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We have been running our original Queen’s Park Butterfly school every Saturday in term-time since 1999, and it has helped many hundreds of children over the past 16 years. Families have long told us how their children, after initially coming to our classes many months behind in their reading, have achieved success with Butterfly.
We hear that some of these same pupils are greeted at their secondary schools with the label ‘gifted and talented’ and are later selected for visits to top universities – which they are predicted to reach. Indeed, some of our Butterfly graduates have already won places on undergraduate courses.
But it is not only the most academically gifted that we are proud of: sometimes breaking a negative educational or behavioral pattern can be an even greater achievement. Here are a few of our Butterfly children’s stories.
Here are some of our recent Butterfly stories (case studies)
Note: The children shown in these pictures are not the children depicted in the text. Names have been changed to protect the children’s identity.
Click on the image to read more.
More stories below
At first his behaviour with us was disruptive and boisterous, but not ill-natured. He was a massive bear of a boy with a tendency to hit out when provoked, often mischievously, by smaller children. A small child would give him a surreptitious slap. He’d land a thump – and instantly get into trouble for hitting a smaller child. We told him how to break the pattern – by ignoring provocation. As he experienced the gratification of learning to read, and with the structure provided by our ordered classrooms, his behaviour improved.
Within a few weeks he had attained reading age 9. He acquired gravitas, self-control. In no time we heard him chiding other children for their disruptive overtures. They were interrupting his work, he’d tell them, and they should be quiet.
He has had a troubled background, but he’s a sweet boy. He quickly went up into our top class, with a reading age of 10, and our required qualification for this group: the ability to write proper sentences and paragraphs. He stayed with us for another couple of years, a keen participator in class. Unfortunately we couldn’t prevent his referral to a Special School for his secondary education.
She came to us in July 2009 aged 4 ½ unable to read. We re-tested her at the request of our Class One teacher, Nadia, one Saturday in January 2010. She had a reading age of 6 ½ – and it transpired that this was her fifth birthday. Up into Class Two she went, and then Class Three, and Class Four. In January 2011 we tested her again, with her sixth birthday due the next day. Her reading age was nearly 9. Still out of school – it’s a long story – her encounter with the Education Welfare Director apparently left him impressed. He told her mother, ‘She reads like a twelve-year-old’.