What is your full name?

My name is Katia McCrudden, I was born on 19th of April 2002 in Sydney Australia, then moved to Germany, Southampton and now Bournemouth, where I have been living for 15 years?!? I think…..

What was your previous school?

Up until the age of 13, I went to Yarrrells Prep school in Upton, just up the road from Rockley Point in Hamworthy. When I was 13 years old, I was shipped to boarding school, however it was only 45 minutes in the Dorset countryside to Bryanston School, nevertheless this was a big change to the system, as I was a full-time boarder, which meant a rarely came home.

What course are you studying at Rockley?

At 16 years old after I finished my GCSEs, I decided to leave and go to Rockley! I’m currently studying BTEC level 3 Sport in Outdoor Adventure and it is equivalent to three a-levels. Coming towards the end of the second year, I look back and I’m so happy about the decision I made to come to Rockley.

Why did you choose this course?

I have always been into outdoor adventures such as climbing, surfing, wakeboarding, snowboarding, coasteering, the list goes on and on, it only made sense to do the course. Rockley has allowed me to have a lot of spare time to do all these activities again and I cannot express enough how much fun these past two academic years have been.

What made you choose Rockley?

Besides the fact that it was closer to home, a big reason why I chose Rockley was that it would allow me to train as a rock climber. It enabled me the time to train as an athlete including travelling to competitions around the country. Travelling to Europe to go rock climbing for long weekends and throughout the holidays, and as long as I was handing in the assignments on time and going to every lesson, all the teachers and instructors have been nothing but supportive of it.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Short attention span – I have always found learning difficult in regards to taking information in and not being able to focus, however I’m learning something that I am actually interested in and this is where everything clicked for me. I found the hands on learning a vital factor for me being able to complete the course and getting a good grade.

How have your teachers and tutors supported you in your studies and aspirations?

We would have weekly tutor groups which was a dedicated time where we could ask for help and support, however specifically for me the teacher’s feedback on the assignments would give me a good indication as to whether I need to put more time into them.

Who has inspired you at Rockley?

It didn’t take long before all the practical instructors persuaded me to do the watersports instructor courses and I’m so glad they did, as I’m now a fully qualified RYA Windsurf Instructor and it’s all thanks to them. Now I have something to fall back on if my rock climbing doesn’t work out!

What would be your advice to a young person starting college?

From the first open day to the last day you leave, Rockley want the best out of every student and they won’t stop helping and giving you the attention and advice, you need to be able to succeed. Team work is at the heart of Rockley and if there is one thing that I take away from my two years, is that doing things in a team is a lot more fun and efficient.

What challenges did you face at Rockley and how did you overcome them?

Some challenges I faced was making sure that I got the work in on time and completed it to the best of my ability. My tutor John was always able to keep me in check and let me know if my grade was slipping, however I found that I never had to put my climbing on hold, instead become better at time management and balancing everything.

What are your dreams and aspirations?

What are your future career plans/goals? I have a big dream! I want to become a professional rock climber, travel the world and share my passion for the sport. I somehow have managed to get an unconditional place at Worcester University to study Outdoor Education and this gives me even more time to think about what I want to do, as well as studying something so amazing and relevant to the world we live in.

Would you recommend studying your course to other students and why?

YES, honestly what would you rather; sitting in an A-level classroom studying maths, or sitting in a sailing boat being taught all the fundamental skills of becoming an instructor and learning the skills yourself, it’s a ‘no brainer’.

What is your advice for students who are considering coming to Rockley?

Think long and hard about it but make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. It’s an amazing opportunity and now having almost finished it, I feel so well set up to go into the Outdoor Industry, and remember your learning from the best! All the practical and BTEC instructors are at the top of their game they have information for days. Rockley has provided me with the time and support for me to be able to find out what really floats my boat! Follow me on Instagram to see where I am now (katia_mccrudden)

"Thank you again for absolutely everything!"

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