Two local teachers are set to open a new alternative provision for children in the York area in early January.
The provision, ‘Teach Me Happy’ which will initially open for 8 children per day is located in Dunnington, close to the nearby Hagg Woods.
The duo, who have both been teaching for six years, recognised that there was a lack of provision for younger children that are struggling to access mainstream education. ‘Teach Me Happy’ will offer both academic and holistic education, with the mornings dedicated to reading, writing and maths, and afternoons delivering a mixture of arts, crafts and cookery.
The provision also boasts a separate farm site in Bubwith, where children will be transported to enjoy animal care, including horse therapy, and land-based activities such as growing produce and gardening in the poly tunnels and surrounding farm areas.
One of the directors, Georgina Gowthorpe, who is a current primary school SENCo is leading on holistic therapies within the provision, “The children will be able to express themselves through several different SEMH activities, which includes yoga and meditation in our quiet sensory room and music production with a DJ-ing suite will help to provide children with coping strategies to help regulate emotions. I have extensive knowledge of the challenges often faced by children in care as my parents are long-standing foster carers. The long-term effects of children out of education due to SEMH and other needs can have a damaging effect on their mental health and can minimise future career opportunities.”
The provision also has a therapy dog, Norman, who will be visiting the classrooms throughout the week. Co-director Adele Lord-Laverick, who is due to be qualifying as a Doctor of Education in 2023 has an interest in children with additional needs, “My own children have specific learning difficulties, including autism, which gives me an understanding of a parent’s perspective of the referral processes, challenges within mainstream classrooms and social anxieties. We both hope to make a big difference to local children’s education and wellbeing when children are struggling in the mainstream classroom.”
Teach Me Happy is currently open for referrals via their website.