Psychology. I then took a gap year in New Zealand to train as a ski instructor, and followed the Winter season round to Switzerland where I applied my training and worked. Afterwards, I went on to study Fine Art at Northumbria University. At first I wasn't certain that I wanted to go to university, as I was keen to pursue a creative career, but unsure what that would entail. In my mind, the only way I was going to go to uni, was to study Art. I had a fantastic time there with a really rounded education in both studio practice and history. I went in leaning in the direction of studio practice, and came out enjoying the history lectures and essays the most. It was great that the degree had an even balance of the two, as I felt I was able to come away with transferable skills and the option to change my focus.

 

This is exactly what I did, as following graduation, I moved to London with no idea what I wanted to do. I decided to get some 'office' experience and some money coming in whilst I worked it all out. I found myself interning at a renowned British Handbags brand in the Production team. I instantly learned this was not the type of role for me as it was very data heavy with little proximity More...

Sylvester Cowell

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When I was first asked to write something about Sylvester Cowell, I thought about why we honour people of the past. I thought about what makes someone worthy of being in an historical textbook or immortalised by memorial. I also thought about how I could relate to Sylvester Cowell, a man or, more poignantly, a boy, who was born more than a 100 years ago.

 

As we know so little about this person, perhaps, we should consider what he represents. He represents the ‘everyman’ or ‘every-person’ that often is overlooked in our history books. We are given facts on kings and queens, great empires and terrible atrocities, but we are often not presented with the ‘everyman’ hero.  That person who often goes unnoticed in the annals of time, but is no less important.

 

So, what is a hero? Can we call Sylvester Cowell a hero? By many standards, yes. In antiquity a hero is considered to have More...

 

Tom Riordan

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'I was born in Northallerton and went to Mill Hill, the Allertonshire and the College in the 1980s. I did quite well in my exams but it was a history teacher Mr Chedburn who suggested I applied to Oxford and I managed to get in to study history. After feeling very out of my depth at the start surrounded by people who sounded super-intelligent, I gradually realised I deserved to be there too and managed to graduate with a 2:1 and really enjoyed it. I could have gone on to do law or another degree but my Dad was a careers adviser and he encouraged me to take the Civil Service fast stream graduate scheme exam. I got in and worked in the Department of the Environment for 7 years in London. Again, I felt like a bit of a fish out of water at first but soon got to enjoy it and I saw the world working on climate change and biodiversity United Nations negotiations, travelling to places like Nairobi, Washington and the Bahamas. It was challenging working in such big organisations but it was really interesting as you moved around every year or so into different jobs.

 

I was about to get married to Louise (who also went to the college) and we had to decide whether to stay in London or come More...

 

Victoria Robson

Victoria Robson

‘I was a pupil at Northallerton School all the way through to A-Levels and left to go to university in 2011 with three A Levels in psychology, English literature, English language and an AS level in textiles. I was inspired by one of my A-Level English teachers to go on to study English literature further at Northumbria University. I loved the subject and wanted to take it further and make teaching my career.

 

At university I loved the course and Northumbria Uni was an incredible environment. I learned so many life skills about independent working and managing my own time and priorities whilst enjoying student life. I was given immense support whilst dealing with a family crisis and that showed me that anything was possible if you want it enough.

 

After a placement in my third year at a secondary school in Newcastle, I decided that English literature or teaching wasn’t my plan and had to start thinking about what I did want to do when I graduated. More...

 

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