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Where Are They Now ?

The majority of our students go on to successful futures giving Havering Sixth Form the accolade of being the top College in East London for student progression to positive destinations – and we are in the top 10 per cent of all schools, sixth forms and colleges nationally.

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  • Joy Johnston

    Published 31/01/19

    Joy Johnston (formerly Joy Tottman) is a Havering Sixth Form College Governor, a Governance Manager at Sport England and has also been an Olympic Ice Hockey referee.

    Joy attended College from 1999 to 2001 and achieved straight A grades in Maths, English Language, History and Media A Levels. She then went on to study for a Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree at Oxford University.

    After graduating from Oxford, which she describes as a life-changing experience, Joy, a former Albany (now Hornchurch High) School pupil, took on a job as a researcher for a headhunting firm.

    Six years later she moved into the sports sector which is an industry she cares passionately about. She is now working as a Governance Manager at Sport England where her role is to ensure that the national governing bodies of sport who are funded by Sport England, are well governed and fit to receive public funds. 

    She said: “Beyond this I help to drive improvement in the way sports organisations are run, which means more people can benefit in a positive way from sport just as I have.  My experience of building organisational structures and getting strong leaders as a headhunter has allowed me to influence the way sports organisations appoint leaders and helped to make them more effective.”

    Joy’s love of ice hockey began at an early age. She started reffing when she was 14 after playing the sport for a few years. She soon gained her international licence and progressed to international tournaments and then the Winter Olympics. She stood down from her competitive referee role after her third Olympics – the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, where she was the referee in the gold medal women's ice hockey final.

    Through her involvement with international ice hockey, Joy met her husband Scott Johnston, a player for the Canadian national team. She is still involved in the sport, being the Chief Referee and Director of Officiating for the Ice Hockey UK Referee Section.

    Joy still manages to find time to fulfil her voluntary role as a Governor at Havering Sixth Form College, saying it is important to her because it provides a chance for her to give back to an organisation that set her on a good path as a young person.

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  • Bobby Izzard

    Published 17/01/19

    Bobby Izzard, who attended Havering Sixth Form College from 2007 to 2009, has just set up a social media project in an effort to teach more people sign language.

    The former Albany (now Hornchurch High) School pupil launched Project BSLUK (British Sign Language UK) earlier this month on Facebook and Instagram. He now posts short daily videos to teach followers the basic hand gestures required to communicate with those people who have hearing problems.

    Bobby, who studied Accounts, English Language and Law while at College, has worked in hospitality for several years. Last year he was working as the floor manager at the Shepherd and Dog Restaurant in Harold Wood when he was unable to properly communicate with a group of deaf people who were ordering a meal.

    He told the Romford Recorder, who featured his project in their newspaper last week: “There was a group of deaf people who regularly came in and a few of us thought we’d start to make a bit of effort and learn how to say basic things like ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘would you like any water?’ in sign language, and it just went from there.

    “I realised how few people know British Sign Language and wanted to encourage more to learn.”

    He added: “There is a whole deaf community that often goes unseen in mainstream life which has a lot to do with people not knowing how to do sign language. The importance of it is one thing, but how handy it is as well - excuse the pun - and how it can enrich your life and those around you are other great reasons to start learning. I’m really proud of how it has gone so far.”

    Bobby already has more than 800 followers and is determined to try and make the skill accessible to everyone.

    Visit Project BSLUK on Facebook or @projectblsuk on Instagram.

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  • Mustafa Daud

    Published 11/01/19

    Mustafa Daud has just been offered a highly sought-after position at KPMG (part of the ‘Big Four’ financial services) in the City, starting this September on their Audit Graduate programme.

    A former student from 2013 to 2015, Mustafa achieved an A* and three Bs in A Level Business Studies, Accounts, Maths and AS French and then progressed to The Cass Business School which is based at City University, London.

    He is currently in his final year there studying BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Finance and is hoping to graduate with First Class Honours.

    While at City, Mustafa has been the Captain and Vice-President of the university's American Football team - City Wolfpack - and has edited the university’s newspaper, The Cass Exposure.

