Thomas: Integrating into a UK school
A client came to Oppidan in the summer of 2016. They had come from Asia and their only son, Thomas, was off to a top UK prep school in September. He was socially difficult and found it very difficult to integrate with his peers; lacking any sibling interaction and bound close to his mother, Thomas found his formative years at prep school extremely difficult.
The brief from the parents to Oppidan was to find a mentor able to offer direction and to guide Thomas through his school years, offering advice on how best to socially integrate with his year group. Based on his own experience at school, Thomas was able to empathise with his mentor and heed his advice to make the most of his time there.
The mentor’s lessons focused on three main things: increasing Thomas’s self-worth, giving him the tools to succeed at school, and advising him on how best to make friends and assimilate with his year group. These skills, intangible and without concrete structure, prove sometimes difficult to validate. The trust they build over their two years together, however, enabled Thomas to flourish at school and as a consequence has put him in a strong position as he approaches his transition to senior school.