A specialist school in Batley that offers Lego therapy has been honoured for its work with neurodiverse children.
Reach Academy has become the first school in Kirklees to be awarded ‘ADHD-friendly’ status by national neurodiversity charity, the ADHD Foundation.
The Academy has been recognised as an ‘outstanding’ learning environment for children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
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ADHD is one of the most common childhood disorders and it can continue through adolescence and into adulthood.
Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behaviour, and hyperactivity (over-activity).
Reach Academy provides calming environments for those children with ADHD who sometimes find school a very anxious place with a personalised support plan for each child and regular daily contact with parents and carers. There are also safe spaces in lessons, nurture breakfasts, use of sensory audits, access to Lego therapy and attachment and trauma informed practice embedded via the Alex Timpson project.
The needs of individual children are met through both mainstream classrooms and within specialist settings, for example, the gaming provision and reflection room. Helping children to self-calm and regulate their emotions is central to the ethos of Reach Academy.
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Colin Foley, National Training Director at ADHD Foundation said: “It has been a privilege to work with Reach Academy. The staff have gone above and beyond to make their lessons and their school environment enjoyable, supportive and safe spaces for their children with ADHD and I’m glad that they are getting the recognition for this that they deserve.”
Sue Wight, assistant head and SENCO of Reach Academy, said: “We have really enjoyed working with Colin from the ADHD Foundation and have found the whole school training extremely informative. We have acquired new strategies and feel assured that our practice is meeting the needs of the students we work with on a daily basis.”
The ADHD Foundation has credited Reach Academy with encouraging all children to learn about and celebrate neurodiversity.
The ADHD Foundation is a national charity that works in partnership with individuals, families, doctors, teachers and other agencies to improving emotional well-being, educational attainment, behaviour and life chances through better understanding and self-management of ADHD, ASD and related learning difficulties.
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