Young girl leaves parting gift for support given by Fenland primary school
A schoolgirl wanted to leave a parting thank-you gift for the support given by her primary school as she headed off to secondary school this autumn.
When 10-year-old Charlotte Gardiner, was gearing up to leave Townley School in Christchurch this July, she decided to provide the school with some extra resources to help future pupils.
Charlotte has dyslexia and was well supported at the village school following her diagnosis a few years ago after signs of the condition were picked up by staff, which is why she wanted to leave a parting gift to help others like her.
Due to the size of the school, Townley lacked funding to buy equipment for the pupils, including those pupils struggling with dyslexia.
Charlotte sent letters to a number of firms asking for help and stating: “I am leaving to go to secondary school this July, and I have decided because the school has helped me so much with my dyslexia, I want to help them before I go.
“So, what I want to ask is if you can help me or help my school by donating any toys or equipment or even money that will help my school and my teachers.”
And her appeal met with a positive response from several including Pentagon Play who donated products including handheld chalkboards and a leavers bench.
Townley’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENDCo), Jo Evans, spotted signs of Charlotte’s Dyslexia several years ago and supported her and her parents in getting a diagnosis.
She also implemented several changes into the way Charlotte was being taught, to accommodate any additional needs or support that Charlotte had.
When asked about how Dyslexia affected her educational life, Charlotte said: “I felt like if I didn’t fit in then I would be the odd one out. I kept writing letters to my teachers saying ‘Can you help me? I don’t feel like I fit in well enough.”
Charlotte’s class teacher and Year 5/6 lead, Amy Saward said when asked about Dyslexia support in schools: “I think there could be more. Schools are sort of left to get on with it sometimes.
“It’s so important to recognise Dyslexia because it’s horrible to think that those children might be suffering, and sometimes, it’s just little things like giving them coloured paper that can make such a difference to them.”
Charlotte contacted several companies who offered products or services that could/would support learning with Dyslexia to ask for their kindness and support in providing resources.
The pupils at Townley Primary School received 30 handheld chalkboards from Pentagon Play, great for writing and drawing with, as well as a Leavers Bench. This special bench features the engraved names of all of the Year 6s who left the school in July, including Charlotte.
Charlotte has now moved on to a local secondary school, yet the products she acquired for the school remain there for the pupils to use.
Charlotte will always carry with her the special message: “Just because you’re different, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do the same as everyone else.”