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Why did you choose Reigate?

Having studied at Box Hill School for five years, I really felt ready for a change. I also liked the fact the College was much closer to home and easier to get to.

How would you describe the atmosphere at College?

Everybody is kind, it’s really sociable and there’s a culture of respect.

How easy was it to fit in?

Coming to the induction days over the summer before I started really helped with the transition into College life; I met old friends I hadn’t seen since primary school. It might seem daunting as the College is big, but it’s so easy making friends.

Have you been on any interesting trips?

The highlight of the Geography course has been the field trip to the Azores. The volcanic landscape was stunning and visiting the geothermal power plant and the pineapple and tea plantations helped bring the concepts we study in class to life.

What do you like most about studying at College?

I love the independence and the freedom to manage my own time. Living nearby means when my lessons are over I can go home and get on with my work. Reigate town is also a perfect setting for the College, spending lunchtimes in the park or browsing the shops is a bonus.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to study Human Geography and hope to go to either Newcastle or Liverpool University. After university my ambition is to train to be a commercial airline pilot as I love travelling.

James, 2017

Previous school: Box Hill.

How did you decide which subjects to study?

I based my choices on my GCSE results and my interests. I’d also researched the entry requirements for the university courses that attracted me.

What have you enjoyed most about your subjects?

I’ve really enjoyed learning in-depth about subjects I’m interested in and seeing how the subjects arelinked. Studying Mathematics has helped develop my problem-solving skills.

What’s it like being a student at College?

The people are nice here and I’ve made lots of new friends. It’s a great learning environment; there are loads of resources and the teachers are knowledgeable and helpful – everything is set up to help you succeed.

What are your career plans?

I’ve got places at Southampton and Swansea Universities to study Aeronautical Engineering.

Yifan, 2017

Previous school: de Stafford.

What made you choose Reigate College?

I really fancied a change and wanted to come to somewhere bigger with a greater choice of subjects.

What do you like about studying at College?

It’s really friendly here and people are very accepting, you can just be yourself.

How has the College supported you?

I’m profoundly deaf and wear two cochlear implants. The College has been so supportive. I’ve benefitted from a one-to-one tutor who’s helped me keep up-to-date and clarified things I haven’t heard in lessons. I chose all BTEC subjects so I did feel pressure to meet the coursework deadlines, but all my teachers have been really supportive and encouraging.

What do you enjoy doing outside College?

I love swimming; my favourite stroke is butterfly. I enjoy the challenge of it; I train up to seven times a week, sometimes starting as early as 6am so I have to be really disciplined! I’m part of the GB Deaf Swimming Club and have travelled to Russia and America to take part in Deaf Swimming Competitions. I finished fifth in the 200m butterfly at the European championships and 7th in the world championships.

What are your career plans?

I’ve got a conditional offer from The University of Bath. I hope to go there in September and join the swim team.

Polly, 2017

Previous school: Dunottar.

Why did you choose Reigate?

I liked the wide variety of subjects on offer. I took a real mix and the College allowed me to take any combination I chose, including Philosophy and Spanish, which are less widely available at other colleges and school sixth forms.

What have you enjoyed most about your courses?

I’ve found that in all my subjects, as the work gets more challenging, it gets more interesting. The problems get harder to solve and you need to be creative in how you apply the techniques you’ve learnt – but that also means it’s far more satisfying when you do find a solution or an insight.

How have you found the commute to College?

My journey to college is significantly longer than my journey to secondary school was, but I didn’t find it too hard to adapt to a new routine.

What’s the atmosphere at College like?

Students want to learn and teachers want to teach, so it makes a productive environment for everyone.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m planning to study Maths and Philosophy at university, but I’ve not decided on a particular career yet.

Ben, 2017

Previous school: Oakwood.

Why did you choose Reigate?

I liked that I could choose my own combination of subjects to study, I felt the resources were great and I knew the specialist sixth form environment, where you haven’t got the distraction of younger students, would suit me.

How have you found the teachers at College?

They are all really friendly and helpful. They really care about your learning and go the extra mile to make sure the best resources are available.

What’s the atmosphere like at College?

It’s such a friendly, positive environment where people respect each other. Coming from Dorking, I was a bit worried, but I found it really easy to settle in as there’s such a great mix of people; everyone was very welcoming and I instantly felt safe.

What have you enjoyed about studying Media?

I’ve really enjoyed the practical Media coursework, which has helped develop my team skills. In a group, we got to produce a film opening, using the latest equipment and industry software.

Millie, 2017

Previous school: Priory CofE.

How did you find the move from school?

It was a bit daunting at first, but I soon settled in. Being at College has really unleashed my creativity and helped me develop as a musician.

What’s the atmosphere at College like?

It’s really buzzing. There’s loads going on and it’s such a great environment for musical creativity; everyone bounces ideas off each other.

What do you think of the music facilities?

