Elaine Clark was a mature student working at the College as a learning support assistant when she decided to study alongside the students she was helping and took her GCSE English gaining a B grade in the exam.
Elaine finished her education without any formal qualifications but learnt many skills over the years and became proficient in welding, plastering, DIY, building fireplaces and tiling. She has also turned her hand to dress-making and baking specialising in creating ball gowns, and wedding cake design.
Elaine said, ‘The only theory I had studied before was for swimming and lifesaving. I had been told all my life that I was stupid and would never amount to anything. When you are told that, you start to believe it. It takes over everything and becomes so deeply ingrained that it’s very hard to overcome.
‘When I started my English course, the only things I knew were what a noun and a verb were so I had a lot of work to do to catch up. Everything was new to me, I was like a sponge soaking up every bit of information I could get’.
I was very surprised to achieve a B for my English GCSE and in fact was just three marks short of an A grade! It has made me realise that I can do anything if I put my mind to it and would encourage anyone returning to study that they can do it too.’
Elaine is planning to go on and study higher level maths next and is feeling very positive about aiming for the highest grades.