New College Worcester (NCW), Whittington Road, Worcester, WR5 2JX
At the start of 2017 we asked our students some questions about their experiences at NCW, and here is a selection of the answers:
What is the very best thing at NCW?
"I am not made to feel different"
"It gives an opportunity to develop all round - in all areas; academic and physically - not just in a classroom"
"We have a lot more independence than in a mainstream school where I was always followed around by an LSA which was annoying and frustrating. If the LSA stopped to do something else I had to wait around as well until she was finished"
"I get the help in lessons that I never used to get"
"I have made lots of friends here"
"Having friends who are the same as you"
"Blind children are able to do what they want independently - following rules but independently rather than being fussed over and followed around. This gets us ready for real adult life"
In what ways has coming to NCW affected you as a learner?
"[It has] allowed me to broaden myself beyond the classroom, such as in music and sport"
"I get everything I need - so there is no excuse for not doing well"
"I never thought I would be able to take GCSEs, let alone A Levels!"
"My VI support wasn't great in mainstream, so my grades went up a lot"
"Helped us to know how we learn best, eg laptop, Braille"
"My use of IT has improved since I arrived"
"I am more confident because I'm doing things I could not do at my other school like cooking, practical science lessons and mobility stuff"
"I can focus more on my literacy here - I am given more time than at my old school"
In what ways has coming to NCW altered your social life?
"My friendship circle has increased and this has led to me becoming a much happier person. I can always find a friendly face to talk to at break and lunchtimes or to participate in clubs and activities with"
"My life has changed massively. I was really vulnerable. I was really quiet. Now I am more confident and more sociable and have made lots of friends"
"[It has] given me the chance to meet people who have similar interests to myself. I felt isolated in my previous school but I do not any more. I feel really happy about this"
"[It has] widened my social life, helping me to create friendships here and also through activities such as goalball, making friends throughout the country"
"I think this school has helped me a little because I struggled to communicate because I had a TA with me 24-7 and so I was taken away from the rest of the students and I became very shy"
"I felt quite isolated in mainstream school whereas at NCW I have made many friends and no longer feel isolated"
"It hasn't really affected me, except that I have a few more friends as well as the ones I have at home"
"Being residential helps us get to know people better than just going home at the end of the day"
What would you change about NCW to make it better?
"School to be open at weekends so I can work"
"Change uniform regulations for Sixth Form"
"Would like there to be a further education option"
"I don't think I would change anything about this school as it is already such a wonderful, amazing and special place"
What is the best thing about staff at NCW?
"The staff are caring"
"We always get our resources in the correct format and on time"
"They are all really kind and teach at a speed that I can work with. They also send us work via email, which didn't happen at my previous, mainstream school"
"The hostel staff are brilliant - supportive and always there to chat to"
"The staff are very supportive. Both the teaching staff and the house staff are really helpful and supportive"
"They are really understanding like when I'm feeling homesick. They really seem to know how you're feeling. If you're hurt they know what to do"
"The fact that they are trained to support and educate blind and visually impaired students"
"They understand difficulties in accessing work and are supportive"
Is there anything else you would like to say about NCW?
"It's school but I am very happy to be here"
"There is a challenge with separating out home and school life when we live on site. But it can work well as we can support each other"
"I realise how lucky I am to be here"
"[I am] glad I came here because I would not have achieved as I have done"
"This place gives us VI people independence and an education"
"It lets us learn how to be independent in a community and read people's behaviour"
"We are all in the same equal position and treated like we can do things and so we gain confidence and build independence ready for the real world"
"It's amazing, it gives me a better future"