Millfield’s Lucie overcomes dyslexia to secure place at prestigious design school

Millfield’s Lucie overcomes dyslexia to secure place at prestigious design school

Millfield Upper Sixth student Lucie Gonder has gained a place at the world-renowned Central Saint Martins’ School of Art after studying BTEC Art & Design along with an A level in Product Design from Millfield School in Somerset.

Lucie, who has severe dyslexia and received support from Millfield’s extensive Learning Support Centre, will now study for a BA in Product and Industrial Design at the university, which was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education 2013 and whose alumni include fashion designers Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton and Stella McCartney.

According to Millfield Headmaster Gavin Horgan, the style of teaching at Millfield has “unlocked Lucie’s potential”, as well as giving the model student the confidence to pursue design after her previous school overlooked her creative potential. Lucie has said that Millfield’s Careers Department succeeded in giving her perspective on creative career options for university and beyond, something that her previous school could not do.

Millfield School in Somerset is well-known for its successful learning support provision. The department, which prefers to view students who have support in the LSC as individuals who have learning differences, includes timetabled 1:1 and small group sessions as well as additional support alongside GCSE or A level options at lunchtimes and evenings with a team of 20 specialists, including a Speech and Language Therapist, two peripatetic staff and two visiting Educational Psychologists. LSC sessions cover learning styles, revision strategies and examination techniques and students are also introduced to assistive technologies.

Millfield Headmaster Gavin Horgan has encouraged UK education reforms in recent years during discussions with leading employers and Dyslexia influencers, including HRH Princess Beatrice, at the 2020 BETT Show and the Made By Dyslexia Global Summit in London last year.

Lucie says, "I chose to study at Millfield because I felt that the school could support me in my desire for independence, it has helped build my self-confidence and, in a way, forget my disability.  The result was that my dyslexic-based methodology became the foundation for my approach to Art and Design.  I would like to thank all my teachers for not simply teaching a course, but tailor-making projects to bring out the best in my ability and keep the course sufficiently challenging.”

Millfield Upper Sixth students studying Photography, BTEC Art and Design, Art, Product Design and Food Science have received a range of offers from the UK’s top universities for further education.

Offers include places at Central Saint Martins, Loughborough, Brunel, University of Manchester, Falmouth University, Bath Spa University, Kingston School of Art, Westminster, Nottingham Trent University and I.E University in Madrid.

Students have received offers to study Product and Industrial Design, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Design, Foundation year in Art, Fashion Design Menswear, Media, Communications and Culture and Natural History Photography.

Students undertaking Art, Design and Technology courses at Millfield have the chance to make use of 21 workshops and studios with a team of 14 teachers, as well as a nationally recognised art gallery, The Atkinson Gallery, which holds major contemporary exhibitions each year. The school is also home to a unique 29 exhibit sculpture collection including large scale permanent works from artists such as Glynn Williams and Peter Randall-Page.

The programme includes an annual series of activities, workshops and lectures in the Atkinson Gallery. Recent events have included artist's talks, workshops and residencies by Stewart Geddes, Adam Berry, Mark Elliot Smith, Duncan Elliot and Turner Prize winning artist Mark Leckey, and participation in the national event, The Big Draw. The Millfield Art Department also run regular trips to London, Oxford, Berlin and Rome.

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