Thameside Primary staff pay attention to the challenges of ADHD

PUPILS of Thameside Primary School in Manor Road, Grays had a small extension to the Christmas break last week as it became the first mainstream school in Essex to receive professional training on “Understanding and Managing ADHD” (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

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The ADHD foundation travelled from Liverpool to deliver the full day intensive training course to Thameside teachers, which covered:

1. What ADHD is and what it is not
2. The science behind ADHD and evidence
3. Teaching and learning strategies to improve academic attainment and exam performance
4. Why ADHD is not an excuse for underachievement or poor behaviour – and behaviour management strategies
5. Comorbidities – ADHD rarely appears on its own
6. ADHD and mental health
7. Working with parents

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Despite ADHD affecting one in 20 children and adults, many of whom remain without a diagnosis, there is no compulsory training for teachers on this condition; yet there is likely to be at least one child with ADHD in every classroom.

ADHD children have 100 times greater risk of permanent exclusion and on average those with undiagnosed ADHD are likely to drop out of school several years earlier than their peers.

However, children with ADHD are typically quick-witted, intelligent, enthusiastic and very creative. Entrepreneur Richard Branson, actors Emma Watson and Will Smith, comedians Rory Bremner and Russel Howard, Olympians Michael Phelps and Lewis Smith, Chef Jamie Oliver and Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton all have ADHD, with many attributing it directly to their success.

This training was funded by a Thurrock parent Claire Jones, whose 10-year-old son has an ADHD diagnosis. Claire swam 14km in the Thames in August 2018, raising more than £3,000. Claire, who blogged about Thurrock’s Forgotten Children last year said: “I have seen first-hand the difference the right environment can make and quite simply, it is life changing. ADHD is a condition that is so often misunderstood, and we owe it to our children and our teachers to ensure the correct support and knowledge is in place. I have nothing but praise for the incredible team at Thameside, it is wonderfully inclusive, supportive and diverse primary school.”

The additional funds raised will see this training delivered in two more local schools one primary and one secondary and the ADHD foundation will run a local workshop for parents and carers of children with the condition.

If you would like information about getting this training into your school please contact Colin Foley, Training Director, ADHD Foundation 0151 237 2661

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