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News > Alumni News and Profiles > King's Remembered > Callum Thorner (O10/15) remembers his time at King's

Callum Thorner (O10/15) remembers his time at King's

Callum talking to Sixth Formers at the 2020 Careers Convention
Callum talking to Sixth Formers at the 2020 Careers Convention

Can you tell me a bit about what you have been doing since you left KSB?

Three days after leaving KSB, I travelled to India to volunteer at the orphanage linked with the school. My A-Level results were released during my flight home and I didn’t find out until after I landed that I hadn’t achieved the grades I needed to go straight to University. After some tense words with my parents,  we agreed that I wouldn’t use clearing to find a place somewhere, but instead would find work for the year and plan my options.

I had a few different jobs including a stint as a waiter, but spent the majority of the year working in the sales and orders office of a quarry. During the year, I came across the concept of degree apprenticeships - schemes on which I would still earn a full Bachelor’s Degree, while developing on the job experience with an employer, and the degree would be fully funded! This seemed like a sensible route to take as I was coming from a professional environment and didn’t want to go back to being a full-time student, but I still valued the importance of qualifications.

Following extensive online research to work out which businesses offered these, I applied to a number of them and was lucky enough to be one of nine offered a place on the Airbus apprenticeship scheme, which I started in 2016. I will finish the apprenticeship, accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society, at the end of 2020, at which point I will be a qualified aerospace engineer, specialising in Fuel and Inerting Systems. My degree in Aerospace Engineering Design will be awarded by University of the West of England. The apprenticeship allows participants to change job roles every 3 - 6 months to gain an exposure to wide areas of the business, and while my roles have been predominantly based around engineering I have also held roles in the UK Public Affairs office (London) and Product Marketing (Toulouse, France). Following successful completion of the scheme, from January 2021 I will enter a role in the engineering domain of Airbus based in Filton, Bristol.

If you could relive a moment at King’s, what would it be and why? 

I’m not sure I could pick a single one without a great deal of thought! I would love to relive some wins on the rugby pitch with the mighty 2nd XV… I also greatly enjoyed the 2013 (?) Choir tour to France and Belgium, and singing with the Big Band at Swing into Spring was another incredible highlight, along with concerts with the Chamber and Chapel Choirs. The afterparties after the final performances of school plays were also great fun! I think this goes to show that the wider opportunities beyond the academics are some of the greatest assets the school has and I would recommend everyone takes up these opportunities outside of their studies.  The psyching up of all the boys in Old House before an inter-house event probably captures some of the best moments from House life.  

What couldn’t you have owned up to at school that you can now!

There’s a number of things I couldn’t have owned up to, but given a large number of staff who taught at King’s remain at the school, I think it will be best to keep my confessions for further into the future. 

Best life lesson that you learnt at KSB

Best life lessons from KSB - it’s not a good use of money to go to the Sun Inn or At The Chapel every weekend! On a more serious note, the importance of taking opportunities, whatever they may be, is probably my biggest takeaway.

What advice would you give to current pupils?

My advice to current pupils is to engage as much as possible with the wider opportunities at the school, including CCF, music, sport and other clubs, and also to make the most of the languages department! Since leaving school I have lived in France, and working a little harder in French would have been extremely useful (sorry Mrs Loveless, you were right!)

If you could improve King’s in one way what would it be and why?

There are two areas I think the School could look at - mobile phones are used a huge amount in the workplace and at University for quick access to information and for personal management, so I would like King’s to take a more pragmatic approach to allowing phone use (Ed.- the School does now allow mobile phone use for Pupils, to varying degrees). Secondly, there is definitely a 'Bruton Bubble, and more freedom, particularly to the 6th Form, would have better prepared me for working and University life.


What are your best memories of King’s?

See the moments I would relive in section 2!

Which was the best house and did you have a favourite teacher?

I can’t imagine anyone would suggest a House other than their own as the best - so it has to be Old House. I do remember Lyon being the dominant sporting house during my time, so I will give them that much. Favourite teachers is tough. Mr Jeffrey was a phenomenal House Master and I owe a great deal to him, but also Mr Fletcher in History, Mr Cupid in Biology, Mrs Ashworth in Physics and Dr Osborne in Chemistry all deserve a shout-out! However, the teacher I was closest to at King’s and who I remain in regular contact with is Mr Marshfield. 

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