    He has recently returned from a study year abroad programme in the US at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, where he says the main highlight of his visit was working on a consulting project for a FTSE 250 client that resulted in the project being successfully implemented by their senior management.

    He also developed a strong interest in Financial Analysis, Company Valuation and Taxation which he hopes to be able to further explore during his career.

    He said: “Beginning my professional career in the City with KPMG places me in the best position to equip myself with numerous valuable skills, develop commercial knowledge as well as being able to work with a diverse portfolio of clients.

    “I plan on working and travelling globally in the long-term, so I hope KPMG will be the company that provides me with the platform to achieve my dreams.”

    Mustafa, a former Forest Gate Community School pupil, often returns to Havering Sixth Form College to motivate and inspire current students. He recently spoke to prospective parents and students during the Principal’s Presentation at the College Open Day.

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  • Keenan Munn-Francis

    Published 14/12/18

    Keenan Munn-Francis is an actor and singer who has starred in Thriller Live and The Lion King and was singled out for praise by The Guardian newspaper reviewer for his performance as a young Marvin Gaye in the show, SOUL.

    While he was at Havering Sixth Form College, Keenan studied BTEC Creative Media Production (Audio Visual) and BTEC Music Technology, along with a Maths qualification. He left in 2014 to take up a major role in The Scottsboro Boys’ production in the West End.

    He said at the time: “It’s brilliant performing in the West End. I love it. I’d like to do film and television in the future but I’d love to be in the West End for as long as possible.”

    He sung and tap-danced in the show but when it came to an end, he moved on to play Simon in The Lord of the Flies at the Birmingham REP.  He was then cast as a young Marvin Gaye in SOUL at the Hackney Empire and then at the Royal and Derngate Theatre, Northampton.

    He received rave reviews for his acting and singing - the Telegraph newspaper stating, ‘the highlight of the night is the smooth-voiced Keenan Munn-Francis, who plays Gaye’s younger self, raising the roof early on with a brace of gospel and doo-wop numbers’. And the Guardian reviewer wrote, ‘Keenan Munn-Francis is deeply touching as the young Marvin’.

    After SOUL he went on in 2017 to play Titus in Filthy Business at the Hampstead Theatre and was cast soon after in the smash-hit musical Five Guys Named Moe at the Marble Arch Theatre, playing Little Moe.

    He is currently in rehearsals for the UK premiere production of Our Lady of Kibeho which takes to the Royal stage in Northampton on January 12th 2019. The play is set in 1981 in Rwanda and presents a haunting insight into the horrors and the true events that captured the world's attention.

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  • Sam Wilkins

    Published 14/12/18

    Sam Wilkins is working as a Roto Prep Artist at the London studio of Industrial Light & Magic – a company that specialises in visual effects, imagery and animation for blockbuster films.

    A student at College from 2011 to 2014, Sam, formerly of Albany School, achieved A* and A grades in Graphics, Moving Image Arts, and the Creative & Media BTEC Diploma. He then stayed on to study the Art & Design Foundation Diploma, gaining a Distinction.

    He progressed to study Visual Effects for Film & TV at the University of Hertfordshire and when he graduated, he started as a 2D trainee, quickly moving on to be a Roto Prep Artist at Double Negative Visual Effects. He then became a Junior Compositor at the same company before landing his current job at world-renowned film specialists Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).

    ILM have offices in San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver and London and have produced visual effects for movies such as Jurassic World, Star Wars, Marvel Avengers and The Mummy.

    The studio collaborates with filmmakers on projects from initial concepts through final shot production and delivery and Sam’s role as a Roto Prep Artist contributes to the studio’s work in turning out awe-inspiring imagery.

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  • Hayley Anderson

    Published 06/12/18

    Hayley Anderson is a News Reporter on the local weekly newspaper the Romford Recorder.

    A former Bower Park School pupil, Hayley achieved A Levels in English Literature, Philosophy, History and Extended Project before leaving College in 2013.

    She had an offer from Royal Holloway University to study English Literature but chose instead to take up an Apprenticeship as a Trainee Reporter at the company Archant, which publishes the Romford Recorder.

