Welcome to our alumni community.  Your relationship continues long after you have left to pursue the next stage of your education so please keep checking back for the latest news, events and opportunities to stay connected to The Catholic High School, Chester.


Joe Beltrami


Joe studied at CHS between 2008 and 2015 , excelling at Maths, Further Maths and Physics for his A levels.


He studied Maths at the University of Bristol graduating with a First and then went on to achieve a Masters in Maths from the same University. He now works as a Risk Analyst at Deloitte in London.


‘My favourite memories of CHS are enjoying extra-curricular sport, ski trips and obviously Maths lessons!’

Aaron Bladen


Aaron attended CHS from 2010 to 2015 and studied Performing Arts (Btec), Music (Btec) and Theatre Studies (A level) during his time in the Sixth Form.


One of Aaron’s happiest memories of CHS are taking part in the school productions which allowed him to work closely with the teachers and helped him develop his skills as a performer.


After leaving CHS Aaron studied Musical Theatre at The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) where he gained many lead roles in the University productions. He has now been accepted into the UK’s most prestigious drama school, The Royal Academy of Music.


‘The Catholic High changed me in many ways, not just as a performer but as a person. Without the constant support of the teachers, I wouldn’t be where I am today’.

Ailsa Peate


Ailsa studied at CHS from 1999 to 2006, studying French, Spanish, English Literature and History (AS) during her time in the Sixth Form.


Her happy memories of CHS are her A level Spanish lessons and the sixth form trip to Normandy.


After A levels she studied French and Spanish (as well as Italian, Latin and Catalan) at the University of Glasgow. As part of her degree she spent her third year in Paris where she was a classroom assistant and her forth year in Gran Canaria studying translation and interpretation into English, French, and Spanish at Las Palmas University. In Gran Canaria, she fell in love with Spanish crime fiction.


Post degree she continued her studies with a Master’s at The University of Glasgow in women-authored Spanish detective novels, and then won funding to do a PhD at the University of Liverpool in Mexican and Cuban crime fiction, looking at representations of sex and gender. Since she was awarded her PhD, she has worked at The University of Liverpool on the cultural aspects and purposes of the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, she has lectured in Latin American Studies as well as crime fiction at the University of Lancaster, and she currently works at the University of Liverpool researching the representation of women in Colombian museums, where she works closely with staff at the National Museum of Colombia in Bogotá.


‘Languages are so important - they’re an incredible opportunity to do things you didn’t expect to, to meet new people, and to understand different ways of being – this is so important coming from an island nation!’

Beth Staton


Beth Staton studied at CHS from 2005 to 2012, studying Theatre Studies, Music and PE for her A levels.


At times Beth found school difficult but year 11 was a turning point for her when she gained two A*s and an A in her favourite subjects which enabled her to enter the Sixth Form. She was the lead singer in the City Jazz Orchestra which helped to motivate her. She always took part in the school productions including ‘Grease’ when she was in year 9 and she played Nancy in ‘Oliver’ in year 12.


Following her A levels, Beth went on to study Musical Theatre at The University of Chichester where she achieved a 1st Class BA Hons degree. Her dream was always to go to drama school, so after University she auditioned and was accepted into three institutions. She chose to go to the London School of Musical Theatre and CHS stepped in to help her fundraise to ensure her dream to go to drama school became a reality.


Beth left the London School of Musical Theatre with a Diploma in Musical Theatre and joined a touring Sleeping Beauty pantomime and worked on various cruise ships where she eventually took on the role of Vocal Captain.   


‘I hope this story inspires young people who may find school their least favourite place to keep working hard and to follow their ambitions and make their dreams come true.’ 

Flight Lieutenant Joel Sweeney


Joel was a student at CHS between 2006 and 2014. He studied PE, Design and Technology and Travel and Tourism for his A levels.


Joel’s fondest school memory is his first trip to the Cork where he performed in the Cork International Jazz Festival with the school’s swing band.


After leaving CHS Joel joined the Royal Air Force in October 2014 where he undertook Initial Officer Training at the RAF College, Cranwell. Graduating from the RAFC in June 2015 he gained a commission into the Logistics Branch and was posted to RAF Wittering. He has since served at RAF Halton, RAF Northolt and RAF Brize Norton.  In 2016, Joel was awarded the Officers’ Association Prize for his charitable work throughout his initial training. 


