Ella* (7) lived with her Grandad, Paul* rather than with her parents. Although he did his best to support Ella at school, they struggled with homework because Paul didn’t understand technology and they had no internet access at home. I met Paul when he came to one of my drop in sessions, explaining his concern and the effect it was having on Ella’s learning.
Not only was Ella struggling to keep up with her peers socially, she was also unable to access online homework tasks assigned through a website. This was particularly noticeable in maths – Ella wasn’t meeting her targets and was falling behind her peers, but simply didn’t have the resources to access learning outside of the classroom!
As I got to know Ella and her situation, it also became clear that she was lacking in self-esteem and seemed to crave attention.
I arranged for Ella and I to spend an hour a week using a computer after school. This allowed her to complete the maths homework she’d been set, and also gave us time to explore other resources the school subscribed to, especially ones focussing on mental maths and art.
Our sessions have made a massive difference for Ella. She is now able to complete her homework, and is making good progress in maths and ICT. She’s also more confident with the computer and internet use, including how to keep herself safe, which is really important. Paul has told me, “It’s really, really helpful. Thank you so much.” Ella is also excited to come along to hands-on educational activities organised by a partner charity when she’s old enough.
Perhaps most noticeably, the 1:1 attention from an adult other than Paul has really improved Ella’s self-esteem. She says, “I LOVE coming on a Monday!” and enjoys telling Paul what she’s achieved every week. Ella and I have built built a positive and trusting relationship, so she knows there is someone she can talk to at school if she has anything on her mind.
Thanks to our sessions Ella is much happier, she knows she is supported, and she is able to fully engage with her learning and make progress.
*Names have been changed