We are delighted to launch a new initiative for our website, highlighting stories from our former students about their time at The Sele School and their careers, hobbies and achievements after leaving the school. 

Scroll down to catch up with: Clare Adams (left Sele 2010), Michael Adams (2007), Cedar Rose Johnson (2019) and Jane Goodson (1983).

If you are a former Sele student and have an interesting, inspiring or unusual story to tell about your career after school and like to appear on this page, please contact Sophie   

Clare Adams - left The Sele School in 2010

I left The Sele School in 2010 after completing A-Levels in Dance, Drama, Maths and English Literature. After a LOT of sweat and tears auditioning for Acting and Musical Theatre Institutions in the country, I was awarded a place to study Professional Dance and Musical Theatre at The Urdang Academy London. I took a year out in order to afford my fees working four jobs at the same time. I successfully auditioned to be a Parade Dancer at DisneyLand and moved to Paris for the summer, the first of many countries I where I am so grateful to have had the chance to perform.

After a demanding but brilliant three years at The Urdang Academy, doing between 7-10 hours a day of Acting, Singing, Jazz, Hiphop, Contemporary, Tap, Partnerwork, Music Theory as well as Theatre Studies for five days a week, I graduated with a First-Class Honours Degree and then signed with a London Talent Agent. I could do five auditions in one week to be told NO at every single one. It is a very harsh industry but when you love it you persevere. I was offered a job as a Singer/Dancer onboard Holland America Line Cruises in 2015. The company flew me to Los Angeles (which was INCREDIBLE) where I spent six weeks learning seven shows, songs, lyrics, harmonies and choreography. I explored Hollywood at weekends and then flew to Florida to join the ship. Onboard, I spent nine months performing all the shows I had learnt as we sailed from Boston to Montreal in Canada, the Caribbean and all over the Mediterranean.

I have been travelling and performing as a Singer/Dancer now for five years all over the world visiting 50 different countries including Canada, South America, Caribbean, The Bahamas, Australia, Africa, states of America and even ANTARCTICA! I have hiked mountains in Alaska; taken helicopters rides to the top of Glaciers; charmed snakes; walked with wild Antarctic Penguins; swam with sharks; found wild Grizzly Bears; visited the largest Waterfall system in the world in Brazil; watched the Northern Lights; and seen the most incredible sunsets. I have been blessed to do these amazing things whilst also getting to do what I love the most in the world which is to sing and dance. If you love something, really go for it and put your mind to it; it is never going to be easy, but your personality will also take you a long way. 

Michael Adams - left The Sele School in 2007

After leaving The Sele School in 2007 I went to Writtle Agricultural College, Essex to complete my BSc Hons degree in Conservation Management.

On completing my degree, I started work in the Wildlife, Forestry and Environment department on Woodhall Estate where I have been for 10 years.

My role at Woodhall is to carry out practical countryside management tasks that contribute to the upkeep of the whole estate; spanning forestry; farming and events enterprises, with a focus on delivering dynamic conservation within our woodlands, agri-environmental and recreational areas.

In an age where there has never been more pressure on our environment and its wildlife, it is a great challenge to balance the commercial forestry, farming and recreational uses of our land as well as serving the wildlife within it by carrying out varying conservation tasks.

Just a few of my tasks include: collecting tree seeds to grow to saplings to then planting to create new woodlands and habitats; constant monitoring, surveying and the control of certain species to allow a greater diversity of wildlife on the estate and now also allowing areas to ‘re-wild’ and minimising the impact people have on these areas is vital so nature can thrive.

I am very proud of the work I do and the professional start The Sele School gave me as a young adult.

Cedar Rose Johnson - left The Sele School in 2019

I started Year 7 at Sele in 2012 and I remember wanting to take part in literally every activity and opportunity there was: joining every club; sports team and taking part in the school drama productions and DofE; I am very similar now in that I have a lot of different projects going on at once. One of the best times at Sele was when we did ‘Our Day Out’; the drama productions are always fabulous anyway but ‘Our Day Out’ was something else and getting to showcase all of our hard work at Hertford Theatre was a great way to end Year 11! 

