- 2006 - 2011Amber Walker2006 - 2011Amber Walker“”
After leaving Banovallum, I completed my A-levels at QEGS which allowed me to go on to complete a degree in Geology at the University of Portsmouth. After graduating, I decided to become a secondary school teacher, partly due to the enthusiasm and passion I experienced from my teachers at Banovallum! I have now finished my teacher training and am a geography teacher in Sheffield.
I changed my ideas of what I wanted to do about 10 times while at school, if you don't know what you want to do then don't worry about it! Just take as many opportunities that come your way.
I was so sad to leave Banovallum in 2011, I was particularly interested In Art and History. Art allowed me to escape the sometImes stressful atmosphere of school. History allowed me to do the same, despite Mr Hall's old-fashioned teaching techniques, I always looked forward to lessons due to his passion for the subject, and for us students. I am still in contact with a number of my friends from school and whenever meet (less often than I would like) we always reminisce about our memories from Banovallum, no matter how mundane they seem to be. I will also never forget the beautiful taste of those cookies from the canteen. I miss those the most!
- 2016 - 2011Sophie Lee2016 - 2011Sophie Lee“Work hard and try harder”
Banovallum School was an absolutely fantastic secondary school to attend, and I am so lucky I was able to spend a massive part of my education at Banovallum. I believe it shaped me into the individual I am today. To this day I tell people how amazing it was being able to attend a school where you were encouraged to be an individual and to not follow the crowd. When you are a teenager it’s very hard not to follow the crowd, but looking back I realise how lucky I was to be somewhere that the staff encouraged you to be yourself. I started my time at Banovallum with my best friend Lucy, we are still best friends after all this time, and I think being at Banovallum together formed the foundation of our friendship. I will always think of the amazing peer group I had when I was at Banovallum, along with the crazy art lessons, the hilarious Drama lessons and the amazing History trips. The teachers invested so much time into their pupils, for example I was never very good at maths, however, my maths teacher (Mr Kisubika) promised me he would get me a C at GCSE level. He put so much time and effort into making that achievable and I, along with many others, owe so much to him and all the other teachers at Banovallum. The best moment of my time at Banovallum was being elected Head Girl, this was an absolute honour and something I am still very proud of. My cousins now go to Banovallum and it makes me so happy that they will hopefully get the same experiences as I did. I hate to admit it, but my parents were right when they told me my school days would be the best days, they really were.
After Banovallum, I decided to go to QEGS to study A-levels. I am proud of myself for managing to get through those two years and getting into University. I went to Sheffield Hallam University, where I studied Psychology and Sociology for three years. I enjoyed every moment of my time at University, I met people I will be friends with forever and I learnt so much. I now live in Sheffield with my boyfriend, and I work in a popular Secondary School called Silverdale. I work for the SENCO and the SEN Manager at the school and I am looking into developing my career over the next few years. Getting a degree has given me the opportunity to work with children who have learning difficulties and mental health issues, which is something I am very humbled to do. Every day I walk into Silverdale, I can’t help but think about Banovallum, it is such a similar school and I love that I work somewhere that reminds me of some of the best times of my life. I have travelled around Europe since leaving education, and I am now looking at getting my own home in Sheffield. I feel that my time at Banovallum has shaped my future and I would love to be like some of the inspirational staff that helped me and my friends when we were at the school.
Now that I work in a secondary school, I can’t help but think “oh I wish someone had told me the things I used to worry about really weren’t that big a deal”. However, I then think, for a teenager some of the things we worry about at that age are actually the most important things ever! If I had any tips, I would say not to worry about being popular or having the most friends. Don’t wear blue eye shadow, it’s not a great look! When you need help, ask for it, not just with your learning, but with the things you sometimes don’t know who to turn to. Lastly, have fun and enjoy every second of your time there, but don’t forget to work hard and try harder.
- 2008 - 2013Abigail Burn2008 - 2013Abigail Burn“"The best days of your life!"”
