Year 11s receive invaluable Alumni advice.

20 February 2017

5 alumni returned to Penryn College to share advice and experience with current students, during an event organised by Future First and Penryn College’s Work Related Learning coordinator Rachael Bastian.

Current students Caya, Maisy and Naomi with past students from Penryn College

“Future First works to build thriving alumni communities to support current students in state schools across the UK. Former students are relatable role models who can transform a young person’s confidence, motivation and skills” explained Rhiannon, the Programme Officer for Future First in Cornwall.

The two-part event aimed to help year 11s feel more confident about their upcoming GCSE exams and learn more about different careers. It began with an assembly given by the alumni who spoke about their careers and time at Penryn College, including their experience of exams and how their GSCE results impacted their next steps.


“This was a fantastic opportunity for our current students to meet ex-students and hear about possible future pathways. We were delighted to welcome our alumni back into school and hear about their career successes.”

– Rachael Bastian Work Related Learning Coordinator


Students were delighted to hear from Hayley Stanton – Assistant Commissioning Officer at Cornwall Council, Kerra Buchanan – Managing Director of Kerra’s Catering Ltd, Nigel Nicholls – Independent Financial Advisor at FAC Group, Paul Caunter – Director of Ignition Credit PLC and Danny Laity – Chief Petty Officer with The Royal Navy.


“It was great to meet people from outside of school. It helped me with my career choice and helped me see a clear path to follow.”

– Laura, Year 11

Next, students were led through a problem solving workshop using a range of tricky scenarios which could occur either before or after exams. These included issues such as having low motivation, poor organisation or pressure from parents. Together the students and alumni discussed these potential barriers and how they could be overcome. This was also a valuable opportunity for the year 11s to seek specific advice about their own worries and concerns.


“I really enjoyed the session. It helped me see what my future could be like from someone else’s point of view. It gave me a brief idea of what it’s like to be an adult.”

Charlotte, Year 11


 “It was fantastic seeing the Year 11 students discuss the different barriers that they might face over the next few months, and come up with actionable solutions to help them feel more prepared, less pressured and more likely to succeed in their exams.”

Rhiannon Downer, Programme Officer for Future First in Cornwall


Thanks to the forward thinking advice and motivation provided by Penryn College Alumni, current year 11s are now even more prepared for the challenges in their near future and beyond.