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Student Profiles

Student Profiles

Student Profiles

Weronika Hryciuk


Why did you decide to study at ED6?

I moved to the North East from Kent (South East) only a few weeks before I had to join a sixth form, so my decision was purely based on internet research and their websites, after looking at a few what attracted me to East Durham College was the 100% pass success rate and their variety of courses - they had something available for everyone! They had loads of information on their website which was important for me as I was not able to visit, so I could see the videos of previous students sharing their positive experiences, which really convinced me as they were praising the sixth form. I was also drawn to the free bus pass which was a huge life saver for me and meant that I did have to spend a fortune on travelling to and from college, as well as all the facilities they had to offer like the free gym pass, an extensive library with your own free printing credit and small classroom sizes.

What did you enjoy about ED6 and the A levels you studied?

I studied criminology, sociology and psychology and I enjoyed them all because you learned about some really valuable topics that help you look at the world differently and you understand more about how the world works and why certain things happen, so I would really recommend choosing either of those subjects. The lecturers are not only kind, but they are also really helpful and welcoming, and you can go to them if you are struggling which I found to be very useful. I guarantee you will enjoy going to your lessons, as what we do each lesson changes and it can be quite fun especially if you build good relationships with the teachers and other students. I also enjoyed that we were not under a strict timetable except for our lessons, so we did not have to go into college if we didn’t have a lesson; this meant you could have a free day with no lessons to purely do your own revision. Majority of my time at ED6 was spent in lockdowns so I had to learn my A levels online but the lecturers still managed to make sure we understood the content well and were encouraging.

What do you think of starting Nottingham Trent university?

I am starting towards the end of September and I’m certain that I’m going to enjoy it and it’s the right choice for me. I wanted to move to a different city so I could be fully independent and experience a different place and I choose NTU because it is one of the best universities for fashion due to their connections, experience and opportunities and that’s seen in the league tables. I have attended the online open days and the facilities look amazing and I have been told by many others that the social life is one of the best, with the majority of students recommend joining, so I am really excited.

What do you think your long-term career goals are?

At this moment my main goal is to become a fashion buyer for a popular company that I admire and to make a change within the company to push to be more sustainable. During my course I am taking a year long work experience placement as well as attending many trips throughout to Asia, New York, Italy etc where I hope to meet influential people and companies with different visions and cultures and hopefully through that I will find a company suited for me and be offered a job when I graduate. It would take me many years to get to a top senior/ management buyer position, but I am willing to put in the work for that.

What would you say to someone else thinking about joining ED6 Sixth form?

To join! You definitely won’t regret it; you will meet some great people and lecturers that will become your lifelong friends and the facilities and support you’ll receive are unmatched so there really isn’t a reason for going elsewhere. Even people who have left their college to join ED6 have said it was the best decision they’ve made so it’s a no brainer.

Callum Watson

Callum Watson for ED6 Website.jpg

Former ED6er Callum Watson, 18 from Easington Lane, studied at ED6 from 2019-21, joining from the Academy at Shotton Hall here in Peterlee. At ED6, Callum studied Computer Science, Chemistry, Mathematics and Further Mathematics and achieved an incredible A* in all subjects.

Callum will be moving on to study Computer Science at the University of York, and below he reflects on his time with us at East Durham Sixth Form.

Why Did You Decide to Study at ED6?

After visiting a range of top sixth forms in the local area, ED6 has something that none of the others had: a sense of community that I felt on each and every taster or visit. I felt welcomed by the staff, student ambassadors and fellow students. All my questions were answered and I could engage in the sessions fully throughout. 

Amongst those key things, there were lots of additional bonuses that attracted me to the sixth form. The free buses so I would not need to pay to commute, the free gym membership to improve both mental and physical health and wellbeing and the amazing library, careers advice and student union services available.

What did you enjoy about ED6 and the A levels you studied?

One of the main positives that I felt throughout all 4 of my A-Levels was the collaboration and engagement I experienced through the whole lesson. Due to the smaller class sizes, I felt like I knew everyone very well in all of my classes which made it much easier to ask for help, discuss ideas and answers and collaborate on problems. Furthermore, this made the time spent out of lessons much more enjoyable as I then had students in my position to talk to, collaborate on homework or engage in social activities.

My lecturers for my subjects were Dr Wanda Scott, Julie King and Jamie March. They were the most wonderful and supportive lecturers I have ever had. Seeing them 4-10 hours a week meant that lessons needed to be interesting and they never disappointed me with that. Each lesson was well structured and planned so that it was not them just talking to us; I was making notes, collaborating on questions, testing myself, asking questions or making revision resources. Even the homework was interesting as it used this flipped learning structure, having us look at the content before the lesson so it is not as difficult and then reflecting upon it afterwards.Then on occasions, there were more competitive opportunities such as quizzes. Finally, despite the lockdown, managed to teach us a few things outside the syllabus and participate in events with other sixth forms such as the Senior Team Maths Challenge and the UK Bebras Challenge (a Computer Science event).

I even managed to win a Raspberry Pi 4 desktop Computer through a website that Julie showed me which allowed me to do my programming project through lockdown. Another interesting part of the sixth form routine that I grew to enjoy was that the lessons were quite often 2 or 3 hours long, with a break in between of course. This felt much better than the typical full day of 1 hour lessons that I would experience in secondary school. It not only made me feel like more of an adult but helped focus as I would not be constantly moving lessons and allowed for longer lesson activities.

One final point about this is that it would typically mean I either had a full day of lessons, half a day or an independent day, which allowed me to have self-directed study time or group study with classmates in the extensive library and computer facilities. It allowed me to get the majority of homework done at college where I focussed the best, complete practice test questions and make revision resources at points where I was weak.

