The Catch Up Kids programme has allowed such an amazing opportunity to work with such an amazing variety of children, with such an amazing variety of skills! Each learner who walks through the doors offers a new set of achievements to be met, and endless amounts of fun to be had. The children who come to Catch Up are here for a reason: they are struggling to keep up with their peers in a mainstream classroom; but this does not remotely mean that they are unable to learn, or unable to thrive. Every child we see has their own set of difficulties to battle with, but also their own unique set of brilliant strengths. At Catch Up Kids, we strive to use those strengths to help these learners reach their goals – this is where the individualised programmes really work, we have no cookie-cutter methods applied to all children.

Though it can be difficult at times, I love knowing that there is always a way to help a child learn – you can try ten different ways unsuccessfully, but there will always be ten more to utilise. Not only do we help children reach the necessary levels in academics, but the most satisfying part of a programme is aimed at teaching the child to LEARN. By helping a child develop skills such as attention, and memory, we open up the door to allowing them to learn in the classroom environment.

Sometimes the gap that needs to be filled in can seem insurmountable, but the little victories that we see in our data, and the little increases in marks, just go to show that slow and steady wins the race. I have had the absolute pleasure of working with a grade 4 learner this year – she is such a wonderful character, and shows such dedication to her work. This child has struggled with Maths and English for most of her school career, and came to us with concerns for her marks. Across the time we have worked with this child, there are three hugely special moments that have occurred:

For a child who was consistently achieving 20-30% in tests, she is now coming home with scores of 60% – this has given her such a boost in confidence too!

We taught her a strategy for reading comprehensions involving highlighting keywords, and recently came home with a test (with a score of 60%) that showed the evidence of her transferring this strategy to the classroom environment.

And my absolute, most favourite moment,

She came home, EXCITED, to show me something new she had learned at school, in Maths class. She is loving long multiplication, and division!

Through everything, this child has never once not tried, and never once complained something is too hard – her commitment, and the effort she puts into everything she does, is not only admirable, but it is what motivates me after a long day. The pride that she experiences with each little improvement is palpable, and just infectious to everyone in the room with her. This child is just one of many, and this story is just one of many – each child has the capability to experience these successes, and each child deserves to have the chance to reach their potential.