Ben Ruewell - Class of 2017
I attended Cove School between the years 2012 and 2017. During my time at Cove I enjoyed many subjects including Drama, History and Music. If I would give some advice to my younger self it would be to not worry as much, everything will go smoothly and unnecessary worry is pointless.
When I finished Cove I went on to do Medieval History, English Language and Drama at Farnborough Sixth Form college where I gained two A's and a B. I always knew university was the only option for me so when the time came I was very excited.
I currently study at the University of Northampton doing a joint degree in History and Drama. A joint degree has its challenges however it is so much fun to study my two passions alongside each other. University has brought me many opportunities, one of the most exciting is that I was one of six participants in a competition for playwriting. I wrote my own short play and sent it off to New York City to be viewed by a theatre company who wanted some aspiring writers. As well as this I have also performed in the drama departments own written plays, playing wacky characters such as a scarecrow and a puppeteer for a weather reporting mannequin.
I graduate in 2022 and hope to swiftly move into a teaching pathway to teach either Drama or History, other pathways I have considered include journalism and editing.
If I would give advice to current students at cove school now, it would be to appreciate everything you have in the moment because you never know what the future holds.
Oliver Brookland - Class of 2014
My time at Cove School was a real eye-opener for me. I started Year 7 in 2009, being just one of two people to move to Cove from the Primary School I had attended and knowing only three others in total in my year group when I started. I eventually adjusted to the huge step up in surroundings - For comparison, my former Primary school had held just 314 pupils - and forged many good friendships during my five years there. I was also privileged to meet a number of teachers who left a profound impression on me, regardless of whether I excelled at their subjects or not, and remain important influences in my life even now. English and History were my two strongest subjects, but I also enjoyed Maths, Geography and French. I eventually left in 2014 having achieved three A’s, two B’s and two C’s at GCSE.
I knew fairly early on that Farnborough Sixth Form college was going to be the next step in my career. I had left Cove with no real idea of where I wanted to be in the long-term, but I knew that I was particularly good at subjects which required discussion, debate, and writing. I therefore decided to study A-Levels in Government and Politics, Modern History, and Sociology. I also took an AS in French but discontinued the subject after a year. The first few months of Sixth Form were daunting and it took a while to adapt to the huge increase in workload both within the college and at home. However, I was once again lucky to have a selection of tutors who were always willing to help and give pointers in the right direction.
It was around this time that I realised I wanted to go to university, and though I had not specifically decided on what to study early on, I knew it would be to do with Politics. Within weeks, it had become my favourite subject at Sixth Form, despite it being the last one I had actually given consideration to when picking my options as I had previously held little to no interest in political affairs. Finally knowing what I wanted to achieve was a massive help, and I left Farnborough in June 2016 with two A’s and a C, allowing me to study Politics & International Relations at the University of the West of England, Bristol.
The first year of University was a challenge, and despite achieving a place on the Dean’s List, I debated whether I really wanted to continue at the end of it. However, I stuck at it, and it proved to be the right decision. My second year was a major improvement, and by the end of my third year, I had achieved my ultimate aim of a first-class degree, graduating in July 2019. My dissertation project, in which I opted to study the policies behind safety at British sports stadiums brought about as a result of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in 1989, played a huge part in this achievement. The task of writing 10,000 words on anything is daunting enough, but eventually the ability to research and write fluently, especially on something which interests you, comes naturally. The studies, though, were just one part of the overall experience, and I remain in close contact with a number of the people I met, many of whom I now consider to be my closest friends. In the future, and in a post-COVID world, I would like to use my achievements to progress into a job specialising in political research or the business behind British sport.
Advice I would give to my younger self - Don’t commit yourself in your head to any decisions on where you want to go in life too early. Eventually, everything works out and for good reason. Do not set out to achieve everything on your own either. There are always others around you willing to help and set you on the right path.
India Dear - Class of 2014
I finished my BA English degree at Bournemouth University in 2020 (received a high 2:1). During this degree I completed fairly traditional modules such as Victorian literature and feminist literature, however I also completed modules such as creative writing, editing and publishing, marketing, media and journalism; making it quite a modern English degree which I really valued. I also loved the university itself and the social aspects to the experience, making life-long best friends! During this time I also completed a year-long placement at a local secondary school where I worked as a supporting teaching and worked closely with SEN students. This experience gave me valuable skills and memories that I will cherish forever.
I am now currently doing a masters degree in ‘Consumption, Culture and Marketing’ at Royal Holloway University of London. This degree essentially combines marketing and sociology and is a year long course which ends in September. I am really enjoying this degree and have already learned so much, but I am excited to finish and start my career. Another perk is that I got to make use of the beautiful campus (It looks a bit like Hogwarts).
