WHAT OUR PARENTS SAY:
"My son Reuben is really happy here, and that is down to the manager Sarah for recruiting really great, experienced, well qualified staff . They all work well together and create a fab family atmosphere."
"Thank you for welcoming our son with open arms and accepting him for who he was and not for what he looked like. You have all been amazing to us. He has enjoyed his time here with you all and he has made wonderful friends - You will all be truly missed. LOPS IS THE BEST!"
Our first experience of LOPS was through the Friday drop-in sessions
that are held for children with special needs and their parents/carers. These sessions were an invaluable source of support and friendship for me and a great opportunity for Jamie to experience a new and interesting environment and begin to interact with other children. We liked LOPS so much that we put Jamie's name down for a place at the pre-school. He started with two morning sessions a week and loved it so much that he now comes to all four morning sessions. The staff at LOPS are fantastic with Jamie - giving him the one-to-one support he needs to help him develop his skills. He rushes into the playhall every morning with a big smile and the constant positivity and energy he gets from the staff is amazing. At LOPS Jamie gets the close supervision and attention he needs, but in a lively, stimulating environment where he gets to mix with a great variety of other children.We've seen positive advances in Jamie's walking and interaction skills since starting at LOPS and we've been given a great deal of confidence about him being able to make the leap up to starting school.
- Jamie's mum
From our first visit to LOPS with a friend on the Friday drop-in
session, I wanted my daughter to come and I think I asked for an
application form on that day! I had thought that I would keep Aida at
home with me until she started reception as I had never found the
right place to want to leave her. However LOPS changed that for me and
became a safe place that I knew it would be the only place I would
want Aida to be separated from me. Aida started a year later and spent
15 wonderful months in a enchanting amazing environment. Settling in
went well as there was lots of support for both parent and child which
was always followed by lots of feedback. Aida learnt lots of things,
not just about numbers or shapes but how things are done within our
world and how to be with people. She had always been a helpful big
sister and then her skills to help, empathise as well as being
unbiased towards all children and their different abilities became
more apparent, which is a terrific attribute in a young child. I
always felt that I could talk to the staff, or call if I needed to.
Aida has had the best start to her pre-school life by being a part of
LOPS. I genuinely feel that she is special, lucky and privileged to
have been a part of the way things are done within this environment.
LOPS is encouraging, exciting, loving and open to all children. Thank
you again. I have every intention of sending all my children there!!
- Aida's mum
Our son has cerebral palsy and when he started at the pre-school he could not walk or talk, had very limited social skills and was hyper-sensitive to loud environments and proximity, which caused him great distress. Through the patience and awareness of the staff at LOPS he has grown immeasurably in confidence and can interact with his peers in a way we could never have dreamed possible. From shying away from any textures or messy play, he now loves playing in the sand pit and water tray, and rather than being distressed when another child hugged him, he now giggles. The LOPS staff were unfailingly supportive when our son started to walk and provided consistency with all of his therapies, including physiotherapy and speech therapy. The staff are also excellent at managing the difficult line between encouraging our son to
communicate, while avoiding "translating" for him. All in all, this
pre-school has been a godsend for our family, and we hope very much
that our younger son will be able to attend LOPS too in a few years!
- Michael's mum
I am fortunate to have had two children attend LOPS, my first child
loved every minute of the time he spent there, he was nurtured and
treated as an individual and is now a confident, popular member of his
class thanks to the fantastic start he was given by the wonderful
staff at LOPS. My second child was diagnosed with Autism whilst at
LOPS, the support and guidance I received from all the staff helped me
through the hard times. Markos received the best one to one support
from his fantastic keyworker Tina, thanks to her and the hard work of
the SENCO'S past and present (Linda and Anne) he now has a statement
and is doing better than I ever could have hoped for at school. LOPS
really is the most wonderful pre-school, the best start any child or
parent could possibly wish for.
- Jenni Brady, former Chairperson & Leo & Markos's mum
Both our children have thrived at LOPS - our older child, who is now
settled happily in his second year at primary school, is often
overcome with great waves of nostalgia for what he has left behind
there. His experience at this pre-school really has been a wonderful
launchpad into society and something that he obviously will hold dear
for years to come.
- Oscar & Lucas's mum
From the outside it might look like nothing much. But the minute I
stepped inside and met the staff and walked into that lovely big room
I instantly felt I'd stumbled on a gem. Both my children have been to
LOPS. It has a natural caring feel where my children have learnt by
playing. All the staff are exceptional and they work as a team. They
nurture the children in a calm but purposeful way. The high staff
ratio makes a big difference and I believe it is the type of staff
ratio all children should have. There is a lovely atmosphere of trust,
mutual respect and kindness. I am really grateful to LOPS for helping
my children take those first steps to independence.
