Date attended Wren Academy: 2013 – 2015
A Levels: Maths, English Literature, Government and Politics
Course: International Relations
What are you doing now? I am a Mathematics Teacher at Wren Academy Enfield, as well as a Head of House for Ludgate and Strand. I am also part of the Safeguarding Team as a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. This is now my third year of teaching.
What did you get involved with at university? Focusing my dissertation on the Middle East, I spent a lot of time researching and speaking to people within this field. I particularly focused on Orientalism, with my research concentrating on Iran.
What did you find most valuable about your experiences at Wren Academy? What skills did it help you to develop? I found the in depth subject focus particularly valuable, especially as I did an EPQ. This helped me develop my research and writing skills, which prepared me for university, with the degree I chose. The extensive knowledge of members of staff was also extremely helpful, as all my teachers were experienced subject specialists.
What tips would you give to other students to follow a similar career/course to yours? If you are interested in Politics / International Relations, I highly recommend building up your knowledge around different regional conflicts / politics throughout university. Build as many connections as possible, especially within the field you wish to pursue. Everybody wants to build their network, so just go for it!
If you are interested in teaching, you want to get your foot in the door as soon as you can, building as much experience as possible. You can begin tutoring, becoming a Teaching Assistant or offering your services within schools for their career days.
How did Wren help you reach your goals? The environment that is fostered within the Academy is extremely welcoming, and they opened the doors to me when I was pursuing a teaching career. I was a Teaching Assistant for some time after graduating, before I decided to get my PGCE qualification. Throughout the entire process, I was able to continue to develop my teaching and my personal career goals.
Date attended Wren Academy: 2011 - 2018
A Levels: Maths (A), Chemistry (A) and Biology (B) 2016 - 2018
University: University of Leeds with a Year in Industry Neuroscience
Employment: Graduate Job at Deloitte
What are you doing now? I work in Consulting as a Capital Market Analysts, where I work with a team of people to help address the Business Operations issues within Investment Banks. In addition, I am also involved with the people and purpose initiatives of neurodiversity, black action plan and mental health at my firm.
What did/do you get involved with at university? While at university I was the African Caribbean Events Coordinator where I put on a range of events to help develop. From this experience I gained and enhance a range of key skills that I utilize today on a daily basis, such as working with different groups of people, managing relationships, time management and organisations.
I was also a Peer Assisted Study Scheme (PASS) mentor in my second year of university where I helped support the first year neuroscience students with tips on how to set a good foundation for the course.
During my third year of university I gained a placement year when I worked at L’Oréal cosmetics as the Haircare, Colourants and Styling Business Development Intern in the fast moving consumer product division.
Lastly before I began my graduate job, I gained an eight week Summer internship at an Investment Management Firm called PGIM. From this experience I came to the realisation that I enjoyed finance and I wanted to specialise in this industry sector. Therefore, I chose to peruse consulting within capital markets for my graduate job.
What did you find most valuable about your experiences at Wren Academy? What skills did it help you to develop? I found the support I received from the teachers at Wren to be one of the most valuable and priceless experience, as well as the passion that they had for their subjects (to the point that I considered taking some subjects just because I enjoyed how particular teachers taught it). As well as the life long friends I made while attending the Academy. From these experiences, I believe it resulted in me wanting to find out what I am passionate about to peruse and to hopefully inspire others to find their passion and give them the confidence to also peruse it.
What top tips would you give to other students wishing to follow a similar career/ course to yours? To gain lots of transferrable skills and capitalise on these experiences! When I applied to university, I did not know what I wanted to do after my degree but from being engaged in a range of different experiences, I came to understand my strengths and developed a range of different skills. As a result, when it came to answering interview questions I found that the majority of my answers were based off the different experiences (i.e. from my placement year, volunteering in university and previous retail jobs) I had to illustrate the skillsets they where looking for. Therefore, I would encourage people to seek a range of experiences through volunteering, involving themselves in societies, taking up different roles of responsibility, work experience and internships.
How did Wren help you reach your goals? My teachers saw my potential and pushed me to achieve the grades they knew I could get. This was achieved through the environment they created where I felt comfortable to ask them any questions for guidance or support, privately or during lesson time. As a result I exceeded my grade expectation and achieved an A in Chemistry A Level after being predicted a B and achieving a D at AS Level.
Date attended Wren Academy: September 2015 to June 2022.
A Levels: Mathematics, Physics and Economics.
