Gabrielle rekindles her appetite for learning

dawnthompsonA retired head teacher from Dolgellau celebrated her graduation success at Bangor University recently. After spending a lifetime in education where her mother, father, sister and husband were teachers, Gabrielle Wilkinson has spent the last 8 years on the Lifelong Learning Fine Art programme, culminating in a BA (hons) Fine Art.

Gabrielle worked as a primary school head teacher before becoming a primary inspector for Bedfordshire Council until she took early retirement at 60. During the next 5 years she freelanced as an Educational Consultant and also worked for OFSTED as an Inspector.

At 65 Gabrielle and her husband moved to Wales, where she saw an advert for Lifelong Learning’s Fine Art Challenge. This modular course was aimed at people who have some experience but little or no formal art qualification, or as refresher course for who have not practised art for some time. Gabrielle always wanted to ‘do’ art but was encouraged to follow an academic route.

Gabrielle said:
“Lifelong Learning staff enabled me to achieve my goals by rekindling my love of learning, continually making me ask more questions of life, the world around me and most importantly of myself. It would be so easy to just provide so-called answers, but the tutors and the course say think for yourself. This has been what learning, real learning, is all about. I owe Lifelong Learning and all the tutors too much to enumerate my thanks.”

Now Gabrielle has developed an appetite for learning, she intends to carry on with her painting and enjoying the endless challenges that life throws at her.

To find out more about short courses or part-time degrees, please contact Lifelong Learning on 01248 383668 or visit the website

Publication date: 13 July 2011