Why Choose Hutton? By Stuart Mercer and Hannah Lockhart.

Our Year 11 students have a very difficult choice to make this year.

Those Huttonians wishing to study A Level courses are in a particularly unusual and special position compared to others of their age in Preston and the surrounding areas. They are in the unique position of being able to choose whether to stay here at Hutton or move on to one of the larger colleges in the area.
This fortnight’s blog piece comes from two former Huttonians who absolutely loved their time at Hutton VIth Form and wanted to tell us why it is the perfect choice for both current students and those considering applying from other local schools.

We thank Stuart and Hannah for sharing their experiences and we hope you enjoy reading about them. 

Attempting to convey how much I loved my time at Hutton is an incredibly difficult task for me. To say they were the best years of my life would be a colossal understatement. I woke up every single day looking forward to walking through the memorial gates, being greeted by the familiar old buildings which had also housed my brothers, my cousins, my uncles and my Dad before me. I was always happy at Hutton and, in my opinion, there’s nothing more important than happiness when it comes to selecting where to continue your education.

I was happy at Hutton for several reasons. First and foremost, it’s an unbelievably successful school. The grade statistics speak for themselves so there’s no need for me to mention them, but I could write all day about how fantastic the teachers were with all of the students at Hutton. We were treated like adults, which allowed relationships to build which meant there was no disconnect between a teacher and their student. I genuinely viewed most of my teachers as friends who I could trust and talk to if I felt I had a problem with anything during Sixth Form, whether that be my UCAS application, predicted grades or just general work. The level of support students are offered, in particular by the Sixth Form leadership team, Mrs Sissons and Mr Hill, is first class. Hutton isn’t a grades factory, it cares about its people. The teachers have a genuine passion for their subject which rubs off on their students. If it wasn’t for the aforementioned Mr Hill, I wouldn’t be writing this piece in Sheffield whilst preparing for a Politics lecture. In all honesty, I still don’t remember why I chose to study Government & Politics at A Level, but Mr Hill’s contagious enthusiasm got me hooked on the subject and now I’m having the time of my life studying a subject I love at a great University.

In addition to being a great school, Hutton offers you a great social life. Through Hutton, I’ve made friendships which will last a lifetime and memories were made which won’t be forgotten. That might sound rather cliche, but it’s true. I’ve had the pleasure of skiing down Austria’s highest mountain, sampling Sancerre wine in the Loire Valley, walking through a snowy Central Park and perhaps my favourite memory of them all, seeing fifty Huttonians run from pub to pub dressed head to toe in Hutton gear. It’s memories like these that define your time at Sixth Form. Of course, my primary aim was always to achieve the best grades I possibly could and get into the University of Sheffield, but if I wasn’t enjoying myself at the same time I highly doubt that would have been possible. Hutton recognises that and ensures that there’s something for everyone to enjoy throughout the year. We have a brilliant sporting history which has produced England rugby captains, a hugely successful Debating Society, of which I was fortunate enough to be a part of, and literally dozens of other teams or groups which are well supported and are a success every single year.

I think the greatest compliment I can give to Hutton is that I miss it. I’m incredibly happy here in Sheffield and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but Hutton will always hold a special place in my heart. I joined the school as a shy 11 year in 2008 and it helped me grow into the person I am today. I may be biased, but I genuinely believe Hutton Grammar School is the best choice for your A Levels and your general happiness.

Especially due to my family connection, it was a great honour to become a Huttonian, and now, as an Old Huttonian, I’m always keen to promote the school in any way possible because I will be forever in debt to Hutton. In the 7 years I was there, but in particular the final 2, Hutton gave me absolutely everything I’ve ever wanted and I hope one day I’ll be able to give a bit back. I promise you, if you choose to study at Hutton Grammar School you won’t regret it.

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I joined Hutton Sixth form in the September of 2012. Having come from a small, single sex high school. I was looking for a college with the same closeness and intimacy as I had  felt at my high school.

I looked round several of the other larger colleges in the area and felt overwhelmed by the size of the campuses and the classes. I was scared of becoming a number rather than a name but that  worry was soon relieved when I came to Hutton. With small forms and class sizes, I felt I was getting a lot of personal one-to-one time that I wouldn’t have necessarily got in a larger college.

I think a lot of people dismiss sixth forms because they want to move away from a school setting. However, I found staying in the school setting helpful as it gave me structure to my days and allowed me to manage my time effectively, particularly when it came to my free study periods. There was no temptation to wander off into town!

When it came to extra curricular activities and trips, Hutton didn’t disappoint. I was lucky enough to visit London and the Houses of Parliament with my Politics course. With my Drama and English classes, I was also able to watch lots of live theatre which was extremely helpful for my exams.

In my second year of sixth form, I lead the sixth form council which looked great on my personal statement for university and allowed me to get involved in the running of the sixth form. At Hutton, the sixth form leadership is very much open to student opinion, which makes the sixth form building a comfortable environment to socialise and study in.

I was originally unsure about going to university, but with the advice and reassurance I received from senior leadership I decided to apply and I am now in my second year studying an English and History combined honours degree at Manchester Metropolitan. Without the care, support and guidance I received at Hutton, I would not be where I am at now and would recommend Hutton sixth form to anyone!


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