Alumni - Former Students

Alumni News

Former student Kate Moore (1996) returned to school to give an inspirational assembly at the beginning of May and also talked to students in lessons, gave a careers chat at lunch and made a very generous offer to students encouraging them to volunteer with the charity she runs in Malawi. Mrs Warner came back to school to meet with her former student, Kate, and also caught up with former colleagues, including Mr Kirkwood.


On 17 May 2018 former Head Girl Kate Smart ‘bumped into’ Dominic Skeat at Buckingham Palace —they were both there collecting their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award certificates. Prince Andrew spoke to their group and the Duke and Duchess of Wessex were also in attendance. Their awards were presented by Benjamin Mee (he ran a zoo and then wrote “We Bought a Zoo” which was later turned into a film starting Matt Damon).
There were many other celebrities there, including (McFly, Alexandra Burke, David Mitchell) but Benjamin was the one who presented to their group giving them an inspirational speech about never giving up!
The weather was glorious and the grounds stunning and it was a perfect morning for them both.  
Prince Andrew was keen to know where Kate and Dominic had volunteered and organisers on the day also stressed the volunteering part of the award  - Kate volunteered weekly at the Dorothy Goodman after—school club in Hinckley for two years, as has current upper Sixth student Hannah Mihsein.   


Students from years 11, 12 and 13 were able to have an informal Q&A with former Head Girl Kate Oliver about her experiences on the Boots Graduate Scheme. Kate shared valuable information about her 2 year graduate post where she is spending 6 months in 4 different business areas so that she can experience them all and ultimately decide on the area to pursue on a permanent basis. She stressed the importance of broadening experiential learning. One of her interviews involved her describing situations where she showed leadership and problem solving. From this, she drew from experiences during her World Challenge expedition at the Dixie. Kate stressed the importance of extra-curricular activity and that, of course, academic achievement is important. However, the 'person' is made visible through additional pursuits and Boots were drawn to applicants who showed an energy for mind broadening endeavours and who relished new experiences.


Matt Parkes

Matt, now works as a development engineer in the healthcare division of Renishaw PLC, left The Dixie Grammar School in 2006, to study engineering design at the University of Bristol.

Health Care - Pioneering Additive Design - Renishaw empowers medical device designers with specialised metal additive manufacturing and design software.

News article on 3D additive manufacturing


Ranvir Bansal has been in touch - he is running the Birmingham Half Marathon on 21 October to raise money for Birmingham Children's Hospital. Help him break through his target of £2000 here

Photos to follow!

UPDATE - Ranvir did it! 21.1KM later and £2567 raised in only 10 weeks. Congratulations! #DixieDifference


Tom James has cycled from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for Cancer Research UK. It is his birthday on Saturday and the Dixie is delighted to have been able to contribute to his fundraising total, which already stands at well over £2000. Many congratulations Tom and Happy Birthday!



Will Shields (2014) has been in touch - he has graduated from Swansea with a 2.1 Hons in Economics and is starting a job working for Anglo Beef Processors as a trainee accountant. We wish him well as he studies for his CIMA qualification.

Chloe Thomson (Head Girl 2011) has been in touch - she is completing her Masters in Speech and Language Science at UCL. All being well, she will qualify as a Speech and Language Therapist in September. Chloe and James (Head Boy 2009) were involved in a local charity 'Milele; whilst at the Dixie. They are now trustees of the chairty which is dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for children in Kenya who need them the most. Milele is passionate about facilitating choice, to empower these children to take control of their own lives and destinies, and shape their own futures.

"We have a food programme and a healthcare programme for our children as part of a really holistic approach. We also provide access to counselling and psychological therapy, as well as social and emotional educational input. All of our children come from very vulnerable backgrounds and many were at very high risk of issues such as child marriage, early pregnancy, HIV or just simple malnutrition before we sponsored them. We currently sponsor 18 young people, with the funds now in place for our 19th child to be sponsored very soon!"

