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Lowton adult students are the toast of sunny Spain
11:10am Monday 26th August 2013 in News
THEY'VE sat through the lessons, studied hard and revised right up until the last minute...
And now all that hard work and dedication has really paid off for a group of adult GCSE students from Lowton Church of England High School.
The group have been studying for success as part of Lowton's Adult Education Programme.
Each year hundreds of local people sign-up for short courses in a whole host of subjects at Lowton, from flower-arranging and cookery skills right through to IT and construction.
Those who took GCSE Psychology this year had plenty to think about on results day when the grades came back as As, Bs and Cs. But it really was fiesta time for the 10-strong GCSE Spanish students who all soared through the exams with A*s and As.
For former languages teacher Janette Bullough, taking the course was her way of keeping her already considerable skills sharp.
“It was a new challenge and just something I really wanted to do,” says Janette. “I started by doing the short course in conversational Spanish for two hours a week and then progressed to the GCSE.
“I really like the fact that Lowton was close by and I was able to fit the studies in to my usual routine.
“I am really pleased with the grade and it will also come in really useful when I go on holiday to Spain.” Janette, who came away with an A* is now looking forward to the advanced course which starts in September.
For 62 year-old David Stephens, it was the hands-on approach to learning that really fired him up.
He said: “I really started with wanting to learn Spanish because I have spent a lot of time in the Canary Islands and it was a bit embarrassing not being able to speak with the local people.
“For a lot of English people abroad we just expect everyone to speak English so I thought I would give learning a bit of the language a go and now I'm hooked.”
As well as celebrating his A*, David has found that his new found skill really has helped him to get more out his journeys to Spain.
“The people really respect and appreciate the fact that you have learnt their language and they are really helpful and encouraging,” he said. “We have been in some places where no-one spoke English and without the skills I have picked up we wouldn't have known what to do.”
The GCSE course saw the students attend one three hour lesson a week at Lowton for 15 weeks, topped up with studies at home.
The final exams saw them sit a written paper, a listening test and two spoken exams.
“I wasn't going to do the exam at first,” said David. “But the nearer it got I thought I'd give it a go and it was actually not nerve-wracking at all. It's a challenge and achievement and I'm really glad I've done it.” David is now also looking forward to the advanced class at Lowton.
Lowton Church of England High School's Director of Community, Stephen Toole said this year's crop of students had really excelled themselves.
“Whether they are taking exams or starting out on a short course as a hobby everyone who comes to Lowton gives their best,” he said. “They want to be here and want to learn so it's really great to see so many of them doing so well. It's not about learning alone because many of our adult learners meet new friends and expand their social circle while they are here. Every course we have is extremely popular and we're now looking forward to welcoming the familiar faces and new starters in September.”
• From cake decorating to textile design there's something for everyone at Lowton. Enrollment for this year's courses takes place on Wednesday and Thursday September 4 and 5. For more information on the range of course on offer at Lowton and how to get involved visit the school's website: www.lowtonhs.wigan.sch.uk and click on 'Adult Education' or you can phone the Community Team on 01942 767047.
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