past student’s stories

A message from past student Rob Marsh – Class of 2007-2012. February 2019

During my time at Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School, I found a love and talent for sport and PE. This led to taking GCSE PE and BTEC Sport in my Year 9 option choices, learning the subject more in depth. I was also granted with the opportunity to complete a JSLA course, gaining a young leaders award through the school.

This gave me an insight to what teaching could be like and getting a firsthand look at being a leader. Boteler has fantastic PE teachers who acted as role models and gave me the motivation to succeed, receiving Distinction* in BTEC Sport and a B grade in GCSE PE. Following on from school I pursued my career path in sport and physical education by taking BTEC Sport at Priestley College. Boteler gave me the confidence for the transition from high school to college, therefore I was able to take my learning of PE and sport further. The positive experience of both practical and theory based lessons in school, gave me the basic skills and understanding to progress. Throughout my time at Priestley College I was able to complete volunteer work at different primary schools, coaching clubs and planning tournaments, such as Road to Goodison tournaments. By having the opportunity to complete the young leaders award at Boteler, I was more confident with my leadership and developing my teaching strategies further. At the end of college I was awarded Triple Distinction* which was equivalent to A/A* in A Levels. Before leaving Priestley College I was assisted and encouraged to continue with further education at University. This gave me the platform to apply for Higher Education within the sporting field. I took it upon myself to apply for Sport Development with Physical Education, focusing mainly on the PE route, on which I successfully gained a place at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).

The degree consisted of many new challenges, including written assignments, practical coaching/teaching assignments, peer evaluations and managing work load whilst being out on placements and doing volunteer work in schools. Boteler and Priestley College gave me the skill set and intelligence to be able to work independently, with LJMU guiding me towards my career goal, which is to become a PE Teacher. Overall my experience at LJMU was positive and I had a lot of fun, meeting new friends and although most tasks are independent, there are group tasks which require working together as a team. At the end of my degree I received a 2:1 Bachelor of Honours Degree in Sport Development. Throughout my 3 year course at LJMU I continued to focus my work and assignments on physical education, which led me to go back to Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School for a 4 week placement in my second year at LJMU. Enjoying the experience at Boteler as a PE assistant, I decided to continue my placement at Boteler throughout my third year. I took on more responsibility of a PE teacher and put my skills and knowledge into action. The teaching staff at Boteler had changed slightly when I returned as a teacher from when I was a student, however all staff welcomed me back into the school and was eager to support my career in teaching. I worked closely with Mrs Hughes and Mr Burbidge. I also had the opportunity to work with Mrs Mawby and Mr Leonard, and seeing different styles of teaching helped me to find my own effective way of teaching.

I am currently applying for Teacher Training which I am looking forward to, with my goal still set to become a PE Teacher.

Past student Abigail Titchard shares her experience. November 2018, now at Liverpool Hope University

Since arriving at Liverpool Hope University I have been faced with a whirlwind of new experiences, people and different way of living. I am studying for a combined Physical Education and Special Educational Needs degree, with the intention of becoming a Secondary School Teacher, and already I am thoroughly enjoying the course content. My SEN study group have already selected me to become a Student Course Representative, meaning I have a say in the course structure and provide feedback to the department on what is going well and what needs to be changed, giving me an insight into what it’s like to become a lecturer at university.

Living in University halls is a completely surreal experience. Straight away I met friends that I know I will have forever. Independence is something I have gained so much of in the past five weeks, having to do everything for myself, cooking, cleaning, washing. It has already set me up for the future and I still have three years to go! At University, there is something for everyone, no matter what course you are studying. The societies that you have access to range from your traditional sports teams (rugby, football, hockey) to new sports such as Ultimate Frisbee. There are Doctor Who societies, gaming groups and also an opportunity to set up your own society. Five weeks at University has changed my life for the better and I know this was the right choice for me!

