My son Barney was diagnosed at the age of 5 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and as a result, he missed almost two years of school. This left him considerably behind his peers and so we searched long and hard for a school that could support this deficit. We finally found Winstedt, where the unique learning approach suited Barney so he could catch up. We appreciate that Winstedt took the time to sit down and really understand him, and to talk with us about how we could best support him. The teachers were not afraid to be firm with him, while still showing endless patience and kindness as his emotional breakdowns became less frequent.
What we didn’t know at the time was that Barney had developed ADHD inattentive type as a result of the chemotherapy treatment, which is a common side effect. Winstedt pushed us to have him tested, we resisted, frightened to put a label on him. Again, teachers took the time to sit with us and explain that he was just not getting “higher order” thinking and that it was not for lack of effort.
This was the best thing that happened for Barney – we finally realised that he was trying his best, but the ADHD had been holding him back. To quote Barney “I don’t have to fight to stay awake now. I enjoy going to school and learning!” His self-esteem has gone through the roof, whereas previously he had labeled himself “the big dumb kid”, he now participates in class and knows he is just as capable as his peers.
Throughout this process, Winstedt went over and beyond the call of duty, communicating and pushing us. Winstedt has been the biggest and most positive influence in my child’s life and we will be eternally grateful. Thank you for the engaging style that keeps kids involved, and for the superb communication with parents. The school’s expertise and instincts on him were spot on and have paved the way for a whole new level of learning for him. The Winstedt School has saved Barney from a mediocre academic life by providing the necessary support and forcing us to raise our expectations. We as a family are so grateful. Winstedt is truly an academic centre of excellence in every way.