I graduated as part of the first Heritage GCSE cohort in 2016, and I’m currently a third-year medical student at the University of Leeds. Though COVID-19 proved a bit of a setback, I’ve had the privilege of being on placement throughout this academic year and have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities and challenges of medicine so far. I love the variety of experiences we are exposed to, as well as the social benefits of working in a diverse team and meeting new staff and patients every day — an opportunity not many people have had over the last year.
After leaving Heritage at 16, I went on to study Psychology, Biology, Chemistry and Music at Comberton Sixth form. Alongside my academic studies, I was able to pursue my enthusiasm for music and piano by accompanying the Heritage Junior School choir in their weekly rehearsals and performing in informal recitals with the sixth form Jazz band. I also enjoyed many other extra-curricular opportunities such as participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award scheme, volunteering in the local residential home, weekly peer mentoring of younger students, and taking ballet classes.
Since starting university, I have enjoyed embracing new hobbies such as climbing and expedition medicine, as well as taking on a new vocational role as a carer for children with disabilities. I have also been on committee for Leeds University Christian Union, which has been a wonderful opportunity to grow and share my faith with others. I am extremely grateful for the breadth of experiences I’ve been able to embrace the past few years, and I’m a firm believer that taking on new challenges is one of life’s greatest joys. Being a student at Heritage school instilled in me a love of learning and a desire to make a difference. These values help me look forward to more than just a career, but a life in which I can continue to learn and help others.
Jed, a Class of 2017 Leaver, was at Heritage from Years 6 through 11.
After leaving Heritage I studied Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Geography at Hills Road Sixth Form College. From there, I went on to Cambridge University, where I’m now in my second year studying Engineering.
While at Hills Road I started rowing, which I loved and have continued since arriving at university. I’m currently the Men’s Captain of my college Boat Club. I’ve also been involved in the University Christian Union.
I have really great memories of my time at Heritage, both the friends I made and the teaching. Heritage set me up really well to be able to work independently, and helped me grow a real love for my subjects. Above all, this is what I appreciate most from my time at Heritage, and which has enabled me to find real joy in my continuing studies.
Kane was in our 2018 graduating class.
After leaving Heritage, I studied A level PE, Psychology and Drama at Hills Road Sixth Form, which was a great experience. It was a very different environment to Heritage, especially in terms of size, but I think Heritage prepared me well for it. I was also on the leadership team for the Hills Christian Union and led the music team, which I absolutely loved.
I missed Heritage so much that I decided to come back for my gap year, this time as a Staff member! I have been volunteering with the PE department, now working as a PE Teaching Assistant. This has been a great experience before I head off to Nottingham Trent University in September to study Sports Science and Coaching, and then head into a Sports Coaching career. I’ve loved every minute of it (even in the pouring rain).
What I have missed most about Heritage is the attitude to life and community that is so prevalent; something I definitely took for granted whilst studying at the school. When learning at Heritage you don’t just experience high quality teaching for each subject; you are taught vital skills needed for the future in the real world. And who doesn’t love an assembly on how to tile a wall or sort out the plumbing by Mr Fletcher!
Emily started at Heritage in Year 6 and graduated in 2018.
After leaving Heritage, I went on to study Biology, English Literature and French at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge. I am now at the University of York studying to become a Midwife, and recently delivered my first baby!
While at Hills Road I played on the girls’ basketball team, sang in the College choir, and served on the leadership team of the Christian Union. I also benefited from two exchange trips to France as part of my French A-level.
Now that I’m studying at university, I’m particularly grateful for my time at Heritage. Heritage helped me work independently and taught me the importance of enjoying the learning process. I really value the lasting friendships I made — we continue to see one another when we can and even had a camping trip together last summer. I also appreciate the opportunities we had at Heritage to explore new subjects and activities, and to grow in confidence in a supportive, Christian environment.
William is a Heritage alumnus from the Class of 2019.
After Heritage I attended the Perse Upper where I am currently Senior Prefect, studying History, Maths and Philosophy. Next year I am planning to study Combined Social Sciences at Durham University — a programme that includes History, Politics, Philosophy and International Relations. Outside of my studies I enjoy rugby, and play 1st team for both the Perse and Shelford Rugby Club.
