What pupils say about their experience of the Advanced Performance Programme at Hull Collegiate School

Last summer the whole Senior Prefect team was encouraged to attend a “Senior Prefect Residential” in Leeds. Senior Prefects from across the country (from Scotland to Southampton) attended this course. I found it quite challenging because I had to practice public speaking in front of all these confident, ambitious people. However, after the course I felt much more comfortable delivering a speech at School Prize Giving in front of over four hundred teachers, parents and pupils.

Another memorable experience was a trip to Cambridge University in Year 11, which inspired me to apply for chemistry at Oxford University. Although I was unsuccessful, the application process stretched me, and the interviews were challenging, but interesting. Without the school’s support in this, having a mock interview with my chemistry teacher, the advice from the career adviser and my chemistry teachers at school helping me with my personal statement, I do not believe I would have got so far and received offers from other great institutions.

In the Sixth Form I have been given opportunities to stretch myself academically. My biology teacher encourages me to read articles from the Biological Sciences Review, which allows me to read topics beyond the A level syllabus, giving me a more rounded understanding of certain topics and helping me reach top marks in the Synoptic Essay in paper 3. This inspired me to buy a subscription to the Chemistry World magazine, where I have gained a greater understanding of the applications of chemistry and learnt about areas of chemistry I have not covered before. This will provide a great platform for me when I study this subject at University. Similarly, I was asked to take part in a UK-wide Chemistry competition with a few of my other classmates, which gave me the opportunity to apply the chemistry we have learnt under competitive conditions.

The superb teaching and support of the teachers have contributed to many of my achievements and I am sure they will continue to help me every step of the way to achieve my goals at the end of this academic year.

Gabriella, Year 13

Hull Collegiate School has been influential in making me the person I am today, through a plethora of outstanding opportunities and individual challenges.

A particularly memorable experience was my involvement in the Young Enterprise programme offered by the school, which allowed me to manage a group of colleagues in creating and running a real working business. The confidence and communication skills I gained in that year have helped to mould me into a more well-rounded person. Additionally, a trip to Cambridge University in Year 11 encouraged me to set my goals high and to challenge myself at every opportunity to reach even the most ambitious goals.

As an aspiring medic, the support and encouragement that the school has given me to reach my goal has been exceptional and I am very grateful. Just last week I attended a three day medicine taster course at HYMS, brought to my attention by the careers advisor. It was an invaluable experience for me that confirmed my aspirations for medicine as well as giving me vital work experience and a real insight into many different specialties. This, coupled with regular talks given by guests ranging from current university students to experienced consultants has given me confidence that the school is doing everything to support each student in his ambitions. I have also found the one-on-one meetings with the Head of Year (Miss McDowell) and Career Advisor (Mrs Heads) very useful in helping me to organise my time effectively in order to achieve my aims.

Even in my daily timetable I am regularly challenged by teachers in lessons. I have learned that sometimes it is not enough to just study the textbook and I have been specifically challenged by all teachers to read around each topic I encounter to gain a more holistic view allowing me to respond to questions better. For example, a Cardiac Imaging lecture at Hull University, recommended by my biology teacher, gave me a much better understanding of the functions of the heart – an essential topic in the syllabus.

I am amazed at the way HCS has stretched and supported me since the day I joined, and I only have the teachers to thank for putting me in such a good position to achieve my aims.

Habib, Year 13

Hull Collegiate School has given me many opportunities to stretch myself academically. The teachers have done this by setting tasks such as researching a given topic in depth and independently and then presenting the findings to class peers. In addition teachers have encouraged us to aim higher by taking us to Cambridge University and attending lectures at a high academic level outside of school.

In Sixth Form I have been stretched further by having the opportunity to mentor pupils in English and Mathematics in lower years. Most importantly the teachers encourage and support us to use our initiative and skills to organise and run activities of our choice for either pupils of our own school or from other local primary schools for example through Hull Children’s University.

