Pontypridd High School has won the Epilepsy Action Secondary school award for the second year in a row.
This year’s award recognises the work they do to support Kira-Lea Crockett, aged 12. Kira has epilepsy that means she can have up to 20 seizures a day. Even when she is taking many different types of epilepsy medicines, Kira can still have around four seizures a day. She can also have up to seven seizures at night. Kira has mostly focal seizures, where she doesn’t lose consciousness and her awareness is altered.
With all of this, Kira can feel very anxious about having a seizure in front of people. When she started at Pontypridd High School in September 2018, her anxiety about this increased. She began to find going to school very difficult.
The staff at Pontypridd High School have been incredibly supportive of Kira. Kira can leave lessons earlier than the rest of the school. This means she avoids moving around the crowded corridors, which has made her feel much less anxious. The school has also helped Kira access things that help her wellbeing and mental health. Kira has had counselling sessions which she has found really helpful. There are staff at the school who Kira can access and talk to any time.
Kira’s epilepsy means she has to miss a lot of school, because of seizures and medical appointments. Staff at Pontypridd always make sure that she is given work she can do at home to help her catch up. As a result, her education is thriving. The school has also made changes to help keep Kira safe. Once, when Kira had a seizure during a science lesson, she almost fell off the stool she as sitting on. By the next lesson, the school had replaced the stool with one that had more support.
Kira’s mum, Amanda, who nominated the school for this year’s award said: “Pontypridd High School has shown amazing support to my daughter. Moving from primary to high school was difficult but, with their support, Kira is doing really well. She got straight As in all of her tests at the end of year seven, which is testament to how supported she is. I’m so pleased they have won this award for the second year, they truly deserve it.”
Accepting the award, Laura Dober, deputy head teacher at Pontypridd High School said: “We are so pleased to have been recognised with this award for a second time. We have a number of pupils and staff at the school who have epilepsy. We have worked really hard to make sure that the school is a supportive place for them. We are committed to providing an outstanding education and are passionate about the potential of every student and every member of staff.”