Hear from Our Pupils
We took the time to catch up with some of our Year 7 and 8 pupils, alongside those who recently completed their GCSE's, to find out more about their experience at Bishop Douglass.
Shaun, Christ the King Alumni, Year 7
“I applied to Bishop Douglass because I had a really good experience of the school when I was in Year 5 and 6, in primary school. I came to the school for a Football Tournament, which was brilliant fun! It was the first time I had visited a secondary school, and we had the chance to take part in competitions against lots of different schools, on a fantastic pitch. I then decided I wanted to come to the Open Evening, and had a great time taking part in all of the fun taster lessons. Everyone was really friendly and welcoming, and my family agreed.
For me, the biggest difference was the change in learning environment. We have different classrooms and teachers for each lesson, however it is exciting and fun, and it helps to prepare me for the future by encouraging me to be independent, and show me what life at work and university will be like. Although starting secondary school was initially daunting, I felt prepared, because the school put on lots of exciting events like Induction Day and Summer School which helped me to make friends before I started – definitely a highlight!
I am looking forward to the next six years at Bishop Douglass. I am looking forward to my GCSEs and A Levels, choosing the subjects I want to study, thinking about the future and celebrating on results day. I have dreams of being a footballer when I am older, and taking part in the clubs and competitions on offer here will help me. So far, I have learnt the value of being a good sportsman and team player, learning the importance of constructive criticism. I can’t wait to see what I will learn next!”
Zuzana, St Theresa’s Alumni, Year 7
Zuzana joined Bishop Douglass in September 2022, following in her siblings’ footsteps. Her brother spoke highly of his experience at Bishop Douglass and her family agreed, citing the good memories made, new experiences and excellent progress.
Praising the transition programme for helping her to settle in and feel comfortable quickly, Zuzana speaks fondly of her first few weeks at Bishop Douglass. And now she is almost ready to begin Year 8, she has begun thinking about her future. With ambitions to become a teacher herself, Zuzana is confident that her teachers at Bishop Douglass will support her every step of the way. Whilst she comments that she doesn’t mind the increase in homework as she is enjoying her new subjects, she says she might join Homework Club to get a little extra guidance from her teachers!
“My favourite subject is Drama, because it has helped to develop my confidence and learn new skills, and it is a very interesting, interactive and fun new subject! I look forward to pushing myself further out of my comfort zone by taking part and performing in a school production soon”.
George, Martin Primary School Alumni, Year 7
“Bishop Douglass was my first-choice secondary school. I live very close by, and every day see the students coming and going – they always look so happy and smiling, I was excited to join years ago!
I settled in very quickly in Year 7. I was joined by many friends, made even more new ones and my family have even worked and attended here themselves, so I always knew it was the right fit for me. It really is a community, everyone is so friendly and kind, and I am so happy with my decision. So far, I have already made life-long memories – from taking part in the Lion King as Simba to designing cool creations in DT, it has been so exciting.
There is so much to look forward to. Soon, we have Wider Horizons Week and the Summer Fair. Two amazing opportunities to try new things, learn new skills and meet new people. I really would recommend this school to everyone. I would like to be an actor when I am older, and I know I can achieve it here. The alumni are so impressive, the teachers are subject specialists and the option to do GCSE Drama will help me accomplish this. As my teachers would say – here, the world is my oyster!”
Georgia, St Joseph’s Alumni, Year 7
One of the few students to join Bishop Douglass from her primary school, Georgia was at first, nervous about starting Year 7. However, her concerns were quickly alleviated, as she embarked on our highly-regarded transition programme and experienced the warm and welcoming community for herself. Very quickly, she forged life-long friendships, build strong relationships with her teachers and was a firm member of the Bishop Douglass community.
With ambitions of becoming an illustrator, Georgia praises her teachers in helping her to achieve her goals by inspiring her, showing her how to achieve her goals, identifying opportunities and establishing clubs that will help her gain the knowledge and experience she needs.
“The transition programme really helped me to settle in and prepare for secondary school. From taster sessions and events to induction information and Summer School, I was ready in September for my next chapter. Belonging to this new community has been a really exciting experience, and achieving my goals too – get the highest grades I could, joining new clubs, becoming Prefect, School Council and Bertha Earth Ambassador, all of these I am so proud of. I take great joy in effecting positive change and exploring my passions, and that is exactly what this school has helped me to do”.
