Charlotte, during a BTEC Home Cooking Skills lesson, is standing in the kitchen holding a tray of muffins which are about to go in the oven

Charlotte completed her studies at RNC in 2015.


Where is Charlotte from?



What does Charlotte study?

BTEC Level 2 Business, BTEC Level 3 Business 90 Credit Diploma, Level 1 Mathematics, IT Skills and Development

Charlotte passed the Level 2 Jamie Oliver Home Cooking and BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Business in July 2013. (Distinction grade).



Charlotte was born with three eye conditions, Aniridia, Glaucoma and Nystagmus and had her first laser eye surgery in Great Ormond Street Hospital at just three days old. She also has a false eye, the result of a surgical eye removal when she was four years old.

“It is the combination of my conditions that has the greatest effect on my sight. I only notice the Nystagmus when I am concentrating on something static for a long time and the Glaucoma causes the pressure in my eye to be really high and has meant regular visits to hospital my whole life; I used to live in a house next to the hospital because of weekly visits and only went home at weekends.

“My Aniridia is sporadic. It means that the iris is missing so practically I can’t use things like face recognition apparatus in the airport, because you need an iris for it to register. I’m not sure why I have Aniridia; I wasn’t premature, the iris just didn’t develop. The doctors are also baffled as there is no family history of any sight conditions, so far as we know.”


Why did Charlotte come to RNC?

Despite being offered to join a class for pupils with autism because she had a visual impairment, Charlotte had a generally good experience at mainstream school. However, the college she expected to attend wanted staff to be with her all of the time, not just for lessons; this was at a time when Charlotte was interested in developing her independent living skills. Charlotte came to an RNC ‘Have a Go’ weekend in October 2011, made an application and attended the Pre-Entry Assessment followed by the New Student Conference in July 2012.  She began life as an RNC student in September of the same year.


What is the best thing about RNC?

“I love learning how to be more independent, particularly with the mobility skills I’ve picked up, and I’m turning into a pretty good baker thanks to the teachers here. The small class sizes really make a difference and I’m sure this is helping me to achieve better grades than if I had stayed in mainstream.”


Overall thoughts

“When I was choosing a college, it was the independent living skills and the style of teaching that really made my mind up to choose RNC. I found the Pre-Entry Assessment useful as part of the decision making process because I could talk to staff from all different areas of the College.

“I have another year to go at RNC and will use it to strengthen my skills in business administration. I used to want to work in fashion design, however the work is too detailed for me with regard to drawing and making items, so I’d quite like to do something else within the industry, perhaps office or reception work at a fashion house.”


Advice to others

“To people thinking about coming to RNC, I would say ‘give it a go’. I think people will be surprised at how well they do and how much they will enjoy it here!”


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