Where Are They Now?

Student Life catches up with the Kesgrave High School’s Alumni

Jon is 28 years old and decided to get involved with Student Life because Kesgrave High School and Sixth Form played such an integral role in his educational development and future career.

I started at Kesgrave High School way back in the year 2000, eventually leaving the Sixth Form in 2007 with A-levels in Media Studies, Film Studies and English Literature & Language. Thinking back on it now, it all seems like such a very long time ago but some of my fondest memories were made in that school.

I should start by saying I wasn’t the greatest student! I wasn’t particularly interested in a lot of lessons and I found it difficult to find a subject where I excelled. That all changed when I got to Sixth Form.

With the help of several amazing teachers; Mr Wheatley, Mr Hall, Miss Mann, Mr Smith and Mr Thatcher, I found myself surrounded by encouragement and inspiration for writing stories, crafting films and generally thinking as artistically and creatively as possible. That’s when I found out what I really loved!

At the tender age of 17, I discovered writing was a true passion and that studying and making films was an obsession. This discovery changed everything I knew about myself and where I wanted to end up. 

There was one particular English assignment that really stands out in my memory. I was asked to write a short film script as part of the course and I sat in the Sixth Form study hall and wrote an entire script of ten or so pages in one afternoon. At the end of the day I went over to Mr Wheatley’s classroom and showed it to him - he immediately asked if I’d applied to study Scriptwriting at University, something I didn’t even know existed!

The rest is history. A year later I left Sixth Form with the grades I needed to attend a degree course at Staffordshire University. Three years after that I graduated with Honours and was offered a place on a Masters degree at the same University. I graduated with Merit from the Masters and moved back to Ipswich to start a career as a freelance filmmaker.

Since then, I’ve moved back and forth between Ipswich and London, helped produce a television commercial starring Nigella Lawson, been pitch side camera on a televised football match, worked with a host of different celebrities including Ronan Keating, Kenneth Branagh, Vincent Kompany, Bevereley Knight and Michael Ball. 

My career has taken me to places I never imagined, I’ve seen and done things I never believed were possible and it all started in a little town called Kesgrave, just outside Ipswich.