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.
Mrs 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!
Ms 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.