Then there were ways in which staff supported me outside of lessons. One of my dreams was to make my very own Dungeons and Dragons club here at the sixth form. Through the amazing support of my lecturers and other staff from ED6 such as Charley Armstrong and Adam Sawyers, I managed to secure a room, create posters, advertise it on the college virtual learning environment and this has been the home of around 20 students over the years. Both experienced and new players from all around the college, including other EDC campuses have taken the opportunity to participate in this enrichment activity. Thanks to some funding from the Student Union, last year we even managed to set up a very popular dice shop and our own Instagram page.

Throughout my time at ED6 I have experienced 2 COVID Lockdowns, which led to remote learning. ED6 students and staff showed amazing resilience, adapting to this change at a fast rate. It helped me boost my confidence and encouraged me to get up and engage fully in these sessions. Now, the staff are prepared and have their own online teaching environment if it is ever needed. This change has taught students and staff lots of new skills and we have all come out better from it. Finally, one of my favourite parts of ED6 is the Student Ambassador opportunities. Over my time at the sixth form I have been able to assist at open nights, set up my own club and help in Y11 taster weeks. With most of these I have gained valuable experience which I added to my personal statement along with at least £10 for my time. It allowed me to leave the sixth form a better place than I had found it and truly made my experience more enriching.

What do you think of starting at the University of York then?

At the time of writing this, I have yet to go to University. However, through the sixth form and the careers advice team have helped me get onto lots of programmes to best prepare me for University, such as: Social Mobility Foundation (SMF), York Experience Summer School (YESS), and the YorJourney program. Since I have came from an area of low University Progression and was targeted for exceptionally high grades ED6 helped me get onto these programs which have given me: Mentoring advice, University visits (pre-COVID) and taster sessions, talking to employers, talking to student ambassadors, learning about academic and uni life, contextual offer (lower grades required to get a university offer), practice university assignment and I even managed to win a laptop that I desperately needed to run all of the resource intensive programming IDEs that I will need to use for my Computer Science course.

I now feel really prepared and excited for University and could not have done it without these support networks.

What do you think your long term career goals are?

Currently my career goal is to get somewhere within the digital industry, however throughout the University course I want to find what I truly love about Computer Science. By applying for the year of industry too, this means that my third year will be in a paid job for a year in the Computer Science sector which will help me discover where I want to be. In addition, when I graduate I already have my foot in the door with that company and may be able to pick up where I left off with a graduate job there.

What would you say to someone else thinking about joining ED6 Sixth Form?

There are so many exciting opportunities for you to have in ED6: my advice would be...take them! It could be putting yourself in for the college’s student president, becoming a student rep, becoming a student ambassador, taking on a social action project with some friends, taking on some work experience, creating your own society, joining / becoming a leader in a society, making lots of friends, making use of all of the EDC facilities and of course, getting the grades and qualifications you need to get into your dream University.

Prepare yourself for an amazing unique experience at ED6 where you will become the best version of yourself, ready to enter society or university as a resilient, responsible, resourceful, reasoned and reflective adult ready to take on the world with your amazing achievements and valuable experiences

Kyle Stanforth

UPDATE: Kyle is now a doctor as Newcastle University! Watch him talk about his journey to his amazing career in this video below:

Former ED6 student Kyle Stanforth, 19, from Thornley in County Durham. Kyle studied at ED6 from 2012-14, after joining from Wellfield Community School, and took Biology, Maths, PE and Psychology.

Why did you decide on study at ED6?

At the time ED6 was a newly formed sixth form, so when I joined I knew I was going to be part of the first ever year at ED6, which was really exciting. This heavily influenced my choice as I knew that this meant the staff would work extra hard to ensure the first set of students at ED6 achieved a high pass rate. So that, the fact the College has an amazing sports centre and the recommendations I had gotten from friends, who had previously studied at East Durham College, swung it for me.

What did you enjoy about ED6 and the A levels you studied?

ED6 gave me some of the best years of my life, I loved it there. The other students were the best group anyone could wish to meet, not forgetting the staff too. The staff are some of the friendliest people I have ever met, always seeking to help you out no matter what the circumstances. Of course, at the same time they really push you to achieve the best you can. That’s the mentality that led to me getting good grades but also having a wonderful time. My lecturers were Dr. Avis Mastin, Michael Taylor and Christine Sowerby and I must say, I could not have asked for a better teacher for any of my subjects. If it were not for them, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am now.

The facilities in the College are great. There is a huge library which hosts a large selection of books and computers for when you need to study. When you need to relax there is the ED6 common room, where I spent most of my spare time. The gym is free, which is great as you have the opportunity to go there in your free periods if you wish. The cafeteria is also great with a wide selection of food of a high standard which changes every day - particularly remembering ‘Fishy Friday’ where there would be fish and chips for dinner, loved that!

What do you think of starting at Newcastle University then?

Uni so far has been an amazing experience. It’s hard work but the social life is unbelievable. I would advise anyone who wants to go to uni to come to Newcastle University.

What do you think your long term career goals are?

My next goal is to successfully complete my four years in cellular and molecular biology, then continue on at university in order to get a PhD. Then I would like to go into the research of serious diseases and illnesses, such as cancer. I would also like to become a teacher at some point. We are thrilled you enjoyed your time at ED6.

What would you say to someone else thinking about joining?

Anyone thinking of joining ED6 should not have to think twice about it. ED6 is such a great place to go - I had the greatest time while I was there and I would advise everyone who wants to get a brilliant education, whilst also having an amazing time at college, to go to ED6.