Apprenticeship and Employer: I have chosen to do an apprenticeship over going to university, it is a Level 7 Accounting and Business apprenticeship (equivalent to a Masters Degree). Additionally I will receive an ACA qualification (Association of Chartered Accountants) within the four years of my training contract. This is all with a firm called Evelyn Partners.
What are you doing now? I am in my first year of the apprenticeship and will be fully qualified by August 2026.
What did you find most valuable about your experiences at Wren Academy? What skills did it help you to develop My time at Wren Academy played a big role in who I am now. From a very young age it gave me a well structured education, teaching me the importance of planning ahead, a good work ethic and how to build lasting relationships. Now I have stepped away from the school environment, I can now see the benefits of the rules and guidance Wren gives. These qualities benefit me in my day to day life as well as in a professional capacity.
What top tips would you give to other students wishing to follow a similar career/ course to yours? To students wishing to follow a similar path, make sure that this is what you want. Apprenticeships in finance are not easy and can be quite intense, forcing you to lose a little of your social life around exams and busy periods. My advice is that if you are looking to jumpstart your career in finance and want to reach your ambitions faster, then this is the route for you. I mean not to scare you but to prepare you, from an outside perspective, it may look glorious being paid, receiving a sought after qualification and not going into all that student debt. There is a reason you get paid; it is hard work. If you are ready and this is what you want, then go for it. Be yourself and ask those around you for guidance on interviews (they are the most important part) and do not be afraid to reach out to people like me for additional help. Just ask a teacher.
How did Wren help you reach your goals? Going to Wren taught me how to stay focused and push myself to achieve. Along with this, Wren taught me how to balance my social life with my work life, by planning ahead to ensure that enough time is spent on all aspects of life, whether it is exercising or seeing friends, all areas of life need attention. This attribute in life is crucial in allowing me to stay motivated to achieve my goals.
Date attended Wren Academy: July 2014 - June 2021
A Levels: Maths (A), Economics (A) and RS (A)
University: The University of Sheffield
Course: Mathematics and Philosophy
What are you doing now? Still studying at university
What did/do you get involved with at university? I am in the life saving society, which is essentially competitive life guarding, I am also hoping to do a placement year.
What did you find most valuable about your experiences at Wren Academy? What skills did it help you to develop? My experiences at wren have helped my to develop discipline and to learn how to keep motivated when there is a lot going on all at once.
What top tips would you give to other students wishing to follow a similar career/ course to yours? I would say to not be scared to do a degree that does not have a direct career path, do something you think you will enjoy and you can go from there.
How did Wren help you reach your goals? Wren helped me to achieve my goals by supporting me through my academic milestones and giving me the opportunity to push myself as much as possible.
Date attended Wren Academy: 2010 - 2017
A Levels: Drama, History and Physics
University: Brunel University
Course: Environmental Sciences (undergraduate) and Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Design (postgraduate)
What are you doing now? I am currently in the second year of my masters and I will be doing a placement at an organisation for six months within my field of study. Upon completion, I will produce a report of my experience.
What did/do you get involved with at university? I got involved in several societies (e.g., Athletics Society, Environmental Sciences Society, and the Nigerian Society). I also started creative ventures New Generation (focused on sustainable fashion) and Pick Up The Mic (a podcast focused on the issues that students face).
What did you find most valuable about your experiences at Wren Academy? What skills did it help you to develop? The most valuable thing I learnt at Wren Academy was the idea of trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone. This allowed me to improve my public speaking skills, take on new experiences and challenges as well as work out what I wanted to do in the future.
What top tips would you give to other students wishing to follow a similar career/ course to yours? Make sure you love what you are doing. There will be times when you might not be motivated to do coursework or revise, but if you enjoy what you are studying, that makes it a lot easier.
How did Wren help you reach your goals? Wren helped me to find my style of learning, while also encouraging me to try new approaches and learn how to be entrepreneurial.
Date attended Wren Academy: 2010-2017
A Levels: Government & Politics, History, and English Literature
University: University of Warwick, BA (Hons); University of Cambridge, MPhil
Course: BA (Hons), History, First-Class Honours; MPhil Digital Humanities (Current)
Employment: I am a former Associate at global strategic communications consultancy, Kekst CNC. I specialised in corporate, digital and financial communications for a variety of clients in the private wealth, venture capital and start-up industries.
What are you doing now? I am currently undertaking a master's degree at the University of Cambridge (Queens' College), where I am exploring the use of data analysis and computational methods in the study of historical archives.
