Student Success Stories

R's Story

I am a student at Cedars Academy. I have recently moved there due to my last school. I was bullied because of my disability and often received negative comments. I felt isolated and my only friend was my twin sister. I am happy now that I’ve left and moved to Cedars school.

I now attend Cedars Sports Academy. This is my dream school and I have wanted to attend here since I took part in Kestrels Sports Club. On my trail day I made friends with people almost instantly, everyone saying hello. I felt like I fitted in straight away. The best things about Cedars are having friends, fitting in and not feeling different. There are less pupils in class and more teachers to help with work.

The teachers are more patient and protective and it makes me feel safe. When I talk to teachers I feel like I am talking to them more like a friend. I feel like I trust and I can talk to teachers more. I don’t feel out of place. I don’t feel afraid of looking different with a wheelchair or a walking stick. I now enjoy PE and swimming because I feel part of the crowd, growing more in confidence. Cedars have provided more opportunities for me. The Art classes are taking part in a Juice Festival at the Baltic . Teachers are accepting and you don’t feel like you are getting judged. I am looking forward to my future at Cedars Academy and then following into 6th form and college.

R September 2015

M's story

"I came to Cedars in 1998 as a pupil. I found it hard to socialise with my peers and didn't like my teachers. I always had an interest in sport and started to attend Gateshead Kestrel Clubs, first as a participant and then as a young leader. I was given the opportunity to take part in national competitions and nationally-recognised leadership programmes. Doing this helped me to mature, gain confidence in myself, feel comfortable when talking to different groups of people, and have a more positive attitude and outlook.

I am now an apprentice teaching assistant within the PE Department at Cedars Academy. I have a number of roles including swimming assessment across all key stages, equipment manager and I assist in various subjects across the curriculum. I also volunteer at Kestrel Clubs 5 nights per week and attend regional and national competitions as support staff. I am a proud member of the KITEs and take a lead role in planning different events and excursions for the group to attend and I currently captain Gateshead Kestrels FC.

Cedars has played a huge role in my personal development and I take great satisfaction in being able to pass on my experience to the students of today.”

M September 2016

L’s story

My Cedars Adventure:

"I started attending Cedars in 1998 when I was two and a half years old. Throughout the years, Cedars have helped me improve my confidence, motivation and ambition to achieve my goals.

There was a time when I hated school, and I wouldn’t listen to the advice that the teachers gave me. I wouldn’t let them impart their wisdom or knowledge, as I chose to disregard their work and effort. 

Those times have changed and all because of the inspirational advice from many of my teachers. Cedars has had a significant impact on my life and transformed me into a mature man.  Cedars School helped me realise my full potential.

In the last couple of years I have studied and worked hard; and can proudly say I have done my best. In September 2014 I received my GCSE Results which I was delighted with. I received a grade A in Physics and Mathematics, grade B in Physical Education and Combined Science, a grade C in Religious Studies and Art & Design and a grade D in English. As well as my GCSEs I also gained 3 passes in Level 2 qualifications.

I wouldn’t have achieved these if it wasn’t for the support from the teaching staff. I would like to thank each member of the staff, especially Mr Flowers who supported me through both, my Physics and Mathematics course. He was always there for me if I needed support, and I am grateful for that.

My Current Career Adventure:

I’m currently at Newcastle Sixth Form College studying A Level Physics, Mathematics and Further Mathematics.

My ambition is to receive A and B grades in my A Levels and then move onto a degree in Theoretical or Astrophysics at one of the leading Russell Group Universities.

After that my plan is to go into research or teaching in Physics – or maybe one day work for NASA’s research department."

L July 2015

L’s Story 

I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when I was 7 years old. I was very underdeveloped where my speech, language, reading and writing skills were concerned, and I could count or tell the time. After I was diagnosed my parents began searching for a school where I could get the extra help I needed.

After years of being at a school where no teacher truly understood me cedars was a breath of fresh air. I felt like people cared about me and wanted me to do my best.

My teacher helped me to unlock all of the skills that I seemingly did not possess before. Reading quickly became a favourite pastime. My writing and language skills, along with counting also improved.

Cedars provided me with many opportunities. I became more confident and participated in many school activities including the student council as a Chairperson, solo and lead parts in school plays, and I swam for the Gateshead Kestrels in two galas.

The staff and peers provided me with support and gave me confidence that I did not find in a mainstream school.

Thanks to the teachers in Year 11 I managed to get 6 GCSE’, with 2 B and 4 C grades.

