ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
"The true goal, of course, is to first make our modes of education interesting to them." John Locke
Here’s the ‘science’ part: ADHD is a developmental disruption in the brain’s executive functions. It is commonly characterised by trouble paying attention, poor impulse and emotional control, and often an excess of energy or daydreaming, or a combination of both.
Then the ‘in reality’ part: Most ADHD students - we like to refer to students with ADHD as ADHDers - will experience difficulty with attention and emotional regulation (e.g. controlling movement, emotions, volume of voice, staying focused on one task at a time.) The degree to which these characteristics present will vary from child to child. And if we’re honest, how can this not be frustrating for the classroom teacher?
Now the ‘how we do it differently for ADHDers’ part at Summit Point: We do not share the same model as a mainstream school. Most education systems, which work well for many students, follow a neurotypical structure and expectations in the curriculum and classrooms. However, we understand that an ADHDer can be easily distracted, can become easily frustrated and can find it hard to follow the order of instructions, from basic tasks such as collecting the right equipment in art, to working through a maths equation or problem.
We provide a quiet learning environment, less noise, less visual material on the walls, uncomplicated systems and deliberately paced lessons. Our approach is designed to support executive functioning...for all of our students. These fundamental skills are at the core of what we do. They include:
- Visual aids to help with reducing interruptions, and disruptions
- Planning and self-monitoring scaffolded into lessons (taught)
- Working memory, time management, and organisation supported by weekly lessons
- Time and space given if a student is overwhelmed, or is finding things challenging.
Mainstream teachers, who do wonderful work serving our future grown-ups, must successfully manage a whole continuum of needs. Expecting teachers to be experts in everything is unreasonable and unfair. The time and extra work needed to create resources that support students with ADHD is rarely available.
"We were desperate to help our son’s self-esteem and confidence. Enrolling him at Summit Point restored his belief in himself."
"Being encouraged to demonstrate his knowledge using educational technology has helped remove barriers to my child’s learning and made him less anxious about tests and assessment."
"The teachers at Summit Point go above and beyond to nurture the different learning styles of students."
"Rebecca supported us to understand our child’s strengths and challenges and find a way to foster his love of learning."
"We have been working with Summit for almost a term and my word, our daughter has come a long way since she started at the school."
"It’s a hard decision sending your child to a ‘special’ school, but now we’re out the other side, we realise how much our daughter needed the attention and environment that Summit Point offers."
"Her time at Summit gave our daughter the space and time to learn at her own pace, be recognised for her talents and participate in the running of the school."
"Graduating from Summit, our child is a confident learner and has a range of strategies which have helped her transition to high school."