What did/do you get involved with at university? I was Secretary of the University of Warwick Judo & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Club. At Cambridge, I am a Rower in the Queens' College Boat Club Men's Novice VIII.
What did you find most valuable about your experiences at Wren Academy? What skills did it help you to develop? Wren Academy provided a strong foundation for my future academic and professional endeavours. I learned to be inquisitive, was taught the value of hard work and was able to explore a range of options before diving into university life.
What advice would you give to other students wishing to follow a similar career/course to yours? For careers, the communications/media industry as a whole has a lot of demand for talent currently. Try and find internships, experiences, and even University society roles where you can build out your CV. Reach out to companies you are interested in and see what work schemes they offer.
For courses, read into all the options out there. There are a variety of interesting degrees which combine different interests, many of which you may not hear about while at school. There are always new and interesting courses being unveiled which may suit your needs well. For example, instead of doing pure History, you can do History and Politics, Economic History or even History, Politics, and Economics. For my master's degree, I am looking at the intersection of technology and the humanities - a brand new course. Think creatively about your options!
How did Wren help you reach your goals? Wren helped prepare me for life at University by building my academic confidence and giving me great opportunities to learn about my options beyond school. I had teachers who pushed me to do better and inspired me to pursue my current path.
Jessica Barry - University of Sussex - Philosophy BA
I go to Sussex University (Brighton), which is undoubtedly the best place to live! I study philosophy and I am in my third and final year. After university I have plans to continue to live in Brighton with a part time job, as well as launching a clothing brand that I have been working on throughout the year. I have plans in the future to complete a masters in criminology and hope to have a career in detective work or criminal psychology. Wren not only installed masses of confidence in me, to strive and aim higher, it also gave me a determination and resilience which I now rely on as I enter my last year of education.
I am due to start work at a wealth management group in Singapore early November. The company is named IQ-EQ and is the fourth largest investor services group in the world, managing over $400bn in assets. My role is quite general, I am officially an intern for three months with a view to going full time in one of their branches either in London or New York. I will be travelling to and from Singapore and Hong Kong as part of the role.
At Wren Academy Sixth Form, the learning environment and the relationship between staff and students were absolutely the highlights. Applying to University was also made easy due to the help received.
Phoebe Baldwin – Sheffield University – History BA
Studying History A Level at Wren really prepared me for my university degree. I left Wren with a variety of skills, which were vital at university level, as well as having touched upon many first year university materials. As a result the gap between my A Level studies and my university studies was not as daunting as it could have been. Teachers did go above and beyond to ensure this, and clearly did not just want us to pass A Level exams, but to continue to excel in our subjects. Wren also aimed to provide students with great resources, and encouraged us to take opportunities outside of our comfort zones. A particular highlight was my work experience in France, which I was encouraged to do as part of a scheme to help A Level students with a spoken language and understanding of French culture.
I have just started an internship at a charity in Leeds called Caring for Life (CFL). The role involves supporting vulnerable adults in the community by engaging them in various projects around the CFL site. Projects include animal husbandry, horticulture, art, music, adult literacy and equestrian, to name a few. I am certainly gaining a lot of new, diverse skills day by day. Sadly the beneficiaries (those who usually attend the projects) are not around at the moment due to the current situation, so most of the work is practical preparation for their return. I am unsure of my next steps, but have been considering a masters in cultural anthropology. In my final year of my History degree at Sheffield, I specialised in 17th Century cross cultural encounters and really want to expand my understanding of cross-cultural exchanges.
Dominic James – French and Russian – Cambridge
I have just begun my second year studying Modern and Medieval Languages (French and Russian) at Cambridge. Besides customary language work, I am specialising this year in Soviet cinema and 20th Century French Literature. Looking ahead, the Year Abroad (your third year is spent studying or working in countries where your degree languages are spoken) suddenly seems dauntingly close. At the moment, my plans are far from concrete, the dream is to capitalise on the French summer without having to endure the Russian winter.
Wren Academy was a fantastic place to attend Sixth Form. The feeling of newfound independence to explore your interests, coupled with our very wonderful teachers’ love for their subjects and willingness either to go the extra mile to help you, or to help you go the extra mile. That and being able to go offsite for pizza at lunch.
I am currently studying at LAMDA in Hammersmith on the foundation diploma course for acting.
I enjoyed the family like environment in classes created by the teachers at Wren and also the one to one support I got through those tough couple of years.
