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Celebrating Success

At Belvidere we strive for academic success for every student ensuring that everyone reaches his or her full potential both inside and outside the classroom environment.

Sometimes students go that extra mile and consistently give over and above what is required of them or make great efforts to improve in a certain subject. To recognise this we hold two celebration evenings throughout the year, one for Key Stage 3 and one for Key Stage 4 during which time awards are presented.

These awards are nominated by the staff at Belvidere and we are always very proud to have each of these students as part of our school.

In addition to the range of academic awards in Key Stage 4 we also have some additional cups to present. The Ashley Williams and Nick Russell awards are both presented in memory of ex-students of Belvidere, both of whom tragically died at a young age. Ashley Williams award is presented to a student who gives over and above to the local community, outside of the school gates. The Nick Russell award is presented to a student who achieves academic success across a range of subjects.

In addition to these two awards we also present a Belvidere Endeavour Cup, one to a boy and one to a girl in Year 11. These are chosen by the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher and the criteria is as the name suggests; students who work their hardest always endeavouring to achieve their best in everything that they do.
The cups and trophies are proudly displayed in the entrance foyer to school for everyone to see!Trophies

Success GraphicBelvidere’s relationship with our students shouldn’t end when they celebrate their GCSE results. We would like encourage them to stay in touch and help inspire our current students.

We love hearing how our past pupils are getting on and welcome their success stories. If you are an 
ex-student of Belvidere School, no matter how long ago, and would like to share your news, memories or photos with us and see them featured on this website please email the school reception@belvidere.shropshire.sch.uk

Include the year you left Belvidere, a short paragraph on what you have done since you left and a picture if possible.
 

Cal Halbert

Name : Cal Halbert
Form : V
Year : 2009


What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Belvidere?
Mr Thomas and I singing constantly on the Berlin Trip.

What did you enjoy about Belvidere School?
It's hard to put it down to one thing. All in all, I had a fantastic time but I will always be biased to Mrs Young and Drama!

What do you miss the most?
Having no major concerns, worries or problems to deal with and whenever there was one of these things, the fantastic support network at Belivdere, friends and staff alike!

Did you make friends at Belvidere who are still friends today?
A few, but I lost contact with the majority of people when I moved away.

What did you do after you left School?
After Belvidere I studied at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College. Once finished I move to Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Where are you now? What are you doing?
I'm now based in Newcastle Upon Tyne and working as a Comedian and Impressionist all over the country and globe!

If you could do it again what would you do differently?
I don't think so, hindsight is a remarkable thing, pointing out things left right and centre, but I doubt I would be the way I am without Belvidere School.

What advice would you give to students about making the most of their time at Belvidere/career/exams/gap year/ambition\etc.?
You can tell a lot about people from what they worry about, so don't panic about things. Also, there's no such thing as talent, hard work is all you need!

 

Rachael Hill
Name : Rachael Hill
Form : L
Year : 2008
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Belvidere?
Friends I met there, Mrs. Barber, Favourite subjects such as- food tech/PE

What did you enjoy about Belvidere School?
Meeting a lot of new people from the surrounding schools

What student activities were you involved in?
Netball/trampoline club/ sports captain

What do you miss the most?
Seeing people less/having an easier work load then at uni

What memories stick out in your mind?
Form time/the last day- shirt signing/

Did you make friends at Belvidere who are still friends today?
yes!

What did you do after you left School?
Went to Sixth Form College, and now training to be a primary school teacher at Edge Hill University

Where are you now?
Living in Shrewsbury, working for a children’s charity (Home Start) and training to be a primary school teacher

What are you doing? (Is it what you thought you would be doing? Or what the School thought you would be doing?)
I thought I would go to college and uni, but I didn’t know it would be to do teaching

If you could do it again what would you do differently?
Just have an outlook which is more mature and positive about school- as I only realised after I left that I did really like my time at Belvidere

What advice would you give to students about making the most of their time at Belvidere/career/exams/gap year/ambition\etc.?
Don’t do subjects everyone does- do your own thing/ make the most of your time at Belvidere, although it feels a long time- the life after school is a lot more busy and more responsibility is placed on you.
Jack Harrison
Name : Jack Harrison
Form : I
Year : 2008

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Belvidere?
The Sue Herbet centre- it was me and my friends’ shelter from the rain, ‘common room’, and venue for all manner of teenage ‘debates’ and fun.