Amelia Titchard shares her experience. November 2018, now at Priestley College

I am studying A-Level Sociology, A-Level Photography, and BTEC Production Arts at Priestley College. On my first day it was overwhelming; the amount of new people, finding the way to my classrooms, not knowing exactly what to do in any situation. On my second day of college, I knew where my classrooms were and could go straight to them. On my third day of college, I was able to talk to the people around me, making new friends. Moving on from high school seemed daunting and impossible, but it was inevitable. And once it happened, it seemed more comfortable and easy. After my first half term at Priestley, it feels like I have been here for much longer. I have settled in without even realising it, and everything now feels like second nature to me. Of course, I will still have new experiences. I haven’t yet faced mock exams, for example. But I know now that if I face this challenge head on, I will be able to work through it and become more comfortable with it. If any current Year 11s are thinking about opting for any of the courses I have chosen, I would definitely recommend them. I would certainly recommend visiting one of the Priestley College open days, as this gives a good insight into everything on offer, and highlights the range of subjects which you can look to study.

A message from past student Kelly Lafferty (February 2018):  

I graduated from UCLAN with a BA(Hons) in law with politics. I’m also an associate member of the cipd and achieved assoc cipd status earlier this year.

Now I live in Edinburgh and work as an appointed level HR advisor with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

A message from past student Andrew Mahoney (February 2018):

Name: Andrew Mahoney Aged: 31 Attended Sir Thomas Boteler: 1995-2000 Graduated from: Sheffield Hallam University in 2005 with a BA Hons degree in History (2:1) Employed: Wigan Council (since 2009) – current job position – Children’s Services Manager

I went to University in 2002 knowing I wanted to study something I always enjoyed, but not really knowing what I wanted to do as a career. I choose a degree in History, not only because I loved learning about it, but also for the skills it provided me with. In the 3 years at university I was able to improve my skills to research and analyse information, and then provide my own personal opinions and outlooks on particular historical events. Having achieved these skills I found many career opportunities opened up for me. After I graduated from university (and travelled the world for 2 years) I wanted to get a job that excited me and also had the ability to change people’s lives. I currently work at Wigan Council as a manager in Children’s Services. It is my job to help understand the best way the Council should spend its money, to help support children and families that live in Wigan. This ranges from making sure there are enough leisure activities, health services, education and support services, so that people in Wigan feel safe, care about their health and are happy; therefore lead a better life.

I enjoy my job, as I get to meet lots of children, young people and families, and ask them questions about what they like and dislike about services provided by the council. I then use this information to make a professional judgement and make changes to find better, new and creative ways to help families in Wigan.

A message from past student Conor Stevens (November 2017):

My name is Conor Stevens, I am a former pupil of Sir Thomas Boteler from 2004-2009.My high school days were arguably the most enjoyable years of my life, having met a wealth of fantastic friends and also some fantastically inspiring staff. One of which was my form tutor and maths teacher at the time, Mrs.Howson, she was a fantastic source of information about life and also an amazing teacher who I can say with absolute certainty helped me to achieve the grades I did. Since my school days I have been on to study Business Management at both college and university level, having graduated just over 12 months ago with a 2:1 classification in my degree. Since completion of my degree I have worked in supervisory/managerial roles, however, the ultimate goal is to run my own business one day. I have an interest in design, having recently created my own t-shirt brand which is still in it’s early phase, I also enjoy property/interior design, a subject in which I am looking to gain a formal qualification.

