Getting the support needed 

Adam is a 2nd year ordinand from Oxford diocese.  He was diagnosed with dyslexia in primary school. It’s not been something he’s let hold him back but when considering ordination training and the academic study involved, it was a concern.

Tell us about your journey here? 

I was going through the discernment process and we were actually looking at another college which we visited but it didn’t feel right. My wife Emma had a dream about Bristol and so I looked up whether there were colleges in Bristol and we found Trinity on the web. Weeks later, we were at the New Wine summer conference and I saw the stand there and got chatting to a guy about the place and it sounded amazing so we signed up to an open day and I had my interview on the same day. When we walked into the place, Emma and I turned to each other and said it felt like home.

Trinity has a great culture of spirituality which matches where me and my family are at and its inclusive nature of looking after me but also my spouse was a key.  We were made to feel really welcome and even since then the whole family is always made to feel welcome onsite all the time.
I was concerned about my dyslexia so I asked the interview panel about it. I remember Jamie Davies saying that that it was not a problem he should be worried about but it was something for the college to work out. That was really amazing because it there were no questions or judgments about my previous academic grades or rather the lack of them. The attituded was about helping me do it rather than creating barriers.

I was offered a conditional place, passed my BAP in Mar 2020 and started at Trinity the following September. I was really surprised that I was accepted actually, I didn’t think I’d get through BAP and I was sure my dyslexia would be a contributing factor.

“Students shouldn’t have to worry about learning difficulties holding them back. Part of our job as theological educators is not only to help them learn how to think and engage with the subjects they’re learning but also to recognise any barriers that might get in their way and make reasonable adjustments to enable every student to flourish.“

Jamie Davies (Director of Postgraduate Research, Tutor in New Testament and Tutor for Independent Students)

How has the college supported you.?

When I first started it was suggested that I get retested which was really helpful as I didn’t have my original documents and Mel Lucas, the college disability advisor and specialist study support tutor, pointed out that my particular needs would probably have changed since I was a kid.
We discovered that for me areas around grammer, spelling and inward processing would be the main challenge combined with some short term memory loss which would be really tricky especially for lectures.

Mel has been great, she adapted her approach of working to my needs which has been really helpful. We have regular meetings to go over my essays to see if they actually make sense and to see if I’m answering the questions I’m supposed to be. I can schedule these meetings for just before I hand in an essay and she gives really good feedback.

“One of the other things that’s been probably the most important thing I wanted to say was that the faculty are really accessible. I can go speak to them in-between lectures or email them and they’re always happy and eager to help or clarify questions I have.”

Because of all that I’ve been surprised at my grades. I was expecting to fail on some of the essays but I think that the college support has been key in helping me not only pass but get some great results that I’m really proud of.

What would you say to folks considering coming here who may worry about learning difficulties or other disabilities?

I’d say, be open and honest. Voice your concerns upfront. That enables the college to offer support properly to help us flourish. That’s what they want to do really.

You can learn more about how we offer support for our students here.

You can also read more stories about our students here.

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