• Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Staying connected and supporting students

ByJill Lundberg

May 17, 2020

Richmond School and Sixth Form College’s diverse and impressive alumni community is playing an increasingly valuable role in supporting students.  Hundreds of ex-students are signed up to its alumni network and the school recognises that there are potentially many more who could help to make a positive impact on the students’ education and career plans.

The school is calling out for former students to register on its website at www.richmondschool.net/about-us/alumni/ to reconnect and keep in touch with the exciting news at the school. They are also invited to become a positive influence on school life, through a number of ambassador opportunities to support students as a guest speaker, mentor, conducting mock interviews or offering work experience. In addition, the school is also welcoming members of the general public to become a ‘Friend’ of Richmond School, as many members of the community enjoy supporting the students. As a Friend of Richmond School, Baroness Harris of Richmond has not only hosted the school’s presentation evening and been a guest speaker during Parliament week, but also hosted a Year 12 student for work experience with her at the House of Lords.

The initiative coincides with the launch of the Richmond School and Sixth Form Facebook page where staff, students, alumni and the wider community can keep in touch with all the positive news. The Facebook page can be followed at www.facebook.com/RichmondSchoolandSixthFormCollege/

The impact of Covid-19 on employment prospects could mean that for the foreseeable future, students may find it more challenging to gain relevant knowledge, work experience and a job in their chosen line of work. The alumni can make a vital contribution in offering advice and guidance to students, developing life skills and knowledge to set them apart from their peers and help give them that competitive edge in today’s tough jobs market.

Over the last two years, the school has welcomed a number of Alumni as guest speakers, mock interviewees and mentors, including the Rt. Hon Baroness Hale of Richmond, who spoke about her career which led her to becoming the UK’s first female President of the Supreme Court. Other speakers have included Sarah Hainsworth OBE, a leading forensics expert, as well as Catherine Parums, Events Manager for the Royal British Legion.  In addition, many alumni support the school and college with work experience opportunities, including Graeme Newton of Randall Orchard Construction and Charlotte Porter of the Charlotte Jacqueline School of Dance.

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, said: “There is nothing better for students than to receive advice from those who were once in their shoes, who understand and can relate to them, and pass on first-hand experiences to enhance their knowledge and skill sets. I am very proud that so many of our ex-students wish to be engaged with the school, we are privileged to have such special connections and loyal supporters. It is a great honour for the school that thirty-one ex-students contribute each day to the school as members of staff. This is testimony to the high regard that Richmond School is held in by so many, not only for being a wonderful and successful place to study, but playing such an important part in students’ lives.”

Naomi Robertson is an alumna who is very keen to support students. Naomi graduated with a first class honours in Fashion Design, specialising in textiles and specifically knitwear. Naomi was an award-winning student who is now Womenswear Knitwear Designer at River Island. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Naomi is furloughed and has returned to Richmond. While at home, she is supporting the community, using her design talents to create bespoke hand-embroidered T-shirts. She is selling the T-shirts in aid of MIND to help the charity to give much-valued support to people during these challenging times. Naomi said: “There is a very strong sense of community in the current climate and it is more important than ever to offer support to others. Coming back to Richmond has made me think a lot about my schooling, how my skills and learning have developed and how I may be able to help younger students who are making decisions about their career paths.   I am really looking forward to giving something back to Richmond School, who helped shape the person I am today.”

For younger alumni, being a mentor and supporting students can be beneficial for their own personal development and it enhances their communication and leadership skills. The school also recognises the wealth of expertise and talent of the alumni, by sharing their profiles with students and the wider community through features in their newsletter and marketing.

To register to become a member of the Richmond School Alumni or a friend of the school visit https://www.richmondschool.net/about-us/alumni/