I was at NCW in the late 80s and early 90s, and I loved it. I did 10 GCSE’s and 3 A Levels, and the teaching was outstanding. It was amazing to be taught in small groups, and to be able to use braille and accessible technology in my learning, not having to worry about making my essays or my Maths homework accessible for the teachers to read.
I loved the social side too – the chance to live in boarding houses and the Sixth Form Block with my friends, to practise my cooking skills, to make and drink endless cups of tea and to talk about anything and everything with people of my age who totally understood what it was like to be a blind teenager.
I also remember NCW as a place where I learnt to become independent. Thanks to the excellent life-skills and mobility support, we did all the things other teenagers did on a weekend in the 1980s: going into town to buy CDs from the record shop, visiting the cosmetics counters to try out the products we’d just read about in the latest magazines, and stopping for a burger on the way back.
I’m now a freelance writer, trainer and speaker, and I owe so much of what I do now to my time at NCW. Along with the learning and the independence, the school helped me find my confidence, and that’s perhaps the thing I’ve needed most in this life as a disabled person.
Being at NCW was a fantastic experience for me, and I am eternally grateful to the dedicated team of teachers and care staff who helped make those formative years so special.