    During the two-year Apprenticeship she worked four days a week on the newspaper and studied for the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Level 3 Diploma in Journalism qualification on the other day at Lambeth College.

    She achieved the Gold Standard and became officially qualified as a Reporter three years ago. Hayley has been covering news stories and writing features in the local area for the Recorder since then and says she absolutely loves her job.

    She said: “It’s incredibly busy, it’s a fast-paced industry and you’re under quite a bit of pressure at deadline, but I really enjoy it. I get a buzz when a big news story is breaking, but my favourite part of the job is writing the human interest feature stories.”

    Hayley has just been put in sole charge of a new project launched by Archant called Enjoy Brentwood More. This is a small magazine which circulates in Brentwood containing news stories, interesting features, information about the area and a guide to events that are taking place. There is also an Enjoy Brentwood More website and Facebook page.

    She hopes in future to progress to possibly work on a national glossy magazine to write more in-depth features, but for the time being, she is getting a great all-round introduction to journalism in her role at the Recorder.

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  • Ola Sagbola

    Published 30/11/18

    Ola Sagbola is a qualified Barrister and is currently working as a Legal & Governance Paralegal for the Financial Reporting Council.

    A former pupil at Gaynes School, she was a student at Havering Sixth Form College from 2006 to 2008, studying A Levels in English Literature, Government & Politics and Biology. Ola progressed to the University of Essex and as part of her Law degree, spent a year studying at a New York Law School.

    From 2013 to 2105 she attended the University of Law where she completed the Bar Professional Training Course and qualified as a Barrister.

    She then worked for four years at the Financial Ombudsman Service as an Adjudicator where she prepared cases for final decisions for Ombudsmen and delivered training on new processes to colleagues.

    With a background in regulatory and public law, particularly for GDPR readiness, Ola has been working in house at the Financial Reporting Council for over a year.

    She often returns to College to give talks on what it is like to study law and what working in the legal profession involves, to current students.

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  • Charlotte Smalley

    Published 30/11/18

    Charlotte Smalley always knew she wanted a career within the Financial industry and so chose to study A Levels in Maths, Accounting and Sociology while at Havering Sixth Form College from 2015 to 2017.

    She now works as an Audit Associate on an EY (Ernst & Young) Apprenticeship.

    A former Emerson Park School student, Charlotte made an early decision while at College that she probably would not go to University as she preferred ‘on the job learning’ and so set about applying for Business-type apprenticeships.

    She visited the College’s CUBE (Careers, University, Business and Employment) for advice and was encouraged to apply for the EY Apprenticeship, based in Canary Wharf.

    It was a tough selection process – first the online application, then a difficult two-stage strengths assessment, including numerical and verbal tests; next a telephone interview; then she moved on to a written assessment and team exercise at an EY office and then finally a face-to-face interview with a partner.

    She was overjoyed when she found out she had been offered a place on the scheme.

    Charlotte said: “An Apprenticeship at EY seemed the best option for me as I prefer on the job learning and earning money at the same time, rather than studying full-time. I have passed all my exams so far and I look forward to achieving the ACA qualification.

    “I am thoroughly enjoying my job and would definitely recommend the Apprenticeship route to others.”

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  • Dr Sam Divall

    Published 30/11/18

    Dr Sam Divall has been a Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering at City, University of London since 2015.

    He attended Havering Sixth Form College from 2003 to 2005, studying A Levels in Maths, ICT and Design Technology.

    He progressed to City, University of London and after four years of study, graduated from the MEng Civil Engineering course in 2009.

    After graduating, the former King’s Wood School student (now Drapers’ Academy) decided to remain at City within the internationally recognised Geotechnical Engineering Research Centre to undertake his PhD in Geotechnical Engineering, which he completed in 2012.

    He then undertook several years of post-doctoral research, becoming a Research Fellow in Geotechnical Engineering from 2013 to 2015 working with The Leverhulme Trust on research into the construction of shafts in congested subsurface urban environments.

    He has won several awards for his work, including the Civil Engineering Teaching Award; The ICE QUEST Travel Award; The ISSMGE Foundation Award; Winning presentation at the BGA's 12th Young Geotechnical Engineers’ Symposium in Leeds; National Finalist for the Corus Steel Student Awards; and Shortlisted for City University London WSP Civil Engineering Paper Prize.