Sir Thomas Boteler is a truly fantastic school with amazing, dedicated staff who give the place a real caring feel to it, hence why I have tried my best to remain a part of the school and keep in touch with as many staff as possible (Although Mr.Vallender’ jokes are enough to drive anybody away). I still try to take part in the annual football match in honour of Temi Abimbola, a friend of mine who passed away whilst we sat our GCSE’s. My thoughts to current pupils would be to say that these are the some of your finest years of education, these years will shape your future and the options that will be open to you. Enjoy it, and make the most of the fantastic resources you have at your disposal. During my time at school, I achieved the following grades:

English Literature – B English Language – B Maths – C

Science – C IT – C History – B

Geography – C PE – B Citizenship – A

A message from past student Lucy Deakin (September 2017):

After leaving Boteler in 2013, I went on to study at Priestley College. At college I studied Media Studies where I agined a Double Distinction overall and Film Studies where I gained a grade B. What university did you attend? I currently attend Edge Hill University. What did you study at University? Film and Television Production What have you achieved at University? I am on track to graduate in 2018 with a 2:1 (hopefully a first) class honours degree in Film and Television Production Plans for the future: My ambition after university is to eventually become a Director of Hollywood/British films and TV shows. I know there’s still a long way to go before reaching my dream job but the ambition is there and there’s nothing that’s going to stand in my way of achieving that goal. Advice to current students: It’s not how many times you get knocked down or get knocked back that matters. What matters is how many times you get back up and continue to fight for your dreams that will make you come out on top in the end. Never give up on yourself.

A message from past student Meg Booth (September 2017):

11 years ago, in September 2006 I took my first steps through the doors of Sir Thomas Boteler. 10 years later, in September 2016, I took my first steps through the doors of the Biochemistry Department at the University of Cambridge! Whilst I was a student at Boteler I was an active member of the school council, enjoyed taking part in music clubs, played Willy Wonka in year 8, edited the student pages of the Boteler Bulletin and eventually left in 2011 with 11 A*’s and 3 A’s. In my free time, from the age of 13, I was a test purchaser for Merseyside Police. This would involve attempting to purchase alcohol from shops where the police had intelligence to suggest they were selling alcohol to underage children. As a result of the four years I spent in this role, I won two ‘Volunteer of the Year’ awards at the Merseyside Police total policing event.

I then moved on to Priestley college where I achieved A*AAB in the extended project, biology, history and chemistry. After this, I attended the University of Liverpool to study Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. On the 18th July 2016, I sat in a very hot Philharmonic hall and graduated with a First-Class Honours degree. Later that day, it was also announced that I had received the ‘Kirby Johnson’ prize for the highest grades in my degree course. My undergraduate degree at Liverpool was a fantastic experience and it was at there that I met my partner of nearly four years (who I later found out was the sound engineer at the Boteler Out Loud concerts, yet we never met), worked for Smooth Radio NW doing promotions, played 7-a-side football and discovered my passion for bacteriophages.

On a cold, windy autumnal morning in October 2014, I sat waiting for the 9am virology lecture to start. It was in this lecture that the concept of a bacteriophage (or phage) – a virus that infects bacteria, was introduced and I was hooked immediately! As the most abundant, non-living entity on the planet, phages outnumber their bacterial host by a factor of 10 to 1. They specifically target their host and hijack the cellular machinery to make more phages, before killing the cell and releasing new viruses. This property makes them an attractive candidate in the fight against antibiotic resistance infections, in the form of ‘Phage Therapy’. It was after these lectures that I started to investigate the best place to conduct research in phage biology and in February 2016 I was offered a fully funded PhD position at the University of Cambridge. My research involves building up a bank of new phages isolated from the environment and characterising them to identify the best candidates for a phage therapy product.

Outside of the lab I really enjoy teaching and I have just finished teaching an intensive four-week summer programme for students interested in studying medicine. This was part of an international summer school, called the Cambridge prep experience, which gave students aged 14-16 the chance to come and study at the university. As part of my involvement with the Elite programme I will be promoting similar opportunities for students at Boteler to take part in. A lot of these summer schools offer full scholarships and I will be encouraging students to take advantage of the fantastic experiences Cambridge can offer.

I have recently been chosen as the ‘Early Career Representative’ for the Prokaryotic Division of the Microbiology Society and I am also the student editor for ‘The Biochemist’ magazine, run by the Biochemical Society – two of the largest UK based academic societies. I also had a very fleeting television career when I signed myself and my partner up to appear on the BBC gameshow Pointless! (Our episodes should be aired sometime later this year – so look out for that!)

