My name is Zoe and I started at Gibside School in 1997, at the age of 6 when the school was officially opened. I absolutely loved Gibside as a child and still do even though I am 32 now.I made a lot of friends during my time at school and all these years later and still very close with Chris and Jack who I first met there.┬áMy favourite subjects were Art and Music – I must take after my late mam, a very talented lady. I also loved drama, playing lots of different characters, my favorite was playing Mary Poppins and singing ‘Feed the Birds’ to the whole school. The hydropool was a great place for relaxation and helping me feel calm.I was sad to leave Gibside as I felt happy and safe there, but I moved on Hilltop School where my love of performing continued.

I graduated with GCSEs in Art and Expressive Music and moved to ESPA College in Newcastle and Sunderland. This is where I met up with some of my old Gibside friends and eventually joined a band called AUKESTRA. As a singer in Aukestra I have been able to put my love of singing, that I first discovered at Gibside, into being a professional touring band. I now perform gigs and shows across the country and have even played in Greece and Poland and we have won awards for our work.One of the best things about being in Aukestra is that every summer we get to go back to Gibside School and perform for the students and staff. I love seeing some of my favourite teachers again and they are all really proud of what I have achieved.When I am not performing or rehearsing with Aukestra I spend my time in my brand new flat in Whickham. I was very nervous about leaving home at first, but now I love having my own place that I am busy decorating with all of my favourite things.I’d love to say thank you to everyone at Gibside School who helped me as a child, the skills I learned have really shaped the life I lead. Thank you and see you all for a dance in the summer!!