Emily Kerr

Subjects studied

For A2 I did Latin, Greek, English and General Studies. For AS I did Latin, Greek, History, French, English and General Studies

School activities

Choir; Folk Group; Orchestra; I went on music tours to Australia, Prague and Italy; I went to Malawi in the sixth form; I was in various plays; did voluntary work at Royal Park School and visiting a local nursing home; in the sixth form I helped out at Rose Court; I was Editor of the School Magazine and wrote for the School newsletter Highlights throughout my time in Senior School.

University and subject

My undergraduate degree was in Classics at St Hilda’s College, Oxford University. I did my postgraduate degree in Broadcast journalism in Leeds.

What are you doing now?

I am a journalist at ITV News Calendar

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Graduating from Oxford University and getting my job at ITV News Calendar.

How did you get to where you are today?

After studying Classics at Oxford University, I decided to do an MA in Broadcast Journalism back home in Leeds. As part of my course I did attachments at Hallam FM, BBC Radio 4 and at ITV News Calendar. I found these placements really helpful opportunities to increase my skills and spend time in real newsrooms. A few months after doing my placement at Calendar I was writing my dissertation and got a call from Calendar’s Head of News. He said they had a job going and asked if I would be interested. I leapt at the chance! My first year at Calendar was spent as an Online Journalist helping to develop the new ITV News website. I then got an opportunity to become a Production Journalist. I produce bulletins, report on stories and news edit. Every day at work is different and the team at ITV News Calendar is absolutely great. I feel very lucky because I look forward to going to work every day!

What are your fondest memories of school?

I really enjoyed being a pupil at Leeds Girls’ High School. The teachers were inspiring with their passion for their subjects. I have especially fond memories of GCSE Greek. We were a small class and we all worked around the table in the Greek classroom, taking it in turns to translate. We even wrote and illustrated a children’s book in Ancient Greek to help learn prepositions. The opportunities I got to travel with School were also incredible – how many people can say they got to sing on the steps of the Sydney Opera House when they were 14?! My trip to Malawi was also an inspiring experience.

Which teacher made the greatest impression on you and why?

I really liked all my teachers at LGHS, but the Classics department, especially Mrs Bowers and Mrs Halliwell, made the greatest impression on me. They nurtured my love of Classics and helped me achieve my dream of studying the subject at Oxford. Their lessons were always interesting and our studies took us far beyond the confines of the exam syllabus, which I really appreciated.

How did school prepare you for life?

School always encouraged us to believe that if we worked hard, we could achieve whatever we wanted to.

What advice would give to current pupils of The Grammar School at Leeds?

I remember year after year at Speech Day listening to speakers telling us, “Find something you like doing and get someone to pay you to do it.” They weren’t wrong! If you have a real passion for doing something, then work hard and go and do it.

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