Charity’s School Success Stories

Posted: 17/07/2014 | Education

The Royal Blind School provides much more than an education. Pupils learn valuable life skills to prepare them for the transition to adulthood. 

Libby CleggSighted children learn the skills and knowledge required for every day life via casual observation and interaction. So it’s especially important for blind and visually impaired children to be taught these skills so they can live an independent life. 

Teaching Independence 

As pupils progress through the school, they learn mobility and habilitation skills so they are confident about travelling safely and living independently. 

Staff and pupils at the Royal Blind School are currently involved with a Comenius project called STEP UP! The project focuses on helping blind and visually impaired children feel confident about mobility and orientation in their everyday lives. 

In addition to studying standard curriculum subjects, pupils learn home economics so they can carry out basic food preparation. 

Senior pupils also participate in the running of a successful café, where they welcome customers and serve food they have baked themselves. 

Today, we want to share with you three success stories from former and current pupils. Their stories demonstrate how learning these valuable life skills changed their lives.  

Libby Clegg

Paralympic athlete Libby Clegg is a former Royal Blind School pupil and brand ambassador for the charity, and her story is an inspiration to us all. 

Libby loved athletics from the age of 10, and at 24 has achieved more than most people achieve in their lifetime. She is one of Great Britain and Scotland’s most successful track and field athletes with Paralympic Games silver from Beijing 2008 and London 2012, along with gold medals at World and European Championship level. 

Libby suffers from a deteriorating eye condition, Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy disease, has only slight peripheral vision in her left eye and is registered blind. 

After struggling in a mainstream school without specialist facilities or staff, Libby found life at the Royal Blind School to be vastly different.  

She learnt to value herself and not to be embarrassed by her disability. She gained the confidence to travel independently and speak in public. Her story demonstrates the extent that attending a specialist school for visually impaired children can transform their lives. 

Libby’s next stop is the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Good luck Libby – everybody at Royal Blind is rooting for you! 

Jennifer Murray

Jennifer Murray is another former pupil of the Royal Blind School with an inspirational success story.

Jennifer was born blind, has mild cerebral palsy and wears two hearing aids. Despite this, she has just received a first class honours degree in Spanish from the University of the West of Scotland. 

Jennifer spent the third year of her degree teaching English in Murcia, where she received support from the Spanish RNIB, before returning to write her dissertation about the integration of blind pupils in the Spanish education system. 

After graduation, Jennifer is returning to Spain to teach English in the beautiful city of Grenada, Andalucía. We’re immensely proud of Jennifer’s success and wish her luck for her future. 

Harry Lovett

Harry Lovett is autistic, has visual and hearing impairments, and as a child his parents were told he might never walk, talk or see. 

The calm atmosphere and specialist facilities at the Royal Blind School have helped Harry to thrive, and he recently participated in a very physical work experience placement. 

Determined to follow in his family tradition of farming, Harry chose a placement at Gorgie City Farm. Here, he threw himself into farming life, enjoying a variety of activities from lifting heavy pallets and mucking out, to bottle-feeding baby lambs. 

Not content with impressing those at Gorgie City Farm with his can-do attitude and healthy work ethic, Harry has recently carried the baton for the Commonwealth Games, in an experience described here by STV. 

Over the years, the Royal Blind School has responded to changing needs and now provides education and support as a school for disabled children, accommodating children, like Harry, with multiple disabilities as well as a visual impairment. 

From autumn 2014, all students will be educated at the Canaan Lane campus. With purpose-built facilities, along with our amazing staff, we hope we will continue to hear inspiring stories of success for many more years. 

For more information about the our school, please visit www.royalblind.org/education

 

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