Neurodiverse Learners: Learnlife’s Pathfinders Programme

January 30, 2024 | Blog, Education, Parenting

Learnlife is a vibrant learning community for children aged 6 to 18, offering in-person learning at its two hubs, one in the heart of Catalunya, one in Barcelona and the other in Castelldefels, as well as online learning programmes and after-school and summer programmes.

The Pathfinders Programme, catering to neurodiverse learners, is a unique offering in Barcelona for those who need neurodiversity support in school.



Arriving in a foreign country means adjusting to a new culture, language and challenges. Parenting a neurodiverse child comes with its own unique challenges, and finding the right support system can be especially difficult for expat parents.

For neurodivergent learners aged 11-16 who could benefit from expert guidance, caring support, and personalised strategies, the Pathfinders programme at Learnlife might be the right fit.

This neurodiversity programme, catering to both English and Spanish speakers, focuses on developing executive functioning skills and nurturing healthy self-esteem for learners with diverse needs, including ADHD, dyslexia and dyscalculia, and autism spectrum.

Unlocking the passion for learning in neurodiverse learners

In the dynamic landscape of education, Learnlife stands out as a trailblazer, guided by a learning paradigm that draws on the aggregated experiences of over 100 leading innovative schools worldwide and 50+ years of combined research.

Learnlife exists to inspire a love of learning and empower children to be independent, original thinkers, guiding them in discovering and developing their unique qualities and skills and supporting them in unlocking their passions.

At the core of Learnlife’s philosophy is a belief that humans are inherently curious and driven to learn. By harnessing the insights gained from pioneering schools globally and decades of research, Learnlife has crafted a model that fosters a deep curiosity and a natural inclination towards learning in every individual.

This guiding understanding that each learner is unique means that Learnlife is especially attuned to and attentive to the unique needs of each child.

The Pathfinders programme was created to address the unique needs of neurodiverse children and to empower their learning.

Sarah Emptage, the Pathfinder’s Programme coordinator, describes how she works with learners with ADHD, dyslexia and dyscalculia:

What we focus on with Pathfinders is finding their superpower. Who they are, what they like, what they have to offer, and what they’re good at. Getting to know them beyond the label. That is one thing that is very important for us. By understanding that each child has different needs, we can develop that connection with learning and self esteem.

How does the Pathfinders Programme help neurodivergent learners?

The Pathfinders programme is structured to support neurodiverse learners in achieving their goals. The learning sessions focus on competencies, skills, and attitudes necessary for learners to continue growing as lifelong learners.

Most importantly, Learnlife offers a community that understands and supports neurodiverse children through 1:1 mentorship, small ratios and specialist support. Learners acquire skills and tools to construct a strong future through which they build confidence and create a powerful self-narrative.

Sarah explains how the programme supports this:

I tell them every time: my job is not to change you. It’s to help you be the best version of yourself. Right here, right now. In the future, it will be something else. But right here, right now, what is the best? I’m not here to change you. I’m here to learn from you.”

In addition to evidence-based interventions to develop literacy and numeracy skills, families receive a unique personal learning plan tailored to the needs of each learner and 1:1 weekly sessions with a psychologist who specialises in neurodiversity.

In addition, learners work on adopting healthy behaviours through wellbeing workshops. Throughout the year, learners have opportunities to visualise their progress and receive supportive feedback.

We focus on where challenges come from, not put patches on them,” Sarah explains. “Sometimes the progress seems slow, but these two pillars of instructional support and wellbeing support have made a visible, impactful change to the learners’ success.

In addition to having a specially designed support system, Learnlife’s physical hubs offer unique open spaces for learner growth and connection. In these spaces, where movement is allowed and encouraged, learners can reconnect to a love of learning through hands-on, experiential, and passion-based learning experiences.

With these tools, neurodivergent learners can discover their superpowers and passions and confidently build the road towards their next step. Most importantly, they will find the happiness and inner peace that comes from being understood, safe, and supported. “We communicate with all the learners that we all have different needs, and sometimes we need help, and we’re here to support each other,” Sarah explains.

The Pathfinders programme in Barcelona is a beacon of neurodiversity support, offering a unique blend of expert guidance, personalised strategies, and a nurturing environment.

If you envision your child not just coping but thriving in their educational journey, the Pathfinders might be the transformative experience they need.

Limited enrolment ensures a focused and supportive approach, making the Pathfinders programme an excellent choice for neurodiverse learners in Barcelona.

You can find out more about the programme.

Useful Resources about Neurodiversity Support:

Find out more about Learnlife, their approach as a leading, innovative, educational hub in Barcelona and watch an interview with Emma Buckle, Director of Learnlife Barcelona Nature Hub.

Contact Details:

+34 695 118 539

Learnlife Barcelona – Urban Hub
Carrer d’Enric Granados, 7, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

Learnlife Barcelona – Eco Hub
Passeig Marítim, 139, 08860 Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain


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