The facilities in the Music Department are incredible and we’re given the support, time and studio space to experiment and develop our own music. I’ve been part of a jazz band, contemporary choir, chamber composition club, chamber ensemble and classic album club as well as being involved in Winter and Spring concerts, Leavers’ Fest, Battle of the Bands and lunchtime gigs.

What have been the highlights?

Getting to take a lead role stage-managing and performing in ‘Leavers’ Fest’ was an amazing experience. Also setting up my own YouTube channel to showcase new music was great fun.

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve got a place at the Leeds Conservatoire to study for a degree in Jazz guitar and I hope to become a professional Musician and Composer.

Ben, 2017

Previous school: Reigate.

What do you like most about studying at College?

I’m so happy at College and I’ve had such a positive experience. When I started it was so liberating! I feel free here to just be myself and everyone accepts you for who you are.

What have you enjoyed most about your courses?

I’ve been on some interesting trips with Art to exhibitions and the Saatchi gallery and with History to the Tower of London. I feel challenged in my lessons, but the teachers are always there to help you develop your ideas and provide support.

What activities are you involved with outside lessons?

I’ve always had a passion for music and at College I’ve been able to join in musical activities. I sing in a band I formed with other students and it was great singing solo at the College’s Battle of the Bands concert.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m going to do an Art Foundation year at East Surrey College and then hopefully a History of Art degree at the University of Leeds. When I graduate I’d love to go into Art Conservation.

Hannah, 2017

Previous school: Reigate.

How did you find the move from school to college?

I found it a big jump from GCSEs, but it’s a really welcoming environment. The atmosphere is friendly and there are so many fun activities to get involved in.

How has the College supported you with your university application?

The College’s Careers Department has been really supportive, guiding me through the university application process and advising me about work experience, my personal statement and interview techniques.

What are your career plans?

Since I was 12 years old I’ve wanted to be a vet. I love animals and it’s a job that combines all my interests. I want to study Veterinary Medicine and have had offers from all four universities I applied to. I’m hoping to go to the Royal Veterinary College in London.

Have you done any interesting work experience?

I organised a range of different experiences to give me an insight into the varied role of a vet. I spent a week milking cows on a farm which was really hands on and took me out of my comfort zone. I visited a research company that uses animals in testing, I shadowed a vet working in an abattoir and I volunteered at an exotic animals’ shelter. My favourite though was helping with the lambing at Bockett’s Farm.

Hannah, 2017

Previous school: Reigate.

How did you find the move from school to College?

Everyone is in the same situation, so it was easy to establish new friendships with people from different schools.

What do you like most about studying at College?

It’s so friendly and welcoming and the College staff are incredibly supportive.

What’s your favourite sport and why?

I enjoy both football and rugby as they offer the chance to work in a team, meet new people and keep fit and healthy. I’ve played in both the College Football and Rugby Teams and have loved all the training and fixtures.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m planning to go to university to study Sport and Social Sciences, which I hope will lead to a career with the FA or RFU, helping develop elite young players.

Lawrence, 2017

Previous school: Reigate.

Why did you choose Reigate College?

Having been at independent school from a young age, I felt ready for a change. I also really wanted to study Sociology and that wasn’t a subject on offer at RGS, so the decision was quite an easy one in the end.

How is College different to school?

I love being at College – it’s more of an adult environment than school, so you’re expected to work hard. I have to think for myself and be more on top of my own workload, which is good preparation for uni. There’s a great mix of people at College and people just accept you for who you are. I don’t feel the intense social pressure here; I’m much happier in myself and able to focus on my studies.

What are the facilities at College like?

The facilities are excellent; there’s everything you need and plenty of places on campus you can go to get your work done. The teachers are incredibly supportive and encouraging. I’ve really appreciated the extra support class in History that’s helped me develop a more structured approach to planning and writing essays.
There are loads of extra-curricular activities. I’m doing the DofE Gold Award and I did spinning last term. I think it’s good to balance studying with having fun!

Charlotte, 2017

Previous school: Reigate Grammar School.

What made you choose Reigate College?

I liked the community atmosphere and the teachers seemed really supportive. I also wanted to study BTECs as I’m more suited to practical subjects with coursework, rather than pure exams.

How is College different from school?

I didn’t do very well at my GCSEs, but coming to College has given me a fresh start and a chance to turn things around. I’m on the Intermediate Programme studying Business, Sport and Public Services Awards at Level 2, which are the equivalent of GCSEs. I also re-took my English GCSE and passed with a C (new Grade 4). Having the extra support in a mature college environment has really helped.

Have you been involved with any activities outside lessons?

I’m in the Men’s First team for Football. We won the Surrey College Cup and also came second in the league. I really enjoy being part of a team.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to stay at Reigate and study on the Advanced Programme and I’m looking at different BTEC options. Afterwards, I’d really like to go to university and study Sport and Business.

Zak, 2017

Previous school: Riddlesdown.