What were the phrases, films, trends, etc. when you were at School?
Phrases such as ‘wicked’ and ‘cool’ seemed big, whilst ‘lol’ and ‘lmao’ were pretty cutting edge...I remember watching various films such as the Lord of the Rings, King Kong and the Mummy, all of which looked like they had amazing special effects back then, but which are dated now. Me and my friends all had regrettably long hair and liked to wear surf/skate brand t shirts most of the time, which also seems very dated.

What did you enjoy about Belvidere School?

I enjoyed the teaching style- being able to learn plenty, whilst having (some) fun in the process. Long cross country runs around the field in winter and sports day in the Summer were tiring but a good laugh. However, the things I enjoyed most were the spontaneous situations which arose from growing up in such a friendly and diverse environment.

What student activities were you involved in?
I played an instrument in the school orchestra and marching band, as well as playing in the band for the school plays. I completed my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver awards which were great fun. I went on as many school trips as I could, managing to make it to Berlin and Belgium on history trips, the year 7 French trip and skiing in the Italian alps, all of which were unforgettable experiences.

What do you miss the most?

Being a teenager in a swirling environment of multiple backgrounds, personalities, and ages, where every day brought some new experience or story.

What memories stick out in your mind?

Coming to enjoy P.E more and more as I found things I could excel at in amongst all the different sports- the 400m at sports day became my specialty! The initial anxiety and frustration of not understanding maths turning to satisfaction as I was taught to enjoy and properly use it will always remain one of my favorite progressions over my five years at Belvidere. Trying to come up with appropriate accents and modern reinterpretations of Shakespeare (the less said the better).

Did you make friends at Belvidere who are still friends today?
I am still very good friends with almost all of the friends I made at Belvidere- we all still regularly meet up to catch up on what we are now doing and reminisce about our time at school.

What did you do after you left School?
Immediately after leaving school I went to Sixth Form College, where I studied Physics, Chemistry, English Literature and History.
After college, I went to study History at the historic university of Durham.

Where are you now?
I graduated from Durham this year (2013) and have now secured a ‘training contract’ with a leading commercial law firm in London. I am currently studying a one year law conversion course in Birmingham. After six months off to go travelling next year, I will be moving down to London to do another seven month long course, before starting work for two years at my firm’s London office to ‘train on the job’ as a commercial lawyer.

What are you doing? (Is it what you thought you would be doing? Or what the School thought you would be doing?)
I am becoming a lawyer. I have always been interested in a career in Law: the school encouraged this interest, and helped me to get work experience at the Crown and Magistrates courts when I was 15, which was a very valuable experience. Throughout my time at school, no career was ‘mapped out’ for me- I was simply encouraged to pursue and achieve in as many of my interests and strengths as I could, which was a great approach to take, and one which enabled me to make up my own mind about where I would end up. Belvidere provided me with as much help in achieving my goals as I could ask for though!

If you could do it again what would you do differently?
I wish I had made more of an effort learning and continuing with the variety of foreign languages on offer at Belvidere, as these are fundamental to expanding the reach of later life. Like most people, I used to be a bit chatty in lessons- something I regret doing having now had the experience of often speaking in front of others and coaching sport- having a chatterbox makes life a lot harder. School is one of the few times you will have so many knowledgeable, friendly and accessible teachers all in one place, so don’t squander it chatting in lessons and making their life more difficult.

