A welcome from Head of College, Vicky Chambers

Welcome to Mirfield College, I’m Vicky Chambers and have been Head of College for the last 13 years. I’ve seen lots of changes over this time notably the increase in college facilities, classrooms, study spaces and work rooms alongside the move to new linear A Levels and BTECs. Our student cohorts are always amazing, and each year bring new character and talent for our subject specialists’ staff to inspire to the next step in their journey.

On a daily basis I work closely with our experienced College Team to ensure all of our students make progress academically, but also as an individual. During this time of “lockdown” we have worked tirelessly together to ensure our College students have suitable resources and activities so that they can make progress in their studies and also that their wellbeing is supported. We are also finalising transition plans to ensure that our new Y12 cohort are prepared and progress into Further Education easily after such a significant period of time at home.

I look forward welcoming, meeting and getting to know our new Year 12 students and welcoming back our Year 13 students. As we introduce our blog to you, we thought it would be a great idea to introduce you to the Mirfield College team. When you join our college in September, you will see these friendly faces around the campus.

Rob Fryer – Deputy Head of College / Year 12 Achievement Co-ordinator

Hi everyone. My name is Rob Fryer and I am Deputy Head of College. I teach PE in lower school as well as teaching some elements of the BTEC Sport course in college. I played rugby most of my life but just like to keep fit now by running and walking. I will also be the Achievement Co-ordinator for Year 12 from September. I am excited about meeting you all and getting to know you individually. The transition from Year 11 to Year 12 can be tough but I can ensure you that we will support you every step of the way. My door is always open for you to come and have a chat if you need anything throughout your time in college.

Kate Walker – Year 13 Achievement Co-ordinator

My name is Kate Walker and I am the Year 12 Achievement Co-ordinator at Mirfield College. I also teach Criminology and Law. After studying Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Sheffield I worked for the Crown Prosecution Service before deciding to become a teacher. I spent some time working in France before completing my training at York St John University.

When I am not teaching, I am a big fan of the escapism of reading and going to the cinema, as well as spending time with my friends and family, especially my two-year-old nephew who is my favourite person in the world. I value kindness, trustworthiness and integrity in people. The thing I love the most about my job is seeing students become passionate about the same things I am. I also have a lot of experience in supporting students through difficult times. My door is always open!

Cat Edwards 

I’m Cat Edwards and am thrilled to be joining the Mirfield College team this September!  I have spent the last 10 years as an Achievement Coordinator in The MFG and have loved taking three year groups through their Year 11 exams.  I especially loved my last year group who, like all Year 11’s in 2020, have had their school lives cut unexpectedly short.  I am joining the College team to help with the transition from Year 11 to Year 12.   I hope to support all students to get the most out of what this great college has to offer, especially in the first weeks and months of Year 12.  My passion is getting to know each student as an individual.  It is only then that we can really start to support students to reach their absolute potential and help them on to their next steps.  I teach Drama and Theatre Studies and love getting as many college students as possible involved in our annual productions.  To me, enrichment and being a valued member of college life goes hand in hand with academic success.  I can’t wait to meet the new Year 12’s in September!

Rebecca Smith-Longman

Hello, I’m Rebecca Smith-Longman and I am a Lead Practitioner and KS5 Co-Ordinator at Mirfield College. As an experienced A-Level English teacher, I have worked in different schools and colleges over the last 12 years, but Mirfield College is different…it’s unique and very special.  We see every student as an individual- not just a number. We pride ourselves upon giving our students a personalised and bespoke learning experience- something you won’t find elsewhere. This allows us to cater to you and your personal goals- even when you might be doubting yourself! This means you may achieve a great deal more than you ever thought you could from your College experience, which I think is our real selling point.

Personally, I love to travel the world. I enjoy nothing more than exploring different countries and cultures, listening to their music and trying all their amazing food! I am really looking forward to meeting all our new students and being able to show them exactly what Mirfield College has to offer.

Tracy Denham – Student Support Officer

Hi, my name is Tracy Denham and I have worked at Mirfield College for 13 years supporting students to achieve their best. Our support is fantastic, and I help students to understand the step up to level 3 study. I quite often meet with students and parents to find a way forward to guide students to achieve their target grades. To help with time management and attending lessons.

