Abbie Wright – “I was an Excelsior student from 2009, on completion of my GCSE’s (5+ A* – C grades inc Maths and English) I went to Excelsior College. I didn’t want to take the university route and applied for an apprenticeship at Excelsior Academy as a HR (Human Resources) assistant apprentice and I am currently working at Laidlaw Schools Trist as a trainee HR Assistant”.

Ryan Johnston – “I studied my GCSE’s at Excelsior Academy from 2009 to 2012.  Afterwards I earned the first Excelsior Laidlaw Scholarship to Merchiston Castle School In Edinburgh.  I attended here for 2 years studying IT, DT and Maths.  After sixth form I was accepted into my first choice for University at Northumbria to study Product Design Engineering where I achieved a 2:1 after 3 years.  Following from this I am now a DT technician/specialist support for Excelsior Academy”.

Mark McCoy – “I came to Excelsior Academy when it first opened, I was in Year 8 and carried on into sixth form.  I was unsure what I wanted to do when I left sixth form, but heard about the apprenticeship opportunity in the kitchens at Excelsior.  I applied and went through the interview process and was successful!  The apprenticeship level 2 was for 1 year, but I was kept on for a further year.  Once my apprenticeship was complete there was a job vacancy within the catering team which I put myself forward for.  As part of my development I have moved on to training to be a chef at Excelsior alongside my evening college classes to increase my skills”.

Fammi Khanom – “After studying BTEC and A -Levels in Excelsior College my first thought was that I would go to University but then I looked at the other career routes and came across higher degree apprenticeships at Virgin Money.  I applied for the IT apprenticeship and was really impressed with the core values of the company.  I am now completing my first year at Virgin Money and enjoying learning new skills and taking on new challenges”.

Ross Owens – “After leaving Excelsior I went to sixth form but felt that this wasn’t the right route for me.  I initially started an apprenticeship in Jesmond as a chef but the hours did not suit me, luckily I bumped into the catering manager from Excelsior and she told me about the apprenticeship opportunity so I jumped at the chance to apply.  I completed my 1 year apprenticeship and then the following year I was offered a full time position as a kitchen assistant.  I am now attending college on an evening twice per week for my Level 3 in Catering and Hospitality”.

Josh Lake – “I studied ICT, Business and Sport in sixth form and upon completion I began a sports technician apprenticeship which involved setting up lessons and working with small groups of children in lessons.  After this I decided to move into the primary school and work within a classroom as a teaching assistant, after 6 months of being a teaching assistant I got a new role as pupil support and attendance manager”.

Kurtis Cowan – “I successfully achieved my GCSE’s and A levels whilst studying at Excelsior Academy.  The opportunity came for me to apply for a Reprographics/Marketing position, from that point I gained a Level 2 in business administration.  Once completed I was offered a 1 year contract to work in the main office, I hope in the future I will be able to gain a recurring position as an administrator or in management.  I never believed I would come this far, I’m truly grateful for all the support I have received from staff”.

Radafina Petleshkova – ” I was part of the very first Year 11 cohort at Excelsior Academy, I achieved 15 high level GCSE’s including English and Maths.  I then graduated from Excelsior College with 3 A levels in English, History and Drama which allowed me to apply to University.  After completing my BA (hons) in English and Drama at Sunderland University, I started working at Excelsior as an unqualified teacher.  In addition I have completed a TEFL UK course which allows me to teach English as an additional language to children and adults.  Currently, I teach different subjects to pupils between the ages of 11-16 years old and I am the EAL ambassador (lead) for Hadrian school”.

Mahima Qureshi – “I was a Year 9 student when Excelsior Academy first opened it’s doors in September 2008.  After completing my GCSE’s I enrolled at Excelsior College, whilst I was in my last year I was able to apply for the Marketing and PR apprenticeship and was successful.  Once I completed my Level 2 & 3 apprenticeship I was given the opportunity to stay on as the Marketing and PR Coordinator for Excelsior Academy”.

Robyn Derby – “I left Excelsior Academy with 12 GCSE’s A* – C and then went on to study at Excelsior College, achieving 4 A levels, before leaving to study English literature at Northumbria University.  During my time at university I taught in both primary and secondary schools, in my second year I returned to Excelsior College to teach English literature to A-level students.  During my final year I reached out to Excelsior Academy to gain further experience in their primary school, Rainbird.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Rainbird and as my degree came to an end I queried the possibility of gaining my teaching qualification in the primary.  After a successful interview I was hired and placed within the Year 2 class where I have taught for the past 4 years”.

Tamara Varadiova – “Towards the end of my last year at Excelsior College I applied for a level 2 apprenticeship at Riverside CHP  for the role of Trainee Migrant Practitioner and was successful.  I am really enjoying my time here; supervising the younger children and seeing their development as well as forging relationships with parents and the community”.