When people tell you that your school days are the best days of your life, they’re right! Before starting Banovallum, I was very apprehensive whether it was going to be the school for me but, as soon as I arrived on my first day, it felt right and I never looked back. The atmosphere and people were so welcoming and friendly. Banovallum enabled me to be the person I am today. When I started Banovallum, I was quite shy however, with amazing support, encouragement and opportunities I gained much more confidence. Opportunities such as being able to do group and solo performances on stage, completing my bronze Duke of Edinburgh award and gaining leadership roles such as Prefect, Peer Mentor and Sports Captain helped me develop as a person. My long-term goal has been to become a Primary School teacher. Since leaving school, and being successful across all my GCSE’s (which I wouldn’t have been able to do without the dedicated staff putting on extra sessions throughout the after school, at the weekend and during the school holidays), I went to Lincoln College and completed A levels in English Language, Psychology and Sociology and an AS level in Religious Studies. I also started working as a Lifeguard and Swimming Teacher alongside my studies broadening my experience. From completing A levels at college, I was offered a place at Bishop Grosseteste University to study Primary Education with QTS which has been my goal for many years, so to achieve this was something else. I am currently in my second year of university and I am loving it.
- 2006 - 2011Ed Wright2006 - 2011Ed Wright“"Pursue what you enjoy"”
My time at Banovallum was one of the fondest times of my life. I often reflect back on my time at Banovallum and appreciate the people I met and life lessons I learned and how they all played a part in making me the person I am today. Over the five years I spent at Banovallum, I feel I developed from a young lad into a well-rounded and hard-working young man. This was down to the admiration I held for the staff and my fellow students. I was part of close circle of friend, many of which I am still in regular contact with to this day, that taught me the importance of friendship and how to interact positively with others. This is something I have carried forward into my life as a young adult. Many of the lessons I learnt at Banovallum have been easily applied into my life outside of education. When I refer to lessons I am not only talking about Trigonometry but also the importance of organisation and preparation. Banovallum is lucky to be in close knitted community that I felt was, and still is, fully embraced by everyone involved in the school and I am glad to still be a part of this and have the opportunity to be a further part of this through the Alumni.
After my time at Banovallum I attended Lincoln College to study a two year course of Sport Performance, Fitness and Coaching. I greatly enjoyed this course and achieved a Merit, Merit, Merit profile at A level equivalent. After this course had come to an end in July 2013, I undertook another course at Lincoln College in Pre Uniformed Public Services. This course was also an A level equivalent which I achieved a Distinction Merit profile and I held the intention of joining the army in the Logistics Corps. After attending an interview and becoming a successful candidate for a place on basic training for an officer position I had a change of heart while working a summer job at a farm in Old Leake, Boston. Alongside attending college I held down several part time jobs in various different industries; including construction and Hospitality. I also received training and spent time volunteering as a L.I.V.E.S. First Responder. I enjoyed my 18 months on the farm and felt that there could be a full time career that I might re-visit. I then applied and was successful at interview for a place as a Cover Supervisor at Banovallum School. I was thrilled to have the opportunity at the school that I had attended as a student. I enjoyed an academic year at the school as Form Tutor and Cover Supervisor before returning to a job in agriculture.
- 2002-2007Patrick Scally2002-2007Patrick Scally“”
School was great, I feel now living and working in such a big city that the seclusion provided when growing up in a place like Horncastle is super important. Having the space, and in my respects lesser pressures, placed on you is vital when you’re developing as a person. My best friend is a guy who I became friends with when I was 2, and we have never lost touch even now with him living in Lincoln and me in London.
When I left I did my A-Levels at Lincoln College, before going on to do a music degree in West London. After that I worked in marketing for creative studio spaces in East London, before leaving to become self-employed. Now I work as a full time musician, DJ, promoter and Record Label boss. My main work now is Tonga which is Mike Skinner (The Streets) and Murkage, running Mike Skinner Ltd and Halfbrother which is a new music group.
Make sure whatever you’re interested in, fully immerse yourself in it as much possible. If something makes you run home to work on it, or stay late at school to get better, appreciate how lucky you are to know who you want to become. It’s going to be It’s going to be super hard work, but you can do it.
