“Don’t be afraid to move on & try something new, you’ll find your path eventually”
Education is one of the most important parts of life, everyone has a right to learn. In this blog, I will give you an insight into my educational journey as I explain the different stages of school to moving onto college and how I found my path.
Early Education: I attended Richmond Park primary, the school was especially adapted for children with additional support needs. As I have Cerebral Palsy, I really needed to go to a school which could support me in the best way possible. Richmond Park had smaller classes which I was able to cope better with- even although my Cerebral Palsy didn’t affect my learning, it did have an impact on my writing and communication, meaning that I found it hard to keep up with my school work.
The school had flexible learning methods and suitable accessible equipment to make things easier for me. I still got taught the same as if I was in a mainstream school, it was just a different set up. The school definitely gave me the best start in life, having the right support in school, I was able to achieve so much. I had a communication device from a very young age, I used it to the best of my ability and it made such a difference throughout my learning experience.
In 2006, it was time to move onto secondary school. Everyone gets nervous when starting a brand-new school and I wasn’t any different. I had to adjust to a whole new way of school life such as new subjects, new people supporting me and changes in how I recorded my work. I was lucky as most of my friends from primary moved on with me to the same secondary school. It took me a while to settle in but when I did, I was set up for the next 6 years of my life.
I enjoyed most of the subjects at school, art and computing were my favourites. I found English really challenging as I couldn’t write due to Cerebral Palsy affecting my hand movements. I had a classroom assistant who would write for me but as I use a communication device, it wasn’t the right set up for me. I found a new way to record my work independently which was using a laptop with a big keys keyboard.
In 4th year, I studied Modern Studies at standard grade level so I had an exam at the end of it. This was my first exam so I worked so hard to prepare for it- I completed 10 past papers and 9 times out of 10, I passed. I was ready, I felt confident but unfortunately time got the better of me. The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) only gave me 50% extra time which wasn’t enough for my second paper so I ended up failing the exam. It was so disappointing as I knew what I had to do.
I wasn’t going to put myself through another exam for it to happen again so I just picked to do units and build my qualifications that way. I had many achievements throughout my secondary school experience as I always tried to work to the best of my ability- I won an award in an art competition and I left school winning the ‘student of the year’ trophy which was a big surprise to me.
Further Education- In 2012, I became a college student at Glasgow Clyde College: Langside Campus. The course was called ‘Transition to Mainstream’ which my school suggested that I go on as I didn’t know what I wanted to do at that point. I liked the course but it wasn’t challenging enough for me, it was aimed at people to learn everyday skills etc. to live independently. I stuck at the course to gain more qualifications and it gave me a great work placement opportunity too.
I had a real interest for computing so I applied to go on a mainstream admin, business and computing course and it was the best move that I made. I didn’t have a communication device at the time but I still managed to complete the course successfully which gave me the chance to go on and study another computing course at a higher level.
A year later, it was time to say goodbye to the student life. I left college having gained so much more knowledge, I wanted to make good use of what I had learned so I started to volunteer for two amazing charities that assist people with additional support needs. I currently volunteer for Paragon which is a music charity and the other is Cerebral Palsy Scotland. I help create social media content, design promotional posters and write blogs.
I love my volunteering jobs and I am also getting to use the computing skills that I learned at college. I left school and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my future- not everyone wants to go to university or finds a career straight away so I’m lucky that I found my own path which has led me to where I am today.