To mark Dyslexia Awareness Week this week, the Driver Youth Trust are launching a new website for the Drive for Literacy programme www.driveforliteracy.c
Pippa is an 18 year-old sixth former from ARK 6th form East Sussex. She has taken three A-levels, in photography, English, and health & social care. She will be studying counselling at Huddersfield University.
“My mum always said to me 'Don't count yourself out before you've even begun.' I’ve got a speech and language disorder, and I have special needs.
The teachers here have been brilliant. They’re very confident in me which makes me confident in myself. They want every student to be able to get the best out of their life. Even if you don’t go to uni, they want you to still get good grades so you can get a good job. I think because the school knows my situation, they've always pushed me that extra bit. They've told me 'if you need help you can ask for help.'
Something I've learnt through ARK is that you don't have to limit yourself. I don't want to be a counsellor because I think it'll be easy. I want to be the best counsellor in the world."
Holly, a student at Charter Academy in Portsmouth received an amazing set of GCSE results, despite not learning to read or write until she was 10. She passed 10 GCSEs with 2 A*s, 3 As, 2 Bs and 2 Cs, including an A* in English Literature and an A in English Language. She plans to stay at Charter Academy to study for her A-levels. She wants to go to Cambridge University and become a film director. Recently, she embarked on a five-week summer school residential to Phillips Exeter Academy, an award-winning school in New Hampshire, United States.
"I didn’t learn to read and write until I was about nine, 10 years old, but that had been because I’d moved around a lot, I hadn’t really got a lot of schooling in. It wasn’t until I came to this school that I was actually diagnosed with dyslexia and that’s when they took action and I had an intervention class about once or twice every week and we built up my confidence in reading.
Before each exam, we went through pretty intensive revision which was really, really great because I definitely needed that. Personally I’m quite heavily dyslexic and yet my favourite subject is English. The only way I could get round it was through the extracurricular help that I was given. I kind of have the theory that if you want something then you go and get it."