Jessica-May Smith

I’m here because of the flexibility that Hagley offers. I do full-time dancing and coming to Hagley means that I can complete school as well. Each day is slightly different but I’m here most mornings and then I go to dance. It’s not just flexible in terms of timetable – they’re flexible in terms of approach as well. I’m going to The Ailey School in NY for a summer intensive course – so I’ve been able to organise some time off for that.
All the students are lovely and so friendly – it was easy to settle in, especially within the tutor group. The first day was just spent with them, and we were all new, so it made it easier to get to know everyone. There’s not really big ‘friend groups’ like most schools – here you can just go and talk to people.

I’m dyslexic and the learning support at this school is awesome. There’s quite a few learning support teachers and they all help, but you’re assigned your own support person. They have a special room that you can go to and do your work if you need to – there’s no need to book, you can just go in.

Because of how flexible Hagley is with learning they can help you achieve things that normal schools probably couldn’t help you achieve. Hagley is definitely a place to consider if you work part time or have specialist interests. The fact that it is a community college is actually really helpful – everyone is here because it’s bigger than just school – everyone is here because they’ve got dreams and goals that they want to achieve; they’re here for a purpose.

Hagley for me is somewhere where I feel included and supported in everything that I do.