School life at Moon Hall Dorking offers a level playing field for dyslexic children. Our pupils may have had negative experiences elsewhere, received withdrawal or 1:1 ‘help’ or done their best in a somewhat bewildering classroom. The School day starts with morning registration at 8.30am (although children start to arrive from 8.00am) and finishes Monday – Thursday at 4.30pm and 4.00pm on a Friday.
At Moon Hall, the baseline for everyday provision is that all our children are intelligent, capable and dyslexic. Our expectations are that we will assess and get to know each child as an individual; understanding how they learn. We will then teach to meet their learning needs and styles; working with stronger channels and helping them to overcome barriers in weaker areas. Children’s expectations of school soon adjust; understanding that they are not only welcomed, but also that they are expected to take an active part in their own learning journeys; learning how to learn and how they personally work best; not only in order to complete the task in hand, but for life.
In the classroom, children learn which adaptations enable them to work most effectively, bridging the gap between their verbal and written expression. Well supported in small classes by specialist teachers, children receive a higher level of adult input than in mainstream schools, however for our pupils 1:1 or withdrawal is unusual. Our aim is to build children’s self confidence and ability to participate independently, and succeed.
Communication with parents and carers is close, and includes input from in house therapists when beneficial.
Facilities at Moon Hall are designed around our children. Our building was purpose built, providing a secure environment that looks and feels different to a mainstream setting. Bookcases and reading corners are built into the fabric of our school for children’s everyday use and enjoyment. The 65 acres of Belmont grounds in which we are situated include astro courts, an outdoor swimming pool, indoor gymnasium, large sports field, adventure playground and extensive woods for traditional play and discovery.
Boarding – either weekly, drop in or ‘day’ (children stay for supper but are picked up before bed) can be as fixed or flexible as required to suit family’s needs. Similarly, school bus routes are designed, as far as they can be, around our children’s needs.
Routine is important at Moon Hall; but exceptions to our timetable also form an important part of provision and enrich life for our children. Educational visits, the myriad of clubs on offer, curriculum or welfare focus days, charity fundraising and PTA events all add to the dynamic life at Moon Hall.
Testaments from past students and parents illustrate the fact that life at Moon Hall offers children the opportunity to understand themselves and bridge the gap between their performance and their potential making a difference to the trajectory of their lives.