His work as a Logistics Officer has permitted him the chance to travel globally serving on operations across the Middle East as a Deployed Logistics Group Commander and as the Deputy Senior Air Movements Officer for the Broader Middle East. In 2018 he spent four months as the Officer Commanding Air Mobility Flight at Mount Pleasant Airfield, Falkland Islands where he was responsible for the daily running of the passenger and freight air terminal on the Islands.  In March 2019, Joel  was deployed with less than 24 hours’ notice to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Mozambique after the devastation of Cyclone Idai. 


Outside of his primary role, Joel has continued to pursue his love of boxing with the RAF providing him with the time and training to become a fully qualified amateur boxing referee, judge and supervisor. The RAF has also supported Joel through higher education and in January 2019 he graduated from the University of Lincoln with a BSc (Hons) in Logistic Management.

Ed Black


Ed studied at CHS from 2003-2010 and his A level subjects were Music, French and English Language.


A happy school memory for Ed was being part of the City Jazz Orchestra/Swingband in school, specifically travelling to new places in Europe, to the Cork Jazz Festival and at the school Christmas Concerts. He loved Music from a young age, so to be given the opportunity to be part of a full jazz ensemble was incredibly enjoyable. He loved every moment of it, from the rehearsals to the final show. 


Since leaving school Ed studied Music at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where he eventually graduated with a First-Class Ba Hons Degree in Music. Since his degree Ed has been performing and writing. He now lives in London where he is a full-time musician in various capacities – a Session Musician and Musical Director for various signed artists, guitar teacher, producer and singer-songwriter.


‘Having the opportunity to perform and tour in the Swingband through CHS made me even more excited about Music and inspired me to go on and make it my career’.  

Louise Beltrami


Louise studied at CHS between 2009 and 2016, studying History, English Literature and Politics for her A levels.


After achieving outstanding A level results she commenced her study of Law at the University of Durham graduating with a First. Louise will qualify as a Solicitor in the coming years.


‘I have great memories of CHS, particularly playing with City Jazz and enjoying all my A level lessons.’

Louise Orain (formerly Louise Bradley)


Louise studied at CHS between 1999 and 2006, completing A levels in French, Spanish, English Literature and History (AS).


‘I loved being at school and my best friends now are still people that I went to school with. I even met my husband here! I particularly enjoyed Sixth Form where I was Head Girl and could help other students to have the incredible school experience that I was lucky enough to have’.


Since leaving school Louise went to the University of Nottingham to study Joint Honours French and Hispanic Studies and also studied a little bit of Portuguese. As part of her Languages degree she got to spend six months studying at University in Paris, where she loved exploring the city, and its museums and attractions. She then moved to Zaragoza in the north of Spain where she spent another six months and made friends with people from all around the world. It was here that she was first inspired to become a Language teacher. After graduation, she successfully completed a PGCE course which meant she was qualified to teach French and Spanish.


Louise is currently a Spanish and French teacher at CHS as well as a Sixth Form Year Leader of Learning. We are very proud of her achievements and thank her for everything she does to support our Sixth Form students ensuring they achieve outstanding results.


‘When the opportunity arose to return to Catholic High, it was a dream come true! I love having the opportunity to work with such an amazing staff and share something that I love with fantastic students who are hard-working, kind and eager to learn. Languages are so important particularly in a global world where effective communication skills are vital, and they are also crucial in helping to develop understanding and empathy for other cultures’.

Matthew Johnson


Matthew studied at CHS from 2005 to 2013 and left the Sixth Form with two A levels and a huge passion for communication.


Anyone who knows Matthew , knows football is his life… from watching Liverpool at Anfield to talking about what happened in the 3rd division of French football! So when he left the CHS Sixth Form, he didn’t go university or college. He went straight into work where he continued to improve his communication and social skills that he had developed thanks to his time at CHS.


Matthew is now a volunteer on the Media Team at Chester Football Club where he predominantly works as a commentator for Seals Live - providing 90 minute commentary of every Chester football club match. As well as that he also contributes to match reports and he has carried out interviews with players, board members and staff.


‘It’s something I am very proud of, and hopefully one day I can continue this role into a full time job at a football league club.’


Molly Johnson


Molly was a student at CHS between 2011 and 2018. She studied Art and Design, Music (Btec) and Psychology during her time in the Sixth Form.