I am a final year Environmental Sciences student, and founder of a creative platform called New Generation which aims to inspire, motivate, encourage, and educate people to live more sustainably. I am hoping to do either a Masters or PhD in sustainability.
I really enjoyed my time at Wren Academy Sixth Form. The support that my teachers gave was amazing. Even if I was not sure of a topic or needed clarification, my teachers always made the time to run through things with me and help me. Additionally, the friendly environment helped to make me feel at home.
I have recently graduated with a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Theatre and English from Brunel University London. I am currently working part time whilst looking for a full time role in the Creative Arts industry. In the future, I want to look at completing Masters in Theatre Therapy or something similar.
In terms of my time at Wren Academy, I particularly enjoyed my involvement with the school theatre productions as it felt like it bridged the gap between secondary school and sixth form, as well as being extremely fun and inclusive. I loved being able to use the common room for studying as well as breaks and lunches, allowing us to catch up with friends so it did not feel as if we were studying all the time. I also felt as if we had a lot of support available when we needed it from individual subject teachers. Oh and I definitely enjoyed the food from the bird hut!
One of our Alumni Students Karina Parekh, will be joining the corporate Infrastructure Graduate Programme at Nomura as a Financial Analyst. Nomura is a Japanese Investment Bank.
Karina first worked for the bank on an intersdhip and she credits her success in applying for this opportunity to the time she spent on the Governing Body of Wren Academy as our first Alumni Governor.
Year 12 Careers Day
Two former students came back to take part in our Year 12 Careers Day. Joe Beckwith is currently doing an apprenticeship in digital marketing. He is really enjoying the process but warned students not to think that apprenticeships are an easy way out: ‘It’s been rewarding but really hard work, you have to work and study at the same time’. Ben Blackwell is currently helping set up a new London office for an recruitment consultancy. His message was that university is not for everyone and there are plenty of other good options available.
Success at University College Oxford
Congratulations to Ben Graham who has made a great start to his first year at Oxford University. We have received a letter praising his hard work and the quality of his intellectual engagement. Please click here to read the letter.
Wren Alumni Return to School
On 14 September 2016 we held our first ever Wren Alumni Day. Tempted in by the promise a tour of our recently opened Primary and completed buildings, 20 of our former students came back to Wren for the day. They were able to meet up with old friends, chat to their former teachers and engage in a healthy bout of nostalgia.
The students we invited in were members of our first ever pioneer year group who started at the school in September 2008. They progressed through the school, being the first to experience every new stage of education at Wren. As you can imagine, they were a group of students who we got to know very well and who contributed a great deal to our success. They have now completed their first year at university and we were therefore keen to find out about their progress and also utilise their experiences for the benefit of current Wren students.
Philip Davies Wins Economics Award
Philip Davies has been awarded the T. Maelgwyn Davies Prize for best first year Economics Student 2016, Aberystwyth University.
Lily Hayward's Gap Year 2015
Fantasies of adventure occupy the minds of many young children. Through their imagination, the kitchen table becomes a teleporter that can take them deep into unexplored territory as they tip-toe around monsters lurking in the dark. For many, these stories remain in their childhood and the imaginary travels cease to be entertained. However, in the summer of 2015, I was fortunate enough to live out a fantasy travel of mine that I’ve had since primary school. As a part of a British Exploring expedition team, I spent three weeks living in the Amazon Rainforest. Much of those weeks under the canopy were spent carrying out important scientific surveys of plant and animal life. All of this was for a rainforest organisation called Crees, based in the Manu National Park in Peru where we were staying.
We did the research as we made our way up and down trails, either already there, or that we had to cut ourselves. As we pushed past the end of the existing path, we got into areas that were yet to be explored. Reaching areas of cloud forest where very few other humans are likely to have ever been to before. During our travels we encountered scorpions, the world’s most venomous spider (on numerous occasions) and spiders with legs so long and thin they could wrap them around your head. We had snakes slither around our legs at night, and we were even able to capture images of the elusive jaguar. Mornings were spent either watching monkeys, macaws, or seeing the sun rise above the ridges in the distance, across the river from the beach; at night, star gazing and falling asleep to the sounds of the rainforest.
The experience will stay with me all my life. It has without doubt influenced my choice of university course - archaeology. The expedition made me realise just how much I enjoy being outside and having the opportunity to explore and make discoveries. Since then, now further into my gap year, I have done work experience as a pastry chef in a restaurant in the USA , applied to my universities, and am planning many more trips for the coming year.