The biggest piece of advice I can give to students who are sat where I was 11 years ago is to take advantage of every opportunity you are given! I remember being sat in Mrs Scott-Heron’s office and telling her that “failure wasn’t an option”, when I was discussing future career plans and back up options. It was my time as a student at Boteler, where I took part in various clubs and activities, as well as the guidance and love from my mum and the mentorship I received from multiple members of staff at Boteler, that prepared me for higher education. With enthusiasm, dedication and planning, everyone can achieve their goals. I’m looking forward to being part of the Elite programme and will be meeting some of you in the coming months.

Meg Booth

 

Former head boy talks to our Year 8 Students about life in the Royal Air Force. September 2017.

Our Year 8 students were privileged to receive a presentation from former Sir Thomas Boteler C E High School student and Head Boy, Josh Hartson, during their assembly on Thursday 14th September. Josh delivered an interesting and informative insight into life in the RAF and the varied career opportunities available within the service. This was well received by our students and it was pleasing to see some genuine interest from our young people in the questions they asked Josh at the end of the presentation.

Josh has successfully completed a rigorous training programme and has recently taken up a post with an RAF Regiment where he is assigned to 34 Squadron based at RAF Leeming in Yorkshire. Josh has joined the Heavy Armoured Vehicle division with varied duties including driving, maintenance and fleet protection.

In April 2018, Josh will be taking up a post in the Middle East based in Iran and Iraq where he will be actively involved in military protection operations.

On behalf of the Year 8 students and tutors, I would like to thank Josh for taking time out of his busy schedule to come and speak with our young people which has given them a first-hand insight into an aspect of life in the RAF. We wish Josh luck and good fortune as he commences his exciting RAF career. – Mr Antrobus, Progress Leader Year 8 and 9.

A message from past student Liam Gough:

Hello, my name is Liam Gough and I was a pupil at Sir Thomas Boteler CofE High school from 1999-2004. I would like to share my accomplishments since leaving high school and hopefully help you in deciding your career goals.

Where to start…. I wasn’t that confident with learning during my years at Boteler as I was reserved, quiet and didn’t find it easy to make many friends until my form tutor (Mr. Spence) gave me all the help and advice that I needed to push myself. After completing my GCSE exams and obtaining the results that I wanted, I then went on to study NVQ Business and Finance at Priestly College for 2 years (I was nervous when I first started collage because I didn’t know what to expect) and after successfully passing my NVQ I decided to study A-LEVEL Business and Finance all whilst I was starting my first ever job at the Fir Grove Hotel. This gave me the freedom and the confidence to prove that I could handle studying and work at the same time. I worked for the hotel for around 1 year as it was a stepping stone to my true career path.

I obtained my A-Level Business and Finance in 2007 and then proceeded to look for full time work and after a few weeks, I was offered a position at a company called Vaultex UK Ltd. My job role was within the finance department as a Reconciliation Administrator. I was responsible for balancing the accounts and counting cash. Whilst working for Vaultex I was offered a chance to Study AAT Level 1 in accounting. I worked really hard to get to AAT Level 4 and after 6 years of hard studying, assessments and exams. I was a gained my qualification in accounting. I was employed at this company for 9 years and left to progress further in my career.

In 2015, I started working at the Head office for a well-known retailer in Liverpool (let’s just say it is more than a bargain! Can you solve where I work?). My role is now Transportation Accountant and I am responsible for the department’s incoming and outgoing costs and authorizing payments. I am now currently studying the advanced stages of Accounting called CIMA Professional which will again take another 2 years.

On top of this I am a loving husband and a loving father to a 4 year old son named Dexter.

I guess what I am saying is if you work hard and believe in yourself you will go far or you can use my life motto “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!” Warm regards, Liam Gough

Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School by STB