Hartlepool Sixth Form College

Student Profiles

Hartlepool Sixth Form students Reach for the Stars! Find out what drives students to choose HSFC and what they’re hoping to achieve after completing their studies.

Thomas Acey

Name: Thomas Acey

Courses: A-Level Chemistry, Biology and English

Previous school: High Tunstall College of Science

Thomas described his experience at Hartlepool Sixth Form College as enjoyable, memorable and rewarding. He progressed to university and is now a Pharmacist.

He said:

“I decided to study at Hartlepool Sixth Form College as I knew people who had been and liked it. The best thing was the teachers because they would go out of their way to help us to achieve our best. They treated us as responsible adults and encouraged us to be inquisitive and accountable for our own learning, which was especially beneficial.

There was a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and large parts of the college were newly built so the facilities were excellent.”

Jessica Hill

Name: Jessica Hill

Course: A-Level Chemistry, Sociology and Biology

Previous school: Dyke House Sports & Technology College

Jessica described her time at Hartlepool Sixth Form College as challenging, rewarding and enjoyable. She has a MChem from The University of York and a master’s and is now studying a PhD is Synthetic Chemistry at The University of Bristol, under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Clayden.

She said:

“I decided to study at Hartlepool Sixth Form College because of their reputation for teaching. I really enjoyed the chemistry course. The teaching was excellent and really inspired me to continue my studies in chemistry. The College had a really friendly atmospheres.

My Chemistry Teacher had a fantastic way of teaching. It really was him who inspired me to continue my studies in chemistry.”

Peter Wheatley

Name: Peter Wheatley

Course: A-Level Biology, Chemistry, Maths, General Studies and AS-Level in Physics

Previous school: Brierton Community School

Peter was part of the College’s Rugby Academy and said it enriched his experience. He described his time at Hartlepool Sixth Form College a challenging, interesting and fun. He progressed to university and is now a Continuous Improvement Co-ordinator at Morgan Advanced Materials Europe.

He said:

“I decided to study at Hartlepool Sixth Form College as it had an excellent reputation for sciences, for teaching and support for students and progression into higher education.

The best thing was the support given to students and the friendly atmosphere. There were excellent facilities for both practical and non-practical aspects of study and well-kept grounds, providing safe environment.

Being part of the first Rugby Academy team was one of the best aspects about my time in college. It helped me integrate with older students when I was in lower sixth and then support younger students when I was in upper sixth. It enriched my experience and gave me lots of enjoyment as well as keeping me very fit and healthy, and let to regional representation for the College.

I cannot recommend it highly enoiugh as a sixth form. I would not be where I am today without the education, opportunities and support I received from the College.”

Sarah Acey

Name: Sarah Acey

Course: A-Level Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Further Maths

Previous school: High Tunstall College of Science

Sarah described her time at Hartlepool Sixth Form College as supportive, engaging and enthusiastic. She progressed to a medicine degree at Newcastle University and is now a trainee GP doctor.

She said:

“I decided to study at Hartlepool Sixth Form College as it had had a good reputation for achieving good grades and was local. The best thing was the dedicated teachers who understood individual student goals.

They were very committed to giving their own time and enthusiastic with their teaching, often developing their own workbooks, and delivering interactive sessions/experiments. They taught the class as a group but ensured it was relevant for all levels. They helped me to achieve the A-Levels I needed for my university degree. It was good fun too! The chemistry and biology teachers particularly stand out as fantastic teachers, they really made their subjects great.

The College was redeveloped while I was there and had very good facilities with a nice atmosphere.”

Adam Dickson

Name: Adam Dickson

Course: A-Level Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics

Previous school: Manor Community Academy

Adam described his experience at Hartlepool Sixth Form College as challenging, exciting and enjoyable. He progressed to a chemical engineering master’s degree at university and is now employed on an engineering management graduate programme.

He said:

“I decided to study at Hartlepool Sixth Form College because of its good reputation, good results and it was close to home. The best thing about the college was the atmosphere, the high standard of facilities and the excellent teaching.

I had a very positive experience at the sixth form college, overall I’d give it a solid give star rating. My personal expereince was enoyable. The level of teaching was excellent; teachers could recognise your potential, understand your level of knowledge and ensured you were challenged and never complacent in your studies. This was a great help in achieving the results I needed for university.

Michael Rowell

Name: Michael Rowell

Course: A-Level Film Studies, Media, Music Technology and BTEC Music Technology

Previous school: Dyke House Sports & Technology College

Michael described his time at Hartlepool Sixth Form College as transformative, educational and fun. He progressed to Staffordshire University to study Media (Film) Production and is now Assistant Editor at a film trailer editing company working for Deluve. He’s recently worked on various TV and social spots for films such as Lego Movie 2, Mowgli, Tomb Raider, Rampage and more.

