Pupil Profile - Caleb
Before joining Slindon College, Caleb attended a large International school in Hong Kong but he struggled to fit in with his neuro-typical, self-motivated and confident peer group.
Early signs of learning difficulty
At school in Hong Kong, Caleb showed a preference for small group learning tasks rather than being involved in big classes. His diagnosis of ADHD (inattentive type) and its impact on his working memory made it difficult for him to complete tasks without prompts. His poor fine motor skills meant that writing was laboured and he struggled to feel successful in the classroom. Due to his barriers to learning, Caleb could sometimes become sensitive, frustrated and anxious.
He also developed unhelpful strategies to try and avoid challenges at school. For instance he would use distraction techniques like off-topic questions, frequently asking to go to the toilet or fidgeting with his pencil case. Caleb also showed low resilience when it came to the social and emotional aspects of learning. During his first year of secondary school, amid political unrest and harsh COVID restrictions, Caleb’ parents became concerned about his overall wellbeing, his ability to make friends and the acquisition of key skills needed to pursue his interests and feel successful. As expats, they decided to make the difficult decision to leave Hong Kong and relocate to the UK.
More choice of specialist education in the UK
An education consultant created a shortlist of UK schools that offered specialist education and learning support. After video calls to meet with them, it was felt that Slindon College’s small class sizes and individualised teaching approach was best suited to Caleb. The College felt confident they could bring out the best in Caleb and offered him the opportunity to continue on at the College after his taster week.
“We had to fight for support in Hong Kong but the staff at Slindon College just ‘get it’. Every boy there has his own additional needs and quirks so Caleb doesn’t feel so different now.” – Caleb’s mum in November 2021.
The wrap around care, both in class and boarding, has enabled Caleb’s confidence and self organisation to improve. Learning is difficult for Caleb but the small classes have allowed him more time and attention from teachers. He now feels supported and can focus on tasks with confidence. His mum now reports that he is eager to tell her about his work in Maths which never happened in Hong Kong.
The Boarding House Parents identified his passion for drone flying and opportunities like this, married to his experiences in Design Technology and mechanics, have given Caleb the motivation to succeed. Caleb joined the College’s Greenpower Team and he is actively talking about what options to take for his GCSEs.
Read about other Slindon College pupil's stories here.