Our goal is for children to grow up confident in their worth and natural abilities, with the courage to be themselves and resilience to persevere when things get tough. And yet the educational experience of many children today is quite different. So there is work to do!
We provide a facility that after six years we know encourages children, many of whom have learning disabilities such as ASD and dyslexia to develop their creative and innovative skills. We work with children od all education backgrounds to provide creative learning opportunities and facilities they would not have otherwise at home or at school. For some our provision simply serves to restore them during or after some kind of trauma which may involve school or issues at school. For a few, where everything else has been tried and their attendance is poor or non exsistent we are often able to help - but only if they engage with some aspect of our provision first and see it as an opportunity. Ideally many of these would remain with us long term but this is often not possible or not yet accepted by the traditionalist educational community so our work is limited at present. However, in many countries Democratic and Independent learning is being embraced as a viable and preferable route for some children. We do what we can to persuade authorities through an indisputable record of success, validated by the testimony of children parents and teachers.
Children love to learn but if they feel continually frustrated in some way this can lead to behavioural problems and anxiety. Many thrive in schools but others need an alternative provision to learn at their own pace without pressure. They may need an environment that is peaceful, where they are not constantly bombarded by expectations or pressure to process certain kinds of information faster than they are able. We focus on intrinsic motivation that is paced by the learner. In order to develop life -long -independent learning strategies, confidence and courage we need to know authentically who we are and where are skills lie. Our inspiration is the Christian teaching that children are each precious and each one of them matters to the One who created them. As in a body -all parts are vital and so each child should grow up knowing they have a role and a part to play. Ironically many employers seek those with 'special needs' such as ASD. So why is ASD not celebrated more in education? We see the positive side. We are intolerant of unkindness and bullying. We all contribute by being helpful, cooperative and encouraging towards one another.
Learning Disabilities or Extraordinary Learners?
Many children with 'special educational needs' are extraordinary learners in other ways. They may struggle with social or communication skills, perhaps with fine motor skills but by making use of modern technology they are still able to achieve rewarding outcomes and feel part of a group of friends. Our CAD CAM system facilitates very high achievement on any scale and our teams of students with an array of 'learning needs' can be competitive with universities and colleges on even ground. For some, the SEN 'label' is a hinderance to self esteem particularly where they have other augmented skills that are not adequately celebrated. We seek to discover and celebrate what they can do well, so that they will be better prepared to tackle their challenges.
Our mission is for all children to reach their potential through a recognition and celebration of their abilities and through learning strategies that will last them a lifetime. To this end, Time and Space Learning is:
centred on the holistic needs of the learner in discovering who they are, how they learn and how to connect with others.
focused on engendering courage, emotional intelligence, confidence and a personal strategy for life long learning, trusting them with decisions about their learning
generous with resources - time and space
Photos: Steph and Tolly