English and P4L teacher: Ms Baker

Kathryn Ackley

Tell us a little bit about your career journey.

I was brought up in a highly creative family, encouraged to explore music, dance, drama, film. I attended after school arts activities. From a young age, I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do. My classes and teachers taught me how powerful the arts could be, to be truly resilient and independent. At 16, I successfully auditioned for National Youth Theatre, attended an acting course in London, where I trained with young creatives such as Matt Lucas, David Walliams, and Oscar-winning actor Chiwetel  Ejiofor. I then continually trained with National Youth Theatre. And was cast in productions where I performed for Royalty.  When I returned to the NE was lucky enough to be represented by a good agent. I worked as an actor in theatre, tv and radio, again, cast in productions such as Lee Hall’s original version of Billy Elliot. I, then progressed into directing youth theatre and theatre in education with reputable regional theatres and theatre companies. After this I managed high quality theatre schools’ where students gained experiences in different types of performance, professional theatre, film and tv.   

Is your current occupation what you always wanted to do?

Yes.  I believe in the empowerment of the arts for children and young people. And how the arts can be instrumental in shaping learning and life. I enjoy sharing my skills and knowledge and hopefully, this empowers children/ young people to have positive experiences of the arts and culture.  My career has been varied so far. I feel extremely fortunate to have been offered roles working in different arts and educational establishments.    

What have you learned along the way?

That being authentic is important. To trust yourself to make the right decisions for you and your own journey. Everyone's journey is different and unique.  

What is your top career tip?

Be self-disciplined and work hard.  

Kathryn Ackley