What advice would you give to students about making the most of their time at Belvidere/career/exams/gap year/ambition\etc.?
Everyone has different aims and ambitions, so it is difficult to make catch all statements to help out all students, but that is sort of the point: everyone has their niche and strength- use your time at school to find where you ‘fit in’. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and to try things you never thought you would enjoy in a million years. It’s often these sorts of things which will later come back to you as your most useful experiences. Whatever you end up doing, the early years from school to your first job are the some of the most important you will get; learning never stops and you’ll end up making the best friends and having some of the best experiences you’ll ever have along the way. So...make the most of it!
Marcus Taylor
Name : Marcus Taylor
Form : V
Year : 2006


What student activities were you involved in?

I was in the school orchestra, and went on several trips abroad with them. In the earlier years I also took part in some drama productions. Unfortunately I have no sporting activities or achievements to record!

What do you miss the most?
Short hours and long holidays!

What memories stick out in your mind?
Seeing all of my friends every day and not realising how difficult this would be once we all went our separate ways.

Did you make friends at Belvidere who are still friends today?
Yes, I still have close friendships with a number of former pupils

What did you do after you left School?
I went to 6th form and did my A-levels. Following this I went to Keele University and studied medicine for 5 years, graduating as a doctor in July 2013.

Where are you now?
Although I lived in Newcastle-under-Lyme whilst I was at university, I am currently living and working in Shrewsbury once again.

What are you doing? (Is it what you thought you would be doing? Or what the School thought you would be doing?)
I am currently working as a doctor at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. This is my first job after finishing medical school in July 2013. Being a doctor is what I always said I wanted to do, and people at school always encouraged me to pursue this career.

If you could do it again what would you do differently?
I would have tried to appreciate the carefree time I spent with all my friends a lot more.

What advice would you give to students about making the most of their time at Belvidere - career/exams/gap year/ambition\etc.?
Make sure you work hard and achieve your potential, but don’t neglect the extracurricular activities and friendships that make you a well-rounded and well liked individual.

 

Will Bond

Name : Will Bond
Form : D
Year : 2007

When I left school I was desperate to move away, get stuck into a job and live like an adult, but I persuaded myself to get A Levels and my two years at Shrewsbury Sixth Form were over in a flash. Although I benefited from college socially more than academically, I loved studying English and the skills I learned have helped me in the real world ever since. We would throw college parties each term at The Buttermarket and it was here that I started to DJ. After my final exams I applied for a summer placement with BBC Radio Shropshire, where I wrote articles for their website and interviewed local artists on-air. Shrewsbury has a lot of undiscovered musical talent so the opportunity to reflect this was amazing.

My experience took me to London where I worked at a broadcast PR agency and then a radio newsroom specialising in travel news. Here I would investigate road incidents and write scripts for radio, so I was required to work with graphs, coordinates and traffic data. My Maths and Geography teachers would probably burst blood vessels at the thought of me dealing with this! Challenges aside, waking up at 4am each day wasn’t a novelty and I’d neglected my passion for music and creative writing, so I swapped the big job for many smaller freelance jobs.
In the last two years, I’ve been writing for music and fashion magazines alongside creating music and DJ gigs. I’m keeping radio as a hobby for now by creating Podcasts where I interview artists and feature their music. Last year I was lucky to DJ in Berlin and New York and doing this has helped me realise there is more to life than just work. I never studied languages at school, so now I’m learning to speak German, as I’d love to spend more time in Berlin and who knows where else!

A memory of school:
I’ll never forget the fun we had doing our school productions. There was Bugsy Malone where we were set loose with ‘splurge guns’ and by the end of the shows we were caked in foam and would fall all over the stage. As for Viva Mexico, I had to wear a gigantic sombrero and sing ‘la cucaracha’ with my best attempts to sound Spanish. We would end up in states of uncontrollable laughter during rehearsals, but everyone would put so much effort into creating the shows. Mr and Mrs Denscombe made everything look so professional with lighting, sound and costumes and then there was Mrs Young, who dedicated all her time to organising us and bringing the shows to life. When I left school, I realised how lucky we were to have so many teachers that would go out of their way to help us. I still have my ‘Year book’ from when I left Belvidere and to look back at what we achieved and experienced in five years still overwhelms me.

