Category Archives: 6th Form

Tony Gallagher Visits Swanlea

On Thursday 31st January year 12 students had the privilege to welcome Tony Gallagher, the editor of The Sun. In a 50-minute session, students were given the opportunity to hear about the career that Mr. Gallagher had chosen and how he got to where he is now, despite his humble beginnings.

Tony Gallagher was faced with some challenging questions provided by sixth form students, who were eager to question his association with a newspaper that generates both acclaim and controversy nationwide. Students agreed that Mr. Gallagher gave comprehensive answers to their questions. He was very astute in his speech and was very skilled at expressing his viewpoints on the matters put forward before him.

Born 2nd November 1963 in Bow, Tony Gallagher came from a working class background. Like many Swanlea students, Mr. Gallagher was brought up in the bustling East End area. It would be quite the understatement to say that Mr. Gallagher had a very illustrious career, which started at Bristol University, where he began his journey as a trainee journalist. In 1990, Gallagher become a reporter for The Daily Mail (one of Britain’s largest newspapers) where he was famed for his exclusive coverages pertaining to Princess Diana. In 2006, 16 years after joining The Daily Mail, Gallagher became head of news at The Daily Telegraph. He progressed from Head of News to Deputy Editor in 2007. In 2009, he was promoted to editor finally relinquishing his role in 2014. In 2015, he finally became the Editor-in-Chief of The Sun.

Students were inspired by Gallagher’s prominent position, despite his background, especially as he did not have friends working in the sector to pull any strings for him! He is the epitome of what you can achieve with hard work and dedication.

Tony Gallagher’s visit to Swanlea was beneficial to us as students as we realise that like Mr Gallagher, we must seize the moment to make an impact whenever an opportunity seems to present itself. All students went away knowing that there was hard work remaining in order for us to achieve our goals but that the reward will be worth the effort!

By Furqan Rashid – Year 12 student



Deloitte Mentoring Launch Event

On Tuesday 5th February, twelve year 12 students met their Deloitte mentors at the Deloitte office at New Street Square. As a part of the programme, each student benefit from one-to one mentoring and coaching.

The launch was very successful and started off with a very entertaining round of Human Bingo to prepare the students and mentors for the evening ahead! Mentors and mentees then introduced each other to the whole group. This gave mentees the opportunity to network and get to know other professionals. After the networking activity, there was a game of “Build a Bridge” using paper, pipe cleaners and cello tape. It was a very competitive game with tense results! The winning team were awarded with a very rare and hard to come by Deloitte branded note book.

Mentees will now be more confident meeting their mentors one to one. As in previous years, we hope that students and mentors build long lasting and supportive professional relationships.

Students who attended the launch commented:

“I was expecting people in grey suits, however the professionals were fun and outgoing and really interesting. I am so eager to learn from them and really appreciate this opportunity. I will make the most of it” – Sayeeda Anisa Begum

“I really enjoyed the launch event. I cannot wait to meet my mentor again” – Basit Alam



Ambassadors of Faith and Belief

Swanlea sixth form students have been participating in the Tower Hamlets’ Ambassadors of Faith and Belief (AFAB) Scheme which supports primary schools to deliver presentations on a range of religious themes. Swanlea students will talk about their own practices and beliefs and explain to primary school children how this affect them in wider society. It is a great opportunity to promote the values of inclusivity within our community. The students are also trained and empowered our with the skills and knowledge needed to deliver high quality presentation skills which will help them in other areas of their academic development.

Below are just a few comments from some of the students involved:

I can honestly say that taking part in AFAB was an unforgettable opportunity.  I am truly grateful I took up this experience. “

I would recommend this experience to anyone who is passionate about teaching, religious education or both! Just imagine how great it would look on your UCAS application!”

Alima Rahman 12W

“Before going to the first training, I felt nervous because I didn’t know how the other people would be like. However, when I arrived at Mowlem Primary School, the leaders of the lesson made me feel welcome and I interacted with other AFAB ambassadors quickly. The leaders taught me numerous new skills needed to be an ambassador, such as guidelines and principle that inform your presentation.  I found how to answer questions in a Q&A session particularly useful, especially as younger students are quite likely to ask challenging and sometimes random questions.

Overall, I am more confident and excited about performing my role as an AFAB ambassador.”

Maisha Giash 12A

The leaders were welcoming, making sure all the AFAB ambassadors felt comfortable and made sure everyone’s opinions and points were heard and equally valued. I’m now looking forward to future sessions and going into primary schools as an AFAB ambassador!”

Maisha Hussain 12A




Sixth Form land Lendlease Interviews!

On Thursday 31st January 2019, 14 Year 12 students had the wonderful opportunity to apply for an amazing placement at Lendlease. The work placement is set to begin on Monday 18th February, for one week.

Lendlease is a leading international property and infrastructure group, specialising in project management, construction and providing services to the government. Their aim is to create and deliver innovative and sustainable property and infrastructure solutions for future generations.

Interested students applied independently, including creating a CV and covering letter. They were interviewed by professionals at Lendlease who then gave them individual feedback on interview technique, CVs and covering letters. Students will find this advice invaluable in future applications.

Such placements are highly competitive and open to other schools. So, we would like to heartily congratulate Hakim Yeaamlikha and Abdi-Fatah Adam for securing their placement. Hakim commented, “It was an opportunity to ask questions and learn about the industry. I was nervous at first, but then realised that there was nothing to worry about.”

Students had a lot to say following the experience, commenting,

“I am glad that I had the opportunity to practise my interview skills. I have learnt the importance of time keeping and allowing enough time to get to my interview 10 MINUTES EARLY!” Abir Reza

“It was an eye opening experience, very informative and I really look forward to the opportunity of working at Lendlease.” Abdi-Fatah Adam






Fearless Futures!

About Fearless Futures

This Peer Power programme is eight weeks long. It supports young female students in Year 12 to develop their knowledge and understanding of gender and connected inequalities. Girls critically engage with the invisibilised and normalised messages which shape their experiences of the world. In addition, they work collaboratively to create a workshop that they deliver to year 8 female students, developing powerful and transformative new ways to lead within their communities.

The programme engages year 12 female students in eight deep experiential learning episodes to:

  • Enhance their critical thinking
  • Develop their meta-cognition through reflecting on the process of learning
  • Build on their confidence and grow their resilience
  • Refine their leadership capacity

We are offering transformational opportunity to 12 year 12 female students again this year.

Quotes from students who took part last year:

Aissatou Djabi

“I enjoyed the Fearless Futures programme because it was so much fun! I found it useful to talk about the struggles that women go through. My favourite part was having open discussions with other members of the group in a female only safe space. I felt that everybody’s opinion was respected. It helped me realise that a lot of the barriers women face are shared and not necessarily spoken about. It allowed me to find confidence within myself to speak openly about the inequalities within society from a gender perspective.”


Amina Ghedda 1

“We were able to have an open dialogue about the barriers that women face in society. My favourite part of the programme was presenting our project work to a group of year 8 girls. This allowed me to overcome my fears in presenting to an audience.”

Hamdi Mohamed

“I realised that being a young woman is not a weakness but a powerful status that helps me to work hard so that I can overcome obstacles.”

Swanlea’s Bursary Winners 2018

Congratulations to the winners of the Swanlea Sixth Form Governors bursaries.

Each year 4 students are awarded £7500 over the duration of their course at University. The winners will have met or exceeded their target grades and secured their places at university. There are 4 bursaries each year in the following categories: BTECs, Sciences, Maths & Humanities.