Molly’s school highlight was stage managing the production of ‘Fame!’. This was her first experience of being trusted as an adult by adults to handle, not only a stage, but the cast and crew and all the other wonderful things that come with a production. The few months spent almost living in the school hall helped her to develop a positive and dedicated mind-set, and also provided her with experience she needed to get into her dream university.


Molly is currently a student at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts where she is studying the Management of Music, Theatre, Entertainment, and Events – a very competitive course to get on to. She is honoured to spend each day surrounded by people who share each other’s passions, respect each other’s ambitions and celebrate each other’s achievements. To be immersed within Music is something she wished for since a very young age.


‘My two years spent in the Sixth Form are times that I will cherish for years to come. As a teenager growing into adulthood, the Sixth Form provided a safe space for me to utilise my passions and skills, and mould them into the foundations of my future. My friends from the years spent in the high school, those I found along the way and the staff who were an immense level of support through the good and the bad, all contributed to what were an insightful, stimulating and genuinely happy two years. I wouldn’t be in my current position were it not for those within the Sixth Form at CHS.’

Nina Fetherston


Nina studied at CHS from 2004 to 2011 and left the Sixth Form with four A levels in History, English Literature, Theatre Studies and Spanish. She achieved wonderful results – three A*s and an A.


Her happy memory of school is her lovely friendship group in the Sixth Form.


Following her A levels Nina studied Modern and Medieval Languages (Russian and Spanish) at Jesus College, The University of Cambridge. She spent the third year of her degree in Syktyvkar in North Western Russia improving her Russian skills in a school which taught English - a great experience.


She is currently an Executive Assistant at Capital Management Hedge Fund in Mayfair, London.


‘It was nice to meet such a broad range of people from very different backgrounds at University. In my first year I was chosen to be part of the Jesus College team to take part in University Challenge and in my second year I applied to go on Mastermind.  I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in the televised episode. Both were amazing experiences.’

Rebecca Long-Bailey


Rebecca is a former student at CHS.


Rebecca studied Politics and Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Following her study she worked as a solicitor.


Rebecca became the Labour MP for Salford and Eccles in 2015 and is currently Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. She has been part of the negotiating team for Brexit and has even stood in for the Labour leader at Prime Minister’s questions.


‘I never thought I would end up on the CHS wall of fame…It’s an honour!’

Rebecca Vickers


Rebecca was a student at CHS between 2007 and 2014. During her time in the Sixth Form she was a Prefect and took part in the Bar Mock Trials. She always knew she wanted to study History at University, so that was an obvious choice as one of her A-Levels, the other two being Government and Politics and English Literature. Rebecca achieved amazing A level results… three A* grades.


After leaving the Sixth Form, Rebecca went to the University of Durham to study History. Graduating in 2017, she took a gap year where she travelled round South-East Asia in order to have a much needed break! 


Rebecca has temporarily returned to student life, studying for a law conversion course in London. She already has a job offer at a London Law firm starting in March 2021, meaning a fair bit of study beforehand.


‘One of my fondest memories of school is the History school trip to Berlin in 2014. It was amazing to both experience places I had just recently studied and to explore a new city.’

Stephen McQuilliam


Stephen studied at CHS between 2005 and 2012 and completed A levels in PE, Art and Design and Product Design.


Since leaving CHS Stephen completed a degree in Sport and Science at Liverpool John Moores University achieving a BSc (Hons). He then went on to complete a Sport and Physiology MSc at the same University.


Stephen is currently completing a PhD at Liverpool John Moores researching ‘Strength Training in Youth Football: Translating the Science into Practice’. He has worked with Liverpool Football Club and with swimmers that have competed at the British Championships, Commonwealth Games and the Youth Olympics.


‘My time at CHS was a really good few years. I cannot thank the PE department and all those who taught and mentored me while I was at CHS enough for everything they did and continue to do. The PE department were instrumental in me finding a passion for sport science and then deciding to study it at university. I would not be where I am today without them.’

Daniel Vickers


Daniel was a student at CHS between 2009 and 2016. At school he was Lead Saxophonist in the City Jazz Band, performing in Disneyland Paris, Amsterdam and The Cork Jazz Festival (to name a few). He received the United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) Award for Outstanding Student 2015 at an event in the UBS headquarters in London – which recognised his academic achievements and contributions to school life and the wider community. He also represented CHS in the Royal Society of Chemistry Young Analyst Competition 2015 and came 3rd in the National Final.