As I look back at my time at Heritage, the lesson of narration stands out. I remember narrating back the story of King Alfred burning the cakes in class and having no idea of the influence it would have on my academic progression.
Narration at Heritage is a key part of the curriculum, where students are asked to recall to the best of their ability a story that the teacher has just read to them. This is often tied into History lessons, but is also a part of Composer Study and Picture Study. After the extract is read to them, the students then aim to tell back as much as they could as a class, politely waiting for their turn. Though at the time it may seem arduous and the students may even think it a waste of time, looking back at it now I am reminded of how important it has been for me. Not only does this process improve an individual’s memory but also confidence in speaking about what they remember and understand, and then listening to hear what others remember.
These skills have served me incredibly well during my time at Heritage and during the past two years at the Perse Upper. My teachers have commented on my ability to recall information quickly. They have also said that I have the confidence to try ideas out in front of the class, and am ready to listen to what others have to offer. This integral part of the Heritage education is something that goes far beyond merely learning a story. It is something to be cherished and be proud of.
Hannah joined Heritage in Year 7 and left with the class of 2017.
After leaving Heritage, I attended Hills Road Sixth Form where I studied Maths, Physics, Chemistry, and Art and did an extended project qualification in Photography. While I was at Hills Road, one of my pieces was spotted and submitted for the RBA (Royal Society of British Artists) Star Students, a national competition to encourage aspiring young artists. As one of the top 20 finalists, my work was exhibited at the The Mall Galleries and The ROSL (Royal Over-Seas League).
I then went on to study Architecture at the University of Sheffield, where I am currently in the second year of my three-year undergraduate studies. Some of my first-year drawings were selected for the Mohammed ElAshry Memorial Prize, an award to celebrate architectural representation by a student in the first year of undergraduate study.
Outside of my studies, I enjoy reading, running, drawing and painting. Here in Sheffield we have some really nice views — I live at the top of a hill, right next to the peaks with a view of the whole city — so I love sitting out with my sketchbook.
One of the things I miss about Heritage is the environment. Because my year group was so small, we were quite friendly with the teachers and everyone knew each other. Some of the friendships I made at Heritage are still the closest friends I have. Also, I came to realise after leaving how much openness there is in the Heritage curriculum; during my A Levels I found my focus becoming much more narrow, and missed the breadth of ideas that we were exposed to. Now, because architecture covers a range of subjects — including philosophy, science and engineering, geography, politics, and history — I am benefiting from the diversity of studies that Heritage provided, and have a new appreciation for the general joy of learning that was encouraged there.
Isabelle was in our Class of 2016 Leavers.
After leaving Heritage I studied Art, Physics and Maths at Hills Road. For an extended sixth form project, I co-hosted a fashion show with support from Sir Bruce Oldfield, which raised £700 for the children’s charity Barnardos.
After sixth form, I went on to do a foundation diploma in fashion design at Central Saint Martins College of Art in London, followed by a direct entry into the second year of fashion design at Edinburgh College of Art. I am currently in my third year there, with one year left until I graduate. I have been encouraged by the positive working environment and excellent experiences I’ve had, including a fashion show at the Scottish Parliament and an opportunity to work with brands such as Kate Spade and Mackintosh UK.
Looking toward the future, I am excited about an upcoming short-term assignment at Christopher Kane, as well as a five-week men’s pattern cutting and drafting course at Savile Row this summer. For my final year collection I’m hoping to produce the garments I design there from fish skin leather — a byproduct from fish processing. After graduation I’d like to take a year to travel and gain internship experience. I would also like to pursue a graduate degree in London, and ultimately hope to design my own line or start my own business.
Heritage taught me to love learning for its own sake, and today I am driven by the energy of creating beautiful things rather than academic achievement alone. I also made friends for life at Heritage, and value the incredible support system that has helped me through some very challenging times and encouraged me to pursue my goals. Having such strong relationships in my life makes me feel like anything is possible.