Phil Lowry

Name :Phil Lowry
Form :
Year :1989

Went to Coventry University and completed a European Business and technology degree.

First job was selling finance for NWS bank. He then worked in recruitment for 3 1/2 years between Manpower and Extra Personnel.

In August 1999 with a small group of business partners, he set up Proactive Personnel

To date, they have 10 branches across the Midlands, North West and Shropshire with an approximate turnover of £30 million.

Memories of Belvidere : having a great group of friends and spending as much time as possible doing Sports.

In his spare time, he is obsessed with running, completing several half marathons and the Edinburgh Marathon. In August 2013, he will be running 120 miles over 5 days in the Rockies, Colarado.

 

Katie Prosser

Name : Katie Prosser
Form : D
Year : 2006

I left Belvidere in 2006 to go on to Shrewsbury Sixth Form College where I completed my A levels.

I then accepted my offer for the University of Oxford (St Edmund Hall) where I completed a very enjoyable 4 year Masters degree in Biochemistry before deciding upon a career in law, with a view to specialising in the area of intellectual property.

I am currently half way through the necessary qualifications to do this, and will begin my training contract with Manches LLP in September 2014.

Sophie Linney
Name : Sophie Linney
Form : I
Year : 2009

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Belvidere?
Lifelong friendships, indie music and school trips to Alton Towers!

What did you enjoy about Belvidere School?
The year 11 history trip to Berlin! Spending a few days away with good friends in a different county is something I will always remember.

What do you miss the most?
Having little responsibility and the all the holidays!

Did you make friends at Belvidere who are still friends today?
Of course! I am still friends with people I met at Belvidere.

What did you do after you left School?
After Belvidere I went to Shrewsbury Sixth Form College where I studied A Levels in Graphic Design, Sociology and health and Social Care. I then went to University to do my degree where I gained a 2:1 in Adult Nursing BSc (Hons).

Where are you now? What are you doing?
After graduating from university I was offered two jobs. I am working as a Registered Nurse at the Severn Hospice and Gynaecology where I am the end of life link worker. Although working shifts in these areas can be tiring and emotionally difficult, nursing is a wonderful career which I find rewarding.

If you could do it again what would you do differently?
I would probably have stressed over the little things in life less. Although GCSEs can seem stressful where you’re in the middle of them, I think it’s important you enjoy your time at secondary school because they really are some of the best years of your life.

What advice would you give to students about making the most of their time at Belvidere/career/exams/gap year/ambition\etc.?
Not to let anyone tell you something is impossible! If you want something I believe with hard work and perseverance anything is possible!
Naiome Shingler
Name : Naomi Shingler
Form : V
Year : 2008

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Belvidere?
The Sue Herbert Centre and all the friends that I made at school. In the middle of year 7, I became friends with a different group of people who went to other primary schools and we would spend every break and lunch time inside/outside the Sue Herbert Centre. We’re all still friends now and I know we will be for a long time.

What did you enjoy about Belvidere School?
Other than the social side of school and making friends, I enjoyed the variety of subjects that were available. The teachers were brilliant and always made lessons exciting and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed year 10 and 11 where we were able to choose our GCSE subjects and start to learn about things that you really interested in. We also had the opportunity to go on several school trips throughout the five years, which I was lucky enough to do. For our history GCSE, we went to Berlin which was fantastic. Mr Thomas and the other teachers made the trips fun and exciting and we learnt a great deal.

What student activities were you involved in?
I was part of the netball team in the first few years of school but concentrated on my subjects once I started my GCSEs. I liked to stay behind and do more work on my coursework in Art and Product Design.

