We were delighted with all the entries that we received for this years love to learn competition and it was extremely difficult to choose a winner.

We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to send in their story about why they loved to learn. If you missed some of the blogs, you can read a selection of the entries here.

After much deliberation, we choose Rhian's blog as the winning entry. Her uplifting and inspiring blog about developing a love of learning from an early age hugely impressed us. We've posted it below if you'd like to have another read - let us know what you think in the comments below! Congratulations Rhian, we hope you enjoy your prize!

Love to Learn - Rhian's Story

As a child I was labelled the ‘brainy one’ of the family because I loved homework… yes you read that right, and you think no child loves homework -  but I did.

I remember being as young as five years old excited because my year one teacher gave us homework, I couldn’t wait to get started on it. Why? I hear you ask. Well, here is where my love for learning began.

From the beginning…

I’ve stammered from the age of two, so putting my hands up in class, group activities or reading out loud was never my strong point, in fact it was my worst nightmare.

When I was given homework, it was my way of being good at something, getting my thoughts on paper and everything I wanted to say in class during the day. Homework was my time to prove myself ‘I can do this’ - feel part of the class in my own strange way.

My parents started my love for all things learning. They sat with me for hours helping me with my homework and listening to me read, even if I did only manage a page or two.

One evening, my Mum was cooking dinner while I was reading my homework to her, to our amazement because she was pottering around the kitchen and wasn’t directly listening to me, I didn’t stammer.

My parents soon realised that talking out loud to myself I didn’t stammer, so they used to help me role play my classes. My Dad made me a register of my class so I could pretend I was a teacher and teach the class (my teddies and my brother – poor thing!) everything I learnt that day. I loved it and soon realised I loved learning in every way I could.

Learning grew my confidence…

I was adamant that my stammer wouldn’t hold me back. I read every evening practicing, I remember reading an encyclopaedia front to back, I learnt so much!  My confidence grew and I started enjoying school, contributing in classes, putting myself forward in activities – I even joined the debate team, ironic I know!

I remember moving up to secondary school and being a little apprehensive but still looking forward to the different subjects I could learn and you guessed it, the more homework I would get.

There were times that I thought to myself ‘is this normal to love studying so much?’ I was the first one of my family to enjoy school so I did question it… but I loved learning from reading to cracking a maths puzzle! 

I knew that I wanted to be the first of my family to attend university and I wanted to prove to myself and others that my speech impediment wouldn’t hinder me. So, I took it one step further.

I went on to do my A-levels and then took an apprenticeship whilst taking a part-time university course – double learning! I realised I wanted to have a career in something to do with communication and employees.

Where learning has got me today…

Through years of studying and my apprenticeship I secured a communications officer role and it’s a career I absolutely love.

Who’d have thought that a five-year-old shy girl, scared to put her hand up in class, 20 years later would happily stand up and present to employees, schools and parents about her job and experience in apprenticeships and education.

I put it down to learning. Don’t let learning in the classroom be your limit. There is so much more you can do – learn about yourself and how you can become better, better at your career, better at studies or better yourself.

The best feeling I’ve ever had was when I graduated – I pushed myself, learn to push yourself. What are you waiting for? 😊

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