A STUDENT who left school without sitting a single exam after bullies caused her panic attacks has just secured a top grade in her English.
Darlington College arts student Mia Dixon secured a Grade 8 in her first ever exam after being supported by tutors and is now well on the way to passing her maths.
She is now facing a brighter future and is hoping to pursue a career in writing, art or music after finding her feet at college in contrast to struggling at school.
The 16-year-old had attended school in Newcastle but left in Year 11 never to return. Since then she has moved to Darlington where she enrolled on the Level 1 art and design course at Darlington College.
“I was concerned about leaving school without any qualifications and was wondering how I would make a living,’ said Mia. “Art has always been my calling and Darlington College proved to be the best option for me.
“It is really great, I love it here and the staff genuinely care about their students. My English teachers were great. I never dreamed I would get a Grade 8 and was thrilled as were my family.
“I can’t say that maths is a fun subject because of the way my mind works but I am getting on with it and feel I am doing fine. The maths tutors are amazing and don’t move on until they are confident you understand.”
Mia, who plays bass guitar, plans to stay on at Darlington College to study levels 2 and 3 art and design and will also explore possible careers in writing, art or music.
Arts lecturer Amy Minto said: “I am really glad to have Mia in the department and we are all very proud of her achievement. The college prides itself on being a nurturing environment which benefits many students. It is hands on, they are doing a subject that they love and spend a lot of time with tutors which they respond to well.”
Her main GCSE tutor Adam Hoyland agreed saying: “To achieve a grade 8 in such a short space of time is amazing and Mia should be really proud of herself. She will be missed on a Tuesday morning by myself and the rest of the class but I’m hoping she continues to excel in all that she does.”
Steven Perry, who also taught Mia in extra sessions, added: “Mia was a fantastic student to teach. Her level of commitment, dedication and motivation – matched by her astounding ability – helped her achieve a grade 8. It will be brilliant to see her succeed at Darlington College.”
For more information on opportunities at Darlington College visit www.darlington.ac.uk.