What do you miss the most?
I miss all the spare time that I had at school and not seeing my friends as much. I would spend every day with my friends however now, I see some of them only once every few months because of everyone’s busy schedules.

What did you do after you left School?
I went to Shrewsbury Sixth Form College for 2 years where I completed A levels in Psychology, Health and Social care and Biology. I then moved to Brighton in 2010 and did a 3 year Adult Nursing Honours Degree. I have recently graduated with a 2:2 and have started my first job as a nurse at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital which I am thoroughly enjoying. I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare, originally wanting to be a midwife but am pleased with the choice I made. I get to meet so many different, interesting people and support and care for patients and their families. It is a very rewarding job.


If you could do it again what would you do differently?
I think everyone would say they wish they had worked a little bit harder at school which is what I would have done differently however I still think it is important to enjoy yourself and be a child while you can!

What advice would you give to students about making the most of their time at Belvidere/career/exams/gap year/ambition\etc.?
I would advise to be yourself and not follow the crowd! This is something I learned in my first year at school and I have definitely benefited from it. Find out who you are and where you fit and most importantly enjoy the time you have! Soon enough you’ll be in the big wide world and have a lot of responsibilities.
Name : Eleanor Taylor
Form : I
Year : 2000

What did you enjoy about Belvidere School?
I just remember it as a really happy time; I had lovely friends and lovely teachers and was more than happy to get up and go to school every day. The lessons were fun, and I was involved in lots of after-school activities which gave me a sense of belonging. There was definitely a lot of laughter involved.

What student activities were you involved in?
I tried to be involved in as much as possible really – I did gymnastics, athletics,
hockey, swimming, rounders, choir, orchestra and was also in a couple of school plays.

What do you miss the most?
Secondary School is probably the last time you get to study lots of different subjects; when you go to college and university you have to really restrict the classes that you take. It was nice being able to study a little bit of everything; science, languages, literature, art – it kept things interesting.

What memories stick out in your mind?
- We played a game of blind date in Physics class where the contestants were planets (I was Neptune).
- We made a global warming film in biology class, which we styled on the Austin Powers films.
- Dissecting a sheep’s lung in biology – I can still remember the smell!
- Performing gymnastics routines at the summer fete.
- Touring around Holland with the choir and orchestra.
- Coming back to school to get my GCSE results.

Did you make friends at Belvidere who are still friends today?
Yes, I had a lovely group of friends at school. It would be nice to still live in Shrewsbury to see them more often.

What did you do after you left School?
I went onto Shrewsbury 6th Form College where I studied Biology, Chemistry, History and Psychology. I then went onto Oxford University (St. Hilda’s College) where I did an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences. Afterwards I did a PhD in genetics at Linacre, which is also part of Oxford University .

Where are you now?
I now live in Liverpool, which is where I work.

Esme Johnson

Name : Esme Johnson
Form : B
Year : 2008

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Belvidere?
The Sue Herbert Centre, as this is where my friends and I went to chat and eat almost every break time and lunch time, (I believe we “inherited” it in year 9 from the previous year 11s).

What were the phrases, films, trends, etc. when you were at School?
A lot of people said “innit”. I remember “scoobies” being quite popular; these were long, thin plastic tubes which you could buy and tie up to make pretty bracelets.

What did you enjoy about Belvidere School?
My favourite parts of Belvidere School were my group of friends, my teachers and being involved in the school plays. I enjoyed all of my lessons, but I think my favourites were definitely Maths, Drama and French.

What student activities were you involved in?
I was involved in the netball teams (in the younger years) and most of the school plays. I also liked to get involved in the talent shows and “Rock Night” which were great fun.

What do you miss the most?
I miss the sense of community you get whilst in school. I miss seeing my best friends and teachers every day because there was always constant support.

