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Charlotte graduates with first-class honours five years after leaving College happy with a 'low grade'

Charlotte Taylor graduated from York College University Centre with first-class honours this summer just five years after leaving the building happy with a “low grade” at the age of 18.

Having been awarded a D on her Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education course back in 2018, Charlotte was relieved to leave education behind and start work at Joseph’s Nursery on Rawcliffe Lane in York.

Two years later, though, after deciding she would like to become a qualified primary school teacher, Charlotte returned to Sim Balk Lane to enrol on our Foundation Degree in Children’s Development & Learning, securing a Merit.

She then progressed to the BA (Hons) Leading Children’s Development & Learning (Top-up) degree, achieving the highest possible grade, which has led to her starting her PGCE School Direct qualification with Sheffield Hallam University and a placement at Headlands Primary School in York.

It has been quite a journey for Charlotte, who freely admits she never envisioned herself graduating with first-class honours at York Minster.

Charlotte celebrates with fellow graduates outside York Minster

“When I did my Level 3 course I didn’t care,” she pointed out. “I didn’t have the attitude to learn or be there.

“I just went for the low grade to get through it so I could get out. I had a two-year break from studying but, then, decided I wanted to carry on.

“Working in a nursery made me want to be a teacher, so I came back to College to help me achieve that, which gave me the motivation to work harder.

“The tutors on the course were good. On my first day, I was asked what grade I hoped to achieve, and I said that I just wanted to pass.

“When I started off getting in the 70s for assignments, I thought it was a one-off but I kept on getting high grades. Then, to see it written down that I’d got a first, I was overwhelmed, and I didn’t think it was true.

“I made my friend look at it to check and she said, ‘No it is true’. It felt really good to get that outcome after three years of studying hard.”

Charlotte was one of eight students to win a Graduation Day award