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Case Study

School refuser


'Wellbeing First' Programme

2hrs Per week 1:1 support


The student chooses to make one of our Downhill Racer buggy kits from a range of activities available. He decides to design the wheels himself using CAD CAM with a little assistance. The way this is done enables him to separate out and paint the wheel rims white. This is done beautifully and he shows great attention to detail. Leaves after 110 mins with permission from school.


In the next session he makes the body. Again, attention to detail. He sculpts the body carefully using a hand sanding machine. Leaves at 2hrs on the dot having enjoyed himself and worked solidly.



graphite grader

In the third session he needs to stop his wheels 'squeeking' so, after some discussion, decides to lubricate with graphite dust from a pencil.

He then becomes interested in the process of making graphite dust. This is where he departs from the typical linear learning process of following instructions and embarks on a cyclical 'empiracle' learning style (trial and error). This is why T&S is so valuable to him. He begins to wonder how much graphite he can make and how fast he can make it.


So he starts to independently experiment with various methods - asking politely for various resources and following a logical process of decision making. At one point he realises that his graphite dust is contaminated with wood dust, all of which is grey in colour. After a series of questions by our staff he concludes to float the dust in water because the wood will float! This develops to include soap to break down surface tension.

Fingers grey with pencil dust he uses various tools safely and responsibly including a cordless drill. Cuts, assembles and modifies scraps of material to cobble together a jig to hold the drill.

Our staff design a Laser cut tube to hold the pencil vertically over the sanding drum - all with his input and direction.





By 2 hrs he is making  loads of graphite powder from artists graphite sticks that we buy for him at the local shop. Leaves after 2  1/2 hours. He has been polite with good manners and a sense of humour. He has a hands-on, purposeful kinasthetic learning style where he independently manages and learns authentically, at his own pace and  at a deeper level than would have been likely during the same project taught in school. ( I know!)

On the Leuven Scale for Well-being he scores 5/5 and same for 'engagement'.


In the absence of school attendance, this is how T&S can help the school to identify his needs and preferences. There will be multiple complex and contributory aspects of course, but by being able to isolate his learning style from a behaviour/social agenda we can at least help the student become part of his/her own solution.