Supporting additional needs and promoting achievement for all
The Learning Support Department plays a central role in ensuring that all pupils are able to reach their potential as learners. It is recognised that, at some point in their academic career, most pupils will need variation on the standard curriculum or additional support to match their needs.
These groups are most commonly identified as:
- those with learning difficulties
- those identified as gifted and talented
- those for whom English is a second language
- those who struggle with organisation of time and general study skills
Learning support is provided for those who need help with literacy, numeracy or general study skills training by specialist teachers. To ensure that the academic needs of all pupils are met, there is a continuous process of assessment, monitoring and review.
All pupils across 1st to 5th Form have regular screening tests in literacy and mathematics. Additionally, the SENCO is qualified to undertake detailed individual assessments of pupils with learning difficulties. Individual pupil profiles collated by the Learning Support Department and regular liaison with class teachers ensure that pupils’ changing needs are effectively met.
One to one or small group lessons in Literacy and Mathematics are arranged and tailored to meet the pupils’ needs through communication with subject teachers and personalised, targeted instruction.
Gifted and talented
Pupils are screened using external MidYIS, YELLIS and ALIS aptitude tests to ascertain their gifted and talented potential. Pupils with scores of 130+ are assigned to particular subject areas and invited to become a specialist manager for their area of strength. The specialist managers meet regularly to initiate new projects, trips and to enter national competitions.
English as an additional language
Pupils for whom English is a second language are assessed to establish their individual requirements. Pupils in the 1st to 3rd Forms are placed in small EAL classes and receive specialist support to improve their grammar, understanding and articulation of their new language. This is in accordance with guidelines issued by the British Home Office to ensure candidates are equipped with an academically viable standard of English in preparation for university applications.
Study skills assistance
The Head of Learning Support provides year group specific study skills guidance and training sessions across the academic year. Typically these sessions include:
- How to plan a piece of work
- How to plan an essay
- How to write in an appropriate tone
- How to revise
- Organisation of time
Additionally, the Department holds weekly lunchtime clinics for pupils to receive ongoing prep and classwork support.