Horsham mum hails specialist school as ‘amazing’

A Horsham mum has hailed as ‘amazing’ a school that specialises in teaching dyslexic children.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 2:44 pm

And, in fact, the school has seen such a demand for places that it now has a waiting list.

Parents from all over West Sussex and beyond are seeking to send their children there - Moon Hall School in Reigate.

Executive head Michelle Catterson said: “Three years ago, we had 85 children on roll for the September, this September we have 155 registered.

The school urges children: Discover Moon Hall ... Discover your dreams

“This leaves us with only 10 places left at the school.

“In September we had a very successful Ofsted inspection which allowed us to increase capacity from 120 to 165 - it is now looking like we may need to reapply to increase capacity once more as we have many children currently on waiting lists.”

Michelle, 39, who lives with her husband and three sons in Southwater, also thinks that the pandemic has played a part.

“During lockdown many children with dyslexia have been struggling at home, for the first time, in some cases, parents have seen first-hand just how much their child struggles with typical mainstream approaches.

Michelle Catterson

“This awareness for parents has prompted them to seek additional support and help from a specialist provider with staff that are trained in techniques to support dyslexic learners.

“Our class sizes are small, with a maximum of 12 pupils, which again allows support and intervention to take place in a classroom setting.”

During lockdown, every lesson was taught live with pupils following their normal timetable.

“With many schools talking of ‘catch up’ and how to fill the attainment gap, our pupils at Moon Hall have had a consistent education throughout,” said Michelle, who is a trustee of the British Dyslexia Association.

Horsham mum Lucy Farmer describes the school as ‘amazing.’ Her 10-year-old son William has been a pupil since January. He has dyslexic tendencies and speech and language issues and, says Lucy, felt isolated from his peers at his previous school.

“Since starting (at Moon Hall) we now have a different child. William now loves going to school and is generally a lot more confident and happy in himself which I believe is the most important aspect.

“We, as parents, have already seen academic progress in less than two months and he is now back engaged with learning.

“At Moon Hall he now benefits from much smaller classes, specialist teachers for every subject and is able to be with peers who also have similar learning difficulties.

“The atmosphere at the school is so warm, positive, fun and just wants to encourage the children to find their strengths, rather than focus on what they might find difficult.”

She added: “The school is still ambitious and many students achieve 100 per cent pass rate at GCSE.”

Fees at Moon Hall, which teaches children aged from 7-16 - range between £6,160 - £7,340 a term but around 50 per cent of pupils receive an Education Health Care Plan and are funded by their local authority.