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Never has the role of a Sixth Form been more important than it is today. In an era when the options available to a school leaver are diverse, inspiring, yet also challenging, a school’s duty is clear: to prepare, advise and guide students so that they can enter the next stage of their life confident and equipped to thrive and progress. The Stokesley Sixth Form experience is designed with this knowledge at its very heart – we seek to prepare young men and women, both inside and outside the classroom so that they are equipped with knowledge and the ability to use it effectively.

School leavers in the 21st century face difficult questions. Do I go to university or not? Should I start work and train in the workplace? Should I take vocational or academic courses? Should I have a Gap Year? How am I going to afford the next stage of my life? Will I get a job? Whatever the choices that are made, one thing is certain; a modern Sixth Form must deliver a programme that is not only academically rigorous, but is also supported by the widest possible range of academic and practical learning experiences. Today’s sixth former needs to leave school with a portfolio of evidence charting not only their academic ability, but evidencing the skills they have developed, the experiences they have had, and demonstrating their all-round capabilities as a student, employee and citizen.

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Kirsty Duffy

Tom Trent

Tom Trent: Lieutenant Commander, Royal Navy, CO HMS Hurworth and former student of Stokesley School.

We were delighted to read the press release concerning the appointment of Tom Trent as Commanding Officer of HMS Hurworth. Tom’s family have a long and successful association with Stokesley School. Tom’s father, Martin was Deputy Head here for many years and both his brother, Dan and his sister, Alice were very successful Stokesley students.

We congratulate Tom on his appointment and wish him continued success in the future.

Lieutenant Commander Trent joined the Service in the autumn of 2001 having acquired a BEng (Hons) in Naval Architecture and MPhil in Marine Transportation from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. He trained in HM Ships CAMPBELTOWN, EXETER and LINDISFARNE before joining HMS KENT as OOW2 in 2003. Here he cut his teeth as a junior warfare officer through deployments to Mediterranean, lengthy UK operations, a refit in Rosyth and Operational Sea Training. He left KENT in early 2006 and having completed the Preliminary Navigating Officer’s course joined her sister HMS LANCASTER as OOW1. He deployed East of Suez with the Ship in support of the French carrier FS Charles de Gaulle during Op AGAPANTHE and to the Caribbean for a counternarcotics deployment with JIATF(South) and US coast guard teams. He departed in 2007 and after further navigation training was appointed as the Navigating Officer in another T23 frigate, HMS MONTROSE. Here he enjoyed a lengthy deployment to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf before the ship refitted in late 2008.

After his appointment in MONTROSE, Lt Cdr Trent was delighted to assume the role of SWO(N)3 to FOST MPV in Faslane where he assisted in the training and development of navigational operational capability in the ‘small ship’ community – a role that would stand him in excellent stead for his recent Command appointment. Here he was able to exploit his experience as a navigator and mariner and was given significant responsibility in a range of training environments: a particular highlight was his role as lead instructor for the FOST training of the coastguard of Trinidad and Tobago.

Selected for PWO course in 2010 he joined the final T42 destroyer, HMS EDINBURGH, in Chile on her return leg from APT(S) in autumn 2011. After assuming the Operations Officer mantle, he assisted in the generation of the ship prior to the next APT(S) and in September 2012 they deployed once again to the South Atlantic. A rewarding tour to West and South Africa, UK dependencies, the Caribbean and the United States was the final operational chapter for the ship and after a ceremonial tour of the UK she was retired from service in July 2013. Prior to leaving the ship, Lt Cdr Trent completed the command qualification process and in February 2014, whilst working in Force Generation as the FF/DD generating SO2, he learned of his selection for Command and subsequent appointment to MCM 2 Crew 7, presently residing in HMS HURWORTH.

Lt Cdr Trent will have the honour of commanding his crew throughout the full range of naval military tasks and expects to deploy to the KIPION JOA in 2015, an operational opportunity he and his team will relish. He assumed his new role on 2 December 14. He lives near Portsmouth with his wife, Helen, and when not adding to his collection of electric and acoustic guitars he enjoys all manner of outdoor pursuits. With little opportunity on the south coast to indulge his passion for whitewater kayaking he splits his leisure time between dinghy sailing, kitesurfing, his bicycles and a recently acquired 19’ Cornish Shrimper yacht in which he and his wife potter around Chichester Harbour.

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