How is studying at Reigate different from school?

It feels like an adult environment and more focused than school. The teachers are really friendly and go out of their way to help you succeed.

What have you been doing for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award (DofE)?

For the Physical section I worked out in the gym, for Skills I had driving lessons and for Volunteering I’ve been working as a DofE Ambassador at College. I used the NCS summer programme for Residential - it was so much fun!

What have you got out of doing DofE?

It’s helped improve my fitness and positive attitude - encouraging me to keep trying and to never give up. It’s also developed my cooking and teamwork skills.

How would you describe the DofE expeditions?

They’re hard work physically and mentally, but they really bring you together as a group. I’ll always remember our practice expedition as we got totally lost and had to help each other climb over fences and obstacles; it made me realise the importance of team work and a sense of humour.

How have you found the DofE programme?

It’s very hard work and takes a lot of resilience, but at the end of the day you have great fun with your team and make lots of unforgettable memories.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m hoping to do an Art Foundation year then go to the University of Southampton to study Fashion Styling and Trend Forecasting.

Grace, 2017

Previous school: Rosebery.

How did you decide which subjects to study?

Taking the Diploma in Travel & Tourism, which is the equivalent of two A Levels, meant I could really focus on my interests.

What have you enjoyed most with your BTECs?

I’ve really enjoyed the project work and the research. I like that there’s coursework so I can work steadily throughout the year, rather everything relying purely on exams. The teachers are really supportive and encouraging.

What do you like most about studying at College?

I enjoy having the responsibility to manage my own time and workload and the overall independence compared to other sixth forms.

What are your plans for the future?

I’d like to go travelling before I start a Sponsored Degree with Vision Express.

Joanna, 2017

Previous school: Royal Alexandra & Albert.

What made you choose Reigate?

I really wanted to take Spanish and it wasn’t on offer at my school’s sixth form as there weren’t enough students to make a class.

How did you decide which subjects to study?

I really struggled to make up my mind and chose five subjects I enjoyed, which looking back was hard work. It’s so nice studying subjects I’ve chosen; I look forward to every single lesson.

How have you found studying a language at Reigate?

The language department is so well equipped; the facilities are amazing and the standard of teaching is really high. Having the weekly hour of Spanish conversation with a native speaker has really helped build my confidence and vocabulary. The teachers are so passionate about their subjects, it makes the lessons fun.

How is College different from school?

I think the rapport with the teachers has made all the difference; they are so open, welcoming and willing to give up their time to help, you just have to ask.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to study a joint degree in Spanish and English Literature and am interested in going into teaching.

Laura, 2017

Previous school: St Bede’s.

Why did you choose Reigate College?

I wanted a change and I felt the College environment offered a good stepping stone from school to university.

Did you find it easy to settle in?

I thought it would be a lot harder. I’ve made so many wonderful friends here. The teachers are great; I genuinely feel they want me to succeed and do my best. As they specialise in A Levels I think they are more focussed and supportive.

Have you enjoyed your subjects?

I’m so pleased with my subject choices as they link so well. I feel so much better informed about current affairs and what’s happening in the world. I joined the College Economics Society to develop my understanding of the key issues facing society.

Do you have any plans for the future?

I’ve applied to study Economics at university, but I’d love to have a gap year first and go travelling.

Sasha, 2017

Previous school: St Bede’s.

Why did you choose Reigate College?

I thought the College had a really strong Performing Arts department and a great range of courses at A Level and BTEC that just weren’t on offer at my school.

What elements of your courses have you enjoyed most?

In Musical Theatre I really enjoyed performing in Chicago. The Media coursework involved producing a film teaser trailer, which I loved and for Acting it was fun writing the script for a comedy horror. Working in a group made it feel like running our own theatre company.

Are you planning a career on the stage?

I’m hoping to go to East 15 acting school in London to do a foundation year in Theatre Arts. I’ve always enjoyed acting and have been involved in Youth Theatre. I take singing and tap lessons and last year I performed at the Camden Fringe Festival. Long term I’d love to be starring in musicals in the West End.

George, 2017

Previous school: The Ashcombe.

What made you choose Reigate?

I liked the fact I could study A Levels and BTECs together to get a good balance between coursework and exams, theory and practical. Reigate was one of only a few places to offer the Diploma in Health & Social Care, which I was really keen on.

How did you find the move from school to College?

I was quite nervous about leaving school, but I soon realised that everyone is in the same position starting College and it was easy making new friends. My tutor and all my teachers are really friendly and supportive.

Have you done any interesting work experience?

As part of the Health & Social Care course, I spent a week working in a local primary school, which I found really rewarding.

What are your career plans?

I’d like to go to university and study Nursing.

Mia, 2017

Previous school: The Beacon.

What made you choose BTEC courses?

I like the practical nature of the courses and the emphasis on coursework meant that I could work steadily all year, rather than having the pressure of performing in exams.

How did you find the move from school to College?

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