23 Jun Francine Whitehurst – Future Secured
Name: Francine Whitehurst
Year Left: 2007
Subjects: English Literature & Double Performing Arts
Occupation: I have recently been appointed Head of Drama at Ulidia Integrated College
Pathway to Success: BA Hons and PGCE in Drama from Queen’s University Belfast. Along the way I worked with the Jim Henson Company and choreographed performances in theatre and dance.
Best memories of Sixth Form: I have so many amazing memories of my time at Ulidia- both as a student and now as a member of staff! One of my favourite memories of being a student here, was the whole school production of Bugsy Malone. It really encompassed that atmosphere of family and inclusive community which is in everything Ulidia does.
Why study sixth form at Ulidia: I moved to Ulidia Integrated College for Sixth Form specifically to study Performing Arts, as my previous school did not offer the subject. One of the many reasons to come here for Sixth Form is the wide range of subjects offered and the specialist teaching you will receive. As a student, I aspired to become a Drama teacher and I am overjoyed to have now come full circle by returning to the school as Head of the department. The support you will receive both from fellow students and staff is like nothing I have ever experienced in other schools – the wellbeing of the student is paramount whilst their ambitions are respected and realised.
Why do you think students should follow an arts based Pathway?
The Arts in Northern Ireland is an ever growing industry with multiple productions being filmed at the moment. With the high demand for new series and theatre shows, there is also a demand for performers, designers, writers, and production teams. I find it very exciting to think the next big home-grown talent could be here studying at Ulidia!
Aspirations for the Future: My hopes for the future are to expand the Drama department and develop Expressive Arts within the school by showcasing our talented students through whole school productions, workshops and working with local theatres and production companies.
Best Advice? ‘Don’t worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.’
Ulidia Integrated College – Securing Brighter and Better Futures for All
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