Well Known Alumni

TOM ELLIS - 1990s

Tom is a well-known and successful television and film actor, currently best known for his role of Gary in Miranda. He has recently starred in the USA network series Rush, playing a Hollywood doctor.

He has publicly stated that it was his Drama lessons (taught by Claire Pender) and experience of putting on shows at the Crucible theatre that inspired him to go into acting. Praise indeed!

Claire Pender: “I taught Tom A Level Theatre Studies. He was always clearly very talented, had great charisma and stage presence. It has been really satisfying to watch Tom blossom and follow his career on stage and screen.”

Nick Matthew - 1990s

Nick is a professional Squash player, and reached World Number 1 status in 2010, 2011 and 2013. He won his 3rd British Open title on 20th May 2012, becoming the first Englishman to win the title thrice in the professional era.

In 2013, Nick was honoured with a place in the Sheffield ‘Walk of Fame’.

Anton Phung - 2000s

Anton was a student at High Storrs in the 2000s and was taught Dance by Ms Lee.

In 2002 he was inspired by the then World Champion Break Dancer ‘Lil Tim’ who put on a show at school. Anton then set out to become a break-dancer.

After leaving school, Anton studied BA Hons Dance at Manchester Met Uni and went on to do choreography as well as winning the prestigious title of World Break Dancing Champion in 2013.

Jessica Ransom - 1990/2000s

Jessica is a recognisable television actress. She has starred in The Armstrong and Miller Show, Doc Martin and Horrible Histories, and most recently Our Zoo.

She also has a stand up comedy act and performs regularly on stage.

Claire Pender: “I was Jessica’s form tutor and she was officially one of my ‘babies’. I taught her GCSE Expressive Arts and A Level Theatre Studies. She had a real love of Drama and played a fairy in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in 1997 and Elizabeth Proctor in ‘The Crucible’ in ‘98.”

Jack Lester - 1980/1990s

Jack is a professional footballer, currently playing for Chesterfield. His career started at Grimsby Town FC in 1994 and he has played for Doncaster Rovers, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United.

Ex student and previous member of staff, Richard Downs, said “I was in the same year as Jack. He was very clever at school, as well as being a real hit with the ladies! I always claimed that he learnt his footballing skills from me in our lessons together!”

Andrew Hawley – 1990s

Andrew studied acting at RSAMD after leaving High Storrs and is now a successful stage, television and film actor.

He got his big break in The History Boys on stage, and more recently got a part in Snow White and the Hunstman and appeared in the Sky TV series Borgia.

Kyle Walker – 2000s

Kyle is a well known footballer who is currently playing for Tottenham Hotspur.

He has played for Sheffield United, Northampton Town, Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa as well as for England’s Under 19 squad in 2009 and was a reserve for the full England team in 2011.

Paul Heiney – 1960s


Paul attended High Storrs Grammar School for Boys in the 1960s. Paul is a well known television and radio broadcaster who is probably best known for presenting ‘That’s Life!’ in the 1970s and his role in the film ‘In at the Deep End’.


He currently presents ITV’s ‘Countrywise’ and is a much-loved presenter and writer.

Jeff Rawle – 1960s

Jeff attended High Storrs Grammar School in the 1960s.

He is a well known television and film actor who has most recently starred in ‘Hollyoaks’ as Silas Blissett and ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ as Amos Diggory. He’s a well seasoned actor who first appeared on TV in the 1970s and has rarely been off our screens. Jeff first became interested in drama when he appeared in school plays.

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Jon Windle – 1990s

Jon is best known as the lead singer and guitarist with the Sheffield band Little Man Tate. The band made 2 very successful albums in the 2000s, as well as touring the UK. They split in 2009.

Jon continues to make music and is now a solo musician releasing albums in 2010 and 2012

Julian Bell – 1970s

Julian is a Labour Party counsellor, and is currently the leader of the London borough of Ealing.

He came to school at High Storrs from 1971 to 1977. We discovered Julian was an ex-student of High Storrs when we launched a campaign to find anyone who remembered Olivia Newton John opening our school’s fete in 1976. Julian came forward and kindly gave us his memories of the day.

Grace Clough – 2000s

Grace left school in 2009 and immediately took a year out to travel the world. She then studied Sociology at Leeds University. During this time she took an interest in sports in more detail, and, having been born with Erbs Palsy, in particular the Paralympic Games.

She is now an elite athlete for the GB Rowing Team and has graduated from University with a 1st class degree. In early 2014 Grace made it on to the GB Para Rowing Squad and went on to win gold at the Rowing World Championships in Amsterdam.

Matthew Barley – 1980s

World-renowned cellist, Matthew Barley, left school in the 1980s. He is also the Musical Director of BBC2 TV’s Classical Star programme, and is passionate about education, new music and pioneering community programmes. In 2014 he came in to High Storrs School to give a master-class workshop to some of our students.

He has released many CDs and has undertaken huge UK tours.

David France – 1950s

David left High Storrs Grammar School in 1958 as he puts it “with not much to show for it other than a burning ambition to be a journalist”. Ten years later he realised that dream becoming first a newspaper reporter then in 1973 a News Producer with BBC Radio Sheffield thus starting a 23 year career with the BBC. He retired as Senior Events Producer in charge of State Events coverage on network radio and a weekly transport programme on Radio 4.

He is particularly proud of leading the 1995 campaign to reinstate the Two Minute Silence to Armistice Day which won the Institute of Public Relations Sword of Excellence.

He says “I owe it all to High Storrs”. David is now a firm supporter and friend of High Storrs School and devotes much of his time to helping the school in whatever way he can, particularly by building links with ex-students.

Kavita Donkersley 2000s/2010s

Kavita is a self-made highly successful businesswoman who has made a career out of blogging about fashion, beauty and modelling. Her brand, She Wears Fashion, is growing by the day with mentions in magazines and on television.

Kavita is very proud of the fact she did not go to University, instead choosing to make a career out of doing what she loves and being very successful at it.

In recent years, Kavita has reconnected with her old school and has been involved in two Alumni-focused projects at school.