After 19 years in the forces, Chris Rone is still keen to progress his career.
The only thing holding him back was his lack of formal qualifications and so he decided to study GCSE English at Wiltshire College’s Salisbury campus.
The 35-year-old, who is with 5th Rifles battalion based in Bulford, said: “I really liked the new exam based grading system which meant that I could study without having to also meet coursework deadlines.
“It was easy to enrol and the course was free, which I couldn’t believe!
“I expected to be the oldest in the class, but there was a really great age range and such a nice atmosphere – as well as learning, it’s been a fantastic social experience.”
Chris said although he had originally taken the course just for the qualification, that he has seen the English language in a completely different light.
He said: “Our tutor Jonathan is a real character, who delivers lively lessons and guides us superbly in our exploration of English as a language.
“I‘ve really enjoyed the challenge and not only read more, but take more pride in my writing and I feel more confident at work.
“I feel that I can have more impact through language too and have surprised myself by using more fancy words!
“The course has also helped my understanding of how the public can be influenced by the media or politicians and how information can be manipulated by a particular choice of word.
“It’s been very interesting and also useful.”
Chris has taken his first exam and has one more this Friday and after that is looking into taking A-Levels through the 10 Army Education Centre in Tidworth.
He added: “The centre doesn’t have teaching provision but I feel coming back to College and undertaking this course has given me the confidence for self-study and also achieve my goals.
“GCSE English is only the start of my journey – I feel like I’m only just scratching the surface!”
If you would like to gain a formal GCSE qualification in English or improve your grade click here - https://webapp.wiltshire.ac.uk/coursestng/Category/Index/8