Learn more about Oak Hill

What is a typical day like for an Oak Hill student?

Every day, the students work hard, while also having a lot of fun! As they move through the programme, children are encouraged to reach their individual goals, thriving in the supportive 4:1 student: teacher classroom environment.

The morning session takes place between 8.00-11.00, while afternoon classes are held between 12.30-15.30. During each session, students attend 3 x 50-minute lessons in reading, writing and maths every day.

Between lesson 1 and 2, students have a 5-minute break, followed by a 20-minute break between lessons 2 and 3.

In addition to the taught programme, every student participates in short, daily, homework sessions (10 mins each in reading, writing and maths) to develop their self-discipline, organisation, independence and resilience; skills and strategies that will assist them in upper primary/secondary. All homework tasks are individualised, and students quickly develop routines to complete these tasks. Indeed, many parents are often surprised how quickly their child takes responsibility for their studies.

Why is the programme conducted over half a day?

The half-day programme is designed to enable students to receive small group, intensive support for a portion of the day so that they can avail of other subjects at their home school (e.g., science, art).

The individualised assistance the students receive at Oak Hill enables them to apply academic, executive function, and advocacy skills in other contexts and settings.

Do the students have to attend Oak Hill every day? Couldn’t they just come twice a week?

For students to make the most of our evidence-based programme it is recommended that they attend Oak Hill every day. The daily repetition of tasks, which gradually become more challenging as students develop their skills, strengthens and builds neural connections and pathways in the brain. This approach also eliminates gaps in students learning and helps develop learner confidence.

Can my child benefit from the programme if they have dyslexia and are bilingual as well?

The Oak Hill programme is suitable for students with reading, writing (dyslexia), maths and/or AD(H)D challenges.

We are proud to say that many of our students are bi and trilingual, however students need to be fluent in English to make the most of the methodology. Each lesson is divided into several components and is fast paced to retain the children’s interest and attention; therefore, students need well developed English language skills to get the most from each lesson.

I know you cater for children with maths, reading and writing challenges – but my son only needs help with maths. Can’t he just come for one part of the programme?

The Oak Hill programme caters for students with dyslexia, dyscalculia and/or ADHD/ADD and the timetable is arranged to develop skills across three subjects – reading, writing and maths.

When children join Oak Hill, they participate in a range of standardised assessment to help place them at an appropriate level on the programme. As a result, children work on tasks that are individually matched to their academic strengths and abilities; those who can be challenged are ‘stretched’ (whatever the subject), while those needing more time to acquire skills receive greater support.

Oak Hill does not offer tuition in individual subjects at this time.

If my child starts at Oak Hill, will they miss out on anything important at their home school?

Parents/families do have to compromise a little when students join Oak Hill. However, when a child begins the programme, they are bridging gaps in their learning, gaining key foundation skills in reading, writing, and maths – as well as increasing their resilience and confidence levels. Therefore, our parents feel the compromises they make to accommodate these gains are worth it as they see the marked improvements in a very short period of time.

To minimise disruption, we work closely with home schools to plan timetables so that students can avail of as broad a curriculum as possible (e.g., art, ICT, music etc.). Our home school coordinator also works closely with class teachers/tutors to discuss plans/liaise with staff about our shared students.

In addition, when the students’ home schools arrange educational visits or trips – we encourage them to participate in these events to ensure they have shared experiences with their peers. This arrangement has worked very well for our students in the past.

How do you help students at Oak Hill who may have challenges making friends?

Like many other schools, some of the students who come to Oak Hill may have difficulties making or keeping friends. Some may have moved school many times, others may have co-occurring differences which means they may need help learning how to develop relationships.

At Oak Hill, we ensure the students understand individual differences, helping them appreciate that everyone has something special to contribute.

Developing better communication skills also helps our students when they are socialising at their Home School or talking/playing with siblings and family members. We work hard to help students learn that these skills are an essential part of life, enabling them to relate to, and connect with, people in many different settings.

Will my child be ok in reading, writing and maths once they finish the 2 years at Oak Hill? I’m hoping they won’t need any learning support when they finish?

It all depends on the individual and their areas of challenge – some children may require no support when they finish the programme, while others may need a small amount of learning support.

At Oak Hill, your child will make significant improvements academically and socially, as well as developing the resilience, perseverance and confidence needed to navigate life beyond the primary/middle years. Nevertheless, a child with learning differences is likely to require some degree of support throughout their school years, however small.

In addition, as the curriculum demands increase in the secondary years, it is advisable for parents to review what type/frequency of support their child needs – particularly during the ‘exam years’.

I know you say we need to have a WISC/WIAT report to start discussions with Oak Hill, but what if I don’t really want to label my child?

Some parents may voice this opinion, especially if they are at the beginning of their journey finding out more about learning differences. However, it’s our understanding and interpretation of those ‘labels’ and how we plan to use them that really matter. Labels, in one form or another, are part of life – so it’s our role as parents/teachers to make sure that labels aren’t used as a judgement, but rather that the terminology used assists the process of teaching/learning in the classroom.

In our experience, completing a WISC/WIAT assessment for your child is an opportunity to learn more about their strengths as well as their learning challenges. In addition, the detailed psychologist’s report parents receive afterwards will help inform the student themselves (as well as their teachers and any other professionals they work with) about how best to cater for their needs.

What is a typical class size at Oak Hill?

Our class sizes are 4 students: one teacher. This small group size optimises individual learning opportunities for each child in the class.

What schools does Oak Hill work with?

We work with all bilingual and international schools in the area (i.e., wherever English speaking students attend school) and are pleased to say that our reach around the Lake Geneva region is extending each year!