I stayed on in Sele’s Sixth Form, studying Sociology, Photography and Film Studies. So many hilarious memories were made in Sixth Form in such a short space of time…one of which being when ‘Reggie the Magpie' had somehow flown in and trapped itself inside the sixth form block one break time. Of course, dozens of sixth formers soon gathered around, predicting the fate our new-found feathered friend but no one guessed that two Site Team members, Matt Martin and Richard Warne, plus our teacher Mr Grinter would soon be faced with the task of capturing and releasing the Magpie. I never thought I’d see my physics teacher throw a lab coat in the general direction of a Magpie, only to be thrown off course by the aerodynamic structure and velocity of said lab coat…Eventually, with the support of Mr Warne’s trusty net behind him, Matt safely captured the corvid and released it back into the wild. 

I left Sele in 2019 after seven brilliant years and made my way straight from the classroom to film set (which was so exciting)! In the summer of 2019, I worked on my first feature film, ‘The Moment Trap’. The film was written and directed by my Dad, I feel so fortunate and so grateful to have grown up in and around film and music production and would love to build a career in this field. 

I began helping out on the pre-production elements of the film in 2018, helping out with prop design and creation, as well as some casting! The film shoot began in July of 2019 and principle photography was finished by the end of the summer! During the shoot, I took on the role of 2nd AD and was very much ‘thrown in at the deep end’ as I would be working alongside industry professionals whom I’d never met before, doing a job I’d never done before. 

Fast forward to 2020 and the film is in post-production! It’s so cool, seeing the film go from a collection of audio and video files to the first assembly and then to fine cuts of the film! I have continued to be part of the development of the film through writing music. Since quite a young age, I have always had a love for writing songs and putting on a show in the living room…! 

On the 22nd April 2020, I released one of my songs, ‘Happy As A Happy Thing’. It seemed to be so relevant to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and I wanted to share it with people, bringing some sort of hope to those who may be finding these unprecedented times particularly difficult.

The tight-knit community at Sele was certainly a memorable one. If I had to do my schooling again, I would most certainly choose Sele every time! Teachers and students alike make Sele the lovely school it is and I am thankful to all the students and staff who had such a positive impact on me throughout my time there.

Jane Goodson SBA Fellow - left The Sele School in 1983 

I was delighted to be asked to contribute to the Alumni page of The Sele School website especially as I left school way back in 1983!  I loved school and the teachers were so supportive.  I left with five O Levels and two A Levels. 

Over the years my career path has changed from Senior Department Administrator, Roche Products Ltd in Welwyn Garden City through to Practice Manager of a GP Surgery in Dorset, where I still live.  Nowadays it is quite common for people to have a variety of careers. However, I always had a lifelong love of art and this led me on to becoming a botanical artist.   

I paint in watercolour and (due to the complex nature of the detail I require) my paintings take between 50 – 100 hours to complete and contain the minutest details.  I also have a lifelong interest in the historical importance of botanical art; particularly the time of great voyages of discovery and enlightenment in Europe which has led me on to becoming an Accredited Lecturer of The Arts Society.

In 2012 I was elected to become a member of the Society of Botanical Artists and in 2018 was then elected as a Society of Botanical Artists Fellow. 

In 2016 I was awarded an RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Silver-Gilt medal for my series of Primula auricula paintings and I am currently working on my next RHS exhibition.

Back in 2018 I was invited to exhibit in Madrid at the ‘Tulipa Tulipae’, a collaboration between the Society of Botanical Artists, the Real Botanical Gardens in Madrid and the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, Madrid, Spain, 2018.  Until that trip I had never been to Madrid and I have to say it was quite a thrill to see one of my paintings used as part of the advertisement for the exhibition. 



                  Jane's painting of a Cardoon

Quite a lot of my botanical work is now in private collections in the UK, Spain, Canada, USA and in the Archives of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London.

My advice to students at The Sele School now is, “do what you love and love what you do”.