Over the last 3-4 years I have tried to learn more life skills at home with my parents. I have also developed an interest in Anime and Japanese culture along with crafts and card making, video games and films. I also started at the gym.

I am unsure what I would like to do in the future but I hope that my hobbies and interests will help me find a niche somewhere.

C's Story

I suffered mental health issues which affected me socially and emotionally. I had black outs and panic attacks, and I was unable to cope with the normal everyday pressures of attending a mainstream school.

I was incredibly shy and withdrawn person before I went to Cedars.

Cedars provided a safe environment for me to try new things like drama, music, the student council and the Gateshead Youth Assembly. I had lead parts in school plays, performed solo’s at the Metro Centre and was Chairperson on the Student Council.

I would never have been able to take part in any of those things in a mainstream setting. I just didn’t have the confidence or the support from staff and peers which I received from Cedars.

I was also given the opportunity to do a Child Care GCSE and had a placement in the school’s Early Years Unit, which has influenced my career path today.

I dread to think where I would be had I not been given the opportunity to attend Cedars. I definitely would not have any GCSE’s. Cedars gave me the support I needed to complete my GCSE’s and I got 10 A-C grades.

The staff at Cedars taught me to believe in myself. My time at Cedars raised my confidence and self-esteem.

When I left Cedars I did a NVQ Level 2 and 3 in beauty Therapy and Phoenix training.

 I have been helping at Cedars on a voluntary basis for the last 18 months so that I gain experience in education. I run a lunchtime beauty club in school which has proven to be very popular.

When I complete my NVQ Level 3 I plan to study Foundation Degree in Supporting Children and Younger people. I plan to learn to drive over the summer and to continue coming into Cedars as a volunteer assistant.

S's Story
I started Cedars around the age of 4. From growing up, I just remember having zero confidence in myself and always crying at the little of things, even when teachers used to say my name I would cry my eyes out. I remember getting into sports with Kestrels when I was 10 years old and really have not looked back since! Going to compete at the Mini Games and doing all sorts of sports and loving every single second of it. Thanks to Mrs Neale who encouraged me back then! And now 9 years later I am an international athlete!

After leaving Cedars three and a half years ago, I went to Gateshead College Academy for Sport to study BTEC Sport. I started at Level 2 in 2011 and received a Distinction before going on to do the Level 3 diploma where this year I left with overall Distinction Merit and with 200 UCAS Points! 

I am now an Apprentice TA at Cedars Academy, learning lots and helping other young children develop and progress. Fantastic!. 
 M's story
"I am a former student of Cedars and a current member of The KITEs.
My life at Cedars started in 1998. I was always interested in sport and got involved with Kestrels through speaking to Mrs Neale. My first taste of sporting competition came when I took part in the Mini Games when I was only 8 years old. I loved every minute of it and went on to take part in other sports and activities such as swimming and athletics. I even managed to win a few medals here and there.
Some of my favourite times at Cedars were the ski trips and sailing trips I had the chance to go on. Most recently, I completed the Kestrels Bungee Jump Challenge to help raise money for the club. I must admit I was scared at first. It was a tough mental challenge but one which I really enjoyed.
Thanks to Cedars and Kestrels I have been able to develop my confidence, communication skills and self-belief. I was able to attend Newcastle College where I completed my NVQ Level 3 in Personal Training and I currently help to train members of The KITEs at our Friday club.
I am now a Trainee Sport TA at Cedars Academy, helping the next generation of learners."
D's story
"I first joined Cedars in 2005 after leaving a large secondary school because I was being bullied and didn't fit in. I had very little confidence in myself and had many fears such as loud noises, large crowds, trying new things and socialising with other pupils. However, as time passed, I progressively overcame my fears thanks to the great moral support I received from teachers and friends at the school. 
I was given the opportunity to take part in activities such as Duke of Edinburgh excursions, leadership courses, drama workshops, sailing expeditions and after-school sports clubs. Getting involved in all of these activities led to proud personal achievements such as Gateshead Kestrels Footballer of the Year and leading roles in Shakespeare plays.
I was one of the first cohort of students to be part of the new sixth from at Cedars before I started Newcastle College in 2010. I studied Sports Science and Coaching as I wanted to pursue a career in sport due to being inspired by the PE teachers at Cedars. I then went on to study for a foundation degree in Sports Science, which I will complete this year.
My future plans are to eventually become a PE teacher. I am currently volunteering at Cedars, where I assist with PE lessons and after-school clubs."