- 2003 To 2008Matthew Shand2003 To 2008Matthew Shand“Banovallum was the best time of my life.”
My first day of secondary school was possibly the most nervous I had ever felt in my life! I knew it would be okay as I was joined by all of my closest friends who I had been to playschool and primary school with, so they were feeling the same too. After a year I became very settled with everyone at the school and all of the teachers, I realised I was part of a very close year group who were very good academics and in particular sportsman. The teachers at the time recognised this and gave our year very good support through our time at Banovallum which has developed me into the person I am today.
I achieved many great things at Banovallum, representing the school in a number of sports teams each week throughout my 5 years taught me a great lesson in teamwork. Becoming a prefect was a big honour as I gained respect from teachers and fellow pupils. The school was very different when I was there to what it is now, we didn’t have new modern buildings and science departments. My best memories were made in Art class in the old animal shed, it was always about -5 degrees in the winter and the paints were frozen! You build your own memories of Banovallum, but at the same time you remember how much history the place has because in a lot of cases, some pupil’s parents went to school there! One of the biggest events I can remember was when the school uniform changed and it became compulsory to wear a school tie with the new jumpers, as you can imagine not everyone followed the rules!
You spend so many years at school and it becomes a very large important part of your life, I had an extremely good grounding at Banovallum which I am grateful for, as it prepared me for the big wide world. It was a scary thought at the time, wondering what I would do after I left Banovallum, as I was so settled there.
Despite leaving the school almost 10 years ago, I may not see all of my old school friends all the time but we make an effort to see each other at certain times of the year, such as Christmas. From other people’s advice and experience, you will have 5 best friends throughout your life, I have these friends now, but these friendships have developed through primary school and Banovallum.
When I look back, being at Banovallum was the best time of my life and as hard as it may be at times, you must not waste the experience as it is one that you will never forget. The memories and experience you obtain may be the ones you will appreciate the most as you get older, school is to be enjoyed and the teachers are there to help you, so my advice is to work hard but have fun, in return you will hopefully feel as passionate about Banovallum as I do.
What I Did After Banovallum
From a young age my parents always encouraged me to have a summer job. Because my family are in agriculture, my job was always a harvest job. My first role was working in a grain laboratory testing wheat, barley and oilseed rape samples for things such as quality, oil content and nitrogen contents. I had this job for two harvests and decided I wanted something more practical, so I started working at Syngenta in Lincolnshire. Syngenta are a global company in over 90 countries and develop crop protection products and breed new varieties of many crop types. I worked here for 6 harvests up to when I was at University.
After obtaining my GCSE’s, I decided I wanted to continue in education and moved down the road to QEGS to do my A levels. I finished my 2 years with A-levels in Geography, Business Studies and Economics and Fine Art. I knew that I wanted to work in the agricultural industry as it was all I knew so I applied for 2 agricultural universities, Harper Adams in Shropshire and the Royal Agricultural College in Gloucestershire. I attended the RAC, which is now the Royal Agricultural University, it was the first English speaking agricultural university in the world. I had the time of my life there and met some of my closest friends, and after 3 years I finished with a BSc Hons in Agriculture and Advance Crop Production.
This degree enabled me to apply for very good jobs in the industry, I accepted a job in Yorkshire as a Seed Sales Manager for Woodheads Seeds, which involved selling agricultural seeds to merchants and farmers to plant for their crops. I gained a great deal of experience in this role, and after nearly 3 years a great opportunity came up in Lincolnshire at another global crop breeder called Limagrain UK. I currently work here as the UK Arable Wholesale Sales Manager. This job comes with great responsibility, dealing with all end users and merchants such as Hovis, Diageo and many more across the UK and Western Europe, and at my age of 24, I am very lucky to have this role. The agricultural industry is an ageing population with a lot of important people very close to retiring, so there are many great opportunities.