Deborah, Tudor Primary School Alumni, Year 7
“Lots of family and friends told me that Bishop Douglass was a good school, but it was only when I came to Open Evening did I understand what they meant. I felt so reassured, after learning all about the events and activities they put in place whilst we are still in Year 6, to help us settle in. I felt really comfortable and happy after this, and knew Bishop Douglass was where I wanted to go.
I have really enjoyed my experience so far. I have joined new clubs and taken part in shows and tournaments (Chess and Musical Theatre!) and soon, will be going to Wales to visit Jamie’s Farm, to learn more about animals and sustainable farming, with Bertha Earth. Everyone always talks about Wider Horizons Week, which I am really looking forward to, and all of the experiences on offer to ‘learn outside the classroom’. After two years during the pandemic of not having the chance for these types of experiences, I am certainly making up for it now!
Another highlight has been the new learning environment and resources – we can cook in huge kitchens, wear white lab coats and do real experiments and talk to someone about our career ambitions. I plan to go to University to study Astrophysics, and I know my teachers will help me achieve this by identifying and working on my strengths”.
Malik, Bell Lane Primary School Alumni, Year 8
“To me, Bishop Douglass is extraordinary. From the moment I first visited, I knew that it was an open, friendly and welcoming school, where the students are nice (even the older ones!) and the teachers are helpful.
My favourite subject is PE. I know the importance of staying fit and healthy and making good choices, and PE has taught me that. It has also introduced me to Martial Arts, which I am now incredibly passionate about and hope to make a career of one day. Either that or acting – playing Tweedledum in the school production of Alice in Wonderland was fantastic fun – I have a tough decision on my hands!
Everyone always talks about the fantastic extra-curricular opportunities we have at Bishop Douglass, even people from other schools. I can’t wait for Wider Horizons Week again, and to take part in more sports competitions against other schools. I would recommend Bishop Douglass for sure – it is one of a kind”.
Alex, Bell Lane Primary School Alumni, Year 8
“Going to the Bishop Douglass Open Evening was my mum’s idea – she had heard great things about the school from the website and our family, and after the event, I agreed. I am now in my second year, and would recommend the school to anyone who will listen! Pupils get excellent exam results, go on to achieve their dreams, have fun, there are fantastic teachers and lots of clubs to choose from.
After university, I would like to work in IT as a programmer. I think that I will achieve my ambition, because I have had meetings with a Careers Advisor, who has helped me to establish a pathway. I have identified what I need to work on further, the grades and experiences I should achieve and how my strengths can help me to stand out for the crowd”.
Alex, Summerside Primary School Alumni, Year 8
“My older brother and sister came to both Bishop Douglass School and Sixth Form, and had a great experience. For me, there was no question I would come here, I wanted to have everything they spoke so highly of and enjoyed.
The start of Year 7 was hectic, but great fun. I knew many of my peers quite well already thanks to the Transition Programme, so I settled in quickly, and soon enough I was winning awards for my hard work and effort in lessons, which really encouraged and inspired me. The teachers really want the best for us, always searching for ways to make lessons exciting and engaging, trips to help us apply our learning in the real world and clubs to explore our hobbies. I look forward to continuing this journey and choosing my GCSE subjects soon – the next adventure!”
Wiktoria, Park Field Primary School Alumni, Year 8
Recommended Bishop Douglass by friends and family, Wiktoria comments on the joy and fun she experienced in her first year, and from the moment she first came to the school for open evening.
“I have loved my experience of secondary school so far, I settled in so quickly that I stopped feeling new pretty quickly! I was worried about making friends but had nothing to be concerned about. The whole experience has been exciting, everyone is friendly and there is so much fun to be had; I have already taken part in Football competitions and Debate Mate, which has helped to develop my confidence and other skills, which is excellent preparation for university. This year, I have decided that I want to pursue a career in aviation, as an Air Hostess. The idea of travelling the world and exploring new cultures whilst putting my newly learnt First Aid skills to the test (- or hopefully not!) feels incredibly rewarding.