Ivana Lukacova - Class of 2014
I attended Cove school from 2010 until 2014. I started my journey in Year 8, having just moved from Slovakia. Throughout my time at Cove, and after I left, I knew exactly what path I wanted to take. I went on to study Psychology, Sociology and Modern History at Farnborough Sixth Form College.
Upon successful completion of my A-Levels, I went on to study BSc Psychology at University. Throughout my time at University, I met so many wonderful people who are now friends for life, but I also narrowed down exactly what ‘type’ of Psychology I wanted to study. I did this by gaining a variety of work experience, such as volunteering at a medium-security male prison, working as a Samaritans volunteer, and also working as a research assistant.
After I completed my Undergraduate degree, I went on to study MSc Health Psychology. This was a one year course, and I finished in September 2020. Throughout my master’s studies I worked as a Shout text-line volunteer, and a Psychology tutor for college and Undergraduate students. My final research project was chosen for publication, and is currently being peer reviewed, ready to be published in late 2021.
I currently work as an Adult Speech & Language Therapy Assistant at my local NHS Trust, hoping to gain enough experience before applying for a Doctorate in Health Psychology. I also volunteer for the Shout text-line, which is a helpline in the UK providing 24/7 support for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis.
The advice I would give is to not be afraid of what you want. Even if your closest friends don’t have any idea about what they may want to do, don’t be embarrassed if you know what path you want to take. Go after it! But it’s equally important to remember that there is no shame in not knowing. You have your entire life to decide on your path, and you can change the decision however many times you like. Nothing is set in stone. Follow your heart and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Toby McManners - Class of 2014
At Cove School I didn't know what I wanted to do, that is normal. Cove showed me what I am good at. It turns out I was decent at Maths, Science and Persuasive Language. I also wanted to be rich...
I picked up Maths, Science and Economics for A-levels. I studied Economics at the University of Exeter. Then I joined UBS Swiss Investment Bank.
I now work at UBS in the Equities Market Risk team and my job is to make sure we don't lose money.
I analyse the stock markets under pressure and live for it.
In my spare time I like to beat my Cove School friends at football and I also go running.
Advice I would give my younger self ....... Even if you don't get something the first time you will have learnt a lot trying. Do it again and the penny will drop this time. Don't give up.
Emily Patterson - Class of 2014
My name is Emily Patterson and I attended Cove School between the years 2009 and 2014. During my time at school I loved Maths, History and Geography. But more importantly I loved seeing my friends every day. My advice would be to not take this for granted and enjoy every minute with your friends at school.
After leaving Cove, I then went on to study Psychology, Maths and Business Studies at Farnborough Sixth Form. This sparked my interest in Psychology… which I had never even heard of before deciding to study it at college. In 2020, I graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Social Psychology. I also completed a year-long placement at Virgin Media during my time at university.
I am now working for Surrey Police in a small project team. In my spare time I enjoy going for walks, riding my bike, reading and going out socialising with friends. I would like to go travelling for a few months when I am able to. There is no rush to start or decide on your career, so do not put any pressure on yourself decide exactly what you want to do now!
Lucy Rogers - Class of 2014
Like many other young adults, I left school having no clue what I wanted to do! I went to Sixth Form College to do Tudor History, Religious Studies and Classical Civilisation with the intention of going to university because that's what I was encouraged to do by my tutors, however, I decided that university was not for me and headed into an Apprenticeship in Accountancy.
I am now working for Azets, a European finance company, working towards completing my Chartered Accountant exams.
Since leaving school I've also had more time to pursue my passion as an Athletics Official and I was lucky enough to be an official at the 2017 Athletics World Championships in London.
Advice I would give to my younger self...don't panic if you don't have a plan! Ask lots of questions and arm yourself with all the information you need to make the decision that works best for you. If it doesn't work out, don't worry - there's always a solution and there's plenty of people on hand to help you out!
Joshua Raine - Class of 2012
Since leaving Cove I attended Farnborough Sixth Form College, where I studied Drama and Theatre Studies, Performing Arts, Maths and Biology.
I completed my A levels and did a foundation year in dance and musical theatre. I am now completing my 3rd year of my BA (Hons) degree in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre.
My aim is to end up on the West End stage once I graduate in June 2018.
Paige Gibbons - Class of 2011
After leaving Cove in 2011, I studied English Language, Geography, Chemistry and Maths at Farnborough Sixth Form. I always knew I wanted to go to university but was never sure what subject I would study, so I took a broad range of A level subjects.
I really enjoyed English Language at A Level, so went on to study Philosophy and Linguistics at Brasenose College, University of Oxford. I graduated earlier this summer with a 2.1, and am currently preparing to spend half a year living in the French alps. When I get home, I plan to get a place on a graduate scheme in communication/public relations.