I also distribute the 16-19 Bursary fund which is a government fund to help students whose family are on a low income. This ensures some students get financial help to go towards the cost of their studies.

In my free time I have two dogs, Zac and Frank, who I take on long walks locally and in the Lake District. I climb mountains and Helvellyn Stiding Edge is one of my biggest achievements.

Kate Cryer – Recruitment, Marketing and Events Manager

My role at the college is Recruitment, Marketing and Events Manager. I am responsible for marketing our college, hosting fantastic events and meeting lots of prospective students to talk about what we have to offer. You will see me around college taking pictures, setting up events and chatting to our students about opportunities for them to get involved.

When I’m not at work, I love all things fashion, travel and animals, in particular, my dog Louis!

Kelly Barron – Recruitment & Retention Officer and College First Aider

I have been working at Mirfield College since June 2019. My role is split into two areas, attendance and supporting the marketing lead. I am the attendance officer for Year 12 and Year 13, responsible for the monitoring and recording of student attendance and punctuality. The other part of my role at Mirfield College is to support the Marketing Lead, this includes collecting data, dealing with new applications and helping to prepare and set up College events. As well as this I am the designated College First Aider and offer administration support to the Head of College and the College team.

I studied Legal and Social Studies at the University of Napier in Edinburgh before travelling and spending time working as a Divemaster in Thailand. I have always enjoyed travelling, after leaving Thailand I spent time in Australia, Edinburgh and Dublin before coming to Yorkshire.

Catherine Hinchliffe – Senior Learning Mentor

My name is Catherine Hinchliffe and I am the Senior Learning Mentor in Mirfield College. My main role is to support students through all aspects of College life. I am based in the Silent Study area so you will find me there most of the time, at other times I will be supervising the study area in the LRC. My other role in College is the UCAS Co-ordinator which means I support students all through the University application process, which is a role I really enjoy.

Outside of College my main interest is watching sport, particularly rugby and cricket. I’m also an avid reader, in particular true crime books. I look forward to working with you through the next couple of years.

Emma Fox – Learning Mentor

My name is Emma Fox and I am a Learning Mentor at Mirfield College. I have worked in education for over 10 years now, taking on a number of roles from teaching to mentoring. I am passionate about seeing students thrive on their learning journey as they take steps towards their future aspirations.

Outside of work I enjoy travelling, walking and developing my creativity through crafts, gardening and baking. I am looking forward to getting to know you and supporting you to succeed in your studies.

Tessa Lawson – Learning Mentor

I am a Learning Mentor and my specialism is in Science and access arrangements for exams – such as extra time for special educational needs or helping those that suffer from anxiety. However, part of my role means that I am here to aid your study, so this can be helping with organisation, revision or time management. I enjoy my role within the college because it allows me the opportunity to help you as college students and to prepare you for your next steps.

In my spare time, I enjoy getting creative, so you will regularly overhear me talking about my latest baking recipe or sewing project. I like to wind down by watching TV and so will always welcome any new suggestions for things to watch.

Martin Bowers – Careers Advice Officer

I have recently joined Mirfield College after 18 years working as a Director at a global recruitment company. This experience has given me in-depth knowledge of various career sectors and a strong network of local business contacts. Notable sectors include Architecture, Interior Design, Construction, Engineering, Accountancy and Sales. In my previous role I advised professionals on successfully navigating the recruitment process, including finding job opportunities, CVs, Application forms, Interviews, Networking, Assessments and Presentations.

I’d like to think I am friendly, approachable, a good listener and happy to help wherever I can. My door is always open and there is no such thing as a silly question. Feel free to pop in and say hello anytime.

Elaine Mawhinney – Careers Advisor

As a Careers Adviser with over 20 years experience of working in various schools and different settings, I have worked tirelessly to support young people with their career aspirations and have continuously sought to raise the profile of careers learning. I am thrilled to see how careers has recently developed to include a whole range of activities and strategies both inside the classroom and out. Careers is now seen as a whole school approach and the MFG recognises that careers education and guidance is a vital component for school improvement and that pupils are more motivated when they know what they want to do with their lives. Ensuring that all students have access to high quality careers education, information, advice and guidance is key and by working together we can support students to reach their true potential and achieve great things.