A community madressa dedicated to children with special needs has opened.

Paradise Gems which runs from the Frenchwood Primary School presently caters for 18 students, ranging from 5 -20 years of age who have varying degrees of Autism, ADHD, developmental conditions, Downs Syndrome and other learning difficulties. 

The madressa aims to provide Islamic Education to children and young adults as there is no provision in Preston that provides this facility. 

Sajedah Maka-Ismail who co-founded Preston Gems said: “All out students are carefully assessed by our SENDCO team and provided with lesson plans and methods to suit their needs. 
“We have been very blessed with donations and have now purchased some amazing sensory resources, which work well for the teaching methods.”

Sajedah Maka-Ismail who helps to run the madressa said: “We aim to promote social inclusion for all and focus on one-to-one learning at the pace of the student. 

“The vision is to create awareness and fulfil the need of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) children and young adults.

“We want to be able to advance Islamic education provision to members of the SEND community in safe and suitable environment.

“They observe Islamic principles and practices, which they have learnt very little of or none in some cases. Some of these individuals have never been to a similar setting before and it is truly a surreal experience for them.”

The team is made up of 15 members of staff and volunteers. 

Luckman Ismail, co-founder said the team want to allow individuals to feel ‘empower them with knowledge that will help them in the understanding of their faith and everyday life’. 

He said: “We want them to become responsible, respectful Muslims, to be socially and emotionally ready to deal with the wider world. We incorporate British values, cultures and apply Islamic beliefs, so that there is a true understanding of why actions are taken in a certain way. 

“Our staff apply varied teaching methods and strategies which will be used effectively and appropriately to accommodate differing learning styles. 

“We have trained staff who provide a very effective and well managed learning environment in which individual needs of each pupil can be met.”

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Recently, the madressa was visited by Preston’s Deputy Mayor Mr Yakub Patel and Ayaz Bhuta MBE, Paralympic Gold Medallist, wheelchair Rugby Athlete and two-time Paralympian and double European Champion.

Sajedah said: “It was a fantastic evening for all the parents, students and staff. Certificates were presented to all the students, which gave them the sense of achievement and inclusivity.”

To find out more about the madressa please 01772 759345 or e-mail info@ppgems.org