New Woodford Green centre aims to help school children

A NEW education centre opened in Woodford Green last week and staff have pledged to do everything they can to help youngsters achieve their learning potential.

Redbridge Mayor Cllr Jim O’Shea launched Explore Learning in High Road saying it is a welcome addition to the area which will become a valuable community resource.

The centre caters for children and young people aged from four to 15 and looks to enhance their educational experience by using a variety of techniques.

Assistant director Matt Ashenden said: “Studies have shown that many children make a year’s progress with us in just six months, and that is the high standard we set ourselves.

“All types of pupils come here, including those who are looking to stretch themselves or others who are struggling a bit at school.

“We have the expertise to help everyone and create learning programmes to suit the individual needs of each child.”

Children work in groups of six and are supervised by a tutor who provides help and support when necessary.

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Each session lasts one hour, which includes 30 minute helpings of maths and English.

Tasks are primarily completed on computers, but written comprehension work is also offered.

Mr Ashenden explained the benefits of working in small groups and the importance of making the children feel good about themselves.

“We see ourselves as a training ground where we can get them used to asking for help which improves confidence levels,” he said. “This can be transferred to classes at school where they may have previously felt a bit lost in a class of 30.”

Pupils are encouraged by a reward scheme which sees them earn “lizard cards” for effort and good behaviour.

The cards can be exchanged for prizes ranging from small toys, which cost 20 cards, to DVDs available for 150.

A maximum of four cards can be won per session.

At the end youngsters are allowed 15 minutes in the “surf club” where they can enjoy non-educational activities like playing computer games and board games.

Parents’ meetings are held every two months to allow teachers to evaluate computer-generated statistics which detail the National Curriculum level a child is working at.

Any areas of difficulty are also identified and discussed.

The centre encourages greener methods of travel and has installed cycle points outside the building.

Membership costs �98 a month which includes up to eight sessions a month.

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