I am thrilled that Chloe got in touch with the school and delighted to be looking to host the 10 year anniversary ball for the charity in our marquee at Barton Road next summer. News to follow!


News from Mrs Harland: I have had a lovely time catching up with 

Emily Davis 1st Class Law degree from Durham, working for a big Law firm in Leeds who are paying for her LPC exams

Eve Gooden 1st class Biomedical science degree from Imperial doing the international NCS volunteer work towards the end of the year after travelling in the summer

Stefan Roy 2.1 class Actuarial Sciences degree from City University and doing 2 internships over the summer, one in Gibraltar, before looking for a permanent job.

Harry Handford going into his 3rd year of Chemical Engineering and going to Australia for a year, as part of his degree, in a week. Lazar Simic is going to King's to do a Masters in international relations and politics.



Whilst at the Thurlaston Carnival 10/6/17, Guy Worley & Felicity Padbury (they met in the Sixth form and are now married!) and Oliver Worley were spotted - they were there as part of a wider family celebration. Many happy Dixie memories were recalled and both Guy and Felicity have offered their skills to help current Dixie students. 

Guy is a colorectal surgeon, Felicity a Copywriter and Olly a media professional. 

Dr John Buckell, former Dixie student and postdoctoral fellow of health economics at Yale University, came back to school to speak to the Sixth Form on the topic 'Can e-cigarettes help with the problems of tobacco'. Pictured with his former teacher, Mr Dalton.

We were delighted to chat to former student (2016) Jordan Henshaw - studied French, German, Mandarin and English Lit at A Level and is now in his second year of Chinese and Japanese Studies at Durham and organising his third year, which will be spent studying at university in Beijing. It was wonderful to hear him talking fluently in Chinese to Miss Chen!


We were very fortunate to welcome former Head Girl Kate Oliver back to Dixie to talk to the Business A Level students about her European Business degree. She was able to impart valuable information to students on the many benefits of embarking on a four year degree including a year's study in France (with all lectures in French!) and a placement at Warner Brothers in London.

Kate Smart 'I really enjoyed her presentation and now appreciate the value of a placement from both an experience and networking perspective.'

Millie Hemus 'The 4 year course is a good idea, the experience gained enables you to stand out in future applications'.

Angus Nickols '2000 applicants for one position on the Boots graduate scheme for Logistics was surprising!'

Henry Mackley 'It was interesting that there were a range of graduates from different subject specialisms applying for Kate's role. It wasn't just Business related subjects.'

Dom Skeat 'I enjoyed the content of her presentation, there was lots of information'.

Sixth Formers at Dixie were treated to an insightful and inspiring talk from former Dixie student, Natasha Kendall, who left the school in 2000.  Having studied German at A level and German with Media & Cultural Studies at university, Natasha spent a year in Munich before graduating and then completing a Masters.  Following a year working for a social research company, Natasha gained a position in the global commercial market research company, Nielsen.

Natasha was able to share information on what makes the current generation of Millennials tick and the importance of this analysis in marketing as well as some memories of Mr Kirkwood, who had taught Natasha when she was a student.

We were delighted to welcome back Sophie Lashford (leaver 2005-06) to help us celebrate the school being awarded Confucius Classroom status.

Amy Swift (leaver 2010-11) visited school recently to inform the school of her work as manager of a charity in Sri Lanka.  She spoke of the poverty and devastation wreaked by the 2004 tsunami.  We were delighted that she returned some days later to completely fill her car with gifts to take back with her to Sri Lanka from the students at Dixie.

Robert Crowfoot (leaver 2002-2003) and brother of Daniel appeared in full redcoat uniform to speak to School about his experiences as a reenactor but also to talk about the battle of Waterloo on this its 200th anniversary. Describing battlefield tactics as well as the day to day life of the British soldier, students in Lower School were particularly enthralled for the best part of an hour.