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The Bermuda Centre for Creative Learning, based at Brown Brangman Building in Hamilton, was created for children starting at the age of seven, who have been assessed and diagnosed with learning differences, such as dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, ADHD and other language-based disorders.

Students work at their own skill level to meet their academic goals in a five-to-one student-to-teacher ratio.

Skill levels are determined by an initial in-house assessment. Students are able to continue and or receive support on-site from the Reading Clinic, speech and language, occupational and physiotherapists.

Parents supplement the costs for these services in addition to the school tuition.

Bermuda Centre for Creative Learning follows the UK National Curriculum along with the International Primary Curriculum, both prepare students for the next stages of their middle and senior level education.

Students work in small groups covering maths and English daily. Others include: science, history, geography, art, technology, theories of music and physical education.

Young Observer had the opportunity to meet some of the 18 students at the school and talk about school, their learning differences.

Matthew Mitchell, 12

What makes learning different at BCCL?

It's much easier having a one-to-five ratio, than 20 children in a class. You don't have as much noise.

What skills have you learnt at school that have helped you outside school?

Socialising with new people and I'm able to read more things around me like signs.

What has being at BCCL taught you about the way you learn?

That I learn differently than other people, like in English I would be clueless at my old school. At BCCL I can visualise the work and understand it more.

What is the one thing that you want people to know about how you learn?

I need to be able to ask questions to be able to understand the work.

What makes you unique?

I'm not afraid to say hello to people and give them directions if they need them. I'm also not afraid to tell people that I have a learning disability.

What is it like to learn differently?

It's a bit weird sometimes because you have to push your mind and it's not easy.

What are some of your favourite experiences in your school day?

At our morning meeting we get to talk about what we have done outside of school with others.

What do you like about the BCCL's learning environment?

I like being able to sit on a bean bag chair, a couch, or an exercise ball. I can choose where I want to sit.

Christina Stephens-Weser, 13

What makes learning different at BCCL?

It's easier because you have lessons in small groups, sometimes with a teacher and five students. There are less distractions.

What skills have you learnt at school that have helped you outside school?

I've learnt how to be more confident and shake hands with others.

What has being at BCCL taught you about the way you learn?

It's taught me that I need to be in a smaller group size so I don't get distracted. I also know that just because I have a learning difference, doesn't mean I'm not smart. And even though I have Dyslexia I can still read very well.

What is the one thing that you want people to know about how you learn?

I have ADHD and Dyslexia and I'm also active, and because of that, I do well in sports.

What makes you unique?

I see the world different than other people. When I'm talking I can see the words in my mind.

What is it like to learn differently?

It can be hard sometimes, but the teachers at BCCL help me learn better.

What are some of your favourite experiences in your school day?

I like being able to eat snacks while I'm working. I also like going out on walks every day.

What do you like about the BCCL's learning environment?

It's fun, because we have couches, bean bag chairs and beach chairs to sit in.

Henry Evans, 9

What makes learning different at BCCL?

I learn new things every day and I'm reading more.

What is the one thing that you want people to know about how you learn?

I have Dyslexia and learn different ways.

What are some of your favourite experiences in your school day?

I like sitting in the rec room during silent reading, it's quiet.

What do you like about the BCCL's learning environment?

There are no desks. We can sit on a couch or at a table in the classroom.

Oliver Verster, 11

What makes learning different at BCCL?

There is one teacher for three or four children. It's easier because the teachers can get to everyone.

What skills have you learnt at school that have helped you outside school?

I've learnt to make eye contact with other people.

What has being at BCCL taught you about the way you learn?

That people learn differently and it's not bad. We have teachers that know how to teach children with Dyslexia.

What makes you unique?

I have ADHD and Dyslexia and can think outside the box. Like for instance, someone with ADHD can make a boat for a project and make it more interesting.

What is it like to learn differently?

It's OK here, because I am surrounded by other people who learn differently.

What are some of your favourite experiences in your school day?

Walking to Fort Hamilton and playing there, plus we get to have breaks during the day.

What do you like about the BCCL's learning environment?

It's different because the grades aren't judged on your age, it's where you are. It's friendly, everyone works on greeting each other.

James Correia, 13

What makes learning different at BCCL?

It's different because it's easier than sitting at a desk and its better because the teaching styles fit the child's needs and you get to work at your own pace instead of the pace of the whole class.

What skills have you learnt at school that have helped you outside school?

Teamwork, generally being a good person and to be empathetic about others.

What has being at BCCL taught you about the way you learn?

I can get easily distracted and need reminders to get back on track. I've learnt that other children have the same thing as me and that it is hard for them to concentrate as well.

What is the one thing that you want people to know about how you learn?

I learn at my own pace. It's difficult to learn with others that are smarter and faster than me at learning. No one is perfect.

What makes you unique?

I have my own personality that's different than anyone else.

What is it like to learn differently?

It's harder because I'm different and at my old school I would get put down for being different, because I learnt at a different pace than others. I was considered to be one of the weird ones.

What are some of your favourite experiences in your school day?

Probably, going on walks because I get to stretch my legs, talk with others and throw a ball. I also like the IPC (International Primary Curriculum), because I know a general idea about the topics and I'm able to give others information about it.

What do you like about the BCCL's learning environment?

I like that there are no desks and you get to choose where you sit, and it's more comfortable for me learning wise.

Jack Gazzard, 11

What makes learning different at BCCL?

We have less homework.

What has being at BCCL taught you about the way you learn?

That being in small groups helps me learn, not being in a whole large class.

What is the one thing that you want people to know about how you learn?

I want people to know about BCCL, that it's here and that people learn differently.

What is it like to learn differently?

It's hard and stressful to learn differently and to not know things.

What are some of your favourite experiences in your school day?

I like swimming, fitness, the field trips and being a teacher assistant of the day. The math is fun, you get to explore new games.

Bermuda Centre for Creative Learning students on a recent field trip to the Aquarium

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Published June 08, 2017 at 2:00 pm (Updated June 08, 2017 at 3:16 am)

I feel like I can be myself

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