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13 Sep
Embracing differences, celebrating strengths and creating a happy House for all
13 Sep 2018 - 13 Sep 2018

Embracing differences, celebrating strengths and creating a happy House for all

September 13, 2018


Why should you attend?

Today it is realised that many students in mainstream boarding schools have difficulties connected to their learning, behaviour or social interaction. These students may struggle academically or have emotional problems and feel isolated and depressed. They can also find it difficult to live in a community and be seen to disrupt the harmony of the House. Some may have an official diagnosis, others may not but the Boarding House presents a unique opportunity to help all to grow, thrive and feel valued though this can be challenging at times and has to be carefully managed.

This seminar will be informative, interactive, solution focused and fun. The day will look particularly at dyslexia, dyspraxia, ASD (autism spectrum disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), PDA (pathological demand avoidance) and SPD (sensory processing difficulties).

Programme outline:

  • What to look for in students who have specific learning difficulties, finding strategies to support these young people, building on their often significant gifts and increasing their confidence
  • Helping their peers both to appreciate all their friend can offer and to understand the quirky behaviour that can be challenging to live with
  • Supporting the House staff, who can also feel challenged, in their roles.


Speaker(s): Dr Diana Hudson and Liz Best

Dr Diana Hudson has four children who all attended boarding schools. Three of them were diagnosed with dyslexia.

Diana has been a biology teacher for 30 years but her interest in Specific learning difficulties led her, in addition, to train to teach learners with SpLD. She established the Learning Support department at Wycombe Abbey School where she was the SENCO. She is author of ‘Specific Learning Difficulties: What Teachers need to know’ published by Jessica Kingsley.

She currently enjoys giving inset training talks both to individual schools and to University education students about the strengths and weaknesses of children with SpLDs.

This was an endorsement that Dr Hudson received from Warwick University: “Diana Hudson delivered a lecture to our cohort of PGCE trainees with a focus on dyspraxia. Diana’s captivating style, alongside her extensive knowledge ensured an engaging experience that provided theoretical perspectives alongside practical strategies for classroom implementation.”


Liz Best was a Housemistress for 5 years, then Deputy Head (Pastoral) at Wycombe Abbey for 17 years, developing a keen interest in how best to support those with SpLDs, their peers, and the House staff.

Since then she has helped set up a centre for bullied and vulnerable adolescents, many with SpLDs; she acted as Bursar of a Japanese boarding school, helping them meet the requirements of OFSTED, including boarding.  She is an active trustee for a charity which gives respite breaks to vulnerable children aged 8-11 years, where her understanding of the needs of young people within a residential community has proved pertinent and valuable.  She has been a tutor for the BSA for six years.  Liz attended a girls’ boarding school herself and both her daughter and son attended boarding schools, giving Liz further insights into the boarding experience.


Cost: Member £210 / Non-member £260

Venue: Wycombe Abbey School, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP11 1PE


Wycombe Abbey School, Wycombe Abbey School , High Wycombe , HP11 1PE, United Kingdom