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1st March 2016

Teen is first from special school to win place at Grammar


A teenager who became the first to win a place at Poole Grammar from a special school has returned to Longspee Academy in Poole to inspire current students.


Finlay Bissell spent his primary school years at the respected special school and he and his parents were thrilled when he passed the entrance exam to gain a coveted place at the selective school.

Finlay suffered from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) , anxiety and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) when he first enrolled at Longspee in Learoyd Road.

When he took up his place at Poole Grammar he became the first to do so from a special school without being integrated back into mainstream school first.

He recently returned to Longspee to visit his former teachers and to present pupils with a computer programme he has designed to help them learn their times tables.

Associate Principal, Sharon Burt, said: “It’s wonderful to welcome Finlay back to Longspee Academy and to hear how much progress he continues to make at Poole Grammar School.

“When Finlay first came to us at the age of eight, he was confused, frustrated and his future was uncertain but with the consistent and supportive approaches in place here at school, in addition to his parents’ determination, he soon settled and began to make good progress.”

Andy Baker, head teacher of Poole Grammar, said: “This is an amazing achievement and testament to his hard work, his parents’ unwavering belief in their son and the excellent teaching and support from Longspee.”

Finlay, 13, said: “I particularly enjoy maths and computer studies and the programme I have created for learning your times tables seems to be proving popular with the Longspee pupils I’ve shown it to. It’s been really nice to come back and visit.”