Michael McCaskey

I’d been at my last school for quite a while and I was looking for a bit of a change for year 13. We have family friends that went here and we’d heard lots of good things about it, so I decided why not give it a go and I’m really enjoying it.

There’s a different mentality at Hagley to what I’ve experienced anywhere else – here it’s all about personal motivation, you’re choosing to do what you want to do and it’s up to you. The structure is different – the teachers are really helpful, but their focus is on where you are at and what you need. They’re not just shuffling students through, it’s personalised.

It’s a massive tone shift from my last school but it’s worked really well for me. I was looking for a bit more freedom to do what I want and Hagley seemed to just tick all the boxes for me. I’ve found more time to work and focus on my hobbies. I think it’s more similar to what life at university will be like so it’s a really good transition.

I love learning, and there’s so many subjects on offer, but I’ve stuck with the ones that will give me a good foundation for studying engineering at university. I tend to do stuff quite slowly or I choose to do things slightly differently and they’re open to allowing me to take my own approach.

There’s a real mix of people here – they’re far less opinionated and judgmental. I have been persuading some of my friends to come here. Hagley may seem relaxed but you get lots of stuff done. There’s less pressure and there’s such a positive vibe.

It was a big shift – polar opposite – but it was definitely worth it.
Hagley for me is a blast!