Previous School:

De Stafford

Music has always been a passion and so it’s no accident that I’m now working as an Acting Head of Music in a large academy trust. I love working with young people and introducing them to a world that has such a big impact on every aspect of life.

While taking Music was a challenge, it encouraged me to explore classical music in further detail and ultimately led to my degree. With Music Technology I delved into a world I knew very little about and as a result, I was able to set up my own music studio at home and take technology-focused modules at university. As well as singing, I enjoy playing a range of instruments, from the piano and clarinet to the guitar and ukulele.

Towards the end of my time at College, I started working for a choir – an idea that started with support from a member of the Careers team – and I’m still involved 10 years on, helping to run sessions, arrange songs and sort out the technical elements across four branches. It’s given me some amazing performance opportunities, including singing at London venues like Hay’s Galleria and The Scoop, and, most recently, taking part in Gareth Malone’s singalong tour in four locations.

Before university, I took a gap year. It gave me a chance to reset, and I wanted a break from education to get the most that I could out of university. As I’d worked at Godstone Farm since I was at College, I chose to work there to earn some money to live on as well as learn to drive. Working as a Team Supervisor I looked after visitors, but also had responsibility for some of the animals, making sure they were well-cared for. I continued to work there throughout uni holidays right up until my first teaching job.

As part of my gap year, I also volunteered one day a week at the Orpheus Centre, a specialist college that increases the confidence and skills of young disabled adults through the performing arts. My days were spent helping students with song writing and music classes, supporting them to record and play music. Never having been in an environment working with people with disabilities, this opened my eyes to working in creative and unconventional ways to support people with a range of diverse needs. Having this experience means I’m always trying new ways to help my students who have additional learning needs and disabilities.

Moving away from home to a new place and with new people was quite an adjustment for me, but I loved my Music degree and the campus was beautiful (and often used for Call the Midwife filming!). We were given the freedom to be as creative as possible but with a huge amount of support from lecturers, all of whom were specialised in various fields of music.

From the age of 14, I knew I wanted to teach, so following my degree, I did a teaching qualification with Sutton SCITT and was straight into the classroom within a week. Training while on placement meant I could test new research straight away and network with various schools – ultimately leading to where I am now. I’ve worked my way up to Acting Head of Music and absolutely love my school – it’s certainly very busy, but vibrant and full of life.

Alys Anthony

Reigate College: 2013-2015

Gap year: Music Activity Assistant, Orpheus Centre (Volunteering) and Team Supervisor, Godstone Farm (Paid)

Higher Education: Music (BA Hons.), University of Kent and PGCE/QTS Sutton SCITT with University of Roehampton

Currently: Acting Head of Music, Harris Academy Sutton

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