Interviews With Students

Case Studies from The Peacock Gym Academy

My Name is: Nicky                                                              Year: 11

My Past..before I attended the Peacock Gym..

My neighbourhood is..Custom House: good people, good neighbours, everyone looks after each other, especially if you’re brought up round here. The area is changing, filling up with workers for Canary Wharf but not a lot of opportunities for likes of us. There’s not a lot of things to do, there’s only the park to chill in, just hang around on street corners, smoke drugs and drink alcohol. The ‘post code’ thing, with different neighbourhoods disrespecting each other, gets in the way

At School I used to be.. a little s**t bag, bunking, running around the corridors, smoking fags, sometimes fighting, the friends i was hanging around with were the same. However, some of the teachers were wicked though, I particularly liked technology lessons..

I knew about the programme from.. Mr Newser called me in for a meeting saying he had something ‘just down the road’ for me and I’d be one of the first. I knew about the Peacock, my granddad knows it, but I was never really into fitness

At home I used to..not listen to my mum, not helping, coming in late..mum was always worried

With my friends… I never trusted anyone, never smiled much

My Present..at the Peacock Gym..

The things i enjoy the most on the programme are.. Firstly, the ecology programme, working in Bow Creek and our allotment at The Place. I’ve enjoyed the football training at Leyton Orient, particularly winning their community tournament last year. The boxing with Andre is ‘wicked’, I’d never boxed before, now I don’t feel I have to fight, I feel have the maturity to walk away

The programme would work better if…for me, if I’d started at the beginning of year ten.. a little extra year

I am most motivated by…the gym, its got an amazing atmosphere

My responsibilities are.. the cleaning contract and looking out for the little ‘uns as a Peer Mentor

My proudest achievement is… is passing Level 1 Horticulture, I’ve discovered I’ve got green fingers, also getting qualifications in Maths and English, which I’ve improved upon a lot since I’ve been here

The skill I’ve most enjoyed learning is.. talking to all kinds of people, young or old, with confidence, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve like that at school

The quality I’ve most changed is… my ability to smile

My role model at the gym is.. Tony Bowers, obviously he has seen life on the wrong side, but he’s a top geezer and he is a very successful businessman

The most inspirational thing that has been said to me is..Rob told me to try as many different jobs as I can, because these days you will have many careers

My funniest moment is.. putting our tent up in the rain, when Laura took us away camping

My most embarrassing moment is.. when i arrived here, I thought I could lift weights, I was full of it, I told everyone…but I couldn’t

These days, at home I’m..more relaxed, more tidy, I help my mum more and I’m more of a role model to my sisters

My family thinks the programme is…brilliant..I’ve changed my ways

My Name is: Muhammad               Year: 11

My Past..before I attended the Peacock Gym..

My neighbourhood is.. surrounded by crime.. not a lot of opportunities to be successful at my age

At School I used to be.. naughty, causing trouble., smoking and stuff. I didn’t have a lot of respect for my teachers and I wouldn’t put others before me

I knew about the programme from.. Mr Newser told me that if I wasn’t happy with school, and I wasn’t attending anyway,  I could try the Peacock programme. I didn’t know I was interested in gym until I tried it, I discovered a hobby, and discovered so much more than just gym and boxing. 

At home I used to..I wasn’t home a lot, on the streets mostly, a pain for my mum, I wouldn’t listen, I’m the baby of the family..I was sort of spoiled

With my friends… I got up to silly stuff on the streets..looking for things to do

My Present..at the Peacock Gym..

The things I enjoy the most on the programme are..the opportunity to do my Level 2 gym instructor award. I’ve also enjoyed the BTEC Horticulture course, working up at Bow Creek Ecology Park and at the Place, our allotment. I’ve also achieved Level 1 in Sport and Active Leisure, Level 2 in Work Skills and passed Maths and English

I am most motivated by…to be honest, money, but that’s only half of it, I’ve been able to earn some money from the programme, doing gym sessions and the horticulture contract. Next year I’m hoping to become a student mentor.