Heidi, Year 13 

During my time at Hull Collegiate I have been stretched within lessons on a regular basis. My teachers have always supported extra independent work, suggested further reading and helped me understand complex questions and issues outside of lesson time. I particularly enjoyed attending two ‘Academy Conferences’ which stimulated my thinking on a wide variety of themes at a really high level and got me used to the idea of study at HE level. I have also had the opportunities to attend two Economics conferences in London – with speakers such as Tim Harford, the author of the bestselling ‘The Undercover Economist’ in addition to MPs such as Chuka Umunna.

Earlier this school year I was able to take part in the Bank of England’s ‘Target Two Point Zero’ competition and after writing about this on my personal statement, I was asked about it at my recent interview at Cambridge and I was able to talk confidently on the subject. In applying to Cambridge my HCS Careers Advisor and UCAS Coordinator arranged a very useful practice interview with an ex-Collegian who studied Economics at Cambridge and this support gave me extra confidence when applying. The excellent teaching on my A level courses and the close support of my teachers throughout have been instrumental in contributing to my achievements to date, and I feel this has been great preparation for student life at Cambridge post-A level.

Anna (class of 2017)

My experience with the Art department at Hull Collegiate School has been full of support and encouragement. The variety of workshops presented to pupils from year seven through to A levels allows individuals to discover their creative niche. This may be through exploring collage work by looking at the quirky vintage collages of Eduardo Recife or the expressive seascapes painted by John Virtue. These workshops provide a basis where we are able to develop skills which will enable individual work to excel. This year the A level pupils went to London where we had the opportunity to visit exhibitions such as Abstract expressionism at the Royal Academy, Picasso's portraits and Taylor Wessing Photography portrait prize at the National Portrait Gallery and 'The Vulgar' fashion exhibition at The Barbican centre. These were all really enjoyable and exposed us to numerous new ideas, providing a wealth of inspiration before starting preparatory work for our summer exam. I have received help and advice from my teachers throughout my A level course, and they have instantly addressed any issues I’ve had. This has encouraged me to be confident with what I produce and enabled me to work to my full potential with every task.  

Hannah (class of 2017)

The drama department at Hull Collegiate school has helped me to develop my skills, both in and out of school. The regular drama lessons from Years 7-9 allowed me to gain confidence in front of others, create bonds with my classmates by working in a team and provided me a safe space to be creative with my ideas which were always accepted and nurtured. 

At GCSE, the small class size meant that help was always available from the teacher. This was particularly useful when it came to the written aspect of drama which was required at a higher level. This constant availability of the teacher has continued through to A-level where, with a class of just four, lessons and projects can be tailored to our needs. Having worked with me since Year 7 my teacher knows me very well and understands my strengths and weaknesses as an actress, meaning I receive invaluable and personal feedback that helps me develop my work. This good student-teacher relationship is the same with the other members of my A-level class, which allows the teacher to select plays and practitioners that she knows we will suit and enjoy working with. 

Whilst being at Hull Collegiate I have been involved in three of the school productions, most recently playing Liesel in 'The Sound of Music'. Being involved in this production allowed me to combine my musical and acting skills, as well as being given the opportunity to work with younger and older pupils in the school whilst having a lot of fun! 

The drama department offers regular trips to the theatre where we see many different styles of production. These trips have allowed me to experience theatre I would probably never have seen before and show what can be achieved through pursuing drama. The trips are also a fun night for all and as they usually involve multiple year groups they are another occasion where bonds between younger and older pupils can be made, something which for me has been one of the best things about being involved in the drama department here at Hull Collegiate.

The drama department has also helped me expand my acting not just in school, but outside of school also. In 2014 I became a member of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and went to London to complete my course. This amazing opportunity would not have been possible without the help that I received from the drama department on my audition pieces and preparation. The drama department also got me an audition for a professional production of 'A Christmas Carol' which then went on to be my first ever professional acting job, an experience that I will never forget and which again would not have been possible if I wasn’t at Hull Collegiate. 

I cannot thank the Hull Collegiate drama department enough for what they have done for me. They have allowed me to realise that I want to pursue a career on the stage and continue to support me as I work towards my goal. 

Olivia, Year13