- Amaya's mum
Initially, I was very resistant to the idea of a pre-school catering
for children with special needs. Even though my daughter was referred
to Lewisham Opportunity Pre-school when she was two and a half I
didn't let her take up her place. Eventually, I relented and she
started when she was nearly four. I wish I had done it sooner. The six
months she was at the pre-school changed both our lives. Before LOPS
my daughter had no language skills, but the speech and language
therapy sessions they provided were excellent. The staff gave me the
knowledge and confidence to take her into the mainstream school system
thereafter. When my son was born, there was no other choice for me but
LOPS, even though he doesn't have special needs. LOPS is a homely,
loving place where my children, and me, have been really happy.
- Lauren's mum
My son has Down's syndrome and started coming to the drop-in sessions
when he was 8 months old. The staff at the pre-school are so patient
and give him a lot of time. He's treated as an individual, but he's
totally included. He's become a better communicator and is more calm
through being at LOPS. I never want him to go anywhere else but here.
I love LOPS - it's amazing.
- Brandon's Mum
Our daughter was so happy during her time at LOPS and her personal,
academic and social development was quite extraordinary. We looked at
many nurseries and pre-schools in Lewisham, but without a shadow of a
doubt LOPS was leagues ahead of every other one. Communication between
ourselves and the staff was superb; not once did we ever feel that we
had missed something or had not been listened to, quite the contrary.
We always felt that it was a privilege to be associated with LOPS
continue to be grateful that it exists.
- Anousha's Dad
Our elder boy was diagnosed with a severe hearing loss when he was
about 18 months old. It was agreed that he required speech therapy and
we got him into LOPS. In what seemed like a matter of weeks, we could
see a difference. Within six months he was thriving, engaging with the
other children and learning fast. It was a dramatic difference. We
will forever be indebted to all at LOPS, but especially his key
workers for everything they did. Our son is now at grammar school and
he's doing fine.
- Nico's Dad
At Lewisham Opportunity Pre-school my child became confident, learned
how to interact, express himself and became his own person.
- Malachi's Mum
Lewisham Opportunity Pre-school's highly trained staff have a huge
wealth of experience and knowledge, they create a caring and warm
atmosphere and all the children palpably grow with confidence. It is
unique within the Borough of Lewisham because of its high staff to
child ratio and its inclusive, specialized teaching methodology, thus
ensuring that every level of ability is catered for and nurtured.
- Roshanak's Mum
Our daughter Zosia has Tubero Sclerosis as a main diagnosis. She was
developing slower than other children in her age group, plus when she
was eight months old she developed epilepsy. Her development is
delayed and she is not speaking even though she is nearly four now.
The first time I thought about childminding and nursery was when my
daughter was one. I searched for a childminder who could look after
her. I met two different reactions to her medical background and
special needs: one was ignorance and the other was fear. After that I
wasn't sure how to explain our situation. On the one hand I had to
provide so much information to so-called professional carers and on
the other I didn't like seeing so many terrified people involved with
my child's care.
However, it was a totally different experience with LOPS. Although we
live quite far away from LOPS we used to come for their Friday drop-in
sessions. It was a nice and very attractive place to play. There was
soft area within, which was recommended for my child by
Physiotherapists and her Orthotic Clinic. At LOPS we met other parents
and very understanding staff.
When we first got a place for our daughter I wasn't sure if it was
worth traveling such a long way for short sessions. Fortunately, I was
encouraged by our Portage to take the opportunity and see how it might
work for us. Right from the start we were met with absolute warmth,
understanding and 100% professional approach.
In LOPS our daughter has one-to-one care when it is needed. Each child
is treated so personally. All achievements are noticed and celebrated
- and all children are loved. This unique atmosphere, which has been
built up through the years of experience is absolutely amazing.
It's not only children who benefit from being at LOPS; in our case the
whole family benefitted. The most valuable thing for us was the
Makaton sign language course; it was a key help for us to improve
communication with our child. Now our daughter can ask for milk using
the sign and the word milk, which she learned during sessions. I can
ask her what she wants to have for breakfast and she can answer using
sign language. For you, if you have speaking child, this might be
nothing, but for us is GREAT and a wonderful step forward.
LOPS was great with potty-training help. They were great with guidance
about what our child liked during the session. We manage to introduce
green peas in pods as a healthy snack and finger exercise after they
had been introduced during the session and we were informed that Zosia
Each of our concerns or questions are never left unanswered, so we
know that we are working together for the best for our children.