I really enjoy all my subjects, because I can tell that the teachers care about our future, and enjoy teaching the subjects. Here, everyone is respected as an equal, it is a happy place to be and the sense of community is strong. We all care for one another. My advice for younger students would be to take advantage of every opportunity to learn, have fun, develop new skills and be ready for the future. Find something you are passionate about and explore it – I can’t wait to learn more”.
Marc Vincent, St Vincent’s Primary School Alumni, Year 8
Inspired at Open Evening by the sheer vastness of our Enrichment Programme, Marc has not held back when it comes to exploring our extra-curricular offer. Already a firm member of numbers sports clubs alongside History and Musical Theatre, Marc is passionate about trying new things and making memories.
“Everyone spoke about how big the change was between primary and secondary school, however I felt safe and happy the moment I was offered a place here. My favourite subject is PE, as it helps me keep active, retain positive mental wellbeing and learn new skills, however my future career lies in Architecture. I think that it is the perfect fit for me, using a mix of my favourite subjects – art, history, maths, science and a broad range of skills I will gain from joining clubs and work experience placements. My teachers are already helping me to prepare for this, by teaching me about university, what knowledge and skills I need and helping me to understand that being challenged is good – if I get something wrong it isn’t negative, as it just means I learn something new.
During my seven years at Bishop Douglass, I hope to experience many new things. First and foremost, school life with my friends, creating memories and lifelong friendships. I want to attend Sixth Form here and have prom, embark on the Duke of Edinburgh to gain new prospects and take advantage of Wider Horizons Week – visits to museums and parks, exploring London, team building – bring it on!”
Carolina, Chalgrove Primary School Alumni, Year 8
“Attending a Catholic School was really important to me, as not only is my faith important, but I know that they have an excellent track record in helping students achieve their ambitions. Once I visited for Open Evening, I knew that Bishop Douglass would achieve this for me, and more.
My transition into secondary education was smooth and supported, teachers were very patient and kind, I made friends easily and staff helped us to settle in to the new styles of learning – something which at first felt difficult, but now is my favourite part of secondary school. My favourite subject is Art, I really enjoy that it helps me to be expressive whilst learning, and I have since joined Art Club to take this one step further.
There is a real emphasis on success and excellence here. Not only in our studies (although important!) but all aspects of our lives. If we need extra support with our learning, teachers go above and beyond after school and on weekends. There are so many clubs for pupils to learn new skills and hobbies, and a focus on careers education to make sure we are well informed about our decision. I haven’t made up my mind about what I want to do when I am older, however I know that the careers advisor, careers fair, work experience and guest speaker opportunities will open my eyes to the possibilities”.
A former pupil of Salisbury Primary School, Ilea is celebrating exceptional results including 9999999998D2 in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, English Language and Literature, Drama, RE, History, French and Sports. With plans to return to the Bishop Douglass Sixth Form, he commented:
“The teachers at Bishop Douglass go above and beyond – they are always willing to provide the time and resources needed to help you succeed, including revision sessions and extra materials to support learning at home. Always take up on the opportunities offered, they are incredibly worthwhile.”
Former Wessex Gardens pupil, Chukwuemeka has ambitions of becoming a Financial Analyst and is well placed to achieve his dreams as he attained impressive grades of 999988888D27 in Chemistry, Maths, Geography, RE, Spanish, Biology, Media Studies, English Literature and Language, Sport and Physics. He looks forward to returning to the Sixth Form in September, to study Chemistry, Maths and Economics. Of his experience with us, he commented:
“All members of staff care about each student as an individual, taking into account our capabilities and needs, and this nurturing approach and environment has really contributed to my success. I have been given a lot of guidance and support as to how to reach my goal of becoming a Financial Analyst, and I am glad that I have made the first steps to achieve this.”
Estefania achieved 9999888887 in Chemistry, History, Maths, Spanish, English Literature and Language, Art, Physics, Biology and Drama. We look forward to welcoming her back to the Bishop Douglass Sixth Form in September, before embarking on a degree in Chemistry at university.
“Whilst studying for my GCSEs, my teachers have built my confidence and I am grateful for all their advice and guidance. They have provided me with the work ethic and discipline to succeed, which I will carry forward when in Sixth Form and later in life.”
St Marys Primary School alumni Iona is thrilled with her achievements of 999877777 in Music, Maths, Triple Science, Spanish, Geography, English Literature and Language. With future ambitions of attending university to read Meteorology, she credits her supportive teachers in enabling her to achieve her successes.