He said:

“I decided to study at Hartlepool Sixth Form College as I was excited at the prospect of studying music, film and media all together. I enjoyed working with the teachers and staff at HSFC as I found them approachable at all times, and friendly and enthusiastic.

The course opened up a lot of opportunities for me to explore some of my favourite films and work out what makes them so powerful and engaging. I always felt like I was surrounded by people, staff and fellow students, who shared the same enthusiasm as I did.

The campus felt incredibly refreshing and a place to feel at ease. There was great editing facillities with technicians and staff who were kindly willing to take time to teach you.

I frequently performed music outside of study, and through the college I got to perform with various talented musicians that otherwise I would not have had the chance to meet.

Before my time at HSFC, I had sometimes struggled with keeping focused, however the patience and the enthusiasm of the staff helped me develop and prepared me completely for a career in my dream job!”

Amy Faulkner

Name: Amy Faulkner

Course: A-Levels (Chemistry, Biology and English Language)

Previous school: The English Martyrs School

Amy said the three key words she associates with Hartlepool Sixth Form College are achievement, support and enjoyment. While studying at the College she participated in extra-curricular activities such as badminton. After leaving the College she graduated from University of Sunderland with a First Class Honours BSc Biopharmaceutical Science degree. She now works full-time for Hart Biologicals Ltd.

She said: “The science department at Hartlepool Sixth Form College made me want to study there.

What I liked best about the College was the help given to me when the time came for me to apply to University. There are a number of individual staff members who helped me out a great deal. The facilities were also very modern.

The best thing about the course was the various laboratory work that we undertook each week.”

After leaving the College, Amy graduated from University of Sunderland with a First Class Honours BSc Biopharmaceutical Science degree. Amy is now working at Hart Biologicals Ltd as their HPLC Method Development Scientist.

Michael Nicholson

Name: Michael Nicholson

Course: A-Levels - Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Geography.

Previous school: Manor Community Academy

Michael described his time at Hartlepool Sixth Form College as memorable and engaging. He secured a place on an apprenticeship scheme at Johnson Matthey Catalyst Technologies straight after College, which involved part-time study to gain a Chemistry degree from Teesside University. He is now a Research Scientist.

He said: “I decided to study at Hartlepool Sixth Form College because of the good options for studying STEM. The best thing was the support from the staff, particularly in Chemistry. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for my Chemistry teacher at Hartlepool Sixth Form College. A massive thanks to him!”

Michael progressed to a higher apprenticeship and gained a Chemistry degree. Since gaining his degree, Johnson Matthey Catalyst Technologies have offered Michael a full time job as a Research Scientist.

James Siggens

Name: James Siggens

Course: BTEC Performing Arts, A-levels (Performing Arts, Drama and Theatre Studies), AS-Levels (Media Studies, Music Technology)

Previous school: Wellfield School

James described Hartlepool Sixth-Form College as fulfilling, engaging and amazing. While studying at the College, he often spent time outside of class time using the facilities to rehearse. Following his time at the College he gained a BA in Musical Theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. He now works as an actor, director and teacher in Scotland.

He said: “I had previously attended a different College but I decided to change my career path when a friend suggested Hartlepool Sixth-Form College to me. After visiting the College, I knew it was the right place for me.

What I liked best about the College was the fact that it was a place where I was able to feel like myself. I found who I was as a person through studying there. My performing arts teachers were very big influences upon me and inspired me to become an artist.

My favourite thing about the course was the big focus on the performance element of the course. I have always been a practical kind of learner and I feel that in the performance industry the only way to learn is by doing.

On campus, the mixture between the old build and the new features was one of my favourite things about the place as it had a very creative atmosphere. The theatre was amazing and allowed us to put on a number of different performances throughout my time there.”

James is now working as a professional actor in Glasgow, where he also regularly teaches at the Royal Conservatoire.

Steph Durkin

Name: Steph Durkin

Course: A-Levels (English Literature, History, Performing Arts), AS-Level (German)

Previous school: High Tunstall College of Science

Steph described Hartlepool Sixth Form College as empowering, enlightening and fun. Aside from her studies, Steph took part in drama shows with the college including We Will Rock You and The Wizard of Oz, as well as performing as part of a Shakespeare festival in Liverpool. After completing her A-Levels she studied a degree in Drama at Northumbria University before moving onto a Master’s programme at York St John University. She currently works as a Freelance Drama Practitioner.

