Testimonials

Declan Lynch (Former Student)

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“The bike course has helped me very much in helping me to concentrate in class and I also used it in my application to College. I am sure it helped me to be accepted. Mr Balcombe is a very calm man, he was always clear in his demonstrations and his knowledge of bikes was huge so it was great to learn from him. With the bike course helping me to concentrate in class I managed to get a C in my GCSE English so I would like to thank Mr Balcombe for the opportunity I had with this course.”

Declan’s head of year, Mr Manley shared:

“Declan has benefited greatly from the Bike Scheme, his work ethic and focus have been vastly improved through the opportunity to explore his passion. It has helped Declan to gain a focus within himself and to experience success and develop basic skills into more complex skills. This has transferred into other subjects as he has shown a willingness to learn new skills and apply them with a positive attitude.”

Kieran Baker (Former student)

“ I didn’t think much of the course when I first started but now it has got me somewhere. I managed to get a part-time job out of it and now I am hoping to get an apprenticeship in bicycle mechanics. Mr Balcombe taught me a lot during the year, so much that I could teach another student the following year. It helped me gain confidence in my work experience.”

Kieran Baker a former Clarendon student, and presently a student at Richmond Upon Thames College (NOCN certificate in progression) shared that he liked the bike scheme because it was a challenge learning new things that he hadn’t thought about before. He started the scheme when he was in year 10 and by year 11 he was helping to teach/mentor a year 10 student. He enjoyed teaching someone else because teaching others helped embed the skills that he had learnt and helped him gain more confidence.

Being on the bike scheme also had a positive influence because it helped him gain work experience at Halfords. Whilst on work experience he felt motivated, working full days 9-5pm and even offered to work overtime. He was also able to meet lots of new people and learn new techniques from the staff there which helped expand his knowledge further.

Kieran likes the respect that he has had on work experience because of his knowledge of bicycles from the scheme and has received good reports from all of his employers. He enjoyed Halfords and hopes to return for further work experience later this year. Kieran also worked on a Saturday, utilising the skills that he learnt in a bike shop which has unfortunately since closed down.

The bike scheme has given him a range of related vocational options to think about for his future after finishing at Richmond Upon Thames College, including looking for a part-time job in a bike shop and possibly pursuing an apprenticeship in bicycle mechanics College Tutor.

*Update: Kieran has gone onto working at Halfords as a sales assistant, and later being promoted to keyholder. He has trained further in cycle mechanics on their in-house training scheme.

** June 2019- Kieran Baker interview

Patrick Mahoney (ICF World Champion Canoeist)

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Patrick Mahoney pictured above [2nd from left] with staff and students from Clarendon School) said that he was ‘honoured’ to be asked to become a patron for the scheme which serves to inspire young people to achieve their best and grow, regardless of any apparent obstacles.

Cllr Paul Hodgins, Cabinet Member for Schools

“[Bespoke Be Heard] is a wonderful example of our schools demonstrating fresh approaches to helping their pupils and equipping them with important skills essential for use in later life. I commend the staff and pupils at Clarendon for their dedication and hard work in this unique cycle scheme and wish them the best of luck in the cycle ride. I also urge people to donate to the successful scheme in order to increase its profile and promote the value of young people with special needs positively in our wider community.”

Kimberly Spiking

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Kimberly Spiking (pictured above), is a prize winning student, who also won the Richmond Borough Time to Shine Academic Award in 2011 for her success in reconditioning the postman’s bike in the school colours and obtained the AQA Unit Award in Business Enterprise as well as in Bike Maintenance. She has managed to overcome other barriers such as flying on a plane to Ireland, where she mentored Year 5&6 students in building bikes.

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