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  • Ellie Giles

    Published 29/10/18

    Ellie Giles studied at Havering Sixth Form from 2015 to 2017, achieving grades of AAB in A Level Accounts, Mathematics and History. She is now working as an Associate in the second year of a five-year Ernst & Young (EY) Business Apprenticeship in the City.

    The former Hall Mead School student, from Upminster, knew during her time at College that she didn’t want to go on to University, so she started investigating apprenticeships instead.

    Our team in The CUBE, the College’s careers centre, helped Ellie find out about the trainee programmes available and encouraged her to apply for the EY Summer School, which she managed to get into.

    She then applied for the Business Apprenticeship and was successful again – securing her place on the highly sought-after programme at one of the world’s largest professional services and accountancy firms.

    Ellie, who often returns to College for our Higher Education and Careers Days to give current students advice on applying for EY apprenticeships, said: “I have really settled into the company and I have been offered a lot of opportunities already, including a trek across the Sahara Desert for the EY charity.

    “I am really enjoying the job and am looking forward to taking advantage of further opportunities. 

    “This suits me so much better than studying at university because I was ready to get out into the world of work after College. I have already passed my first exam with 14 more to go! But I am learning on the job, training and getting paid while I achieve more qualifications, and I love working in London so it is great for me.”

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  • Sam Ward-Smith

    Published 26/10/18

    Sam Ward-Smith is a stage actor as well as a singer and a voiceover artist who attended Havering Sixth Form College from 2011 to 2013.

    Sam achieved a Distinction* in his Performing Arts course as well as two A Levels in English Literature and Film Studies.

    A former Albany School pupil, Sam progressed to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts where he gained a BA in Acting and was a Sir John Gielgud Bursary Award Winner in 2016. Previous recipients of this award include Michael Sheen, Ewan McGregor and Paterson Joseph.

    Sam has recently finished shooting a series of Corporate Films for Coral/Ladbrokes and will soon be returning to The Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch, to reprise his role in the one-person show 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' from December 1st to December 23rd 2018.

    He has appeared at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in the Sam Wanamaker Festival and at St Martin’s Theatre in Mystery Solved! Sam has also travelled to Germany as part of the Shakespeare Festival at the Globe Neuss to perform in The Alchemist.

    As well as these stage roles, he has starred in a variety of TV voiceovers, local pantomimes and musicals as well as a short film, and a workshop at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

    He was a member of Cut To The Chase Rep Company (Bob Carlton), from 2013 to 2014 and has many other talents to his name, such as additional dialogue recording, comedy improv, musical comedy, musical theatre, radio drama, voice acting, impersonation and juggling. Sam is also a specialist in accents and dialects.

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  • Kyle Harman-Turner

    Published 16/10/18

    Kyle Harman-Turner, who was at Havering Sixth Form College from 2001 to 2003, is responsible for one of the most well-known recent adverts on TV – the ‘Epic Strut’ of the businessman wearing tight denim hotpants in the MoneySuperMarket campaign.

    Kyle, who studied Graphics, Media and Psychology A Levels, went on to study Graphic Design specialising in Advertising at Central Saint Martin’s.

    He started working at Mother – the UK’s largest independent advertising agency – in 2006 and worked in the London office for four years.

    He then moved to Mother New York City, from 2010 to 2013, and became Creative Director of Mother, working with both offices, in September 2013.

    During his career, Kyle, now a proud dad, has been responsible for ad campaigns such as the MoneySuperMarket epic strut, Nokia’s the world’s oldest hockey player, the Coca-Cola Olympics ad, and the mini documentary film for Coca-Cola - Move to the Beat - with Mark Ronson.

    He has also worked on branding and advertising for Stella Artois, Fox’s Biscuits, Comic Relief and Schweppes and continues to work at Mother as Creative Director.

    A football enthusiast who still lives in London, Kyle is also a Founding Partner at – an online site where, with his creative partner, he plots and shapes ideas for the future.

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