K's story - written by Parents
Early experience before West Kirby School
Our Son was in mainstream school, he was totally misunderstood they did not see the child we knew he was, kind , caring with a great sense of humour. He was treated differently, he was made to feel he was “naughty” and “stupid” and “was going no where”. When things got to much for him he would hide under tables in lockers etc but teachers wouldn’t leave him alone to process the situation, they would follow and “trap him” which made things worst.
He was denied school trips/outings as deemed to be “high risk” even if I said I would accompany him. He had to endure the pupils and teachers evaluating the trip the next day. We had daily phone calls with what they perceived as one problem or another, we could not relax . On the day we left his school (thank goodness), I was personally told by the head teacher that “he should be locked up in a secure unit and he was out of control”. He was 10 years old.
Starting West Kirby School and Collage
As soon as we saw West Kirby School I knew it was the school we wanted, it seemed to have a very friendly, caring feel. We had to gain trust back, the trust had gone. West Kirby told me “we do not lock this school” it was not that kind of school, I worried, I needn't have.
He has never been denied any school outings or residential trips ever, even in the beginning totally the opposite, in fact he goes out all the time either with class to purchase the food for the cafe they run from his class, buy birthday cakes, go the beach, Friday activity day, or on a one to one with the pastoral care team. If things get too much he has a designated place he can go and be left alone.
School has given him the confidence in believing that he is valued, he is clever, he is nice and he will achieve. They see what I see, they understand him, they treat him “normally”. I don’t get phone calls now. He is happy and never off, even mentored and buddied up with the younger children. He is more resilient, has grown and matured within this environment. He has achieved his DofE Bronze, Silver, and is hoping to do his Gold next year. Our son independently goes to a charity shop and volunteers each week and is fantastic on the sewing machine - gaining his GCSE in art and textiles, also exams in Chinese, English and maths.
He has just started Post 16 and carrying on with his exams. He independently goes out for lunch. He still has his struggles with work sometimes and struggles being with too many people, he knows what he wants, he wants to go to college to do art, textiles and design then get a job. He now has that believe in himself to achieve this. All this when he was written off at the age of 10 .
All the staff are lovely, caring and understanding and made our life as parents a lot easier and a lot happier.