Naomi Lynch - Class of 2011
Since leaving Cove I went to Farnborough 6th Form, and left there in 2013 with 5 A levels.
Initially I applied to university to do a Business degree but I was lucky enough to get a contract to play cricket in Australia during the winter. I spent 2 amazing seasons training with semi-professional state team Tasmanian Roar.
Back in England, I continued my love of cricket and was lucky enough to be chosen as Vice Captain of the Hampshire women's team. We were extremely successful, and in 2015 we won Division 3 and subsequently were promoted to Division 2. Following the success of the team, I was then elevated to Women’s Captain for the next two years and this year (2017) we successfully finished top of Division 2, creating history, as the first ever Hampshire Womens Team to play Division 1 county cricket.
Outside of cricket, I am finally getting my degree, but in Sports Science rather than Business! I currently attend the University of Surrey (based at Farnborough Technology College). Alongside my degree I work at St Neot's Preparatory School, where I am training to be a PE teacher. I am head of rounders, girls cricket and hockey. I hope to be a fully qualified teacher by 2019 and return to Australia to play more semi-pro cricket and teach.
Laura Pagett - Class of 2011
When I was in my final year at Cove School I was entirely unsure on what I wanted to do as a career so I focused instead on my favourite subjects, those that I knew I wanted to continue studying. I was really passionate about English Language, geography and learning French. So I went to study all three at Farnborough Sixth Form College including Environmental Studies.
Environmental studies and geography became of particular interest to me and I decided to look at an environmental science course at university open days. I also looked at primary teacher training, as it had always been a potential career in the back of my mind. When I went to an open day at the University of Birmingham I realised that environmental science was too heavily hard-science based for me and even though I had not done sociology or psychology at college, the Education studies course, which included elements of these subjects, began to interest me.
I looked at various Education studies courses around the country including Birmingham, Bath Spa, Brighton and Southampton and applied to all of them through UCAS, which is the website used to apply to university. I decided my favourite was the University of Birmingham and I was lucky enough to get three B's at A Level and they accepted me onto the course, even though I had originally needed ABB.
I graduated from the course with a 2:1 in July 2016 and I am now currently on a General Primary Post Graduate Diploma in Education where I will hopefully receive qualified teaching status at the end of the academic year in June 2017.
I hope to teach primary for as long as I can and hopefully progress to becoming a Headteacher as well at some point in the distant future!
A tip I would give my Year 11 self, is to always keep an open mind when looking around colleges and universities about what will keep the most doors open for you in terms of your career, especially if you don't know what you want to do yet. If you do, then zone in on a course that you know is of high quality and is something you love, irrespective of which university it is at! But most of all enjoy learning while you can as it won't last for too much longer!
Chloë Rogers - Class of 2011
Hello! I'm Chloë and I've just graduated with a degree in Medical Science from the University of Birmingham.
I have had an absolutely incredible three years, working hard but still having time to play sports and get involved in music, like I did at school.
I loved carrying out my own research in a real science lab and I've just gone back to uni to study Medicine. In the future I want to be a doctor, possibly specialising in infectious disease, with an aim to get involved in research again at some point!
Sean Latimer - Class of 2010
I left Cove School in June 2010, with OK results (Hmmmmmmm…!!) Football was always my passion and after a couple of years on the books at Torquay United, I got the opportunity to go to the United States of America to play football or soccer, as they refer to it!
My first college was Bryant & Stratton College in Syracuse, New York. I started there in August 2013 and played for them for two years. I scored 37 goals in 23 games, receiving both the All-American Award and the Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) 2 years in a row.
My time at Bryant & Stratton College gave me the opportunity to move to the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) in August 2015. I have completed 1 year already and am now in my last year due to finish in March 2017.
I have a good first season with 14 goals in 20 games and receiving the All Conference Award. The start to my second season has also gone well, with 4 goals in 4 games so far.
What am I going to do in the future? Well I have been offered the opportunity to go and play and coach in New Zealand, and I probably will.
Sport and hard work and dedication has opened up opportunities to me that I would never have dreamt about. Work hard, listen to those who know what they are talking about and you can go far!
Paul Maunders - Class of 1998
Career: Software engineer, entrepreneur, investor
I first learned to code when I was 8 on a BBC model B microcomputer, while trying to reverse engineer some games. This passion for technology stayed with me throughout my time at Cove, and then after school I went to Farnborough Sixth Form to study Maths, Further Maths and Computing A-levels.
