Sixth Form Leadership Team
Mrs Simpson – Director of Sixth Form
Mr R. Ashton
Secondary school wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences for me; I moved from Rochdale with my parents and younger brother when I was 12. I didn’t like the school and found the studies boring apart from PE!! Things didn’t improve much Post-16 but my father made me apply for an electrician apprenticeship. Things quickly went from bad to worse; I was a sixteen-year-old lad thrown into the adult world of work which I truly did not understand. This was the biggest turning point of my young life.
An agreement was made with my father that if I passed my first year electrical exams I could return to college to study my one true love at the time: sport. I attended Accrington and Rossendale College to complete my Sports and Outdoor Education Diploma and from then on learning became easier due to having an interest in something.
College gave me many opportunities, one of these being spending the summer working at Camp America, where I found my calling in life: working with young people. After spending a number of years working for an outdoor activity company and travelling the world I saw an opportunity that I couldn’t truly miss.
I applied for the post as a Learning Mentor at the Academy in 2005, a new initiative that the government created and it was a role I wanted to make my own. I knew there would be hundreds of students who would be feeling the way I did about school in my teens but I could make this a different learning experience for them by providing guidance and support. Ten years on, and with the job title and role changing slightly, I still love my work as the Sixth Form Pastoral Manager, always remembering that learning is easy when you want something so bad.
My love for sport has continued and this is shared by my three children. As such I coach the Sixth Form 1st XI football team, run a range of enrichment projects and volunteer with local sports clubs. Through my experiences and the things I have learnt, I hope my own children and the students I support grasp the opportunity to learn about things they truly love and want to aspire towards.
Mr S. Qayum
Mrs N. Grace
My career before teaching went from being an actor and waitress whilst at college and university to working as a Human Resource Manager for first the NHS and then De Vere Hotels. Upon realising that an HR career was never going to fuel my passion for English and Drama, I returned to university to complete a PGCSE in English with Drama and Media Studies and I've never regretted that move! Every day as Subject Leader of Drama, I get to share my subject with bright, entertaining students and watch them develop as people, performers and creative thinkers. What a great job!
Mrs A. Hardy
I was always told I would be a teacher but since my mum was a teacher, I wanted to rebel and I rejected this idea until I was a bit older. When I left Leeds University with my English and Media degree, I was determined to work in the Media so I wrote to every radio station in the area and eventually landed a job doing the competitions at WISH FM in Wigan. I then decided to go into Marketing and did a stint at two theatres in St Helens and Lancaster before I managed to achieve my dream job of working at ITV. I used to organize the competitions and votes for all the regional programmes across ITV working out of the old ITV Granada building. Eventually I realized that working in TV, although exciting, just wasn’t going to be fulfilling enough for me. My best friend was an English teacher and she very kindly let me visit her school to see what it was like and I loved it. I decided to study for a GTP programme and had a fantastic mentor teaching English and Media at Standish High School in Wigan. I then moved on to be Head of Media at Ribblesdale School in Clitheroe and then became Assistant Head of New Technologies at Accrington. The favourite part of my job is seeing the students grow in confidence throughout the years and sharing my passion for film and television with the students. Outside of school I have two little girls who keep me busy and I’m involved with my local am dram group acting, singing and dancing.
Miss H. Gregory
Since secondary school and a Year 10 work placement, I have always known that teaching was a career that I wanted to pursue for a two main reasons: my love for sport and my fascination in how students learn. As subject leader of PE my passion lies within sport and fitness, and I gain great pleasure in teaching across both theory and practical elements that we deliver as a department. I have been teaching at the Academy for nearly 8 years, and I continue to be driven and enthusiastic and take great satisfaction from witnessing the students’ continuing development and progression across all elements of education. I believe my energy and enthusiasm are what spurs me on to make the Sixth Form the best it can be. Out of school I particularly enjoy running, going to the gym and socialising with friends. I am a keen enthusiast for travelling and sampling various cultures throughout the world.
Miss S. Mukhtar
It was whilst I was studying at University when I decided to challenge myself and become a teacher, I graduated from the University of Salford with a BSc (Hons) in Sociology and Criminology. In order to achieve my dream and passion for teaching I successfully completed my PGDE at The University of Bolton. Throughout my career I have taught A Level Sociology, Health and Social Care and Child Care. I truly believe Health and Social Care is an important subject as it provides students with a vast range of knowledge and expertise necessary for a career in Health and Social Care. I love teaching this subject because it’s never dull; every topic brings a new discussion to light and can be applied to todays fast pace diverse society. I believe teaching was the right choice for me as I can make a big difference to young people’s lives and my passion for the subject is what makes my teaching enjoyable and fun!
