Choosing Schools

October 27, 2017

My name is Alfie Worthington Jones and


These were the first words Alfie uttered when,as a lonely, frightened and very dyslexic little boy, he joined our Reception class.

If you are confused about choosing the right school for your child, then go back to first principles. As I work with dyslexic children, the phrase I use is……

“Develop their Strengths – Support their Weaknesses.”

This mantra focuses on potential as well as performance.

Before you start, it helps to have an understanding of who your child is. The criteria for choosing a school then become clearer.

Develop strengths:

·        What does your child enjoy doing?

·        What is your child good at?

·        Could these skills and interests form the basis for a career?

Support weaknesses:

·        Is the school willing to recognise your child’s needs?

·        Does the school have physical/ human resources to support those needs?

·        Is there any technology your child could use to access the curriculum?

·        Does your child have a strong emotional support network including family, school friends, teaching staff?

I would advise you to sit down, preferably with your child, and make a list of those areas which are non-negotiable and those which are negotiable. It is a bit like buying a house. No house is perfect, but you may be willing to trade off the small kitchen for the large garden. No school is perfect, but you could, for example, be willing to pay for additional learning support because the school has an excellent culture of Creative Arts.

If you want a good visual image to help you, think about our soldiers who have survived terrible war injuries. Not prepared to be side-lined, they focused on their potential not their performance. With appropriate support some of them have risen to incredible levels of physical and mental achievement. What is interesting is that technology and attitudes have been forced to step up. Those changes were driven by determined, focused people working through the disability in order to achieve their potential.

By the way, Alfie is now in College, studying Media and Technology.

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Call Sheila if you wish to find out more.

01297 445464