My responsibilities are..I have the horticulture contract but the most important responsibility is to remember I’m representing the gym, even when I’m not here, and it’s important to set a good example to younger students

My proudest achievement is…my Peacock ABA medal for achieving a Bronze Award in ABA boxing and I’ve just completed my personal trainer qualification.

The skill I’ve most enjoyed learning is.. my communication skills, being able to teach gym to younger students and teachers

The quality I’ve most changed is… my confidence in talking to adults

My role model at the gym is.. the pro boxers train so hard.. like Micky, is a dedicated pro who always makes time for youngsters

The most inspirational thing that has been said to me is.. Dembo (one of the Gym’s Fitness Trainers) told us that there’s no point to street life, it’s high risk and won’t get you anywhere in the long run

My funniest moment is.. Andre can be a real prankster, he has a remote control rat, looks real scurrying around, freaked us out.

These days, at home I’m.. I’m much more respectful, washing dishes, getting the washing in when it rains

My family thinks the programme is…has changed me for the better

My future..life after the Peacock

In the future, I’d like to… finish my gym instructor course and follow courses to become a personal trainer

My old friends.. they still do the stuff they used to do, I don’t do the things that they do and I’ve got new friends in the gym who don’t get into trouble

In ten years I’d like to.. I’d like to be involved in the fitness industry, a physio or a nutritionist or possibly a pro boxer 

Samantha, Yr 10 student

Before I started my Hair and Beauty course at The Peacock I wasn’t going to school much, I was always arguing with my teachers, not letting others learn and falling out with my mum. Now thanks to the Peacock I’m learning a practical subject I enjoy. I like being in a working environment and I now accept responsibilities because I know the course will help me get a job. These days I attend school more, when I’m not at the Peacock, and I’m more settled both at home and school, I don’t feel I need to show off no more. When I leave school I’d like to do a course so I can be a make up artist in TV and movies”.

Josie,   Yr 11 student

“Before I came to the Peacock, I was up to all kinds of bad stuff, I used to hang out with a girl gang and we’d bully other girls and I’d always get my own way. Now I’m at the Peacock 3 days a week to do BTECs in Fashion, Dance and Performance, Hair and Beauty and Work Skills. There is a lot going on at the Peacock, its where I’ve changed the most, it’s an adult environment, there’s people who bring you down a peg or two if you need it, encourage you when you’re on a downer. I’m trying to make up for all the time I wasted at school not listening. I’m looking forward now, not bitchin’ about what I have or haven’t got, I want to earn some money and have a future.”

Faria, Yr 11 student

I was quiet at school, not rude or nothin’, just lacked confidence in abilities. Coming to the Peacock, doing practical  subjects like Fashion and Design has meant I’ve learnt things I didn’t know I could do like working to a design brief, producing concept and mood boards and making basic shapes through patterns. My Maths, my worst subject at school, has improved estimating costs for materials and manufacture. I’ve even learnt how to make a presentation to a merchandiser- scary standing up but well worth it.”

Junior, Yr 10 student

“I only recently started on my Level 1 City and Guilds in Cycle Mechanics at the Peacock Academy. My tutor is a former pro cyclist and I really listen to him. I was motivated to become a bicycle mechanic because I wanted to do something hands-on and practical. I’ve always loved bikes, so it’s the perfect course for me! The best thing is the variety – every day is different, every bike is different. I also enjoy solving problems on how to fix things. So far, I haven’t found anything to dislike – well, apart from scrubbing muddy tyres! I would like to be a bicycle mechanic; I’m not motivated by a big salary. It’s the kind of job you do for love, not money. I also gain experience by fixing my own bikes and my mates’ bikes – though I’m still learning they don’t always thank me for it.”

Ellie, Yr 11 student

“I was ok at school but not focused on my next step.  You learn in a different way at The Peacock.  I discuss my learning with my tutor at the Peacock putting everything into a Learning Plan. The Peacock Passport helps me plan for my learning and records my achievements: I have learnt to play chess this term, which has helped my concentration and I’ve been student of the week, which has boosted my confidence.”

Click Here to read the Peacock Academy Student Questionaire