He also helped other students during his time in the Sixth Form, in particular mentoring an underperforming GCSE student who went on to get the grades to go to Sixth Form himself.


Daniel is particularly proud that he set the school long jump record on sports day in Year 7, jumping 4m 37cm!


It’s probably been beaten now but it’s my claim to fame!’


After achieving 3A*s in Maths, Further Maths and Chemistry, Daniel went to the University of Durham to study Maths. He graduated with a First in 2019 and is now looking to be a Pensions Actuary in London. But before that, he will be travelling round South-East Asia.


‘CHS will hold a special place in my heart because of how much fun I had there. My friends, the teachers and all the unique opportunities that were thrown my way were what got me out of bed in the morning. My favourite memory was when, on the final City Jazz tour for us Year 13s, we sang “All I Want for Christmas is You” to tens of unsuspecting Italians in the middle of July!’

Sam Latham


Sam studied at CHS between 2007 and 2014, completing A levels in French, Spanish, English Language and Theology (AS). During his time as a dual linguist at Sixth Form he took part in the Bar Mock Trials, was on the Student Leadership Team as an MFL Ambassador and was always keen to get involved wherever possible in the Modern Languages department.


“I had an amazing time as a student at CHS. My favourite memories were the school trips to Barcelona and Le Touquet; it was so much fun being able to see just how useful it was to study languages in high school!”


Since leaving school Sam studied Modern Languages and European Studies (French and Spanish) at the University of Bath and took extra credit modules in Italian and Japanese. He spent the first half of his year abroad working as an intern at SIMO Consulting in Mexico City followed by a semester studying EU economics and languages at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po).


Sam is currently training to teach French and Spanish on a Schools Direct course at CHS.


“It’s so exciting to be back at CHS and learning once again from the incredible MFL teachers that we have in the school. I’ve always been extremely grateful for the knowledge they gave to me and I’m really looking forward to being able to share it with a new generation of linguists!”

Dominic Doherty


Dominic studied at CHS between 2009 and 2016, where he impressed us all with his fantastic football skills. After studying         A level PE, Media and English Language, as well as AS Theatre Studies, Dominic went on to study BA Sports Coaching and Developing at Edge Hill University. He graduated with an impressive First Class Honours degree.


Dominic also coached soccer for Chicago Fire, an MLS club, for 3 months.


Dominic is currently working as a full time school sports coach for CEPD but is planning to go travelling in the near future. He also plays football in the Welsh 2nd tier and futsal in the English 2nd tier.


Dominic’s happy school memory is:


‘Going on the school trips with my mates to Austria, Barcelona, and France.’

Chloe Palmer


Chloe was a student at CHS from 2006 to 2013. She studied History, Spanish and English Language for her A levels, as well as French AS.


After leaving CHS Chloe studied English Language and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield. She then moved back to Chester and began her training to become a Primary School Teacher, earning QTS through School Direct. Chloe is now a year 5 Teacher at one of our feeder primary schools – St Luke’s Catholic Primary in Frodsham.


‘One of my favourite memories of CHS is my time in Sixth Form. The teachers were amazing and truly wanted the best for us and they helped me so much to decide what I was going to do after school. I had so many great opportunities during my last two years at the school. I particularly enjoyed being Deputy Head Girl and my involvement in school life outside of the classroom.’ 

Richard Sawle


Richard is another ex-student who has returned to work with us at CHS.


Following his A levels Richard achieved an HND in Electronics with Music Technology and then a BSc Honours in Music Technology and Audio System Design from the University of Derby.


This was followed by eight years in the Music Industry equipping top studios, venues and music shops with professional sound recording equipment. Richard worked with manufacturers to find named artists to sign endorsement deals, and trained professional sound engineers to use equipment. He worked with artists as diverse as Elbow, Evanescence, The Prodigy, Massive Attack, Gordon Giltrap and 10cc, and institutions such as The Royal Northern College of Music, Leeds college of Music, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, and both the University of York and Salford faculties of Sound Design.


In 2010 Richard began his teacher training at Keele University and has now been teaching for 8 years. We are very happy that he now works here at CHS teaching Physics, inspiring our young people to be future Scientists!

