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Meet A Unicorn


Rosa"The Unicorn School sees students for who they are rather than for what they lack and encourages them in their personal interests.

I respect the teachers for being honest with me; about how I (specifically) learn best [and] what I need to work on. I came out of the education system with a love of learning and a hugely enhanced sense of self-worth.

The Unicorn School is blessed with the unbelievably rare and special kind of teachers who will give time from their breaks and after school to help students. These teachers are strange… They will demonstrate how to measure weights by making a cake with the class, will buy us second hand books to cultivate our love of reading, set aside lesson plans to really engage the students on a personal level with the subjects. Ever-caring, considerate and compassionate, I have always felt that the teachers of the Unicorn school have been on my side.

For me, the unbelievable happened. I started looking forward to going to school."

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Chris Angwin"I arrived at The Unicorn School aged ten, very anxious after a challenging period of main stream education characterised by bullying and marginalisation. I had become all but disillusioned with school. Reading was hard, writing more-so and interacting with others at times felt impossible. I fully expected the Unicorn School to treat me as others had done. Thankfully I was wrong. The school was patient and supportive, encouraging my development and allowing me to explore my interests. This allowed me to become ambitious, focused and resilient both during my time at the school and beyond in to adult life. Whilst at the school I decided to become a veterinary surgeon, possibly the most challenging academic option open to me, requiring significant effort, patience, and resilience.

I was not ready for veterinary training following A-levels and joined the bio-veterinary science degree program at the University of Lincoln. By employing learning techniques taught at the Unicorn School along with hard work, I attained a 1st class degree. This along with over 1,000 hours of voluntary work with local vet practices, significant time caring for pets in the local community, charity animal work and time spent on farms gained me a place at the UK’s top vet school, Edinburgh University. Studying to be a vet was supremely challenging, with little to no support available to people with learning differences.

I qualified as a vet in 2020 and I would not have done so without the unwavering support of my family and the continued moral support from the Unicorn School.

Practicing as a vet during the pandemic posed multiple challenges such as managing Covid in cats and the job continues to be varied, ranging from surgical cases such as tumour removal to animal behaviour. I enjoy my work and am now considering whether to pursue specialisation training in animal medicine or work for a year in Australasia."

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Freya"As the time is drawing closer to the end, for Freya at The Unicorn School, I feel the time is right to let you know the impact of her time at the school and to let you take credit for the success of her time with you all.

After navigating the SEN/EHCP system and the lack of support and resources in the mainstream settings for 9 years, eventually, as a family, we were successful in securing a place at The Unicorn School, Abingdon.

Mr Day met with myself and Freya. His passion for the school became evident, from my initial contact, to Freya starting the school at the end of year 9. Mr Day is a credit to the school, staff and students.

Freya was a dyslexic student, who had had a negative experience in mainstream school. Her low self-esteem, anxiety, school-based trauma meant that she found it hard to understand initially that the staff at The Unicorn were there to help. An ethos of nurturing and reassurance comes from the positive mental health and well-being focus that runs through the school. This as well as the commitment of the staff from pastoral to academic, Office staff, Freya’s tutor, Teaching assistants, the social skills group, Speech and Language therapy, ELSA support -all of these people along the way enabled Freya to begin to flourish.

Freya lives approximately 60 miles away from Abingdon and travels 120 miles round trip, taking approximately 2hr30 min a day. When she is asked about her journey Freya replies that it’s worth every hour to reach your potential and have teachers who believe in you (she enjoys the drive too!)

I think what I am looking to say is that you are a very special school. Every child matters to you and you have a very dedicated team of staff, along with a great senior leadership team.

Regardless of Freya’s results, everyone at school has given us a confident young lady who believes in herself. She will come out with good grades for her.

I have to credit Freya for the two and half years with you, she has given it her all. She appreciates everything that you have done for her.

As a family we just want you to understand that we are very grateful. We will continue to support the school at the summer fair etc. Please take this time to reflect and know that all your hard work and dedication is not unnoticed."

- Mrs Evans

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