We were delighted to hear that former CHS pupil, Ollie Middleton, is to stand as an MP in 2015 at the next General Election. Ollie joined Calder House in 2003 and spent six terms with us, leaving in 2005. Now aged 18, Ollie is currently studying International Relations and Politics at Westminster University and has just been selected as the Labour Party candidate for Bath – which puts him on course to be the youngest candidate to contest a seat at the next election!
As he is today... Ollie returns to Calder House.
Ollie has been the centre of a media-frenzy since winning the selection battle and being named as Labour’s candidate. However, he very kindly found time in his schedule to visit Calder House and chat to pupils about his political ambitions and also his experience as a young person with dyslexia.
“Being dyslexic can feel like a curse – but it shouldn’t. I was really struggling in a mainstream school but then I came to Calder House and everything changed for me,” explains Ollie. “The teachers at Calder House recognised that I had strengths and talents not just weaknesses. They rebuilt my self-esteem and for the first time I started to believe that I could actually achieve something at school.
“At Calder House I learned skills and strategies that have helped me tackle the things I find difficult because of my dyslexia. Of course I am still dyslexic – I always will be – but I no longer see my dyslexia as such a big problem. I’ve learned how to read, write and study effectively. I’ve learned to love education – which is why I’m now at university! And that is in no small part thanks to Calder House.”
During his visit, Headteacher Mr Day presented Ollie with one of our Starfish Badges which all pupils now receive when they leave Calder House. “We’re really proud of everything Ollie has achieved,” says Mr Day. “Once again, it just goes to show that being dyslexic doesn’t have to limit your educational – or political! – potential.”
As he was then... Ollie (on the lhs) back in 2004!