Daniel Francis

Studied: Economics, Computer Science, Applied Law, Physics

Progression: Economics, University of Sheffield

After overcoming years of adversity during his time at secondary school, Daniel came to Varndean College in 2016 after having been part home educated and part educated at Hove Park School. He initially studied A Levels in Computer Science, Physics and Maths, but after his first year dropped Maths and picked up A Level Economics instead. After originally wanting a career in Computer Science, thanks to the enthusiasm given to him by his Economics tutors, Daniel soon discovered that this was where his real interest lay and from very early on decided he wanted to continue his studies in Economics instead at university.

Daniel says: "I am most thankful for the great time I had at Varndean College, it was three years of my life which hold fond memories for me. I owe a lot to my two Economics tutors, Alrik and Will, who gave me the inspiration to succeed and Jo, my Law tutor, who was an absolute joy to be taught by. I am proud to have achieved an A grade in my A Level Economics (only 1 mark off an A*) and am now enjoying studying a BA in Economics at the University of Sheffield.

Monica Richards

Studied: International Baccalaureate Diploma (2017-2019)

Progression: Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE), King's College, London

Monica is currently studying Philosophy, Politics & Economics at King's College, London having come to Varndean College from Blatchington Mill School to study the International Baccalaureate Diploma. In the summer of 2018, she became runner up in the Politics and Economics category of the New College of Humanities' essay writing competition, in which only 27 students were shortlisted out of 1,800 entires, and in 2019 gained a summer work experience placement working for and shadowing Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas.

She has now just been awarded a place on the International Relations Career Challenge in July 2020 organised by the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) in which she is only 1 of 20 students worldwide. In order to gain this outstanding achievement, Monica had to partake in three gruelling competition rounds (submitting her CV, writing 2 essays and a Skype interview with the Founder and Managing Director of Young Professionals United Nations) in which she managed to beat Masters and PhD students!

Monica says: "I primarily chose to come to Varndean due to having heard stellar reviews about the IB. The IB has left me feeling better prepared for university and I feel like a more informed citizen of the world. It allows you to take a step back from the exam and grade-focused GCSE mindset and allows you to think for yourself. Without a doubt, what I enjoyed most was having the opportunity of meeting so many new people."

Anya-Niamh Tidey

Studied: Biology, Chemistry, Physics A Levels + EPQ (2017-2019)

Progression: Medicine at St. George's College, University of London

Anya Says: "I chose to study at Varndean because of the strong Science department and the support offered for aspiring medicine applicants. I have always been interested in the sciences, so it was a natural progression for me to want to study medicine. I have enjoyed the diversity of teaching methods and the enthusiasm of the teaching staff in supporting us to succeed. I like the practical aspect of each of the sciences; the practicals are engaging and fun and support the theory. I have been on a Physics/Maths trip to CERN in Geneva, as well as the United Nations. I have also attended the Chemistry Conferences run by Varndean and Brighton University, taken part in two Chemistry analytical competitions run by the RSC, as well as the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. Outside of college, I was recently awarded a seven year scholarship by The Army, which entailed interviews, physical ability tests and cognitive assessments. The scholarship provides me with funding for my final year at Varndean and throughout my entire six years medical degree. After this I intend to train as a military doctor in The Army." Anya-Niamh in 2018 was the recipient of a seven year bursary from The Army to help fund her studies to become a doctor in the armed forces. Anya-Niamh was also recently the winner of Uptree’s ‘Young Scientist of the Year’ Future Talent Award.