Gran’s high praise for staff at a ‘very special’ Sheffield primary school

Grandma Joan Wortley,aged 63, of Wadsley Bridge, is pictured with her son Mark Wortley, aged 33, and grandchildren, twins Nathan and Kayleigh, aged seven.
Grandma Joan Wortley,aged 63, of Wadsley Bridge, is pictured with her son Mark Wortley, aged 33, and grandchildren, twins Nathan and Kayleigh, aged seven.
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A grateful grandmother has praised a Sheffield school for transforming the lives of her special needs grandchildren.

Joan Wortley said seven-year-old twins Kayleigh and Nathan – who have learning difficulties after they were born prematurely – were put on the road to a brighter future at Stocksbridge Nursery and Infant School.

Caring staff even helped toilet train and feed autistic Nathan and given extra support to Kayleigh through her parents’ divorce last year.

Retired Joan, of Heath Road, Wadsley Bridge, said: “I can’t praise the school enough. I can’t think of any school where the twins would have come on quite as well. I think the staff have put them on to the road to a decent future.

“Nathan’s learning has even overtaken his sister now with his learning – he is on a level we could not imagine 18 months ago.”

Kayleigh and Nathan had a tough start in life when they were born nine weeks early.

Nathan was left with autism and other health and behavioural problems and Kayleigh with speech and slight learning difficulties.

Dad Mark Wortley and Joan, aged 63, were initially unsure whether to send them to a mainstream school rather than a specialist site.

Joan, who is hoping to volunteer for the school to ‘give something back’ in the future as a thank you, added: “Both my son and I were worrying if going into a mainstream school was the best idea for the twins but everything we have thrown at them, staff have taken on board.

“When they started Nathan’s behaviour was of great concern, the staff also had to give him extra feeds through a feeding tube although that is improving and he tries everything now.

“The school have managed to toilet train him, and when my son and his wife broke up school went the extra mile and a lot further to help both the twins.

“The twins absolutely love it at the school.

“From our point of view it has taken a massive weight off our shoulders.

“It isn’t a special school and it doesn’t have an integrated resource but in our view it is a very special school.”

Joan has also nominated the school for The Star’s Best in Education awards.

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