Sam Williams


Sam studied at CHS from 2009-2011. His A-level choices were largely based on his chosen career path of Medicine. Sam studied Chemistry, Biology, Maths, and Music. Sam enjoyed the intellectual stimulation of the sciences, particularly Chemistry. However, they were balanced nicely with an arts subject – Music was his lifelong passion.


Sam went on to study Medicine at Edinburgh during which time he gained an additional bachelor’s degree in Immunology. Having completed two years of foundation training in and around Edinburgh, he now work as a junior clinical fellow in the Emergency Department at St Thomas’ hospital, London, and he is contemplating applying for anaesthetic training in the near future.

Lauren Penlington


Lauren studied at CHS from 2004-2011. She studied took Biology, Psychology and Fine Art for her A levels and also achieved an AS level in Philosophy and Ethics. She really enjoyed extra-curricular activities at school, especially netball and other sports.


Laura did her first degree in Bio veterinary Science at UWE Bristol’s Hartpury College between 2011-2014 and secured a first class degree with honours. After that she worked as a Project Coordinator for a year at Springer Healthcare, a medical publishing company. Then she studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Kosice, Slovakia between 2015-2019.


Laura now works as a small animal Veterinary Surgeon and really enjoys soft tissue surgery and consulting. In the future she would like to either specialise in medicine or surgery or pursue a Clinical Director role.

Katie Ross 


Katie studied at CHS from 2005 to 2012. She studied Health & Social Care, Psychology and Biology at Sixth Form knowing she always wanted to work in the NHS.


After graduating from Bangor University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Katie has recently completed her Adult Nurse training at The University of Manchester and secured her first job as a staff nurse at Arrowe Park General Hospital.


“CHS helped me develop not only academically but also as a person. The support from the teachers was fantastic and really helped me to be where I am today.”

Samanta Scipanovas


Samanta was a student at CHS from 2009-2016. Samanta studied History, English Literature and Politics for her A levels and went on to complete a degree in International Relations and Politics at Queen Mary University of London. 

Having previously done some work experience at Chris Matheson's MP constituency office in Chester while she was at CHS, Samanta was then offered the opportunity to intern with him at his Westminster office while she was at University. This led to Samanta working for Chris Matheson in London after her graduation as his Parliamentary Assistant and Researcher. During the 2019 election she was part of Chris Matheson's campaign team here in Chester. She is currently applying for various positions in London and is hoping to get back into Westminster and the world of politics. 


‘I have a lot of great memories from CHS and it's hard to pick just one. I particularly enjoyed my sixth form lessons and every practice, gig and tour with the Swing band, especially the crazy weekends in Cork. Catholic High always had a special atmosphere as a school and I was very lucky to be part of this community. ‘

Sam Parsons


Sam was a student at Catholic High School from 2007 to 2014. He studied Physical Education, Health and Social Care and Psychology at A-Level.


Sam went on to study Sport Science with Physical Education at Bangor University for 4 years, gaining a Bachelor and Master’s Degree. He is currently training to teach Science in Bradford.

He hopes to come back and teach at CHS to inspire the students to reach their own goals like his teachers did for him.


I have so many amazing memories from my time at CHS. Ones that stands out are completing my Duke of Edinburgh Gold award and being able to represent my school in so many sports, especially playing for Chester School Boys. Receiving the contribution to school life in my final year of Sixth Form was a massive moment for me as I knew my hard work had not been unnoticed. Most importantly, though, are the teachers who inspired me to become a teacher and believed in me throughout.’

Sean Atkinson


Sean studied at CHS between 2007 and 2012, studying Theology, Politics and English Language for his A-Levels. 


After leaving school Sean studied Multimedia Journalism at the University of Northampton, and has since had work published in the Liverpool FC Official Magazine, The Anfield Wrap and local and online publications.


After graduating Sean moved into working in the arts, beginning at a mid-scale regional theatre called the Royal & Derngate working on various projects, before going to work as a Marketing Officer for Film there. 


Sean now works in marketing at the British Film Institute in London. He also makes his own short films in his spare time. Sean wants to encourage students to pursue their passion for film stressing that working in film is a possible and very rewarding career choice! 


“I really enjoyed my time at CHS, and having the chance to enter a nationwide Kids Witness News competition (and I'm sure we won an award!) with my fellow students and Mr Wilson is a very fond memory which has influenced my choice in career.”