When we first met Matilda*
Matilda had always felt very unsettled in main stream school. The constant change in routine, the unpredictability of the classroom environment and the transition between classes often resulted in frustrated, angry outbursts. The lack of understanding of Matilda’s need for structure and routine and her inability to communicate her needs to others led to her placement failing.
When Matilda came to New Elizabethan School
Matilda came to us as a very anxious and angry 11 year old. She had developed a need for control which was detrimental to herself and those around her. It became evident quickly that she was mistrusting of her peers and staff. Matilda was unable to eat her lunch in the company of others and intolerant of anything that caused a change to her routine.
When Matilda first joined Cambian New Elizabethan she spent a lot of time working independently with a member of staff away from a classroom environment re- building her confidence and introducing strategies to help with her need for control. Gaps in Matilda’s educational knowledge were bridged using a teaching format that Matilda felt comfortable with. Slowly on her own terms, Matilda was reintroduced to a classroom environment. Having a set staff team helped Matilda feel more relaxed at school and slowly but surely Matilda’s funny, kind and exuberant personality emerged to the absolute delight of those around her.
Matilda is now a confident, chatty and witty 15 year old. She is a well-known face around school and will find time to stop and tell you a joke or ask you about your day. She loves to show visitors around and has overcome many of her anxieties. This has helped her come on leaps and bounds both educationally and socially. Access arrangements have been put in place for Matilda to sit her GCSE’s, she now spends more and more time with others and celebrates full school life on her terms. Matilda has strategies to use when she feels anxious and has been encouraged to embrace her eccentricities.
What is the future like for Matilda?
So Bright! Matilda now feels confident enough in her own abilities that she is able to vocalise appropriately when she needs something and what strategy she can use to help her. She is now attending holidays abroad with her family and going on school reward trips that she earns through her own hard work and commitment. We expect Matilda to continue into sixth form and build on the amazing creative skills that she has found in art and cooking combined. The excellent relationship and communication between school and home with the common goal of providing Matilda with what she needs as she transitions into adulthood means that the future for her is looking incredibly bright!
*Name has been changed to protect identity