"Studying at the A Level Academy has developed my confidence and independence. You can just be yourself and I couldn’t have been made to feel more at home."

Shannon Heaton

A Level Academy alumna, Shannon Heaton, is pursuing her passion for law and psychology by choosing to progress onto a degree at The University of Manchester, to prepare for a career in the criminal justice system.

Shannon, from St Helens, has always enjoyed academic study such as researching topics and completing extra reading around her classes at school, so after completing her GCSEs at Rainford High Technology College, she joined the A Level Academy at St Helens College to study A levels in Law, Psychology and Sociology.

Speaking about her experience at the A Level Academy, Shannon said, “Studying at the A Level Academy has developed my confidence and independence. You can just be yourself and I couldn’t have been made to feel more at home. Most importantly, my tutors are some of the nicest people that I have ever met and the relationship that you develop with them, is really beneficial when you are trying to excel in an environment. They push and motivate you to be the best that you can be.”

Outside of the classroom, Shannon juggled a part-time job at Costa Coffee, often working long weekends but still managed to fit in extra revision sessions and complete assignments ahead of deadlines.

On A level results day, Shannon achieved two A*s and a B, exceeding her predicted grades and securing a place at her first choice university, The University of Manchester to study Law combined with Psychology. She hopes to take advantage of their work placement schemes and also the opportunity to study abroad.

Joanne Greenhalgh, A Level Academy Manager at St Helens College, said, “Shannon is a true inspiration to others - always putting in the extra work, supporting her peers and striving for success in everything that she sets her mind to, which is why we felt that she more than deserved to be recognised for her hard work and determination at the A Level Academy Awards Evening, where she received the Overall Achievement Award. It has been a pleasure to teach Shannon and we wish her the very best for her future.”

Shannon’s interest in law developed further after participating in the annual Behind Bars Conference with College, where she had the opportunity to discuss sentencing and reform with ex-offenders and gain an insight into the UK justice system and prison rehabilitation.

Shannon said, “I loved learning about Law and Psychology, especially exploring manslaughter, forensic psychology and personality disorders. The moment I realised this, I knew this would translate into my dream career.”

She added, “Studying A levels is much more than gaining analytical skills and research skills. It’s also about developing your personal growth too such as understanding how to communicate with others and having the ability to stand alone and tackle things independently. Most importantly, it’s about developing the confidence to speak out and believe in yourself.”

Whilst Shannon is busy preparing for university life in September, she will complete work experience with Merseyside Police, at her local police station in St Helens. Her day-to-day tasks will include shadowing Police Officer’s in the community and understanding the daily administration processes at the station.

A level Law, Sociology and Psychology

Aspiring Psychologist

Joined us from
Rainford High Technology College

Why choose our A Level Academy?

Success Rates

Our A level results top national average with 100% overall A level pass rate.

Dedicated Support

Benefit from small class sizes, focussed support and experienced tutors.

Excellent Progression

A level progression routes can lead to university, a higher apprenticeship or employment.

Tailored Packages

Study three A levels or choose a Professional Skills Programme to help you prepare for your future.

Future Career

Studying A levels keeps your options open if you aren’t sure what future career you want.

Competitive Edge

Studying A levels demonstrates that you are capable of thinking at an advanced level.