If you work hard then you earn your reward, I have had a company car since I first started, I bought my first house when I was 21 years old and I get to travel around the country and Europe with work. This is all down to the fact that I worked from a young age and built up my CV, having gained a vast amount of experience in all areas of the agricultural world. It also shows people that you don’t have to attend a grammar school or private school to succeed in life. So I have Banovallum to thank for this, too. Now I am in a position where I work hard and play hard which is how it should be!
Tips and AdviceMy advice would be to revise well and aim to achieve the highest grades you are capable of. My opinion is that it can now be difficult to get certain jobs without some form of degree or further education qualification, as it can open many doors and offer many opportunities like it has for me. However, with university fees now being very high, you must strongly consider whether the expense is worth investing and if you have the opportunity to work your way up the ladder. I did this to an extent by starting work early gaining experience, but this should be a serious consideration in whatever field you wish to work in with the goal of earning an apprenticeship or full time role if possible.
- 2005 To 2010Harry Elvin2005 To 2010Harry Elvin“”
Banovallum was great, your parents are probably right when they say your school days are the best days of your life! I remember spending almost all of my time, both during and outside of school hours, in the new Art block, either in the recording studio having band practice or in Mr Curtis’ Art room doing my photography GCSE or other Art or Graphic Design projects. That’s all Banovallum was really about for me - Music, Art and Sport in my earlier years but mainly Music and Art.
I now live with my girlfriend Alys, we met at Banovallum and started going out in Year 8 and I also now run my own business with Ed Scarrow, someone I first became friends with in my first couple of years at Bano - this still makes me feel very much connected to my time at Banovallum even 10 years on!
What I Did After Banovallum
After Banovallum I went on to do my A levels at QEGS, I made the decision there to switch from a music related career to film and media when applying for University. After QEGS I studied Film and Moving Image Production at Norwich University of the Arts, it was there that I began planning in my final year to start my own business with a friend of mine from Banovallum, Ed Scarrow, who also joined me at Norwich Unversityi of the Arts. We are now one year in, have our own office in Norwich City centre and produce video content for various businesses from Marks and Spencer and the YMCA to The Norfolk Museum Service and Norwich University of the Arts.
- 2006 To 2011Kayleigh Smith2006 To 2011Kayleigh Smith“Banovallum School was the perfect environment for me to develop into the person I am today. ”
Banovallum School for me was an amazing experience and it was the perfect environment for me to develop into the person I am today. The support from the teachers was something that really stood out for me, they would always help with future career goals and were always available for advice when you needed it, as well as helping with your work. Looking back, although you never think it at the time, school was one of the best times of your life but working hard during this time is so important. I am still in touch some of my peers, but since school I am now closer to some people I didn’t even make conversation with, which is great, and have shared my University experience with a couple. School is such an important time and I am so glad I worked hard to achieve good grades.
What I Did After Banovallum
After I left Banovallum, I enrolled onto a College course for two years studying Level 3 Sport Performance, Coaching and Fitness as this was a particular interest to me. During this time I really enjoyed the fitness and anatomy side of things, leading me to apply for a 2 year Foundation Degree in Sports Therapy, Health and Fitness. During my time on this course I have built up over 200 hours of practical work experience and achieved many external qualifications, such as Level 2 Gym Instructor, Level 3 Soft Tissue Therapy and Level 4 Sports Therapy. I used this time to network and build relationships with local businesses to help with my volunteering hours. I have worked with Lincoln City Youth Football team to put together their rehabilitation programme and I have also worked at RAF Cranwell’s Regional Rehabilitation Unit, working with real life cases within the military to get them back to health. After this, I chose to do a top up degree within Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Lincoln to ensure I get my full honours degree, and I have just recently found out that I will be graduating in September with a 1st Class honours degree. I am now actively looking for work within these fields and will continue my development through various courses.
Tips and Advice
Now is your time to work hard as it will really pay off in the future. GCSE’s are something that Universities and employers look for, so doing well in these will set you up for life. Get as much career advice as you can so you know the route you need to take to get where you want, and always grab any extra opportunity you are given, as the more you do and the more qualification you get within your field, the more employable you are.