Mr D. Farmer
I've always been the sort to ask questions, and if you keep asking 'Why?' long enough you'll end up as a scientist. This is exactly what happened to me, I graduated from a Physics degree at the University of Nottingham in 2011, before completing a PhD in experimental Nano science.
More recently I worked in university outreach; I'm passionate about people finding the right path in their education.
Ms L. Johnson
The road to a profession is very rarely a straight one and mine certainly wasn't. Whilst at 6th Form a lot of my friends knew exactly what they wanted to do; I on the other hand had no idea. I think that’s why I can help students who are unsure which route to take because I can identify with that. On completing my A-levels I decided to go to the University of Lancaster to study Psychology, I always loved this subject especially Social Psychology and the analytical aspect of why people behave and act the way they do. Towards the end of my degree I went to see a university careers adviser who I have to say wasn't the most helpful, again something that influenced my current position and the way I carry out my job with our students. After completing my degree I volunteered with the Prince’s Trust and worked with young people who had various different barriers preventing them from gaining employment. This is when I realised I wanted to work with young people in a supportive role. I really loved this work but it was voluntary and I needed to earn so I went on to secure a job working for Connexions, a service supporting young people into employment. After 3 years doing this role, I was employed at Accrington Academy, in 2009.
The best part of my job is the one to one work I do with students. listening to their career aspirations and supporting them with any concerns or difficulties. It's really rewarding when you see students who come to you with no idea what to do and eventually leave Sixth Form and venture down the road that they know is right for them.
Outside of work I have a partner, Jamie, and my family has very recently grown as I have just had a baby boy and also have a 4 year old daughter. They take up all my time and my energy at the moment but they are great fun. Pre-children I did have a life! Mainly playing netball, I love reading and was into the music scene when I lived in Manchester. I am very much planning to revisit my hobbies when my kids are a bit older!!!'
Mrs A. McDonald
I love to read! Whether it’s Victorian Literature or an article online. I think the English Language is fascinating and I always wanted to find out more about it. My favourite topic to teach is poetry, as I like to show that poetry is not so difficult to understand and is full of information to analyse. I like my lessons to be full of discussion and creativity.
Mrs S. Pankhurst
Miss S Simpson
My fascination in Law began when I was studying my A Levels at College. I became completely enthralled by criminal law and the way the justice system strives to achieve a fair balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of society as a whole. I went on to read Law at The University of Liverpool and continued to study at the Bar until I was called to the Bar in 2008. My favourite area of Law to teach is criminal law, I enjoy discussing criminal cases with my students and taking them to witness criminal trials at the Crown Court. I encourage students to develop their own opinions on criminal cases which ultimately can make for very interesting debates in class. I think students love law because they develop the ability to always win an argument!
Mrs C. Mallinson
Mrs A. Mulla
Mathematical studies have always fascinated me and having a special flair for the subject, I’ve never been in doubt about teaching. The world depends on mathematics, hence it is quite an awe-inspiring universal subject. Amongst many of the challenges that mathematics provides, I relish problem solving the most - it will never stop intriguing me. Problem solving allows scope for further studies and research seeing that the methods are almost limitless. The best part of my job is teaching my students to tackle Problem Solving questions confidently and independently. Equipping my students with the different mathematical strategies to approach these problems is the delight of my job.
Mr P. Brown
If you asked my 10 year old self what I wanted to be when I was older I would have said a train driver! Nobody would have predicted I would be a teacher. I found that school got in the way of my play time with friends. The advice of one teacher had an impact. I tried and when it resulted in rewards, I was hooked! It became a competition to work my way up to the higher sets. It was only at college that I started to be interested in computers and University seemed to be the obvious next step. After working in web design and completing my MSc, I decided that I wanted a career where I could pass on my passion of computing and new technology. At Accrington Academy I see many young people who remind me of my younger self. I may not be a train driver but I am taking students on a journey through school and helping them reach success.
Mrs N. Hussain
I began my teaching career in 2008 after completing a post 16 PGCE with UCLAN. At the time I worked for Lancashire Constabulary and did the post 16 qualification with the intention I would continue in the police force within their training department. However being in the classroom and working with young adults allowed me to realise teaching young people is what I wanted to do! Completing my BA Honours in Social Sciences and then the post 16 qualification was only the first steps into education. I then completed a QTLS which allows me to work with 11+. I completed my NQT year at St Wilfrid’s in Blackburn and have since worked in the post 16 sector teaching Sociology, Psychology and Law. I joined the Academy in September 2015 as a Social Sciences teacher and love teaching Psychology and Law in my current position. Outside of school I love socialising with family and friends, enjoy travelling and try and visit the gym on the odd occasion!