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We assess all students prior to their starting with us.  This is to check their strengths, weaknesses, social and emotional needs. Some children are outgoing, whilst others are just the opposite. The most important point, we feel, is to ensure that each individual is placed in a group where they can feel safe and thrive in a nurturing, supportive environment. It is our extremely thorough assessment process that ensures we gather the information required for this to happen. Following the assessment, parents or guardians are taken through the information collected and feedback with advice is given in relation to our findings.  

Most problems experienced by children today tend to stem from the classroom. Within our state system class sizes usually vary in size from between thirty to thirty-five pupils. That is, between thirty to thirty-five pupils of a mixed ability.


There will be less than a year’s difference in age between the eldest and youngest, but by the age of seven there can be children, all in the same class, working on National Curriculum levels from pre level one work up to as high as level four. By the time they are eleven most children will have attained at least a level two but by now there will be many children working at level four, some working at level five and there may be one or two children who are beginning to work on level six material. Generally each class can be broken down into three recognisable levels:

  • High Flyers
  • Those of Average Ability
  • Those with Learning Difficulties 

The high-flyers usually number around half a dozen and invariably sit head and shoulders above the rest of the class. It is very difficult for a class teacher to truly extend the learning programme to this group of children. They are in the minority and have already developed many of the skills required for that year’s curriculum.


Our assessment process ensures that a child in this group has his/her needs identified. They are then grouped accordingly and have the extension work required. This group generally has a great love for learning and flourishes amazingly in the environment we provide for them.

Those of average ability usually constitutes the greater bulk of the class and it is to this group that the majority of teachers plan many of their lessons with extension work for the more able and lower expectations for the less able. The children with learning difficulties rarely receive the kind of help and attention they really need. Extra help is either from a support assistant or if being given by an experienced member of staff is for generally only a very small percentage of any timetabled week. Some children with a Statement get a combination of both but it is rarely enough.

I would ask you to picture the following scenario: A teacher asks a group of children a question. The same six hands go up. The other children sit there in the vain, hoping they will not be asked a question. WHY? Because there's that element of doubt forever present in them that if they 'have a go' or 'take a risk' and get it wrong they will look silly in front of other class members. Some teachers will ignore or even humiliate the giver of a wrong answer.

Many teachers thrive on self-gratification. When someone gives a correct answer, they feel that they are doing their job. Even if the giver of the answer knew the information two years ago. 

The longer this is allowed to go on the worse it gets and develops into the downward spiral of defeatism.  The less confidence the child has the less they feel inclined to take a risk.  If risks are not taken then opportunities for learning are lost.


Our assessments and grouping within ability, rather than age, ensures that we break this cycle. All children are given opportunites to experience success on a weekly basis. This is turn builds their self esteem and we slowly but surely turn I can't into I can.


The following article was written by Julie Stanton as an encouragement to our students and families but it is relevant to all of us as we journey through life constantly learning through the opportunities and experiences we make for ourselves and loved ones.



 Changing I Can’t into I Can

Easy to say, but how exactly do you do it?


The problem is there are other factors required. DEDICATION, DETERMINATION, FOCUS, PATIENCE, SUPPORT, ENCOURAGEMENT, REASSURANCE and the final most important ingredient is TIME.  When there is something to be learnt or achieved, a goal to be reached, we all need TIME. On its own TIME will achieve little but, combined with all of the above we can turn “I CAN’T” into “I CAN.”

My job is not only to teach or provide teaching provision for your children but also to raise them up to believe in themselves; for them to see that they can be amazing. Some come to me with a strong self esteem but many do not and it is sometimes difficult to show them just how amazing they can be. We have to believe in ourselves but that comes from being believed in by others first. As a parent by showing your child that they can be successful with small goals in the right time scale you will build up their confidence and they will then be able to take risks. With risk taking you get growth of skills and character. Expectation is everything but it has to be tempered with SUPPORT good experiences, REASSURANCE and ENCOURAGEMENT and enough TIME for them to meet the goals set. On their part they need to have the DETERMINATION to keep working hard, listening, practicing and reviewing the necessary tasks. The DEDICATION to continue has to be there to see the task through and not to sit back and expect someone else to do it all for them. In other words they have to be a willing participant who is striving to be successful and finally they have to have FOCUS to keep their minds on each given task or challenge. It is sad but sometimes it is the parent’s goal that the child is trying to achieve and the time scale they are provided with actually sets them up to fail. We have to look at the emotional cost of this dilemma and ensure that our goals and time scales are realistic and that the opportunities continue until they have achieved their aim rather than cutting it off before they have reached the level required to achieve their goal, even if this takes much longer than originally planned. Not to finish the task gives a strong message of failure. We have to give them TIME to succeed, as only then will our children grow in ability, confidence and sprit. I recently heard from a parent whose son is predicted all A star grades for his forth coming GCSE’s - He didn’t pass the eleven plus but he did complete all of his Level 5 material with us by staying on in year 6. He entered his secondary years at the top of his game and stayed there. He was given the SUPPORT, REASSURANCE, ENCOURAGEMENT and enough TIME to succeed and that has produced amazing growth of ability, character and focus.


You too can take the TIME, DEDICATION and DETERMINATION and develop the FOCUS to become everything you want to be. It is all about believing in yourself, but we need others to believe in us too and to give us the TIME to achieve the goals that others set for us. The greatest gift you can give anyone is to lift them up, so I encourage you to keep doing just that and help our young ones to start saying "I can!"  Keep supporting them and just because our education system sets time limits on measuring success does not mean you have to. The powers that be will have you believe that there is only one bite of the cherry that the 11+ or GCSE’s or A Levels or a degree is everything, the only way, but it isn’t. We can use our own time scales and achieve at our own pace. We can use whatever educational establishments there are available to us as a support system but they are only a small part of it. The drive has to be within us. Never before has there been such an ease of access to learning tools on the world wide web - many of them totally free - but we have to have the attributes and, when young, the support of others to bring achievements into reality. 


Julie Stanton (2014)





Call us now on 020 8300 7548 or email us at Text us a message on 07930974808 but please note mobile voicemails are not reliable.