A student whose educational journey involved a daily 92-mile round trip to get to college has resulted in outstanding achievement.
After researching courses, Ethan Dunbobbin chose Darlington College for his qualification – despite it being an hour away from his home in Appleby, in Cumbria.
It meant the 19-year-old having to leave home at 7.30am and not returning until 5.30pm every day, driving across the North Pennines in all weathers.
His effort and commitment has paid off as he has achieved a rare triple grade two distinction*s and a distinction in his BTEC level three extended diploma in construction and the built environment, the equivalent of two A*s and and A at A level.
“It’s been hard work for two years and has taken a lot of effort. I’m happy with the result but I wish I’d just done a little bit better to get three distinction*s. I like to get things done in a certain way and try to get 100 per cent in everything I do. I just want to do the very best I can,” said Ethan.
He is the toast of the college construction department, especially since he was diagnosed as having a mild form of dyslexia after his tutor Lisa Bowerbank and course leader Ian Blackhall spotted he was struggling a little with reading and writing.
“I wasn’t tested at school so wasn’t given any extra time in exams or anything,” explained Ethan.
It was helpful to have the test and find out I have a mild form of dyslexia and that it wasn’t just me thinking I wasn’t very good at certain things,” said Ethan.
It has not held him back and he gained a string of top grades in modules from health, safety and welfare, project management and surveying to computer aided design, mechanical and electrical services and building technology.
Formerly a pupil at Appleby Grammar School, Ethan joined the school sixth form there to study AS levels in design technology, science and the extended project qualification (EPQ) while he waited to turn 17 and could learn to drive.
He explained: “A levels weren’t for me. I looked at other colleges but they didn’t offer the course I wanted. I researched the stories of students from Darlington College and they success they’d had and it seemed to be a good quality course.”
“I have wanted to be an architectural technologist since doing work experience in Year 10. I like looking at how buildings are constructed and designed to be efficient spaces for their users,” added Ethan, whose parents Angela and Michael run Appleby Manor Hotel.
His favourite buildings include World Trade Centre One in New York, Taipei 101 and the CCTV headquarters building in Beijing, China.
Ethan’s result is more than enough to match the requirements of his offer to study architectural technology at Sheffield Hallam University, and is hoping to go there in September.