I then decided to take a year out before university to set up an Internet business called Fubra with a friend I had met at college. At the end of the year I could see the business had potential, so I postponed my place at uni indefinitely and then over the next 15 years we went on to build a variety of successful comparison websites in various sectors such as travel - Airport-Parking-Shop.co.uk, property - OurProperty.co.uk, and transportation - PetrolPrices.com.
Along the way we invested some of our profits in helping new startups launch, such as the online accounting system ClearBooks.co.uk and building firm Marble Construction. I also helped my wife and her sister set up Happiful, a company on a mission to create a healthier, happier, more sustainable society which is dedicated to removing the stigma around mental health and to bringing people together and connecting them with help.
I still retain a keen interest in technology, electric cars, and renewable energy, and when I get the chance, I love to go snowboarding and wakeboarding.
Adam Wilson - Class of 1998
Career: Technology business owner & Entrepreneur
When I was at Cove school, I had no idea what I wanted to do for work, I enjoyed sports and technology but was unsure what career path to go down. I always worked hard and was determined to achieve but lacked direction.
Showing my age now, but as the UK Internet broadband service didn’t go live in the UK until after I finished school and was studying IT at Farnborough Sixth Form College, I became more interested in computing.
I finished my A-Levels (Information Technology, Business & Economics and English Language) at Sixth Form and decided to try and pursue a career in motorsport rather than going to university.
After a while and a number of different jobs I realised this wasn’t quite what I wanted and got offered a job by a good friend at a small computer company.
From there I grew my knowledge and interest in all things computing and technology and put a lot of the skills I’d learnt at Sixth form to action.
As the Internet hadn’t been around for that long at this stage, I had a knowledge advantage over others in the work place and always ensured I was the hardest working employee at every job I ever had. I studied a lot outside of work to increase my knowledge and gain relevant qualifications.
After changing jobs but in the same industry I ended up working for a large American company and was based in central London. I travelled the world (with them paying) and learnt invaluable business and life lessons until I decided it was time to setup my own business.
In 2010 a good friend and I setup a business called Intevi. We had no financial loans and started off in a small room with two desks we rented (from the same friend who introduced me to the world of IT in the first place)
We saw year on year growth and expanded our business to having offices in Poland, Spain and even New York with over 50 staff and customers in 60 countries, with sales at over £12M. We worked with companies such as Southampton Football Club, Estee Lauder, V&A Museum, Tesco, Williams F1, ASOS, Deliveroo and more!
In 2019 we were voted one of the 100 fastest growing companies in the UK; https://www.basingstokegazette.co.uk/news/18082375.hook-company-named-amongst-100-fastest-growing-firms-uk/
In 2020 we sold Intevi and formed a much larger technology business which is now over 150 employees (and growing) with an aim to be a £200m+ business by 2026 https://www.aurafutures.com/
I’m happily married with two young children (and a dog) and enjoying working at Aura but also helping smaller start up business as an investor and mentor. I’m still interested in motorsport, technology and more recently renewable energy from a work perspective. Some of the best friends I made at Cove School are still my closet friends to this day!
If you’re currently at Cove school, reading this and you’re unsure what career path to go down or you’re worried that you don’t yet know, my only advice would be is to not worry yet! I had no idea what I wanted to do until well after sixth form and it took me a few jobs that I didn’t enjoy to find out what I really did want.
Choose a career that you are interested in, being happy is extremely important in any career you choose.
Work hard, be the best version of yourself and constantly give 100% to everything you do.
Never give up, if I can do it, you can!
Amanda Cowell - Class of 1997
After leaving Cove School in 1997 I went to Farnborough Sixth Form before going to Oxford University to read law. I graduated in 2002 and took a gap year and taught English in Greece before starting my career in the London office of White & Case. I spent 6 months in the Hong Kong office before qualifying as a solicitor in the litigation team in London. I made partner in 2017 and I am now Head of litigation for London. In terms of achieving my goals, resilience is key, and take responsibility for your own career. Never lose your ambition – work out what you want to do, what the next steps is and how to make it happen. Focus and determination is key. But never, ever try to confirm to what you think others want you to be.
Mr Charles Mortimore MBE - Former Deputy Headteacher at Cove School
It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of former Cove School Deputy Headteacher, Mr Charles (Charlie) Mortimore MBE.
Mr Mortimore taught at Cove School throughout his teaching career and was Deputy Headteacher for a number of years. He taught PE and Geography and retired approximately 25 years ago.
Mr Mortimore had a lifelong involvement in amateur football, which included playing for Aldershot FC, Woking FC and England. He was also Club President at Farnborough Town FC. He was active in organising the Aldershot and District Schools' Football Association. In recognition of his contribution, he received his MBE for services to sport for young people and a 50 years' service to Schools Football medal.