She said: “I chose to study at Hartlepool Sixth Form College due to the college’s excellent reputation for arts education. I felt that attending a college separate from a secondary school gave me a step towards independence and the next chapter of my education. It was also a bonus that a lot of my friends chose the college too.

The thing I liked best about the college was the Performing Arts department. I loved the freedom we had in lessons to explore our interests and make our own decisions. There were so many opportunities to participate in the world of performing arts. We had workshops from professionals, theatre trips locally and to London and participated in arts events that were taking place in Hartlepool and beyond.

In terms of the course, I especially enjoyed the module in ‘the world of work’ where we found out about the different lines of work an artist can pursue in the arts. I also loved that we did a yearly show for everybody in college to participate in, as it allowed me to make friends with people who I wouldn’t have otherwise have met. Furthermore, I loved that in college we were treated as adults, and our choices were respected and listened to”.

Steph is now working as a freelance community drama practitioner. She works with organisations such as Live Theatre, Seven Stories, Bigfoot Arts Education and New Writing North to co-ordinate and deliver arts based work.

Kate Williams

Name: Kate Williams

Course: A-Levels (Performing Arts, Art), NCFE Music Technology.

Previous school: High Tunstall College of Science

Kate described Hartlepool Sixth Form College as inspiring, enjoyable and life-changing. While studying at the College, she participated in an extra-curricular performing arts enrichment on Wednesday afternoons. After finishing her studies at HSFC, she earned a degree in Contemporary Acting at Newcastle College. She now owns her own company specialising in the teaching of performing arts.

She said: “I chose to study at Hartlepool Sixth Form College because I wanted to do Performing Arts. After attending a trial week at the College, I knew it was the place for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the course content, the College environment and the atmosphere.

What I liked best about the College was the Performing Arts faculty. The course was fantastic, my tutors were inspiring and encouraging, and the sense of teamwork within the Performing Arts department was amazing to be a part of. I was at the college for 4 years and loved being a part of the dramatic productions each year.

The best thing about the course was my tutor Vicky. I truly believe I would not be where I am today without her guidance (something which has continued long after my time at HSFC), for which I am very grateful.

In terms of the facilities I think it’s the perfect establishment and atmosphere to transition from school to further education. In a performing arts sense, the facilities have only got better, and it’s been fantastic to see.”

Kate is now self-employed and has opened her own musical theatre academy in Hartlepool: Casting Call Academy of Musical Theatre.

Nathan Storm

Name: Nathan Storm

Course: A-Levels (Business Studies, Psychology, PE, Performing Arts)

Previous school: Dyke House Sports and Technology College

Nathan described Hartlepool Sixth Form College as having a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. He was drawn to the College by the Performing Arts department, where he gained a passion for theatre he has carried into his career. After gaining his qualifications from the College, Nathan attended the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. He now works as a Technical Manager in Liverpool.

He said: “I chose Hartlepool Sixth Form College because of the Performing Arts course. I was very pleased with the course and found that my study was expert led. It was a pleasure to learn and grow within the department.

The best thing about the course was how supportive the tutors were, they were always willing to help with any queries I had. I found that the College had a nice environment and had a number of areas for students to socialise with friends and relax between classes.”

Nathan is now working as a Technical Manager at Liverpool Guild of Students and is also a freelance Theatre Technician.

Adam Dickson

Name: Adam Dickson

Course: A-Levels (Chemistry, Physics, Maths)

Previous school: Manor College of Technology

Adam described Hartlepool Sixth Form College as challenging, exciting and enjoyable. After leaving the College he attended Newcastle University to study a 4 year Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. He is currently employed by a major engineering company in Middlesbrough.

He said: “I chose Hartlepool Sixth Form College due to its great reputation, results record and due to the fact it was well situated in the local area.

The thing I liked best about the College was the good atmosphere. The facilities were great and the teaching was also of a high standard.

I found that the teachers at the College could recognise a student’s potential, understand an individual’s level of knowledge and ensured everyone was challenged in their studies. I also think that the teachers were skilled in challenging any complacency in the student’s work.

In terms of the course, a number of aspects were outstanding. The quality of teaching and the variety of teaching methods stood out as excellent. There was also a good variety of practical work, demonstrations, coursework, written study and visual learning across the topics I selected.”

Adam is now employed by Navigator Terminals UK Ltd, he is primarily based at the Seal Sands terminal in Middlesbrough. He joined the company as a Junior Project Engineer and is currently enrolled on the Engineering Management graduate scheme.