What memories stick out in your mind?
My first day of school sticks out in my mind because I was late to join and had to make new friends fairly quickly. I also enjoy remembering the school trips such as the year 7 French trip, the two London trips, the Paris trip and the Berlin trip.

Did you make friends at Belvidere who are still friends today?
Absolutely, I’m still close to all my friends from Belvidere. I’ve also found that I’ve become closer to people now that I wasn’t so close to at school which is really lovely.

What did you do after you left School?
I went to Shrewsbury Sixth Form College to study Maths, Further Maths, French and English Literature. I then went to King’s College, London to study Maths at degree level and made some amazing friends too.

Where are you now?
Since leaving university, I’ve been offered a job in Ernst & Young’s Actuarial department to start in September 2014. Until then, I am living back in Shrewsbury, doing a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics as I’d really like to be a teacher in the future.

What are you doing? (Is it what you thought you would be doing? Or what the School thought you would be doing?)
I’m currently doing a year’s postgraduate teacher training in Secondary School Mathematics. I have two placements in two different schools in Shropshire – although I don’t get to find out which two until the week before! During my degree, I started tutoring A Level Maths one-on-one and found I really enjoyed helping students understand mathematical concepts. So, I decided in my “year off” before starting a job as an actuary, I’d like to throw myself into a year’s teacher training to see if I will be any good at it. I don’t think the School or I thought I would be doing this, but I’m really enjoying it so far.

If you could do it again what would you do differently?
I don’t think I would do much differently. I certainly made some mistakes during my time at school but I’ve learnt from these and school was definitely the right place to make them because there was always someone to turn to.

What advice would you give to students about making the most of their time at Belvidere/career/exams/gap year/ambition\etc.?
I would advise any Belvidere student to learn how to persevere, how to be curious and how to get back up on their feet when something goes wrong. I would also advise them to make the most of their friendships and any opportunities that come their way because I think life’s most fun when it’s varied. Finally, I’d advise Belvidere students to put their utmost effort into anything they do, so that one day they can look back on their time at school and be proud of themselves.

Gareth Owen  

Name : Gareth Owen
Form
Year : 1994


What did you do after you left School?

Gareth Owen is a former student at Belvidere who left in 1994 and went
on to study English, Politics and History at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College. After completing his A-Levels in 1996, he took a year out of education to earn some money for his studies, and to present radio programmes on a variety of local stations. In 1997 he began a History degree at Cardiff University, graduating in 2001.

He spent around six months standing in as the News Editor on Sunshine 855 radio in Ludlow, before deciding to get some formal training in
journalism. He completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism at Birmingham City University in 2002.

Where are you now?
Gareth won a trainee contract with ITV Central and has been there ever since. He is now a familiar face to viewers in the Midlands as an anchor presenter and news correspondent on ITV Central Tonight. He started as a "Production Journalist", and has worked his way up to the role of Senior Correspondent. He also stands-in as the main presenter, and occasionally edits the programme. He works as Sport Correspondent and Political Correspondent, and edits the monthly political discussion programme in Westminster.

In addition to his roles in regional news, Gareth works as a reporter and
producer on the ITV National news, as a Correspondent with ITV Daybreak, and as a reporter on ITV Sport's FA Cup coverage.


What advice would you give to students about making the most of their time at Belvidere - career/exams/gap year/ambition\etc.?
Believe in yourself and have the confidence to reach for your dreams.

Kristian Leah

Name : Kristian Leah
Form : E
Year : 2013

Kristian was nominated for the High Sheriff of Shropshire’s outstanding young citizenship Award 2013. This was awarded to him for reliably working as a young volunteer for over 12 months, at the Smile Club, New lodge youth centre. He has a very willing attitude and has built a great relationship with the disabilities group, helping them once a week. He also volunteers once a week with the after school junior club. WOW!

For this High Sheriff award he attended a ceremony with local dignitaries, and Mrs Parsons, at Shrewsbury College.