"My whole experience over the last few years at Bishop Douglass has been incredible. Teachers have been inspiring, making our chosen subject lessons so interesting and finding a passion in you and helping to develop it through experiences and opportunities outside the classroom and in all the different clubs. I am really looking forward to continue studying at the Bishop Douglass Sixth Form.”
Gabriella (Our Lady of Grace) has secured an impressive 8877777777 in Maths, RE, English literature and Language, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Drama and French. She praises the ongoing support and experiences offered by the school, which attributes to her success.
"My advice to younger students would be to take advantage of every opportunity the school throws at you. Whether it’s a career talk or trip to visit a university or making use of ongoing support and resources or additional revision classes, everything is put in place to help you succeed and achieve the goals you have set yourself. My whole learning experience felt very personalised to me and my needs, and that’s a result of our teachers who went above and beyond –nothing was ever too much trouble.”
Victoria (Our Lady of Grace) celebrates outstanding results of 999998888 in Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, French, English Literature and Language, RE, History and Drama. With plans to attend university to study Criminal Psychology and a career in police forensics, we are incredibly proud of her achievements today.
“Bishop Douglass has helped me to achieve my goals by providing me with a lot of resources, such as study materials, support, revision sessions and more. Teachers know us all really well and so know how we learn best, which meant we all were able to take advantage of a personalised revision programme which suited us individually. I would like to thank all of my teachers for their never-ending sense of care and support at every stage of my GCSEs.”
With 999999888 under her belt, Malgorzata, St Margaret Clitherow alumni looks forward to studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths at college, before progressing to an Oxbridge university to study Medicine. Crediting her teachers for their support, she commented:
“The teachers at Bishop Douglass have empowered me to set my goals high, to strive to achieve what I thought was only possible in my wildest dreams! But with their encouragement and support, I felt confident to pursue them. My advice to Bishop Douglass students embarking on their GCSEs would be to take on board all the advice from staff -they have your best interests at heart and are dedicated to preparing you not only for your GCSEs, but the next steps too.”
Former Tudor Primary School pupil Iuliana achieved fantastic results across the board including: 9998888777M2 in Media Studies, English Language, French, English Literature, Maths, Geography, Double Science, Drama and RE. Iuliana is an ambitious and driven student, with aspirations to repeat her successes at the Bishop Douglass Sixth Form before embarking on a career in marketing.
“This year has been incredibly difficult with remote learning and school closures minimising our face-to-face contact with teachers and the opportunities to engage in group revision. Despite this, I still received the highest standard of teaching, endless opportunities to engage 1:1 with teachers and a lot of support.”
St Mary’s Priory School alumni Toni Rose is an active member of the Bishop Douglass school community, holding the title of School Prefect and Council Representative. Celebrating impressive grades of 99888777 in Music, English Literature, English Language, Geography, Drama, French, RE and Combined Science. She commented:
“I am so grateful to the school and my teachers for offering a personalised learning experience. From teaching us how to revise effectively, providing creative outlets in the enrichment clubs and evening study classes, the efforts of my teachers have enabled my success. I look forward to returning to Bishop Douglass for Sixth Form in September and progressing on to a top university where I will study law and work for a Magic Circle Firm.”
With ambitions to attend Kings College London in the future, Aruk (Bell Lane Primary School) has laid the foundations for her success at Bishop Douglass. Securing fantastic results of 999999887M2 in English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, History, RE, Drama, Physics, Art and Sport, she advises all younger students to always try your best – and listen to teachers’ advice!
“The teachers build a strong relationship with each student which leaves a long lasting positive impact. The advice I would give to future students would be to revise efficiently, work hard and stay composed.”
TaraTara joined Bishop Douglass in Year 7 from Tudor School and has achieved outstanding success whilst with us. She has attained 9998888887 in Combined Science, Maths, English Language and Literature, Business, RE, History, Drama and Spanish. She looks forward to returning to Bishop Douglass in September to study Maths, Biology and Chemistry and to go on to study Medicine at university.
“Bishop Douglass has been integral to my success - supporting me in my studies, always keeping me motivated, encouraging me to revise and teaching me the best techniques and styles of learning. I would recommend the school to anyone who wants to succeed and develop into an independent and confident adult.”